Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pride 2017 Charlottesville


I did visit Charlottesville Pride 2017 today (or "CVille Pride"). .

It was held in the Pavilion at the end of the main street court in downtown Charlottesville, a half mile from the previous locations at Lee Park.

There were two areas of exhibits, and a continuous show under the tent.

The site was much larger than Lee Park.

The overall crowd had a substantial gender fluid and trans flavor, more so than is found in bars or that was present in DC Pride.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tammy Duckworth provides video on Trump's transgender ban for the military


Tammy Duckworth (US Senator for Ilinois, Dem.) has provided a video responding to Trump’s “transgender ban”, implemented in slow motion, for the military. 

  

She points out that Trump dodged the Vietnam era draft, and that transgender health care costs would be only “0.13%” of the entire military health care budget, including casualties. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Edith Windsor's memory is honored


Time Magazine has a detailed obituary on Edith Windsor, 88, the “matriarch” of the gay rights moement in the fight for marriage equality, link by Olivia B. Waxman. 



The New Yok Times credits Windsor with making “marriage” a magic word and offers this op-ed

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gay conservatives see collective identity politics as a lot of whining


David Benkoff has a piece in the Daily Caller downplaying Donald Trump’s supposed backpedaling on gay rights, all the way back to 2016, here.   A lot of denial of identity politics and placing people into groups claiming systematic oppression.  The Log Cabin Republicans tweeted this today.

There is something inevitable about all this:  people who are individually competitive have little use for identity politics and tend to be more conservative.  

Thursday, September 07, 2017

DACA rescinding by Trump, even if a 6-month punt to Congress, generates resentment, cynicism in the LGBT community


A Washington Blade story by Chris Johnson reports pessimism among LGBT dreamers (as well as asylum seekers) that Congress will restore DACA, as in this link posted on Facebook today by DC Center Global. 

The article presents the biography of a young man from South Korea, who says it would not be easy to deal with conscription in the South Korean military if he had to go back.  Furthermore, it’s a testy time because of extreme tensions with North Korea.  

But of course this raises the bigger question that the entire country of South Korea faces destruction if war breaks out. 
  
There is also a story of a young man from Mexico, and a report of a belief that DACA rescinding is rooted in white supremacy.  I still see it as a legal question, but one that lends itself to intellectual rationalization that hides the real problems.  

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

HRC notes the likely toll of DACA rescinding on LGBTQ immigrants


HRC sent out an email noting that about 75000 of the “dreamers” are LGBTQ, link here.

This is a difficult thing.  Our western societies don’t hold adult kids responsible for what their parents did.  Nevertheless, the tone of comments on Trump’s own Facebook page supporting his decision is rather mean.

There is legitimate debate over whether Obama’s DACA order was legally sustainable forever (given the lawsuit brought by several red states).  Some conservatives say that courts could have ordered DACA closed in two months.  There is a legitimate argument that Congress must take responsibility for this issue over the next six months.


Nevertheless, adult kids caught in the situation,, even though they probably have good reason to believe Congress has to fix it (Congress’s record with health care is not a good precedent) are put out now.  Employers can reasonably fear that if they hire them, they could lose work authorization in six months. Same with schools.

Down the road, if massive work authorization loss happens and deportations start, we could see increase in Asylum claims, as Jason Dzubow argued last December (post ), as long as a much larger need for housing support and quasi-sponsorship or dependency relationships.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Uproar looks like it could "replace" Town in 2018


After the fundraiser (Tupperware party) for LGBT Fallen Heroes at Town Sunday night, I did visit the Uproar on Florida Ave in Washington D.

The deck on the third floor has been expanded, but not all of it was open.  Part of the deck is open-air with views of a nearby bar (is that the Chaos? I’m not sure.) 

The deck was packed on a Sunday night on a holiday weekend.  Yup, the crowd tended to be cis-male.

The second level has the plasma TV, and the first level is more like a typical bar.

But the overall feel of the place is like the Therapy in New York City.  The bar has a NYC feel to it (especially Hell’s Kitchen).'

The place could become a partial replacement for Town when it closes July 1 2018 as the upstairs deck looks good for dancing.

The music came from the 70s and 80s. 

Sunday, September 03, 2017

First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC publishes inclusion policy


The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC will pass out a Discernment Card to church members on Sept. 24, 2017.

Here is the text:

“The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC welcomes people of every race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical and mental ability, national origin, economic station and political ideology to full participation in the life of the church.

“’Full participation in the life of our community’ includes all members, without exception, being fully eligible to participate in the ordinances, blessings, benefits and responsibilities of church membership – including communion, baptism, marriage, ordination, parent/child dedications, and all offices and positions of leadership.

“Any individual member’s ‘full participation in the life of our community’ does not bind any other member’s conscience on an issue about which they may differ, but rather requires honest commitment of life together in the commitment to life together in the community of Christ regardless of differences.

“We re-commit ourselves to conscious efforts to feel Christ’s welcome in our congregation, including those with whom we disagree.” 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Asylum seekers in the Bay Area; Chechnyan transgender asylum seeker smuggled into US; Trump complicates green cards


The East Bay Express has a story about LGBT asylum seekers obtaining assistance, including housing hosting, in the San Francisco Bay area (with among the highest housing costs in the nation).  The link is here.  A number of them are from Russia.

There is also a narrative of a transgender asylum seeker fr Chechnya who was smuggled across the border from Mexico, in a Washington Post story by Adam Taylor, here.   Getting involved in bringing someone into the country “illegally” is not something that can be recommended out of prudence.  Maybe this is the “Rich Young Ruler” problem, having too much to lose.

The Trump administration has added a personal interview requirement for most green card applications, which could complicate the process for many asylum seekers, who face waiting periods before eligibility and may depend on the financial support of others to stay in the country (story). 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Colorado baker who shut down bakery over "religious freedom" says he's lost 40% of family income; regulation of small business cuts both ways; Nashville Statemet


The owner of a wedding cake bakery in Colorado claims he has lost 40% of his family income and most of his employees after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission told him to stop selling cakes or to sell to all wedding couples as a public accommodation. The owner Jack Phillips stopped selling cakes.  The Washington Times has the story here.

Um, this is the whole “religious freedom” thing.  You wonder what this means to him, that couples who don’t follow the procreation model have such a psychological effect on “normally married” people.  Everyone shares in potential responsibility for future generations?
  
But it’s dangerous for government to regulate a small business this way, too.  What if I had to make my self-published books available in braille to sell them at all?  This sort of thing goes both ways.

Vox (Teresa Isabella Burton) has published a long article about a gathering of evangelicals (the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, ERLC) and its Nashville Statement, which if you open the site, is pretty manipulative to the visitor. They expect visitors to sign it? Evangelicals have gotten "better" on some other things, like condemning the alt-right.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Montrose area (LGBTQ area) of Houston flooded; will this raise housing questions?


HRC has a blog post “How to Help Texas Today”, link here

There is a Montrose fund for the LGBT community in Houston.  It corresponds to Cedar Springs in Dallas, which I know very well.  A YouTube video shows that the Montrose area is heavily flooded.  I visited it many times in the 1980s.  I don't think it's "that close" to a bayou as I remember, so it should drain earlier (if I have my geography right).  I do wonder how well organized the tavern and bar owners are to help each other out.  Caven was a big owner of clubs in Texas when I lived there in the 1980s.  

  

The question naturally comes up, will there be housing requests, similar to what we have seen with asylum seekers, especially from other cities in Texas, and maybe farther away.  How would they be coordinated?  Single people may be more likely to want to move permanently than large families.  

I wonder if Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) could have housed evacuees.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Outright published Arab Mass Media report on LGBTQ rights in the Middle East


Outright has published an online pamphlet “Arab Mass Media”, “A Monitoring Report Looking at Sexuality and Gender Identity in Arabic Media from 2014 to 2017”, link here

The report separates gender identity and intersex issues and notes that international bodies on human rights have been slow to recognize these, in comparison to the more familiar issues of sexuality for cis-gender people.

The PDF for the main report is here

Thursday, August 24, 2017

White House issues guidelines on "transgender ban" to Pentagon


The White House has set guidelines for how Trump’s “transgender ban” in the military will proceed.
   
The key points seem to be that people who say they are transgender cannot enlist, and that Mattis can remove active duty transgender troops who are not deployable,  Further, it appears that sexual reassignment surgery will not be provided. 

It’s important to remember that transgender troops are deployed today and usually do not run into issues.  Maybe unusual, but sometimes female-to-male transgender persons match men in physical capabilities, even to the point that professional sports would be possible.  And Kristin Beck served as a Navy Seal as a male but did reassignment surgery after retirement (which does not seem to create objection now with the GOP).  


Several transgender military members have sued already, and more litigation is expected.

Gordon Lubold reports in the Wall Street Journal here. The report indicates that Trump’s tweet was motivated by the fact that enlistment of transgender people had been set to start July 1, 2017.  

The ban does not affect cis-gender gay troops, some of whom I know are deployed now (personally).  And so far, no casualties.



Update: Aug. 29

The Palm Center has published a papers, explaining (1) that Mattis's discretion to retain transgender soldiers is much less than reported and (2) how the trans policy is "worse than DADT: (Slate).

But later today Mattis announced formation of a panel to determine transgender readiness guidance (CNN).  Vox (Alex  Ward) reports that Mattis has until Feb 21, 2018 to figure out the rules for combat readiness and that the full policy goes into effect March 23, 2018.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Company offers spyware to parents to spot gay teens, claiming it protects the family's "continuation" into the future


An article in “Newownext” by Dan Avery reports that a French spyware company wants to sell social media monitoring software to parents to predict whether a son is gay, link

The company boldly says this is step that a family must take to guarantee its survival and lineage. 

 “The sexual orientation of your children” is “responsible for the continuation of your family.”

The article shows a particularly attractive lean white male teen as a cover draw.
  
I was an only child so this was indeed a big deal for my own parents.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Uganda police cancel Pride 2017 in the country out of vigilantism


Pride Uganda 2017 was cancelled after careful and determined planning, after persistent police threats. The Kuchu Times has a detailed statement here. A good example of the heckler's veto. 
  
The statement reports that police were concerned about security and could not protect the festival because “sexual minorities have no rights” as specific groups in Uganda, even if the aggressive laws have softened a bit. 
  
By User: (WT-shared) Tending at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, August 12, 2017

More LGBT asylum seekers from Central America; transgender military ban halted by North Korean situation


The Washington Blade, in a story by Michael J. Lavers,  is reporting the entry of at least sixteen LGBT (some are trans) asylum seekers from Central America who came through Mexico and arrived at the border at Nogales.  It is not clear yet how they will be assisted, whether they would go to detention or be housed somewhere.  It’s not completely clear yet if Trump’s various EO’s matter. This blog had discussed the idea of parole form detention here April 1.



The Blade also reports (story by Karen Ocamb)  that the implementation of Trump’s tweeted transgender ban in the military has been put on hold because of “the threat of nuclear war with North Korea”.  On July 29, I had written a Wordpress blog posting suggesting that Trump’s transgender ban could make him look bad in facing North Korea.  Trump had written his notorious tweet two days before DPRK’s second ICBM test and I wrote this blog posting a couple more days after.  

Jennifer Williams, a "trans Republican" has a perspective on the trans ban here (published by Log Cabin Republicans). 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Baltimore Transgender Alliance creates a hosting network for homeless trans


The Baltimore Transgender Alliance has created a group called HostHome, a “network of guests, hosts and patrons”, according to a story by Steve Charing in the Washington Blade here. 

The group apparently has some interest in raising money for group homes.  Apparently there are individual hosts, but it was not clear from the article that it asks for hosts, by comparison with DC Center Global and asylum seekers.
  

Here’s the group’s Facebook page

The Baltimore Sun has hosted one of the group’s podcasts, here

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Trump instructs on transgender attrition from military; Outwrite Book Fair in Washington DC


The Trump administration has passed some guidance down on transgender soldiers, saying they will not be allowed to reenlist, and officers must leave when their commissions expire. Lambda Legal has announced it is about to file legal action, as in this story today

Rumors about this outcome were circulating today as I attended the 2017 Outwrite LGBT Book Fair at the DC Center in Washington DC.  I’ve given some details on my Book Reviews blog today.  Transgender-related (and gender fluidity themes seemed more in evidence this year than last, when I had an exhibit with my “Do Ask Do Tell” series.  Yet, culturally, the transgender and fluid community circulates rather separately from the cis-male world of a lot of dance floors (so it seemed last night at Town).

I believe that Center Global would have held its monthly meeting at noon (I was there around 1 PM) but there was not discussion while I was there of asylum and hosting  I have not been able to work out a plan to assist with that so far this year, and may sell my inherited trust house, as I have explained on other posts.  This year, I did not set up a table for my “Do Ask Do Tell” books as I had in 2016.
Canada has started accepted refugees from Chechnya (maybe these are really asylum seekers), story.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Former CEO of Rentboy gets 6 months in prison; judge noted he had done good works with his illegal income


Jeffrey Hurant, former CEO of “Rentboy.com”  (link is for legal defense fund; the site no longer operates and domain name is for sale), has been sentenced to six months in prison in federal court in Brooklyn, for promoting prostitution.  But the judge admitted, in somewhat libertarian fashion, that Hurant had done considerable good for the gay community in fighting AIDS and HIV with safe-sex education and had often cooperated with law enforcement in other matters.


Here' is the CBS News story

The story reminds one of the controversy over Backpage, which has been used in heterosexual trafficking.  Bills in Congress (reported on my BillBoushka blog yesterday) could make websites and web service providers share more downstream liability, carving out Section 230 exceptions.  This could indirectly affect amateur reporting on gay issues like everything else.



Milo Yiannopoulos has reported a brutal beating of white teens in Quincy MA which was filmed on a cellphone without a 911 call.  This might be a gay bashing.  Here is his link. I have sent this story on to ABC7News. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Conversation about LGBT asylum seekers; day trip into gay Trumpland


Sunday night I did enjoy a salmon dinner at Freddie’s, a regular AGLA social event.  I did have a conversation with someone who told me he was interning at DC Center, and his duties included working with Center Global.

I did say that I considered hosting in am inherited Arlington VA home, but that in the suburban circumstances more removed from regular volunteer help in DC (like around Logan Circle, etc), anyone would probably become a dependent.  There are legal questions as to a host’s responsibilities and possible liabilities, which need to be looked at first; and a private meeting that could have adequately explored these has never taken place.  A new call for hosts was linked here July 19.

I am in the process of considering selling the inherited trust house, so right now my own participation in hosting is not possible.


Today, I made a day trip to Solomon’s Island and had lunch at the Kingfishers  which I had heard about at AGLA.  The town appeared to have some LGBT residents and homeowners, but yet was conservative.  After lunch, I drove around and I met an older woman near the museum and got into a conversation about Trump right after my iPhone beeped Scaramucci’s firing.  She supported Trump, and felt that Obama had let North Korea build its missles right under his nose.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sessions and DOJ exclude GLBT protection from Civil Rights Act in 2nd Circuit arguments


The Department of Justice, under beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has told the 2nd Circuit that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act only protects individuals in most employment and housing issues from discrimination because of biological gender, not sexual orientation.  That is in conflict with guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Obama’s leadership.
   
Larry Neumeister has an AP Story in the Washington Post here

We will hear the old canard that the DOJ is applying the letter of the law, Gorsuch-like.  Perhaps.  And the case would appear to apply to so-called “religious freedom” laws, as well as bathroom bills and some public school issues. 

Actually, you could make a logical case that the law applies to transgender if you accept the idea that transgender has a biological basis (which is almost certainly true). 



But on the religious freedom bills, we’re left back to wondering what religious employers or churches really want to accomplish with their discrimination, beyond the shallow arguments about textual literalism (or for Catholics, protecting a celibate priesthood under attack from all the abuse cases).  It seems to have something to do with a fear that men are getting less interested in getting married and having children at all.  That sounds like what Putin fears. Try this article

But if the courts agree with Sessions, there can be more pressure in Congress to resume debate on ENDA.

HRC's account is here

In other news, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN say they will sue if the Pentagon starts to discharge existing transgender service members.  I have a feeling that the only action taken by the Pentagon may be to stop paying for sexual reassignment treatment, but even that might get challenged legally.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

AGLA and SAGE sponsor information forum in Arlington VA for on housing for gay seniors


Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance an SAGE, Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders, sponsored an information forum at the Arlington Mill community center on Columbia Pike Wednesday night, July 26.

The presenter, a PhD (I didn’t get the name) went over all the terminology, especially for transgender, fluid, and intersex. 

She also went over what gay life was life pre-Stonewall and said younger gay adults (as in the discos) had no clue as to the sacrifices that had preceded them. 

  

There was a general impression in the audience, and especially in the remarks from Bruce Hightower, that outside the Beltway and a few large cities, LGBT seniors tend to hide when living in senior centers and are at best ignored as to their social needs.  The presenter talked about setting up communal housing spaces in about 15 cities, many in the Midwest and south.  She said there were more proportionally more families raising children headed by older same-sex couples in the South than in other parts of the country.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump tweets an absolute ban (EO) on transgender in the military, from his personal "realDonaldTrump" Twitter account


Donald Trump just announced, in a series of three tweets, that transgender people may not servce in the United States military in any capacity.  The tweets cite tremendous military costs (not really true) and disruption (not really true either) and claim he consulted with Mattis.  Trey Yingst of OANN has embedded the tweets at this link

Here is the text: “ After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming. .victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”  There are reports that sexual reassignment surgery costs the military about $2.4 million per case (Rand) which sounds excessive as an estimate. 

It's noteworthy that Trump tweeted what amounts to an EO by the Commander in Chief from his personal twitter account first (rather than the POTUS account, where the tweets do not [yet] appear). 

The announcement would appear to require the discharge of openly transgender soldiers now. There are between 4000-6000 transgender people on active duty right now (maybe that includes reserves and NG).  Some observers say the discharges cannot happen until the services formally rewrite new policies. 


It does not appear that the announcement applies to cis-gender gay troops, and the repeal from 2011 still stands. But cis-gender gay troops don’t require any accommodation (they must remain fit for duty by ordinary military medical standards).   I am aware of one gay person, in the Army, officer grade, deployed to Afghanistan now.  

It is not clear why Trump did not wait for Mattis’s review to be completed in January 2018. 

Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade has a story here.  The Washington Post now has a detailed story by Abby Phillip and and Thomas Gibbons-Neff. 
  
Kristin Beck (“Lady Valor”), a transgender woman (female-to-male) had been a Navy Seal and is viewed as capable of public office in the defense area given her detailed knowledge (but only as a civilian employee).  She did not start transition until after completion of service.  In 1993, radio interviewer Scott Peck presented a woman who had left the Navy after 15 years to undergo transition and was rehired into the same Naval intelligence position as a civilian analyst with the same clearances.  There are reports that the Navy Seals are allowing one woman to join now (the film “G.I. Jane” from 1997).

Perhaps the narrative of Chelsea Manning has left a bad impression.

The tweet could pose a question for Selective Service Registration, which right now requires registration according to original gender (story).   Trump’s order did not consider this immediate complication. There has been some talk of (and actually a bill) forcing women to register for Selective Service, so that would implicitly include transgender. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Scaramucci says he has supported gay rights


Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House Communications Director, says he has donated to gay rights causes, as in a story by Chris Johnson today in the Washington Blade, link

The story circulated on Twitter in the middle of the day today, shortly before Trump’s press conference, while the Senate was huddling on its health care fiasco.


Scaramucci has said he will fire leakers, which is not an issue particularly relevant to gay issues.
  
There is increased concern in the gay male community how potential Obamacare  “repeal” bills will affect coverage for Truvalda.  I’m told that more younger men are taking it regularly than I had thought. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Congresswoman Susan Davis, three other Reps, sued for flying Pride flag in congressional offices


California congresswoman Susan Davis has run an op-ed in Cosmopolitan over her flying a rainbow Pride flag outside her office and the lawsuit against her for doing so, link

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the lawsuit in federal district court in Washington DC maintains that homosexuality is somehow a “religion”, a ridiculous and frivolous assertion. Three other Congresspersons are also included in the complaint.

I got a press release on her op-ed by email today.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Unite Virginia with (Q Virginia) offers glossy magazine on gay weddings in the Old Dominion


At an AGLA social at the Hilton Garden Inn in Alexandria, VA, I picked up a glossy issue of “Q Virginia” aka “Unite Virginia” (June 3), Jun 2017.  The inside front cover calls itself “The Q Guidebook 2017-2017”.

Most of the issue is devoted to gay weddings in Virginia. On p. 6, publisher Justin Ayars offers his own letter, followed by an editorial “WhyQ Weddings?” by Jesse LaVancher. 

Later there is a QA page by Gretchen Gales, and then two book reviews.  One of these is for “Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise” by Elizabeth E. Schwartz and Jim Obergefell (Afterword), review y Terri Schlicjenmeyer, who then reviews “The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Infleunce, and one more review of “Raising the Transgender Child” by Dr. Michele Angello and Alisa Bowman.


On p. 50 Mr. Ayars offers an exclusive interview with Gavin Grimm.  I did get an inquiry to do this myself by email (which led to a discussion about press credentials).   

Soon I will review the massive book by Nathaniel Frank, “Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America”.

The May 2017 AGLA News has a piece by Andrew Huggins on “Three Ways to Use Social Media to Spread Your Message”  The third point challenges the writer to ask himself “So what?” or “Who cares?”  That may relate to activism, or to publications (or blogs) that are directed to specific populations and not as “general commentary”.  Note AGLA’s anti-bullying link.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gay pastor from Nigeria visits Foundry Methodist in Washington


Michael Lavers reports on the visit of a gay Nigerian minister to Foundry United Methodist Church near Dupont Circle in Washington DC in the Blade, story here. 

The pastor is Rev. Jide Macaulay, who has also led a “straight” married life and produced a son.
    
He had also two men from South Africa in his home in London, when he was introduced to MCC London (which I attended once, in 1982).

He described the deteriorating climate in many sub-Saharan African countries since the middle 2000’s when Nigeria passed its vitriolic anti-gay law, prohibiting gays from meeting, disguised as an anti-gay marriage law. He described a world of violence and kidnappings. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DC Center Global publishes new call for housing assistance


DC Center Global has posted, effective early July 13, another request for hosting housing assistance in the Washington DC area. The details are in this post on the Facebook page here (or here on the DC Center site).  Similar stories had appeared in the Washington Blade and were reported here in August and October 2016.

I have considered the possibility of hosting, but at the present time I am considering the possibility of selling the inherited trust house that I am in.  This could mean relocation out of the DC area this fall. 

 I will need to examine this opportunity thoroughly before I could look at hosting activities again.  It is discussed on my main blog (“BillBoushka” on the Blogger profile) on July 5, 2017.  I can’t really say anything further right now about this, but I will inform everyone of my plans as various issues are resolved in the next two months or so.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fairfax County Public Schools Pride holds picnic; many local political candidates ask for support


Fairfax County Public Schools Pride held a picnic I Vienna Virginia today in Nottoway Park in Vienna VA south of Tysons.


There were many speakers discussing local elections including school board.  There was frank discussion of the need for partisanship and conventional activism, including door-to-door.  There is a transgender candidate for the House of Delegates.

There are more video clips on Wordpress here.
Update: July 24

Candidate Danica Roem is challenging Republican Robert Marshall for a northern Virginia seat int he House of Delegates, story

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Do No Harm Act" would pretty much nullify RFRA


Lambda Legal describes a “Do No Harm” Act proposed by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), which would mediate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by not allowing denial of goods and services in public accommodations or imposition of religious beliefs by businesses open to the public.

It would narrow the circumstances where the RFRA could be used.

And the Washington Blade reports that Jeff Sessions will walk a tightrope on issuing DOJ policy on how religious freedom may be claimed by businesses.



In the meantime, the Trump administration has had almost nothing to say about LGBT issues, although it maintains that they do not need specialized focus from the White House.

On the other hand, Lambda Legal also noted a few potential Trump appointees with past statements wanting the ability to roll back gay marriage and even sodomy law repeal at the constitutional level.
 
Private organizations and generally mainstream faith groups (doing missions, summer camps, etc)  have gradually adjusted to the idea of gay equality among emerging adults, although trans is more difficult.  Mainstream churches are more likely to look at the behavior of international charities.  One church dissociated itself from World Vision and picked a different charity for its 30 hour famine events.  And, for example, I know of gay teens in Eagle Scouts without any difficulties.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

MO Hartzler introduces bill to ban transition care for transgender troops; House narrowly votes it down


Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), following her rant about LGBT people in the military (not just trans) has introduced a bill or amendment denying transition care to transgender troops. The text for the amendment is here.

The Blade has a story by Chris Johnson. 
  
HRC’s story and petition by AaronRodriquez is here.



The Washington Post weighed in on Mattis’s delay on implementing accession to transgender recruits Wednesday here. Mattis understandably needs a laser focus on North Korea right now. 

Update:

Lambda Legal reports that the measure is coming up for a vote.

Update: July 14

The House narrowly rejected Hartzler's amendment to the Defense Authorization Act, Blade story

Friday, July 07, 2017

Could Union Market be a good stable location for a replacement for Town DC in 2018?


A walk through Union Market in Washington DC, NE, near the NOMA Metro stop and near the Amtrak train lines, showed me a lot of possible space for a new club after Town closes on July 1. 2018.

There are lots of industrial buildings.  It looks like there is open-air parking.

So maybe this is a logical place for Town to look. You'd have to add security and make sure parking was sufficient and open all night.

The area is remarkable for being low-rise and industrial in a city of high density and high rentals.  It has the look of similar industrial areas in Queens of NYC (as around Jamaica or Long Island City).

Gallaudet University is nearby.

I was there today at the Angelika Pop-Up, which I think is supposed to expand.

The Blade has an op-ed about Town's future and gentrification, here.  See the comments.