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Trump Becomes First Republican President To Recognize LGBT Pride Month

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President Trump Positions Himself As LGBT Ally

United States President Donald Trump recently became the first Republican president to recognize the LGBT Community’s celebration of Pride Month.

Trump has been making efforts to position himself as an ally of the LGBT community since his campaign for president. However, many of his critics say that this is just an empty public relations ploy. His critics also say that he has not been friendly to the LGBT community while in office.

Trump’s recognition of the annual Pride celebration came in a series of tweets this week.

President Donald Trump told his Twitter audience:

“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”

Reactions From LGBT Republicans

LGBT Republicans were overwhelmingly supportive and impressed by Trump’s recognition of Pride.

Gregory T. Angelo, former president of the Log Cabin Republicans, thanked the President in a tweet.

“Been waiting all my life for a Republican to show this kind of leadership. THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP!” the tweet read.

Trump LGBT

Donald Trump holds up a rainbow flag in Colorado during the 2016 election. Photo Credit: Evan Vucci of the Associated Press

The Log Cabin Republicans are a prominent LGBT conservative group.

Jerri Ann Henry, the current leader of the group, told BuzzFeed News she was “thrilled” to see Trump’s tweets.

“In his statement, the president mentioned his support of the many LGBTQ individuals around the world who are wrongfully persecuted for their sexual orientation. We look forward to working with him to ensure the policies in this country are nondiscriminatory,” she said.

Suspicion From Trump’s Critics

While Republicans were happy to applaud Trump for his comments, his critics were not so easily convinced. Trump’s positions on transgender issues took center stage in debates about his dedication to LGBT rights.

The most common complaint from critics is that Trump has used his presidential powers to roll back gay rights. One of the most contentious issues of the Trump presidency was his proposed policy on transgender individuals serving in the military.

The Trump administration has also passed legislation that allows doctors to deny care to LGBT patients. The administration has also threatened the equal access rule, which could exclude LGBT applicants from homeless shelters.

LGBT

A man dressed as the Statue of Liberty carries a rainbow-striped American flag while marching in San Francisco’s gay pride parade, June 28, 2015. Photo Credit: Elijah Nouvelage of Reuters

Trump’s opponents also suggested that his tweet was more of a threat to Muslim countries than a recognition of Pride. In order for Trump to enforce worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, he would need to authorize military action in numerous countries.

Pride history

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization:

“For some Americans, it is the only occasion where they can be out and proud in their community. Pride festivals and parades are a celebration of the progress the LGBTQ community has made… Also a time to recognize the distance we still have to go to achieve full equality.”

Researchers often track the origins of the Pride tradition back to the “Stonewall riots” of June 28, 1969. The riots were a massive turning point in the history of the LGBT movement. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Manhattan that saw frequent harassment from police. On the night of the riot, police attempted to raid the bar, but the attendees who gathered inside fought back.

The event sparked a string of protests and marches that eventually grew into a nationwide, and then worldwide celebration.

The next year, on Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march that would inspire many others.

By 1971, Gay Pride marches were taking place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm. Then, by 1972, the marches expanded to Atlanta, Brighton, Buffalo, Detroit, Washington D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Over the years, Pride festivals became a global phenomenon.

 

Mark Horowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in political science. Horowitz could have had a job at one of the top media organizations in the United States, but when working as an intern, he found that the journalists in the newsroom were confined by the anxieties and sensibilities of their bosses. Horowitz loved journalism, but wanted more freedom to pursue more complex topics than you would find on the evening news. Around the same time, he began to notice that there was a growing number of independent journalists developing followings online by sharing their in-depth analysis of advanced or off-beat topics. It wasn't long before Horowitz quit his internship with a large New York network to begin publishing his own material online.

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Politics

Trump Declares Emergency To Bypass Congress For $8.1 Billion Saudi Arms Deal

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Concerns About Iran

This week, US President Donald Trump worked to fast track a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The president used emergency powers in order to bypass Congress and go forward with billions of dollars in weapon sales.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Congress on Friday to explain the administration’s plans. Pompeo explained that the Saudis would be the first line of defense against Iran if there was a conflict.

“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said, “An emergency exists, which requires the immediate sale of the defense articles and defense services.”

The US government will now be sending large shipments of arms to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan.

The weapons are needed “to deter further the malign influence of the Government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.” Pompeo said.

“Today’s action will quickly augment our partners’ capacity to provide for their own self-defense and reinforce recent changes to US posture in the region to deter Iran,” he added.

$8.1 Billion Deal

In the statement, Pompeo confirmed that the deal included $8.1 billion worth of arms.

Meanwhile, Trump announced a new troop deployment for the Middle East. The deployment will include an additional 1,500 US troops.

The deal was unpopular with both Republicans and Democrats, who pointed to Saudi Arabia’s many human rights violations.

Pompeo told Congress that “I intend for this determination to be a one-time event,” in response to the backlash.

Pompeo was quick to note that this is not the first time that a President has used these emergency powers. Secretary of State Pompeo pointed out at least four other presidents have taken similar action since 1979.

He also promised that “this specific measure does not alter our long-standing arms transfer review process with Congress.”

Iran trump

Iran’s foreign minister and Donald Trump have threatened each other on Twitter. Photo Credit: Sky News

However, Pompeo also blamed Congress for slowing down an important measure for the country’s defense.

“Delaying this shipment could cause degraded systems and a lack of necessary parts and maintenance that could create severe airworthiness and interoperability concerns for our key partners, during a time of increasing regional volatility,” Pompeo said.

“These national security concerns have been exacerbated by many months of Congressional delay in addressing these critical requirements, and have called into doubt our reliability as a provider of defense capabilities, opening opportunities for U.S. adversaries to exploit,” Pompeo added.

An anonymous US official described the contents of the arms shipments to CNN.

The source said that the shipments included surveillance aircraft, advanced precision-kill weapon guidance systems, and Javelin missiles. In addition to the hardware, the US will also provide maintenance and training to their Middle Eastern allies.

An Emergency Loophole

In order to make this deal, the White House took advantage of Section 36 of the Arms Control Act. This is a loophole that allows the White House to approve arms deals without Congress signing off.

For most arms deals or acts of war, a 30 day oversight period is required. This requirement is in place to allow Congress enough time to vote on the issue. What this means is that the White House can just declare an emergency if they want to fund unpopular programs without getting permission from Congress.

Senator Chris Murphy said that Trump is making this move because he knew that Congress would not approve the sale.

“President Trump is only using this loophole because he knows Congress would disapprove of this sale,” Murphy said.

“There is no new ’emergency’ reason to sell bombs to the Saudis to drop in Yemen. Doing so only perpetuates the humanitarian crisis there. This sets an incredibly dangerous precedent that future presidents can use to sell weapons without a check from Congress.”

“We have the constitutional duty to declare war and the responsibility to oversee arm sales that contravene our national security interests. If we don’t stand up to this abuse of authority, we will permanently box ourselves out of deciding who we should sell weapons to,” Murphy added.

Talk of Iran has been missing from Donald Trump’s Twitter page this week. Last week on Twitter, Trump threatened that a war with the US would “end” Iran.

Tensions are now higher than ever between Iran and the United States, and neither side is showing signs of backing down.

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