UTEP students Heather Wilson (Photo: Facebook) An anti-LGBTI Trump official on the verge of becoming president of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
Air Force Secretary, Heather Wilson, is the only finalist for the position.
Wilson has a long anti-LGBTI track record.
She faced shouts of ‘we deserve better’ when holding a news conference at UTEP last week, according to NBC News.
What’s more, a petition calling for the board to rescind their choice has garnered 6,500 signatures.
The University’s regents are expected to vote on the nomination next month.
Wilson’s nomination has also stirred controversy due to the University’s location on the Mexico border.
Critics have called out Trump and his administration for anti-immigration rhetoric. This includes his controversial border wall.
More than 83% of UTEP students are Latino. Many regularly cross the border to Mexico. Anti-LGBTI record
GLAAD pointed out Wilson’s abysmal record on LGBTI rights.
Wilson has previously said she does not approve of homosexuality.
She voted against LGBTI anti-discrimination legislation and wanted to ban same-sex marriage.
She attacked an anti-bullying bill, claiming teasing was part of life.
‘Heather Wilson has proven time and time again that she will not stand up for LGBTQ people’ Zeke Stokes, Chief Programs Officer at GLAAD said.
‘Simply put, her record should disqualify her without question’.
Eder Perez, 22, president of UTEP’s Queer Student Alliance told NBC ”UTEP deserves and demands a better leader than Heather Wilson’.
When quizzed on LGBTI issues on Tuesday, Wilson said: ‘My general approach with respect to LGBT issues is to treat everyone with dignity and respect.’
March 19, 2019 ( LifeSiteNews ) — There has always been one end-game for the radical left: the silencing of dissenting voices, in particular conservative Christian voices.
The radical left is not simply interested in winning in the marketplace of ideas. It is not simply interested in changing hearts and minds. It is ultimately interested in silencing the opposition, especially all opposition that is based on a biblical worldview.
For years I have said that those who came out of the closet (meaning, radical gay activists) wanted to put us in the closet (meaning those of who identify with conservative biblical values). And for years I (and many others) have documented this, time and time again.
You might wonder how the radical left wants to silence us. How, exactly, does it want to put us in the closet?
By intimidation. By ridicule. By legal action. By expulsion. By exclusion.
Anything to avoid civil, respectful debate. Anything to avoid a genuine discussion of differences. Anything to avoid true dialogue.
Instead, those who differ with the radical left are to be demonized, stigmatized, marginalized, and silenced.
Back in 2012, the gay activist organization GLAAD launched its Commentator Accountability Project. Its purpose was to discourage media outlets from having people like me on their broadcasts. (I was one of their initial list of 36 commentators. The list has greatly expanded now .)
Again, GLAAD’s goal was not to provide useful information for the liberal media to refute our arguments. Instead, their goal was to discredit us and convince the media not to give us any platform.
In short, GLAAD’s operating principles were simple. Exclude people; don’t examine their ideas. Demonize them; don’t dialogue with them.
That’s why I said that GLAAD was not the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (their original acronym; now they’re just GLAAD). Instead, I suggested, they should be known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement.
In that same spirit, it is the radical left which seeks to block conservative speakers from college campuses, even with violent protests.
It is the radical left which seeks to shame people on their jobs and humiliate them in their schools.
As for freedom of speech and expression, that must be a one-way street.
Only the ideas of the left are worthy of dissemination. Dissenters are no better than the Taliban, than ISIS, than the Nazis, than the KKK.
That’s the way the radical left seeks to win.
And that’s why a high school student was recently suspended for posting Bible verses in her school in response to LGBTQ pride displays. The displays were perfectly welcome. The Bible verses were not.
As I said, freedom of expression only goes one way.
The student, Gabby Heisinger, explains that she was called into the principal’s office and “was asked why she posted the Bible verses. “And I said, ‘Because I wanted to spread the word of God,’” she said. “And [the principal] goes, ‘Well did you have permission?’ And I said, ‘No.’ I didn’t know you had to have permission because people do it a lot — putting Post-It notes on people’s lockers, so I just did it.” Gabby then asked the principal why any material that mentions God or Jesus, it gets removed “straight away,” while “gay pride stuff” can be put up all over school and openly discussed with no repercussions at all. Enough said.
Or consider the unrelenting attack on Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States. He is a vile person. An ugly person. A person to be shamed by visiting dignitaries and ridiculed by outspoken celebrities . And his wife, Karen, is to be vilified as well.
Why? Because he has the audacity to believe what virtually all branches of Christianity have believed for the better part of two millennia (namely, that marriage is for a man and a woman) and because his wife has the audacity to teach at a Christian school.
Such views can no longer be tolerated.
Forget about tolerance and acceptance and diversity.
Those were just code words used to win over those in the middle. They were nothing more than Trojan horses through which intolerance and exclusivity could be smuggled in.
Once in place, the real agenda now comes to light. And make no mistake about it. It is an ugly, vile agenda. (Yes, I call things like drag queens reading to toddlers ugly and vile, all the more so when one of the drag queens is a registered sex offender .)
How then should we respond to this attempt to silence us? How should we respond to attempts to intimidate us and marginalize us?
Simple. We speak out more loudly and clearly. We take our stands more firmly and boldly. And the more we are hated and slandered, the more we respond with love and truth.
The darkness will never succeed in snuffing out the light.
Actress Sara Ramirez wants to make sure her donations are benefitting the bisexual community. Out bisexual actress Sara Ramirez has withdrawn a donation she made to the LGBT Community Center in New York after she said the organization failed to follow through on its pledge to use the funds to implement bisexual-based training for its staff.
“Just got a full refund from the NY LGBT Center because after a year & a half of promising my donation would create #bi+ assessments & training 4 their staff, it never happened,” Ramirez wrote in a tweet March 11.
A spokesperson for the Center acknowledged that the organization did not incorporate the trainings.
“We strive to meet donors’ expectations but unfortunately were not able to do so in this instance,” said Mary Steyer, the Center’s senior director of communications. “Given that, the most responsible course of action was to return the donor’s gift.
The actress, who came out in 2016, instead opted to shift her funds to BiNet USA, a nonprofit bisexual community organization, in order to train folks at Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United, which addresses youth homelessness with a particular focus on LGBTQ kids.
It is not clear how much money Ramirez originally donated or what kind of training will be carried out with the re-allocated funds.
BiNet USA tweeted in response to Ramirez, thanking her “for this opportunity to educate and make the world a little but [sic] better.”
Ramirez, who originally hails from Mexico, has a special connection the True Color Fund. She came out during the 2016 40 To None Summit, which was spearheaded by that organization, and she currently serves on its board of directors.
The actress’ career has included multiple roles depicting bisexual characters. She has starred as Callie Torres in “Grey’s Anatomy” and Kat Sandoval on “Madam Secretary.”
Prior to becoming known for her on-screen work, Ramirez nabbed a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her role in the Broadway musical comedy “Spamalot.”
Ramirez received the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2015.
A LGBTI pride flag being planted outside the White House | Picture: Creative Commons (Tony Webster) Democratic presidential candidates will be invited to a forum focused on LGBTI policies .
The 2020 candidates will discuss topics related to LGBTI hate crimes, bullying and transgender rights, according to the Washington Post.
The Human Rights Campaign and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs will host the debate.
The event is scheduled for 10 October, on the same day as National Coming Out Day. Who’s involved?
The 2020 Democratic field is a crowded one , with over a dozen lawmakers vying for presidential nomination. Many are pro-LGBTI.
Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, supported by Beyoncé, is one of the 15 hopefuls.
He comes alongside Bernie Sanders , Kamala Harris, Any Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper, and Elizabeth Warren.
To be eligible to attend the forum, candidates must receive donations from 65,000 people across 20 different states or receive 1% or higher support in three national polls.
Notably, the first gay politician to run for president, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg from Indiana , has already met the threshold. LGBTI rights across the states are not consistent
The HRC previously hosted presidential forums for presidential primary candidates in 2004 and 2008.
‘If any LGBTQ person were to take a cross-country drive from HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to UCLA’s campus, their rights and protections under the law would change dozens of times at every city line and state border,’ HRC President Chad Griffin said in statement today.
‘Millions of LGBTQ people will have their rights on the ballot in 2020 — but today we are also a powerful voting bloc that will help determine the outcome.
‘We’re excited to partner with UCLA Luskin and create an opportunity to hear candidates’ agendas for moving equality forward.’ How much has changed in ten years?
Since the last forum over ten years ago, the US has made great pro-LGBTI steps.
According to a Gallup poll , 55% of Americans supported LGBTI rights in 2008.
That since leapt to 75% in 2018.
Moreover, in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama supported civil unions but not marriage between same-sex couples.
In the last decade, many states have legalized marriage equality while others have made LGBTI hate crimes and discrimination illegal.
Though, inequalities remain in many patches of the nation.
President Trump has supported several legislative changes that have halted progress, most notably, the trans troops ban .
Moreover, lawmakers in state after state continue to propose anti-LGBTI bills. Though many were vetoed or annulled, that outcome cannot always be relied on. See also
Manchin (L) and Lipinski (R) often go against the Democratic majority | Photo: Wikimedia Only two Democrats in Congress have not signed on to support the newly re-introduced Equality Act : Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL).
Last week, Democrats brought forth the Equality Act for the third time .
This bill seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected traits. If passed, it would prohibit discrimination in various areas, including employement, housing, public accommodation, and more on a national level.
Almost every Democrat, and some Republicans, support the legislation.
Manchin is the only Senate Democrat who will not vote to pass the bill, while Lipinski is the only Democrat in the House who hasn’t signed on as a co-sponsor. ‘I am not convinced’
Manchin released a statement about his stance on the Equality Act on his website.
‘I strongly support equality for all people and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. No one should be afraid of losing their job or losing their housing because of their sexual orientation,’ his statement began.
‘After speaking with local education officials in West Virginia, I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.
‘I will continue working with the sponsors of the bill to build broad bipartisan support and find a viable path forward for these critical protections so that I can vote in support of this bill.’ The conflict of religion
Lipinski said he supports the ‘goals’ of the legislation but could not co-sponsor it due to his stance on religious freedom.
‘I believe that LGBTQ people should be protected from discrimination and afforded equal treatment under law in public life,’ he said . ‘LGBTQ members are our neighbors, colleagues, friends a.nd peers, and their sexual orientation or identity should not lead them to be treated any less than others.’
He then qualified his support of LGBTI rights : ‘My faith is very important to me, and my belief in the Constitution’s protection of freedom of religion is fundamental to me.’ Known track records
Manchin is known for going against the Democratic majority.
He was one of only three Democrats who voted to confirm new Attorney General William Barr. Previously, he was the only Democrat to confirm Donald Trump’s original attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Manchin also voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Lipinski, meanwhile, also has a more conservative record than most of his Democratic peers. He has a generally pro-life stance on abortion, and has voted against LGBTI legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The Human Rights Campaign also gave Lipinski a 40% on one of their congressional report cards.
Politico noted the House of Representative will likely hear the case for the Equality Act later this year. It remains unclear if Senate Republicans will push forward the bill. See also
Democratic Presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttegieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders (Getty) Challengers in the 2020 Democratic primaries will go head-to-head in a candidates’ forum on LGBT+ issues.
The Human Rights Campaign’s foundation will co-host the event, which is expected to be televised, at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in Los Angeles on October 10.
As the crowded Democratic race to challenge President Donald Trump intensifies, the event will see the candidates quizzed about their LGBT+ rights records and policy plans. 2020 Democratic challengers to debate LGBT+ issues
There are currently 14 candidates who are seeking the party’s nomination in 2020, many of whom have strong pro-LGBT records.
The event will mirror qualifying rules for primary debates, which are open to candidates who receive more than one percent of the vote in three separate national polls, or who receive donations from 65,000 different people in 20 different states.
Pete Buttegieg, who recently passed the required threshold to secure a spot in the debates, would be the first out gay man to become President. “Millions of LGBTQ people will have their rights on the ballot in 2020—but today we are also a powerful voting bloc that will help determine the outcome.”
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “If any LGBTQ person were to take a cross-country drive from HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to UCLA’s campus, their rights and protections under the law would change dozens of times at every city line and state border.
“Millions of LGBTQ people will have their rights on the ballot in 2020 — but today we are also a powerful voting bloc that will help determine the outcome.
“We’re excited to partner with UCLA Luskin and create an opportunity to hear candidates’ agendas for moving equality forward.” Event will give attention to LGBT+ policy stances of 2020 Democratic candidates
Gary Segura, dean of UCLA Luskin, added: “The Luskin School of Public Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of all Americans through an informed electorate and educated social leaders.
“We are beyond excited to partner with the Human Rights Campaign in raising LGBTQ issues and the policy stances of candidates to greater public attention in this cycle. UCLA is the perfect host for this conversation.” The stage for the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center October 17, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Win McNamee/Getty) HRC last hosted a policy forum event for the 2008 Presidential election, when both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took part.
2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry was also among Democrats to take part in an HRC policy forum event.
Pexels A children’s camp called Camp Tawonga that caters to the Jewish community in the US is set to introduce optional new mixed gender cabins for non-binary children.
Camp Tawonga, which is located outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Francisco Bay Area, will be piloting mixed gender cabins for fifth and sixth grade and for seventh and eighth grade campers.
The cabins will be open to anybody who wants to opt in during registration, according to the group’s website. “Providing more choices for housing allows us to accommodate more campers’ gender identities and housing preferences.”
The website says : “The all-gender cabins are a good option for children who prefer to bunk with children of other genders, for children who identify as non-binary, who want to bunk with a friend who is non-binary or for campers who feel this is the best fit for any reason. All-gender cabins will help to accommodate campers’ gender identities
“Providing more choices for housing allows us to accommodate more campers’ gender identities and housing preferences. This is aligned with Tawonga’s mission of encouraging all campers to be their authentic selves.
“Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends camp is welcomed, included and celebrated.”
Parents who want their children to reside in mixed gender cabins can put in the request with the camp, however the group has said that they will prioritise non-binary children. “Our goal is to ensure that every child who attends camp is welcomed, included and celebrated.”
The all-gender cabins will also provide children with access to mixed gender bathrooms and showers as well as single gender bathroom and shower facilities. Pexels The camp also said that they believe “there is not one right way to be a girl or be a boy” and say they encourage “all campers to be themselves regardless of what cabin they live in.” Camp Tawonga aims to foster ‘positive self-image’ in children
Camp Tawonga has a four-part mission which they say has remained “fundamentally unchanged” since the camp was founded in 1925.
Part of the camp’s aim is to foster positive self-image and healthy self-esteem among the children and teenagers who attend.
They also seek to foster a love of nature within children and to give them the chance to explore their Jewish identity.
While the camp is primarily for Jewish families, they say: “Tawonga is a community where diversity is not merely tolerated but celebrated, so every camper feels welcomed regardless of where they are in the spectrum of Jewish identity, affiliation or knowledge, even if they are not Jewish.”
The camp also runs an annual camp called Keshet LGBTQ Family Camp, which will run this summer from August 22-25. “Keshet” means rainbow in Hebrew
A protester holds a rainbow flag outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 3, 2013 (Getty) Labour MP Geraint Davies has published a backbench bill that would criminalise conversion therapy and leave practitioners facing a fine of £5,000 per violation.
The Labour politician on Tuesday (March 19) published the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill, which would make it a criminal offence to attempt to ‘cure’ gay people in England and Wales.
Under the proposed law , it would become an offence to attempt to “change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, or suppress a person’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity” based on the assumption “that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other.”
The bill would also make it an offence for a person to “pretend to be a counsellor or psychotherapist” without holding relevant qualifications and being registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
People who violate the proposed law, which is similar to laws that exist in 15 US states , would be guilty of an offence that could carry a maximum fine of £5,000. Geraint Davies MP: Gay ‘cure’ therapy has harmful impact
Davies, the MP for Swansea West, told PinkNews: “My bill empowers the government to deliver on the promises of the 2018 LGBT action plan by criminalising conversion therapy and enables people to hold practitioners accountable.” “It is shocking that 7 percent of LGBTQIA+ people in the UK have been offered or undergone conversion therapy. Labour MP Geraint Davies (Official photo) “Practices which seek to ‘cure’ or correct people’s sexual orientation or gender identity have been proven to have a harmful impact upon the mental health of those it purports to treat with some victims experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder long-term as a result.
“It is time that this abusive practice is recognised and punished as an offence.”
The MP has been campaigning for action on the issue for years. UK government wants to ‘end the practice of conversion therapy’
In June 2018, the UK government published an LGBT Action Plan that included a pledge to “bring forward proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK.”
The plan said the government would “fully consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”
However, the government is yet to put forward more detailed proposals.
In an interview with PinkNews in February, junior equalities minister Baroness Williams said: “It takes different forms, conversion therapy, it is not a simple thing, and we are doing some research, looking into what the right solutions are, both in the legislative space and the non-legislative space.
“I won’t preempt it, but it may well be the case that legislation comes forward.”
A Virginia man is accused of threatening a GOP member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who called the LGBTQ community a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan.
News outlets report an arrest warrant has been issued for 49-year-old Jonathan George Benfer. Court records say Benfer called Mercer County Del. Eric Porterfield last month and left a slur-laden message offering to fight him.
A criminal complaint quotes Benfer as identifying as LGBTQ and saying Porterfield’s comments contribute to suicide rates. Capitol police say the call came days after the Republican minister called LGBTQ groups "socialists" and "discriminatory bigots." His comments were denounced by local and state lawmakers.
Benfer is charged with intimidating a public official and making obscene, harassing or threatening communications. Sign Up and Save
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LGBT Hawaii thanked lesbian couple Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford from California for standing up for what is decent and right. “It makes a difference to all our LGBT visitors and for the travel and tourism industry and for our State as a whole. We welcome LGBT visitors with open arms”, said Scott Foster of LGBT Hawaii.
LGBT Hawaii issued a statement today applauding today’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that rejected the appeal of a Hawaii Bed and Breakfast owner who denied renting a room to a lesbian couple.
Their decision upholds an earlier Hawaiian State court ruling that found the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii Kai violated Hawaii’s anti-discrimination law by denying the couple a room because of the owner’s religious beliefs. B&B owner Phyllis Young had admitted during the Hawaii court proceedings that she turned the women away because she believed that LGBT relationships were “detestable” and “defiled the land.”
California couple Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford were represented by Lambda Legal, a nonprofit LGBTQ rights organization.
Scott Foster of LGBT Hawaii said: There is no room for discrimination in Hawaii. Hawaii is an open and tolerant rainbow society ruled by the spirit of Aloha. We welcome every visitor, regardless where they are from, and regardless of their sexual orientation. We’re pleased with the decision of both the Hawaii and U.S. Supreme Court.
Here is what happened: In 2007 a Lesbian couple Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford visited the Aloha State of Hawaii and booked a room at the Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu.
The owner of the B&B Phyllis Young refused to rent a room to the couple claiming a conflict with her religious belief. The couple went to court and a Hawaii State court ruled that Young ran afoul of Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which among other things bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Young took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court in the United States handed a defeat on Monday to a bed and breakfast owner in Hawaii who turned away the lesbian couple. Litigation will now continue to determine what penalty Young might face .