First lady Melania Trump is planning to attend a summit in Maryland early next week focused on combatting cyberbullying. The White House announced that the first lady will be “addressing the positive and negative effects of social media on youth” during brief remarks at the summit in Rockville, Md., on Monday.
The first lady is set to make an appearance at the cyberbullying summit just days after President Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric on social media against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, calling her a “crying lowlife” and “dog” on Twitter.
It is their second lawsuit intending to block voters from weighing in on on the use of medical marijuana in Utah a group of Mormon opponents of Proposition 2 filed a lawsuit in state court Wednesday, said the ballot initiative would tread on their “freedom of religion”.
Walter J. Plumb, an attorney and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is the primary financier of the opposition campaign’s lawsuit takes issue with a provision of the ballot measure that would prevent landlords from not renting to a medical marijuana cardholder, saying that could create an issue of Mormon property owners being forced into renting to people who use cannabis.
Plumb’s “religious beliefs include a strict adherence to a code of health which precludes the consumption and possession of mind-altering drugs, substances and chemicals, which includes cannabis and its various derivatives,” the complaint states.
The group cites a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving a Colorado bakery owner who declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, saying it would go against his religious beliefs.
“In the United States of America, members of all religions, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs,” the complaint reads. “This includes the right not to consort with, be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant.”
“The State of Utah is attempting to compel the speech of Utah landowners by suppressing their ability to speak out against cannabis use and consumption by only renting to tenants who do not possess or consume cannabis,” the complaint reads, “and who support their viewpoints in opposition against cannabis possession and consumption.”
The measure’s proponents seemed gleeful with the latest filing calling it a “wacky attempt” to stop Utahns from voting on it.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Texas ruling that said the right to a marriage license did not entitle same-sex couples to spousal benefits under employee insurance plans.
The city of Houston asked the high court overturn last June’s Texas Supreme Court decision that determined all marriage-related matters were not decided when the U.S. Supreme Court found a right to same-sex marriage.
The federal court’s decision, issued without comment, allows the Texas court’s ruling to stand. Lawyers for Houston argued that the Texas court’s ruling was wrong and short-sighted.
“Equal recognition of same-sex marriage requires more than a marriage license; it requires equal access to the constellation of benefits that the state has linked to marriage,” the city’s lawyers told the court.
The original Texas Supreme Court noted that Obergefell requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages just as they do opposite-sex marriages but did not hold that “states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons.”
The question remains that Edie Windsor’s case settled that issue (equal spousal benefits), albeit at the federal level, so SCOTUS declining to hear a case involving equal spousal benefits at the state level is not only puzzling but should also be taken as a warning to us all.
U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco of The Department of Justice submitted a motion for argument time to the high court on Wednesday in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Commission on Civil Rights in support of a Colorado baker who refused on religious grounds to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The National Law Journal reported in September that the Justice Department was internally divided over whether to participate at all in the case. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, overcoming objections, directed the filing of the amicus brief, according to lawyers with knowledge of the decision.
In its motion for argument time, Francisco told the justices: “As a general matter, the United States has a substantial interest in the preservation of federal constitutional rights of free expression. In addition, the United States has a particular interest in the scope of such rights in the context of the Colorado statute here, which shares certain features with federal public accommodations laws, including Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Senators during Francisco’s confirmation process questioned his remarks at a Heritage Foundation event in which he spotlighted the plaintiffs in big social cases against the Obama administration. He noted plaintiffs challenging the Affordable Care Act included a group of nuns, Catholic Charities and “inner city” Catholic schools.
“On marriage,” Francisco said in the Heritage speech, “[we] need to do the same. Focus on the florist, on the baker, the sincere small businessmen under attack.”
A divided 3-1 Kentucky appeals court panel ruled Friday that a Lexington business did not discriminate against an organization by refusing to print T-shirts for a gay rights festival.
Chief Judge Joy Kramer wrote in her opinion that the city’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation does not prohibit the owners of Hands On Originals from “engaging in viewpoint or message censorship.” Kramer said the business objected to the message of gay pride, not anyone’s sexual orientation.
“Thus, although the menu of services HOO provides to the public is accordingly limited, and censors certain points of view, it is the same limited menu HOO offers to every customer and is not, therefore, prohibited by the fairness ordinance,” the ruling states.
Judge Jeff Taylor dissented, saying he thought the business did discriminate against the organization since its decision was “based upon sexual orientation or gender identity.”
He also said creating the rainbow-themed shirts would not have really violated Mr. Adamson’s religious beliefs.
“For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, a rainbow was a symbol of peace; others view rainbows as symbolic of love, life, hope, promise, or even transformation,” Judge Taylor wrote. “Even the Bible provides that a rainbow is a sign from God.”
Taylor also argued the majority opinion takes the teeth out of the ordinance by making it effective only to the extent that gays and lesbians do not publicly display their sexual orientation.
Blaine Adamson , owner of Hands On Originals told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he would not object to printing shirts for gays or lesbians as long as the message didn’t promote homosexuality.
“I don’t leave my faith at the door when I walk into my business,” Adamson said. “In my case, fortunately, the legal system worked.”
It’s now up to the Human Rights Commission to decide whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
69-year-old, longtime Toronto gay activist Brian Provini is boycotting the June 25th. Tornoto Pride parade this year as are many others because of the push by Black Lives Matter — Toronto (BLM) to ban police participation.
“I find it to be totally unacceptable,” said the retired community college professor and senior policy officer with the provincial ministry of training, colleges and universities said Provini Thursday, a few hours after he e-mailed a letter to Pride Toronto and the police advising them that he cannot “support a Pride that is not inclusive of the police.”
He said the LGBT community and the police force have done a lot “to build bridges” over the years and as far as he’s concerned, after this that Pride no longer represents Toronto’s LGBT community.
The Toronto Sun released an exclusive Forum poll earlier this week that showed nearly 50% of Toronto voters surveyed disapprove of the fact that the Toronto Police will not have a float (or booth) in this year’s annual celebration of LGBTQ rights. Only 21%, mostly those under 34 and living in the old city of Toronto, approved of the ban.
BLM disrupted last July’s Pride parade with a 30-minute sit-in, presenting a list of demands that included a call to ban police from the event in the future.
In mid-February, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announced the police would bow out of the parade this year. He had no choice, given the lack of support from his political masters and the self-appointed leaders of the gay community.
Provini said the only reason BLM and its supporters were able to take over the AGM, was because Pride is a “weak” organization.
“They are weak and allowed themselves to be bullied,” he said, adding that people he knows were “furious” that BLM hijacked last July’s parade.
“Pride has lost its way … You’re either inclusive or not inclusive,” he said.
Christine Drummond who sits on the Ottawa Police Service’s GLBT Liaison Committee echoes these sentiments. She started a Change.org petition imploring Pride Toronto to allow police services to march and be present in uniform at this year’s festivities. At the time of publication, the online petition had over 7,400 signatures.
“Things needed to be discussed, things needed to be agreed upon. It shouldn’t have been a one-sided vote,” Drummond says. “I found it very, very hurtful considering I have a lot of friends that are LGBTQ officers and who are allied officers as well.”
She says the Black Lives Matter demands run counter to spirit of Pride.
“Pride is based on inclusion,” she says. “At the end of the day, officers can’t take off their uniform. They can’t. They’re a police officer 24-7, 365 days a year. It’s part of who they are.”
A Vancouver, British Columbia man was denied entry to the U.S. after a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer demanded he unlock his phone, searched his computer, and looked at his Scruff profile and other sex-related accounts before he was turned away at the border and denied entry to the United States.
The officer suspected the man was a sex worker because he found messages from the man saying he was “looking for loads,” and assumed it meant he was soliciting sex for cash.
While the misunderstanding might sound funny, it underscores the bitter reality that non-Americans have very few rights at the border, and that even suspicion of criminal behavior can be used to deny non-Americans entry.
André, a 30-year-old Vancouver set decorator who declined to give his full name for fear of retaliation from US Customs, describes the experience as “humiliating.”
The customs officer also reportedly looked at his profile on BBRT, a barebacking hook-up site, and emails attached to a Craigslist account containing sex ads.
While Americans have an absolute right of entry into the country, they can still be detained or have their electronic devices seized,” writes Daily XTRA’s Rob Salerno. “A non-American who is asked to hand over their devices and passwords is faced with the dilemma of protecting their privacy or potentially being denied entry to the US.”
Wonder if CBP will let Milo into Canada the next time he travels internationally.
For the past few days we hate talked about openly gay US House Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney who finally succeeded in pushing through an amendment that would put President Obama’s executive order on federal contractors into law. Last night Democrats in the House overwhelming voted against the bill helping to defeat it
Most Democrats voted against the bill due to its spending levels and policy riders. Taken together with Republicans who opposed the LGBT measure, the legislation didn’t have enough votes to pass Thursday.
It failed 112-305, with 130 Republicans — more than half of the House GOP caucus — joining all but six Democrats to sink the Energy Department spending bill.
House GOP leaders could still try to bring spending bills to the floor. But they may start considering them under a more limited process that prevents lawmakers in either party from offering unlimited amendments.
Asked whether the House can pass more spending bills this year, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said, “I think so, yeah,” adding that ending the open amendment process would “be considered.” “We’ll adapt to the circumstances and move on,” he said.
The bill’s failure Thursday marks the second time in two weeks lawmakers have waged a very public fight on the House floor over protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
There you go. Dysfunctional politics in action at its best.
A new and very creepy animated cartoon from the Jehovah’s Witnesses instructs their cultist children how to give their classmates the “good news” about how their gay parents are going to hell before they themselves die of appendicitis or measles because they aren’t allowed to see a doctor.
The mother proceeds to tell the child why same-sex couples are going against the will of Jehovah by comparing gay marriage to a terrorist trying to get through airport security… and telling the daughter that “people can change,” a subtle nod to the widely debunked notion that gay people can turn straight, something JWs believe regardless of the evidence against it. What an awful message to teach your children. That the only way gay people can be truly happy is to deny themselves a loving relationship. That people can just “turn off” the gay switch. That there’s anything wrong with a family that doesn’t resemble your own. That the TSA won’t allow you to bring a bag full of gay genes through the metal detector
When asked to comment about the JW’s cartoon. The Lutheran Church of America’s longtime claymation star Goliath responded: “Gee Davey. What a bunch of scumbags.”
Although Air France announced earlier this week hat female flight attendants can opt out of flights on the carrier’s new route to Tehran after some said they didn’t want to cover their hair upon arriving in extremists Islamic country they are refusing to allow gay flight attendants to opt out over the fact that homosexuality is punishable by death.
Air France has denied the gay flight attendants request and even their union is backing the airlines decision.
Jean Marc Quattrochi, secretary general of Union des Navigants de l’Aviation Civile (UNAC), the union representing French flight and cabin crews, said in an article with Newsweek while the union is “sensitive to the problem” of LGBT stewards not wanting to fly to Iran, making special assignments based on sexual preferences, skin color or religion “is not acceptable for our union.”
“During the headscarf debate with Air France executives our demand was to allow all crew members to refuse this particular destination. For the sexual inclination the problem is totally different and does not only concern this destination. The fact for a woman is that we surely know she’s a woman, it’s written on her passport, When she arrives in Tehran, she will be forced to wear the scarf. For a gay person, nobody knows that he is gay.
When one steward is holding the hand of another steward in the streets, it’s his choice”
Personn’Ailes Association, the LGBT Union for Air France/KLM, said in a statement that it also agrees with the airline. Air France/KLM and its subsidiaries are required to fly to many countries where LGBT rights are virtually non-existent, and “where repression is exercised even up to the death penalty.” While the human rights situation in Iran is “terrible” and “shocking,” the union does not want to create “internal lists of persons based on their sexual orientation,” he said.
Currently more than 26,000 people have signed a Change.org petition, created by someone known only as “Mr. Laurent,” which seeks to give gay flight attendants the right to refuse travel to the country. The petition is addressed to the CEO of Air France, Frédéric Gagey, and France’s minister of transport, Alain Vidal.
Back2Stonewall asks that all its readers sign the petition.