Attorney General Jeff Sessions has created a religious liberty task force to “protect and promote religious liberty.” Speaking from the Justice Department in Washington, Sessions said the task force, which he will chair, is to help implementation of the religious liberty memo he signed in October.
That 25-page memo outlines 20 guiding principles that federal agencies can use to protect religious liberty in employment, contracting and programming. The task force will facilitate compliance with the October memo, address new or recurring issues with implication of the memo and facilitate interagency coordination regarding the memo.
Exceprts from Sessions remarks include:
A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated. This election, and much that has flowed from it, gives us a rare opportunity to arrest these trends. Such a reversal will not just be done with electoral victories, but by intellectual victories.
We have gotten to the point where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law; where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit; and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a “hate group” on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs. (SNIP)
President Trump heard this concern. I believe this unease is one reason that he was elected. In substance, he said he respected people of faith and he promised to protect them in the free exercise of their faith. He declared we would say “Merry Christmas” again.
The Democratic National Committee LGBTQ media director Lucas Acosta issued the following statement:
From supporting the right to refuse service to same-sex couples to banning military service by transgender individuals to removing mentions of LGBTQ issues from the White House website, Attorney General Sessions’ creation of a Religious Liberty Task Force is just the latest assault in this administration’s continued campaign against LGBTQ people and our civil rights.
“By creating this task force, Sessions is establishing a unit dedicated to undermining LGBTQ rights and giving anti-LGBTQ far-right extremists like task force head Jesse Panuccio a taxpayer-funded platform to push their anti-equality agenda. Rather than ensuring every person has equal protections and opportunities, Sessions is shamefully doubling down on bigotry.
“This action is further proof that Republicans continue to push forward an agenda completely out of step with the American people and our values. Democrats will continue to focus on how to improve opportunity for all Americans regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or income.”
At the NGLTF, aka Task Force, aka National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference last night in Denver, CO a large group of transgender advocates stormed the stage in protest of the recent killing of a Latina trans teen by the Denver police. The trans-teen Jesse Hernandez was driving a car that was reported stolen with at least two friends when she was confronted by officers. She allegedly drove the car toward one of them. Officers responded by firing several shots into the driver’s side of the vehicle, killing Hernández.
Task Force deputy executive director Russell Roybal and Creating Change director Sue Hyde welcomed thousands of attendees at this year’s conference in Denver Thursday evening, and both showed emotion as they remarked upon the death of queer Latina Jessie Hernandez. Last week, Hernandez was fatally shot by police fire in Denver in a car authorities report was stolen. After Hyde and Roybal introduced the evening’s emcee, comedian Kate Clinton, a group of trans activists and allies, led by Bamby Salcedo, stormed the stage with dozens of handmade signs as the chant “Jessie Presente!” filled the ballroom”.
The transgender activists also were demanding increased support from the LGBT community in general to aid in their quest for equality. While there were several demands made from the stage by Salcedo, all coalesced around the statement “We are here demanding intentional, meaningful investment in our community.” Trans activists and supporters chanted “We are fighters.” he protesters were calling LGBT organizations to task for a perceived lack of investment in the trans community.
Now I and everyone I know have always promoted trans-equality. But what really makes me wonder about the trans-movement is: What exactly was the point of disrupting a pro-equality conference where you are already fully supported to demand support? This doesn’t make the general public any more aware of your problems and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the Creating Change crowd that doesn’t support you.
The trans=activist last night chanted that they are ” fighters”. GO OUT AND FIGHT! We have your backs. We’ll even help. But go out and fight against those you need to. WE ALREADY SUPPORT YOU.
Some personal advice. Stop worrying about being on a Gay Inc. Board of Directors and get your asses out to City Hall and protest.
Don’t protest the very people who stand up for you already. Thats the easiest way to push people away.
Learning absolutely nothing from the Chick-fil-A disaster of 2011 both GLAAD and HRC are falling back into their “failure to follow-up mode” again this time regarding the hate speech of Phil Robertson of the A&E’s “reality” show Duck Dynasty and allowing the right-wing to twist it into a “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion” debate instead of what its really about.
You see the same thing happened in 2011 with Chick-fil-A. In the beginning it wasn’t about “gay marriage”. It was really all about Chick-fil-A donating money to anti-LGBT hate groups. The problem was that after our illustrious overpaid leaders fired the first shot over it the religious right and the GOP sized the opportunity to make it about same-sex marriage. After that did HRC and GLAAD actively fight back and try to set the record straight and put it back on track? No. They got quiet and waited for it all to calm down and let the haters control the conversation and spin it to their advantage.
Now a year later the same thing is happening again.
If you fire the first shot you need to be prepared to fight to the end. At this moment every anti-LGBT right wing hate group, GOP politician and tea party loon is using any media outlet they can to twist Robertson’s hate speech into a “freedom of religion” and “freedom of speech” issue and trying making us seem intolerant and the bad guys. And they are beginning to succeed because HRC and GLAAD are either to afraid, or too inept, or just too utterly PC to media blitz back and fight back and stop their spin to set the record straight .
Its becoming Chick-fil-A all over again.
And while we are on the subject of our wonderful organizations where in the world is Rae (Carmen Santiago) Carey and the Task Force on this? Have they even released a statement? Can someone PLEASE tell what exactly what the Task Force’s “task” is and what Rae Carey does to justify over a $250k+ a year salary from an organization that raises only 8 million dollars in a good year and does nothing?
With leaders and organizations like this is it any wonder we’re still second class citizens?