This week’s winners and losers in LGBT sports

This week’s winners and losers in LGBT sports

Each week, Outsports stops the clock for an instant reply of the week that was. It’s our way of memorializing the glorious victories, the ignominious defeats, and the players and personalities who made them, lived them or just couldn’t avoid them.

If you’d like to read more about each entry, just click the link!

We realize our roster may differ from yours, and we welcome your comments, contributions and critiques. We read them all! Details on how to reach us are below, after our look at the week’s winners and losers. Winners: Anya Battaglino and Madison Packer

Anya Battaglino and Madison Packer of the NWHL got married last weekend in Newport, Rhode Island, and we have the awesome photos. A Coors Field employee cited stadium policy against ‘not appropriate’ PDA when she spotted a lesbian couple ‘casually’ kissing. Their tweets got them an apology and free tickets. Winners: Alec Smith, Katie McCabe and Nathan Matthews

Loser: Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro s1mple called Twitch “a joke” in response to his one week suspension for using harassing and homophobic language. Winner: Straight couple who met playing gay flag football

We particularly enjoyed a story in The Washington Blade Sports Issue profiling the budding relationship between Amanda Livingstone and Jorge Membreño, two straight allies who fell in love through their participation in the D.C. Gay Flag Football League. Loser: Leah “GIlty” Hayes

The trans Street Fighter pro received a ‘global prohibition’ in response to allegations of sexual assault from multiple women dating back to 2015.

A record 70+ MiLB teams have hosted Pride Nights this season, and thanks to You Can Play, the Staten Island Yankees will play theirs wearing jerseys featuring rainbow pinstripes. Loser: The Maui high school volleyball coach who said a trans student athlete posed an “elevated level of risk” to other girls

A Hawaii high school girls volleyball team now has a transgender girl on its roster, and so far, her only obstacle appears to be one bigoted coach, who refused to give his name to the newspaper reporting on her debut last week. Winner: Out NASCAR team member Ryan Hines

Ryan Hines never thought he could be gay and work in NASCAR. He said reading Outsports helped him realize “I could be myself and still do what I love.” Losers: Everyone still speculating about Odell Beckham, Jr.

The circular speculation that Odell Beckham, Jr. of the Cleveland Browns is gay does no one any good and is, at this point, desperately unfair to OBJ. Winners (but not officially): Scotland’s non-binary and gender neutral runners

Letting non-binary and gender-neutral runners compete is a great start for Scotland’s Great Run, but organizers will not allow them to win prizes or claim official rankings. Losers: Radio listeners of Alex Reimer

A mainstay at WEEI for the last few years, Alex Reimer will now be walking the halls of the Massacusetts State House as we moves from radio to politics. Winners: SonicFox and LGBTQ charities

Dominique “SonicFox” McLean’s 48 to 72 hour Twitch stream, which started on August 23, will benefit at least three LGBTQ charities.

That’s all for this week! We’ll bring you a fresh list of winners and losers next Saturday. Got a name we missed, or want to challenge our choices? Comment here or on Facebook or Instagram, tweet at us , message us via any social media, or just plain email us at outsports@gmail.com Thanks!

Some claim San Diego’s LGBT Center is “off-center” when it comes to the black community

Some claim San Diego's LGBT Center is "off-center" when it comes to the black community

Photo credit: Nicole Murrary-Ramirez Reports from the Town Hall For The Black LGBTQ Community say there were many who voiced concerns.

The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) held a T own Hall for the Black LGBTQ Community on Thursday and reports from attendees say some black leaders and activists reflected on how they felt the organization mistreated, disrespected and made them feel overall unwelcome in the past.

A few black elders accused the Center of racism, something they claim has been going on since the ’70s.

Others said because they don’t feel welcome, they just don’t go. They also chastised The Center for its lack of black leadership and staff.

Caroline (Cara) Dessert, the new executive director since the retirement of Dr. Delores Jacobs last year, was present and listened as some speakers got very emotional about their experiences at The Center. Dessert is a queer Latina.

One of the biggest ovations from the crowd came when an African American lesbian stood up and boldly stated ”The Center is definitely off-center " and then sat down; the room filled with applause.

The community has noticed dozens of longtime employees leaving the organization in the past few months for unspecified reasons.

City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, a long-time Latino and gay activist who was invited and attended Thursday’s meeting was so moved by the testimonies that he sent a proposal to Dessert to change the name of his "Nicole Murray-Ramirez Latino Services" to the "Nicole M. Ramirez – Vertez Burks All People of Color Services" at The Center.

Murray-Ramirez told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News that the meeting brought up issues that the Center needed to hear.

"Last night’s LGBT Black Town Hall has to be a wake-up call that all is not well with the Center and the LGBTQ community," said Murray-Ramirez. "While it was painful for me to hear the pain and anguish of our LGBTQ black community, I was very proud that well over a hundred people showed up and many of them spoke. I must also commend the Center for holding this long-overdue meeting."

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reached out to The Center for comment and they have yet to respond.

Group connected to Polish ‘LGBT-Free Zone’ newspaper to host Carnegie Hall event

Group connected to Polish 'LGBT-Free Zone' newspaper to host Carnegie Hall event

New York’s Carnegie Hall. Bebeto Matthews / AP file Buried deep in Carnegie Hall’s schedule of upcoming events is an Oct. 24 concert titled “From Chopin to Gershwin,” and in small text are the words: “Presented by Gazeta Polska Community of America.”

When gay concert pianist Paul Bisaccia received a call from Poland asking him to partake in this “star-studded event,” he was elated. The 64-year-old musician has performed on four continents but he has never played Carnegie Hall.

However, after searching Google and uncovering the newspaper’s historic bigotry, Bisaccia found himself wondering whether he should accept.

“It is not a small thing to turn down a concert at Carnegie Hall, no one does that,” he told NBC News.

Gazeta Polska, a far-right weekly newspaper in Poland, is infamous for publishing anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ content. Just weeks ago, the publication ignited global controversy by distributing “LGBT-Free Zone” stickers in an August issue. A controversial 2017 cover read “refugees have brought deadly diseases,” which many in Poland saw as echoes of Nazi-era propaganda against Jews.

Carnegie Hall spokesperson Synneve Carlino said the concert “is an event presented by an outside producer renting Carnegie Hall” and added that the venue “strongly rejects this sticker campaign and does not condone discrimination or intolerance against any group.”

Carlino shared a statement from Gazeta Polska Community of America, which said, “The foundation is independent and separate from the Gazeta Polska print media and its editorial board.”

However, the group’s Facebook page has a longer version of this statement that notes its chapters are independent but also “supported by” the Gazeta Polska editorial board in Poland.

Maciej Rusinski, a spokesperson for Gazeta Polska Community of America, said the foundation “does not support, take part or promote” the sticker “stunt,” and added that the anti-gay stickers “may be interpreted as discriminatory.”

“The foundation stands against political censorship of any kind, discrimination on the basis of beliefs, nationality or sexual orientation, as well as against totalitarian systems and ideologies, and those principles are written into the charter," Rusinski continued.

Rafal Pankowski, a sociology professor in Warsaw, Poland, and member of the anti-racism “Never Again” association in that country said the Gazeta Polska newspaper has been on his organization’s radar for some time.

“I think it became more radical under the current editor,” Pankowski said of Tomasz Sakiewicz.

As for both the Gazeta Polska Community of America and the chapters that exist around the world, Pankowski claimed they are all "a political movement built around the newspaper, and so they exist in Poland, and they exist outside of Poland.”

“It shares the political perspectives of the newspaper and Mr. Sakiewicz is very active in organizing it and leading it,” Pankowski said.

Rusinski, the Gazeta Polska Community of America spokesperson, confirmed that the U.S.-based foundation and its chapters have in fact hosted Sakiewicz at events.

Pankowski said the paper is well known in Poland for using the “apocalyptic language” of the far-right. Aside from the sticker controversy, a summer 2019 issue featured an image of rainbow paint-stained hands desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus under the headlines “They want to destroy civilization” and “They want to stamp on everything that we have been.”

Another controversy in recent years, Pankowski said, came after the magazine published an article suggesting that after the Nazi invasion of Poland, the country’s Jews did not “have it that bad because the Jews in the ghetto had self government.” In fact, Poland had 3.3 million Jews before the Nazi invasion, and just 380,000 Polish Jews survived the extermination of the Nazi Holocaust, according to Yad Vashem .

Paul Bisaccia, the pianist, said he plans to decline the invitation to play at Carnegie Hall.

“To walk out on that stage is a great honor, to be asked to do it is a great honor, and to find out that the sponsor is someone who would besmirch this honor is very depressing and saddening to me,” Bisaccia said. “I’m 64 years old, I have had a happy life, and who knows — maybe Carnegie Hall will come under more pleasant and exciting circumstances.”

San Jose police raise rainbow flag as LGBT pride weekend gets underway

San Jose police raise rainbow flag as LGBT pride weekend gets underway

Click here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.

The San Jose Police Department on Friday became one of the only law enforcement agencies in the country to show its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members by flying a rainbow flag at department headquarters.

Police and public officials raised the flag ahead of Silicon Valley Pride weekend, which will include rallies, live music and a parade in Downtown San Jose on Sunday.

The symbol of support comes as police, local businesses and elected officials launch efforts to better support victims of discrimination and prevent hate crimes against LGBT people and other marginalized groups.

Under the new “Safe Place” initiative, which San Jose police announced Thursday, the department has partnered with Starbucks and Wells Fargo locations to make those businesses safe havens for people who have experienced hate crimes. Workers at the 62 Starbucks locations and 25 Wells Fargo branches are trained to call police on behalf of hate crime victims, to allow them to stay inside and to “make them comfortable,” Police Chief Eddie Garcia said.

“We know that hate crimes can be an underreported crime,” Garcia said. Police hope to address that by making the process easier for victims.

Police in Seattle first launched the initiative in 2015, and it has spread to dozens of cities since then. Member businesses display a rainbow decal reading “Safe Place” in their windows, and while the program has its origins in efforts to prevent crimes against LGBT individuals, it is meant to address any hate crimes.

“Everyone will know the police department and city will not tolerate these crimes,” Garcia said.

In addition to that initiative, local elected officials are seeking to launch a regional task force this fall to study hate crimes and hate speech. Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and San Jose City Council Member Maya Esparza — whose 6-year-old cousin Stephen Romero was among three people fatally shot at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last month — announced the proposal Wednesday. The gunman in the shooting had cited a white supremacist text on social media.

“Nobody should go it alone,” Chavez said. “Fighting something this insidious, we need to figure out a way not just to stick together, but to work together to protect our communities.”

Progress on LGBT issues

To Wiggsy Sivertsen, the South Bay gay rights pioneer who spent nearly a half century at San Jose State University and now serves on a San Jose police advisory board for LGBT issues, the department’s initiatives show how much its culture has changed over the years.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide have typically had fraught histories with the gay communities they serve, marked by hostility and discrimination in decades past. New York Police Department leaders this year formally apologized for the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn, which led to clashes that helped spark the modern LGBT rights movement.

In San Jose, Sivertsen recalled teaching police officers about gay and lesbian issues as part of training the department implemented after an officer fatally shot a gay, black teenager named Melvin Truss in 1985. As in other parts of the country, local law enforcement in San Jose had insulted or treated LGBT people poorly.

The officers who took the training weren’t openly hostile, Sivertsen said, and every so often one would thank her for leading the class. But, she said, “It was so clear that they were very upset about having to be in this class.”

She added, “They just didn’t think it was worthwhile, and it was clear to me that they were uncomfortable.”

On Friday, Sivertsen watched the rainbow flag fly outside a department that now proactively recruits gay and lesbian officers .

“I want to show my rank and file who are part of the LGBTQ community that we’re allies,” Garcia said. “If they sacrifice for their community and for their other brother and sister officers wearing this uniform, I and this department supports them.”

When she looks at San Jose police now, Sivertsen said, she sees a new culture from the chief down that works to welcome and support the LGBT community.

“The symbolism is important,” Sivertsen said of the rainbow flag at police headquarters.

“When you see something that reflects you,” she added, “it’s a way of saying to people, ‘You’re safe here.’”

Donald Trump Has Attacked The LGBT Community At Least 124 Times, GLAAD Says

Donald Trump Has Attacked The LGBT Community At Least 124 Times, GLAAD Says

Following reports that the administration of President Donald Trump has directed the Supreme Court to rule that already-existing protections against gender discrimination in hiring do not protect individuals based on their sexual orientation, GLAAD has charged that the Trump administration’s latest action is at least the 124th action it has committed against the LGBTQ+ community.

The accusation came from the LGBTQ+ rights organization in a Tweet Friday afternoon. “This is the Trump Administration’s 124th attack on LGBTQ people since taking office and they join Roy Moore in opposition to workplace protections for LGBTQ people,” GLAAD tweeted.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post published an op-ed that claimed the president has a “devastating” record on protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. In just one cited example of his record, author Michelangelo Signorile writes that the president in February gave a speech in which he defended state funding given to adoption agencies that prevent gay couples from adopting children.

Last week, the Trump administration filed a similar brief to the one it filed Friday with the Supreme Court, in which it petitioned the court to make it legal for employers to either not hire or fire transgender employees based on their gender identity.

Also this month, the Labor department proposed eliminating an Obama-era policy that prohibited businesses that contract with the federal government from discriminating against LGBTQ+ individuals in their hiring practices, per The Washington Post. Discrimination in the name of religion has no place in our country – let alone in the workplace. Make no mistake: Trump’s proposal is taxpayer-funded discrimination that targets women, people of color, and the LGBT community. We can’t let it stand. https://t.co/h7YPEn0Miy — Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) August 14, 2019 In April, a controversial Trump administration policy that prohibits Transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military went into effect, according to a report from NBC News . According the the report, the Trump administration policy rolled back an Obama-era one that allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the U.S Military and provided them with access to gender-affirming care. The Trump-era policy enacted essentially evokes a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy similar to the one in place for gay, lesbian and bisexual service men and women in place from 1994 until 2011.

Earlier this month, The Log Cabin Republicans, a group whose makeup is described as gay republicans and their straight allies and claims to advocate for LGBT policies within the Republican Party, endorsed the president’s bid for reelection despite dealing to endorse the former reality television star in 2016, per The Washington Post.

Despite these actions, though, President Trump and his supporters have argued that he is not against the interests of the LGBTQ+ community. In a tweet in June, the President acknowledged gay Pride month and noted other countries with anti-LGBTQ+ policies. The president in that tweet claimed his administration was launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality worldwide.

Trump Administration Argues LGBT Discrimination Is Legal Because Gay Men and Gay Women Are Treated Equally Poorly

Trump Administration Argues LGBT Discrimination Is Legal Because Gay Men and Gay Women Are Treated Equally Poorly

The Trump administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Friday arguing that employers should be allowed to discriminate against, or even fire, their lesbian, gay and bisexual employees simply due to their sexual orientation.

The Justice Department intervened in one of two matters before the high court set to address LGBTQ employment discrimination during the court’s next term. At issue is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it a crime for employers "to fail or refuse to hire" or otherwise discriminate against a prospective or actual employee "because of such individual’s… sex."

While the Supreme Court has held that discrimination on the basis of sex encompasses actions taken or beliefs held by an employer that subject an employee to gender stereotypes, the court has never ruled on whether sex-based discrimination necessarily extends to sexual orientation.

In fact, appellate courts have traditionally held that sexual orientation is not a protected characteristic under Title VII, with one noted exception. In 2017, a federal appellate court reversed a prior holding to declare that discrimination against one’s sexual orientation does violate the law.

With its brief on Friday, the Department of Justice is trying to impel the Supreme Court to issue a precedent-setting ruling that would give the green light to employers nationwide who are not encumbered by state anti-discrimination ordinances.

Just last week, the Justice Department filed a similar brief in a different case dealing with anti-transgender discrimination, arguing along the same lines that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender employees from losing their jobs.

Remarkably, the department argued in its memorandum that the reason anti-gay discrimination is not unlawful under the ban on sex-based discrimination is because, in cases of adverse treatment by an employer, both gay men and gay women would be addressed equally poorly.

Upon experiencing discrimination from an employer, both men and women in same-sex relationships "would be similarly situated — and they would be treated the same," the department argued, negating a claim under Title VII’s sex-based protections. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds an LGBT rainbow flag given to him by supporter Max Nowak during a campaign rally at the Bank of Colorado Arena on the campus of University of Northern Colorado October 30, 2016 in Greeley, Colorado. The Trump administration has taken previous steps to remove protections and privileges for the LGBTQ community from both federal case law and departmental policy.

In a high-profile LGBTQ discrimination case involving a Colorado baker and a gay customer, the Trump administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the baker’s religious beliefs should be respected and that Colorado law shouldn’t require him to bake a cake for the customer’s same-sex wedding.

The administration has also rescinded Obama-era guidance interpreting another federal civil rights statute as protecting transgender students who want to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.

In perhaps the most harmful anti-LGBTQ policy to date, President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender soldiers from serving openly in the U.S. military. The ban went into effect in April as several legal challenges to the rule work their way through the courts. The Supreme Court lifted pre-emptive rulings which had halted the policy until federal judges were able to hear the many cases challenging the administration.

Despite the overwhelming number of actions the Trump administration has taken which undermine the standing of LGBTQ Americans, Trump recently said that "I’ve done very well" with the LGBTQ community.

The Log Cabin Republicans group is losing members after Trump endorsement

The Log Cabin Republicans group is losing members after Trump endorsement

President Donald Trump was endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans (Scott Olson/Getty Images) The LGBT+ Log Cabin Republicans group has been losing members after its controversial endorsement of Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The group, which claims to advocate for LGBT+ equality within the Republican Party, announced the controversial endorsement on August 16.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post , the group’s leaders claimed that Trump had taken “bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community,” despite the administration’s trans rights rollbacks and opposition to discrimination protections for LGBT+ people. Log Cabin Republicans face resignations and protests over Trump endorsement

The decision to endorse Trump has sparked dissent among the group’s membership, with a number of high-profile resignations.

Jordan Evans, the only out transgender Republican official, announced their resignation in The Advocate , saying: “This endorsement ignores the reality of what it means to be queer in our current political climate.

“It speaks more to a mentality of partisan tribalism than a sincere commitment to fostering inclusion within the Republican Party.” President Donald Trump was endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans (Scott Olson/Getty Images) Evans added: “With this endorsement, we turn a blind eye to the plights and fears of our colleagues in the queer movement and embrace an administration that has consistently antagonised the LGBTQ+ community through an endless array of rollbacks and rule changes.”

Announcing his resignation on Facebook, former DC Log Cabin Republicans president Robert Turner wrote: “There’s no more fight left. The national board’s endorsement of Trump, and their subsequent and hollow WaPo op-ed, is a step too far. And this leaves me sad.” Endorsement of Trump is ‘a contradiction’

Jennifer Horn, the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, also cut ties with the group.

She told Slate that the endorsement was “too big of a contradiction for me to stand by” given Trump’s policy stances on LGBT+ issues adding: “I’m not going to excuse or defend any elected Republican who is unwilling to speak up to and stand up to the president.

“I think it is a failure in leadership. I can understand politically and logically why they are doing it, but I think that it’s wrong.”

The Log Cabin Republicans did not endorse Trump in 2016, opting to make no endorsement in the race due to his lack of pro-LGBT policies.

However, the group later lobbied for the confirmation of Trump administration officials, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos , who has gone on to gut protections for LGBT+ children.

Zero out LGBT+ Republicans currently serve in Congress or Trump’s cabinet, and the President has appointed fewer out ambassadors to senior roles than predecessor Barack Obama.

The Satanic Temple is in favour of equal rights for LGBT+ people

The Satanic Temple is in favour of equal rights for LGBT+ people

Lucien Greaves, spokesman for The Satanic Temple, with a statue of Baphomet at the group’s meeting house in Salem, Massachusetts. (Josh Reynolds for The Washington Post via Getty Images) The Satanic Temple is apparently thriving with LGBT+ members.

In a interview for documentary Hail Satan? published in Attitude magazine , Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves claimed that nearly half of Satanists identify as LGBT+. Satanic Temple welcomes people ‘disowned’ by religions

Greaves said: “It would be a conservative estimate to say that more than 50 per cent of our membership is LGBTQ.

“I think that’s because they feel disowned and disenfranchised from the traditional religious institutions.

“So, you have a population willing to embrace a religious identification that is boldly willing to speak out to the contrary.”

He added: “From the start, when one of our early actions was the Pink Mass, a lot of LGBTQ people were looking for another community that didn’t see them as defined by their sexual orientation.

“Within the Satanic Temple, we’re all pretty much one and the same.

“We’re all Satanists and it’s not like we have ‘tolerance’ for trans people or gay people or sex workers, we just don’t f**king care, and a lot of people in those communities appreciate that.” Half of Satanic Temple members identify as LGBT+ Greaves continued: “Our chapters are always involved with Pride parades in the United States, they’re always doing something for the LGBTQ community and they’re always open about inclusion.”

He explained that before the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage, the Satanic Temple had planned to test ‘religious freedom’ laws by holding a gay Satanic wedding.

Greaves added: “We will always fight… to the death to ensure that there are equal rights for the gay community.”

When most major religions still directly discriminate against LGBT+ people , it’s not hard to see the appeal of Satanism. Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan

A commitment to Satan is not required to join the Temple, although a commitment to trolling anti-LGBT evangelicals is desirable.

The group’s website clarifies that members do not actually “believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural.”

It explains: “As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.

“Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things.

“Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.”

The group adds that “holds to the basic premise that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good.”

Canadian Conservative leader goes on anti-gay tirade in resurfaced footage

Canadian Conservative leader goes on anti-gay tirade in resurfaced footage

Andrew Scheer, newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, speaks at the party’s convention in Toronto, Ontario, May 27, 2017 (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images) The head of Canada’s Conservative Party is facing attacks after a video surfaced of him deriding same-sex marriage by making a bizarre comparison to a dog.

The 2005 clip, shared by ministers from Justin Trudeau ‘s Liberal Party ahead of the country’s October 21 elections, shows opposition leader Andrew Scheer railing against same-sex marriage.

In the 2005 speech to Parliament about gay unions, Scheer said: “How many legs would a dog have if you counted the tail as a leg? The answer is just four.

“Just because you call a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg. If this bill passes, governments and individual Canadians will be forced to call a tail a leg. Nothing more.” To be a leader for all Canadians, the Conservative Party leader should now end his lifelong boycott of Pride events and explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry, as he said in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/5WEyja6Ov5

— Ralph Goodale (@RalphGoodale) August 22, 2019 Conservative leader Andrew Scheer: Gay people ‘cannot be married’

He added: “There’s nothing important to society than the raising of children, for its very survival requires it. Homosexual unions are by nature contradictory to this. There is no complementarity of the sexes.

“Two members of the same sex may use their God-given free will to engage in acts, cohabit, own property together, and commit themselves to monogamy.

“They may pledge themselves to remain in a loving relationship for life. In that sense, they have many of the collateral features of marriage, but they do not have its inherent feature, as they cannot commit to the natural procreation of children. They cannot therefore be married.” MPs lay into Conservatives over marriage comments

Furthering the attacks, Trudeau’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale questioned why the Conservative leader has never attended a Pride event.

He said: “To be a leader for all Canadians, the Conservative Party leader should now end his lifelong boycott of Pride events and explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry, as he said in Parliament.

“Mr Scheer has been an MP for 5,533 days, but hasn’t found a single day to celebrate Pride, and thus defend EVERY Canadian’s human rights. Where better to begin than this weekend at his very own hometown Pride in Ottawa?” Canadian Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images) The criticism was joined by New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, who made clear that his party would not prop up a government led by Scheer.

He said: “The resurfacing of Andrew Scheer’s disgusting prejudice against LGBTQI2S+ people and families is very painful for many Canadians.

“This is exactly why, if Canadians deliver a minority government in October, I will not prop up Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

“We can’t trust Mr Scheer or his caucus to champion the fundamental rights of Canadians.”

However, the Conservatives accused other parties of hypocrisy, because they also have MPs who once opposed equal marriage.

Scheer’s director of communications Brock W. Harrison tweeted: “When the same-sex marriage vote took place a decade and a half ago, @AndrewScheer voted the way several Liberals did, including some who currently sit in the Liberal caucus and are running for re-election as Liberal candidates under Justin Trudeau.

“Mr Scheer supports same-sex marriage as defined in law and as Prime Minister will, of course, uphold it.

“This is yet another desperation tactic from Trudeau on the eve of an election to distract from his record of failure and incompetence.

“Several high-profile Liberals – including Stephane Dion, Dalton McGuinty, Paul Martin, and Jean Chretien – opposed same-sex marriage more than a decade ago, as did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

The Conservative Party have a narrow polling lead ahead of the October 21 election, as they seek to oust Trudeau.

Trump administration: It’s legal to fire employees for being gay

Trump administration: It’s legal to fire employees for being gay

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on August 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) The Trump administration has filed a legal brief arguing that it is legal for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The Department of Justice filed an Supreme Court amicus brief on Friday (August 23), urging the justices to reject suggestions that federal discrimination laws protect gay people.

The court is set to consider the cases of Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock, who were fired from their respective jobs as a skydiving instructor and a child welfare services coordinator because of their sexuality.

Lower courts have ruled that Zarda and Bostock are protected by Civil Rights Act provisions barring discrimination “on the basis of sex,” but the Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling. Trump administration: Discrimination laws don’t stop employers firing people for being gay

The brief asserts: “[The] prohibition on discrimination because of sex does not bar discrimination because of sexual orientation. The ordinary meaning of ‘sex’ is biologically male or female; it does not include sexual orientation.”

It argues: “An employer who discriminates against employees in same-sex relationships thus does not violate Title VII [sex discrimination rules] as long as it treats men in same-sex relationships the same as women in same-sex relationships.” President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on August 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The legal brief, authored by Trump’s solicitor general Noel Francisco, also notes that Congress has “declined to enact” bills to explicitly outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Equality Act, a comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination bill, was passed through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in May, but the Senate’s Republican leadership have refused to put the bill to a vote. Department of Justice also targets transgender discrimination protections

The Trump administration’s action comes on the heels of another amicus brief from the Department of Justice , which urges the Supreme Court to find that it is legal to fire people for being transgender.

That case concerns Aimee Stephens, who worked at Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan for seven years before getting sacked when she came out as transgender.

In a statement, GLAAD said: “This is the Trump Administration’s 124th attack on LGBTQ people since taking office.”

The three cases, Zarda, Bostock, and Harris Funeral Homes, will be heard together by the Supreme Court.

Although LGBT+ rights campaigners have previously claimed major victories at the Supreme Court on equal marriage, Donald Trump’s appointment of ultra-conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh has effectively eliminated consensus in favour of LGBT+ rights on the court.