Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boston Pride Stronger Together

Boston Pride announced “Stronger Together” for its 2017 theme chosen by the LGBTQ community through an online vote. It focuses on the current climate of political uncertainty & marginalization of LGBTQ people. “Stronger Together” stresses the imperative that the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community stand together & fight for civil rights for all. “Stronger Together” will be used for all Boston Pride events throughout the year, culminating with Boston Pride Week to be held from June 2nd to June 11th. Sylvain Bruni, Boston Pride President stated, “Our 2017 theme, ‘Stronger Together’ is a call to action for all in the LGBTQ community & for our allies. The great strides that our community has made locally & nationally are threatened by the current poisoned political climate that seeks to replace equal rights with discrimination. We will not be silent, we will not be divided; we will be loud & united to show the world that the LGBTQ community will fight for the civil rights of all disenfranchised communities. Boston Pride is more energized than ever with great enthusiasm among our volunteers & the community. We look forward to having new groups join us for the Parade & Festival to make this year’s Boston Pride Week one of the biggest outpourings of celebration & activism for the LGBTQ community, showing everyone that we are truly Stronger Together.” Boston Pride produces events & activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect & awareness in Greater Boston & beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility & dignity, they educate, communicate & advocate by building & strengthening community connections.
For More Info: bostonpride.org
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Monday, February 27, 2017

LGBT Moonlight Wins Oscar Gold

Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture but was robbed of its moment by a screw-up by PricewaterhouseCooper. Best Picture presenters Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty were mistakenly given Emma Stone’s envelope & they declared La La Land the winner. It was an upsetting moment that will go down in Oscar history. Moonlight is the brilliant story that follows a gay black man, Chiron, through three stages of his early life, along with his struggles with self-acceptance, bullying & his mother's addiction to crack cocaine. Rarely do black gay men get this kind of screen portrayal that shows them with haunting & joyful complexity & received such glowing reviews from top critics. Moonlight addresses poverty, the school-to-prison pipeline, homophobia & real issues that affect our LGBTQ community. The film received eight nominations & won Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali & Best Adapted Screenplay Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney. Openly gay McCraney who wrote the original source material in the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue dedicated the award "to all those black & brown boys & girls & non-gender conforming who don't see themselves" in his acceptance speech. Barry Jenkins concluded "All you people out there who feel like there's no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected ... we have your back.”
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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Next Massive Women’s Rally

On International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8th Women Workers Rising are rising at a massive rally in Washington D.C. Women workers will come together & rise for dignity, equality & respect at & surrounding the US Department of Labor in DC. Organizers are calling all women & allies to come & be in solidarity with women workers for an end to workplace violence & harassment & to promote pay equity, one fair living wage, paid leave & labor rights at work. This rally will be on the day & in solidarity with women around the world rising for women’s rights, including the International Women’s Action & The Women’s March: A Day Without a Woman. The event will feature live testimony & rallying cries from a diversity of voices, performances, videos, a flash mob, poetry, music & much more. Through an artistic uprising, collective expression & creative resistance, women workers & artists will share personal powerful moving testimonies experienced on the job. They will come together to witness & listen to women workers who hold this country up but often remain invisible. The free event will take place at the Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. from 3:30P to 5:30P & will honor the sacred & valuable work of women around the world in all its forms by demanding safe violence-free workplaces
For More Info: womenworkersrising.org
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trump Protest At Stonewall Inn

As you know by now the U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Justice rescinded the guidance issued by the Obama administration on accommodating transgender & gender nonconforming students under Title IX. Protests are organizing throughout the nation to protest this travesty the ignorant Trump administration is attempting to implement & enforce on our LGBTQ youth. Last night there were major protests at the White House in Washington DC. Tonight in NYC at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village there will be a rally from 5:30P to 7:30P. Mel Wymore Executive Director TransPAC stated, “Join us tonight at Stonewall to protest Trump's draconian rollbacks & stand with transgender youth! TONIGHT 5:30P to 7:30P at the Stonewall National Monument. It's our moral obligation to protect the safety & dignity of ALL of our youth.” So if you’re in the NYC area please attend & show this administration that they won’t get away with bullying our LGBTQ youth or any minority. This is America & we’re going to stand up & fight for what we believe in & not allow a few small minds in Washington DC dictate & attempt to remove the civil rights we have worked so hard to gain. As GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard stated, “Supports for transgender students in K-12 schools change & save lives & hurt no one. President Trump’s reversal of federal guidance affirming Title IX protections in schools undermines the settled expectations & protections afforded by federal law, hurts transgender students & impedes the progress we have made creating safer & more inclusive learning environments for all.” Stonewall Inn is at 53 Christopher Street in NYC.
For More Info: glsen.org
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Protect Transgender Students

This unacceptable repeal of crucial transgender protections in our public schools by the Trump administration restricts the civil rights of an entire group of the most vulnerable Americans. In recent years our LGBTQ community have made great strides in increasing social justice & this intolerant & ignorant executive order attempts to diminish that progress. We must continue to make our voices heard to ensure schools remain safe spaces for all children, regardless of the gender they identify with. Jennifer L. Levi, Director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project stated, “The withdrawal of Department of Education guidance is a devastating step back for transgender students, who today are receiving the message that the federal government will not vigorously defend their right to an education. This unfortunate reversal of protections reflects crass, unprincipled political pandering. The American people support fairness & equal treatment of all students & do not think vulnerable young people should be made pawns of a political drama being played out by the current administration. The sudden reversal by the Education & the Justice departments does nothing to change the fact that the law protects transgender students’ right to an equal education. But it does mean that state & local efforts must be redoubled to ensure full and equal inclusion of transgender students in school. This guidance has provided practical & important advice to schools about how to foster positive learning environments for transgender students which has been especially critical in local communities where schools & districts have not been able to develop such policies on their own.”
For More Info: glsen.org
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FLIM-FLAM World Premiere Play

We all need a little comic relief these days & if you’re in the San Francisco Bay we have a treat for you. Theatre Rhinoceros presents FLIM-FLAM a World-Premiere comedy, written & directed by John Fisher about three desperate actors who take to the road in search of roles. Along the way they encounter highway hooligans, porno shoots, offended politically-correct youths & “all the crazies” of America. All the world's a stage & it's an actor's nightmare in this comedy about America “trying to be great again.” The run beings February 24th through March 18th with Opening Night on Thursday March 2nd at the Eureka Theatre 215 Jackson Street in San Francisco at 8P for a limited 4 week engagement with only 19 performances. It features Daniel Chung (Endin), Kevin Copps (Harrible), Donald Currie (Dobbins), Playwright/Director John Fisher Aaron), Krystel Piamonte (Zika Mom) & Jesse C. Vaughn (Hammer.) Flim-Flam replaces the previously announced play Ding-Dong because of the current changing nature of the American political landscape. John Fisher the playwright feels that FLIM-FLAM & its subject are more germane to the previously announced show. Ding-Dong will be presented in a subsequent season when & if things calm down politically. Theatre Rhinoceros was founded in 1977 & is the longest running LGBT theatre in the nation. They develop & produce works of theatre that enlighten, enrich & explore both the ordinary & the extraordinary aspects of our queer community. Their emphasis is on new works, works about under-represented members of the larger queer community & revivals of lesser known queer classics. FLIM-FLAM Tickets are $15 - $40.
For More Info & Tix: therhino.org
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

GMHC To Honor Bill Clinton

The Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) announced that they will honor President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation & 42nd President of the United States at their 35th Anniversary Spring Gala on Thursday March 23rd at Highline Stages, 440 West 15th Street in New York City at 6:30P. Distinguished honorees also include Jes Staley, Chief Executive Officer of Barclays and Peter Staley, HIV/AIDS & LGBT Rights Activist. Proceeds will benefit GMHC’s services for thousands of people living with & affected by HIV/AIDS. Kelsey Louie GMHC CEO stated, “It is a privilege to honor President Bill Clinton at GMHC’s 35th Anniversary Spring Gala. The Clinton Foundation has been battling the epidemic since 2002, saving the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. During this tumultuous time, it is more important than ever to honor those who are fighting & advocating for affordable, accessible healthcare, equal rights for all & an end to the epidemic.” GMHC’s history can be traced to the very beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 35 years ago. This milestone anniversary is a tribute to GMHC’s legacy as the world’s first AIDS service organization & the beginning of the agency’s next chapter of providing comprehensive life-saving services. The gala will incorporate a cocktail reception, luxury auction & dinner program featuring a presentation of the prestigious Larry Kramer Activism Award, Corporate Partner Award, & the Judith Peabody Humanitarian Award.
For Info & Tix: gmhc.org
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Boston LGBT Youth Pride Events

Boston Youth Pride is Boston Pride’s program dedicated to youth 21 & under in our LGBTQ community. On Saturday February 18th their annual Youth Valentine's Dance is taking place from 7P to 11P hosted by City Year at 287 Columbus Avenue in Boston, MA. DJ Scott Pryor will be the featured performer & there will be lots of door prizes available. Tickets are $7 before online & $10 at the door. Then on March 3rd from 7P to 9P there will be a special screening of “You’ll Never Be Alone / Nunca vas a estar solo”. The film is about LGBTQ teen homophobia. After his gay teenage son, Pablo, is badly beaten up by some homophobic youngsters, Juan, a withdrawn manager at a mannequin factory struggles between having to pay his son’s exorbitant medical bills & his last attempt at making partner at his company. As he runs into dead-ends & unexpected betrayals, he’ll discover that the world can be violent with him too. Juan has made too many mistakes, but his son can still be saved. This event is organized by the Wicked Queer Film Festival, & co-presented by HBGC Boston, The Theater Offensive & Boston Latinx Pride/Boston Pride. The screening takes place at the Emerson College’s Bright Family Screening Room at The Paramount Center 559 Washington Street in Boston.
For Info & Tix: bostonpride.org
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New LGBT Exhibition In Virginia

In Virginia The Valentine Museum & OutRVA Richmond’s LGBT tourism campaign have launched a new exhibition “One Love: LGBT Families” that runs now through September 4th. The exhibit features contemporary photographic portraits of LGBT families from the Richmond Region by photographer Michael Simon. Meg Hughes, Curator of Archives at The Valentine stated, “The concept of family within the LGBT community has historically & out of necessity, been flexible. After coming out, many LGBT individuals are ostracized from their family and friends. However, everyone needs love & the LGBT community has been actively creating support networks for decades.” Katherine O’Donnell, Vice President of community relations at Richmond Region Tourism added, “One Love: LGBT Families provides us with a great way to showcase to visitors the wonderfully diverse community that we enjoy here in the Richmond Region. Through OutRVA, we’re spreading the message that the Richmond Region is a welcoming & diverse community. This exhibit helps us tell that part of the Richmond story in a beautiful, thought-provoking way.” Rodney Lofton, who was photographed at Comfort restaurant with his husband. Lofton & his husband are a gay, interracial couple concluded, “We are proud to be included among the varying images & definitions of family in this exhibit. One Love: LGBT Families highlights families that may be different from the days of Ozzie & Harriet, but share the same values & ultimate goal, love.”
For More Info: thevalentine.org
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Monday, February 13, 2017

Trump Failing Transgender Kids

The Trump administration has begun attacking the most vulnerable members of our LGBTQ community. The Justice Department has announced that it is withdrawing its request for a stay of an injunction on enforcement of Obama-era guidelines protecting transgender students. Rick Zbur Equality California Executive Director stated, “Two weeks after pulling back on an on-again, off-again executive order that would have allowed sweeping religious exemptions to requirements protecting LGBT people from discrimination, the Trump Administration has reminded us that rollbacks of LGBT civil rights do not have to be thunderous or accompanied by great fanfare. They can happen quietly, incrementally, while the nation is otherwise distracted. In withdrawing its request for a stay on an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing President Obama’s guidelines protecting transgender students, the Justice Department has signaled – less than 48 hours after confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general by the U.S. Senate – that it does indeed intend to dismantle as much of recent LGBT civil rights gains as possible. These guidelines – similar to legislation already in effect in California – protect the basic dignity & safety that transgender students deserve. Equality California will use every measure at its disposal to ensure that federal nondiscrimination protections remain safe from attack & that all students are equally protected by the U.S. Constitution."
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Saturday, February 11, 2017

George Takei Rallies For Muslims

Fierce LGBT activist George Takei who I attended a fundraiser with last fall in happier times, will present over 280,000 Care2 petition signatures on Monday February 13th in support the Muslim community to leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) at a ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall in the wake of Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Takei who was forced into a Japanese American internment camp when he was just five years old started the Care2 petition to allow signers to speak out against any of Trump’s policies that would target the Muslim community. Takei stated, “During that time, fear & racism drove government policy, creating a living hell for over 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. citizens. I have spent my life trying to ensure something like this never happens again. But dark clouds once more are gathering. National security must never again be permitted to justify wholesale denial of constitutional rights & protections. It starts with a registry, with restrictions, with irrationally ascribed guilt & with fear. But we know well where it might lead. If it is freedom & our way of life that we fight for, our first obligation is to ensure that our own government adheres to those principles. Without that, we are no better than our enemies.” The event will take place at Los Angeles City Hall, 3rd Floor Rotunda, 200 North Spring Street from 6:30P to 9P. Takei will be joined by actor Mike Farrell, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti & leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The presentation will be followed by a reception with appetizers & refreshments.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hillary Clinton To Be Honored

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be honored by New York City's LGBT Community Center (The Center) on Thursday, April 20th at their annual Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street. Secretary Clinton will receive The Center's Trailblazer Award in recognition of her tireless work in the fight for full equality for our LGBT community. Glennda Testone, Executive Director of The Center stated, "It is an incredible privilege to honor Secretary Clinton for her lifetime of service to the American people & particularly her service on behalf of marginalized populations including the LGBT community. The Center thanks Secretary Clinton for her tireless work to help all Americans & particularly LGBT Americans, advance in the fight for justice & equality." The Center will also honor distinguished fashion designer Marc Jacobs with its Visionary Award, as well as Jan Siegmund, Corporate Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of ADP, with the Corporate Impact Award & Carmelyn Malalis, Chair & Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, with its Community Impact Award. Annually the Center Dinner brings together over 800 influencers & tastemakers in the LGBT community to raise funds for The Center's programs & services, with a special emphasis on supporting youth programs. The Center is dedicated to empowering LGBT youth to become healthy, successful adults through substance use treatment & prevention, leadership & employment opportunities and HIV/AIDS prevention & education.
For Info & Tix: gaycenter.org
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

San Francisco Mardi Gras Event

If you’re in the Bay Area & you want to have an outrageous evening of decadence & fun experience the true spirit of Mardi Gras with San Francisco's Krewe de Kinque Mardi Gras Club. Their annual Bal Masque with the theme "14 Karat Gold," will be held at the spectacular Castro nightclub The Café (Market at Castro) on Saturday February 11th. Expect wild costumes, outrageous performances, regal Kings & Queens, & sexy shenanigans by the West Coast's authentic krewe! There will be a VIP Host Party with southern buffet, beads & color-changing ice cube light, that takes place from 4P to 5P with two Stoli complimentary drink tickets, silent auction & raffle preview for just $40 in advance & $50 at the door. Then from 5P to 8P Bal Masque XIV takes place hosted by KDK King XIII Sergio Fedasz & KDK Queen XIII China Silk, featuring DJ Prince Wolf, exciting silent auction & raffle prizes, a second line parade led by Celebrity Grand Marshal Juanita More with costumed tableaux show, the crowning of KDK King & Queen XIV & no host full bar service. Tickets are $20 in advance & $25 at the door. Thanks to their Spirits Sponsor there will be Stoli $5 drink specials during the Bal Masque. They’ll be raising funds for Homobiles a California 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to providing secure & reliable transit to the SF Bay Area LGBTQ community & its allies. Tax-deductible donations of sponsors, auction and raffle prizes, and VIP reception food donations are welcomed. Federal Tax ID # provided with all donation acknowledgements. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
For Info & Tix…
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GLAAD Media Awards Nominees

GLAAD has announced their nominees for the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize & honor media for their fair, accurate & inclusive representations of our LGBTQ community & the issues that affect our lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, "For nearly 30 years, the GLAAD Media Awards have set the bar for media representations of LGBTQ people. At a time when progress is at a critical juncture, it is imperative that Hollywood tell more LGBTQ stories that reflect the community’s rich diversity & build understanding that brings all communities closer together. This year's nominees have created images & storylines that challenge misconceptions & broaden understanding, accelerating acceptance & equality for LGBTQ people across the globe." Among the nominees are: Academy Award-nominee & Golden Globe-winner Moonlight; Film Independent Spirit Award-nominees Other People & Spa Night; ABC’s The Real O’Neals & Black-ish; Netflix’s The OA, Grace & Frankie, Black Mirror & Easy; Amazon’s Transparent & One Mississippi; Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse; USA Network’s Eyewitness; Cartoon Network's Steven Universe; Nickelodeon's The Loud House; Oxygen’s Strut; HBO’s The Trans List; NewYorker.com & Tampa Bay Times for interviews with Orlando shooting survivors. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 1st at The Beverly Hilton & in NYC on May 6th at the New York Hilton Midtown.
For Info & Tix: glad.org
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Financial Executive Order

The new financial regulation executive order will roll back key regulations designed to protect the economy & the American people from another recession. To give you an idea about how this will make the rich richer & the rest of us financially vulnerable Trump stated, “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow it because of the rules & regulations in Dodd-Frank.” Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force concluded, “This Executive Order is a recipe for another recession. It puts Wall Street & Big Business interests ahead of the interests of everyday people. It rolls back reforms put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, which was caused by predatory mortgage lending to low-income people, especially people of color. It targets the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency put in place to protect the interests of the people against corporate malfeasance. It also calls for repeal of the ‘fiduciary rule’ which requires investment advisors to put their client’s interest ahead of their own when investing retirement account money. Clearly this Executive Order will help some people: Trump’s own business & people like the Wall Street insiders he has stacked his Cabinet with. Not middle-class & lower income American families.”
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Boston Black Pride 2017 Events

Boston Black Pride takes place from Thursday February 9th to Monday February 13th to commemorate Black History Month with several days of events, including Hip-Hop Yoga & Mix & Mingle Drag Paint Party. Boston Black Pride is a program of Boston Pride dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ communities of color in our region. Boston Black Pride events, produced by Boston Pride in collaboration with other community organizations, focus on creating spaces & visibility for everyone. Staring on Thursday, February 9th there will be AG (Hip Hop) Yoga at 7P at Swet Studio, 480 Tremont Street in Boston, MA. Class size is limited to 20 & there will be a charge of $30. Then on Saturday February 11th there will be an event entitled “Our History: HIV & Queer Women of Color” at Fenway Health 1340 Boylston Street in Boston at 10A. Then on Sunday February 12th there will be a Mix & Mingle Drag Paint Party at Jacques Cabaret at 4:30P. So join Boston Black Pride in Collaboration with Masterpiece Art Bar for a Mix & Mingle Paint Party during Black Pride weekend. Come meet new people & have a drink. Do not stress if you haven’t painted since grade school, this is for beginners! Doors open at 4:30P & painting starts at 5P. There will be raffles & prizes. Tickets are $30 & all proceeds benefit Boston Black Pride.
For More Info Tix: bostonpride.org
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Religious Freedom To Discriminate

When Trump kept Obama’s executive order about nondiscrimination against our LGBT community within the federal government contracts we knew his appalling Religious Freedom Order was likely to surface sooner that later. Now a leaked copy of a draft executive order reveals plans by the Trump Administration to allow for widespread discrimination against LGBTQ people across the country & it’s no big surprise that it smells like the law Pence signed as governor of Indiana. This executive order will legalize sweeping discrimination against our LGBTQ community & could seriously undermine some of our most important progress we have made in the past decade. If the reported order is signed, it could mean: Employers without penalty may fire an LGBTQ person from their job because of religious freedom. Child welfare and adoption services without penalty may deny LGBTQ couples the ability to adopt children. Health care providers without penalty may deny LGBTQ people, including women, critical services that are important to their health needs. Schools without penalty may openly discriminate against LGBTQ teachers, faculty, and students. Government officials without penalty may deny LGBTQ people services – including county clerks who issue marriage licenses for couples. Businesses without penalty may deny LGBTQ people services, including pharmacies, restaurants, beauty salons, sporting events, etc. So it’s really about to happen. We would advice that you call your members of Congress & raise your concerns ASAP.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LGBT Leaders Say No To Gorsuch

LGBTQ leaders & allies are speaking out against Trump’s nomination of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. We knew it wouldn’t be good but Gorsuch has a long career that's undeniably troubling for civil rights & for our LGBTQ community. Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force stated, “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record reveals a jurist who believes that bosses should control their employees’ private health care decisions; supports the misuse of religion to legalize discrimination & holds LGBTQ equality with disdain. He is also a darling of those who are vehemently opposed to marriage equality. He seems like someone who aligns perfectly with Donald Trump & Mike Pence’s view of the world, but is completely out of touch with the realities of most people’s lives.” Rick Zbur, Executive Director Equality California added, “Judge Gorsuch’s opinions in prior cases such as Hobby Lobby leave us deeply concerned about his willingness to uphold laws protecting LGBT people from bias, not to mention protecting the separation of church & state. The stakes could not be higher. Gorsuch's hard-right ideology & zeal to dramatically expand religious exemptions poses an immediate threat to the advances that LGBT Americans have recently achieved.” Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation concluded, “Supreme Court Justices should be able to uphold the constitution without allowing personal prejudice against any group of people to cloud their decisions. Mr. Gorsuch has a troubling history of working against fairness for LGBTQ Americans.”
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