LGBT discrimination

GOP leaders floating "religious freedom to discriminate" legislation

Alternate title: "Let the zealots take care of teh gay problem":

N.C. House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson says Republicans want to include “religious freedom” language – similar to a controversial Indiana law – in legislation repealing House Bill 2. Jackson posted several images of the proposed legislation on Twitter Wednesday. “Since the speaker wouldn’t share with his caucus, I figured I would share the bill they are discussing,” Jackson wrote.

The proposed legislation Jackson posted is labeled “Religious Liberty,” and says that anyone whose “Constitutional exercise of religious liberty and rights of conscience has been burdened ... by an action of the state” can sue the state or any state or local government agency involved.

"Rights of conscience has been burdened"? And they call us snowflakes? And for those reading this who don't think such lawsuits would ever materialize, that nobody would sue a municipality for passing a non-discrimination ordinance or other protections for LGBT folks, think again. And remember the conspiracy that had Republicans in half of NC's counties filing unsubstantiated complaints of voter fraud in an effort to de-legitimize the Gubernatorial Election. These idiots are just waiting for an opportunity like this, and such challenges would allow Republican leaders to dodge any consequences for their stances.

Joel Ford's battles with LGBT activists turns ludicrous

But the truth is, he's been dropping turds on his own party for some time:

On Tuesday N.C. Sen Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) had a strange, tense exchange with LGBT activists who criticized his record on LGBT issues. He responded to the activists with a GIF of a dog defecating in the snow. This led Matt Comer, a Charlotte-based LGBT activist, to ask if that was appropriate behavior for a state senator.

Ford, a more conservative Democrat, is used to criticism from the LGBT community. Last year he was one of the few Democrats to support a Republican bill to allow magistrates to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages. This session he has been one of the few Democrats to support a repeal of HB2 that would put LGBT protections to local referendum votes. But the criticism has turned up to 11 since Ford announced he’d be running against Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, a fellow Democrat, as she seeks re-election.

Joel Ford is so full of himself he doesn't get the symbolism of posting that GIF, that he himself is the turd in that particular scenario, not the creature dropping it. Purely speculation on my part, but I believe he is trying to carve out a niche for himself as a "maverick," not one to follow the lead of others. Which is fine to a certain point. But I also believe he is trying to benefit from and maybe even exacerbate the confusion and conflicting beliefs in the African-American community over LGBT issues. At its core, this is the politics of division, not inclusion, and all parties will emerge in a weaker position because of it.

Exporting bigotry: NC man charged in gay-bashing incident in Key West

Because we don't already have a bad enough reputation:

Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price told police that about 1 a.m. on Feb. 23, they were riding bicycles in the 700 block of Duval when they saw a man swerving on a rented scooter. Seymour says he shouted to warn the scooter rider, identified by police as Davis, that he almost hit a car. Davis yelled, “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “You live in Trump country now,” police say.

When Seymour threatened to call police, Davis allegedly told him, “If you do that, I’ll cut you up.” At one point, the scooter rider struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground. Seymour and Price got the scooter tag number before he fled. The scooter was rented from A and M Rentals. It was found parked near the Southernmost Point.

Dude, you're on fricking vacation. Leave the hate at home, for God's sake. I fear "Florida Man" may end up playing second fiddle to "North Carolina Man" in the national "Holy shit what did he do now?" competition...

Trump uses "states' rights" excuse in attack on transgender students

Abdicating the Federal government's responsibility for basic civil rights:

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the Trump administration will issue new guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students. The comments came in response to a question during a White House press briefing about reports the White House would rescind the Obama administration's guidance that sought to bar discrimination against transgender students and ensure they had access to bathrooms of their choice.

Two more HB2 Repeal bills filed in General Assembly

Including a state-wide non-discrimination policy similar to Charlotte's:

Democrats filed the bill in both the House and Senate Thursday. In addition to a “clean repeal” of HB2, the bill will include a broad statewide nondiscrimination law that would include sexual orientation, gender identity, military veteran status and other categories, according to Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro.

“It’s long overdue,” Harrison said. “We will do our hardest to enact this legislation.” The nondiscrimination provision would ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations – including bathroom access for transgender people.

I'm probably going to get tarred and feathered (and maybe rode out of town on a rail) for the following commentary, but I choked back these words last week, and now I'm thinking that was a mistake. There has not been a "clean" HB2 repeal bill filed by either party, and regardless of how much you value the additional language or policy initiatives inserted in said bills, they are simply not viable. As in, they will never escape from a Committee to earn a vote on the floor, much less pass that vote. Even Jeff Jackson's bill, which is virtually identical to the one filed back in December, has additional (and in my mind unnecessary) language that killed it upon birth:

Margaret Spellings is right: HB2 needs to go

It's a bigoted anchor around our necks:

“Our competitors have used this issue against us to some extent,” Spellings said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If I’m in Georgia and I’m in a competitive bidding war for a world-class faculty member, I’m going to say if this is a transgender or gay person, ‘Is this an environment where you’re going to live and work?’ So I think anecdotally there’s some of that going on.” Do you think?

Spellings is signaling the obvious. As long as North Carolina is a place that enshrines discrimination in its laws – and that is precisely what HB2 does – it will not be able to keep pace with other top-notch public and private colleges and universities. When the General Assembly gets down to work Wednesday, Senate boss Berger and House Speaker Moore need to immediately bring complete repeal of HB2, no strings attached, to the floor for a vote. Gov. Roy Cooper says there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in both houses to prevail.

I'm not sure they're capable of passing a bill with no strings attached, with no poison pills dropped in it to dissolve into ambiguous but deadly verbiage. But we'll see.

Texas judge backs religious "freedom to discriminate"

Slouching towards theocracy:

A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a nationwide injunction halting enforcement of Obama administration protections for transgender and abortion-related healthcare services just one day before they were due to go into effect.

Explaining the lawsuit, O’Connor wrote, “Plaintiffs claim the Rule’s interpretation of sex discrimination pressures doctors to deliver healthcare in a manner that violates their religious freedom and thwarts their independent medical judgment and will require burdensome changes to their health insurance plans on January 1, 2017.”

I'm sure many of them feel the burden of keeping their medical license current also thwarts their judgment, why don't we do away with that, too? Because we expect medical professionals to operate within the guidelines of their governing bodies. And why do we expect that? Because we don't live in the 14th Century anymore.

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