Fight This Hate: A Weekly Roundup

Fight this Hate shows a small selection of hate crimes and/or harassment that has taken place recently in the United States. Southern Poverty Law Center keeps detailed accounts of hate crimes. Colorlines tracks all manner of topics related to race and publishes them daily. The following incidents are only a small sample, and each includes a form of direct action.


LGBTQQIA Rights

Advocates are bracing for a Trump administration rollback of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, despite a White House statement vowing to uphold protection for LGBT people in the workplace. U.S. President said he would continue to enforce a 2014 executive order by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, barring discrimination against LGBT people working for federal contractors.

The statement breaks with the Republican Party’s stance, and Trump could still take executive actions allowing discrimination under the guise of religious exemptions.

“LGBTQ people must remain on guard for attacks,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the civil rights group GLAAD.

A leaked draft of an anti-LGBT executive order was circulating in Washington. The order would have eliminated non-discrimination protections for federal employees and contractors, according to a source who has seen the draft. They asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals from the Trump administration.

The order also would have allowed adoption agencies that receive federal funding to deny services to LGBT parents on religious grounds.

As LGBT activists geared up for a clash, the White House issued the pro-LGBT statement, but the activists were not easily swayed. “(President) Trump’s decision not to rescind the executive order protecting LGBT people from discrimination appears to have been a smokescreen for doing something far worse,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). “The draft executive order suggests that Trump is looking to blow a hole through those protections.”

Reuters was not able to verify whether the draft was being seriously considered.

FIGHT BACK:

Check your local Queer Center or LGBTQQIA activists group for protests, rallies, and marches.

Contact your members of congress and ask them to continue to protect LGBTQQIA rights.


Animal Welfare, Animal Rights

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Those wanting access to the information will have to file a Freedom of Information Act request. This is also true for inspection reports under the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits injuring horses’ hooves or legs for show.

The agency released a statement saying it revoked public access to the reports “based on our commitment to being transparent … and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”

The reports apply to 7813 facilities that keep animals covered by the law. Roughly 1200 of the facilities are research labs, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The act covers animals like dogs and chimpanzees, but it does not cover rodents like laboratory mice.

FIGHT BACK:

Join or support the Animal Liberation Front. Or PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Or Cruelty-Free International.

Become a vegetarian or vegan. Never buy leather or fur. Use beauty products that are cruelty-free. Spay and neuter your animal companions. Adopt animals from the Humane Society. Help control the feral cat population.

 


Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.

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