After losing all three Democratic primaries Tuesday night by double-digits, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign manager on Wednesday said that the senator “is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign,” according to The Hill.
Noting that “the next primary contest is three weeks away,” Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said in a statement that Sanders “is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”
This follows a brutal night for Sanders where he lost across the board to former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden won Florida’s primary 62 percent to Sanders’ 23 percent, per Buzzfeed News. In Illinois, it was Biden 59 percent to Sanders’ 36 percent, and in Arizona, the former vice president won 44 percent versus 32 percent for Sanders.
Biden spoke after the three contests were called and he addressed Sanders’ supporters directly:
“Senator Sanders and I may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision for the need to provide affordable health care for all Americans, reduce income inequity that has risen so drastically, to tackling the existential threat of our time, climate change.
“Sen. Sanders and his supporters have brought a remarkable passion and tenacity to all of these issues. Together, they have shifted the fundamental conversation in this country. So let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders: I hear you. I know what’s at stake. I know what we have to do.”
Biden began his delegate lead in the race by coming out on top in 10 of 14 contests on Super Tuesday.
Then on March 10, Biden won five of six contests including Washington state which was considered a safe haven for Sanders.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an elderly lesbian woman who alleges she was discriminated against and harassed while living in a senior retirement home in Illinois.
Marsha Wetzel moved into the Glen St. Andrew Living Community, near Chicago, in 2014 after her longtime partner Judy had died of colon cancer.
In the aftermath of Judy’s passing, Judy’s family did not respect the 30 year relationship. The family took possession of Judy’s assets including the home they’d shared.
And so, Marsha had to find a place to live, and she found Glen St. Andrew.
But by 2016, she was forced to file a lawsuit after she experienced ugly, homophobic abuse at the hands of other residents and Glen St. Andrew did nothing about it.
Marsha says she was called anti-gay slurs and spit upon by residents. In her lawsuit she also alleged that she had been attacked and hit in the head in the community laundry room.
Additionally, she fell and bruised her arm when another resident rammed into her scooter knocking her over.
When Marsha took her concerns to management, nothing was done and she was retaliated against, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Lambda Legal created the heartbreaking video below when Marsha began her legal battle in 2016.
When the case went to trial last year, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit.
But undeterred, Marsha soldiered on to the 7th Circuit Appeals Court where yesterday a panel of three judges overturned the 2017 ruling and sent the case back to be tried.
The panel came to the conclusion that Glen St. Andrew could be held liable for housing discrimination.
Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote in the ruling, ‘“Not only does it (the Fair Housing Act) create liability when a landlord intentionally discriminates against a tenant based on a protected characteristic; it also creates liability against a landlord that has actual notice of tenant-on-tenant harassment … yet chooses not to take any reasonable steps within its control to stop that harassment.”
The win at the 7th Circuit was celebrated by Lambda Legal senior counsel Karen Loewy, who said in a statement after the ruling, “This is a tremendous victory for Marsha.”
“She, just like all people living in rental housing, whether LGBT or not, should be assured that they will at least be safe from discriminatory harassment in their own homes, “ Loewy continued. “What happened to Marsha was illegal and unconscionable, and the Court has now put all landlords on notice that they have an obligation to take action to stop known harassment.”
A statement released by a Glen St. Andrew spokesperson said while the senior home “is committed to providing fair, safe and non-discriminatory housing, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex or sexual orientation,” the retirement home still denies the allegations.
“At this stage, the court was required to assume the factual allegations of plaintiff’s complaint were true for purposes of determining the legal issues,” they said in a statement. “Glen St. Andrew strongly denies the factual allegations of the complaint and will present its case in court at the appropriate time.”
• John Sherman at Buzzfeed has penned an interesting essay wondering if gay media is still focusing on gay acceptance (i.e. Love, Simon) instead of celebrating queer difference? Sherman brings up some points I hadn’t considered. Def worth the read.
• This week we got our first look at Anything, a story about love and acceptance that follows widower Early (John Caroll Lynch) after his move to LA in the aftermath of the death of his wife. Early finds an unlikely friend in his neighbor, Freda, who is a transgender sex worker.
While the film’s premise is welcome, folks have raised concerns about the casting of Matt Bomer, a cisgender man, as the trans character Freda.
Good news in Illinois as the state’s governor has just signed two bills into law that will help LGBTs find greater equality in the Prairie State.
The first bill removes the option of a “gay panic” defense in murder cases. Utilized in several LGBT murders in recent years (Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Marco McMillan), “gay panic” defenses have allowed defendants accused of killing homosexuals to legally claim they had a legitimate fear for their safety because the victim had made a pass at them.
The defense has been criticized by many for implicitly condoning that LGBTs are a threat to society.
Illinois is the second state in the U.S. to ban the defense. California is the only other state to pass similar legislation.
The second bill makes it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificates to reflect their correct gender identity.
Until now, trans folks had to submit sworn affidavits from their physicians confirming they had performed gender confirmation surgery.
Under the new law, trans individuals are only required to provide a note from licensed medical professionals documenting the fact that they are receiving “clinically appropriate” treatment as they transition.
The latest from NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls show former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading in Florida, Illinois and Ohio ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primaries.
The only surprise here for me is I thought Ohio would be the closer race, but it’s looking like Illinois may be Bernie Sanders’ better hope for a win on Tuesday.
Of course, after last Tuesday’s surprise win by Bernie in Michigan, I’m not completely trusting any poll.
I should note there wasn’t an NBC News poll done for North Carolina which is also holding that state’s primary on Tuesday. However, Hillary Clinton leads in NC by an average of 20 points according to Real Clear Politics poll averages.