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We've heard over and over that the Obama Administration has been the most diverse administration ever including for LGBT people. We're told that they have appointed more than 260 openly LGBT people to positions within the administration; however, the continuing failure of the President to issue an executive order barring the federal government and contractors with more than $10,000 in federal contracts from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, an executive order that then Senator Obama promised during his Presidential campaign to the Houston LGBT Caucus in 2008, despite loud and persistent calls from LGBT leaders to do so and multiple letters from Democratic members of Congress now signed on by almost 200 Representatives and Senators, opens the President's own record of LGBT diversity in hiring to examination under the microscope.

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For several years now, President Obama has been urged to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The order would essentially add those two categories to the existing EO 11246 signed by LBJ in 1964. Democrats failed to pass such a law from 2009-2010 when they controlled both houses of Congress. Since 2011, the Obama administration has steadfastly refused to sign the executive order, which would cover 22% of the American workforce, claiming they prefer a "legislative" solution despite the fact that Speaker John Boehner has said he will not bring the non-discrimination legislation similar to the executive order to the floor of the House. In response, members of Congress began urging President Obama to sign the executive order. In 2011, 72 members of the House signed a letter urging him to issue such an order. Last year, two letters garnerd signatures from 110 House members and 37 Senators. In the letter issued today, that number has climbed to 195 members of Congress-- 148 House members and 47 Senators.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 02:13 PM PST

Obama, Executive Orders and Promises

by craigkg

A survey released yesterday by the Public Religion Research Institute has some interesting numbers on the American public's perception of employment discrimination with respect to LGBT people. Steve Benen at MaddowBlog reports  

Americans strongly support laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination in the workplace. More than 7-in-10 (72%) Americans favor laws protecting gay and lesbian people from job discrimination, compared to less than one-quarter (23%) who oppose.
and he notes that that's not surprising given other polling on the topic over long periods of time. What really surprised him was the survey found "Three-quarters (75%) of Americans incorrectly believe it is currently illegal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender." I must admit I found that number to be quite high myself, though not out of the realm of reasonable given the Harris Poll in 2001 I wrote about in 2011 that showed 42% of Americans falsely believing federal law already bans employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Follow me below the fold for a closer look at the drive to get President Obama to sign the ENDA EO.

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Just in time for Christmas, from the scantily clad male underwear models that brought you the "What Makes you Beautiful" parody of Mitt Romney's lack of financial disclosure comes the new Obamacare Christmas classic "Get Enrolled, get enrolled, get enrolled."


Full Frontal Freedom is using the video as part of their Out2Enroll campaign to increase ACA awareness and enrollment in the LGBT community, a community that historically has been uninsured or underinsured. Their website at www.out2enroll.org has information tailored towards the health needs of the LGBT community including answers to coverage questions on HIV/AIDS and gender identity.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays joyous Festivus, gleeful Winter Solstice, bright Kwanza, merry Christmas, etc, etc, etc.

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Nobel Laureate and former Polish President Lech Walesa expanded his already well known anti-marriage equality opinion in an interview yesterday in a television interview to include a general hatred of all things gay in such a manner that even some Poles are saying it may forever tarnish his pro-democracy legacy. His comments over the years regarding the pursuit of partnership rights and decriminalization of homosexuality have been mild compared to the ones expressed yesterday. Follow after the squiggle for the details.

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This will be short but sweet. It is a video of (mostly gay) Andrew Christian underwear models singing a parody of "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction, only the lyrics are taking digs at Mitt Romney. The video is possibly NSFW (they stay safely clothed but showing lots of flesh):

Here are the lyrics:

You're insecure
Some Say a Bore
Morally bankrupt but you profited some mo - oh - ore
Outsourcing jobs
Bain cover up
Two years of tax returns really ain't enough

Everyone else on TV can see it
Everyone else but Fox News

Romney you lie to voters like no body else
Your SuperPAC giant size gets Dems overwhelmed
But when you smile at your wealth it ain't hard tell
You won't show
What you're hiding down below

If only we saw what Ann could see
We'd understand avoiding Maddow so desperately
You change positions for elections, what should I believe
You won't show

What you're hiding down below oh oh
You have got to disclose

So c c c'mon
The Right is Wrong
You'll be exposed as a fraud
Before too lo-ong
I don't know why
you're telling lies
You made billions by firing the "Average Guy"

Everyone else on TV can see it
Everyone else but Fox News

Romney you lie to voters like nobody else
Your SuperPAC giant size gets Dems overwhelmed
But when you smile at your wealth it ain't hard tell
You won't show
What you're hiding down below

If only we saw what Ann could see
We'd understand avoiding Maddow so desperately
You change positions for elections, what should I believe?
You won't show
What you're hiding down below
Oh oh oh
You have got to disclose

nah nah nah nah

Romney you lie to voters like no body else
Your SuperPAC giant size gets Dems overwhelmed
I'll bet I'll smile once I see your "off shore accounts"

Romney you lie to voters like no body else
Your SuperPAC giant size gets Dems overwhelmed
But when you smile at your wealth it ain't hard tell
You won't show
What you're hiding down below

If only we saw what Ann could see
We'd understand avoiding Maddow so desperately
You change positions for elections, what should I believe?
You won't show
What you're hiding down below

You have got to disclose
You have got to disclose

Discuss

This radio ad was posted to YouTube late last year, but I just became aware of it and think it is obviously still relevant to the political climate in this country and the discussion of guns. It is a radio advertisement for the gun class required to obtain a conceal carry handgun license (also known as a valid voting ID) in Texas:

This place is located on US Hwy 87 along the Llano River between Fredericksburg and Mason in Mason County, Texas in the Texas Hill Country. Just so you know, this county had 2,121 people that voted for President in 2008 and just under 26% of them voted for Obama.

In case you can't play the ad, the speaker ends the ad by saying that "if you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgable and prudent decision as required under the law. Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Moslem (that's how he pronounced it), I will not teach you the class. Once again with no shame, I am Crockett Keller."

It attracted the attention of the local Austin ABC affiliate, KVUE, who aired this report on the ad:

I don't know whether his license/certification to teach the conceal carry class has been suspended or revoked. I suppose to get to that point, some "socialist liberal," Obama voter, non-Christian Arab or Muslim must try to take the class from him and then complain to the Department of Public Safety if he refuses to provide instruction in violation of both state law and obviously the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Earlier yesterday I noticed a story by ABC News on Paul Ryan and the 5 things Mitt Romney doesn't want you to know about Ryan popping up on several news sites and being featured prominently. Twice it was one of the top featured stories on Yahoo! News and was displayed prominently on ABC News' site most of the day.

Yahoo! News features a story on 5 things Mitt Romney supposedly doesn't want you to know about Paul Ryan.
ABC News features a story on 5 things Mitt Romney supposedly doesn't want you to know about Paul Ryan.
It had a juicy headline designed to entice more people to read it, so it probably was read by a lot of people. But in typical fashion portions are political spin deemed truthful in the Washington bubble but so divorced from reality as to be patently false in the realm of reality. The part that was particularly irksome was the number 5 thing "Mitt doesn't want you to know about Paul Ryan:"
5. This is both a pro and a con to Ryan, depending on who you ask, but he's notably further to the left on the issue of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender rights than the base of the party. He broke with a lot of his party to support the Employee Non-Discrimination Act in 2007. He explained his reasoning for the vote in this way: "They [his gay friends] didn't roll out of bed one morning and choose to be gay. That's who they are."
Sounds plausible, right? Ohhhh, he doesn't hate the gays! He voted for a bill that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, a position Gallup polled in 2009 as being supported by 89% of the American people. Paul Ryan is so, so brave!

OK, let's look at the facts...

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The U.S. District Court for Connecticut has struck down the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (here after DOMA) adding to the litany of federal courts finding the 1996 law to be unconstitutional. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, an appointee of that scion of radical liberalism George W. Bush, held that DOMA serves no rational basis and thus fails the very deferential rational basis test used to analyze Equal Protection claims against legislation that classify persons upon non suspect bases; however, the ruling found that rational basis is not the proper standard of review for classifications based on sexual orientation.

After a lengthy analysis of the Supreme Court's methodology, the court found "that homosexuals display all the traditional indicia of suspectness and therefore statutory classifications based on sexual orientation are entitled to a heightened form of judicial scrutiny." The court continued that it was, however, not necessary to judge the law by that standard in this case as "DOMA fails to pass constitutional muster under even the most deferential level of judicial scrutiny."

I'll try to add more to the diary as I continue reading. Its a good read and handles the subject well. It is available for download here. The case is Pederson vs OPM

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LGBT rights pioneer Frank Kameny died last October, but this week he took his place in the heavens with the official designation of an asteroid heretofore known as Minor Planet 40463 as Frankkameny. First discovered in 1999 by an amateur Canadian astronomer, the asteroid lies in the belt of asteroids between the planets Mars and Jupiter. As the discoverer, amateur astronomer Gary Billings decided to put forth the name Frankkameny for the body after reading Frank Kameny's obituary.

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In commemoration of Independence Day, a Texas couple went to the Dallas County Records Building today, July 5 (since the office is closed on Independence Day) to request a marriage license for their planned wedding on September 13th. They left the county records building in handcuffs after refusing to leave when their application for a marriage license was denied. The couple will now likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for criminal trespass.

The county refused to grant the marriage license because both applicants, Beau Chandler and Mark Jiminez, are men.

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I can honsetly say I don't have a very high opinion of LGBT people that consider themselves Republicans. I think it is OK if misguided for a LGBT person to be conservative, but large swaths of the GOP would unleash a holocaust upon the LGBT community if they could get away with it politically. They would quite literally make it such that gay people can't exist. The existence of gays in the GOP however has provided the LGBT community with an oppotunity to change a few minds in that party that are not so pertinacious that they reject large swaths of science, reality and the "love one another" message of their sacred texts. They have made relatively few such converts and most of those persons only become openly pro-gay upon leaving high public office (eg. Barry Goldwater, Alan Simpson & Dick Cheney).

They have in some cases however provided some benefit to the larger community such as the lawsuit brought by the Log Cabin Republicans and some of its members against the U.S. government over the existence of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Twice as a result of this lawsuit, the Federal Government was barred by a globally effective injunction from discharging persons from the military on account of their sexual orientation. The case put enormous pressure on the Obama Administration and Congress to pass a DADT repeal so that the politicians in said administration and Congress could take political credit for ending the deeply unpopular law instead of the court and gay Republicans getting the credit.

The other primary affect gay Republicans have on the larger LGBT community is to provide us with entertainment when the non-LGBT Republicans come in contact with the LGBT ones. And the incident that happened earlier this week out of Utah was a doozy in that department.

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