Tag: Republican

Republican governor just made it legal to discriminate against LGBT people

Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the state capital on May 24, 2018 in Austin, Texas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the state capital on May 24, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty)

Social workers can freely discriminate against LGBT+, as well as people with disabilities, thanks to the administration of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott as of Monday (12 October).

The lawmaker, who once signed a bill banning discrimination against businesses with anti-LGBT+ views amid boycotts against Chick-fil-A, pressured the state’s regulatory board, the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, to make the change to its code of conduct.

Flipping 2010 and 2012 LGBT+ protections, Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton pressured board leaders to vote to rejig the rules in favour of homophobes, the Texas Tribune reported.

The move was hailed by the country’s top social worker organisation, the National Association of Social Workers, as “incredibly disheartening”.

It comes after Abbott signed legislation in 2019 to bar businesses from being discriminated against for their anti-LGBT+ views. “Discrimination is not tolerated in Texas,” he said, somehow devoid of all irony.

Republican governor pressured board to make social workers discriminating LGBT+ people perfectly legal.

Abbott, the board members claimed, lobbied for the change because the code of law offered service users protections beyond what is provided by state law.

“It’s not surprising that a board would align its rules with statutes passed by the Legislature,” said Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze.

The vote itself happened during a joint meeting between the board and the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, which managed mental health regulatory agencies.

Yet, for social workers themselves, a sense of unease. Steven Parks, who works with child trauma victims at a private practise in Houston, called the change “both a professional and a personal gut-punch”.

“There’s now a grey area between what’s legally allowed and ethically responsible.

“The law should never allow a social worker to legally do unethical things.”

He stressed that the policy change will undoubtedly crater LGBT+ mental health even further: “There’s research to show that members of the queer community are at higher risk for trauma, higher risk for all sorts of mental health conditions.”

Couple who aimed guns at protesters to speak at Republican convention

Mark and Patricia McCloskey once waggled guns outside their sprawling mansion as peaceful people protests racial inequality and police brutality protesters republican convention

Mark and Patricia McCloskey once waggled guns outside their sprawling mansion as peaceful people protests racial inequality and police brutality. (Screen capture via Twitter)

The “anti-gay” white couple who stood outside their mansion and pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters will “definitely” speak at the Republican Party convention this month.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both personal injury lawyers, made headlines around the world after they were filmed pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters from the steps of their palatial mansion in Portland Place, Missouri.

 

On Monday, August 17, the McCloskey’s lawyer told the New York Times that the couple would “definitely be speaking” at the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Albert Watkins said in an interview that Mark McCloskey, who threatened Black Lives Matter protesters with an AR-15, would speak at the Republican convention with his handgun-toting wife, Patricia, by his side.

However, Watkins added that Patricia was not expected to speak as “she is not built for this”.

The lawyer said that the couple would take part in a video presentation at the RNC, and added: “They, like many Americans, are horrified, if not mortified, at the prospect of their constitutional rights being compromised by the constitutional rights of others.

“My clients will fight to their death and they have professionally done so for 30 years each.”

An official from the Trump campaign confirmed the couple’s involvement.

After the video of the McCloskeys brandishing guns outside their mansion went viral, the couple were also discovered to have an anti-LGBT+ history.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, they once sued their neighbourhood’s trustees to demand they enforce a document called the Trust Agreement, which prohibited unmarried people from living together.

Neighbours said it was because the McCloskeys “didn’t want gay couples living on the block”.

As the McCloskeys unsuccessfully appealed the case all the way to the state Supreme Court, trustees voted to impeach Patricia, accusing her of being anti-gay in 1992.

However, during a deposition in 2002 Mark refuted the claims, and said: “Certain people on Portland Place, for political reasons, wanted to make it a gay issue.”

Republican Party renews attacks on us just in time for pride

Republican Party renews attacks on us just in time for

“Gays for Trump” at rally in Lynden, Washington, on Saturday, May 7 (via NPR)

The Republican National Convention has announced its 2020 platform will feature renewed opposition to marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, and will endorse conversion therapy.

The New York Times reports that the tone-deaf announcement (which comes during pride month and during renewed queer activism in solidarity with Black Lives Matter) is a move to repackage the party’s 2016 platform as new, rather than adopting fresh positions. The move also comes at a time when the RNC has tried to promote Trump as the most pro-queer President in history.

The Times reports “The 2016 platform that is being renewed was the result of messy debates in Cleveland, the host city of the Republican convention four years ago, during which a group of renegade delegates tried but failed to strip out language opposing gay marriage and condoning conversion therapy for L.G.B.T.Q. youths.”

“The platform made a steadfast case against same-sex marriage and called for a constitutional amendment overturning the 2015 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws defining marriage between one man and one woman,” the Times also notes. “And it blames ‘the current President’ for seeking to expand workplace protections to include L.G.B.T.Q. people.”

via Queerty