Interesting that the Fox News story leads with “husband,” with relationship details below after professional info. The Hollywood Reporter mentions his “longtime partner” up front, but toward the end says that they’d been married.
Military & Foreign Affairs
More from the Sun Times:
But some expressed disappointment in the decision. Clem Balanoff, who helped to run [Bernie] Sanders’ Illinois campaign, released a statement on behalf of Our Revolution Illinois citing his disappointment.
“Ald. Ramirez-Rosa was a delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential election and is a leading progressive voice in the Chicago City Council,” Balanoff said in a statement. … We believe he was an excellent candidate for Lt. Governor and are saddened that his voice will be missing from Sen. Biss’ campaign.”
But Richard Goldberg, former chief of staff to [Republican] Gov. Bruce Rauner, said it was the right decision, calling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement “at its core … a political manifestation of anti-Semitism.”
As noted in the Facebook post, defending Palestinian terorisim and singling out the Jewish state as uniquely unworthy of existence is now a core progressive principle for many, wedging ever-deeper into the LGBT activist left.
More. As Mark Joseph Stern wrote last year at Slate, The LGBTQ Left Has an Anti-Semitism Problem.
On Easter Sunday, prayers for the persecuted gays in Chechnay and throughout the world. Via the Huffington Post:
Chechen police are snaring gay men by posing as gays looking for dates on social media sites, then arresting the victims and using the contact lists on their phones to discover more closeted gays. Once in jail, forced into dark cells so small they can’t even lie down, the men are mercilessly beaten in various ways, including having to run through a gauntlet of twenty men wielding bats aimed at the victims from the waist down.
Some who survive are released to their families, a move that is usually a death sentence. Chechnya is a hotbed of Islamic honor killings, usually of young women, but of gay men as well. When gay Chechens who’ve somehow remained alive get out of jail, they are often taken by their male relatives to remote places to be killed and buried. No one even searches for them.
Good to see this tweet from a GOP senator, linking to a Washington Post story:
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) April 13, 2017
Of course, there also is still much of this.
Chechnya’s president: I will eliminate the gay community by the start of Ramadan https://t.co/GiFiaRnpIj
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) April 22, 2017
From a 35-year sentence, commuted to time served (7 years) for one of the largest breaches of diplomatic and military secrecy in American history—including thousands of classified State Department cables—carried out by an army intelligence analyst.
I just hope her sentence wasn’t reduced because she’s transgender and her cause was taken up, very vocally, by transgender and LGBT activists (perish the thought!).
Democrat hypocrisy on Wikileaks is astonishing & undermines their outrage about Putin's meddling in 2016. Which we should be outraged over.
— John Schindler (@20committee) January 17, 2017
A pertinent comment left at the above tweet: “Dems ok with leaking military secrets but not DNC secrets.”
More. During his December 2011 pretrial hearing, the New York Daily News reported of the defendant then known as Bradley Manning:
…his lawyers argued his status as a gay soldier before the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” played an important role in his actions.
Lawyers for Pfc. Bradley Manning began laying out a defense to show that his struggles in an environment hostile to homosexuality contributed to mental and emotional problems that should have barred him from having access to sensitive material.
The paper also reported that “The Obama administration says the released information has threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources and strained America’s relations with other governments.”
Log Cabin Republicans has always condemned Manning’s actions, and consistently stood against efforts by the left to elevate Manning as a paragon of the LGBT community.
“Chelsea Manning is no hero, and the commutation of her sentence is appalling,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo stated. “Manning was not imprisoned for being transgender — in fact, the government agreed to accommodate and facilitate her transition during her well-deserved sentence; she was imprisoned for traitorous clandestine activity that put military lives at risk. Her actions — and President Obama’s clemency — are nothing to celebrate.”
Furthermore. James Kirchick writes Bradley Manning is No Gay Hero:
For centuries, gay people have served with distinction and honor in the armed forces, and it is the service of these countless veterans whom today’s gays can thank for the freedom to serve openly. Bradley Manning’s actions are fodder to those who have long argued that homosexuality naturally leads to treason; some on the far right have argued that his actions were intended as “revenge” over the military’s then-enforced anti-gay policy. It is unconscionable that gay activists, of all people, would play into these slanders.
Still more. A “potent symbol for transgender Americans.” Chase Strangio, Manning’s ACLU attorney, said that “Her story really does reflect so much of the systemic discrimination that transgender people face,” adding “She’s an incredibly thoughtful and devoted person,” and that “She’s felt a sense of responsibility to the transgender community and wanted to be someone who contributed to the fight for transgender justice.”
To which the Washington Times editorialized: “No one doubts Chelsea Manning’s feelings of ‘responsibility to the transgender community.’ It’s a pity she felt no such responsibility to her country, and to the men and women who were assigned to the battlefield to defend that country with their very lives.”
From the facebook page of libertarian movie-review site Miss Liberty’s Film & Documentary World:
Fidel Castro is dead. A great film (free online) to remember him by is “Improper Conduct,” on the subject of Castro’s gulags for gay people. He hated gays and decided to “get rid of them,” in the manner that socialists do such things.
From Foreign Policy two years ago:
“Though the Castro family is no longer sending LGBT people to labor camps as they did in the 1960s and 1970s, the only permitted LGBT movement in Cuba is the official, state-run one.”
From 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Twitter:
Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) November 27, 2016
Michael C. Moynihan responds to Stein:
While you're at it, you should ask for a recount of the last Cuban election. 100% for the incumbent seems a bit fishy https://t.co/lFMtYSvNqx
— Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) November 27, 2016
More. As Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas describes in his memoir Before Night Falls:
Homosexuals were confined to the two worst wards of El Morro: these wards were below ground at the lowest level, and water seeped into the cells at high tide. It was a sweltering place without a bathroom. Gays were not treated like human beings, they were treated like beasts. They were the last ones t come out for meals, so we saw them walk by, and the most insignificant incident was an excuse to beat them mercilessly. The soldiers guarding us, who called themselves combatientes, were army recruits sent here as a sort of punishment; they found some release for their rage by taking it out on the homosexuals. Of course, nobody called them homosexuals; they were called fairies, faggots, queers, or at beset, gays. The wards for fairies were really the last circle of hell.
And let us not fail to remember that other icon of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara. And more here.
And yes, Donald Trump got this one right:
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” [Trump’s] statement said. “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”
Trump added: “Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”
When I die, I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like Fidel Castro, not screaming in terror, like his victims.
— Johan Norberg (@johanknorberg) November 26, 2016
Via the Washington Blade:
Despite anger with three gay and bisexual U.S. House members for voting with Republicans to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States, the head of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund says the organization won’t drop support for the lawmakers in the upcoming election.
Well, that’s big of her.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who’s gay; Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who’s gay, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who’s bisexual, were among the 47 House Democrats who voted for the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, or H.R. 4038, which passed the Republican-controlled U.S. House last week. The bill would expand background checks on Iraqi and Syrian refugees hoping to enter the United States, but critics say the legislation would have the effect of barring them entirely.
So, the lead is actually misleading, since the measure will only “block Syrian refugees from entering the United States” if you uncritically accept the critics’ viewpoint.
Some LGBT advocates rebuked Polis, Maloney and Sinema for their “yes” votes, arguing members of the LGBT community should support another community facing persecution. Among those critics is Michelangelo Signorile, a New York-based LGBT advocate who said on his Facebook page the votes are “totally shameful” and the Victory Fund “should dump” the three lawmakers.
“Equality should be litmus test of anyone in ‘LGBT Equality Caucus’ in Congress,” Signorile said. “And realize that these individuals voted against desperate LGBT Syrian refugees — there was hope 500 of the refugee spaces would be set aside for them.”
What universe do LGBT progressives like Signorile live in that they seriously think 500 spots were going to be designated for LGBT Syrian refugees?
The debate of refugee acceptance isn’t black and white, and that’s especially true regarding disagreements about the level of scrutiny refugees should undergo. Also, polls have shown that immigrants from Muslim countries are heavily homophobic in their attitudes—that’s simply a fact, as noted here, and here, for instance.
That’s not to say the U.S. shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees, but the issue isn’t as simplistic as demagogues on both the progressive left and the anti-immigrant right are convinced it is.
More. As a coda, the Washington Post reports Gay asylum seekers face threat from fellow refugees in Europe:
What followed over the next several weeks, though, was abuse — both verbal and physical — from other refugees, including an attempt to burn Ktifan’s feet in the middle of the night. The harassment ultimately became so severe that he and two other openly gay asylum seekers were removed from the refugee center with the aid of a local gay activist group and placed in separate accommodations across town..
The Washington Post ran an op-ed on July 13, An International War on LGBT People, by editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, that recounts how “while 25 countries and territories now allow gay marriage, 75 nations treat homosexual behavior as a crime. In 10 countries, it is punishable by death—and even where it is not, just being gay is often fatal.”
It’s an old story, as:
authoritarian governments fan hatreds to distract people from their failures and keep themselves in power. The Islamic State kills and tortures gay people—but the virulently anti-Islamist military dictators in Egypt have been persecuting gay men and lesbians as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin… turned to homophobia and “traditional values” to safeguard his grip on the Kremlin. Like dictators from Uganda to Uzbekistan, Putin defends his bigotry as a rampart against permissive “Western values.”
The Wall Street Journal had a similar op-ed on June 26, Love Among the Ruins, by the paper’s associate book review editor Bari Weiss, who took aim at the “moral relativism [that] has become its own, perverse form of nativism among those who stake their identity on being universalist and progressive,” and asked:
How else to understand those who have dedicated their lives to creating safe spaces for transgender people, yet issue no news releases about gender apartheid in an entire region of the world? How else to justify that at the gay-pride celebrations this weekend in Manhattan there is unlikely to be much mention of the gay men recently thrown off buildings in Syria and Iraq, their still-warm bodies desecrated by mobs?
She concluded, “You can’t get married if you’re dead.”
More. Last year, David Boaz noted, in Authoritarian Governments Use Old Smears to Tear Down Their Opponents, that dictators use homophobia as they previously (and often still) used antisemitism, to attack free-market capitalism that is the foundation of classical liberalism (the language gets a bit confusing because he uses “liberal” in its original, limited-government sense, not the way it’s been co-opted by the American left). Boaz wrote:
All of these epithets—homosexual, Jewish, bourgeoisie, and more recently, “American”—have been staples of illiberal rhetoric for centuries. Liberals–advocates of democracy, free speech, religious freedom, and market freedoms—have been tarred as “cosmopolitan” and somehow alien to the people, the Volk, the faithful, the fatherland, the heartland.
Furthermore. Alexander McCobin writes The gay rights battle is not over for libertarians, explaining that “There is both a need and an opportunity to help end state-sponsored discrimination against homosexuals across the globe. The US libertarians and LGBT rights movements should be involved in accomplishing such a worthy goal.”
The Irish have voted overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage, making Ireland “the world’s first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote” which “would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in what traditionally had been a Roman Catholic stronghold,” reports the New York Times.
And from the Irish Times, Ireland becomes first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.
The victory for marriage equality shows that with some remaining exceptions (hopefully soon to be remedied), same-sex marriage is or will shortly be the cultural norm in Western Europe and North America, also in New Zealand, and again hopefully, before too long in Australia, the last major English-speaking holdout (Northern Ireland also doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages).
What we shouldn’t forgot, however, is the West is different from the rest. Not only in the Islamic world, but in much of Christian Africa gay people face life-threatening persecution (South Africa is the one African nation that recognizes same-sex marriages). The lives of LGBT people are also marked by harrowing oppression in Russia and throughout most of Asia, and in much of Eastern Europe conditions range from merely bad to worse.
The struggle on behalf of LGBT rights should focus more on the world (in terms of supporting local efforts), and less on orchestrating overstated outrage to perceived slights against political correctness here at home.
Those on the left who believe the Western/capitalist world is the source of all evil often target Israel as the one country so vile that not only should it be boycotted, but institutions must be pressured to divest from Israeli investments. This is, sadly, a view that’s all the rage on American and European campuses these days (here’s a look at Wellesley). Which is why it’s good to see ads such as this one: Hamas, ISIS and Iran kill gays like me.
More. Milo Yiannopoulos writes:
As a gay man I would be killed in at least ten Islamic countries for being who I am. … Feminists and left-wingers need to stop inventing fictitious complaints about “manspreading” and “manslamming” and tackle genuine oppression in the Middle East. So far they have been shamefully and inexcusably cowardly about speaking truth to real power.
This account of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) in the politically liberal New Republic is fascinating for what it says, and for what it doesn’t say.
The report describes how the Obama administration did not want to pass repeal in 2010, when Democrats held large majorities in both houses of Congress, but preferred to push it off into 2011, when it was first likely, and then certain, Republicans would control the House of Representatives:
“When asked by LGBT leaders how Obama planned to repeal DADT in a Republican House, the administration’s DADT pointman, Deputy Chief of Staff, Jim Messina, had no answer.”
Not so clearly stated is the reason why: so the Democrats would have a campaign issue to galvanize gay voters, just as not passing immigration reform when in control of Congress gave Obama a cause to fire-up Latino voters. In both instances, the GOP is far worse than the Democrats, but the Democrats intended to use these issues for political advantage by not delivering to their base.
The article does relay how LGBT activists and bloggers forced the Democrats to move on DADT in December 2010, before the House shifted to the GOP in January 2011. However, it does not relate the heroic actions by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and how she mobilized her Senate colleagues against Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was doing everything he could to ensure DADT repeal would be tied to a package that Republicans were pledged to block, so Reid could tell Democrats he tried, and then blame Republicans for defeating DADT repeal. Collins, Joe Liberman (I-Conn) and a few others didn’t let him get away with that, and when Reid did allow a “clean” bill to come to the floor, it easily passed (as I blogged at the time).
The New Republic article relates how, following DADT repeal, the Obama administration for the first time embraced marriage equality. It doesn’t say that the reason it did so was it had to move on to another issue that would energize gay voters. But without DADT repeal, it’s unlikely there would have been movement on marriage.
The upshot: for this administration, everything is a political calculation.