Mississippi Goddam

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

Miss. Gov. Signs Sweeping Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ Law

 

Mississippi now boasts the nation’s most aggressive anti-LGBT law, after Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 into law this morning.

The first-of-its-kind law will take effect in July, and allow businesses, individuals, and religiously affiliated organizations to deny service to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who somehow offend an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.” It also directly targets transgender residents, effectively claiming that one’s sex assigned at birth is immutable, and will be the only gender recognized by the state.

The Republican governor announced that he had signed the bill in a tweet on Tuesday morning. It was accompanied by a statement contending that he signed HB 1523 “into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

“This bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom,” the governor’s statement continued. “This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws.”

[…]

“Gov. Phil Bryant’s decision to sign HB 1523 into law is unconscionable,” said Jody E. Owens, managing attorney in Mississippi at the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center in a statement. “This newly enacted law — like the draconian anti-LGBT laws in other states — uses the guise of ‘religious freedom’ to justify discrimination, mistreatment and bigotry. It’s the same sort of rationale used by white supremacists in earlier eras to justify slavery and Jim Crow. The estimated 60,000 LGBT people in Mississippi deserve better. We need to stand up for the rights of all people.”

I don’t know what can be said here. I don’t know how to express the grief I feel. I don’t understand how people can be so filled with hatred and fear, yet think they are good people.

https://youtu.be/fVQjGGJVSXc

UPDATE: ‘#1 in bigotry’: Twitter unleashes its wrath.

Chase Iron Eyes to run for congress

YES!

Chase Iron Eyes, courtesy of Last Real Indians.

Chase Iron Eyes, courtesy of Last Real Indians.

TRAHANT REPORTS – Chase Iron Eyes will officially announce his candidacy for Congress today at the North Dakota Democratic Convention.

“I’m running for Congress out of necessity,” he told Prairie Public Radio Thursday night. “I take a look around and I see that our government is broken, and I feel responsible to do my part to try and fix this on behalf of North Dakota.”

Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a founder of Last Real Indians, and an attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project.

Iron Eyes, 38, is challenging U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, a Republican.

Cramer made news by opposing provisions in the Violence Against Women Act that recognized tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. In a 2013 post published on Last Real Indians, Melissa Merrick, a Spirit Lake tribal advocate for victims, told about an encounter with the congressman. “Cramer began what turned out to be roughly 20 minutes verbal attacks directed at me and meant for all Native people,” she wrote “Cramer stated that indeed he did vote yes on the Violence Against Women Act, but he did not agree with the tribal provisions and that he was sure they would be overturned in the Supreme Court.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/04/03/chase-iron-eyes-runs-north-dakota-out-necessity-164009

Donations to Lakota People’s Law Project would be greatly appreciated.

Sanders hires Nicole Willis

Nicole Willis, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla member

Nicole Willis, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla member

On March 21, the day after coordinating Bernie Sanders’ meeting with tribal leaders in Washington state, Nicole Willis, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla member, received the news she had been hired by his campaign as the National Tribal Outreach Director. She is the Sanders campaign’s first and only full-time Native American staff member.

“Senator Sanders and his campaign are deeply committed to elevating the issues of Native American communities,” Arturo Carmona, the National Deputy Political Director told ICTMN. “The hiring of Nicole as our National Tribal Outreach Director is just one more way for the campaign to seriously engage not only politically but also by elevating the strongest policy agenda of any presidential candidate. Nicole was one of the strategists who drove the Obama model of tribal outreach and we are now taking that to a whole new level with this campaign. Bernie 2016 is setting a new standard for campaigning in Indian country.”

Full Story Here.

Sanders has at least recognized there are indigenous people in this country. A few more stories:

vancouver_native_leaders_becky_archibald_and_roben_white_with_sen._bernie_sanders_march_20_2016_-_courtesy_roben_white

American Indian leaders in Vancouver meet with Sen. Bernie Sanders at the first stop of the Democratic presidential candidate’s push towards Friday’s Democratic caucus. Pictured from left are, Becky Archibald, Roben White and Sanders. White is gifting Sanders with a Pendleton blanket, ledger art, and a necklace for his wife, Jane Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Expands Native Inclusion.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Willis and the Bernie Sanders Campaign: Bernie Sanders meeting with Yakama Nation tribal members

Photo courtesy of Nicole Willis and the Bernie Sanders Campaign:
Bernie Sanders meeting with Yakama Nation tribal members

Full Story Here.

 Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, center, and Tara Houska, left, during a Keep It In The Ground Act press conference in Washington, D.C. on November 4, 2015. On Tuesday, Houska was appointed to the position of Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/02/24/tara-houska-ojibwe-named-native-american-advisor-bernie-sanders-163531 Courtesy Jeff Malet, dailysignal.com

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, center, and Tara Houska, left, during a Keep It In The Ground Act press conference in Washington, D.C. on November 4, 2015. On Tuesday, Houska was appointed to the position of Courtesy Jeff Malet, dailysignal.com.

Tara Houska, Ojibwe, Named Native American Advisor to Bernie Sanders.

14.

franklin-pierce-whitehouse

Courtesy Whitehouse.gov Franklin Pierce was a staunch believer in Manifest Destiny and the acquisition of land, he took office in 1853 with his eye on Alaska, Hawaii and Cuba.

Franklin Pierce: Fierce Protector of White Settlers in ‘Indian Territory’

Editor’s note: Voters this year will elect the 45th president of the United States. This is the 14th in a series of 44 stories exploring past presidents’ attitudes toward Native Americans, challenges and triumphs regarding tribes, and the federal laws and Indian policies enacted during their terms in office.

[…] Also in 1854, Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, organizing the Kansas and Nebraska territories—comprising parts of present-day Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming—and opening them to white settlers. The bill paved the way for a transcontinental railroad joining Chicago with California.

The biggest obstacle to the railroad, however, was more than 10,000 members of the Kickapoo, Delaware, Sac and Fox, Shawnee, Potawatomi, Kansas, Ottawa, Wyandot and Osage tribes. These residents had rights to the land guaranteed by treaties, yet the federal government was already chipping away at them. […]

Full Story here. The President Series is here.

Like Father, Like Son, oh no…

Ted and Rafael Cruz: Like Frightening Father, Like Scary Son.

Extremist antigay preacher Rafael Cruz groomed his son for the presidency since the age of 9 — and now Ted Cruz is ready to put his father's hateful views into practice. (AP Photo)

Extremist antigay preacher Rafael Cruz groomed his son for the presidency since the age of 9 — and now Ted Cruz is ready to put his father’s hateful views into practice. (AP Photo)

Ted Cruz is bad enough all on his own. If Cruz is elected, however, it will be a two-for-one deal. The devil and hellfire Daddy Cruz goes right with him.

If you follow politics at all, you probably know Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s major issue stances — he’s anti-LGBT equality, anti-abortion rights, a proponent of free-market economics and an aggressive foreign policy.

But to really kow Cruz’s worldview, it’s important to know his father, mentor, and top campaign surrogate, 76-year-old Rev. Rafael Cruz.

“Rafael Cruz is an extremist,” Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, tells The Advocate. “He is the senator’s role model. Rafael Cruz spoke at the World Congress of Families event in Utah with a gay-bashing lineup of hateful speakers, and he is Ted’s surrogate traveling across the country on the campaign trail bashing gay people. Like father, like son.”

And the elder Cruz, who hit the campaign trail extensively in Ted’s successful run for U.S. senator from Texas in 2012 and is doing so now in his presidential effort, says the things his son — or almost any politician — can’t get away with.

[…]

Among Rafael Cruz’s other antigay greatest hits: At the World Congress of Families event last November, he said gay people want to legalize pedophilia, starting with an effort to strike down age-of-consent laws. Indeed, he has frequently described LGBT people as sexual predators. He has also said marriage equality is part of a government plot to “destroy the concept of God” and establish socialism in the United States.

[…]

The lack of distance between father and son shows how dangerous a Ted Cruz presidency would be, Smith tells The Advocate. He “lets his father say all the fiery gay-bashing rhetoric, but Ted Cruz will implement that rhetoric in his policies and appointments,” Smith says. “He is the worst candidate in the race, and I have no doubt he will discriminate against gay and transgender people all over the United States if he is elected president.”

Full Story.

OH FFS

A brief round up of the amazingly stupid and awful…

Rally to keep the Confederate flag flying (Mashable/Twitter)

Rally to keep the Confederate flag flying (Mashable/Twitter)

Mississippi governor Phil Bryant recently proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month , adding an official flourish to a longstanding tradition in his state and several others. April, he wrote in the proclamation, is “the month in which the Confederate States began and ended a four-year struggle”.

Bryant’s proclamation does not mention the central cause of the struggle – slavery – but instead announces the month as a chance to “gain insight from our mistakes and successes” and to “earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us”. It also sets aside 25 April as “Confederate Memorial Day”.

Full Story Here.

 Beata Szydło supports the motion to ban abortion. Photograph: East News/REX/Shutterstock

Beata Szydło supports the motion to ban abortion. Photograph: East News/REX/Shutterstock

The Polish prime minister, Beata Szydło, said she backs moves towards a total ban on abortion, in a sign the nationalist government may be set to turn its attention to the nuclear family.

A campaign against abortion is due to be launched this Sunday in the country’s Roman Catholic churches. Priests have been asked to read out a letter from the bishops’ conference calling for Poland’s existing, limited abortion rights to be scrapped.

[Read more…]

Washington D.C.: travel ban to NC

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Washington D.C. Bans Employees From Traveling to North Carolina

The mayor of Washington, D.C., has banned all nonessential employee travel to North Carolina after the state passed an anti-LGBT law that bars transgender people from accessing public facilities like bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity and eliminates all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted out the executive order banning travel for government employees, saying, “We stand with the LGBTQ community and against discrimination.”

[…]

D.C. joins Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Chicago,Vermont, and Washington State in barring employees from traveling to North Carolina.

When Indiana passed a so-called religious freedom bill last year, a similar backlash had entire states clamping down on travel. The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington all issued orders banning nonessential travel to Indiana until that law was amended.

[…]

The consequences to North Carolina, its economics, and its reputation as an inclusive state are piling up. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit. The entertainment company Lionsgate has relocated a television series. The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, is asking North Carolina businesses to move to the Windy City in order to avoid controversy.

Full story here. It’s good to see people pouring on the pressure. Sooner or later, the message that hate is not to be legislated must hit home, and hard.

Georgia: Special Session Call to Override Veto

State Sen. Mike Crane is calling on his fellow lawmakers to meet for a special session to override the governor's veto of the antigay "religious liberty" bill.

State Sen. Mike Crane is calling on his fellow lawmakers to meet for a special session to override the governor’s veto of the antigay “religious liberty” bill.

Right-wing Georgia politicians are seeking a special session in an attempt to override Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of a controversial antigay “religious freedom” bill today.

Only minutes after Deal announced the veto in a press conference, Republican State Sen. Mike Crane called for the special session , reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Crane, currently running for Congress, released a statement on his website,  saying, “Our government needs committed conservatives who never stop fighting to protect the constitution.”

He also made a statement that appeared to refer to business opposition to House Bill 757 and threats from entertainment companies to boycott Georgia if the bill became law. “The announcement by Governor Deal is another example of how the political class is bought and paid for by corporations and lobbyists,” Crane said. [Except for when those corporations and lobbyists are doing something in their favour, then it’s just dandy!]

[…]

But lawmakers who supported the measure are not giving up yet. The Journal-Constitution reports that Sen. Josh McKoon told Boston NPR station WBUR, “The question we have to resolve is whether or not government is going to be used to punish people with a particular point of view [Oh how I wish irony poisoning was a real thing]. … I fully expect we’ll be back next year debating this again.”

Full Story.

What May Be Worst Anti-LGBT Bill Yet

Rev. Chris Donald calls for the Senate to defeat HB 1523 on March 23.

Rev. Chris Donald calls for the Senate to defeat HB 1523 on March 23.

Mississippi is one vote and one signature away from enacting what may be the strictest anti-LGBT law yet.

The state Senate passed House Bill 1523, the so-called Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, Wednesday by a vote of 32-17, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reports. Thursday morning the Senate took a second vote, sending the bill on to the House for concurrence, as the version passed by the Senate differs slightly from the one adopted by the House in February, reports BuzzFeed. If the House votes to concur, which is expected next week, the bill will go to Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature.

The act states that the government cannot penalize an individual, organization, or business for acting according to the following “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions”: that “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman”; that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage”; and that “male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

The bill would therefore allow businesses to turn away customers or prospective employees by citing such beliefs, without repercussions. It would allow employees of county circuit clerks’ offices, which issue marriage licenses in the state, to refuse service to same-sex couples if they object to the marriage on religious grounds, also without repercussions. It could be used to discriminate against single parents and even conceivably allow employers to fire female workers for wearing pants, as it protects employers’ and schools’ right to maintain “sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming.”

Sen. Jenifer Branning, a supporter of the bill, argued to her colleagues Wednesday that the measure was designed to protect providers of wedding goods and services who oppose same-sex marriage, and denied that it had broader implications.

There’s more on this monstrosity of a legislation at Buzzfeed.

TDOV

Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility.

tdov2016

What is the Transgender Day of Visibility?
TDOV is a day to show your support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!

When is TDOV?
TDoV is on March 31st every year!

Where is TDOV?
Everywhere! We encourage you to create panels, talk to friends, and spread knowledge about the trans community no matter where you are! You can also join our Facebook event and use hashtag #tdov on social media. We also have a list of events on our website.

What is this year’s theme?
More Than Visibility (#MoreThanVisibility). This recognizes that while visibility is important, we must take direct action against transphobia around the world. Visibility is not enough alone to bring transgender liberation. Some people experience violence due to their visibility and some others don’t want to be visible. However, we can use visibility as a vital tool for transgender justice.

transvis

‘Trans Pose’ exhibition a study of transgender women and their journeys

“Transgender women are often the subject of prejudice and violence, and (can) lead shorter lives due to suicide and their struggle with employment, housing and acceptance from their families,” said Sarah Chaffee of McGowan Fine Art in her blog atmcgowanfineart.com.

“‘Trans Pose’ is portraits of transgender women exploring their unique experiences.”

“Trans Pose,” an exhibition running through April 22 at McGowan Fine Art, 10 Hills Ave., Concord. Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment. For more information go to mcgowanfineart.com.

Two Bangladeshi Artists Are Giving Transgender Issues a Global Spotlight

In March 2015, on the streets of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, a blogger was murdered. It was but one killing in a spate of bloody attacks in the country by Islamist radicals on writers who mocked and criticized extremist elements of the religion. Predictably, the combination of brutality and religion attracted the fickle attention of the West. But the story was remarkable for another reason that has been less examined in the media: Two of the three assailants were caught thanks to the actions of Labannya Hijra, a transgender woman who witnessed the killing and retrieved the shirts of the blogger’s fleeing murderers.

In Bangladesh, members of the transgender community—some of whom go by “hijra,” the South Asian word for those born male but who identify as female—are thought to number somewhere between 10,000 and 500,000. They are roundly marginalized, facing poverty and legal and societal discrimination, though they recently won the right to officially identify as a third gender. But, notes British-Bangladeshi writer Tahmima Anam in her sobering op-ed in the New York Times, “it would be premature, to say the least, to pronounce the troubles of the hijras over.”

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Mahbubur Rahman, Transformation (ongoing performance 2004-2014), 2004. Photo by Tayeba Begum Lipi. Courtesy of the artist.