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Log Cabin celebrates 40 years at Trump hotel — with no talk of Trump

Carly Fiorina generally avoids LGBT issues in keynote speech

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Carly Fiorina speaks at the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 27, 2017. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The nation’s premier organization for LGBT Republicans held its annual dinner for the first time at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. — but not once did any speaker on stage mention President Trump.

Keynoting the Log Cabin Republican dinner Wednesday was 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who delivered a heavily autobiographical speech on moving from being a secretary to CEO that sought to inspire leadership goals among those at the dinner.

“A leader challenges the status quo,” Fiorina said. “A leader never accepts the way things are. That’s why there’s so many leaders here in this room.”

Fiorina mostly avoided LGBT issues before the estimated 250 attendees, although she alluded to advances made in LGBT rights without explicitly mentioning them and credited the “community” for making progress.

Among her vignettes was a story about an openly gay worker she knew in 1981 and identified as “Bill,” whom she said was forced to take service jobs when he’d rather serve in a sales position.

“Bill refused to be someone other than who he was,” Fiorina said. “And because he was open about who he was, the corporation had no idea what to do with Bill.”

Although Fiorina said Bill was initially denied employment in his preferred capacity, she said he later shined when given the opportunity to work in a sales position “and he went and sold his socks off.”

“Everyone has to be free to be who they are,” Fiorina said.

Taking a knock at Washington for having too much concentrated power, Fiorina also emphasized the importance of affording localities the authority to solve problems.

“Actually most of the Constitution is about preventing the concentration of the abuse of power, and a whole bunch of the Constitution is about making sure that people locally have the opportunity to solve their problems,” Fiorina said.

Founded in 1977 in California to thwart the Briggs Initiative, a measure opposed by soon-to-be President Ronald Reagan that would have banned gay teachers from schools, Log Cabin celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017 — a milestone that was emphasized at the Trump International Hotel event.

Log Cabin held the dinner at the Trump International Hotel as the president faces criticism for refusing to put his assets in a blind trust amid suspicions wealthy and foreign interests would conduct business at his properties to influence public policy.

But not once during the entire celebration did Fiorina or anyone else on stage mention Trump or his policies. Among his administration’s actions to undermine LGBT rights: revoking Obama-era guidance assuring transgender students restroom access in schools, ordering the U.S. military to ban transgender service members and staffing a Justice Department with attorneys arguing against legal protections for gays before the federal judiciary.

Attendees offered a nuanced assessment of the president and whether his approach to LGBT issues should be celebrated at the event.

New Hampshire State Sen. Dan Innis, among those in attendance, said “we shouldn’t be crying” over Trump’s record on LGBT rights at the dinner even if they’re not cause for celebration.

“He’s done some positive things for our community, but again, the more he gets to know us, I think the more he’ll see that we can be very important to him and the Republican Party — and we are,” Innis said.

Innis added, “I think one of the nice things is that we have a seat at the table at the White House — something we haven’t had in a long, long time.”

Jim Driscoll, a gay Nevada-based HIV activist who supported Trump in the election, took issue with Trump’s ban on transgender service in the U.S. military.

“I think it was a mistake on his part, and I think he’s being pressured by the Mueller probe, and he wants to do anything to get the evangelical base totally aligned with him as protection,” Driscoll said. “I think that’s why he did it rather than he thinks there was something that needed to be. I think it’s a political move on his part, and if we didn’t have the Mueller probe and all these problems, probably advice from Jared and Ivanka would have prevailed and he would have done nothing.”

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said the celebration was focused on the 40th anniversary of the organization when asked why no mention of Trump was made at the dinner.

“I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary,” Angelo said. “We certainly don’t shy away from talking about him. We have an event in the hotel that bears his name tonight, so the focus of tonight was two things: It was Carly Fiorina, and it was Log Cabin Republicans’ 40th anniversary. That’s it. And that’s what was driving the messaging tonight.”

Asked if Trump’s approach to LGBT rights should be celebrated at the dinner, Angelo replied, “We’ve gone on the record in the past praising Trump when he needs to be praised and we’ve criticized him when criticism was due.”

“This was not about stoking more divisions within the GOP, or even amongst our members,” Angelo said. “It was about being unified in celebration of our four decades, and I think that’s what we saw here tonight.”

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74 Comments

74 Comments

  1. Kathy11

    September 28, 2017 at 9:33 am

    ““I don’t think that’s out of the ordinary,” Angelo said. “We certainly don’t shy away from talking about him.”

    If that’s your statement – you truly don’t think.

  2. JackNasty

    September 28, 2017 at 11:29 am

    See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.

  3. Brian's Ions

    September 28, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    So does that indicate LCR will be helping that pillar of Alabama jurisprudence, Roy Moore, replace Jeffy Sessions?

    Keep filling we Dems with resolve for November and next year, LCR.

    http://ralphnortham.com

    https://herringforag.com

    ————-
    \“This was not about stoking more divisions within the GOP, or even amongst our members,” Angelo said.”//

    • EastCoastJ

      September 30, 2017 at 3:48 am

      You once said gays in ANY political position was a good thing. NOW you’ve decided Republicans want to put gays in ovens ??

  4. MS

    September 28, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    They just can’t bring themselves to say anything critical about the party that would sooner throw them in the oven than see them as equals. What a shame. When arrogant pride and selfish greed are more important to you than the future of your community or even the nation itself. Some patriots. It’s a who’s who of self-loathing and denial.

    • EastCoastJ

      September 29, 2017 at 5:16 am

      I’m not an LCR member, but…….Republicans would “throw them in the oven”?? You’re more aptly describing those particular Dems who wanted Hillary Clinton in the White House.

      • MS

        September 29, 2017 at 8:55 am

        Hahaha oh that’s rich! Very funny. In no twisted alt reality would Hillary have rescinded or harmed LGBT protections and social progress as Trump has already begun to do. I could *maybe* have an ounce of respect for the LCR if they would at least have the courage to say “yeah, we know the Republicans are anti-gay but we don’t care because we’re more concerned with slashing government, giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and keeping minorities oppressed so white people keep the power” – if they could do that, at least they’d be honest. But any person who claims to value social progressiveness and civil rights, has NO BUSINESS voting for Republicans. Republicans are the anti-civil rights party, the party of social regressive, not progressive. The party of NO. Which tells me that the LCR don’t really care THAT MUCH about LGBT progress, because yay tax breaks for millionaires and Trump corruption! Get real. The Democrats are not perfect by any means, but our party platform does not include outright bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination!

        • EastCoastJ

          September 29, 2017 at 10:50 am

          Yeah…Hillary just would have quadrupled the Muslim population of the U.S. As she grandly stated during the debates, “Islam is not our enemy-y-y-y!” Uh, maybe not YOUR enemy, Hillary, but it sure is the enemy of gay men, worldwide. And in the U.S., one Pulse massacre was enough for me.

          • Kobe

            October 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm

            “Quadrupled the Muslim population of the US” a lie, and irrelevant since white “Christian” Americans have done more damage to gays than have American Muslims. But the braindead, tax-cuts-for-the-rich gayKK will always find a way to justify its support for homophobic Nazi-apologist extremist Treason Trump.

            Hillary has been in support of civil unions since the 90s, was the only national politician to publicly stand by Gavin Newsom when he legalized gay marriage, made her first act as First Lady flying to California to meet with negelected AIDS activists, remains the only White House official to march in gay Pride, made her first act at State Dept granting full benefits to gay famimilies, and made worldwide support for gay rights part of the US diplomatic portfolio.

            Trying to link Hillary to one mass shooting by one American-born Muslim as an excuse to support Repubican politicians who have done nothing for gays and who are actively trying to deny basic human and civil rights to gays is stupid af. And jus a lame excuse for white gays to embrace right wing white supremacy and greed, which is the real reason behind it.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

            No, Hillary would have quadrupled the Muslim population of the U.S., and one Pulse massacre was enough for me. And one attempt to bomb San Francisco bars. One attempt to blow up Uncle Charlie’s in NYC, and just bomb Chelsea in general. And of course the one who tried to burn a thousand gays to death by setting the Neighbors Nightclub on fire (luckily some military gays sttopped him). So you and Hillary can just pantsuit away to Haiti (where they LOVE her so much, just ask..)

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:37 pm

            No, HIllary would not have quadrupled the Muslim population of the US, you are a liar. The Pulse massacre is just an excuse for you to ignore the millions of gays killed and harmed by Republicans’ antigay policies. You don’t care one bit about the Pulse victims. White Republcians have issued more bomb and death threats against gays tand caused more death and destruction to American gays than any group. So I’ll stay right here in America where gay-rights-supporter and popular vote winner Hillary has the #1 bestselling political book of all time, while antigay bigot Treason Trump and the gay-hating Rehtuglican Party hit record lows in approval because Americans despise them.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            Oh..shush, and show some respect for the white men who rule. Luckily.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

            That moment when your white supremacist Russian bot trolling fails spectacularly.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

            Shush or I’ll ship you to Jamaica.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:48 pm

            And …(lol!)…you would look at the Muslim majority countries around the world, how gays are treated in every single one (including public canings and execution)….and then vote for a pantsuit that grandly announced during the debates, “Is-LAM is not our enemy-y-y-y-y!!!” Uhh…..self-hating, much ?

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

            And LOL you have to try (and fail) to change the subject to Muslims thousands of miles away to distract from the antigay policies and antigay abuses of Republicans right here at home, and your vote for an antigay bigot who is arging that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against gays and pledged to “repeal the awful gay marriage decision.” Meanwhile, most American Muslims voted for the pro-gay Democratic platform. American Muslims are bigger supporters of gay rights that self-loathing white supremacist gay Rethuglicans.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm

            Bow down, Pantsuit.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm

            Drop dead, Vladimir.

        • EastCoastJ

          September 29, 2017 at 11:25 am

          “government, giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and keeping minorities oppressed so white people keep the power” Actually, I don’t mind wealthy Asians and wealthy gay men keeping the power too. And it’s the whites who gave us gay marriage.

          • LoveCoates

            October 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm

            Actually, the majority of whites vote for Republicans, so if it was left up to whites, there wouldn’t be gay marriage. Nice try though.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:42 pm

            Look at the countries and states that have gay marriage, or got them first. As white as snow. And compare Europe to Africa.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 4:21 pm

            Look at the Americans who support gay marriage: Democrats and those who vote for them. Look at those who don’t support gay marriage: Republicans and those who vote to empower politicians who hate gays and want to deny rights to gays.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

            Vermont, N.H., Iowa, Maine…… and…the Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, Iceland, Spain, Canada..

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

            Republicans are opposed to gay rights.
            Democrats support gay rights.

            None of your deranged ranting and raving can change this fact.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

            Moreso, numbers-wise, yes. But it doesn’t matter, because Democrats throw gays under the bus for Muslims.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

            Gay rights and the Democratic support of gay rights while Republicans actively try to deny basic human and civil rights to gays. American Muslims consistently vote for the Democratic Party and its pro-gay rights platform. White supremacist Republicans gays are doing more to harm the rights of Americans than Democrats or American Muslims. Gays are not stupid. Nice try tho!

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm

            No, most gays are pretty dumb. And American Muslims have tried to kill gays in mass numbers five times already in the U.S. Only Pulse was successful. The less of them the better, but the self-hating disagree with me. (European gays are the ones who’ve had to learn the hard way about Muslim homophobia).

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm

            So earlier it was “the greatest men in history were gay” now its “gays aren’t smart” LOL You can’t even keep up with your own lies. No, most gays are highly intelligent, which is why they didn’t fall for Treason Trump’s bull. Even Trump knows his supporters are stupid af: he himself called them “poorly educated” and you idiots hate yourselves so much you *still* support him. European gays hate the evil, corrupt sleazeball Trump as much as Americans do.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:32 pm

            Gays used to be Francis Bacon, Plato, and Alan Turing. Today they’re pretty stupid, overall.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:37 pm

            Well at least you’re now letting your hatred of gays fly. No wonder you support gay-hating thug Treason Trump

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

            Love ‘im!

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

            Only gays and leftists would believe Hillary Clinton when she spoke of getting the letter from a woman whose adopted son saw Trump on TV and fearfully asked her, “Mommy, if he gets elected will I have to go back to Ethiopia ??” Yeah….sure Hillary…

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

            Now that the pathetic attempt at trolling has failed, the homophobia starts showing up lol wow you are bad at this

      • lawboy87

        September 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

        You are nothing short of delusional, when the most support for the Gay rights movement has come from Democrats. Name a single holder of a national office, from the Democratic Party, who is advocating for the idea that “homosexual conduct should be illegal”?

        Yet, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Alabama (Roy Moore) has stated that opinion routinely and he will receive party funding to take that opinion to the US Senate.

        I say this as a straight guy, who supports equal rights for everyone, but you need to inform yourself because you are way off from the reality of the situation.

        • EastCoastJ

          September 29, 2017 at 10:52 am

          ” who is advocating for the idea that “homosexual conduct should be illegal”?” Rev. Ruben Diaz right here in NYC, and just about every Muslim.

          • lawboy87

            September 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

            I didn’t know that Rev Ruben Diaz held national office as a Democrat. Perhaps you need to read my post again, because I clearly indicated a Democrat who held NATIONAL OFFICE, not some state senator somewhere.

          • EastCoastJ

            September 29, 2017 at 11:20 am

            Okay, that’s fair.

        • EastCoastJ

          October 1, 2017 at 5:48 am

          And I know your type. You’ll defend Islamic homophobia to the very end, including their right to speak of killing gay men as “freedom of…religion” or something. You’re in no danger as a heterosexual man (until you draw a pic of Mohammad or do something equally blasphemous). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vev-OzHQy94

          • lawboy87

            October 3, 2017 at 1:38 am

            You know nothing about me and couldn’t be more wrong. I condemn this imam as much as I condemn those freaking idiots from Westboro church. Advocating violence or death does not qualify as “free speech.” Trust me, I’m the last person you are going to find defending someone this vile based on their religious views.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 3, 2017 at 2:33 am

            You’ll say that but you still espouse unrestricted immigration of Muslims into the western world, and that’s exactly what will kill men like me eventually. And you’ll rest easily, because you had to choose between us and them and you chose them.

          • LoveCoates

            October 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm

            House gays: “Ignore what Republicans are doing to harm gays in America right now, but be very, very worried about what Islamophobes claims Muslims might do to gays in the future.”

            No wonder gay Republicans are a complete laughingstock.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:31 pm

            Some of them ARE laughingstocks. More gay Democrats are laughingstocks presently, though. Gays who are Independent are the smartest people.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm

            Yeah, we know “independents” love to pretend to be outsiders to try to be rebels for rebelliousness sake. Yawn, that stopped being cool in high school. Gays who don’t support the only party fighting for their rights are morons and self-loathing traitors.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm

            No, it never stopped being cool.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 3, 2017 at 2:36 am

            And you comparing a bunch of silly sign-holders to a mass murder of 49 people in a nightclub shows how warped your values are.

          • LoveCoates

            October 7, 2017 at 7:46 pm

            Meanwhile, white conservatives Americans have brutally bashed to death thousands and thousands of gays over the years, bullied thousands more to death, and ruined the lives of millions of gays with their homophobia. Yet selfish, braindead, self-loathing sellout house gays use one incident as an excuse to continue enabling a party diamettrically opposed to gay human rights. Talk about warped.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:33 pm

            Sorry, no conservatives ever tried to hurt me. Muslims, on the other had, tried to kill me three times already in NYC, and once directly because of my sexuality. So…since I’ve dealt with death and reality I couldn’t care less about your fantasies about conservatives and Jewish plots.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm

            Sorry, but the world does not revolve around you and your bs stories. All American gays have been hurt by conservative policies, and white conservatives have hurt and killed more gays than any other group beyond a doubt. Which is why most American gays don’t care at all about your Islamophobia and will never join you in enabling the antigay Republican Party.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

            Too many gays have an internal need for more punishment so they embrace Is-LAMic immigration to the west (since Christianity eased up and turned more gay-accepting). That’s why they’re furious Trump won the election. They wanted Hillary to bring more Muslims to the U.S. so we could have nail bombs at Ariana Grande concerts here too.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 4:31 pm

            Nah, gays are furious antigay homophobe Treason Trump cheated his way info office via Russia treason because, unlike the gay-hating Republican Party, most gays are patriots who love America and who aren’t going to disrespect themselves by supporting a party opposed to their rights. No matter how many times you try (and fail) to change the subject to your stereotypes about Muslims, gays are not ever going to support the Republican Party, because Democrats support gay freedom, equality, and rights and Republicans do not. Trumpanzee white suprmeacists are idiots who are easily manipulated by fear — it doesn’t work on gays. Sorry, Vladimir!

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm

            Don’t be sorry. I’m glad Trump is in office and will be for the next seven years. Hillary would have been a disaster. And I still enjoy the election night memory of the b.f. walking into the room at about 2:00 am and telling me, “You know Trump is the President…?” I hadn’t had the coverage on TV (too stressful) and honestly wasn’t sure he’d win, but…..what a relief. And (though it’s sorta mean) I do enjoy watching coverage of the other side on election night :fat female homophobes and castrated males.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qth3kQKaTX0

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm

            I’m glad Treason Trump is going to jail and has no way to cheat himself to power twice without Putin’s help. I do enjoy Democrats picking up red seats everywhere, Hillary winning the popular vote by millions of votes and getting standing ovations everywhere and having the #1 bestselling political book ever while her TV interviews set ratings record, while fat https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4c7e9b4474ed36664383cfd00df8e68a125acecfd6bd6f45d8ecfe7a4af5e05.jpg scumbag Treason Trump’s approval rating falls to a pathetic 32% because nobody supports him but ugly homophobic loser tech nerds who can’t get laid. All this for what? To permanently alienate youth voters and be unable to pass a healthcare bill because your gay-hating trash political party sucks so badly LOL

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:30 pm

            I just wish I could have seen the group (Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, Huma, and Anthony Wiener) when the results came in. But…who doesn’t want to see THAT one?? The only recording we have is she and Bill jumping up and down like goofs early on when they seemed to be ahead.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm

            I just wish I could be in the White House watching hated, unpopular corrupt loser Treason Trump and his evil crime family flail, cry and whine as Mueller closes in on them, forcing the isolated fake president to lash out on twitter knowing Hillary is thriving while he is headed to prison LOL

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm

            LOL. Well…you can just pretend away..

          • Kobe

            October 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

            Meanwhile, you defend the bigotry, racism, greed and homophbia of white Republican America to no end. White American men have killed more gays and done more damage to gay freedom and equality than Muslims or any group, and it isn’t even close.

            White gay Republicans actually don’t give a crap about homophobia among Muslims — they just need an excuse to publicly embrace the greed and white supremacy of the right. That’s all it is.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:36 pm

            Yup, it’s typically gay to adore Muslims and despise Republicans. Understandable, seeing the way Republicans are executing gay men in the U.S. (or just men caught in homosexual acts). Oh…wait…

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

            Typically lying house gay to try to falsely change the subject to their false stereotypes of Muslims to justify selling out to a racist, bigoted, homophobic, unpatriotic party that hates them and is openly trying to make gays second class citizens. Understandable, since their self-loathing and need for the white daddy’s approval causes them to have their pathetic heads buried up Treason Trump’s butt.

            Hillary supports gay rights, unlike you and your Rethuglican masters. Nice try tho.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm

            LOL. False stereotypes….right. And nothing wrong with white daddies. Hush now, Pantsuit. Trump is the President for the next seven years. Luckily.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm

            LOL you can’t be president after you go to jail for treason and you can’t hang onto 70,000 Rust Belt votes without Russian vote suppression cyberattacks. Sorry to burst your bubble, Russian bot.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm

            da

          • EastCoastJ

            October 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm

            And I’m not into white supremacy, though I find nothing wrong with it. White gay men have been the greatest men in history. But I do admit I think Asians have the higher I.Qs, which is probably why they all voted for Trump. Indians too. High standards.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

            Finding nothing wrong with evil is supporting evil, so yes, you are a white supremacist — but that was obvious from your support for the Nazi-apologist, racist-to-the-core Rethuglican Party traitors. So in addition to being a bigot, you’re also a liar, since Hillary won over 65-80% of the Asian-American vote. Just one more explanation for your supoort for the homophobe Treason Trump and his antigay administration: you’re both pathetic pathological liars. http://www.npr.org/2017/04/18/524371847/trump-lost-more-of-the-asian-american-vote-than-the-national-exit-polls-showed

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm

            Well…white men, and white gay men, certainly created this computer we’re using. And everything else. (The Chinese did give us paper, though, I grant them).

  5. paul

    September 29, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Just mentioning Gay republicans blows my MIND! it’s sorta like Jews for Jesus. The republicans just want their vote! plain and simple! Other than that, they could care less about any LGBTQ rights or equality!!!! SAD!!!!!

    • EastCoastJ

      September 29, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      The Jews For Jesus I’ve met were incredibly smart people.

  6. EastCoastJ

    October 4, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Gays For Islam is the better analogy. Self-destructive insanity.

    • LoveCoates

      October 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      You have to love the intellectual dishonesty and desperation of sellout right wing house gays trying to fearmonger about Islam to justify their support for a party that has prompted thousands of gays to commit suicide with its determination to make gays second-class citizens. Anything for the gayKK to justify its white supremacy and daddy issues.

      • EastCoastJ

        October 7, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        Is THAT it ? I guess I just made up stories about what’s going on in Egypt. Thanks.

        • LoveCoates

          October 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

          No, you’re just desperately trying to change the subject from what’s going on right here in America with the antigay policies of Treason Trump and the Rethuglican Party..

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm

            Your biggest nightmare is that nothing bad will happen to gays in the slightest. Because that’ll make all your warnings (and you) irrelevant. So you hang on so tightly to the hopes that gay marriage will be made illegal, etc.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

            Treason Trump already rescinded antidiscrimination orders that protected gays, normalized homophobia by filling his cabinet with white supremacists who hate gays, and is attacking LGBT soldiers. Your biggest nightmare is that unlike “poorly educated” toothless hillbilly Trump trash, gays continue to be far too sophisticated to fall for your Russian propaganda and lies. Hang on tightly to the hope that gays will ever not know that Republicans hate gays and are opposed to gay rights, hence their election of Nazi-apologist gay hating homophobes Trump and Pence.

          • EastCoastJ

            October 8, 2017 at 5:35 pm

            Your greatest fear. And it gets worse as ….nothing happens.

          • LoveCoates

            October 8, 2017 at 5:39 pm

            Your greatest fear. And gays continue to not fall for your crap.

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots

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New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

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shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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