PACE will have a presence at the Shreveport Women’s March that begins at 3 pm, Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. This march is being held in solidarity with the Washington, D.C. march and other marches held in cities throughout the country at the same time. This is a public march, open to everyone, organized by women who are concerned about the incoming administration’s positions on issues of concern to women, racial minorities, workers, and LGBT people. PACE is alarmed at the pervasive anti-LGBT positions that have been taken by the incoming VP, advisors and cabinet nominees, and even some by the President-Elect himself. For some specific examples of concerns to PACE, read below my signature.
PACE members will meet at 2:45 pm this Saturday, Jan. 21, on the corner of the Caddo Parish Courthouse on Texas St. directly across the street from the Crystal Stairs restaurant. Look for people holding PACE flags. If you want to make a sign to hold, the wording should focus on issues, not party, for example, “Justice and Equality for All” or “LGBT Rights are Human Rights”.
I hope to see many of you on Saturday. It is important for our local leaders to see that LGBT people and allies will not become invisible and accept the possible stripping away of hard-won rights.
You can RSVP to the march on Facebook here.
PACE Political & Communications Director
OF CONCERN TO PACE:
President-Elect Trump has said that he will consider appointing a Supreme Court judge who would vote to overturn marriage equality and that his model for a Supreme Court judge is the late Antonin Scalia, who wrote a vigorous dissent in the marriage equality case. He has also said he would sign the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) if passed by Congress—FADA would allow widespread discrimination against LGBT people based on religious beliefs.
VP-Elect Mike Pence is one of the most anti-gay politicians in the country. As a congressman, he has voted against marriage equality, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. As governor of Indiana, he signed one of the most anti-gay laws that would allow blatant discrimination against LGBT people based on religious belief. After a national uproar, the law was amended to preserve LGBT nondiscrimination protections passed by local municipalities which had been stripped in the original bill. Indiana in general offers no protections to LGBT people.
At his confirmation hearing, when specifically asked if he considers LGBT rights to be human rights, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson responded with a general statement that American values don’t condone violence or discrimination against anyone, with no mention of LGBT rights.
Ken Blackwell is leading the transition team on Trump’s first 100 days of domestic policy. He is a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council (FRC) which was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their debunked anti-LGBT positions. In addition to supporting measures to ban marriage equality, he believes being LGBT is a choice, saying, “The reality is, again…that I think we make choices all the time. And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one’s genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes.”
Trump named Steve Bannon, executive chair of the ultra-conservative website Breitbart News, to the role of chief strategist in the White House. Bannon is considered a white nationalist and has made many anti-LGBT statements. For example: in a 2011 radio interview defending Sarah Palin and criticizing women with progressive views he said: “These [progressive] women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative,” he explained. “That’s one of the unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement — that, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be feminine, they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England.” And amid objections from anti-LGBT advocates over Target stores allowing transgender people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity, Bannon during a radio interview in May stoked fears with anti-transgender comments. Bannon contended that rather than being inclusive, Target was “trying to exclude people who are decent, hard-working people who don’t want their four-year-old daughter to have to go into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.”
Jeff Sessions, nominee for Attorney General, has voted against every LGBT issue as a U.S. Senator. He has a 0 rating from the national Human Rights Campaign. He supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes, voted against the repeal of DADT, co-sponsored a bill that would allow Alabama’s definition of marriage to supersede the federal definition which would end marriage equality in Alabama, and is co-sponsoring the First Amendment Defense ACT (FADA) which would allow government-funded organizations to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs.
Mike Pompeo is nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He opposes marriage equality and while in Congress, supported a bill saying a state’s definition of marriage should supersede the federal one.
Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education, and her husband have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the anti-gay conservative Christian group Focus on the Family whose founder called the battle against LGBT rights a “second civil war.” Her family and her husband’s family were also major donors to the Family Research Council, a designated hate group for their debunked positions on LGBT people. They also reportedly donated thousands of dollars to efforts to block marriage equality in Florida, Michigan, and California. On the plus side: the DeVos family reportedly donated $400,000 to victims of the Orlando shooting; however, this pales in comparison to what they’ve spent to oppose LGBT rights.
Tom Price, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a state representative for Georgia, voted against job nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and against marriage equality. Price has also criticized protections for transgender students in public schools. He has a 0 rating from the national Human Rights Campaign.
Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff, doesn’t have a voting record as an elected official, but as chairman of the national Republican Party he spearheaded one of the most anti-LGBT platforms to date. The platform called for the repeal of marriage equality and defends businesses that deny service to LGBT people based on religious beliefs.
Nikki Haley, U.N. Ambassador, as governor of South Carolina opposed marriage equality.