Dr. Jessie Pocock testified at today's Congressional hearing (House Oversight and Reform Committee. She is with Inside Out Youth Services. I have not heard of them before.
In the hearing, Dr. Pocock noted:
It is not okay that we expect more maturity and compassion from our youth than the public servants entrusted with their care. Daily, our staff sit with youth experiencing suicidal thoughts who are impacted by these types of harmful and inaccurate messages. It is not the fact these youths are LGBTQ that puts them at risk. It's the way our culture views them. Their mental health is impacted when politicians legislate away their rights, when they witness unmitigated hate speech on social media. This is not normal. This is not okay. These are kids.
There's a lot in the hearing worth noting but, for whatever reason, that resonated the most to me. As the mother of eight children, one of whom is gay, that really resonated with me.
It's an important hearing. I was at work and my son Mike texted me asking if he could post the live link to it here (he'd already posted it at his own site). Of course and I also told him to go ahead and do that anytime he wants.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, the President signed into law:
H.R. 8404, the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which establishes statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages and repeals provisions of law that once prevented any State or territory from being required to give effect to a same-sex marriage from another State or territory.
Thank you to Speaker Pelosi, Representatives Nadler, Cicilline, and Davids, Leader Schumer, Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, Feinstein, and Booker, and many others for their leadership.
MONTANARO: Our latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which is going to be released Thursday, shows 68% are in favor of same-sex marriage. You know, it was still a bit of a surprise. I have to say, though, that the bill got through because it wasn't clear they could get the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster because Republicans really have been much slower to embrace same-sex marriage. But a dozen Republican senators voted for it, 39 Republicans in the House did, too. And it's really reflective of how the country, even Republicans, are changing, even though GOP support, you know, has been much less in our surveys, less than a majority.
SHAPIRO: All right. We've been describing this as now a law that protects same-sex and interracial marriage. Beyond that top line, explain exactly what it does and does not do.
MONTANARO: Yeah. Not everyone's celebrating this as the be all, end all - and it's not. You know, this was largely passed because of the threat that the conservative supermajority at the Supreme Court after the Dobbs ruling that took away the right to an abortion, you know, could overturn other rights, including same-sex marriage. You know, while this bill gives federal benefits to same-sex couples, make sure those marriages are recognized across state lines, it doesn't guarantee that states won't deny marriage licenses to gay couples again if the court overturns it. You know, and I have to say, one of the most overlooked things in this bill, you know, isn't just about same-sex marriage, but also interracial marriages. Easy to overlook because 94% in the latest polling say they approve, but majorities didn't approve until the late 1990s, which isn't that long ago for some of us.
On Tuesday evening, a heavy gunfire was reported in the US military base at the US Embassy in Baghdad, known as "Unit 3".
The shooting was reported as eyewitnesses had earlier announced the flight of as US military helicopter over Baghdad's Green Zone.
The shooting, the details of which are still unknown, happened in the area of the US military base located in the US Embassy inside the security and protected Green Zone of Baghdad, and some Iraqi sources, such as Sabereen News Telegram channel embarked on broadcasting its video clips.
Women in Iraq are facing rising levels of domestic abuse. Cases of gender-based violence have seen a surge of 125% between 2020 and 2021, according to the United Nations.
In the Kurdistan region, women who feel trapped in abusive households often see suicide by self-immolation as their only way out.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has tried to combat violence against women, but many remain at risk.
The BBC has been granted rare access to one of the main hospitals for burns in Iraqi Kurdistan, where many women die of self-inflicted burns.
The law would punish anyone who would for any reason “publish or promote” homosexuality in state’s media, institutions, schools, universities, social media platforms, books, cinemas, theatres, publications, and in public.
On December 3, 25 MPs, mostly from Shia group Coordination Framework, which opposes influential cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, who is also Shia, signed a bill proposing the criminalisation of all publishing on LGBTQ+ topics in Iraq.
Individual citizens could be fined one million Iraqi dinars ($685), while government agencies and companies could be fined millions more.
Washington D.C. (December 12, 2022)—On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will hold a hearing to examine how the surge of anti-LGBTQI+ policies advanced by Republican lawmakers and the proliferation of extreme anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric are fueling a rise in violence against LGBTQI+ people in the United States. The Committee will hear firsthand testimony from individuals impacted by this violence, including survivors of last month’s mass shooting at the Colorado Springs LGBTQI+ nightclub Club Q that took the lives of five people.
“From Colorado Springs to my own district in New York City, communities across the country are facing a terrifying rise of anti-LGBTQI+ violence and extremism,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “I am deeply grateful that survivors of these attacks are coming before my Committee to share their stories with the American people. Make no mistake, the rise in anti-LGBTQI+ extremism and the despicable policies that Republicans at every level of government are advancing to attack the health and safety of LGBTQI+ people are harming the LGBTQI+ community and contributing to tragedies like what we saw at Club Q. Next week, Republicans on my Committee and across the country will be forced to face the real-life impact of their dangerous agenda. I hope LGBTQI+ individuals across the country will see that Democrats in Congress are fighting for them and will continue to push for policies that protect and expand their ability to live authentically and safely.”
On November 19, 2022, a shooter armed with an AR-15 style rifle opened fire on patrons and staff of the LGBTQI+ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing five people and injuring more than a dozen others.
The Club Q shooting comes as extremist, right-wing lawmakers at every level of government have advanced harmful policies that undermine the ability of LGBTQI+ people to live authentically. In 2021 alone, state legislators introduced more than 340 pieces of anti-LGBTQI+ legislation, including many that target LGBTQI+ people in classroom settings and health care.
Following the passage of Florida’s anti-LGBTQI+ “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law in March, vitriolic social media content alleging that members of the LGBTQI+ community were “groomers” skyrocketed by more than 400%. Since 2015, hate crimes have increased by 40%, with the last two years being the deadliest on record for transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Full Committee hearing entitled “The Rise of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism and Violence in the United States.”
Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET
Survivor of Club Q Shooting
Survivor of Club Q Shooting
Human Rights Campaign
Survivor of Pulse Nightclub Shooting
National Center for Transgender Equality
CEO & Executive Director
Inside Out Youth Services
Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy
The Williams Institute
Additional Witnesses to be Announced.
Seating in the hearing room is limited and as a result, credentialed media must RSVP to the Oversight Committee Democrats Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 p.m. ET on December 13, 2022.