Tag: Nation

Trump avoids impeachment conviction (again) & people are outraged / LGBTQ Nation

Trump avoids impeachment conviction (again) & people are outraged /

Today, the United States Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump (R) on the charge of incitement of an insurrection.

57 Senators voted in favor of convicting Trump for his actions in provoking the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 in an effort to overturn the election of now-President Joe Biden (R). In addition to the 48 Democrats and two Democrat-caucusing Independents, seven Republicans voted for conviction. That is ten short of 67, the required number of votes to meet a two-thirds majority and convict an impeached party.

Related: “Presidential flipper” who flipped off Donald Trump won an election & oversees his golf club

“The verdict does not reflect the truth understood by a majority of Americans, that Donald Trump recklessly and maliciously directed his supporters to attack the Capitol and our democracy,” GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “The Trump administration will forever be defined by misinformation and violence, tactics the former president weaponized against LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities before turning them loose on our government on January 6th.

“Senators voting to acquit are now and for all of history recorded for their cowardice in failing to hold the former president accountable for his lawless, destructive behavior. Let this be a turning point for our country, where we demand a return to shared core values of truth, safety and integrity to protect the least among us, especially from those chosen to lead us.”

Prior to the final vote, Democratic trial managers came to an agreement with Trump’s legal team against calling witnesses for the trial, instead opting to end it with closing arguments.

“Tired of feeling like nobody is fighting for us,” wrote Mary Trump, Donald’s out niece, after.

While the White House has not made a statement as of yet, several other prominent political figures took the moment to react to the outcome.

The seven GOP Senators who voted in favor of convictions were: Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Ellis and GLAAD weren’t alone. Several civil rights advocates, leaders, and groups expressed outraged by the outcome of the month-long impeachment process.

“Today comes as no surprise to us,” wrote the Human Rights Campaign on Twitter. “We have always had to demand our most basic rights.”

The daughter of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Bernice King, simply shared a picture stating “The system isn’t broken, it was built that way.”

Michael van der Veen, who defended former President Donald Trump in the Senate trial, allegedly said afterward to a colleague that “we’re going to Disney World!”

In a statement, Trump thanked his team of supporters and ranted that “this has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it.”

“Our MAGA movement… has only just begun,” he added.

Without the impeachment, he cannot be barred from holding federal office. He is in position to run for President or another office again in the future.

Can we take a minute to appreciate Lady Gaga and her Hunger Games vibes for the 2020 Inauguration? A much appreciated “f*** you Trump” on behalf of most of the nation. : actuallesbians

Can we take a minute to appreciate Lady Gaga and

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

The top seven jobs for Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner after they leave the White House / LGBTQ Nation

The top seven jobs for Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner

The top seven jobs for Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner after they leave the White House

Photo: Ivanka Trump’s Twitter account

What’s an entitled couple to do after they’ve wreaked havoc on democracy?

If you’re Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the options may seem limited. After all, between Jared’s role in the administration’s disastrous COVID response and Ivanka’s consideration of Trump rioters as “American patriots,” the couple haven’t exactly burnished their resumes or social credentials.

Related: Republicans condemn Cindy McCain for supporting LGBTQ people. She couldn’t be happier.

They are well aware of the dilemma they face. Ivanka is reportedly in a “panic” that the Trump insurrection has harmed her political prospects. She had hoped to become the first female president, apparently on the premise that the the presidency should be a family business. The mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol vaporized those dreams.

The Trump brand is so toxic right now that everyone, from the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to the City of New York, is tripping over themselves to sever ties with it.

But all is not lost. There’s plenty that Jared and Ivanka can do to keep in the public eye and earn money, the overriding goal of any Trump family member. Here are some suggestions:

1. A reality show

Life with Javanka! It’s an opportunity to show the human side of being fabulously wealthy and utterly clueless. Viewers can sympathize with Jared’s struggles to build a mansion on their 30-acre Florida estate, or Ivanka’s battles with stepmother Melania.

Besides, reality shows run in the family. We wouldn’t have had President Donald Trump without The Apprentice.

2. Goya brand ambassador

Remember how Ivanka violated federal ethics rules by endorsing Goya products after the food company’s CEO supported her dad? Maybe that was just her debut as the company’s spokesmodel.

After all, nothing says authentic Latin food more than a multi-millionaire blonde whose father is a racist.

3. Remake The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Oscar Wilde wrote this story about a portrait that shows all the depravity of the title character while the character remains ageless.

Jared is perfect for a new movie version. Gray’s narcissism of the character would come naturally to him, to say nothing of his dipped-in-plastic look.

4. Fashionable militia gear

Ivanka’s clothing line went down in flames after retailers dropped it because of her father’s policies. But there’s still a market among Trump supporters.

How about reviving the line, but tailored to insurrectionists? High-fashion militia gear could be the next big thing, and Ivanka can have the field all to herself.

5. Milk thistle promotion

Right-wing figures make buckets of money hawking questionable products. The folks behind milk thistle extract had to settle for disgraced gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to sing its praises as a kidney cleanser.

Luckily, Jared and Ivanka are much bigger names. If the milk thistle gig isn’t available, there are plenty of others, such as Jim Bakker’s Silver Solution or, even better, MyPillows made by fellow election denialist Mike Liddell.

6. Financial advisors

As a fabulously wealthy couple, Jared and Ivanka can sell their services to others who want to be reach their heights. There are two problems with this opportunity, however.

The first is that step one of their program is to be born rich. The second is that the Trump financial empire is teetering on the edge of disaster, so this chance would only be available for a short time.

7. Imodium spokespersons

The news that Secret Service agents were banned from using the bathrooms in the “Javanka” D.C. residence may have looked like one last PR disaster for the couple. But actually, it’s a job opening.

Can’t you see the couple proclaiming the merits of Imodium? For other people, of course. “When you really don’t need them to go…”

It’s a natural for the pair.

Lesbian teen who got kicked out by family turns them in as possible MAGA rioters / LGBTQ Nation

Lesbian teen who got kicked out by family turns them

The Capitol was vandalized during the 1/6 riots.

The Capitol was vandalized during the 1/6 riots.Photo: Shutterstock

An 18-year-old lesbian who says she has been kicked out of her home outed her Trump-loving family members who participated in a violent altercation in D.C. on the even of the MAGA riots at the Capitol last week after she saw pictures of them being shared on social media and people were trying to identify them.

“Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and for going to BLM protests to care what happens to me,” wrote Helena Duke in a tweet, who then proceeded to give her family members’ names in response to photos of the protest.

Related: Gay Trump supporter was proud to “storm the Capitol.” Now he says he’s “in fear for my life.”

Helena said that her mother Therese Duke turned off a location-tracking app they share last week and told her daughter that she was accompanying a family member for a medical appointment.

But on Thursday morning – the day after the riots that left five people dead at the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, install Donald Trump as president for at least four more years, and execute Mike Pence – Helena’s cousin sent her a video of a violent encounter in D.C. on Tuesday evening, the day before the riots.

In the clip, a group of white people in the streets were harassing a Black woman. Helena saw her mother and her aunt and uncle, Annie and Richard Lorenz, and she saw that her mother had tried to grab the Black woman.

“My initial reaction was more like, ‘Oh my gosh, I was right. I was actually right about them being there,’” Helena told BuzzFeed News. “It was very surreal because it was an insane video, first of all, and then it was the revelation that, ‘Oh, that’s my mother. That’s her.’”

So she texted her mother and asked her how the “medical appointment” went.

“Please call me or talk to me if you really wanna know,” Therese replied.

Helena asked Therese where she was on Wednesday night, and she didn’t reply. She saw that people online were looking for the identities of the people in the viral video, so she decided to tell.

“Before President Trump was elected, she was a Democrat for the majority of her life,” Helena said of her mother. “And then, I don’t know what happened. Something switched in her brain, and she went through a very dramatic change to very far right.”

The lesbian teen participated in a Black Lives Matter protest earlier this year. When her mother found out, she kicked the teen out and told her that she believes that Black Lives Matter is “a violent organization and they would be inciting violence.”

“hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent…this you?” Helena wrote in a later tweet.

The teen said that her family members have been contacting her to remove their names from her tweets.

“We are not proud of how things went in DC,” her aunt wrote in a text. “I know you are upset but putting us in danger isn’t going to solve anything. Please … I am Begging you to remove.”

But Helena said that she doesn’t believe she did anything wrong.

“I always felt almost heartbroken over how they viewed the world and how skewed it was and how they wouldn’t allow me to express my views. But showing that they can act in such a horrible way is just really appalling to me,” she said. “I am honestly very disappointed to have to be part of this family that is so…just, very not welcoming or supportive. I don’t feel safe being part of this family.”

It is currently unclear if Therese or the aunt and uncle participating in the riots at the Capitol the next day.

Gay Republican attends Mar-A-Lago maskless party & then blames media for his fiancé’s firing / LGBTQ Nation

Gay Republican attends Mar-A-Lago maskless party & then blames media

Congressional hopeful George Santos (left) and his fiancé (right) at the Mar-A-Lago New Year's event, as shared on Instagram

Congressional hopeful George Santos (left) and his fiancé (right) at the Mar-A-Lago New Year’s event, as shared on InstagramPhoto: Screenshot

Out gay Trump-supporter George Santos has expressed his dismay at a report that led to the termination of his fiancé. He claims he had to flee his home because it was revealed that Santos and his fiancé attended a mask-less New Year’s Eve event at Mar-A-Lago.

The report relied on Santos’ own social media posts as a citation.

Related: Watch a boat of gay protocol-skirting partygoers sink into the ocean “like the Titanic”

“My fiancé & I had to leave our home this evening with our 4 dogs thanks to the @nytimes publishing of my Instagram showing me attending the #MarALago New Year’s Eve party,” Santos wrote on Twitter.

“My fiancé a pharmacist who worked [12 hour, 7 days] of shifts for 9 months was fired! The violence against us is real.”

Santos further blamed the New York Times on Instagram for his and his unnamed fiancé’s newfound problems. “@Nytimes you have exposed my family to danger,” he wrote in a caption for a screenshot of his tweet, “…and have striped [sic] one of us of our livelihood! This is unAmerican [sic].”

The Mar-A-Lago New Year’s Eve party is a tradition that the Trump family started prior to becoming President. The event was not cancelled this year, even in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With more than 500 scheduled to attend, critics believed it was going to be a “superspreader” event — such as the ones that infected several in Republican Party, possibly including the President.

The report that Santos refers to, “Without Trump, or Masks, Mar-a-Lago Partied On,” was published online by the Times on New Year’s Day. The paper (among other outlets) scoured the social media posts of several attendees, and contacted some anonymously, and found that virtually zero guests wore masks throughout the gala.

Santos nor his fiancé were identified in the report by name, but Santos’ Instagram post was used as a source for the report’s description of the event’s menu.

At the event, Santos and his fiancé were all smiles. They posed for pictures with prominent “Trump World” figures like Rudy Giuliani and impressed billionaire heiress Andrea Catsimatidis, who chairs the Manhattan Republican Party.

Guests were charged approximately $1,000 to attend. The Trump children, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Vanilla Ice and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell were among those in attendance.

The President and First Lady, however, chose at the last moment not to show.

“It was unclear why Mr. Trump flew back to Washington,” the Times reported, although the Daily Mail believes he was “forced” to return to the White House to work on COVID-19 relief. Instead, President Trump tweeted into the new year, sharing videos from One America News Network (OANN) and election-related conspiracies through the night and early morning.

In November, Santos lost his election for a seat in Congress representing the 3rd District of New York state. If he had been elected, Santos would have been the first out LGBTQ Republican ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I think that this president has done more for the community than his predecessors,” Santos claimed in October. He was one of only two out candidates in the GOP to receive an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans, who endorsed several anti-LGBTQ politicians alongside him.

Santos presented himself as a far-right choice with a platform that included ending bail reform, increased funding for the police, less gun control, partial privatization of Social Security, and building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. His website says he supports marriage equality.

LGBTQ equality or protections against discrimination weren’t mentioned when he shared his platform on Ballotpedia, but preventing “churches and synagogues from ever being mandated upon by the government” was.

Santos claimed that he had been the victim of voter fraud and called on the “FBI,CIA,DOJ” to intervene on his behalf to stop “ILLEGAL VOTES.” Eventually, though, he conceded. He has already refiled to run again in 2022.

Early in 2020, during his campaign, Santos contracted COVID-19. He later told the Island Now that he “had probably the worst two weeks of my life as an adult.” Noting that he stayed with his fiance while quarantining, Santos added that “nobody would come near me thinking I was still viral.”

“That said, I survived coronavirus,” he boasted.

Santos did not clarify why he had to immediately vacate his home, why the Times was responsible for it, or what violence he faced as a result. The Times has not issued a response.

The Twitter world, however, was not merciful in response to Santos’ claims. Some replies assumed his fiancé was a woman, with one tweet saying “she deserves to be fired” for attending the gala.

Further criticisms of Santos’ actions were equally not as kind, even from other LGBTQ people. Journalist and Senior Advisor at the Justice Collaborative, Chris Geidner, replied on Twitter: “Wait, do I have this right?

“You’re a guy running for Congress, and you’re upset that the paper that covers your district is … covering your campaign-oriented Instagram account?”

Geidner later tweeted — after seeing some of Santos’ political positions — “I’m — Oh.”

Watch a boat of gay protocol-skirting partygoers sink into the ocean “like the Titanic” / LGBTQ Nation

Watch a boat of gay protocol-skirting partygoers sink into the

The scene around the

The scene around the “PV Delice” as it began to capsize off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.Photo: LGBTQ Nation Composite/Screenshot

Despite safety protocols in place in a majority of the country, and despite the fact that there’s now at least two strains of COVID-19 all over the world, California-based circuit party organizer Jeffrey Sanker still decided to host a week of events in Mexico celebrating the New Year.

With authorities and social media watchers constantly tracking their movements, Sanker and the organizers for the weekend shifted their event and changed the details to escape backlash, all while luring people from all over the United States to ignore local protocols. He charged them hundreds of dollars to party without masks, social distancing or any other precautionary measures required.

Related: Mike Pompeo threw a Christmas party for State Department staff. No one showed up.

The weekend of events was slated to start on New Year’s Eve, with a party cruise on the “PV Delice,” as in a boat off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. The event promised DJs, open bars, gogo dancers and snorkeling from the beach on a withheld location before boarding the boat. It was “men only” and “clothing optional.”

Puerto Vallarta News revealed details for the event right before Christmas, writing online that “COVID isn’t causing businesses to suffer; it’s the actions of people. We are tired of it.”

Pre-sale tickets were at $120. On New Year’s Eve, people would be charged $150 for a ticket.

A source shared with LGBTQ Nation that “some celebrities and influencers, and particularly egregious US nurses and doctors, from Cedars Sinai and other respected and noteworthy medical centers,” were expected to attend. “Also in attendance is Shangela,” they said, mentioning the popular drag entertainer known from competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Rules put in places by lawmakers and public safety officials in the Mexican state of Jalisco prevented the event from starting at its planned location. Instead, they relocated the event last minute to Los Muertos Pier in the neighboring Riviera Nayarit state. Authorities there did not find the event to be against protocol, so they only agreed to “closely monitor” it.

Sanker then asked attendees of the opening event to not share the address, location, or details of the event, even prohibiting them from taking photos and video on the boat. His message was leaked and shared by the Instagram page “@GaysOverCOVID,” which tracked LGBTQ events or people intentionally trying to skirt in-place travel or gathering restrictions.

Despite public backlash, the event still went on as planned, and by New Year’s Eve evening, over 60 men had gathered on a small boat together.

By 5:00 P.M. local time, the boat had capsized, and S.O.S. signals were dispersed by the crew.

10 boats in the area and authorities had to rush to the scene of the sinking disaster to save dozens of men that were already at heightened risk of having the coronavirus, thus putting further people at risk to prevent them from drowning. All while the hospital in the region of Mexico were already at, or were near, full capacity.

“It was like the Titantic, it went all down slowly,” Emilio Blanco — who travelled from Chicago — said of the incident. “We were about to sail back to Puerto Vallarta, but the catamaran barely moved…. I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well, the sea was not very rough nor was it too windy,” he noted.

He told Out & About Puerto Vallarta, “It was quite a scary situation!”

While the exact cause of the sinking did not become immediately clear, video from the aftermath of its capsizing went viral online, with many further criticizing and shaming eventgoers for putting themselves and others at risk to dance and drink.

Vox Media video editor Ryan Carlos even added a Titanic Theme-like song to the video of passengers being rescued from the water.

Out & About Puerto Vallarta reports that passengers believe everyone was recovered and no one was physically hurt.

Outraged at the unfortunate series of events, partygoers and their supporters lamented on the shame they were receiving. One person on Facebook even decided to offer a reward for the identity of the person, or persons, behind the “@GaysOverCOVID” Instagram page (which had also supported the Los Angeles Police Department shutting down an unrelated event they shared details on.)

“They have been hiding behind the screen trying to out fellow gays, making our community as divisive as ever,” the user claimed.

Billy Porter reminds us that LGBTQ people made the difference in the election. But the work’s not done yet. / LGBTQ Nation

FEBRUARY 09, 2020: Billy Porter walks the red carpet at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Party on February 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Billy Porter walks the red carpet at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Party on February 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Photo: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro / Shutterstock

The LGBTQ community made a major impact on the outcomes of the 2020 election season. LGBTQ Nation analysis of data revealed that without LGBTQ voters in key states, Donald Trump likely would have won reelection as President, for example. Further reviews have also concluded that Trump could have won again, if not for the force of LGBTQ voters all over the country.

Billy Porter doesn’t want you to forget. He’s working with GLAAD to remind everyone that LGBTQ voters, organizers, and groups like GLAAD made the difference in what was considered the most pivotal election of our time.

Related: These queer organizers in Georgia are working overtime to flip the Senate blue

In a new video, the Pose star himself narrates a review of the tireless work that GLAAD committed to during the 2020 primary and general elections. The two-and-a-half minute spot highlights “the LGBTQ community’s impact on the 2020 general election, as well as the impact we are posed to have in the Georgia run-off,” GLAAD announced.

“After five primary debates without a single question about LGBTQ health care protections, workplace discrimination, violence against the community or support for the Equality Act, GLAAD deployed thirty years of media expertise to amplify the LGBTQ voice in the election conversation,” Porter explains.

He lists their media guide for journalists, petitions to debate moderators, and self-hosted Presidential Forum in Iowa as examples of the group “spotlighting LGBTQ issues on the national stage.”

“GLAAD went into combat mode against rampant lies and disinformation,” Porter continues, “with daily media pushback from its news and rapid response team, pre-election polling, and a heart-wrenching ad that aired on Fox News.”

“GLAAD led the charge to turn out LGBTQ and ally voters,” says Porter, “resulting in the biggest LGBTQ turnout ever.”

“Because of GLAAD, the voices — and the votes — of LGBTQ people and their allies were heard loud and clear at the ballot box, and GLAAD will continue to lead the fight for equality and acceptance,” Porter concludes.

Yet, the extent of progress for LGBTQ rights under incoming President Joe Biden’s administration remains uncertain. It all depends on if Democrats can take hold of the Senate by winning the runoff elections for Georgia’s two seats on January 5.

If either incumbent — Kelly Loeffler or David Perdue — were to defeat their challenger — Rev. Raphael Warnock or Jon Ossoff, respectively — Republicans would retain control of the Senate. That means current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would remain in charge of the chamber’s agenda.

If both Loeffler and Perdue lose, there would be exactly 50 Republican and 50 Democrat Senators in the next Congress. That would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast the deciding vote to end tiebreakers in the chamber, and giving pro-LGBTQ legislation like the Equality Act a chance of passing.

As Porter says, “the election is over, but GLAAD’s work goes on.”

That’s why GLAAD also announced that it will undertake yet another text messaging campaign this week, hoping to encourage millions of potential voters to make that difference yet again. They are working with LGBTQ organization Georgia Equality and VoteAmerica to reach as many voters as possible before polls close next Tuesday.

“Join millions of people supporting diversity and inclusion by voting in the Jan. 5th Senate runoff,” the sample text messages shared with LGBTQ Nation read. “Early voting is open now,” they remind readers, before encouraging them to find their nearest polling location and other information on the runoffs at GLAAD.org/georgia.

“The texts will continue through December 30 when early voting ends in select locations,” GLAAD said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the anti-LGBTQ records of Sens. Loeffler and Perdue were published to GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project, also in collaboration with Georgia Equality. They found that Loeffler donates her salary to an anti-LGBTQ group and has close ties to the Family Research Council, a hate group, while Perdue has earned praised from the Council and the Family Policy Alliance, a lobbying front for another anti-LGBTQ hate group, Focus on the Family.

Neither have voiced support, or even acknowledged, the proposed Equality Act, GLAAD points out. Both Ossoff and Rev. Warnock support it.

That’s part of why GLAAD is working just as hard to get the vote out in the Peach state — and so far, early voting numbers reflect higher turnout than in November’s election.

“The general election began with a lack of attention given to LGBTQ issues and pivoted to the Trump Administration falsely positioning itself as LGBTQ-affirming in a shameless effort to court LGBTQ voters and our allies,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told LGBTQ Nation.

A post-election poll by GLAAD found that Trump only earned 14 percent of the LGBTQ vote, which was the same as he had in 2016. By contrast, Joe Biden earned 81 percent of the community’s vote.

That contradicted a previous analysis that determined that Trump had doubled his LGBTQ support in this election, based on an exit poll using a much smaller sample of LGBTQ respondents.

“Combatting that false narrative and growing visibility for LGBTQ issues became centerpieces of GLAAD’s largest election campaign ever,” Ellis said. “LGBTQ voters turned out in historic numbers and it’s thanks to our community, along with other diverse Americans, that pro-equality candidates crossed the finish line.”

GLAAD found that approximately 93 percent of LGBTQ identifying people voted, and 25 percent did so for the first time.

“Now, we must join together to secure another win for equality in the Senate run-off,” Ellis said, because “the Equality Act, an end to the trans military ban, and rollbacks of other recent anti-LGBTQ policies can become realities” after “years of advocacy.”

See GLAAD’s video as narrated by Billy Porter here first.

Pete Buttigieg will join Biden’s Cabinet as transportation secretary / LGBTQ Nation

Pete Buttigieg

Pete ButtigiegPhoto: Shutterstock

Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will be the first out gay person to be a member of the presidential Cabinet. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana will reportedly be nominated to be transportation secretary by President-elect Joe Biden.

While President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence, a Cabinet-level position, Grenell wasn’t confirmed by the Senate and only served as a seat warmer for the incoming DNI.

Related: Pete Buttigieg & Liz Warren do the Time Warp with Tenacious D & Susan Sarandon

The president’s Cabinet is made up of the heads of all the executive branch departments plus the Vice President. Other high-level government officials like CIA director, White House Chief of Staff, and the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, are considered Cabinet-level.

According to D.C. gossip, Buttigieg has also been under consideration for Secretary of Commerce or Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Ambassador to China, and Veterans Affairs. He reportedly wanted to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., but veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield has already been named to that position.

Biden is famously fond of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, saying this past March: “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau…. It’s the highest compliment I could give any man or woman.” He was referring to Beau Biden, his son who passed away due to brain cancer in 2015.

And in the month leading up to the election, Buttigieg proved to be one of the Biden/Harris campaign’s best surrogates, going viral repeatedly with his no-nonsense responses to Republican talking points in appearances on Fox News.

Still, his job as transportation secretary won’t be an easy one. As the nation has limped through the coronavirus pandemic under President Trump, Buttigieg will be responsible for planning a way to rebuild America’s infrastructure – from rebuilding deteriorating highway, rail, and air systems to salvaging urban transit agencies like New York City and Washington DC’s subway systems.

He would oversee more than 55,000 employees – roughly half the number of people who live in South Bend – if confirmed to the position by the Senate.

After decades of progress, LGBTQ equality is under attack again. Let’s fix that. / LGBTQ Nation

Senator Kamala Harris at the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade

Senator Kamala Harris at the 2019 San Francisco Pride ParadePhoto: Scot Tucker/SFBay.ca

More than 50 years ago, a group of LGBTQ+ people at the Stonewall Inn did what so many Americans have done throughout our history—they stood up for equality. It was a turning point in a movement that would continue to march, organize, and vote for the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans.

And it’s because of those efforts, through the decades, that, in 2013, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were united in California’s first same-sex marriage after Proposition 8 was struck down by the courts—a wedding I had the honor of officiating.

Related: Voting deadlines, registration & what’s at stake for LGBTQ voters in 2020

But today, after decades of progress, LGBTQ+ equality is once again under attack.

President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, and Senate Republicans jammed through a Supreme Court nominee who poses a threat to LGBTQ+ equality—just weeks after two other justices suggested reconsidering the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision that made marriage equality the law of the land.

The Trump administration banned transgender Americans willing to risk their lives for our country from serving in the military. They’ve rolled back protections put in place by the Obama-Biden administration against employment discrimination for LGBTQ+ workers. And they opened the door to allowing health care workers to refuse treatment to patients based on their gender identity.

At a time when our country is experiencing the worst public health crisis in a century, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a reckoning on racial injustice, and a changing climate that’s battering our coastlines and setting the West on fire, it’s devastating that LGBTQ+ Americans must also worry about their human rights.

Here’s the good news: we can vote to put an end to the Trump-Pence era of discrimination and fear—and send the most pro-equality administration in history to the White House.

Joe Biden and I believe that every human being should be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or who they love. We will reverse the attacks the Trump-Pence administration has made on the LGBTQ+ community. And we won’t stop there—we will advance equality through long-overdue changes.

Right now, half of all LGBTQ+ Americans live in states where their civil rights can be violated. They face discrimination in nearly every aspect of their lives, from housing to starting a family to obtaining a driver’s license with their correct gender on it.

Joe and I will make enacting the Equality Act a top legislative priority in our first 100 days in office. Passing this law will guarantee that LGBTQ+ Americans are protected under existing federal civil rights laws.

We’ll work to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from violence, prioritize the prosecution of hate crimes, and work to end the epidemic of assault against the transgender community, particularly transgender women of color. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure LGBTQ+ youth are safe from bullying, harassment, and sexual assault.

We’ll reverse President Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender Americans serving in the military, and ensure that every American who is qualified to serve can do so regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We’ll make sure transgender service members receive the health care they deserve. And we will work to ensure LGBTQ+ individuals have full access to all appropriate health care treatments and resources, including care related to transitioning, such as gender confirmation surgery.

You can trust that Joe will work to support the LGBTQ+ community every single day as president—because that’s what he’s done for years. He supported marriage equality well before most major politicians. He worked with President Obama to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And he knows how much work there is left to do.

As the great civil rights lawyer Pauli Murray once said, “The lesson of American history [is] that human rights are indivisible.” They cannot be advanced for some and ignored for others.

Now is the time to build a country that embraces that truth—a country where every American is treated with dignity and respect, and where equality and justice truly are for all.

Related: Voting deadlines, registration & what’s at stake for LGBTQ voters in 2020

GOP lawmaker resigns after extremely anti-LGBTQ messages leaked / LGBTQ Nation

Donald Trump Jr. and John Mandt Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. and John Mandt Jr.Photo: John Mandt Jr. campaign website

West Virginia Delegate John Mandt Jr. (R) resigned this past Saturday and suspended his campaign for reelection to the state legislature after anti-LGBTQ messages he sent to a Facebook chat group were leaked.

“Silly Faggot, Dicks are for chicks!!” Mandt allegedly wrote in the chat group “The Right Stuff,” which included conservative lawmakers in the state as well as candidates for office.

Related: West Virginia GOP legislator compares LGBTQ community to terrorists & the KKK

As screenshots of the messages were circulated on social media, Mandt denied making them in Facebook post on Saturday morning, saying he was “really hurt and very disappointed seeing fabricated posts circulating on social media.” That message has since been made private or deleted.

Later that same day, he had turned in a letter of resignation to West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R).

“I have enjoyed my time in public service and thank the people of the 16th District for the opportunity to represent them in the House,” Mandt said. “Right now, my focus and priority needs to be on my family and business, and feel it is best at this time to terminate my campaign and make room for other individuals to serve the state.”

Screenshots from the group only use first names and profile pictures to identify the participants. One of them was Jeffrey Ward, a candidate for city council in Huntington, and he confirmed the authenticity of the messages.

“At first this group spoke of issues in the community and occasionally had some locker-room humor,” Ward told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, saying that he was personally invited to the group by Mandt. “However, the rhetoric from Delegate Mandt and several members shifted to personal attacks, sophomoric remarks and were not issue driven and were beneath the dignity of his office — as such, I left the group in March of this year.”

While Ward says that the messages were “beneath the dignity” of those in the group, screenshots show him asking if West Virginia Sen. Mitch Carmichael is “a homo.”

“probably Bi,” Mandt responded. “He can be a little feminine.”

Another person in the group said, “I don’t believe in bi, you either sleep with the same sex of [sic] you don’t.”

“He reminds me of a fag.”

Mandt then brings up two other state Republicans and says that they are sponsoring a “queer bill.” It is not clear what bill he was referring to.

In a different exchange, Mandt informed the group that he removed someone named “Bri” from the group – possibly his daughter Briana –  who said she “lost a lot of gay friends bc of me.”

“I thought she was strong,” Mandt said of the person who was removed. “That’s youth for you. She’s tired of defending me.”

“When family turns on me,” he continued, “they aren’t family.”

“It hurts,” said Del. Cody Thompson (D), one of the two out members of the state legislature. “I work with these people.”

“In general I’m very proud of a lot of things we can work together on for the betterment of the people of West Virginia, but when it comes down to seeing these comments, it’s really hard to work with those who, they may smile to my face and talk to me, but behind closed doors or in conversations with others they use homophobic slurs.”

Last year on a podcast, Mandt called LGBTQ people “the alphabet hate group.”