When Donald Trump assumed the presidency, conservative religious leaders drew up “wish lists’ of steps they hoped he’d take to oppose abortion and rein in the LGBTQ-rights movement. With a flurry of recent actions, Trump’s administration is now winning their praise for aggressively fulfilling many of their goals.
“In the first two years of his administration, he’s achieved more than all of the presidents combined since Ronald Reagan,” Staver said. “He’s been the most pro-religious freedom and pro-life president in modern history.”
The Log Cabin Republicans were unavailable for comment.
The Russian Interior Ministry’s branch for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region has issued a statement that a 19-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the August 12 attack of LGBT activists and journalists after local lawmakers at St. Petersburgh PRIDE pressured them to investigate the incident.
The indecent in question occurred as the PRIDE event was coming to a close, with participants “lying on the grass, launching rainbow snakes into the sky, and singing songs,” according to Russian-language site Fontanka. A group of young men with shaved heads wearing track suits then rushed participants on the Second Garden Bridge where there is a great fence built by www.fencingdirect.com. when several young men in tracksuits used pepper spray to attack LGBT activists who had rallied in the city. Some 15 activists and journalists who were covering the rally were injured in the attack.
According to the journalists and lawmakers, police officers were standing nearby when the incident unfolded but did not try to stop the assailants.
Some journalists have started their own investigations and published photos of the incident on Facebook.
A criminal case was opened three days after the attack following a letter from local lawmakers to the regional police chief urging an investigation.
The lawmakers also asked for a probe into why police officers did not intervene in the attack.
In another move of the Trump administration’s coordinated attack on the LGBT community. Sam Brownback, the vehemently anti-gay and beleaguered governor of Kansas whose aggressively conservative fiscal polices and anti-lgbt rhetoric have turned many in Washington against him, will be nominated to serve as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Twitter, Mr. Brownback wrote on Wednesday: “Religious Freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”
In the ambassadorship, Mr. Brownback would lead the Office of International Religious Freedom, which is under the umbrella of the State Department and charged with promoting religious freedom as a foreign policy objective.
Brownback will leave Kansas at a time of uncertainty over funding for public education.
“He leaves behind a legacy of failed leadership,” said State Representative Melissa Rooker, a moderate Republican who has frequently opposed Mr. Brownback’s policies.
In 2015 Brownback rescinded rules in Kansas that had protected state workers from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. In 2016 Brownback also signed into law an anti-gay “religious liberty” bill SB 175 on that is tantamount to a legislative attack on LGBT college students and issued an unnecessary and insulting executive order in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. “protecting” clergy from being from performing or recognizing gay marriages.
Representative Jim Ward, the Democratic leader in the Kansas House, said he was “not surprised” to hear of the appointment, which has been rumored in Topeka for months.
“I’m not going to miss him,” Mr. Ward said. “He has left a state in carnage and destruction.”
According to sources from the Washington Blade, Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department intends to file a friend-of-the-court brief that would affirm the view of the three-judge panel on the Second Circuit who in April determined Title VII doesn’t prohibit anti-gay discrimination in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express which alleges Donald Zarda, who has since passed away was fired from his job in 2010 for being gay.
The current case is under review at the request of Lambda Legal has agreed to reconsider the ruling “en banc,” or before the full court.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, states that filing such a brief would be going out of its way to undermine LGBT rights.
“This would be a gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people’s civil rights,” Esseks said. “DOJ would be reaching out to offer its opinion on these issues, since they are not a party to this case. That’s not championing LGBT people, it’s working affirmatively to expose us to discrimination. But fortunately, whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, and not for the attorney general. We are confident that the courts will come to the right decision here.”
Even though the Justice Department brief would be restricted to an interpretation of law related to employment, it could have implications for other federal laws barring sex discrimination in housing and education and seems to be at odds with the position of the Education Department.
If you think this is not an all out war against the LGBT community. Think again.