FBI investigators say they have found no evidence that Orlando shooter had gay lovers

From The Los Angeles Times:  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-orlando-gay-fbi-20160623-snap-story.html

By Molly Hennesey-Fiske
June 23, 2016

Since the shooting at an Orlando nightclub last week that left 49 people dead, reports have emerged that gunman Omar Mateen frequented the gay club, used gay dating apps and had gay lovers.

But the FBI has found no evidence so far to support claims by those who say Mateen had gay lovers or communicated on gay dating apps, several law enforcement officials said.

Mateen, 29, told police negotiators he had carried out the shooting that began at 2 a.m. June 12 and ended, after a three-hour standoff, when he was killed by police.

He claimed the shooting was carried out in allegiance to the militant group Islamic State, as a message to halt U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria.

Several Pulse regulars have come forward in the days since the shooting, claiming to have seen Mateen at the club or to have been contacted by him on the gay dating apps Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.

On Tuesday, Univision aired a report in which “Miguel,” a man wearing a disguise to conceal his identity, alleged he had sex with Mateen after meeting him on the gay dating app, Grindr. He said Mateen had sex with other men too, including a threesome with a Puerto Rican who allegedly told Mateen, after having had unprotected sex with him, that he was HIV positive.

But investigators do not consider the man’s account credible, according to one senior law enforcement official with access to the investigation.

In seeking to verify the reports, federal agents have culled Mateen’s electronic devices, including a laptop computer and cellphone, as well as electronic communications of those who made the claims, law enforcement officials said.

So far, they have found no photographs, no text messages, no smartphone apps, no gay pornography and no cell-tower location data to suggest that Mateen — who was twice married to women and had a young son — conducted a secret gay life, the officials said.

The FBI is continuing to explore Mateen’s past, but investigators now believe the men who made the claims are not credible, or confused Mateen with someone else.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-orlando-gay-fbi-20160623-snap-story.html

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Pentagon To Repeal Ban On Transgender Troops

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pentagon-transgender-troops_us_576d96f1e4b0f168323994f2?ir=Queer+Voices&section=us_queer-voices&utm_hp_ref=queer-voices

The announcement will come on July 1

06/24/2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on openly serving transgender service members next month, U.S. defense officials said.

The repeal would come five years after a 2011 decision to end the U.S. military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving openly, despite fears – which proved unfounded – that such a move would be too great a burden in wartime and would undermine readiness.

The disclosure came the same week that the U.S. Army formally welcomed its new secretary, Eric Fanning, who became the first openly gay leader of a military service branch in U.S. history.

One of the U.S. officials said parts of the repeal would come into effect immediately. But the plan would also direct each branch of the armed services to implement new policies affecting everything from recruiting to housing for transgender troops, the official said.

Supporters of transgender rights cheered the news. Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, said in a statement: “Our transgender service members and their families are breathing a huge sigh of relief.”

The National Center for Transgender Equality estimated last year that 15,000 trans people served in the U.S. military.

(Reporting by Eric Beech, Mohammad Zargham, Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali)

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Anti-Semitism Is Back. Will You Stand By Or Stand up?

From The Huffington Post:

“Suddenly, mainstream culture is finding cover for the age-old hatred of Jews.”

Gabriel Groisman
06/23/2016

Erin Schrode, a promising 25-year-old Jewish woman, announces her candidacy for U.S. Congress. In response, she is bombarded by hundreds of anti-Semitic messages: “Fire up the oven.” “Kike.” “Get out of my country, kike. Get to Israel where you belong. That or the oven. Take your pick.” This did not happen in the 1930s. It happened last month in California.

An Oberlin College professor, Joy Karega, posted a photo of Jacob Rothschild, a member of a well-known Jewish banking family, which read: “We own nearly every central bank in the world. We financed both sides of every war since Napoleon. We own your news, the media, your oil and your government.” This was not published in Gleichschaltung, a Nazi newspaper. This was on her Facebook page.

Students at UC Berkley woke up one morning this past year to the words, “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” painted on a building.

Jewish students at NYU, Harvard, Florida Atlantic University, and other universities at some point or another in the past two years came home to “Eviction” notices posted on their doors, calling for the removal of all Jews from the campus. Of course, the notices were fake, but the impact was certainly real.

Anti-Semitic discourse on the internet has increased a mind-boggling 114 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to one report. Last month, one Jewish New York Times editor, Jonathan Weisman, was the target of a coordinated Twitter attack aimed at harassing internet users who have Jewish sounding names. Weisman was inundated with thousands of anti-Semitic tweets. One of the many tweets depicted a trail of dollar bills leading to an oven, another was a picture of a Menorah made of the number 6 million (representing the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust) — the harassment was so extreme and unrelenting that he had no choice but to close his account.

The attack on Weisman was not an isolated incident, but rather part of a larger anti-Semitic attack online. A group of tech-savvy bigots created a punctuation-based code, referred to as “(((echoes)))” to identify and brand Jews on the Internet.  This code works with Google Chrome’s “coincidence detector” and automatically places these “echoes” around more than 8,000 names. Once marked, the Jewish Internet user is flooded with malicious and hateful anti-Semitic comments.  The examples are endless.  Of course, this is only in the United States. The incidents in Europe, South America and of course the Middle East are exponentially worse.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/anti-semitism-is-back-will-you-stand-by-or-stand-up_us_576bfc8be4b016c12caba9a9

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Gun club urging LGBT people to arm themselves triples in size after Orlando

From The Guardian UK:   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/23/lgbt-gun-control-pink-pistols-orlando-shooting

The Pink Pistols, which promotes ‘legal, safe and responsible’ use of guns for self defense, helps explain the surge in interest in guns from the LGBT community

in New York
Thursday 23 June 2016

Weapons sales and membership in a group calling on gays and lesbians to arm themselves in self-defense against homophobic attacks have surged since the massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida last weekend.

The group, the Pink Pistols, announced last week a tripling in acknowledged members in the five days since a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 in an attack on Pulse in Orlando in the early hours of 12 June.

The Pink Pistols, a gun club predominantly for LGBT members and their supporters, promotes “legal, safe and responsible use of firearms for self defense of the sexual minority community” according to its website.

A senior Pink Pistols member said that if patrons had been armed at the Orlando nightclub they might have prevented the shooting or minimized loss of life.

“I think there is a possibility that it could have prevented it … or helped to make the death toll less. If we could have sent one more person home to their family alive instead of in a body bag that would have been something,” said Gwen Patton, a spokeswoman for the Pink Pistols.

Patton said that membership of the group’s Facebook page had tripled from 1,500 before the Orlando massacre to 4,500 by Thursday. But with no formal registration system or fees for joining the Pink Pistols, there were no reliable membership numbers available for the group itself, she said.

The apparent surge in interest in guns from the LGBT community comes as posters and flags have been reported at a number of locations, including streets in Los Angeles’s gay neighborhood West Hollywood and outside a controversial event in Orlando, depicting a rainbow version of the revolutionary war-era Gadsden Flag – a flag more usually associated with Tea Party conservatives than with gay rights activism.

Some of the Gadsden symbols seen deploy the anti-government slogan “Don’t tread on me” beneath the traditional image of a snake poised to strike, while others have substituted a seeming call to arms via social media, “#ShootBack”, on a rainbow-striped background, the color scheme long ago adopted by the gay equality movement.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/23/lgbt-gun-control-pink-pistols-orlando-shooting

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‘Orlando Will Be Repeated,’ and ‘No Place Is Safe,’ Former ISIS Captive Warns Congress

From Yahoo News:  https://gma.yahoo.com/orlando-repeated-no-place-safe-former-isis-captive-152605989–abc-news-topstories.html#

YSA GOMEZ-GONZALEZ
June 22, 2016

“No place is safe for anyone.”

That’s the chilling assessment a former ISIS captive has given U.S. lawmakers, recounting her harrowing tale of living in the grip of an international terrorist organization.

“Orlando will be repeated if the world doesn’t put an end [to] such terrorism. There is no sanctuary,” human rights activist Nadia Murad told the Senate Homeland Security Committee at the start of a hearing Tuesday.

The committee held the hearing to gain insight into what committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., called the “poisonous ideology” of ISIS and “how it results in the slaughter of innocents,” such as at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where an ISIS-inspired gunman killed 49 people and wounded scores more.

“[This] terrorist attack in Orlando continues the alarming trend of attacks on soft targets here in the U.S. and abroad,” Johnson said. “ISIS’ brutality towards women, homosexuals and other groups is overt, and these communities will continue to be vulnerable until ISIS is defeated.”

Murad, part of the non-Muslim Yazidi minority in Iraq and Syria, was forced by ISIS to become a sex slave when she was 19, she said.

Complete article at:  https://gma.yahoo.com/orlando-repeated-no-place-safe-former-isis-captive-152605989–abc-news-topstories.html#

 

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Black Lives Matter pulls out of San Francisco gay pride over policing

After Orlando, one would assume LGBT gatherings are at heightened risk of terrorist attacks.  But never let that stand in the way of an identity politics focus group making an idiotic political statement.

From The Guardian UK: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/24/black-lives-matter-pulls-out-san-francisco-pride-police

As LGBT event hikes security after Orlando, participation meant choosing between the threat of homophobic violence and police violence, group says

in San Francisco
Friday 24 June 2016

Several of the honorees of San Francisco Pride, the nation’s largest LGBT pride event, withdrew on Friday from the “racial and economic justice” themed parade and festival this weekend in response to the increased policing measures put in place after the Orlando attack.

“For us, celebrating Pride this year meant choosing between the threat of homophobic vigilante violence and the threat of police violence,” said a statement from Black Lives Matter, an organizational grand marshal; Janetta Johnson, a community grand marshal; and sex worker advocacy group St James Infirmary, a “Heritage of Pride” award recipient.

“We had a tough decision to make, and ultimately we chose to keep our people safe by not participating in any event that would leave our communities vulnerable to either.”

On Tuesday, SF Pride announced that this year’s events would have a “significant police presence” and that, for the first time in the celebration’s 46-year history, attendees at the festival would be required to pass through security screening. The decision was made in the wake of the mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed.

Many LGBT people of color expressed concern with that news, citing the historic targeting and harassment of communities of color by police.

“I’m more afraid of police than terrorists,” Johnson, who is a black transgender woman, told the Guardian on Tuesday.

The ACLU of northern California also criticized the decision, writing in a blog post: “Cops in the clubs won’t make people feel safer. And SF Pride should not be an excuse to over-police the city’s most vulnerable communities.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/24/black-lives-matter-pulls-out-san-francisco-pride-police

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Watch Attorney General Lynch speak on Orlando shootings

Loretta Lynch should resign effective immediately.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Florida’s LGBT community that the “most effective” weapon at America’s disposal against Islamic terrorism is “love.”

She is supposed to protect us.  Obviously she doesn’t understand the requirements of the job.

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