1. Mike Huckabee had a very difficult week.
Sensing the tide of history and the Supreme Court going against him, Mike Huckabee called on conservative Christians to engage in a massive “Biblical disobedience” campaign against the “false god of judicial supremacy,” in advance of the Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage this week. Not clear what exactly constitutes “biblical disobedience,” but whatevs.
The GOP presidential aspirant went on to compare the gay marriage act to the Dred Scott case that upheld the Fugitive Slave Act, which is odd to say the least, since legalizing gay marriage is a step forward for civil rights, saying in a way that gay people are fully human, and Dred Scott was, of course, a terrible distortion of justice that said black people were not.
So, huh? But then again, the ideological conservative Christian brain does not trouble itself with such logical inconsistencies.
After the ruling, Huckabee reacted in a Fox News segment with Megyn Kelly with another completely insane comparison, “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”
This was too much even for Kelly, who tried to give the Huckster a brief lesson in Constitutional Law. “How do you not accept it?” she asked incredulously. “Like it or not, the (Supreme Court) gets the final say.”
But lest you think there’s been some breakout of sanity and humanity on Megyn Kelly’s show, she also invited her pal Tony Perkins, head of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, to discuss the decision. Shockingly, he too was glum about it.
2. Everything has gone dark for Ted Cruz.
So many Texas politicians are despairing about the Supreme Court decisions this week, a massive pity party might be in order. Ted Cruz was definitely crying in his beer. At least the poor fella found a sympathetic ear on Sean Hannity’s radio show.
“Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history,” Cruz said without any regard to subject verb agreement. “Yesterday and today were both naked and shameless judicial activism.”
Hannity concurred. “I couldn’t say it more eloquently.” (Unless, of course, he injected grammar into the statement.)
As we all learned in school, judicial activism is when you don’t agree with the high court’s decision. This is a universal truth. “It is lawless, and in doing so, they have undermined the fundamental legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court,” Cruz continued portentously and nonsensically.
3. Louie Gohmert completely freaks out, recommends fleeing country since that’s what God did.
God is going to be very very mad at us, according to Texas tea partier Louie Gohmert. He predicts a noticeable drop-off of God’s protection of the good ol’ U.S. of A. now that we’ve gone and legalized gay marriage.
“Founders and leaders including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and most all of the Presidents have noted that it is God who has been the source of this nation’s unfathomable blessings,” Gohmert stated. “But if Moses, Jesus, and contributors to the Bible were correct, God’s hand of protection will be withdrawn as future actions from external and internal forces will soon make clear. I will do all I can to prevent such harm, but I am gravely fearful that the stage has now been set.”
And if that does not convince people, how about this? Gohmert argued, “It is a tragic and ominous day for the United States when a decision by five unelected justices of the U.S. Supreme Court blatantly violates the law in order to destroy the foundational building block for society provided by Nature and Nature’s God — that was stated as divine law by Moses and Jesus.”
Get a grip, Gohmert.
4. Bobby Jindal continues to demonstrate how the Republican Party really is the party of stupid.
Bobby Jindal, the brainiac former Louisiana governor who showed how he’s going to smarten up the Republican Party by allowing creationism to be taught as science in his state’s public schools, had a characteristically brilliant reaction to the Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to same-sex marriage. “If we want to save some money let’s just get rid of the court.”
Jindal, who just launched his 2016 presidential campaign on Wednesday, calmlyblasted the decision the first step in an “all-out assault” on Christians’ religious liberty.
So, not hysterical or anything.
5. Bill Kristol: “Polygamy, here we come.”
That’s all. That’s what the right-wing pundit tweeted. This connection seems perfectly obvious and reasonable to him.
6. Pat Boone is really sick of everyone talking about racism when obviously Satan is to blame for the Charleston murders.
Ultra-conservative former child star Pat Boone thinks Obama injected race into the Charleston shootings of nine black churchgoers by avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof. Where on earth would the President or anyone else get that impression? It makes Boone foot-stomping mad, and it makes him want to lecture Obama, like this:
“As the president who came to office, a black man promising to bring people together, a man ideally suited for that job since you were born both black and white, you had a God-given chance to actually proclaim and demonstrate that racial divides and prejudice had greatly diminished and that our society was truly becoming colorblind.”
Thanks, Pat. Thanks also for your other pearls of wisdom on other racially charged crimes, like your comment about Michael Brown being a “very large black man.” That certainly cleared things up about why the unarmed teenager deserved to be shot and killed by a police officer.
Anyway, Dylann Roof’s hate-filled massacre had nothing to do with race, obviously, says Pat. It had everything to do with Satan.
“This boy wasn’t just a sadist, or even criminally insane,” Boone said. “He was carefully prepared and led by the Devil himself to kill as many Christians as he could. The fact that they were black was an excuse more than a reason.”
There’s only one solution to all this, and it’s the same solution to the whole gay marriage catastrophe, and that is to get right with God, and cast the devil out!
TRENTON, N.J. – Chris Christie, a onetime rising Republican star whose political stock fell sharply after a traffic scandal involving former aides and appointees, is expected to formally launch his presidential campaign on Tuesday.
He enters a crowded field as an underdog, wagering his retail political skills and brash style will propel him into serious competition for his party’s nod.
The New Jersey governor is expected to make his campaign official Tuesday morning in a gymnasium at the high school that he attended in Livingston, N.J. Later, he plans to hold a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, pivoting to his signature political venue in a state many strategists see as a must-win if Christie is going be a real contender.
Christie steps into a fray where top competition for the GOP establishment support he has long sought is already underway. Some of the biggest donors in the GOP have signed on with former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R). Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has also made strides with top fundraisers. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is expected to soon announce his own bid after stocking up resources for months.
Tuesday’s expected announcement will come as his appeal to Republicans has hit a low point — a sharp departure from the highs of late 2013 when he was fresh off a decisive reelection victory in his heavily Democratic state and was seen widely as the GOP establishment favorite for president. Dogged by the“Bridgegate” scandal in which then-aides and appointees snarled traffic in an apparent act of political retribution, Christie’s popularity has since plummeted. He’s also faced heavy skepticism from conservative activists throughout his tenure.
Still, the unique persona that made him a Republican rock star early in his first term remains: part former federal prosecutor and part suburban dad yelling at a soccer game. As he becomes the 14th official GOP presidential contender, Christie is banking on his liveliness to revive his wilted prospects.
“I get accused a lot of times of being too blunt and too direct and saying what’s on my mind just a little bit too loudly,” Christie said in a two-minute Web video released over the weekend, adding that his Sicilian mother taught him to “never hold anything back.”
His slogan, “Telling It Like It Is,” reiterates the message that his aggressiveness is an asset.
After holding his Tuesday evening town hall, Christie will stay in New Hampshire for the remainder of the week for a series of town-hall meetings and diner stops. It is at those gatherings, in a state that has shown a soft spot for more centrist Northeast Republicans, where his advisers believe he can gradually win support from voters so far unexcited by others.
But he faces stiff headwinds. While Christie insists he was not involved in the late-2013 “Bridgegate” scandal and no legal authorities have found that he was, the questions surrounding the governor have been damaging. Other troubles at home have included a cascade of credit downgrades and shuttered casinos in Atlantic City that have rattled the state’s economy, and a pension system touted by Christie that now has billions in unfunded liabilities.
Christie’s antidote: return to his roots. His blunt, outspoken style has often produced viral moments at town halls that helped define his reputation as a tough-talking, tell-it-how-it-is executive.
While those exchanges have won him many fans, others have criticized his brusqueness, leading to polarized opinions of Christie.
A recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll showed his approval rating in New Jersey was a paltry 30 percent. Just 17 percent of Democrats approved of the job Christie was doing.
Christie also faces problems in his own party. Just half of Republicans in the FDU survey approved of Christie. And he’s mostly been in the low single-digits in national primary polls.
In New Hampshire and other battlegrounds, Christie will likely encounter difficulties and deep pockets of conservative doubt about his politics that began to build when he worked agreeably with President Obama on hurricane relief during the closing days of the 2012 election and his relationship with then nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign grew icy.
Cultural conservatives, too, have their concerns. A previous supporter of abortion rights, Christie has since become an anti-abortion voice. Meanwhile, Christie once backed the Common Core school standards that have become anathema to GOP activists, and has sought to distance from them more recently.
Christie’s statements on gun control have also stirred suspicions about his conservative inclinations, like when he called in April for the “right balance” between public safety and gun owners. The National Rifle Association declined to invite him this year to its annual convention.
To counteract such reservations on the right, Christie is expected to to highlight elements of his record that are popular with Republican primary voters, like his hawkish foreign policy, which could play well in New Hampshire. His work to curb prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders and put them into treatment could also help him there.
Christie’s group of unwavering supporters, led by Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and strategists Bill Palatucci and Mike DuHaime, keep asking naysayers to be patient. In time, and especially after the primary debates begin in August, they argue, Christie will stitch together a coalition.
Until then, Christie plans to plod ahead, town-hall meeting by town-hall meeting. He is seeking to recapture the political magic that drew millions of clicks on YouTube in 2010 when his office first began uploading his clashes with public-school teachers, landing him on the cover of conservative magazines and earning cheers from right-wing television personalities.
The network announced it was “ending its business relationship” with Trump after the magnate railed against Mexican immigrants in his presidential announcement speech, calling them “rapists” and drug dealers.
NBC emailed TPM the statement on Monday:
At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.
To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC.
In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC.
“Celebrity Apprentice” is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.
In a statement to reporters captured by CNN on Monday, Trump said that while he had “a great relationship with them,” NBC “didn’t want me to run, because they wanted to do the Apprentice.”
“As long as I’m running for president, they were not happy with it,” he continued, “and now with my statements on immigration, which happen to be correct, they are gonna take a different stance, and that’s okay. Whatever they wanna do is okay with me.”
“As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that. Because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC,” he concluded.
Trump’s office also released a statement calling NBC “weak” and mentioning former “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, who was demoted after being caught telling bogus stories on air.
“They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is,” Trump said in the statement.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold the right of states to set up independent, non-partisan committees to draw the district maps that determine seats in Congress. Writing the opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said allowing voters to choose how the maps are created follows “the animating principle of our Constitution that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government.”
She added that “nonpartisan and bipartisan commissions generally draw their maps in a timely fashion and create districts both more competitive and more likely to survive legal challenge,” and noted that “conflict of interest is inherent when legislators dra[w] district lines that they ultimately have to run in.”
Because of that conflict of interest, a growing number of states, including Arizona and California, have set up independent map-drawing bodies to combat the scourge of self-interested gerrymandering, in which the party in control of the state legislature draws the maps to keep as many seats as possible “safe” for their lawmakers.
Pamela Goodman, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, told ThinkProgress that the ruling gives her hope as they fight an ongoing battle against gerrymandering in the Sunshine State.
“Voters should have a voice in their elections,” she said. “What gerrymandering does is allow lawmakers to draw districts that protect their position. It’s the fox guarding the hen house. Voters are not choosing their representatives. Representatives are choosing their voters.”
Advocates are currently waiting for a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on whether the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature, which include odd-shaped, snake-like districtsthat wrap around disparate minority-heavy neighborhoods — making the surrounding districts majority white. Florida voters passed measures in 2010 requiring redistricting to not favor any political party or water down the influence of racial or language minority groups — a process upheld by today’s Supreme Court ruling. But Goodman says enforcement is still a problem. “Unfortunately, our lawmakers did not adhere to the mandate and we have been in litigation ever since then,” she said.
Had the high court ruled the other way, it could have allowed a third of all the congressional districts in the country to be impacted, potentially causing an entrenchment of Republican power in Congress after future elections. Now, voting rights advocates are hoping more states, especiallyhighly gerrymandered North Carolina, adopt the non-partisan process backed by the Supreme Court.
“We’re hopeful that citizens and legislators alike in other states will push politics aside and create independent bodies to draw truly representative districts after the 2020 census,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport.
On Monday, the Court also handed a victory to voting rights advocates by rejecting an attempt by Kansas and Arizona to add a proof of citizenship requirement to federal voter registration forms. The forms already require voters to swear under penalty of perjury that they are citizens.
Leading the charge has been Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told ThinkProgress in February that he has found “plenty of cases” of non-citizens registering to vote in his state, “sometimes unwittingly.”
Yet recent reports of non-citizen voting have been soundly debunked, while past investigations inFlorida, Arizona, Colorado and Ohio turned up only a tiny handful of cases — less than one-thousandth of a percent.
Civil rights groups like the Election Protection Network say adding a proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration would actually hurt all voters, especially “traditionally disenfranchised groups like poor, minority and elderly voters,” who may lack the proper documents. In Kobach’s own state, the policy prevented thousands of eligible citizens fromcasting a ballot in this past election.
Voting rights advocates are lamenting, however, that the Supreme Court’s rejection of Kobach’s crusade only impacts federal election registration, and he is still free to impose additional requirements for state and local elections.
Ted Cruz slams Karl Rove in his new memoir — and the political strategist is firing back
Ted Cruz didn’t just lament “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history” after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare and marriage equality late last week — he somehow also mustered up the energy to engage in a war of words with political strategist and Fox News contributor Karl Rove.
The Tea Party Senator and Republican presidential candidate is out with a new book, titled “A Time for Truth,” in which he reveals a whole host of autobiographical tidbits including claims that his Cuban-born father once tried to join Fidel Castro’s army, that he had a porn-watching session with Supreme Court justices and that Karl Rove once threatened and bullied him, a claim that Rove has already called a lie.
The all but obligatory political memoir by presidential aspirants (or sometimes not) tends to be a bore, full of forced humility and devoid of introspective honesty but conservative firebrand Sen. Cruz’s forthcoming book promises to at least be entertaining.
Cruz describes a time when as a law clerk to then Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he had the opportunity to watch porn with Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as research for a case about online porn regulation.
“We were in front of a large computer screen gazing at explicit, hard-core pornography,” Cruz explains. “A slew of hard-core, explicit images showed up onscreen … as we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word. Except for Justice O’Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, ‘Oh, my.’”
Cruz also discusses his father’s failed attempt to join Fidal Castro’s army and tells of the time he showed up to an Ivy League admissions interview hungover, but it is his account of political strong-arming by Texas political operative Karl Rove that is most juicy.
The conservative blog Brietbart.com, published an excerpt of Cruz’s book, highlighting the tale of intimidation by Rove after Cruz sought George H.W. Bush’s endorsement for Texas Attorney General back in 2009:
“Karl had found out about my meeting with George H.W. Bush and called me on the phone. He was irate, demanding, ‘What in the hell do you think you are doing?!”
Rove was “in the process of helping raise money for the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas,” and that “Texas donors were giving the Bushes tens of millions, including major donors who were supporting the Dallas state rep who wanted to run for attorney general,” so those donors “were now berating Karl.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t think you were going to get support from 41.”
“He suggested that the elder Bush was too old to have good judgment anymore.”
“Return the check,” Rove replied.
“Well, I can’t do that,” Cruz responded. “We already deposited it.”
“I pointed out that under Texas’s election law, we had to list the contribution on our ethics disclosure report,” Cruz wrote, noting that Rove “paused for a few seconds.”
“All right, fine,” Rove told him. “Then I want you to do nothing whatsoever to draw attention to it.”
And then he pulled out the hammer. He implied that if I made any news about Bush 41’s support, then Bush 43 would endorse my opponent and come out publicly for him—a threat that was fairly striking given that I had devoted four years of my life to working as hard as I could helping to elect Bush and serving in his administration. I always wondered whether Karl had the authority to make these threats on behalf of the former president—he certainly acted like he did.
Bank Closures As Crisis Deepens… Euro Falls, Stocks Tumble… Greeks Rush To Take Out Cash… The Bank Holiday From Hell… European ‘Blackmail’…Referendum One Week Away… KRUGMAN: I’d Vote No… A Day In Line At The Country’s ATMs… The Consequences If Greece Returns To The Drachma…Latest At HuffPost Greece...
In the 1800s, it was Republicans who were fighting against the Confederate flag. Today, it’s the Republicans who are fighting to keep it flying above our state capitals.
In the 1900s, Republicans wanted to break up the conglomerates that were strangling the working man. Today, the conglomerates own them.
In the 1950s, at the influence of Eisenhower, Republicans expanded Social Security. Today, they want to privatize it or even phase it out. Some call for raising the retirement age. It was Republicans, along with Democrats, who supported strong union protections and fair pay laws. Today, Republicans are passing right-to-work legislation and murmuring the idea of abolishing the minimum wage. It was President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, who said:
“Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
In the 1980s, Republicans granted amnesty to hardworking undocumented immigrants. Today, they call them rapists, thieves, and dangers to our society and way of life. They somehow manage to invoke subtle (sometimes blatant) racism into the dialogue: “The browning of America,” as Ann Coulter would call it. Today, President Reagan would be branded a traitor, a RINO, or both. As someone who signed gun control measures into law, negotiated with our enemies, signed nuclear limiting treaties, raised taxes (a lot) and voted for FDR four times, he would be considered a liberal in today’s GOP.
To put it in perspective, Richard Lugar, a Republican Senator from Indiana, was once considered further to the right than Senators Bob Dole and Ted Stevens. He served in the Senate from 1977 to 2013, losing in the Republican primary to a Tea Partier. A man who was once considered more conservative than Bob Dole was beaten because he wasn’t conservative enough. The same thing happened to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the first time a House Majority Leader lost (his) position in a primary since the position was established in 1899. Who did he lose to? A Tea Partier. The reason: he wasn’t conservative enough.
The Tea Party has almost single handedly shifted the GOP from center-to-right to far-right. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana and now a 2016 contender, once embraced Common Core, new set of education standards. Once the Tea Partiers got wind and raised hell, Jindal abandoned his support and called it an overreach of federal power. Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida, was the voice of reason for real comprehensive immigration reform. As a member of a bi-partisan “Gang of Eight,” Rubio succumbed to pressures from Tea Party radicals, and backed off his own immigration plan.
Now what about the Democrats?
Well, in the 1930s, 40s, 50s an 60s, Democrats championed social programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps – to help low income Americans live a better life. Today, Democrats are still doing that, whether it be through Obamacare, expanded Medicaid, SNAP benefits or tuition free college.
In the 1960s, a tide had turned with the election of President Kennedy, and Democrats became the party of Civil Rights. Today, Democrats are fighting back on attacks to voting rights (perpetrated by Republicans). It’s of no surprise Republicans cheered on the gutting of the Civil Rights Act by the Supreme Court just a few short years ago. Something as simple as voting rights, once a bi-partisan issue (after Lyndon Johnson spearheaded it), has turned into a left v. right issue because the GOP has become more conservative in their approach to domestic policy.
The only thing Democrats have radically changed in is their support for is gay rights, considering no party really touched on the issue until the late 1990s. That’s one of the biggest reasons Democrats have become “more liberal.”
And actually, trends show that Democratic presidents are becoming more moderate, based on their support or opposition to Congressional legislation. Republican presidents? They move further to the right. If anything, Democrats have moved closer to the right than to the left. When it comes to Congressional Republicans and Democrats, Republicans have moved more to the right and at a quicker pace than Democrats have to the left.
In other words: extremism has engulfed the GOP.
As Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wrote in their article for The American Prospect:
“The GOP’s great right migration is the biggest story in American politics of the last 40 years. And it’s not just limited to Congress: GOP presidents have gotten more steadily conservative too; conservative Republicans increasingly dominate state politics; and the current Republican appointees are among the most conservative in the Court’s modern history. The growing extremism of Republicans is the main cause of gridlock in Washington, the force behind scorched-earth tactics on Capitol Hill….”
Indeed, when conservatives blast Elizabeth Warren’s “break up the banks” rhetoric, they fail to see that that same rhetoric comesright out of the Teddy Roosevelt handbook. Roosevelt was Republican, albeit a progressive Republican.
We as a nation went from Richard Nixon establishing the EPA to Jim Inhofe (R-OK) throwing snowballs on the Senate floor. We went from Goldwater (a conservative-Libertarian icon) supporting environmental protections at the cost of profit to thecriminalization of even mentioning climate change (thanks, Rick Scott). In the 1970s, Republicans showed a surprisingly progressive side (along with Democrats) when it came to protecting our environment.
We went from Tip and the Gipper to…well…Obama and Boehner. But Republicans are not fools (when it comes to executing their tactics, that is). Because of their gridlock and scorched-earth approach to almost everything, they make Democratic-sponsored ideas and initiatives look too partisan, something that always leaves a nasty taste in the mouths of the electorate. It’s calculated, and it’s demanded from their fringe voters in the Tea Party. Because of those cold, calculated tactics, America lost its triple A credit rating in 2011 and the government shut down in 2013. In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security was just a couple hours away from shutting down, putting America’s safety at risk.
The party that was once led by the “great communicator” is now the party of temper tantrums led by a man who really needs to stop getting spray-tans.
There is one thing, however, Republicans have continued: their assault on non-Christians. With hysteria hitting all time highs in the 1950s at the hands of Republican Senator Joe McCarthy over the alleged infiltration of communism, America went on a Jesus binge, putting “In God We Trust” on our currency, federal buildings, etc. We even put “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Now fast-forward to 2015. Republicans, influenced by the hysteria surrounding radical Islam, intellectualism and an ever creeping “gay agenda,” have resorted to initiating three major goals: attacks on our schools with abstinence-only sex education and creationism; “religious freedom” laws in private-sector services; and assaults on women’s reproductive health.
Long story short, when someone tells you both parties have moved too far to the left or right, remind them that is simply not true. Only one party has moved too far to any side, and that would be the Republican Party to the right. What was once the party of environmental protection and civil rights has turned into a ghost of it’s formal self. The once respected institution of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower has now become the fringe group of Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh and birthers.
So even as the Democrats become a little more liberal, they really aren’t moving that very far. The Republicans, however, have gone over the cliff into the fever swamps of paranoia, rage, and extremism.
June is a month where LGBT people get together to celebrate who they are at Pride events around the world. Not all LGBT people are able to take to the streets and let their inner rainbows shine, however. For some LGBT people, being alive means living in fear. On Sunday, a gay pride parade was ended when police sprayed water cannons into a crowd of thousands in Istanbul, Turkey. The Associated Press reports:
“Turkish police used water cannons and tear gas against gay pride marchers trying to rally in Istanbul’s central square on Sunday, forcing the thousands of demonstrators to gather several blocks away.
Two people were injured, according to the Dogan news agency. The extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately known.
Between 100 and 200 protesters were chased away from Taksim Square as they began gathering in the late afternoon. Police hemmed the demonstrators into a small corner of the square and then fired several jets of water to force them down a side street.
Within minutes, the noisy but otherwise peaceful rally restarted a few blocks away and grew to several thousand people as the day wore on. An Associated Press reporter at the scene occasionally smelled tear gas, but there didn’t appear any further attempt by police to interfere with the protest.”
The Guardian is reporting that in addition to water cannons, rubber bullets were fired at the crowd. Turkey is a predominately Muslim population with a secular government. Therefore, while homosexuality is not criminalized, homophobia is the norm in the nation.
LGBT people have been gaining a lot of ground in western countries as of late. Gays and lesbians can now get married anywhere in the United States. However, in more than 75 countries homosexuality is criminalized. Now that LGBT people in privileged nations are beginning to gain rights, it is imperative that LGBT people and allies band together to create global solidarity with the most oppressed members of the community around the world.