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Romney clinches GOP presidential nomination

Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a win in the Texas GOP primary

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Mitt Romney speaking before attendees at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Tuesday clinched the Republican presidential nomination with his win in the Texas GOP primary.

The Associated Press reported that Romney surpassed the 1,144 delegate threshold by winning 105 delegates in the Lone Star state.

“I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee,” he said in a statement posted on his campaign website. “Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us. I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity. On Nov. 6, I am confident that we will unite as a country and begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness.”

The Texas contest caps off a contentious Republican primary season during which Romney often clashed with his GOP challengers.

The former Massachusetts governor repeatedly expressed support for a federal constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman–National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown endorsed Romney because of what he described as his “commitment to the nation to take specific actions as president to preserve and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” Romney has previously said that he opposes anti-gay discrimination, but activists have consistently criticized the former Massachusetts governor for what they perceive are inconsistent positions on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other LGBT-specific measures and issues.

The Romney campaign in late April tapped gay former Bush administration official Richard Grenell as its national security spokesperson. He resigned earlier this month after his appointment sparked outrage among social conservatives.

“During the primaries, Gov. Romney distinguished himself as the best in a field of worsts on issues of equality for LGBT Americans,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Fred Sainz told the Blade. “Now that he’s clinched his party’s nomination, we hope that he’ll give careful reconsideration to the most basic issues of equality that he previously opposed.”

Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, welcomed Romney’s presumptive nomination.

“All Americans—including gay Americans—will now decide if we are willing to continue to hope for change, or we will vote to elect Mitt Romney, a proven leader who can bring America back,” he said.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, had a slightly more tepid reaction.

“Mitt Romney now has the votes to clinch the Republican nomination this August,” he told the Blade. “If the Romney campaign wants make clear that the Republican candidate believes in a society where Americans are judged solely on their ability to perform, now is the time to prove it by showing unambiguous support for federal protections from workplace discrimination.”

Cooper further noted that 66 percent of registered GOP voters now support these legal provisions.

“If Mitt Romney were to stand up tomorrow and declare that no American should ever fear for their job because of who they are, it would be a win for all of us, including the candidate himself,” he said.

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2 Comments

  1. Adrian Salsgiver

    May 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Romney has not secured the Republican nomination with an alleged win in Tuesday’s Texas Primary. The battle is in the State Conventions where Ron Paul is picking up the real votes, the delegates. Many Romney delegates will show up in Tampa and vote for Ron Paul because it is the right thing to do for the cause of our liberty, our freedom, and the Liberation of Humanity. We do not really want to be safe and secure under Obama and our out-of-control criminal government.

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Rachel Levine on becoming four-star admiral: ‘It comes from my desire to serve’

Trans official sworn-in to U.S. Public Health Service

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For Rachel Levine, the appointment to her new role as a four-star admiral complementing her existing duties as assistant secretary for health is another way for the first openly transgender Senate-confirmed presidential appointee to serve.

“I think that this just really comes from my desire to serve in all capacities,” Levine said in an interview Tuesday with the Washington Blade. “To serve the first day in my field of academic medicine and pediatrics, but then in Pennsylvania and now in the federal government, and it furthers my ability to do that.”

Levine, 63, also recognized the importance of the appointment as a transgender person within the U.S. Public Health Service, for which she was ceremonially sworn in on Tuesday

“I think for the LGBTQ+ community, it is a further sign of progress and our president’s commitment to equity, to inclusion and diversity,” Levine said. “So I think that it is a very important milestone, and I’m pleased to serve.”

As part of her duties, Levine will lead an estimated 6,000 public health service officers serving vulnerable populations, including deployments inside and outside the country for communities beleaguered with the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health & Human Services. The role involves working closely with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murphy, whom Levine called her “friend and colleague.”

The U.S. Public Health Service, Levine said, has deployed “many, many times,” including its greatest number ever of deployments to vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic. Among the places the service has deployed, Levine said, was in her home state of Pennsylvania, where she recently served as secretary of health.

Not only is Levine the first openly transgender person to serve in the uniformed health service as a four-star general, but she’s also the first woman to serve in that capacity.

“We have 6,000 dedicated committed public servants really all focused on our nation’s health, and they serve in details to the CDC and the FDA and the NIH, but also clinically with the Indian Health Service, and the federal prison system,” Levine said. “They’re also detailed and deployed throughout the country, and they deployed like never before for COVID-19 as well as the border, as well as dealing with floods and hurricanes and tornadoes.”

Although the Public Health Service is primarily focused on addressing public health disasters within the United States, Levine said it has a record of deployments overseas, including years ago when it was deployed to Africa under the threat of Ebola.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Xavier Becerra had high praise for Levine in a statement upon news of taking on a leadership position in the service.

“This is a proud moment for us at HHS,” Becerra said. “Adm. Levine — a highly accomplished pediatrician who helps drive our agency’s agenda to boost health access and equity and to strengthen behavioral health — is a cherished and critical partner in our work to build a healthier America.”

Levine, however, was careful to draw a distinction between her appointment within the Public Health Service and being a service member within the U.S. armed forces.

“It is not a military branch, it’s not the armed forces: It’s a uniformed force, so it’s different,” Levine said. “For example, the Army, the Navy, our military, there are two other uniformed branches, and that is ours, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and NOAA.”

The new role, Levine said, would complement her duties as assistant secretary for health. Although not only secretaries of health have been commissioned to take the uniform, Levine said she wanted to undertake that as part of her role in the Biden administration.

The two appointments were not simultaneous, Levine said, because of a general process she undertook, which was completed just this week.

It hasn’t been an easy road for Levine. During her Senate confirmation process, when she was hounded by anti-transgender attacks in conservative media and rude, invasive questioning by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on her gender identity.

Levine, however, said she hasn’t encountered any hostility regarding her new role (as of now) and shrugged off any potential attacks in the future and said the move is about her career “to serve and to help people.”

“I’ve continued that for our nation as the assistant secretary for health and this is just a further demonstration of my commitment to service,” Levine said. “I don’t know what others will say, but that’s the genesis of my wanting to serve in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and to place on the uniform.”

Levine’s new appointment comes shortly after a group of Democratic senators led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sent her a letter dated Sept. 30 calling on her and Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, to issue new guidance for hospital or residential care on mental health needs of transgender people.

Asked about the letter, Levine said mental health issues are under the authority of Delphin-Rittmon and the two “will work together and we will respond.”

Specifically, the senators in the letter call on the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, or BHCC, and experts in the field of adolescent trans care to offer guidance on best practices for inpatient mental health care among these youth.

Asked what the response will look like, Levine said, “We’re going to work on that.”

“We will be looking at what they’re asking for and the requirements, and we’ll talk with them and the stakeholders and we’ll look to issue appropriate guidance,” Levine said.

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Biden endorses Roem for re-election

Former journalist is first out trans person in any state legislature

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Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) speaks to supporters following her re-election on Nov. 5, 2019. President Biden has endorsed her for re-election. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President Biden on Tuesday endorsed Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) for re-election.

Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) is among the other Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates who Biden backed. Biden in his tweet also stressed his support of Terry McAuliffe, who is running against Republican Glenn Youngkin to succeed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Building back better starts in the states,” tweeted Biden. “Since flipping the legislature in 2019, Virginia Democrats have been a model of progress—including helping us vaccinate folks to beat the pandemic. To keep our progress, we must elect Terry McAuliffe and Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Roem, a former journalist, in 2018 became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the U.S.

Biden called Roem on the night she defeated then-state Del. Bob Marshall and congratulated her. A Washington Post picture that showed Roem crying moments later went viral.

The Manassas Democrat who represents the 13th District in 2019 easily won re-election. Christopher Stone, the Republican who is running against Roem in this cycle, opposes marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

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Cómo las empresas impulsan la inclusión e inserción laboral LGBTQ

Uno de cada 20 jóvenes de la comunidad tiene su negocio propio

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Walmart, gay news, Washington Blade
(Foto cortesia de Flickr)

Reportar sin Miedo es el socio mediático del Washington Blade en Honduras. Esta nota salió en su sitio web el 15 de octubre.

CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA — Apenas el 5 por ciento de los jóvenes LGBTIQ+, es decir uno de cada 20, tiene negocio propio. Esa es una de las cifras reveladas en el webinar “Empresas y derechos humanos: perspectiva LGBT”, que se desarrolló durante la IV Semana de Empresas y Derechos Humanos.

El taller se llevó a cabo con apoyo de la organización diversa Visibles, la embajada del Reino Unido en Guatemala, Walmart México y Caricam. En la actividad se abordaron los retos que las empresas afrontan de cara a la inclusión.

El tema se remonta a 10 o 20 años, en los que han surgido empresas con un enfoque de recursos humanos y políticas de no discriminación que incluyen orientación sexual e identidad de género.

Estas organizaciones ofrecen prestaciones y licencia de paternidad, además igualan el tiempo que se da a padres del mismo sexo, ofrecen seguros médicos que incluyen necesidades de personas transgénero y redes LGBTIQ+.

Por otra parte, empiezan a llevar a cabo eventos por el mes del orgullo LGBTIQ+.

Una campaña multinacional

La Human Rights Campaign se ha lanzado en Brasil, Argentina, México, Chile y Estados Unidos, país donde nació. En el caso de las iniciativas multiactor, algunas de estas empresas están empezando a abrirse a otras empresas y tratan de ofrecer algún tipo de apoyo.

Muchas compañías ven el acrónimo LGBT como si se tratase de un grupo homogéneo.
Es decir, ven a las poblaciones diversas sin distinguir entre personas gays, lesbianas, transexuales, transgénero e intersexuales, no separan la orientación sexual de la identidad de género.

Estas empresas tampoco distinguen las experiencias de las personas dentro del acrónimo y hacen una sola campaña, como si se tratara de todas las personas por igual.

Esto es muy importante porque estamos en una semana de empresa y derechos humanos. Se trata del punto de entrada en la discusión, no el punto de entrada de riesgo.

“Esta investigación aborda la violencia para la población joven, de 18 a 23 años”, explicó el Investigador de la Asociación Visibles de Guatemala, Gabriel Duarte. “Fue un proyecto regional que se llevó a cabo en Guatemala, El Salvador y Honduras. En Guatemala, el proyecto se realizó de 2019 a 2020 con enfoque, investigación y acción participativa. Entrevistamos a 30 jóvenes de la diversidad sexual y de género”.

Solo uno de cada 20 jóvenes es empresario

En 2020, más del 40 por ciento de los jóvenes LGBTIQ+ de 15 a 29 años tuvieron su primera experiencia en el mundo laboral como asalariados y menos del 5 por ciento (uno de cada 20) tuvieron negocio propio, según el Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE).

El Estado hondureño tiene debilidades que afectan a la población joven LGBTIQ+. Una de ellas es que el artículo 14 del Código de Trabajo prohíbe la discriminación por diversos motivos, pero nunca aborda la orientación sexual o género.

En cuanto a las discriminaciones contra la comunidad LGBTIQ que pueden llevar procesos legales, no hay ninguna tipificación de delito.

“Uno de los obstáculos del diseño de políticas públicas es no contar con estadísticas oficiales que muestren qué porcentaje de la población se autoidentifica como LGBTIQ+”, enfatizó Duarte.

Menos acceso a educación igual a menos oportunidades

Según Gabriel Duarte, la falta de acceso a educación de calidad impacta directamente en el tipo de empleo y la remuneración económica.

“Muchas personas LGBTIQ+ que entrevistamos en esta investigación describían de que al salir del clóset tuvieron que abandonar su hogar porque su familia no los había aceptado”, dijo Duarte.

Esta primera ponencia resalta la necesidad de cerrar brechas de acceso a oportunidades de educación.

También propone tener políticas de inclusión y de prevención de la discriminación dentro de los lugares de trabajo, ya que muchas personas mencionaron que no sufrían necesariamente violencia física, sino psicológica dentro de estos espacios laborales.

Duarte resaltó que la oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas recomendó asegurarse de que no haya discriminación en el acceso a los servicios básicos, incluso en el contexto del empleo y de la atención de la salud, y ofrecer educación y capacitación para prevenir la discriminación y estigmatización de las personas LGBTIQ+.

El caso de Walmart

“Cambiar la mentalidad no solo de nuestros asociados, sino también del contexto guatemalteco», dijo la representante de Walmart, Ana Valeria.

Agregó que es necesario dejar de creer que es posible llamar “pobrecita” a una persona con discapacidad.

Según Valeria, Walmart les ha dado valor a estas personas de aportar su talento y habilidades al desarrollo de las unidades de trabajo.

“Walmart en Guatemala cuenta con 367 asociados y asociadas con discapacidad que día a día muestran la pasión y el compromiso de seguir trabajando y aportando en cada una de nuestras metas”, dijo la representante de la multinacional.

Un carnet para identificar el género

Walmart enfrenta los retos sociales y culturales de las regiones de Guatemala, agregó Valeria, “garantizamos entornos laborales seguros y diversos. Comunicamos de forma abierta y clara nuestra postura como compañía hacia la inclusión y el apoyo a la Comunidad LGTB. Tuvimos resultados que se transformaron en un gran reto y opiniones diversas de los sectores de Guatemala”.

Walmart ha avanzado en la integración del talento diverso, según Valeria. “Quienes forman parte de la comunidad LGTB pueden ahora identificarse con un gafete de Walmart. Creemos que estos asociados tienen la libertad de ser ellos mismos y elegir al momento de utilizar esta identificación. Pueden portar el nombre que les permita ser ellos mismos y expresarse con sus características únicas dentro de cada una de nuestras tiendas”.

La compañía con sede en Arkansas, Estados Unidos, da también paquetes de beneficios en igualdad de condiciones para sus asociados, dijo Valeria.

Walmart “no limita las oportunidades de carrera, ascensos, información e igualdad de condiciones para sus asociados”.

La compañía, considerada “el empleador más privado más grande del mundo” tiene, según su representante, “la responsabilidad de impactar positivamente en las sociedades y comunidades donde operamos”.

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