In addition to offering inclusive benefits internally, Walmart is one of many major companies starting to use its corporate influence to fight anti-LGBTQ laws at the state level. Last year, the retailer joined Apple, Salesforce, and Starbucks to become an outspoken opponent of a bill in its home state of Arkansas that would have protected companies from discriminating against LGBTQ people for employment, housing, or public accommodation on religious grounds. 

theguardian.com
For trans women killed by Oakland fire, struggle for respect continues in death
The tragedy has shaken a community facing disproportionate discrimination, a reality amplified by police and the media referring to transgender victims as ‘he’...
By Sam Levin
youtube

Donald Trump said women should be punished for having an abortion. Here’s what that looks like.

nytimes.com
Trump’s Threat to the Constitution
by Evan McMullin, a former C.I.A. officer, and a conservative independent presidential candidate in 2016.

WASHINGTON — On July 7, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, met privately with House Republicans near the Capitol.  I was present as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.  Mr. Trump’s purpose was to persuade the representatives to unite around him, a pitch he delivered in a subdued version of his stream-of-consciousness style.  A congresswoman asked him about his plans to protect Article I of the Constitution, which assigns all federal lawmaking power to Congress.

Mr. Trump interrupted her to declare his commitment to the Constitution — even to parts of it that do not exist, such as “Article XII.”  Shock swept through the room as Mr. Trump confirmed one of our chief concerns about him: He lacked a basic knowledge of the Constitution.

There is still deeper cause for concern.  Mr. Trump’s erroneous proclamation also suggested that he lacked even an interest in the Constitution.  Worse, his campaign rhetoric had demonstrated authoritarian tendencies.

He had questioned judicial independence, threatened the freedom of the press, called for violating Muslims’ equal protection under the law, promised the use of torture and attacked Americans based on their gender, race and religion.  He had also undermined critical democratic norms including peaceful debate and transitions of power, commitment to truth, freedom from foreign interference and abstention from the use of executive power for political retribution.

There is little indication that anything has changed since Election Day.  Last week, Mr. Trump commented on Twitter that flag-burning should be punished by jailing and revocation of citizenship.  As someone who has served this country, I carry no brief for flag-burners, but I defend their free-speech right to protest — a right guaranteed under the First Amendment.  Although I suspect that Mr. Trump’s chief purpose was to provoke his opponents, his action was consistent with the authoritarian playbook he uses.

Mr. Trump also recently inflated his election performance, claiming — without evidence — that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”  This, too, is nothing new.   Authoritarians often exaggerate their popular support to increase the perception of their legitimacy.  But the deeper objective is to weaken the democratic institutions that limit their power.  Eroding confidence in voting, elections and representative bodies gives them a freer hand to wield more power.

As a C.I.A. officer, I saw firsthand authoritarians’ use of these tactics around the world.  Their profound appetite for absolute power drives their intolerance for any restraint — whether by people, organizations, the law, cultural norms, principles or even the expectation of consistency.  For a despot, all of these checks on power must be ignored, undermined or destroyed so that he is all that matters.

Mr. Trump has said that he prefers to be unpredictable because it maximizes his power.  During his recent interview with The New York Times, he casually abandoned his fiery calls during the campaign for torture, prosecuting Hillary Clinton and changing libel laws.  Mr. Trump’s inconsistencies and provocative proposals are a strategy; they are intended to elevate his importance above all else — and to place him beyond democratic norms, beyond even the Constitution.

In our nation, power is shared, checked and balanced precisely to thwart would-be autocrats.  But as we become desensitized to the notion that Mr. Trump is the ultimate authority, we may attribute less importance to the laws, norms and principles that uphold our system of government, which protects our rights.  Most dangerously, we devalue our own worth and that of our fellow Americans.

We must never forget that we are born equal, with basic, natural rights, including those of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Those rights are inherent in us because we are humans, not because they are granted by government.  Government, indeed, exists primarily to protect those natural rights; the only legitimate power it has is that which we grant to it.

We can no longer assume that all Americans understand the origins of their rights and the importance of liberal democracy.  We need a new era of civic engagement that will reawaken us to the cause of liberty and equality.  That engagement must extend to ensuring that our elected representatives uphold the Constitution, in deed and discourse — even if doing so puts them at odds with their party.

We cannot allow Mr. Trump to normalize the idea that he is the ultimate arbiter of our rights.  Those who can will need to speak out boldly and suffer possible retaliation.  Others will need to offer hands of kindness and friendship across the traditional political divide, as well as to those who may become targets because of who they are or what they believe.  Those who understand the cause are called to the work, which I hope will unify and bless our nation in time.

“We cannot allow Mr. Trump to normalize the idea that he is the ultimate arbiter of our rights.”

Mexico has one of the most comprehensive vaccination programs in the world. Everyone has the right to free vaccines, each child receives a National Vaccination Card, records are stored in a database, and children cannot enroll in school without a complete record. The country hasn’t seen a measles outbreak since 1996. Source Source 2

Not everybody in jail is a murderer or a child molester or rapist. People forget that and use that irrationality to demonize and dehumanize people in jail. This helps them not feel sympathy for anything that may happen to prisoners and this helps deny them basic human rights (medical attention, safety, clean food and water). People matter, even the ones in prison. - Ty

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This might come as a surprise to some people, but Canada is not perfect. Some Canadians may want to say that not all cops are going to or even capable of harassing the public in the ways discussed above. “I know a good cop”, “my sister’s husband is a good cop”, “who do you think is going to help you if you’re a victim of a crime?” 

What is important, however, is that nearly every Canadian law officer understands how our society works, and understands that they hold privilege of preferential treatment above the law if they are to ever commit a violent or demoralizing act against another human being.

Canadian cops are treated like they embody the stereotype of the honest, polite Canadian that the worlds sees us as. But in reality, they are humans - and even sometimes, monsters.

This year, NYC and the UN LGBT Core Group, a group advocating for LGBT rights globally at the UN, partnered to paint a rainbow crosswalk leading into the UN headquarters to celebrate the diversity and resiliency of the LGBT community worldwide. NYC is proud to enforce policies that empower all people – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity and identity – to live free from harassment and violence, including the right for all New Yorkers to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.