What Ben Carson doesn’t understand about “extra rights”: LGBT people aren’t asking for special privileges, just basic equality

Ben Carson thinks extending more public housing benefits to the LGBT community amounts to “special rights”

By: Nico Lang/Salon.com


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Ben Carson doesn’t think the LGBT community deserves special rights.

Last week the retired John Hopkins neurosurgeon began his testimony before a Senate committee, which is considering his nomination to be the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson was asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, about his controversial statements about protections for the LGBT community. During his failed 2016 presidential campaign, Carson had claimed that the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex marriage amounted to “extra rights” being conferred. Carson has repeatedly reiterated this belief — that LGBT equality affords the community undue, unnecessary privileges.

On Thursday the Trump nominee did not back down from that argument. “Of course, I will enforce all the laws of the land,” Carson said, adding, “No one gets extra rights. . . . Extra rights means you get to redefine everything for everyone else.”

What’s alarming about Carson’s statement is that he wasn’t being asked about his opposition to marriage equality. Brown, who serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, was grilling him on whether he would protect the LGBT community from discrimination in federal housing, which Carson had dismissed as a frivolity. This is a grave reminder that Carson could do serious damage to federal housing programs by ignoring the egregious bigotry that queer and trans people face every day when trying to find something as simple as a place to live.

Carson, who has repeatedly made headlines for his incendiary, outlandish statements about the LGBT community, is no friend to queer people.

The “Gifted Hands” author is one of the nation’s most vocal opponents of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, whom he has described as practitioners of bestiality,polygamy, and pedophilia. During a speech he delivered at last year’s Pensmore National Symposium on Religious Liberty at Missouri’s College of the Ozarks, Carson warned that the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling was a harbinger of an “ever-growing government” that would lead to “utter chaos” as well as mass executions. “The peace we experience now will be a memory only,” Carson said.

The idea that granting same-sex couples the rights to have their relationships recognized and protected by federal law constitutes special benefits for a niche community is an old and favorite one of conservatives. It suggests, much as Sen. Jeff Sessions argued last week during a confirmation hearing on his nomination for attorney general, that gay people don’t experience discrimination. If they’re already being equally protected under the law, why do they need more laws granting them those same protections?

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana who also mounted an unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid,  had even used the “extra rights” reasoning to argue for targeting the basic civil liberties of the LGBT community. During a 2015 interview with “Meet the Press,” Jindal claimed that making LGBT people a “protected class” — borrowing phraseology from hate crime legislation — would amount to “extraordinary circumstances.” Claiming that there is now greater “tolerance” in society that makes such “special legal protections” unnecessary, Jindal had backed the introduction of a “religious liberty” bill in the Pelican State to let those running businesses deny services to customers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, so long as the companies involved cite “sincerely held religious belief.” Numerous LGBT advocates have argued that this type of legislation is a clear pathway to unleash broad-based discrimination.

As the secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development, Carson would have little authority to affect already settled cases on nationwide marriage equality. But if he feels that LGBT protections are unnecessary, that would give him the ability to harm particularly vulnerable communities that already experience extraordinary discrimination at every turn.

A survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 20 percent of transgender people surveyed reported being denied housing on the basis of their gender identity, while 10 percent even said they have been evicted for being transgender.

This widespread discrimination extends to homeless shelters. When the Center for American Progress called local shelters to see if they would house a transgender woman, just 30 percent said they would do so. Twenty-two percent outright refused, and one center in Virginia said that having to sharing space with a “man” would spook the other residents, citing unfounded fears of sexual assault.

These practices should be illegal, yet unfortunately they persist. As the Center for American Progress has reported, LGBT people are not explicitly protected under the Fair Housing Act, also known as the Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. This law protects tenants under the basis of characteristics like sex, race, religion, or national origin but does not explicitly name gender identity or sexual orientation.

Last year the Department of Housing and Urban Development attempted to remedy this issue by introducing the Equal Access Rule  so that housing units and homeless shelters that receive federal dollars cannot discriminate on the basis of gender identity. This provision, while a necessary step forward in ending the housing discrimination that leads to extremely high rates of homelessness among transgender people, will likely face a fight from the Trump White House.

Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, has already claimed that the incoming administration will seek to roll back protections for trans students put into effect during the Obama presidency. Last year the Obama administration issued guidance saying that transgender youth had the right to equal access in schools. under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

When it comes to public housing, Carson is unlikely to fight against the removal of equivalent protections for trans people. In a speech delivered at the Republican National Convention, he referred to “the whole transgender thing” as “absurd.”

Carson said, “For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is, and now, all of a sudden we don’t know anymore.” He added, “Now, is that the height of absurdity? Because today you feel like a woman, even though everything about you genetically says that you’re a man or vice versa? Wouldn’t that be the same as if you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan or reading some books and said, ‘You know what? I’m Afghanistan [sic]. I know I don’t look that way.’”

These views are ludicrously ill-informed, but with Carson as a part of Trump’s Cabinet, they would have power. His perspectives would have the authority and influence to deepen the extreme marginalization to which transgender people are already subjected.

Trans individuals, particularly trans women of color, are more likely than any other group

to be the victims of a hate crime. They are disproportionately likely to live below the poverty line, be underemployed  or not have a job at all people face higher rates of sexual assault, domestic violence, and suicide.

And all of this illustrates an important reality. This community doesn’t have extra rights. Trans folks have almost no privileges at all, especially under a hostile administration that seems to be on the verge of stripping them of access to life -saving medical care under the Affordable Care Act.

What Carson doesn’t understand is that trans people — and lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals — aren’t asking for extra privileges, just basic equality. They want the same things all of us desire: safe, fair housing and a life without fear. There’s nothing special about wishing to live your life without wondering whether you’ll be homeless tomorrow just because of who you are.

Britain: Disabled couple banned from doctor’s surgery – because they complained so much

By: Adam Aspinall/ UK Mirror

A disabled couple have been banned by their local GP surgery – for making too many complaints.

Raymond Rose and his wife Susan became so fed up they complained about the practice every time they went – at least once a week.

Their complaints include being prescribed the ‘wrong’ medicine – and even about the amount of holiday their doctor has taken.

But bosses at the Greenway Community Practice in Bristol have become sick of their whingeing and told them not to come back.

The couple, both 68, have until Wednesday to find a new surgery or risk being unable to get access to their long-term prescriptions.

Gordon Brown talks to Dr Jens Rohrbeck during a visit to Greenway Community Practice Southmead in Bristol (Photo: SWNS)
Raymond has to find a new surgery by Wednesday (Photo: SWNS)

The practice defended its actions and said they were taken within NHS England guidelines.

Mr Rose said: “I think it is outrageous.

“I am well within my rights to complain if I don’t think the care is up to scratch and I think it is disgusting that they have blacklisted myself and my wife.”

The couple have been banned from the surgery (Photo: SWNS)

The couple began using Greenway Community Practice seven years ago as they both suffer from long term health conditions.

Mr Rose has ongoing kidney problems while his wife has mobility issues after a hip replacement.

Relations between the couple and the practice broke down around three years ago after Mr Rose claims he was put on medication which caused his weight to balloon.

Raymond and Susan Rose complained every time they went to the surgery(Photo: SWNS)

Practice manager at Greenway Community Practice, Matt Wood, said: “We are unable to comment on this specific case due to patient confidentiality.

“Any decision to remove patients from our practice list is only taken after consultation with NHS England and in accordance with their guidelines.”

To all due respect, Congressman Lewis you’re wrong

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Last saturday in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” Georgia Congressman John Lewis,said he did not believe Donald Trump was a legitimate president. He reached this conclusion based on allegations of Russian hacks.

Not conclusive proof, allegations.

Representative Lewis, like you I supported Hillary Clinton.  Never in my wildest nightmare could I envision anyone like Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office.

As of Friday, he is our President. A President of all the people.

One of the values we instill in our children is they’re not going to win every time and encourage them to continue to play the game after defeat.

We are living in a time where the country is divided. We need strong leaders like you to help to with the division in the country.   Choosing to walk away based on allegations further divides us.   When our current first lady, Michelle Obama said when they go low, we go high. She wasn’t just talking about Hillary or Donald supporters , she was talking to all Americans.

There are some in intelligence who believe, Russia is attempting to undermine America by creating division, Chaos.   If you believe the intelligence, then it is just possible by boycotting the inauguration you and your colleagues may be aiding the Russian addenda.

Please Reconsider, America Needs You


Real Housewives of Atlanta S9 Ep 10 Uncharitable Behavior


Photo Google/ AJC

Before I start, I’m curious how many of you believe the relationship between Matt and Kenya?  I’ll touch on that later.

The episode began with Phaedra and her super intelligent son Aiden, preparing for her fundraiser in Atlanta, where she hopes to raise ten thousand dollars  for the children in Flint Michigan to attend summer camp.

Welcome Back Marlo Hampton

Before I go on, I must, I must, step into the wayback machine and take us back to this classic.

Time heals the best of fights and we see the former middleweights together shopping for window treatments.  Sheree say’s she admires Marlo’s taste and her designer Michelle is shopping for European items that are over her budget. (sigh-as you read this Sheree is not in the Chateau!)  As they were shopping, Marlo brings up her relationship with Kenya which might have been a friendship made for Bravo, at least for Kenya.  She tells Sheree , Kenya had a birthday party and didn’t invite Marlo, she learned about the party on Instagram. Kenya  didn’t invite her housewarming party. You know Sheree was loving this!   The Shady Lady of the one day Chateau added her own drop to the mix  and they both agreed Marlo was dropped cause Nene was there. This gave Sheree another opportunity to trash Moore and Moore Manor. A vintage Marlo might have asked-so when  are you moving into  YOUR house again?

Kenya and Matt

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I asked you at the top of the page, “how many of you believe the relationship between Matt and Kenya?”

Once again we see Kenya looking at broken glass.  Not just her garage doors someone put a broke the glass on her Range Rover.

Now, I need your help here.  My good friend in head “judge judy” say’s it it doesn’t make sense, its probably not true.  Stay with me! 

Upon her discovery of the damage to her property.  Kenya calls Kandi, not the police, not the Sheriff department,Kandi!

 Kandi tells her to get a restraining order on Matt.  Kenya , says he’s not going to abide by the order. So Kandi asks her what would her dad tell her to do?.  She agrees, and does nothing!

Sorry no buying it. No Moore, No!   Matt, has broken out the windows, threaten her, slapped someone trying to get to her.   Sorry!  Nottttt buying it.  No maam!

Matt isn’t an innocent! clearly Home Cheese has issues.  Maybe he’s in love, Maybe he’s obsessed, Maybe its Maybelline!      The youngster on the big wheel dealing with a woman who might just be keeping him around for a storyline. (She’s done this before!)  Unlike the other man, Matt is ruining is young reputation in HD.   If he goes crazy, Kenya has texts, and film and voice mail, to put him in jail.   Sad, the boy don’t know.

Meanwhile in a turn of all turns, Kenya goes to Phaedra’s office asking for advice cause she knows Phaedra’s been there with Apollo.  The two actually talked like friends and Phaedra felt her pain and the two prayed together.

             By the way Kenya, were still waiting on that tear.  Moving the hell on.

Observation:  It looks like Kenya lives in a ravine, if you turn the wrong way off her drive way, there is a considerable drop.  I hope she installs a fence with reflectors.  Could be tricky in the fog.

Cynthia is Homeless

There are troubled waters with that house on the lake.  The first appraisal said the house was worth nearly a million dollars.  A second appraisal was closer to 700K, so now she is getting a third appraisal. No one want’s to pay too much.   Meanwhile Cynthia’s current  home sold in four days and she has to be out.   While she waits, Cynthia is going to stay in Moore Manor, and Noelle to stay with grand ma.   Noelle wants to stay at Moore Manor but Cynthia thinks there is too much drama at Moore Manor for her child.

Hi Kandi, how you doing?

With Matt being bat shit crazy. Kandi agrees to let Kenya stay in her Guest house.  Oh by the way Kandi, I chose not to put a restraining order on Matt AND Cynthia will be staying here too. How you doin? Kandi seemed okay with Cynthia staying, but also a little confused about it.  At least they wont be staying under the same roof.

Phaedra’s Charity Event

Now we know public events with the bravo ladies are going to be bad or worse. Marlo isn’t happy with Kenya. Will she cause Marlo to go there or will it just a war of words. While the ATL housewives have gotten physical at the reunions, on the street, who can forget Kim Zolciak’s wig being tilted by Sheree and Cynthia and Porsha on the boat last season.  So far the housewives in Atlanta have never fought at public events. Of the housewives franchises if you need a bit of hands on its Jersey, where the men, women and sometimes their children fight. A look back at the Housewives

I digress. Porsha is helping Phaedra by promoting the event on her radio show.   Everyone is on board with Phaedra pop up shop, however there was a bit of confusion on how much the ladies would keep.  Phaedra had originally said “a small percentage then said it was 50 percent, reminding the ladies it was going to charity.

All is fine with the world, the booths are set up, Kenya goes over the top with a large image of her self and her hair care products.

Marlo comes into the room, deliberately  avoiding Kenya and walks towards Sheree’s  table. Of course Kenya, famous for the last minute apology,comes over.   Marlo, is NOT feeling it.  “I just want to take a moment to apologize for not having the time to invite you to my housewarming party,”  Marlo said “not just that” “but it’s also your birthday party”  Kenya doesn’t say well because…..and the conversation dies.  Do we have a calmer Marlo or was be being respectful?

The directors threw a little shade on their own.  Priming the reunion, by saying who raised more, particularly Sheree, who raised more with her T-shirts than………..

Who’s gonna check who Boo at the reunion?


What do you think about Matt and Kenya.

Please Comment


Last week Matt slaps a driver an a Lacky calls Kandi Fake !




Stockholm named one of world’s best gay cities

Stockholm named one of world's best gay cities

Stockholm is one of the world’s best cities for gay people, according to a new ranking.

LGBTQ travel site GayCities collected more than 23,000 votes from its members and named Stockholm as the winner in the Up-And-Coming category.

“Sweden has always been a the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement, so we are proud to provide Stockholm with the Up-And-Coming award in the Best of GayCities2016,” Tim Winfred, director of marketing at Q Digital which is behind GayCities, told The Local.

The Swedish city was picked ahead of US hubs Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Richmond and Buffalo.

“As the only non-American location in the category, Stockholm received one-third of all fan votes and beat several other great cities,” added Winfred.

San Francisco took home the top crown as Best City of 2016, with Orlando in Florida winning City of the Year. The only other European cities featured were London and Berlin  which were tied in the Best Singles Scene category, and Madrid, named a Foodie Paradise.

A major gay rights group earlier this year praised Sweden for recent work to promote transgender rights, and for creating more information for and about the young LGBTQ community.

The Nordic country did then fall from fourth to twelfth place in its ranking, however ILGA-Europe explained that the drop was more a result of other nations improving their policies than life in Sweden getting worse for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.

The Local

Jackie Evancho Headlines Trumps Inauguration

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16 year old Jackie Evancho is one of the headliners at Trumps Inauguration next week. Evancho appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2010. She has released six albums.She has performed for  President Obama at the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2010.


By Jane C. Timm/NBC

Two weeks out from the president-elect’s swearing in ceremony and related festivities, Donald Trump’s inauguration is something of a mystery.

The headlining events — the swearing in, parade, and inaugural balls — will take place January 20 near the Lincoln Memorial. Trump has said that it will be a star-studded affair.

“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Trump told the New York Times on Monday morning. But to date, the public knows more about who won’t be performing at the Trump inauguration than who will.

Here’s who is confirmed to perform: the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” singer, Jackie Evancho.

Here’s who won’t be playing, according to various reports: Elton John, KISS, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Kanye West, Chainsmokers, David Foster, and Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil. You can likely also count out the many celebrities who campaigned for rival Hillary Clinton, as well.

Even the confirmed acts came with controversy: One Tabernacle choir member quit in protest, and some Rockettes protested their inclusion in the event, as well. Company management later said members were not required to perform.

Trump’s boast to the Times comes after weeks of effort by his team to spin the inauguration as intentionally light on celebrities. Incoming White House Communications Director Sean Spicer said on Fox that the president-elect “doesn’t need celebrities … He is the celebrity.” In late December, Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn said the inauguration was “not a summer jam.”

The so-called “A” list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!

“The Rockettes represent the American people. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir represents the American people,” Epshteyn said in the same interview, noting that other celebrities would also represent the kind of everyday Americans Trump has said his campaign is about. “And that’s what we’re concentrating on.”

Meanwhile, It wasn’t just celebrity attendees Trump bragged about to the Times.

“All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration,” he said.

Putting aside the fact that many inauguration guests are out-of-towners, the Washington Post reports that the stores are not out of inventory.

When the sky starts to fall I’ll reach for my Umbrella


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Hillary Clinton lost, despite having nearly 3 million more votes she lost. Like a lot of Americans I was in shock.

I turned off the news and limited my time on Social Media.  In addition to the fake news, the news coming from my  friends depressed me.  It was Bad Trump twenty four seven.  Trump was going to ruin America, every other person living paycheck to paycheck was leaving America.

For those who’ve followed this blog, know I lean a little bit left. Not a full tilt,because I believe we need the right.   I don’t subscribe to the notion that right wingers are evil. Through the years  have met some very questionable people on the left.

I see little difference between the two parties.  The reinstatement of Nancy Pelosi, and Paul Ryan guarantees more of the same and I’m following  the lead of some of the millennials seeking a viable third option.

The Donald is our President, based on the people he has chosen to fill key positions  many low middle income and working class supporters may regret their votes.  The people he has chosen cant relate to the needs of average working person.  Some have never been in a Supermarket.  Remember when George H Bush didn’t know what the cost was for a gallon of milk?

It make take a minute or two for his supporters to see through his smoke as he takes credit for everything from the popularity of coke to curing measles in Nigeria.

His presidency has turned this slave of the media to a hyper vigilant citizen.  He has reactivated my activism.  I have rediscovered my feet.  I’m participating in the Women’s March On Washington here in Sacramento.  Networked with other bloggers to vet and help get third party candidates elected locally here in Northern California.

Trumps term is a wait and hope for the best.  I refuse to add my voice to the gloom and doom chorus.  When the sky starts to fall I will reach for my Umbrella.