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August 18, 2016

Center Global seeks housing assistance for LGBT asylum seekers

DOJ will end use of private prisons

Glad to hear this. Privatizing prisons creates incentives inimical to justice.

Clinton meets with top police officers as Trump casts himself as "law and order" candidate

Tyson Gay: going for gold, wearing gold

Very nice.

The story of Aleppo, in one image of a dazed boy

The job of a photojournalist is not a comfortable desk job. By its nature it often puts a photog in harm's way, or close to suffering, to capture a story in one striking image. You and I can gaze at this remarkable photo at a safe remove, but not the photographer. The Syrian child covered in dust and blood is 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh, and the photographer is Mahmoud Raslan. Without such images, we would avoid confronting the horrors of war even more than we do.

Obama: perception isn't reality

This is one of the qualities I admire the most about this president, though I do not underestimate the importance of public perception. Obama cares more about the reality behind the image crafting. Let the haters with their cheap shots do their worst. He is head and shoulders above them all.

August 17, 2016

Donald Trump's New Campaign Leaders Have Long History of Anti-LGBT Hate

DOJ criticizes Baltimore police treatment of trans people

Belize sodomy ruling could have sweeping impact in Caribbean

Bud Light's new commercial welcomes all gender identities

Prominent gay Republicans urge RNC to stop funding Trump

Rudy forgets 9/11 in attack on Obama

Someone give Rudy warm milk and put him to bed.

Japanese pole vaulter hits back at foreign media

What can I say?

US gymnast Danell Leyva promises to help the LGBT community achieve equality

Donald Trump, in shake-up, hires executive from Breitbart News for top campaign post

I am sure this will fix things right up.

"Your tiny foot is cold"

Silence your mockery. The man is a poet. He was enacting Puccini's beloved aria, "Che gelido piedino," from La Bohème. See video below, though in that production they perversely insisted on changing "foot" to "hand."

"Trump's campaign has now entered the Hospice Phase"

The above tweet by conservative radio host Charlie Sykes is the line of the day, responding to the news that Trump has brought Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon on board his campaign. Another on-target tweet below.

August 16, 2016

Donald Trump will test migrants' support of gay rights to detect ISIS sympathizers

Trump states a position that the majority of his party opposes. Count me as a skeptic.

Trump-Supporting Media Spreading Polling Lies Which Could Fuel Violence if Clinton Wins

Mark Sanford: I support you, Mr. Trump. Now release your tax returns.

The former governor of South Carolina with a novel approach to hiking the Appalachian Trail endorses Donald Trump first, and asks him to do something second. He has obviously not read "The Art of the Deal." Neither have I, to be honest, but I assume Trump recommends a tougher approach to negotiating than that. With his particular experience, I'd have thought Rep. Sanford would know better than to give it away for free. But it seems clear that Trump is not going to release his tax returns, no matter what anyone says.

Vincent Orange resigns from the D.C. Council

It became official yesterday, August 15: Vincent Orange is gone from the D.C. Council. This City Paper article from 2010 shows some of the reasons why I consider this good news. In addition to having called his rival mayoral candidates in 2006 morally unfit for supporting marriage equality (he lost badly in that race), he falsely took credit for reforms at Pepco (and wrongly invoked my name while doing so).

Orange did some good things, though one bill he moved for us he only did after another Councilmember (I believe it was Jack Evans) held up one of his bills until Orange marked up the bill we wanted. Orange finally decided to support marriage equality after we had won. But he was the least trustworthy member of the Council, and his self-promotion was endless and exhausting. Democratic At-Large nominee Robert White, who is expected to be appointed to the vacant seat on an interim basis, will be a breath of fresh air on the Council.

Mike Pence Is the Real Extremist on the GOP Ticket

Key phrase:

"The irony is that Trump appears to be the extremist when he is a hollow grifter with a personality disorder. Mike Pence is the real deal."

(Hat tip: Ernest Hopkins)

D.C. Police chief Cathy Lanier stepping down for NFL security post

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier's departure comes after nearly ten years in the job. We have had our ups and downs, but a variety of LGBT community groups, including GLAA, have engaged with her and other MPD brass to address police-related concerns. Already today I and several other local advocates were contacted by the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affairs for input on the occasion of Chief Lanier's departure.

That outreach by Mayor Muriel Bowser's office is a welcome contrast with the lack of outreach by former Mayor Adrian Fenty ten years ago. Fenty had explicitly stated, in response to GLAA's 2006 candidate questionnaire, "I will include members of the GLBT community in the search process when I appoint a new Police Chief and new Fire/EMS Chief." But in the event, his entire process evidently consisted of inviting Cathy Lanier to breakfast and offering her the job. Mayor Bowser has already done better than that on the day Chief Lanier's departure was announced.

We hope that the new police chief will continue working with the LGBT activists and groups that have worked with Lanier. A key document in this regard, which deserves close study by the new chief, is the March 2015 "Report Card: Status of Metropolitan Police Department Implementation of Recommendations from the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force and Community Response," which was issued by a coalition of groups including GLAA as well as Casa Ruby, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (now the DC Anti-Violence Project), HIPS, and Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC).

In May 2015, I discussed LGBT-related police issues at a press conference launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct (CALM).

If Mayor Bowser and her staff continue their consultations in the manner they began today, the selection process for a new police chief promises to be a productive one. In the meantime, we thank Chief Lanier for her service and wish her well in her new post.

August 14, 2016

Trump Spokesperson says Obama Started the War in Afghanistan

This would be an impressive achievement, since Obama was a state senator in Illinois when President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11.

Army Sec. Fanning, Jason Collins to attend Olympics closing ceremony

Christopher Barry dies of drug overdose

I learned this awful, shocking news early Sunday morning from my friend Ronald King, who recently worked with Christopher on community outreach in Ward 8. Like so many others, I was rooting for this young man's healing. I met him last year during the special election, and found him very affable, though I was concerned that those who pushed him to run were exploiting him and not helping him. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family and friends, and to all who did try to help him, who will be especially hurting today. It is so hard to free others of their demons. As Ronald wrote, may we redouble our efforts against the scourge of drug addiction in our communities. What a sad day. There was so much life ahead for him.

August 12, 2016

Federal Appeals Court Denies Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant Request to Enforce Sweeping Anti-Gay Law

NBC Sports has a gay problem

Yep.

"Moonlight" promises an intimate look at being black and gay in America

Mike Pence's Anti-Women, Anti-Gay, & Anti-Science Record

Disgraced Former Congressman Mark Foley Sits Behind Trump at Rally as Trump Slams Clinton for Mateen

Oops.

There will be a new TV show starring a gay superhero

Nancy Pelosi visits Pulse nightclub

Daily Beast deletes gay Olympian Grindr article. Nice Hines & editors should be next.

Nico Hines and the Daily Beast put gay Olympians from oppressive countries at risk, and took a full day before taking the exploitive article down. I agree with Cyd Ziegler and Amina Fonua.

August 10, 2016

Viewpoint: Trump, the Curious Christian Choice

My column this week looks at the odd alliance between the religious right and the utterly heathenish Trump.

August 09, 2016

Trump suggests "2nd Amendment" solution to Hillary picking judges

Please explain to to me what this means other than encouragement of an assassination. He has sunk to a level we have never seen before in a major-party candidate.

August 05, 2016

North Carolina: Appeals Court Refuses Stay On Ruling That Struck Down Racist Voter ID Law

Hannity shows why a blowout Trump loss won't end the GOP civil war

The fun continues! Sean Hannity approvingly tweeted a quote of Ben Carson saying, "It really boils down to one candidate who is of the people & one who is the epitome of the established ruling class." Dear Mr. Hannity, Dr. Carson is a loon. What's your excuse? Grief over Roger Ailes? ‪#‎StepBackHesGonnaBlow‬

Police raid pride event in Uganda, make arrests - attendees take to Twitter

Our friend Pepe Julian Onziema, one of those arrested, has tweeted:

August 04, 2016

Trump: 'I know far more about foreign policy' than Obama

Obama, what a slob. Could he get Mexico to pay for a wall? Fat chance. He couldn't even get them to pick up a check. I eat at the best restaurants, never pay a cent. I've slept with the top women in the world. I've had more foreign affairs than an airline pilot, believe me. But he reads briefing papers, oh, I'm so impressed. I could take a leak on his briefing papers. I don't need a briefing. Only pussies need a briefing. Oh, Mr. President, our nukes are just for show, you can't really use them. Fuck you! I'm the president. I don't like your attitude, I'll fire a missile up your ass. Hey, look at Mika over here wetting her panties. Don't worry, honey, I'm just joking with you. Where's the band? Play Hail to the Chief again. I love that. First rate theme music. Makes you wanna bomb somebody. Let 'em know who's in charge.

(Pardon me. I was just channeling The Donald. But then I remembered that when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you, so I stopped.)