Black Lives Matter face mask for preventing spread of COVID-19
(Lazartivan/Shutterstock)

BLM T-shirts and Trump Masks Cause Uproar at Early Polling Locations; New Credit Cards Allow Trans Individuals to Use Preferred Name; and More

BLM T-shirts and Trump masks cause uproar at early polling locations.

Voters’ choice of clothing when heading to the polls in Florida and Tennessee has begun making headlines across the country. The Washington Post reported that Miami police officer Daniel Ubeda has come under fire for wearing a Trump-endorsing face mask when he went to vote on Tuesday, Oct. 20. While rules over what kind of clothing is permissible and what isn’t within a polling place vary state by state, Miami has clear laws that state officers should “avoid all religious and political discussions or arguments” and “shall not interfere with or make use of the influence of their office for political reasons, nor shall they take part in any political activity.” When news of Ubeda’s actions began spreading on social media, Miami mayor Francis Suarez took to Twitter to announce that the officer’s behavior was inappropriate and that disciplinary measures would be taken. Meanwhile, in Memphis, a poll worker has been fired after attempting to turn away voters wearing BLM T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement. Tennessee law allows voters to wear clothing promoting social messages in polling locations as long as those messages don’t specifically endorse a candidate on the ballot. “Our voters are not going to be intimidated,” Shelby County Election Commission spokeswoman Suzanne Thompson told the Post after the firing had been announced. “We’re doing everything we can so that every voter in Shelby County can exercise their right [to vote].” Expect more and more of these stories to keep popping up as voter enthusiasm soars and Election Day 2020 nears.

 

Trans individuals now able to use preferred name on certain credit and debit cards.

Good news for trans individuals: Citigroup has announced it will now be partnering with Mastercard (No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies For Diversity list in 2020) in its “True Name” program, which allows transgender and nonbinary individuals to use their preferred name, rather than their legal name, on credit and debit cards. While Mastercard launched the True Name program in 2019, Citigroup now becomes the largest financial organization to offer cards under the initiative. Nearly a third of transgender and nonbinary individuals have had negative experiences using banking cards because of the name on the card. When the True Name program originally launched in June 2019, Mastercard president of U.S. issuers, Raj Seshadri told American Banker, “What we’re introducing is a card that represents an individual as who they truly are.”

 

Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions.

In his broadest support of LGBTQ rights yet, Pope Francis has recognized the need for legislation to support same sex couples. NPR reported his announcement as part of an interview conducted in the new documentary Francesco, which premiered on Oct. 21 at the Rome Film Festival. “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They are children of God and have a right to a family,” the pope said in the film. “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” Advocacy groups are excited by the news but are now awaiting The Vatican’s response to see if the church as a whole lets the statement stand. If it does, Dignity USA’s executive director, Marianne Duddy-Burke told NPR that “this could be a global game changer for gay and lesbian people, for same sex couples, for LGBTQ people broadly,” while also noting that “we’re just going to have to see where it lands.” 

 

D.I. Fast Fact

545

Number of migrant children separated from their parents at the border whose families cannot be located by the Trump administration.
NBC News

 

Are you registered to vote? Vote.org provides a number of resources for voters including a state-by-state rundown of important dates and regulations to know, plus information on registering to vote, how to successfully vote by mail and more. For more info, go to vote.org.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here

 

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