Things That Matter

President Joe Biden Ends Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

Former President Donald Trump and his administration have a long track record of attacking LGBTQ+ votes. One of the first attacks was to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Years later, President Joe Biden has reversed the hateful order.

President Joe Biden has ended the trans military ban.

Former President Trump left behind a trail of destruction and pain with his administration. One of the first LGBTQ+ attacks was banning trans people from joining and serving in the military. The policy, which was created via a tweet, caused unnecessary pain to trans military members both current and retired. Many lost benefits and others were discharged for being who they are.

The order is a welcomed change to the military.

“This is reinstating a position that previous commanders and — as well as the Secretaries have supported,” President Biden said about the order. “And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform, and essentially restoring the situation as it existed before, with transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military.”

LGBTQ+ people and allies are celebrating the end of the discriminatory policy.

The policy banning trans members from the military served no purpose other than singling out people for who they are. For years, the military has accepted LGBTQ+ people and former President Trump’s anti-trans policy was damaging and unnecessarily harmful to servicemembers.

President Biden’s plan will tackle the legacy of disenfranchisement in three steps:

  • Directs the secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security to implement this order.
  • Immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity.
  • Requires an initial report from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security be made to the President within 60 days on their progress in implementing the directives and policy included in today’s Executive Order.

READ: Amelio Robles Ávila Was Mexico’s First Trans Soldier And A Revolutionary Hero, More Than 100 Years Ago

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Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

Things That Matter

Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

The family of a man who was shot in the back and killed by a Mexican soldier is demanding better support from the Mexican military after officials offer them one million pesos, or about $49,000 USD.

Officials say that the Guatemalan man was in retreat from a military checkpoint near the southern border, when they admit that a soldier wrongfully shot at the man killing him.

Military officials are offering $1 million pesos to family of the Guatemalan man the army murdered.

The Mexican Army is offering 1 million pesos (about $49,000 USD) in compensation to the family of a Guatemalan man who was shot and killed by a Mexican soldier along a stretch of Mexico’s southern border.

The man, Elvin Mazariegos, 30, was killed by the army in the state of Chiapas by a soldier who opened fire on a car in which he was traveling with two other people.

According to Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the soldier shot at the vehicle as it tried to escape in reverse from a military checkpoint. He said the decision to shoot was an “erroneous reaction” because the military personnel hadn’t come under attack. The solider who shot Elvin Mazariegos was turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office.

The family is asking for more support since Mazariegos was the family’s sole income earner.

Olga Mazariegos told the newspaper Reforma that the Mexican army had offered a single 1-million-peso payment to her brother’s family. But the family is also demanding monthly maintenance payments for Mazariego’s daughters, aged 9 and 5, and 2-year-old son, she said. She said their father was the sole income earner in his family.

“What we want is monthly maintenance, but they say that they’ll only give [a single payment of] approximately half a million quetzales,” Mazariegos said. At today’s exchange rate, 1 million pesos is in fact 377,300 quetzales.

The slain man’s sister said the army’s proposed payment will be insufficient for the man’s widow to maintain her family. “She’s left alone with her three children; what happened to my brother is not fair,” she said, adding that it was insulting for the army to say that his life was worth 1 million pesos.

Mazariegos murder comes as police brutality gains greater attention across Mexico.

Credit: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Residents near the border (including Guatemalans) have demanded justice. About 300 angry residents detained 15 other soldiers also deployed near the border. Nine soldiers were released about three hours after they were detained, while the others were set free in the early hours of Tuesday morning after Mexican officials reached a deal with the civilians to provide them with “economic reparation” for the killing. The army chief didn’t reveal how much money was paid to the angry residents.

The killing of Mazariegos came just two days after the death of a Salvadoran woman who was violently pinned to the ground while she was being arrested by municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

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The Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions After Supporting Them

Things That Matter

The Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions After Supporting Them

TIZIANA FABI / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

The Catholic church has a long history of ostracizing and demonizing the LGBTQ+ community. Pope Francis seemed to be revolutionizing the Catholic church’s views on the community until saying the church cannot bless same-sex unions.

The Vatican has officially decreed that priests cannot bless same-sex unions.

Seemingly out of nowhere, The Vatican released a statement claiming that priests cannot bless same-sex unions. The announcement further claims that homosexuality is a sin and that God cannot bless sin. Furthermore, the decree from The Vatican determined that sexual orientation is a choice, which is archaic and hurtful thinking.

The Vatican’s claim that sexual orientation is a choice has been debunked.

The decree from The Vatican claims that by blessing same-sex unions, The Vatican would be blessing a “choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered.”

Some try to claim that homosexuality is a choice yet that has been scientifically debunked. There are wide studies that show that genetics are likely at play when it comes to determining someone’s sexual orientation. The “gay gene” has been observed when studying brothers of differing sexual orientations.

The announcement brought up some of The Vatican’s long-discussed hypocrisy.

In 2019, it was reported that The Vatican invested heavily into the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.” The movie follows the life of Elton John and his journey through the music industry while coming to terms with his sexual orientation. The movie shows John struggling to be who he is very early in his career and the damage not having a proper support system could cause.

The Vatican’s decree goes against Pope Francis’ own comments from last year.

Last year, Pope Francis caught the world’s attention when he was caught on camera in a documentary. The pope spoke on same-sex unions and endorsed them.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family,” Pope Francis said in a documentary. “Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to have is a civil union law—that way, they are legally covered. I supported that.”

Some clerics in the Catholic Church are pushing back against the latest decree and saying they will bless same-sex unions.

READ: Pope Francis Says That Women Are Now Allowed to Read Scripture During Mass and People Have Conflicting Emotions

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