Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Some Republicans "Leave the Dark Side"; Meanwhile House Republicans Block LGBT Protections

Anti-LGBT Republican, Paul Ryan
Remember all of the feigned messages of condolences from assorted Republicans in the wake of the Orlando massacre of gays on Sunday morning.  While few allowed the words' "gay " or "LGBT" to cross their lips, they claimed to have the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers. Today we saw just how insincere those words to the wounded and the families of those killed really were as Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked LGBT non-discrimination protections. These individuals truly are heinous.  Here are excerpts from The Advocate on this effort to kick the LGBT community yet again as it morns its dead:
House Republicans blocked a vote on LGBT nondiscrimination protections just days after the deadliest shooting in mass history claimed the lives of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
Following the horrific attack on the Florida gay bar, Democratic congressman Sean Maloney reintroduced an amendment to a defense spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from contracting with companies that discriminate against LGBT workers. Only 18 states have laws on the books that ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and Maloney believes that this legislation would show the government’s support for the LGBT community at a crucial moment.
This is now the third time that Maloney’s LGBT amendment has been stonewalled by [Republicans in]Congress. On May 19, the GOP killed the legislation after it already had the votes to pass. In a last-minute maneuver, House Republicans coerced colleagues into switching their votes in order to ensure its failure. As the bill was voted down, Democrats chanted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” on the House floor.
The legislation was reintroduced the following day. While the previous version was attached to a Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, this one was tied to a bill on energy and water spending. It again died.
Former GOP Senator Larry Pressler

Since I left the GOP many years ago, I hate to say it, but the party has become the personification of evil, especially in terms of pushing the hate and bigotry agenda of the Christofascists.   Thankfully, some in the GOP seem to be belatedly waking up.   One is former GOP U. S, Senator, Larry Pressler, a Mormon, who is endorsing Hillary Clinton as reported by Daily Kos:
After a weekend that forced us to confront the worst in humanity.  After a night that brought us to grips with a personal crisis in our own DKos family.  We see that one good man can stand up against the “Dark forces” that he sees griping the Senate in which he served for 18 years.  Larry Pressler is a Mormon sunday school teacher who tried to buck the insanity in his party a few years ago as a third party alternative but this is harsh reality speaking (via
“We need to go the route of more gun control as a result of Orlando and all the other shootings that have occurred,” Pressler said. “But it’s almost as though Republicans are saying gun control shouldn’t be part of the conversation at all."
But gun control isn’t the only reason why Pressler is ready to join “Republicans for Clinton” — he’s also concerned about Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims.
“This election is starting to sound like the German elections in [the late 1920s],” Pressler said. “This is a very dangerous national conversation we’re slipping into.”
“I can’t believe I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but I am,” said Pressler, who spoke with The Hill on Monday after endorsing Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in a statement issued over the weekend.

“If someone had told me 10 years ago I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed them."
Pressler, a moderate Republican who served three terms in the Senate before losing his seat to Democrat Tim Johnson in 1997, said he believes voting for Clinton is the “responsible thing to do.”

Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

Perhaps more moving and more focused on the LGBT community are the remarks - and apology - of GOP Lt. Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox who spoke at a vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre. has the transcript of his full remarks (read the entire thing).  Here are highlights:

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox addressed a vigil held Monday night to honor the victims and survivors of the mass shooting in Orlando. Here is a transcript of his remarks:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for being here tonight on this very solemn and somber occasion. I begin with an admission and an apology. First, I recognize fully that I am a balding, youngish, middle-aged straight, white, male, Republican, politician... with all of the expectations and privileges that come with those labels. I am probably not who you expected to hear from today.
I’m here because, yesterday morning, 49 Americans were brutally murdered. And it made me sad. And it made me angry. And it made me confused. I’m here because those 49 people were gay. I’m here because it shouldn’t matter. But I’m here because it does. I am not here to tell you that I know exactly what you are going through. I am not here to tell you that I feel your pain. I don’t pretend to know the depths of what you are feeling right now. But I do know what it feels like to be scared. And I do know what it feels like to be sad. And I do know what it feels like to be rejected. And, more importantly, I know what it feels like to be loved.
I grew up in a small town and went to a small rural high school. There were some kids in my class that were different. Sometimes I wasn’t kind to them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now that they were gay. I will forever regret not treating them with the kindness, dignity and respect — the love — that they deserved. For that, I sincerely and humbly apologize.
We are here because 49 beautiful, amazing people are gone. These are not just statistics. These were individuals. These are human beings. They each have a story. They each had dreams, goals, talents, friends, family. They are you and they are me. And one night they went out to relax, to laugh, to connect, to forget, to remember. And in a few minutes of chaos and terror, they were gone.
I believe that we can all agree we have come a long way as a society when it comes to our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community (did I get that right?). However, there has been something about this tragedy that has very much troubled me. I believe that there is a question, two questions actually, that each of us needs to ask ourselves in our heart of hearts. And I am speaking now to the straight community. How did you feel when you heard that 49 people had been gunned down by a self-proclaimed terrorist? That’s the easy question. Here is the hard one: Did that feeling change when you found out the shooting was at a gay bar at 2 a.m. in the morning? If that feeling changed, then we are doing something wrong.
So now we find ourselves at a crossroads. A crossroads of hate and terror. How do we respond? How do you respond? Do we lash out with anger, hate and mistrust. Or do we, as Lincoln begged, appeal to the “better angels of our nature?”
I truly believe that this is the defining issue of our generation. Can we be brave? Can we be strong? Can we be kind and, perhaps, even happy, in the face of atrocious acts of hate and terrorism? Do we find a way to unite? Or do these atrocities further corrode and divide our torn nation? Can we, the citizens of the great state of Utah, lead the nation with love in the face of adversity? Can WE become a greatest generation?
On behalf of the 3 million people of the state of Utah, We Are Orlando. We love you. And I love you.


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