Newsmonger 

Bathroom Safety, Deporting a Rape Victim, No Idling

If only we could flush Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s transphobic rhetoric down the toilet.

If only we could flush Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s transphobic rhetoric down the toilet.

AG Ken Paxton

Targets Bathroom Safety

If Texas' top lawman gets his way, he'd flush Target's bathroom policy down the toilet.

Our embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is facing criminal and civil securities fraud charges, takes issue with the company that made news when it announced employees and customers were welcome to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Riding the "Bathroom Bill" wave of equally bigoted Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is likely crafting discriminatory legislation for the 2017 session, Paxton told FOX News that the Texas Legislature — in his words — "may at some point in the future address the issue." Then he went further, requesting Target's safety policies for protecting women and children from "those who would use the cover of Target's restroom policy for nefarious purposes."

The only utterly evil intentions here have nothing to do with either Paxton or Patrick's claims that women and children will be assaulted by heterosexual male predators dressed as females. What both Paxton, Patrick and a host of other Republicans are doing is trying to draw a link between sexual predators, pedophilia and transgender people.

That's not only wrong, it's diabolic.

After all, transgender people are the likely target of bathroom attacks from transphobic maniacs.

Deporting a Rape Victim

Tales of tragedy told by Central Americans fleeing violence continue to leak out of the Karnes Family Detention Center.

On April 27, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Service, or RAICES, and the National Immigrant Justice Center, or NIJC, filed a petition with the autonomous Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asking the agency to tell the United States not to deport the "G.S. family."

According to RAICES, the Department of Homeland Security refused to review an initial decision denying the family's opportunity to apply for asylum. That's because during the interview with the Asylum Office, a woman RAICES identifies as "E.G.S." did not tell agents that she was raped by gang members because her daughter, who didn't know, was present during the interview. In addition to sexual assault against "E.G.S.," the family has been robbed and threatened because they are female, according to RAICES. The mother's brother-in-law was murdered by the same men who raped her, the petition states.

Border Patrol agents who interviewed the woman allegedly told her that the rapes were "not their problem," and the family was placed for expedited removal, which is on hold.

"E.G.S. did not mention the rapes in El Salvador because the only other person she had spoken with, in a government uniform, had told her that the gang rapes she survived did not matter," Jonathan Ryan, executive director of RAICES, says in a statement. "It is easy to understand why E.G.S. would not have made mention of this in her asylum interview. What we do not understand is why the Department of Homeland Security Asylum Office is not willing to grant this family a new interview."

People persecuted based on their gender, like the "G.S. family," are eligible for asylum, according to RAICES.

County Not Idling

Underneath New Air Quality Rules

With the Environmental Protection Agency tightening air quality standards around the nation, Bexar County proactively passed a regulation prohibiting drivers of large trucks, think semis, from idling their engines.

"A good part of our pollution comes through vehicles, these larger trucks that come through here. And then many of them park in truck stops or pull over to the side of the road and continue to run their motors," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said, as reported by Texas Public Radio.

San Antonio is working on a similar ordinance as local agencies work to curb being designated by the EPA as in "non-attainment," which would trigger penalties.

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