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Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” Bill Appears To Be Dead

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Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill, internationally-denounced legislation that would have prescribed all Ugandan gays to be put in jail for life, would have required reporting to the government anyone suspected of being homosexual within 24 hours, and possibly would have demanded the death penalty for the “crime” of homosexuality, appears to be dead.

A government subcommittee reportedly told reporters that the law duplicated other laws in Uganda, one of 83 countries where homosexuality is already illegal. David Bahati, an MP in Uganda’s Parliament and the chief proponent of the “Kill the Gays” bill, said of the two year-old bill’s apparent demise, “I think that the government is aware that 95 percent of Ugandans do not condone homosexuality,” according to a translation of a Spanish-language news report.

Box Turtle Bulletin’s Jim Burroway also writes, “Uganda’s Information Minister was reportedly shown on television explaining that the bill will not be passed because other laws already exist which criminalize homosexuality. However, some parts of the bill may be attached to the Sexual Offenses Act. Which parts, we don’t know. Our source writes, “Bahati was panicked and tried to look defiant.”

The infamous bill received world-wide attention, especially for the portions that would have made the death penalty the punishment for “aggravated homosexuality.” Seven other countries already make homosexuality punishable by death.

While it remains unclear what prompted this change, it was widely-expected the bill would be debated and voted upon this week. Earlier this week, ahead of the Ugandan bill and thanks to a U.S.-led move at the United Nations, the international body voted to condemn violence against the LGBT community.

Read: “UN Gay Rights Vote Result Of Growing Global Support for LGBT Rights

Ugandan gay and human rights activist David Kato was brutally murdered on January 26 of this year as he worked to defeat the “Kill the Gays” bill. News of his death prompted statements of condolence around the world, including from President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, as well as a renewed focus on the “Kill the Gays” bill. The U.S. Secretary of State was widely-credited for this week’s successful UN vote.

Kato’s killer or killers have yet to be charged, and the government had claimed at one point Kato’s murder was the result of self-defense because Kato had sex with his suspected murderer. These claims have been denounced as baseless.

Read: “David Kato’s Death Result Of Hatred Planted By U.S. Evangelicals”

Last year, a Ugandan newspaper, Rolling Stone, (unrelated to the U.S. magazine) itself became the focus of news around the world for several front-page anti-gay stories it published, which included names, addresses, and photographs of prominent homosexuals, while urging readers to “hang them.”

Bahati, who earlier had said of the “Kill the Gays” bill, “It is popular here,” also has made a name for himself internationally, amid reports he is connected to “The Family,” also known as “The Fellowship,” an American clandestine political and religious group based in the now-infamous “C Street House.” Bahati in 2009 said homosexuality “is a behaviour that is learned and it can be unlearned,” and, “Homosexuality it is not a human right. It is not in-born.”

Bahati also has ties to mega-church pastor Rick Warren, who in late 2009 finally (somewhat) came out against the “Kill the Gays” bill.

The “Kill the Gays” bill is widely-believed to be the brainchild, or at least created based on the teachings of American Evangelicals, including Scott Lively.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

(h/t Blabbeando)

(image: Ugandan PM David Bahati)

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Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after militaries service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’

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Questions surfaced after Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member of the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the release of Mark Meadows’ texts and information to the Jan. 6 committee. It turned out that in those text messages that the justice didn’t want revealed were communications with his wife.

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), wrote in his new book that he thinks Justice Thomas is far more involved in his wife Ginni Thomas’ 2020 election overthrow attempts.

Riggleman, who left the committee in April, included many of the text messages that had previously been released from Ginni Thomas, along with the note that he had a difficult time trying to get the House Select Committee to sound the alarm on her actions.

“Supreme Court spouses are typically low profile. Ginni’s involvement with political groups had already led to questions about whether Clarence would need to recuse himself in cases with a political component,” wrote Riggleman. If Clarence had been in the logs, it would be a much bigger deal than all that. When I began to suspect Ginni and Clarence had texted with Meadows, I put together a technical brief outlining how we might be able to cement the identifications.”

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP lawmaker leaves people baffled with his opinion of drug seizures

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called him to express concern that telling Americans that such an influential figure had gone full-Q. Cheney was worried it would turn the whole committee into a political sideshow and overshadow all of the other work the committee was doing. The release of Riggleman’s book has left the committee members furiousover possible leaks after spending a year with so few.

Riggleman persisted in pressing Cheney to tell Americans about the Thomases.

“The committee needed to show the American people that there was an organized, violent effort to reverse the election—and that there were indications it could have been directed by the White House,” he wrote. “Thanks to their prominence, Ginni and Clarence would make a lot of headlines, but those headlines might overwhelm the other important work we were doing.”

The conversation with Cheney didn’t go well, with the two “type A personalities” duking-out their arguments. Riggleman argued that data wasn’t political. It wasn’t right or wrong.

“I also thought that, given Clarence’s position and Ginni’s prominence in conservative circles, the American public had to know what she had been up to,” argued Riggleman. “Some of the messages went beyond simply cheering Meadows on. It was legitimate for me to have concerns as to whether a Supreme Court justice had been involved in the legally questionable push to overturn the election. Was it possible that one of the country’s nine top judges was on board with an authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution? The implications were overwhelming. Cheney found it all improbable. I think she still had more faith in the institutional GOP than I did at that point.”

Riggleman’s book, The Breach, is on sale now and Raw Story has complete coverage here.

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Trump Sarcastically Prayed for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Health – Before Asking ‘How Much Longer’ She Had: New Book

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Donald Trump has bragged about how installing Supreme Court justices was one of the greatest things a President can do. By the end of his one term he had placed three far right wing jurists on the nation’s highest court.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health was failing, Trump apparently was looking forward to nominating yet another justice to the bench.

The Washington Post, citing New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, says Trump derisively prayed for the 87-year old liberal icon.

READ MORE: ‘We Have Incredible Things’: Trump Surprised NYT Reporter Last Year by Boasting He Kept White House Documents

“When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dying in 2020, the book says, Trump would sarcastically raise his hands to the sky in prayer and say: ‘Please God. Please watch over her. Every life is precious,’ before asking an aide: ‘How much longer do you think she has?'”

Justice Ginsburg was far from the only woman Trump spoke ill of.

The Post reports “Trump was often crass and profane about world leaders and others in his orbit. He referred to German Prime Minister Angela Merkel as ‘that b—-,’ according to the book.”

READ MORE: Critics Blast Top US Conservative Think Tank President for Applauding Italy’s Election of ‘Neo-Fascist’ Prime Minister

When Trump met British Prime Minister Theresa May, he brought up the issue of abortion.

“Some people are pro-life, some people are pro-choice,” Trump said, according to Haberman’s book. “Imagine if some animals with tattoos raped your daughter and she got pregnant?” Trump reportedly asked.

Haberman’s book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” is 607 pages long and chronicles Trump’s time in the White House and in New York, going back as far as the 1980’s.

Among many other topics it also reveals Trump’s rarely discussed homophobia and transphobia. The Post says Haberman “reports [Trump] frequently made comments that were homophobic, particularly toward gay men, and washed his hands immediately after meeting someone who had AIDS.”

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