Why I Might Not Tell You I’m Transsexual | Transgender Living

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Pro-Trump rioters got away with beating anti-fascists in Berkeley — and likely won’t stop there

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2017/04/18/pro-trump-rioters-got-away-with-beating-anti-fascists-in-berkeley-and-they-likely-wont-stop-there/

The Berkeley street violence was a great marketing event for alt-right types eager to attack anti-Trump protesters

Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017

Most of the demonstrations held on April 15, which was set aside by progressives for marches to demand that Donald Trump reveal his tax returns, were peaceful. The notable exception was the city of Berkeley, California — often described as the most liberal community in the nation — where things rapidly descended into a street fight between radical right-wingers and more left-leaning counterprotesters.

A group of hard-right extremists came to Berkeley to hold a rally in support of Trump. While they are, of course, claiming that they only resorted to violence in self-defense, it’s clear from the social-media organizing done ahead of time that their intention was to start a riot.

David Neiwert of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in a blog post:

On social media, the organizers and supporters called it “the Next Battle of Berkeley,” a chance to gain revenge for an earlier event on the University of California campus that they believed had infringed on conservatives’ free speech rights: In February, a scheduled appearance by alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was shut down by rock-throwing “antifascist” protesters.

One Twitter user also documented the way that alt-right folks were instructing one another in how to smuggle weapons past the police.

hey wanted a fight and a fight they got. Eleven people were injured, and six were hospitalized. One white supremacist identified as Nathan Damigo was filmed sucker punching a young woman.

It’s tempting to write off this event as something unique to the Berkeley area. The area has a robust “antifa” presence, which is the name given to a small group of youthful anarchist-leftist sorts who tend to reject nonviolent approaches in favor of aggressive confrontation. The white nationalists and fascists knew full well that going to Berkeley meant they would be met with an aggressive response. If they had tried the same stunt in, say, New York, it probably wouldn’t have devolved into a violent melee like it did in Berkeley.

But while this particular situation might not have happened anywhere else, now that it has, there’s good reason to worry that the violence could spread. By staging this street fight in Berkeley, the alt-right sent a message to its sympathizers across the country, encouraging them to start organizing brownshirt efforts of their very own.

For one thing, while there were 21 arrests at this particular street fight, most of the right-wing fighters — including, apparently, Damigo — walked away scot-free and full of pride about this supposed victory, as Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer recorded on Twitter.

Complete article at:  http://www.salon.com/2017/04/18/pro-trump-rioters-got-away-with-beating-anti-fascists-in-berkeley-and-they-likely-wont-stop-there/

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The Tribal Case for Israel

From The Forward:  http://forward.com/scribe/368369/the-tribal-case-for-israel/

By Micha Danzig & Yirmiyahu Danzig
April 6, 2017

Supporting Israel means supporting indigenous rights. Despite the obviousness and the power of this statement, much of the rhetoric used by the pro-Israel community revolve around Israel’s technological innovation, treatment of women and the LGBTQIA+ community, democratic character, and morality.

While accurate, this paradigm is irrelevant to the average college student that supports BDS (the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement) or is inclined to support BDS. For the average college student who supports BDS (or is inclined to), the view of Israel as a “Western” outpost in the Arab Middle East trumps all other considerations. Right or wrong, on today’s college campuses and in the places where the BDS argument has the most traction, people care far more about indigenous rights and justice for the indigenous than they do about almost anything else.

When Zionists declared independence and the return of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, the founding fathers understood that they were making a proclamation of the justice of the Jewish people’s return to sovereignty in their indigenous homeland. That is why Israel’s Declaration of Establishment proclaims:

“Eretz-Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here, their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.”

This is the original language of Zionism. This is about the Jewish people’s indigenous rights in the land of Israel. This is also about justice; the justice of Zionism. Thus, every chance we get, we need to remind people that Zionism is the first successful indigenous movement of a dispossessed and colonized people regaining sovereignty in their indigenous homeland.

The facts are on our side. Even though it is an oft-repeated mantra of anti-Israel activists that Israel is a “colonial outpost” or a “colonial settler state,” there is indisputable evidence that the Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel. Arabs, in contrast, originated in the Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula before they colonized much of the Middle East and Africa at the expense of many different indigenous populations (such as Copts, Yazidis, Assyrians, Amazighs and Jews).

Under the common-sense definition of Indigenous set forth in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the only living people who are uniquely indigenous to the land of Israel are Jews.

The evidence of Jewish indigeneity in the land of Israel is as obvious as the presence of ancient mikvot (ritual baths) and ancient Jewish coins that have been discovered all over Israel, and the Arch of Titus in Rome, which depicts the siege of Jewish Jerusalem.

Continue reading at: http://forward.com/scribe/368369/the-tribal-case-for-israel/

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Hannah Is a Girl. Doctors Finally Treat Her Like One.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/opinion/sunday/hannah-is-a-girl-doctors-finally-treat-her-like-one.html

NEW HAVEN — Hannah is a 14-year-old girl, clad in leggings and an oversize T-shirt, with long brown hair that she curls around a finger. She was also born a boy.

The government can’t seem to decide whether it should affirm children like Hannah. President Trump jumped from supporting workplace protections for transgender people to ending supportive policies for transgender students in public schools. The Supreme Court waffled on whether or not these kids can use the bathrooms of their identified genders, sending the question back to the Fourth Circuit. Last month, North Carolina repealed a law that forced transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificates, while strangely prohibiting schools from adopting policies that would let transgender students use the bathroom of their choice.

Politicians could learn something from the doctors who treat these patients. Over the past few years, it has become clear that if we support these children in their transgender identities instead of trying to change them, they thrive instead of struggling with anxiety and depression.

Hannah is using a puberty-blocking implant and getting ready to embark on the path of developing a female body by starting estrogen. Ten years ago most doctors would have called this malpractice. New data has now made it the protocol for thousands of American children.

Being transgender doesn’t affect Hannah much. She is a straight-A student and auditioning for her school’s production of “Annie.” She’s both embarrassed and excited to talk about the two boys who asked her out this year.

“I turned to him and said, ‘You know I’m transgender, right?’ ” she tells me. “He said that he knows I’m transgender and that he also knows I’m pretty and sweet.”

Taking her red cheeks as a sign to change the subject, we switch back to medicine. I feel around her bicep, where a hard rod just beneath her skin releases a drug that turns off the brain cells that would otherwise kick off puberty. The implant has been in place for two years, preventing the process that would have deepened her voice and given her an Adam’s apple. She has been happy with the blocker, but is ready to move on.

“I’m tired of being the only girl in my grade who looks like a little kid,” she says.

She has a point. A review of recent studies suggests we could start cross-sex hormones as early as 14, so that transgender kids don’t suffer the stigma of starting puberty years after their classmates.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/opinion/sunday/hannah-is-a-girl-doctors-finally-treat-her-like-one.html

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Migrants from west Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration

UN migration agency says selling of people is rife in African nation that has slid into violent chaos since overthrow of Gaddafi

Monday 10 April 2017

West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya, survivors have told a UN agency helping them return home.

Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

The north African nation is a major exit point for refugees from Africa trying to take boats to Europe. But since the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi, the vast, sparsely populated country has slid into violent chaos and migrants with little cash and usually no papers are particularly vulnerable.

One 34-year-old survivor from Senegal said he was taken to a dusty lot in the south Libyan city of Sabha after crossing the desert from Niger in a bus organised by people smugglers. The group had paid to be taken to the coast, where they planned to risk a boat trip to Europe, but their driver suddenly said middlemen had not passed on his fees and put his passengers up for sale.

“The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals – he described them as Arabs – buying sub-Saharan migrants,” said Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger who helps people wanting to return home.

She interviewed the survivor after he escaped from Libya earlier this month and said accounts of slave markets were confirmed by other migrants she spoke to in Niger and some who had been interviewed by colleagues in Europe.

“Several other migrants confirmed his story, independently describing kinds of slave markets as well as kinds of private prisons all over in Libya,” Manente said. “IOM Italy has confirmed that this story is similar to many stories reported by migrants and collected at landing points in southern Italy, including the slave market reports. This gives more evidence that the stories reported are true, as the stories of those who managed to cross-match those who are returning back to their countries.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration

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“Eliminate Hate” campaign seeks to expose anti-LGBTQ hate groups

From MetroWeekly:  https://www.metroweekly.com/2017/04/eliminate-hate-campaign-seeks-expose-anti-lgbtq-hate-groups/

Initiative will also seek to hold media accountable when reporting on designated hate groups

April 13, 2017

A new campaign is being launched to discredit anti-LGBTQ groups and pressure media to label them “hate groups.”

The Eliminate Hate Campaign is being spearheaded by a coalition of organizations, including National Center for Transgender Equality, the National LGBTQ Task Force, SoulForce, the Equality Federation, The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Media Matters for America.

They will seek to challenge the credibility of various anti-LGBTQ organizations, mitigate the influence they have in forcing lawmakers to pass anti-LGBTQ laws or regulations, and to dispel some of the negative myths about LGBTQ people.

“I have seen firsthand what can happen as a result of hate — and how it feels to have the hate and discrimination people face dismissed or denied,” said Judy Shepard, founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, named after her son who was killed in 1998.

Shepard focused her remarks on Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing organization that has been behind various anti-LGBTQ laws or initiatives both in the United States and abroad. The group has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Domestically, ADF has been linked to a number of so-called “Privacy Acts” — or “bathroom bills” — that seek to restrict transgender people’s access to restrooms and other public facilities.

ADF has also argued in favor of keeping bans on consensual adult sodomy in place, arguing that gay sex is a “public health problem,” and has defended the right of states to pass “religious freedom” laws that allow people to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Recently, the organization’s international arm sought to intervene in a lawsuit brought before the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that nations should be allowed to require the forced sterilization of transgender people who wish to legally change their gender marker.

“The Alliance Defending Freedom is a hate group, through and through,” Shepard said. “For years, they have spread lies about the LGBTQ community and put the rights of all LGBTQ Americans in danger. Enough is enough. It’s time our institutions — especially the media — start recognizing the extremely corrosive effects of their slander and act accordingly.”

The Eliminate Hate Campaign will also target media outlets that do not hold anti-LGBTQ hate groups — those that spread “demonizing lies about the LGBTQ community, engage in baseless, incendiary name-calling, or actively work to criminalize LGBTQ people” — to the same standards as they would groups that are anti-Semitic, racist, or who spread misinformation about other classes of people.

For instance, the coalition wants journalists who report on those groups’ activities to provide their readers with context, including historical background on the groups’ other anti-LGBTQ actions.

“The Eliminate Hate Campaign seeks to ensure that anti-LGBTQ hate groups are not given a megaphone for vitriolic bullying and malicious lies,” Erin Fitzgerald, LGBTQ program director for Media Matters. “Media outlets ignore long-standing histories of hate speech, incitement, and misinformation when they fail to label designated hate groups, and instead describe them as simply ‘conservative’ or ‘Christian.’”

Continue reading at:  https://www.metroweekly.com/2017/04/eliminate-hate-campaign-seeks-expose-anti-lgbtq-hate-groups/

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Gorsuch: Skeptical That LGBT People Deserve Rights

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/4/05/gorsuch-skeptical-lgbt-people-deserve-rights

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Look Beyond Caitlyn Jenner: Transgender Women of Color Are Fighting for Their Lives

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/lgbtq/look-beyond-caitlyn-jenner-transgender-women-color-are-fighting-their-lives

From murder to poverty to housing discrimination, these communities face staggering violence.

By Sarah Lazare / AlterNet
April 6, 2017

Last Thursday marked the eighth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, an occasion aimed at pushing back against the exclusion and isolation this community has been forced to endure.

Indeed there are signs that transgender people—particularly those who are wealthy and white—are gaining visibility in 2017, as illustrated by the global prominence of television personality and Donald Trump supporter Caitlyn Jenner. But this visibility does not, in itself, improve material conditions for the vast majority of transgender people, who are far more likely to face housing discrimination, deep poverty, incarceration and murder, especially if they are people of color. At least seven transgender women have been killed this year already, putting it on track to be the deadliest year ever for the community. Of the women who were slain, six were black and one was Lakota two-spirit.

Meanwhile the Trump administration and state-level lawmakers have advanced a spate of initiatives that directly threaten the public safety and wellness of transgender people, including so-called bathroom bills.

In light of these realities, organizers across the country are calling for social movements to address the conditions that transgender people face, particularly those who are targeted by multiple forms of oppression, from poverty to police violence.

“In this time we are seeing more and more that what it means to fight for transgender people is to do the things that communities, including transgender communities, have long been fighting for,” said Micky Bradford, an Atlanta-based organizer with Southerners on New Ground and the Transgender Law Center. “We need safety and the power to shift material conditions and break the isolation between all of us. We need to be talking about what it takes to stop the killing of Black transgender women and dismantle patriarchy.”

‘Safety is a big deal to transgender communities’

The structural violence faced by transgender communities is staggering. According to the news outlet Mic, which is building a database to track murders of transgender people, young, black transgender women have a far greater chance of being murdered, with one in 2,600 killed. This compares to one in 19,000 for the general population.

Violence also takes the form of systematic discrimination. The National Center for Transgender Equality notes that, “One in five transgender people in the United States has been discriminated when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted from their homes, because of their gender identity.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/lgbtq/look-beyond-caitlyn-jenner-transgender-women-color-are-fighting-their-lives

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How the Texas Bathroom Bill Could Cost It the 2018 Final Four

From Fortune:  http://fortune.com/2017/04/03/final-four-2018-san-antonio-bathroom-bill/

Jeff Bukhari
Apr 03, 2017

San Antonio may have a Texas-sized problem on its hands.

The city is scheduled to host college basketball’s Final Four next year, but if state legislators pass a bill that would restrict access to bathrooms for the transgendered community, the NCAA could pull the plug on the climax of March Madness.

The NCAA is a dedicated anti-discrimination organization and has taken a hard line on the issue in the past. After North Carolina passed a similar measure restricting bathroom use last year, the association pulled first- and second-round games of this year’s tournament out of Greensboro, costing the city an estimated $14.5 million, according to the city’s visitors center.

San Antonio would have to contend with a much bigger loss in revenue because it would lose out on the biggest spectacle college basketball has to offer, as opposed to some early-round games. The city last hosted the Final Four in 2008, which brought an extra $47 million to the area.

Complete article at:  http://fortune.com/2017/04/03/final-four-2018-san-antonio-bathroom-bill/

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Shame: NCAA Rewards North Carolina for Discriminatory Laws Against LGBTQ Community

From HRC:  http://www.hrc.org/blog/hrc-equality-nc-speak-out-against-ncaas-reversal-on-North-Carolina-HB2


By HRC staff
April 4, 2017

Today, HRC and Equality NC released the following statements in light of the NCAA decision to consider North Carolina for championship games, despite the discrimination against LGBTQ people that remains enshrined in state law.

“The NCAA’s decision to backtrack on their vow to protect LGBTQ players, employees and fans is deeply disappointing and puts people at risk,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “After drawing a line in the sand and calling for repeal of HB2, the NCAA simply let North Carolina lawmakers off the hook.”

“It is disappointing to see the NCAA backpedal after it stood strong against the deeply discriminatory HB2,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “HB142 continues the same discriminatory scheme put forward by HB2 and does little to protect the NCAA’s players, employees, and fans. The NCAA’s decision has put a seal of approval on state-sanctioned discrimination.”

Last Thursday, the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper passed an egregious bill — HB142 — that keeps some of the most discriminatory provisions of HB2 alive. Under this new “HB2.0,” which replaces one discriminatory, anti-transgender bathroom bill with another, the North Carolina General Assembly reserves total control over bathroom access throughout the state to itself; that means no city, state agency, public university or school board can ever adopt a policy that ensures transgender people have access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity.  Further, no city can even consider passing any protections for LGBTQ people until 2020. At the end of this discriminatory “moratorium,” cities will still be prevented from ensuring transgender people are able to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. This action targeting LGBTQ individuals — particularly transgender people — is the very definition of discrimination and continues a shameful chapter for North Carolina.

Civil rights groups including HRC, the NAACP, Equality NC, and the National Center for Transgender Equality have been working to correct the record on the discriminatory measure, and the tide has turned in calling out this sham “deal” exactly for what it is. Top headlines include: The New York Times editorial board, “North Carolina’s Bait-and-Switch on Transgender Restroom Law;” Steven Petrow for The Washington Post, “You can’t compromise on civil rights. But North Carolina just did;” The Charlotte Observer editorial board, “HB2 repeal: Cooper turns back on LGBT community;” Slate, “The HB2 “Repeal” Bill Is an Unmitigated Disaster for LGBTQ Rights and North Carolina;” Mother Jones, “Don’t Be Fooled. The North Carolina “Compromise” Doesn’t Actually Protect Trans Rights;” ESPN, “NCAA, NBA and ACC say they’re pro-LGBT — now’s their chance to prove it;” The Nation, “The So-Called ‘Repeal’ of North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill Is a Terrible Deal for Civil Rights.” Further articles and statements from other major publications, as well as the business and entertainment community, can be found here.


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Federal Court Rules Employers Can’t Fire People for Being Gay

From Lambda Legal:  http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20170404_court-rules-employers-cant-discriminate-against-gay-employees

By Lambda Legal
April 4, 2017

In a groundbreaking, 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law.

The court found that such discrimination is a form of sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

The decision — which came in Lambda Legal’s case on behalf of Kimberly Hively, an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College who was fired for being a lesbian — makes the Seventh Circuit the highest federal court to reach this conclusion and could change the national landscape of employment law for LGBT people.

In August of 2014, Kimberly Hively sued Ivy Tech Community College, arguing that the school violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it denied her full-time employment and promotions after she had been seen kissing her then-girlfriend in the parking lot of the school. The trial court dismissed Hively’s lawsuit and held that Title VII — which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion — does not protect employees from antigay discrimination.

In April 2015, Lambda Legal appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking reversal and reinstatement of Hively’s complaint. A three-judge panel ruled against Hively in July 2016, but Lambda Legal requested a rehearing of the case by the full panel of the Seventh Circuit – all eleven judges. On October 11, 2016 that request was granted, and in November, Greg Nevins, Employment Fairness Program Director for Lambda Legal, appeared once again, to ask that the court overturn its prior decisions limiting the reach of Title VII.

“In many cities and states across the country, lesbian and gay workers are being fired because of who they love. But, with this decision, federal law is catching up to public opinion: ninety-percent of Americans already believe that LGBT employees should be valued for how well they do their jobs—not who they love or who they are. Now, through this case and others, that principle is backed up by the courts,” said Greg Nevins, Employment Fairness Program Director for Lambda Legal. “This decision is gamechanger for lesbian and gay employees facing discrimination in the workplace and sends a clear message to employers: it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”

In the opinion filed today, Chief Judge Diane Wood writes:

“… Hively represents the ultimate case of failure to conform to the female stereotype (at least as understood in a place such as modern America, which views heterosexuality as the norm and other forms of sexuality as exceptional): she is not heterosexual. Our panel described the line between a gender nonconformity claim and one based on sexual orientation as gossamer-thin; we conclude that it does not exist at all. Hively’s claim is no different from the claims brought by women who were rejected for jobs in traditionally male workplaces, such as fire departments, construction, and policing. The employers in those cases were policing the boundaries of what jobs or behaviors they found acceptable for a woman (or in some cases, for a man).”

“Love won again today,” said Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven. “Kim Hively loved her job teaching math at Ivy Tech Community College, but she was fired because she is a lesbian. Today the Seventh Circuit said clearly: that’s wrong. Our movement is about love and pride. Pride in yourself and your work, and the freedom to love and to be treated equally. Even in these challenging times, Lambda Legal continues to win in court and make our country better.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20170404_court-rules-employers-cant-discriminate-against-gay-employees

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Sebastian Gorka Calls Forward Expose ‘Hatchet Job’ — But Won’t Condemn Nazi Allies

From The Forward:  http://forward.com/fast-forward/367877/sebastian-gorka-calls-forward-expose-hatchet-job-but-wont-condemn-nazi-alli/

By Dave Goldiner
April 2, 2017

Sebastian Gorka, the controversial White House aide accused of vowing allegiance to a Nazi-allied group in Hungary, lashed out Sunday at revelations in a Forward expose about his far right wing ties as a “hatchet job.”

“First I am an Islamophobe, then I’m an anti-Semite, then I am a fascist,” Gorka told The Telegraph, listing three allegations the Forward did not make. “Next I am going to be a Martian.”

“It’s disgusting. It’s all bogus,” Gorka added to the paper. “This is a hatchet job.”

Gorka, whose parents are Hungarian, spent several years working with far right wing politics there. He is accused of being a sworn member of the Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian organisation that the U.S. government designated as “under Nazi control” during World War II.

Three top officials of the group told the Forward that Gorka was a sworn member. He also wore the group’s medal that it awarded to his father and often used the ‘v’ that is symbolic of the group in titles.

Gorka denies being an official member of the group and calls the stories part of a conspiracy to bring down President Trump.

Yet he refuses to condemn the far right Hungarian regime that collaborated with the Nazis or the organizations that supported it.


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