Sunday, May 28, 2017

Racism in the LGBTQ community: the boundary between organizational and personal is vague


Leadership of Capital Pride has been addressing the concerns of minority groups, especially “No Justice No Pride” (May 8), and Lou Chibarro, Jr. has a detailed and balanced article on their concerns in the Washington Blade for Memorial Day weekend, “Confronting racism in the LGBT community”, here.

The most remarkable sentence includes the language “…unless you are intentional in addressing the people of color and other minority groups, you are likely catering to the same white, cisgender, middle and upper class gay men…”   I encountered this sentiment when I moved into New York City in 1974, at the GAA Firehouse on Wooster Street in those days, and later at the Ninth Street Center, a little less so at Identity House.  This idea can operate at both levels, the organizational, and (as I recall from a broader youth sermon at an Arlington church from someone very cis) the “very personal”.

I think that organizations as a whole are quite responsive to various groups in the community.  This goes for HRC, but especially the DC Center, which has many specific social outreach programs (for example, to trans and the elderly).  But, as Nancy Pelosi once said, “Democrats are capitalists”.  Democratic capitalism has been our best system, but for some people, it comes out as elitist. We need corporations (even Trump’s own if he wants to come) in Pride.

It is certainly true, though, that as Washington DC (now the troubled NE part especially, as the area around the Eagle) gets gentrified, the poor people get driven out.

It's at a personal level that it gets challenging. As a gay male, my own tastes as to what is “interesting” are very narrow, and based on notions inherited from a segregated past.  Does this matter in the bigger stage?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Covert hate groups of lawyers infiltrate Trump administration and some state, watch group claims


Who has heard of this group, Alliance Defending Freedom, as described in “Media Matters”?
 
There are subsidiary groups of Allied Attorneys and the Blackstone Fellowships that support “Christian” lawyers, so to speak.

There is a community website with no public content which would seem a little suspicious.

Media Matters claims that some are serving in the Trump administration and various states.  But does their activity go beyond the fringe groups and the “Hobby Lobby” crowd?   Let the market dictate how credible they are?

One Facebook friend notes that the “bathroom bills” came about as a fantasy on the Right, that really could pay attention to more real terror and security threats.  Remember in 2004 when Santorum wanted to pass an anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment and Feinstein criticized him for ignoring the anti-terrorism bill.

Picture: Pride sign in Frederick, MD (left side of photo)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

At Notre Dame, graduating students walk out on Mike Pence


At a conservative Catholic university in Indiana, many students at graduation walked out when Vice President Mike Pence spoke today, as in this NPR story and video.

The school is Notre Dame.  Canadian actor Richard Harmon (“Judas Kiss”) is known to follow the Fighting Irish football team .

Pence is notorious for having proposed conversion therapy as a way to meet AIDS back in 2000.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Some transgender people can sue under ADA, judge rules; "It gets better" comes under fire


Although this is not a judicial result that one wants to use to encourage overuse or “pimping” of disability in court, a federal court in Philadelphia, with judge Joseph Gleeson, has ruled that a transgender individual may file complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act in some circumstances.  The plaintiff was Kate Lynn Blatt, and the Washington Blade story today is by Chris Johnson, link.

 The ruling considers some forms of dysphoria as legitimate disabilities.  This might include body dysmorphia, for example.

The Blade provided the PDF of the opinion.

The Blade also reports that the idea of “It Gets Better”, which even Ellen deGeneres has promoted, has come under criticism as appropriate as an answer for all LGBTQ bullying

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LDS church pulls older teens out of Boy Scouts, half-heartedly denies it is about gay issues


The Mormon church (LDS) seems to be backsliding on the whole LGBTQ question, even if the church denies it.  It is separating older teens from the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts and forming its own separate scouting group.

On Hubpages. Ralph Schwartz gives a detailed history here.

The BSA gradually reversed its policies (first for members and then leaders) after winning its legal case in the Supreme Court in 2000 on libertarian grounds – because of corporate and community pressures.   A lot of people in the Cato crowd liked it turning out this way.  I know of at least one gay teen in Virginia who became prominent in scouting.

The LDS used to be one of the prime supporters of BSA.



The BSA also recently accepted transgendered people recently.

This is quite a change from the 1980s when the BSA, located in Irving TX along Highway 183 as I remember, actually showed up at IT job fairs with jobs for programmers, and living there at the time, I felt wary.

LDS theology goes beyond the familiar evangelical interest in the “natural family” to speak of eternal marriage in the hereafter.  So the LDS church sees openness and dedication to procreation as a moral imperative, connected to eligibility for its version of heaven.  From the viewpoint of more recent writings in quantum physics and cosmology, there seems to be something to the idea that “distributed consciousness” does exist in nature with other animals (like social insects) and is connected to familial relationships.  It’s hard to grasp this in relation to the “I-ness” of individual life on Earth.

Picture: Salt Lake Temple taken by my father in the late 1920s.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TrumpCare could remove affordable PrEP for many MSM, especially low income and minorities


Huffington Post has a rather alarming story about “TrumpCare” (so to speak) and HIV prevention, by Spenser Mestel.

Essentially because of the mentality that among gay men this is “behavior based”  need(as George Will once said) there will be a lot of pressure to allow insurance companies not to cover it.  And those thrown off insurance and likely to wind up with infection will be more likely to be minority and low income men.


 
Note the tone of the article, in terms of ending HIV once and for all.  PrEP is supposed to prevent infection.

Monday, May 08, 2017

"No Justice No Pride" seems quite aggressive in demands that Pride marches not admit police, corporations during the Age of Trump


Stephanie Higgins provides a vimeo from a group “No Justice No Pride”, in Spanish “Sim Justicis no hay  Orgullo” from Phoenix.


Sin Justicia No Hay Orgullo / No Justice No Pride from Stephanie Figgins on Vimeo.

The group wants Pride celebrations to deny corporations and police to march.

The video points out that Stonewall as actually started by two trans people, not cis males. It also talks about deportations

The group has a page on Facebook here.

And there in Phoenix the group was able to shut down the Phoenix Pride march, according to this report.

The group has a meeting at the Washington Peace Center on Constitution Avenue, story.

I found Lou Chibarro’s story on the group in the print edition page 1 May 5 but could not find the individual story separately.

Update: May 16, 2017

The Washington Blade has an op-ed by Mark Lee on the issue.

By Zarxos - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Private "Christian" colleges still fire people for pro-gay speech; Kentucky judge won't hear gay adoption cases


A few private “Christian” colleges have followed aggressive policies dismissing staff who support gay rights (especially gay marriage) even “off the job”.  The New York Daily News reports on Intervarsity.  And the Moorfield Storey Institute has a story on Montreat College near Asheville, NC,

But it has always been common for private “Christian” schools to maintain that sexuality should be reserved for procreation in marriage, as part of some collective scheme to get everyone to belong to a natural family that survives into the afterlife (Heaven).  If some people don’t go along, that weakens things for everyone else in their families, so the thinking used to go. It really is about procreation.

And there is a case of a family court judge in Kentucky who won’t hear gay adoption cases at all, even for legally married couples (Daily News).  Would “religious freedom” let him opt out?  But it seems self-contradictory:  one of the objections to homosexuality has always been the circular idea of avoiding responsibility for having to raise kids (and propagate the family).  The judge claims people who engage in homosexual sex “cannot help children”.

The Washington Blade reports that governors in both Tennessee and Alabama have signed bills which would allow religiously-based adoption agencies to refuse legally married gay couples to be considered without losing state funding, link

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Trump's religious freedom EO appears to have removed language on LGBT people or religious beliefs on homosexuality


Early today, as president Trump said “We are a nation of believers” and “But not only are we a nation of faith, we are a nation of tolerance” on the day of prayer, as he prepared to sign a “religious freedom” Executive Order, the Internet was reproducing February drafts of the EO, apparently influenced by VP Pence. Salon has an article three days ago reproducing the language such as “believes, speaks, or acts (or declines to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life”  One problem with this order is logic:  some people are born with markers for both sexes (intersex).  So the language would have defied existing biology, despite itself.
 
But it also begs the question why some religious people want the sexual lives of others (besides their own spouses) to be their business.  In any case, sometimes the consequences for some people are real. They have been so for me (William and Mary).

The Investigative Fund had published a photo PDF of the February EO draft here.

 But Trump’s remarks focused on the Johnson Amendment  and his desire to allow religious organizations to participate as groups in the political process.

The Washington Post came out with the breaking news story on the EO, maintaining that it does not include specific anti-LGBT language, and the Washington Blade reported that the EO will affect churches, not LGBT people explicitly.

I do have an issue when churches want to speak for members, or employers want to do, or when any group tries to recruit is people to deliver its collective political agenda rather than encourage independent thinking.

The order apparently will include closely held for-profit groups run by religious groups (like some film companies).
 
We’re still waiting to see the final EO text;  the White House is a bit slow with this.

Update: 

Here is the text of the order.

HRC, however, plays devil's advocate with this analysis.  It's hard to imagine a clerical worker, not using her own name, believing that her religion would not allow her to do her job once she had taken it. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Equality Act: Trump's anticipated religious freedom order


HRC has a petition supporting the Equality Act, link following a major news story about its introduction. Today 31 states lack civil rights protection on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

As for the Executive Order regarding “religious freedom”, here’s an older letter on the topic sent to Trump on February 1   HRC has a petition on the matter here.   Politico reports Trump will sign the XO Thursday. Would the order apply to religious groups that receive federal funds?  That’s the scary part.

On the refugee issue, most of the mainstream faith-based social services agencies (based on Protestant or Catholic churches) seem to be fine in handling LGBT refugees.  The administration could argue that some narrower religious groups do help provide services to their own people and must be allowed the freedom.  In practice, the order is very unlikely to affect GLBT Americans.

There have been a few issues though with a few charities.  One local church broke ties with World Vision in supervising youth group “famines” for hunger because of reported ties to anit-gay efforts in Africa.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Major symposium on LGBTQ rights overseas soon; asylum cases win; more science on intersex


The Center for Strategic and International Studies presents a symposium on May 17, “The Economic and Security Dimensions of Protecting LGBT Rights”, announcement here.

Center Global announced April 30 that three asylum seekers had been granted asylum, two from Uganda and one from India.

In the Health and Science section of the Washington Post Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Karly Domb Sadof has an article on intersex people and how one was treated in the Ukraine (as a “zoo animal”).

Let's bear in mind a Washington Blade opinion piece that this year we will not have "Pride as usual".  There is a picture of 1976 Pride.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

More squashing of free speech by the Gay Left? Out and about


Freedom of speech seems to be a growing problem in “power structures” of the gay establishment.
 
Consider Bryan Pruitt’s article on the Red State Blog, saying that the whole mess in North Carolina was hot air in search of a problem (rather like gay libertarian Peter Thiel’s remarks at the RNC) here.

That led to Washington DC’s Capital Pride festival to demand his resignation as an event organizer, as explained in a complicated Blade story by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.   Pruitt may sound conservative and not overly sympathetic, but the tone of his article is a lot tamer than anything by Milo.

Tonight on “United Shades of America” on CNN, Kamau Bell (black) interviewed a trans person at Casa Ruby in Washington DC, which she said has helped several hundred LGBT immigrants (she didn’t say refugees or asylum seekers or get into the difference).  Later in the broadcast Kamau visited a potluck in Arlington VA organized for African refugees by a woman from Ethiopia (there is an Ethiopian art gallery in Old Town Alexandria).

Today, in a day trip in Virginia, I did eat at a fast food restaurant where I believe the shift supervisor is a female-to-male trans person.  This is more everyday than a lot of people realize

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Asylum Seeker Assistance Project holds fundraiser in suburban Maryland; more answers coming


I rather played hooked on the Climate Change march today, having gone to the March for Science last weekend, as I went to a reception in Bethesda, MS for ASAP, a new NGO, “Asylum Seeker Assistance Project”.   The event today was called “Together We Rise”.    DC Center Global was there.

I’ll comment more on my own involvement in the future, as it is still not certain.  I did speak to two attorneys, Jason Dzubow (“The Asylumist”) and Lindsay Harris, Assistant Law Professor of the University of the District of Columbia.  The law of the responsibilities for potential hosts for asylum seekers is not very well developed or specified in the United States, and tends to fall on personal values about risk v. responsibility, and access to social capital.  But there is a sense that maybe the purchase of shelters is a promising direction, and Maryland may be a better jurisdiction than Virginia or the District of Columbia.

Last night I visited “Post Cherry” at Town, after riding up the Green Line from Nationals Park, where I watched the Nats lose a game to the Mets upon returning home.  Major League Baseball can set an example with its openness to immigrant players.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

House introduces anti-conversion therapy bill; more on Safe Havens for youth and school censorship


Ted Lieu (D-CA) and others have introduced a “Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017”, (borrowed from the Senate as S. 928) allowing the FTA to classify “conversion therapy” as fraudulent.  LGBTQ people were born “perfect”, a Washington Post headline reads on April 27.

Lambda Legal has released a report (“Safe Havens”) on inadequate care of LGBTQ (especially transgender) youth in various kinds of care here
 
The National Coalition Against Censorship has also demanded an apology from a Tennessee school district over a takedown of a student’s pro GLBT art.

Monday, April 24, 2017

GLSEN National Day of Silence; Idaho on birth certificates


Lambda Legal reports here on GLSEN’s recent “Day of Silence”  to combat anti-LGBT bullying, link here.  The observation seems to be limited to students, but would demand people “shut up” to show solidarity.
 
Lambda Legal also announces that it is suing the state of Idaho for refusing to allow transgender people (minors) to change their legal gender on birth certificates.  In fact, many states attempting “bathroom bills” have allowed such changes and insist that the bathroom use match the certificate.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Texas considers clone of NC HB2 "pseudo-repeal" which is worse; Cherry circuit party in DC


The Washington Blade, in an article by Chris Johnson, is reporting that Texas is considering a bill modeled after North Carolina’s HB2 “repeal”.  There is a curious irony in this. The Texas bill. HB2899 would bar any city or county from adopting any anti-discrimination law based on any invented “protected class” not already recognized by state (or federal) law.  That would effectively nullify LGBT discrimination (with regard to employment and housing) bills in many cities like Dallas and Houston. But on the surface the bill sounds benign and abstract, since it does not specifically mention gender identity or bathroom use.  This parallels what happened in North Carolina.  The bill is also an alternative to the more specific Senate Bill 6.



I used to live in Dallas (1979-1988) and things have come a long way – in the big cities. The Dallas Voice has its story on the bill here.



I finally got around to looking into the DC Cherry Circuit Party today (link).  (Is it a bit like The Saint's Black Party in the past, March 25, 2012).   Down the street I see that an after-hours party was held at Flash this morning (next to the Uproar, see March 31).   The Cherry DC weekend raises money mostly for HIV charities (Doug Rule story for Metro Weekly).  I did visit the DC9 venue for dinner, but came home.  No time for it given the events in NYC and then the March for Science all day Saturday.  Will try next year.


There was a film "Circuit" in 2000 by Dirk Shafer about the White Party in Palm Springs.


Update: May 17

Here is more from a Houston station on the situation in Texas, which Phil Chandler shared today on Facebook, as long as his own article on his Facebook page (expect to see it  on Hubpages soon).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton warns at fundraiser that Trump administration seems indifferent at best on LGBT issues


Hillary Clinton spoke at a fundraiser for the Center in New York City, where she warned that the Trump administration could roll back progress on LGBT rights, more because of his appointments than of Trump himself.  Outside of Kushner and perhaps Mattis, a number of other appointments have given some evidence of hostility in the past, even though they seem mum now.

Hillary mentioned the fact that gay men were simply pulled out of their homes in Chechnya, and that tge Russian government denies that gay people exist.  She was disappointed in the State Department’s underwhelming response. That would have been the equivalent of pulling out of home in high school because I was perceived as a “sissy”.

She also mentioned not being counted specifically in the 2020 Census or any special surveys.  (“Numbers”).  She also mentioned the Supreme Court.

The CNN story link is here. Hillary also mentioned the importance of the 2018 elections.

I was coincidentally in New York City last night for a New York Philharmonic concert.
The Washington Blade is now reporting that the policeman killed in the Champs in Paris yesterday was gay.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nebraska state supreme court strikes down antiquated ban on gay couple foster parents


The Nebraska state supreme court has struck down a rule (M-95) prohibiting gay couples from becoming foster parents.  Slate has a typical news story here
  
There is some question as to how often it as enforced, and it was obviously not constitutional once same-sex marriage became the law of the land.

The rule could matter in asylum situations.  There are agencies (like the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition) which place unaccompanied minor immigrants (usually 16 or 17) with foster families while seeking asylum, although this is obviously very challenging.
  

Wikipedia attribution link for Pine Ridge NB phot by Spencer, CCSA 2.5 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

North Carolina GOP introduces bill to snub Supreme Court, make gay marriage and civil union illegal again


Four Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill, HB 780, to try to make gay marriage illegal in North Carolina. The AOL news story is here.

The bill would also make civil unions illegal and seems to deliberately flout the Supreme Court Obergefell ruling.
 
Curiously, I haven’t yet seen the story anywhere else but AOL.



Update: April 13

The bill was called the "Uphold Traditional Marriage Act" but the latest information is that the bill will not be heard (local television report)..

Here are a few more links talking about parole from ICE detention, especially for LGBTQ


It’s dangerous when “Bill” goes on a long day trip and researches more stuff on his smart phone at lunch.  I checked further yesterday (after a moving visit to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park south of Cambridge, MD, on the Eastern Shore).  This posting follows up a posting on April 1.

One disturbing report is that the Trump EO’s, even if held up by the courts, have resulted in slowing down the release of people (especially LGBTQ) from detention.  I’m not sure everyone reports this.
I also found more links about how getting someone paroled from detention works (especially Immigration Equality and Rainbow Welcome, affiliated with a “Heartland Alliance”).

There are some specific cases that are particularly disturbing, such as transgender females held with male detainees.  (ICE has very limited facilities for transgender people, just one place in California, as I recall).

It has been my impression (and at least one Virginia laywer told me this last October) that generally someone will be released on “parole” (possibly sometimes with ankle bracelets) only to a relative or to someone who knows the person well.  This still seems to be the case, despite references to “sponsors” ("pseudo" compared to how it is handled in Canada) who would guarantee housing and other financial support..  A relative or friend (and legal US resident) would have to put up the “bond” money in most cases.

It would be a good question to wonder whether a charity could set up to provide bond money, or whether some sort of “Give Well” or “Give Direct” setup could work.  But from reading the literature it looks as though ICE wants someone who knows the person already to put up the money.

QDEP in New York City, however, seems to be leading fundraising efforts to raise parole money for specific detainees, as with this example  but it’s a good question as to whether this is repeatable on any kind of volume of people.

This is still a very complicated topic, with reputable sources giving different details as to how things really work.

I have to say that the Tubman museum visit highlights one important concept, "resistance".

Monday, April 10, 2017

Chechnya is becoming the worst place in the world for gay men


One of the most awful stories about anti-gay policies in other countries seems to come from Chechnya, a semi-autonomous part of Russia that gave us the Tsarnaev brothers.  Here’s the Daily Mail version of the torture reports.

This part of the world seems to be super combative, super warrior-class, with unassimilated radical Islam at its worst.



No doubt we’ll hear about this with asylum seekers. It's no fodder for Facebook jokes.  No, Sessions isn't going to do anything like this.

Update: April 17

OutRight has a press release urging oil companies to condemn the anti-gay raids, here.

Russia seems oblivious, seems willing to accept extra-judicial or "honor" killings in autonomous (especially Muslim) areas.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Trump appoints anti-gay state legislator as Secretary of the Army


President Donald Trump has chosen “Christian” conservative Tennessee state senator Mark Green to be Secretary of the Army, replacing the openly gay Eric Fanning.  There are multiple news stories, such as LifeSite  and the Nashville Post.

But the LifeSite article also noted at an open Lesbian (married legally to a female) was selected as commandant of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.  (I have visited the grounds twice, in 1973 and 1994).  Trump seems unaware of unconcerned about gay issues with these appointments, but not deliberately hostile.  He should check with Jared Kushner on these matters.

The HRC sent an announcement by email tonight, along with an opposition petition and a request for a $75 donation.   I gave it, but I already contribute monthly through a bank. The script didn’t seem to check who was already a contributor.

The New York Times has a story by Helene Cooper and Maggie Haberman, here.   The article is disturbing because Green recently compared gay marriage obliquely to abortion (as if avoiding procreation were a kind of backdoor abortion, which may be what he believes).

Nathaniel Frank has analysis in Slate, recommended reading by Aarom Belkin at the Palm Center. And the Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reports Green as having said that transgenderism is a disease.

It is hard to predict how he will behave with respect to the DADT repeal and more recent attempts to integrate transgender soldiers  Mattis has said he doesn’t care about soldiers’ private lives as long as it doesn’t affect the units.  Yet his book "Warriors and Citizens" suggests concern over the effect of rapidly changing social mores on military forces. Another possible area of concern could be security clearances for some civilians.


 
I do have one picture from the Food and Friends Dine Out at Freddie’s Beach Bar Thursday night.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

7th Circuit en banc rules that Federal Civil Rights law protects LGBTQ in the context of sex discrimination


The  Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Chicago, ruled, 8-3, that sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace does violate federal civil rights law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act  ) as it is a form of sex discrimination.  The Indianapolis Star has one of the most detailed accounts of the opinions, the majority written by Diane Wood.   The case involved South Bend IB resident Kimberly Hively and her employment dispute at a tech college.  Judge Richard Posner argued differently in a concurring opinion, as he talked about interpretive context (as if to weigh in on the Gorsuch nomination, or to bulletproof the decision from a more "orginalist" court).

This en banc decision reverses a previous 2-1 loss;  here is the Opinion at Lambda Legal.

As this conflicts with a ruling from the 11th Circuit, (Atlanta) it is likely to wind up in the Supreme Court with a 5-4 “conservative” majority, but Kennedy and maybe Roberts could be hard to predict.
CNN has a similar story here

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Transgender exhibit greets Baltimore Light City show


Transgendered people put on a show at Light City in Baltimore tonight.



The exhibit stretched out at the entrance on Light Street. 

There are more than 2 genders.  Maybe 32, according to Rosenfles.

Of course, gender fluidity means there is a contnuum. 

I did walk into the Drinkery, which has a history. 

I bought a newspaper at the ex-Hippo, now a CVS store.

I paid a visit to Grand Central, which celebrates its 25 anniversary.
/

And here’s the “Bigotry Bus” (free speech?) story.  

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Immigrants' right group discusses detention for LGBT people at meeting in Washington DC today



Today, DC Center Global for the LGBT Community in Washington DC held a meeting that included a 90-minute presentation with QA by Kathryn M. Doan, Executive Director of Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR).

I had mentioned the organization and my previous knowledge of it in a posting on my own “footnotes blog” March 29 here.

The focus of the group was people in detention.  Someone who tells immigration he or she fears returning after expiration of a visa or on entry is usually placed in detention.  There are no detention facilities in the District of Columbia, but there are two in Virginia (Farmville and one near Williamsburg) and three in Maryland (Frederck, Ellicott City, and near Snow Hill MD on the Eastern Shore).  The Farmville facility is privately owned but run like a dormitory.



Persons can be “paroled out” sometimes, upon identification and provision by private source of housing. That is where Center Global might be able to assist.  However, I recall being told at a forum for refugee placement last July that Virginia law allows placement of refugees (and presumably asylum seekers) in private homes only of persons who knew the person before arrival in the country (usually relatives).  This would appear to be a difficult operation, unless the facts about a particular person in detention are somehow well known and verifiable.

It is not believed that the Trump administration has any inclination to try to narrow the application of the “credible fear” or “particular social group” concept in asylum seeking.  The administration appears willing to accept sexual orientation and gender identity as immutable traits in settled law.
However, the outcome of asylum claims tends to depend on the judges.  More judges from border areas may have duty soon in Arlington and in Baltimore, and judges or adjudicators in border areas seem to be stricter.  The Atlanta area has one of the worst approval rates.

Persons at airports trying to enter do not have constitutional protection until they clear customs.  Persons who are temporarily detained should “say nothing” and not give authorities real probable cause to detain them.

Persons who travel regularly overseas may find more interruptions in the Trump era, including citizens.  Persons from European countries who expect to earn a living in the US (such as musicians and actors) and with well established work records in the US (and perhaps Canada) should well consider citizenship application if possible.

Many travelers should consider wiping their phones.  I could add that LGBT US citizens who are public on media or online have to be careful about travel to non-democratic countries, including Russia, most Muslim countries, some African countries, which can be a serious matter for some employment or humanitarian work.  I wonder about popular tourist places like Egypt and Dubai,  Indeed the destruction in Iraq in areas with some of the world’s oldest civilizations is a real tragedy.

I did hear of an incident where someone traveling with methanol (I don’t know why) was forced to consume it at an airport and died quickly.

Here's a typical article on detention of LGBT immigrants and asylum seekers. In NYC there is a Queer Detainee's Empowerment Project (QDEP) which deserves more reporting.

CG said it was considering having some public town halls soon.



Update: May 5, 2017

The Washington Post has an important story by Michael E. Miller in the Metro section about "immigrant bail" practices out of detention, and the company Libre by Nexus, mentioned in the meeting April 1 by CAIR, link here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

First visit to a new row-hours club in the U Street area of DC


I attended a “Go Gay DC” (including AGLA) social this evening at a new club, the Uproar, on Florida Ave between 6th and 7 sys NW in the U street area of Washington (about three blocks from Town, near the Howard Theater).

There are three levels, with the top level having a small dance floor.

There was a raffle and television drag party (I wasn’t sure of what the show was) that became quite packed in Happy Hour with cis "

I had brought the "conservative book" "The Perils of Privilege" by Phoebe Maltz Bovy, and it made a nice conversation piece, with all the bad sensational news showing up on our cell phones from CNN, while eating bar food and vegan burgers.
<30 actual="" binary.="" correctness="" fluidity="" gender="" hile="" males.="" nbsp="" p="" personal="" political="" prefer="" seem="" supports="" to="" values="">

<30 actual="" binary.="" correctness="" fluidity="" gender="" hile="" males.="" nbsp="" p="" personal="" political="" prefer="" seem="" supports="" to="" values="">
 The look of the bar somewhat reminds me of Spain, with the bright colors. 
<30 actual="" binary.="" correctness="" fluidity="" gender="" hile="" males.="" nbsp="" p="" personal="" political="" prefer="" seem="" supports="" to="" values="">

<30 actual="" binary.="" correctness="" fluidity="" gender="" hile="" males.="" nbsp="" p="" personal="" political="" prefer="" seem="" supports="" to="" values="">

U Street (with Nellies Sport Bar about three blocs away, too, among new apartment builidngs) has become the popular Happy Hour spot, with the emphasis on entertainment rather than drinks.
I’ve won only one raffle, a Starbucks gift card, that I still have to remember to take with me.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Census will not keep track of sexual orientation or gender identity in 2012


The US Census Bureau will not include questions on sexual orientation or gender identity in the America Community Survey after 2020.  Some groups are outraged, according to various stories, such as NBCs here.

I worked for Census on the diennial survey in the spring of 2010, and then for the Current Population Survey for eight months in 2011.  I do not recall any questions on gender identity or sexual orientation, except indirectly as to housemates in a household.  But it was common to find young adults living in rented homes out of economic convenience.
 
I also received an American Community Survey by mail, which I filled out on 2012 online.  I don’t recall any such questions.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

North Carolina to vote March 30 on "repeal" of HB2 under threat of banishment by NBA


North Carolina’s Democratic governor and gerrymandered GOP legislature will vote Thursday morning on a repeal of HB2, the “bathroom bill”, under threat of the NCAA to boycott the state for five years unless the bill is repealed by March 30.

The bill would leave the state in administrative control of public restroom laws and schools, prohibit local ordinances on the matter until 2020 (not clear if this could affect other discrimination) and would continue to allow birth certificate change under medical supervision.

The Charlotte Observer has a detailed story here.


As Vox's German Lopez writes, this is not a real repeal. It's a "bait and switch" to use the words of Barbara Ehrenreich.

Update: March 30

The repeal has passed both houses of the legislature and heads for the governor, Post story.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

CTRL party at Town in DC


Last night Town Danceboutique held its CTRL party.

Couples, mostly male, did photos on a green screen (maybe for Metro Weekly). 
  

There were some bizarre lyrics in the hard rock disco music that reminded me of “Walk on the Wild Side”.  Something like “shave your arms”, something Jake Gyllenhaal did for four or his last five films. 
Brief disco


Remember John Travolta "Staying Alive" back in 1985?

For all the political currency of gender fluidity, what you tend to see among younger men in discos (at Town especially, and especially white men) is cis-gender and relatively clean cut, much less use of body art than, for example, has become popular in the rock-n-roll community.  At a personal level, Milo rules.