Happy 96th Birthday 19th Amendment

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Happy birthday, 19th Amendment!

Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment (ratified on August 18, 1920). Here’s is the Full Text of the 19th Amendment.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

 

Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

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Obama Designates Stonewall as First National Monument for LGBT Rights

With this weekend marking the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on legalizing Marriage Equality.

President Obama will designate the Stonewall Inn in New York City as a new National Monument, the first official National Park Service monument dedicated to the plight of LGBT Americans.

The protected area will include Christopher Park across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, which has long served as a landmark for the LGBT community. The inn, a popular gay bar, continues to serve as a gathering place for demonstrations. The Stonewall riots in 1969 marked a major turning point in the fight for gay rights. The monument commemorates the protests and riots on June 28, 1969 when the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn seeking to crack down on a law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to homosexuals. The riots were seen as an inflection point in the LGBT community as protests spread to cities across the country.

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“Today’s designation follows years of strong support from local officials, organizations, members of Congress and citizens in New York City and across the country,” the White House said in a press release.

The announcement from the White House also includes a reference to the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando on June 12.

“Although the LGBT civil rights movement has made significant progress in the pursuit of equal rights and protections under the law, there is still more work to do,” according to the release. “As seen two weeks ago in Orlando, FL, LGBT Americans continue to face acts of violence, discrimination, and hate. LGBT people of color are especially at risk. The Administration is committed to continuing the fight for dignity, acceptance and equal rights for all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love.”

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The announcement is being framed as a culmination of the eight years of the Obama administration’s policy promoting LGBT rights. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage one year ago, the White House celebrated by lighting up the entrance that faces Pennsylvania Avenue in rainbow colors

Democratic Party of Richmond County Convention

Last night the Democratic Party of Richmond held their County Convention nominated State Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, as well as three sitting Civil Court judges, Barbara Panepinto, Kim Dollard, and Philip Straniere to be on the party line for our borough.

Things that happened that WILL NOT be mentioned in our local paper the “Staten Island Advance” half of our party slate is female identified. That’s right HALF! We the Democratic Party of Staten Island are letting Female Identified people LEAD THE WAY. Starting with State Senator Diane Savino.

The party did something else last night that won’t be mentioned in the local paper. The more powerful story somehow missed  last night by the Staten Island Advance was that  for the first time in Staten Island history a transgender person Bryan John Ellicott (Yea that would be me) addressed a political convention, sadly however it was tTHE SAME NIGHT that in  BROOKLYN a TRANSPERSON was ASSAULTED!?! The same day a ciswoman was ASSAULTED in a women’s restroom for “looking like a dude.” in another state. It’s pretty clear that Transgender people are under attack.

I was asked by Assemblymember Matthew Titone to second the nomination for his re-election.

“Few people (we later found out none) like me have had this chance. I made the most of it. However, I am thankful to Chris Bauer, Michael Arvanites, Bobby Digi and the other men in the room…who understand what needed to be said. While we supportAssemblymember Matthew Titone as our voice of the vulnerable citizens of SI.”

I spoke of his continued fight for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) next to sponsor Assembly Dick Gottfried. The continued struggle of the LGBT community…and how important it is in Staten Island that we support across the borough our only LGBT elected official and one of few in Albany.

(featured photo credit: Michael Arvanites)

 

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Photo Credit: Roy Moskowitz 

 

Primary Day Tomorrow in New York State

Dear New Yorkers,

By now it would be very hard NOT to know that tomorrow April 19th (Tomorrow) is the presidential primary in New York.

Here’s the deal: only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in tomorrow’s historic election.

Hmmm, am I registered to vote? Check here:
https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/
If you are registered as a blank/no affiliation, as an independent, or as a member of the Working Families Party or the Green Party, you will unfortunately not be able to vote tomorrow. This is because of NY’s strict “closed primary” rules that say only registered Dems can vote for Democratic presidential candidates and only registered Rs can vote for Republicans and the deadline changed your party affiliation passed a long time ago (That is a whole other argument that we can get into later)
OK, so I checked the site, I’m a registered Democrat/Republican, so WHERE do I go vote tomorrow? Have no fear, check here: http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search
Be aware that your polling location may have been changed since the last time you voted but the link above has all the most current & updated info (I know this because I already knew my polling site had changed and that website had my accurate updated info)
WHEN DO I VOTE TOMORROW? Polls open tomorrow at 6:00 am and close at 9:00 pm.
IMPORTANT STUFF BUT NOT ABOUT TOMORROW:
The 2016 United States general presidential election is set for Tuesday, November 8. As long as you are registered, EVERYONE can vote, regardless of your party affiliation.
If you are not registered at all, make sure you get registered in time to vote in November! New voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 14 and received by the NYC Board of Elections no later than October 19 to be eligible to vote in the General Election in November.

Again, any questions? Just email me at  ellicottbryan@gmail.com

P.S Feel free to forward this email to your networks. We want high voter turnout.

Sincerely,

Bryan J. Ellicott

April 19th (1)

Staten Island Councilmember Endorses Trump

Yesterday my representative in The New York City Council stated he is actively supporting Donald Trump for President! This shows how much he doesn’t support his constituents. Especially me and those who live on the south shore in the LGBT community and immigrant communities. This is NOT acceptable! Here is what he said in his Facebook post about his endorsement. 

From CM Joe Borelli post on FB

 Dear friends and fellow Staten Islanders. Yesterday, a story ran in the Staten Island Advance that indicated my intention to support Donald Trump for President. Additionally, an editorial was written questioning my judgment if I did so. Today, I will make no apology of the fact that I am proudly endorsing Donald Trump for President.

This election has made at least one thing clear, people are sick of the Washington beltway cronyism that has stifled repeated attempts to change the status quo, either from the right or left. In my view, what our country needs is a transformation, and in my view, Donald Trump is the candidate best suited to offer the country transformational change. While I would happily support any of the Republican candidates if they were to be the nominee, Mr. Trump not only offers our party the best chance to win but offers America the best opportunity to get back on the right track.

I have met and spoke with Donald Trump, his staff and his advisers many times over the years. The man I met was smart, bold, visionary and unafraid of challenges. Additionally, he’s able to boil complex intellectual ideas on issues like trade, the economy, homeland security and restoring American exceptionalism into ideas that are easily understood by the masses, who are sick of the same old D.C. jargon. These are just a few of the qualities, which will make him a great President. Additionally, the people he’s always surrounded himself with are incredibly bright and talented. After years of seeing politicians select campaign bundlers or what they thought was the politically correct choice, it will be refreshing to see a President surround himself with the finest talent this country has to offer.

Donald Trump is brash, plainspoken, quick to criticize, and not overly consumed by saying things in the most politically correct way. I find his style, his candor and his ability to connect with people very refreshing, as do the millions of Americans who have already voted for him and the millions more who are eager to do so.

While I certainly don’t agree with all of his proposals, I’m yet to encounter a candidate with whom I agree 100% of the time. I’m confident that when Mr. Trump is elected, he’ll be able to work with elected officials of all political persuasions, while not compromising the core values, which make him so appealing.

Donald Trump’s candidacy is motivating people whether his critics like it or not. Aside from packing arenas, a clear indicator of the enthusiasm for his candidacy, he also represents the best opportunity to grow the GOP base. In many early primary states, the Republican turnout is more or almost more than double the Democrats. (AL, AR, GA, NH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA.)

I have formally asked our State Chairman and State Committee members to be designated a Trump delegate to the convention, and I look forward to voting for him in NY’s primary on April 19th and in the general election in November.

‪#MakeAmericaGreatAgain

A comment from another of his constituents read as follows:

“Mr. Borelli, as someone who supported you and as one of your constituents, I would like to know your justification of the Ku Klux Klan and Joe Arpaio’s endorsement of Mr. Trump and his refusal to disavow them. I also would like to understand how you endorse someone to be the leader of the free world who has made overtly racist blanket statements regarding Mexicans and Muslims, as well as disrespectful and inferior sentiments towards women. Please explain. I’ll wait…” 

New York Governor Announces Steps To Ban LGBT Conversion Therapy

Saturday, an announcement from the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo a new executive order that is aimed at banning the dangerous practice of so-called conversion therapy, which seeks to change people’s gender identity and sexual orientation specifically at our most vulnerable populations our youth.

The measures announced by Cuomo includes bans on public and private health care insurers from providing reimbursement for conversion therapy for people under the age of 18. It would also include no mental health facility licensed, funded, or operated by the state will be allowed to provide such therapy to minors.

“Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for,”  Cuomo mentioned in a statement. “We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are.”

The White House stated in April that it supported a federal ban on conversion therapy.

Letter to NYS Majority Leader John Flanagan on GENDA

The Honorable John J. Flanagan NYS Senate Majority Leader Room 330, State Capitol Building Albany, New York 12247

 

January 29, 2016

Re: Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, GENDA [A.4558 (Gottfried)/ S.61 (Squadron)] Dear Senator Flanagan,

As a group of concerned organizations and individuals committed to achieving true legal equity and social equality for all transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in New York State, we write today to call for your leadership on this critical issue.

In October 2015, Governor Cuomo announced that he would direct the Division of Human Rights to promulgate regulations explicitly protecting transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers. You immediately denounced the appropriateness of this move, claiming that the legislature is the proper place for deliberation on such issues.

However, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (A4558/Gottfried) (S61/Squadron), also known as GENDA – a bill that would write explicit protections for transgender and gender- nonconforming individuals into the human rights statute itself – has yet to be brought to the Senate floor for deliberation over the past 13 years, after passing the Assembly 8 years in a row.

Each day the Senate drags its feet, an estimated 58,000 transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers continue to face often insurmountable barriers to employment, housing, health care, education, social services, and public accommodations – all basic facets of life that non- transgender individuals like yourself enjoy and take for granted. This community – particularly transgender women of color – experience open hostility, harassment, discrimination, and violence every day of their lives from family members, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers alike. Indeed, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals consider themselves “lucky” to get through a day without experiencing these traumas – and that is an unacceptably low standard of humanity and decency to maintain for anyone in this great state.

Senator Flanagan – the Senate’s 13 years of inaction on this issue have not only failed to address and ameliorate the systemic atrocities transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers must overcome on a daily basis, but in fact the Senate’s silence has effectively enabled these discriminatory and violent systems to continue and grow. You have publicly stated that the legislature is the proper place for action – and so in your second year of leadership in the Senate, we call on you to act. We ask that you move forward with the necessary deliberation of this life- saving legislation for the extremely marginalized and vulnerable community you referenced in your response to the Governor in November. Don’t allow this untenable situation to stand under your watch. The Senate and New York cannot afford to fall behind on this critical human rights issue. We need you to work with your colleagues to make sure that GENDA passes in 2016.

Sincerely,

 

Milo Primeaux, Esq.

Staff Attorney, LGBT Rights Project Empire Justice Center mprimeaux@empirejustice.org (585) 295-5721

 

ORGANIZATIONS

 

Affirming Transgender Rights Albany Damien Center

American Association of University Women NYS Anti-Defamation League

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center Central New York HIV Care Network Choices Counseling & Consulting Eleanor’s Legacy

Family Allies for Trans Equality in NYS Family Planning Advocates of NYS Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Greater NYC for Change

Housing Works Lambda Legal

Lesbian & Gay Family Building Project

LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)