Sunday, July 29, 2018

Trump's Putin Fixation Is an LGBT Problem

Anti-gay violence has doubled in Russia since 2013 - all with government approval.
American Christofascists want it to happen in America.
I find "friends" who whine that political differences should not divide friends.  They, of course, are white, Christian heterosexuals who are not facing threats to their civil rights and perhaps even physical safety as a result of the Trump/Pence regime that they supported.   Seemingly, they expect me and others in the LGBT community to simply ignore the fact that they support those who openly seek to harm us.  I'm sorry, but seeking to defend one's rights against insidious foes that "friends" support is not just a matter of "political differences."  Were the shoe on the other foot, I suspect they would be livid and anything but cordial with those supporting their enemies. Thus, I view the "political differences" meme to be the height of hypocrisy.  As a piece in The Advocate notes, Trump/Pence pose a true threat to LGBT Americans, especially with Trump mimicking Putin's alliance with the regressive Russian Orthodox Church by the manner in which is is boosting the Christofascist agenda.  Here are article highlights:

As Donald Trump moves the United States closer to authoritarianism, we must be concerned. Human rights, including LGBTQ rights, do not flourish under authoritarian regimes.
Any doubt as to Trump’s subservience to Russian President Vladimir Putin was erased at this month's Helsinki summit and its subsequent press conference, where it was clear that Trump is in Putin’s pocket. Trump spent over two hours alone with the former KGB agent, with only translators in the room. With no record made of that meeting, we have no idea of what concessions Trump made — and no insight is forthcoming from the White House or the secretary of State. . . . . If Trump is taking direction from Putin, it's clear the American LGBTQ community is at risk of losing basic human rights.
It was Putin who allowed the leaders of Chechnya, an ultraconservative region of the Russian Federation, to kidnap, beat, imprison, and murder gay men. On June 11, 2013, the Russian federal law "for the Purpose of Protecting Children From Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values" was passed. It is also known as the “gay propaganda law,” and by placing a ban on promoting LGBTQ rights and culture in Russia, it has encouraged violence against the Russian LGBTQ community — which has doubled. The White House has moved in a similar direction — attempting to boot trans people from the military, dismantling the AIDS commission, advocating in court for antigay businesses, working to scrub us from the Census, and refusing to acknowledge Pride. 
While Putin claims he seeks to protect children, Trump cites religious freedom in order to endanger our human rights.
Trump’s self-serving sycophant of a vice president, Mike Pence, is an antigay religious zealot who resurrected a failing political career in Indiana by signing on with Trump; he gave his boss high praise after the shameful Helsinki summit, while John Brennan, the former CIA director, called Trump’s performance “nothing short of treasonous.” 
The indictment of Maria Butina as an unregistered Russian agent sheds light on Russia's infiltration of the Republican Party. She, along with her handler, Russian operative Alexander Torshin, allegedly used the National Rife Association and the religious right to gain access to top-level Republicans to advance Russian interests. Butina attended two National Prayer Breakfasts to hobnob with Republicans' friends. Guns, religion, and an attractive young female Russian helped Republicans and Russians find common ground. Religious right leadership also seems fond of Putin. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, traveled to Moscow four times and testified in 2013 before the Duma in support of antigay laws. In December 2015, evangelist Franklin Graham had a private audience with Putin.
As Trump and the Republicans embrace Putin and authoritarianism, we can expect that lessons will be learned from Putin as to how to render the LGBTQ community invisible and suppress our human rights in the name of protecting something else — in Russia, it’s children, and in the U.S., it’s religious liberty.
Trump’s base is just fine treating us as scapegoats or punching bags. We live in dangerous times.

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