OLATHE — Councilwoman Karin Brownlee says she “will not be resigning” after coming under fire by the LGBT community. She’s accused of complaining to the employer of a gay rights activist because he pushed for the city to adopt a nondiscrimination ordinance.
The standing-room-only crowd in the Olathe City Council chambers was nearly evenly divided Tuesday night.
On one side sat LGBT advocates — many of whom are calling for the resignation of Brownlee, a former state senator with a history of voting against the expansion of gay rights. On the other side were residents opposed to the city adopting LGBT protections, and who showed support for Brownlee.
Gay rights activist Brett Hoedl, chairman of Equality Kansas Metro Kansas City chapter, and others argued that Brownlee should step down. They accuse her of complaining to Hoedl’s employer about his activism at City Hall.
“Her actions will have a chilling effect on citizens speaking up and speaking out,” Hoedl told the Council.
On Tuesday, Brownlee admitted to talking to an acquaintance who works with Hoedl but insisted she meant no harm.
“It was a casual conversation at a social event,” she said.
She said she mentioned to an associate of Hoedl that he had “named his employer” while advocating for a nondiscrimination ordinance. She claims Hoedl did so at a June 4 meeting. Hoedl denies that.
He said the legislative affairs staff at his work contacted him about Brownlee’s comments.
“I don’t care where you fall under the political spectrum, this should frighten anyone,” Hoedl said. “Karin has been in elected office over two decades. She knows how unethical this is.”
Hoedl said he has made a point of leaving his work out of his activism. He has been advocating as a private citizen and on behalf of Equality Kansas, he said.
“What signal was she sending to the company?” Hoedl told the Council.
“When stories are told, there’s more than one version often, details can differ, and I’m not going to dwell on that,” Brownlee said at the meeting. “I will just say that I wish the best to the Hoedl family and to Brett and his work. I know we as a city are very pleased to work with his employer, and we certainly want that to go forward in the best possible manner.”
Another activist, Robynn Andracsek, alluded that Brownlee talked to her employer as well.
“I’m speaking as a private citizen,” she told the Council. “I’m not representing my company. And for the record, Mrs. Brownlee, I’m still employed, but nice try.”
The LGBT community has criticized Brownlee’s record as a state senator, when she voted for legislation in 2005 to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. The amendment was approved by 70% of voters that year, but later overruled in court. Brownlee was later Kansas secretary of labor during Gov. Sam Brownback’s first term but stepped down after two years. She took office in Olathe last year.
As a councilwoman, she voted against a resolution earlier this year that aimed to promote diversity and equality in the city. The measure, which passed, encourages the city to reject discrimination against any group — including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Councilman John Bacon, who won reelection earlier this month, also voted against the resolution.
Advocates said the measure didn’t go far enough in granting the LGBT community the same protections others have in the city. Olathe remains the last of Johnson County’s major cities to not adopt a nondiscrimination ordinance.
Many have called on the City Council to vote on the matter next month.
As some residents Tuesday night called for Brownlee’s resignation, Mayor Michael Copeland directed them to stop addressing individual council members. Hoedl could file an ethics complaint against Brownlee.
“Karin, you served 14 years in our Senate. You served as a secretary of the Department of Labor. How could you not know, even in a casual conversation, this is inappropriate?” Olathe resident Veronica Malone told the Council. “This governance system is out of whack.”
Several residents spoke against the city adopting protections for the LGBT community.
“I encourage you to take a stand and refuse to reward this intimidating behavior by voting ‘no’ on the NDO,” resident Teresa Rose said at the meeting. “If you give in to this type of behavior, you’re asking for more of it. It’ll just get worse.”
Last month, Overland Park became the largest city in Kansas to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. Fairway plans to hold a special meeting on Thursday to consider adopting LGBT protections.
Olathe residents have been packing City Hall to argue over a similar statute during each City Council meeting for the past several months.
Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Courtesy Associated Press Two gay Saudi journalists, who claim they were outed in retaliation for contacts one of them had with a foreign media outlet, have been detained in Australia after requesting asylum.
LGBT advocates are calling upon the Australian government to release the two men, who fled Saudi Arabia after realizing they were being targeted by the regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
NBC News reported that the men arrived in Australia more than a month ago. After they picked up their luggage, customs authorities inspected their bags and phones and asked them if they intended to seek asylum. When they said yes, they were taken to a detention center where they have mostly been held since, one of the journalists and his attorney, Alison Battisson, said.
The men, who were not named, have been together for 16 years.
Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death.
Just Equal spokesman Brian Greig said in a November 17 news release that since the men’s arrival they have been interrogated by authorities, intimidated by the guards, and threatened with violence by other detainees.
"It is unacceptable that LGBTI people escaping threats and detention overseas are then confronted with that here," Greig said in the release.
One of the men told the Guardian that they ran from the Saudis after being imprisoned and threatened with trumped up charges of leaking negative stories about the regime, only to re-experience a similar situation in Australia.
One of the men, who worked with many foreign reporters in his position at the ministry of media and often defended the regime in the international press, denied the Saudi regime’s charges.
The Saudi government cracked down on dissidents in 2018. The men claim they are not dissidents and said the government became suspicious of any journalists’ contacts with other reporters who were critical of the regime.
The Guardian reported that the one man was targeted by the ministry after a foreign media crew obtained and smuggled incriminating documents of the regime’s mistreatment of journalists out of the country in 2018.
Purportedly, the intention was to pass the documents along to Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was slain at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.
Prior to escaping their home country, the two men told the newspaper that they "lived a comfortable life of relative wealth and privilege in Riyadh."
"Australia must be a safe refuge for people fleeing persecution, including anti-LGBTI hate and violence," Greig said.
"This must also include a fair, efficient, and unbiased process for dealing with claims of asylum on the basis of sexuality," he added.
Rights group urges Ugandan authorities to stop harassment
Human Rights Watch has urged Ugandan officials to stop harassing and torturing LGBT Ugandans and to drop all charges against the LGBT community members who were caught up in two recent raids.
"Ugandan police are stooping to new lows in their persecution of people for being LGBT," said Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a November 19 news release from the organization.
Joan Amek, who was arrested during a raid on the Ram bar, told HRW, "After the drug accusations failed, they accused us of being idle. But there is no crime, they just need something to pin on people."
Sexual Minorities Uganda Executive Director Frank Mugisha accused police of "trumped-up charges" against the bar’s patrons. Voice of America reported that he said the raid was an intimidation tactic targeting Uganda’s LGBT community.
"Ugandan police should be protecting people, not violating their rights because of their presumed sexuality or gender identity," said Ghoshal.
On November 10, Ugandan police rounded up an estimated 120 people during an early Monday morning raid on the gay-friendly bar in Kampala.
Police charged 67 of the people arrested with "public nuisance" and violating the Tobacco Control Act 2015, which prohibits smoking opium and shisha. Police released 53 people after dropping all charges against them, according to SMUG.
The people still detained are being held at a maximum-security prison in the suburb of Luzira. They could face up to a year in jail if sentenced, the group’s lawyer Patricia Kimera told Reuters.
A person identified only as Sonia, who was one of the bar patrons arrested, recounted to Gay Nation that the police swarmed the bar and ordered everyone to sit down.
She asked a police officer what people were doing that was wrong.
"I got slapped for it," she said, stating that the officers slapped some of her friends for asking the same question. Some officers were reportedly using homophobic slurs during the arrest.
The bar patrons were later put into police trucks and taken to the central police station. They still hadn’t been informed of what they had done wrong, Sonia said.
Another individual also arrested during the raid on the bar and identified as Judy added that many people’s lives are forever changed because family members "don’t want anything to do with them." Some nearly lost their jobs.
They "don’t think they have a life to come back to" she said. "I and my friends can’t even have decent sleep because our minds can’t rest."
The raid was the sixth reported attack on LGBT gatherings in Uganda since 2012. In October, 16 Ugandan workers were arrested at the office of queer youth empowerment organization Let’s Walk Uganda. The workers were charged with homosexuality and forced to undergo anal examinations.
The raids on LGBT venues in Uganda coincides with a particularly violent year of attacks on the community — including a false threat to revive the so-called Kill the Gays Bill — and brutal murders of some LGBT people.
Got international LGBT news tips? Call or send them to Heather Cassell at WhatsApp: 415-517-7239, or Skype: heather.cassell, or email@example.com
Stewart Perrie in News Published 12:07 AM, Thursday November 21 2019 GMT It’s no secret that former Wallaby Israel Folau isn’t a big fan of the LGBT community.
He lost his rugby union career over an Instagram post that was dubbed homophobic and he recently equated the bushfires and drought plaguing Australia with the legalisation of same sex marriage and abortion. Folau While he’s entitled to his opinion, it certainly hasn’t done him any favours with large swaths of the national and international community.
But one restaurant in New Zealand decided that they wanted to do something with the rugby star’s bill after he and his wife dined there recently.
Vegan eatery Gorilla Kitchen in Auckland acknowledged that they would never turn someone away because of their beliefs.
Instead of giving Folau a piece of their mind, they chose to donate the money from his dinner to Rainbow Youth, a charity that provides ‘education, information, support and advocacy for LGBTIQ youth in New Zealand’. Credit: Gorilla Kitchen/Facebook The restaurant wrote on Facebook: "We are proud to say that Israel Folau and his wife Maria Folau have inadvertently shown their support to Rainbow Youth.
"We don’t turn anyone away at Gorilla Kitchen, because we love everyone, not just animals.
"So when Israel and Maria came in again a couple of weeks ago we happily served them, hydrated them and fed them.
"What they didn’t realise was their money spent at Gorilla Kitchen was going to be donated to Rainbow Youth, an organisation that embraces diversity and offers support for our young and vulnerable rainbow community."
The post has been liked by hundreds of people who reckon it was a cheeky way to get the Folau family to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Credit: PA Folau’s comments linking the bushfires and drought with same-sex marriage and abortion were widely criticised by many across Australia.
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who abstained from voting in the same-sex marriage bill, thought it showed a stupid lack of empathy on a devastating situation.
"The thoughts and prayers, let me stress, from Christians are very much with those who are suffering under the terrible burden of fire," Mr Morrison said earlier this week.
"I thought these were appallingly insensitive comments. If people don’t have something sensible and helpful to say, can you just keep it to yourself."
While it’s doubtful that the Folau family will speak out on the Gorilla Kitchen donation, it would be interesting to see what they think about it.
Featured Image Credit: Israel Folau/Instagram Stewart Perrie
Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.
Labour and the Conservatives will later set out rival plans to tackle England’s housing shortage.
Jeremy Corbyn will promise the biggest affordable house building programme since the 1960s, including 100,000 new council houses a year by 2024.
Boris Johnson will announce measures to help first-time buyers and boost private house building, promising a million homes over the next five years.
The announcements come ahead of Labour’s manifesto launch on Thursday. Who should I vote for? Election policy guide
Election translator: Key words explained
Labour’s £75bn plans will be paid for using half of its £150bn Social Transformation Fund – a pot it says it will use to "repair the social fabric" in the country, if they win a majority in 12 December’s general election.
The council house pledge means the homes will be built and run by local authorities, and paid for out of the public purse – with rent returning to the councils.
Mr Corbyn will also promise 50,000 "genuinely affordable homes" a year to be offered through Housing Associations – scrapping the current definition of affordable and replacing it with one linked to local incomes.
Housing Associations are not-for-profit organisations which put any money made through rent back into the maintenance and building of new houses, and can be subsidised by the government.
Homes run by these groups fall under the umbrella term of "social housing", along with council homes.
Labour says its plan will be the biggest council and social housing programme in decades – a repeat of the pledge it made at the 2017 general election.
"Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few," Mr Corbyn will say.
"I am determined to create a society where working class communities and young people have access to affordable, good quality council and social homes."
Housing charity Shelter welcomed the Labour proposals.
Chief executive Polly Neate said: "Labour’s plan would be transformational for housing in this country.
"A pledge to build social homes at this scale would, if implemented, do more than any other single measure to end the housing emergency and give new, affordable, safe homes to hundreds of thousands currently without one." Labour is promising to be building a very large number of homes in England in five years. In 2017, they promised 100,000 council or housing association homes a year. Now it’s 150,000 between them.
You have to go back over 40 years to find more than 100,000 council homes being built in a year, while housing associations have never managed to build as many as 50,000 homes in a year. It has been unusual recently to see 150,000 new homes being built in a year by anybody, let alone just by local authorities and housing associations.
There has already been talk of skills shortages in the construction sector, so there is going to have to be a great deal of training or a lot of construction workers being attracted from overseas if this target is going to be met. The Conservatives will also announce a number of policies alongside their million homes pledge, which includes an overhaul of the planning system.
A future Tory government would not use public money to build the houses, but pursue policies that they believe will encourage the private sector to build more.
The party will promise to introduce a new mortgage with long-term fixed rates, and only needing a 5% deposit, to help renters buy their first homes.
And it will create a scheme where local first-time buyers will be able to get a 30% discount on new homes in their area.
"The Conservatives have always been the party of homeownership, but under a Conservative majority government in 2020 we can and will do even more to ensure everyone can get on and realise their dream of owning their home," said Mr Johnson.
"At the moment renting a property can also be an uncertain and unsettling business, and the costs of deposits make it harder to move. We are going to fix that."
BBC economics correspondent Dharshini David said the relaxing of affordability rules for mortgage borrowers could be controversial.
The Bank of England considered when it might be appropriate to relax this recently and concluded it should only do so if first-time buyers were being deterred by prices rising faster than they are now.
So a strategy of less cautious lending could put the government on a collision course with the Bank of England, added our correspondent.
On Wednesday, the Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto , promising to build 300,000 homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes.
The Green Party also announced in their manifesto they want to build an extra 100,000 council houses a year.
Michael Conlan makes his feelings clear after his controversial defeat None of the 36 referees and judges used at the Rio 2016 boxing competition will be allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020, an International Olympic Committee task force has said.
Several judges and referees were sent home from Rio after a number of questionable decisions during the boxing tournament.
At Tokyo, referees and judges will be picked from a pool of International Boxing Association (AIBA) certified officials, who have been reviewed to ensure they meet the criteria.
"The main objective of the IOC boxing task force is to ensure the completion of the mission of delivering events, while putting the boxers first, and with transparent and credible sporting results and fair play," said boxing task force chair Morinari Watanabe.
An investigation by the AIBA in 2017 found no interference in results and recommended that the Rio judges be reintegrated on a "case-by-case basis", but the IOC’s new selection criteria has now ruled them ineligible for the Tokyo Games.
The task force said its decision followed discussions with athletes to increase clarity, transparency and integrity in the selection process and officiating at the Olympics.
Scores from all judges at the end of each round will also now be displayed publicly during qualifying competitions and the Games.
Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan, who said he was "robbed", and Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit lost bouts in which they both appeared to win comfortably during Rio 2016.
Labour will launch its general election manifesto later, calling it the "most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades".
Leader Jeremy Corbyn will say the fully costed and "popular" policies in his programme for government have long been opposed by the "super rich".
They include more cash for the NHS and tackling climate change, paid for by taxing higher earners and borrowing.
Labour’s Brexit plan , including another referendum, will also be set out. Labour and Tories push rival housing policies
Lib Dems consider hung Parliament options
What else is Johnson planning to spend on?
Among the policies expected to be confirmed at the launch are: A "real living wage" of at least £10 an hour – including for younger workers
The biggest affordable house building programme since the 1960s – including 100,000 new council houses a year by 2024
The creation of one million "green jobs" to tackle climate change
Free broadband for all delivered by part-nationalising BT
A plan to bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership
Speaking to supporters in Birmingham, the Labour leader will say it is a "manifesto of hope", adding: "Over the next three weeks, the most powerful people in Britain and their supporters are going to tell you that everything in this manifesto is impossible.
"That it’s too much for you. Because they don’t want real change. Why would they? The system is working just fine for them. It’s rigged in their favour.
"If the bankers, billionaires and the establishment thought we represented politics as usual, that we could be bought off, that nothing was really going to change, they wouldn’t attack us so ferociously. Why bother?
"But they know we mean what we say. They know we will deliver our plans, which is why they want to stop us being elected."
The party is hoping its manifesto will be a turning point in its push to get back into power for the first time since 2010, as the opinion polls so far suggest it is heading for defeat on 12 December.
Labour is locked in a battle with the Conservatives – who are also promising to borrow money to spend on public services – in seats across the Midlands and the north of England.
Unite trade union Len McCluskey – a key ally of Mr Corbyn – told ITV’s Robert Peston the manifesto’s message to voters in the party’s traditional heartlands was: "Come home to Labour." ‘The people own Labour’
In his speech, Mr Corbyn will also criticise the Tories after claims they are being backed by donations from a third of Britain’s billionaires.
"The billionaires and the super rich, the tax dodgers, the bad bosses and the big polluters – they own the Conservative Party," he will add.
"But they don’t own us. They don’t own the Labour Party. The people own the Labour Party."
The Labour leader will say voters can trust his party to deliver its pledges because "we’re opposed by the vested interests for standing up for a different kind of society".
"We’ll deliver real change for the many, and not the few. That’s what this manifesto is all about," he will say.
But the Tories have accused Mr Corbyn of trying to distract voters from his party’s "failing campaign" and "his inability to give answers" on Brexit.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Corbyn in Downing Street would mean wasting the whole of next year on two chaotic referendums and leaving our economy staring down the barrel of bankruptcy."
Owen Humphreys – PA Images via Getty Images Jeremy Corbyn will pledge to deliver a housing ‘revolution’ in the UK by building up to 150,000 new council houses and flats every year.
Putting the issue at the heart of Labour’s manifesto, which will be unveiled on Thursday, Corbyn will promise the largest programme of public sector construction since the 1960s.
Backed by a new £75bn cash pledge from shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the Labour leader will also set out plans to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in Britain.
A crucial feature of the plans is to open up council and housing association homes to more people, ending the stigma that only the poorest would qualify for such affordable rents.
Shadow housing secretary John Healey told HuffPost UK that young people on “ordinary” incomes would be eligible for the wave of new homes.
“Nye Bevan [the 1940s former Labour cabinet minister] talked of council housing as having ‘the living tapestry of mixed communities’ and he was right,” he said.
“We will build social homes not just for the poorest but for those on ordinary incomes, trapped young renters and young families that just want a start in life while they save for a deposit for their own home.”
The last time 150,000 council houses were built in one year was 1967, under Harold Wilson’s Labour government.
Healey also revealed that the party would resurrect a new version of Gordon Brown’s ‘supporting people budget’, a scheme to tackle the root causes of homelessness that the Tories cut by 60% after 2010. Aneurin Bevan, former Labour cabinet minister Bevan, who was responsible for housing when he was the UK’s first health secretary, is seen as the inspiration for much of the new programme
He once said: “We should try to introduce in our modern towns and villages housing where the doctor, the grocer, the butcher and the farm labourer all live in the same street…in the living tapestry of a mixed community.”
Labour says it will spend half of its £150 billion “social transformation fund” – borrowing which it would invest to repair the damage done by austerity – on house-building over five years.
Several charities and housing campaign groups praised the proposal as a potential “game-changer”.
Ahead of the manifesto launch, Corbyn said: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.
“I am determined to create a society where working-class communities and young people have access to affordable, good-quality council and social homes.”
Labour proposes to build 100,000 council homes a year by the end of its first parliament, which it says is an increase of more than 3,500% compared with currently under the Tories.
Official housing statistics have shown more than one million households are on waiting lists for council housing.
A further 50,000 “genuinely affordable homes” would be built each year through housing associations by the end of the same period.
The party would scrap what it called the Conservatives’ “bogus” definition of affordable housing to replace it with one that is linked to local incomes instead.
The new generation of homes would be built to green standards in a bid to tackle the climate crisis, using the much-praised Goldsmith Street council development in Norwich as an inspiration.
Polly Neate, chief executive of the Shelter charity, said the plan would be “transformational for housing in this country”.
“A pledge to build social homes at this scale would, if implemented, do more than any other single measure to end the housing emergency and give new, affordable, safe homes to hundreds of thousands currently without one,” she added.
The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, hailed the proposals as “a real game-changer”.
Chief executive Kate Henderson said: “The housing crisis is having a disastrous effect on millions of people in England, and we need to build 145,000 new social homes every year if we are to end it. We can fix the housing crisis, and this is the level of investment that will be needed.”
The Chartered Institute of Housing welcomed the pledge, with chief executive Terrie Alafat saying: “We think the scale of Labour’s proposals are a welcome step in ending our housing crisis.”
But housing Secretary Robert Jenrick defended the Conservatives’ track-record.
“Under the Conservatives we’ve delivered 450,000 new affordable homes, increased housing supply to its highest level for almost 30 years and increased house-building by 93% in the last six years,” he said.
“After the last Labour government decimated social housing numbers we know there is more to do. This is why we’ve committed £9 billion to deliver a further quarter of a million more affordable new homes whilst continuing to build more homes – helping thousands more onto the property ladder.”
The figure is pretty scary, and it’s meant to be. Jeremy Corbyn will slap a tax bill of more than a thousand pounds on your home every year. So shouts a new Tory party election leaflet dropping through letterboxes in this 2019 election.
The leaflet links to a website run by the Conservatives, sub-titled ‘share the facts’, that talks of ‘Corbyn’s tax grab’, complete with mock-up that makes the Labour leader look like a communist King Kong looming over suburbia.
The party claims that Labour wants to replace council tax with a new ‘progressive property tax’, with ‘snoopers’ sent in to every home and garden to assess their value.
But the whole thing is a lie. Corbyn has no policy proposal for a homes tax. He is not suggesting replacing council tax with the radical replacement. And he won’t be sending an army of ‘government tax inspectors’ to enforce it.
With the Conservatives already under fire for rebranding their Twitter account with a fake ‘factcheckuk’ title , the tactic underlines just how dirty the war of words has become in the snap election. The ‘Homes Tax’ Leaflet The entire basis for the tax claim is in fact a paper titled ‘Land for the Many’ , commissioned by Labour from a group of independent environmentalists and edited by George Monbiot.
The report did call for a shift in the tax burden to the better off, through a “progressive property tax” that would replace council tax.
The aim would be to “reduce the tax paid by the majority of households, and encourage more efficient use of the housing stock” and would be payable by owners, not tenants, the Monbiot report said.
However, its recommendations have not been adopted by Labour and have not made it to the party’s manifesto.
Monbiot told HuffPost UK: “We’ve seen such lies put out by the Conservatives before and of course many times by the newspapers.
“It seems that lying is almost cost-free in politics now. There used to be major political penalties for it, if people perceived political parties were lying it would become a massive scandal and they would lose votes. But now we’ve become so inured to it that we hardly notice it any more.
“There has been a phenomenal number of lies, particularly from the Conservative party in this election and this is just another one and unfortunately people will see it as just another lie.”
Several newspapers earlier this year sought to claim that Corbyn would impose capital gains tax on every home, when the ‘Land for the Many’ report in fact rules out the idea. Boris Johnson said at the time: “This mad ‘tax on all your houses’ would cripple every Brit who owns or wants to own their own home.”
“We examined the case for it and then we specifically and clearly said we don’t propose to do this,” Monbiot said. “Not only did they outright lie about what our report contained, turning it round 180 degrees, they also said this was Labour party policy when it wasn’t.”
The report also recommended that inheritance tax should be abolished, and replaced with a lifetime gifts tax levied on the recipient, a suggestion that has also been cited by the Conservatives as Labour policy.
Andrew Gwynne, shadow local government secretary, said the claims were “utter nonsense”.
“This is more barrel-scraping by the Tory fake news unit. The truth is, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are on the side of the billionaires, and Labour is on your side.”
But one Labour candidate in London said the misinformation was being picked up on the doorstep. “In London you have a lot of people who are cash poor but asset rich because they lived in houses for 20 years that are now worth a lot,” they said.
“The stuff that’s working is ‘John McDonnell wants your house’. They see a Chancellor who says ’I’ll have that, I’ll have that and I’ll have your house as well’.”
When asked to comment, the Tory party said that the Monbiot report was hosted on the Labour party website, was branded with the Labour logo on the front and imprint on the back and had been promoted by the party’s press office.
Labour says the Tories have misrepresented its policy on other areas too, notably though a claim last week that Corbyn is “plotting a new war on the motorist”. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said “Labour is coming for your car”, pointing to another discussion paper commissioned by the party.
One official Labour report did propose a reduction in car mileage of between 20% and 60% to cut carbon emissions. But the Tory claims are based on a separate report from a group called Transport For Quality of Life, which is merely referenced but not endorsed by the Labour study.
It is the separate report that suggests “increases in fuel duty”, “restraint measures such as road pricing and workplace parking charges” and “reducing motorway speed limits below 70mph”.
The Conservatives this week set up their own ‘Labour Lies Unit’, but its first effort included a rebuttal on poverty in the UK that was itself heavily criticised for failing to compare like-for-like statistics.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Mondays are a drag wherever you are. But especially at the Abbey.
Which is why the famed gay bar in West Hollywood is one Sean Panzer’s favorite places to blow off steam.
“I love coming and seeing the queens like, do what they do best,” Panzer told Spectrum News 1.
It started off as just another night out with friends. But in recent years, Panzer’s monthly ritual has taken on a much deeper meaning.
"I think nights like this celebrate who we are,” he said.
The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in hate crimes against LGBTQ people. According to a recent report by the FBI , incidents targeting gay males increased by nearly 7 percent last year, and anti-transgender hate crimes rose nearly 34 percent.
An openly gay man from Sherman Oaks, Panzer has been carefully weighing his options for the 2020 election. He’s leaning towards Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
The out mayor of South Bend, Indiana has rocked the political establishment in recent days, surging 16 points to land at top of the Democratic field in Iowa .
“To see the first openly gay candidate as a frontrunner in a poll, I honestly wasn’t sure if America was ready for this,” Panzer said. “To see the first openly gay candidate as a frontrunner in a poll, I honestly wasn’t sure if America was ready for this,” Panzer said.
He’s been following the impeachment hearings but says his focus is on 2020. The next debate, he says, will be crucial to making his decision.
“I hope they keep it civil," he said. "I feel like the questioning in the last couple of debates hasn’t fostered that kind of civil discussion that I would like to see from the candidates."
Shutterstock A Pennsylvania man claims that a gay Irish priest — who is celebrated for his work advocating for LGBT and AIDS causes — abused him 40 years ago at a Bronx Catholic high school, according to a new lawsuit.
The 57-year-old, who filed the court papers anonymously, says he was 16 when Campus Chaplain Bernard J. Lynch sexually abused him after Christian Club meetings at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx in 1978 and 1979, a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday alleges.
The accuser brought the case against the archdiocese, the high school and several other religious orders for negligently failing to look into why Lynch had “frequent transfers between assignments,” the court papers say.
The suit claims the school should have warned the teens family about Lynch.
“Defendants further breached their duties by hiding a pedophile and engaging in a cover-up of abuse perpetrated by Fr. Bernard Lynch,” the court documents charge.
The alleged victim has filed the suit in the wake of the Child Victims Act that went into effect in August , which allows people who were abused as kids to bring claims that have already passed outside the statute of limitations.
Lynch — who married his partner Billy Desmond in 2017 — was acquitted in Bronx court in 1989 of sexually abusing a different teen at the same school.
The 72-year-old priest, who has lived in London since 1992, spent a decade volunteering on a New York HIV/AIDS task force and was the only Catholic priest to testify to City Council before the body passed LGBT civil rights legislation in 1986, according to the Irish Times .
He is set to be given the Distinguished Service Awards for charitable work by Irish President Michael Higgins on Thursday, the outlet reported.
The accuser’s lawyer, Patrick Noaker, said his client “is very brave to take this action so that others can be spared the sexual abuse that he endured.”
“He hopes that children and their parents will not be intoxicated by Fr. Lynch’s big personality and public recognition and instead protect themselves from sexual abuse,” Noaker said.
The president and CEO of Mount St. Michael Academy, Peter Corritori, told The Post, “Back then and now we have zero tolerance for that type of behavior. Once we see the filing, we will investigate to the fullest of our ability.”
Lynch did not immediately return email requests for comment.
A rep with the New York Archdiocese declined to comment.