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78 Mayors Sign On To Bipartisan “Mayors For The Freedom To Marry”

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78 mayors of cities large and small today are joining together in Washington, D.C. at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors to sign a statement supporting same-sex marriage equality, as part of an effort called “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.” The bipartisan coalition, which notes that same-sex marriage is good for the economy and for families, is chaired by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego, and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. The effort was created by Evan Wolfson’s Freedom To Marry campaign.

The full statement, which all the mayors are signing today, reads:

As mayors of great American cities, we proudly stand together in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. We personally know many gay and lesbian people living in our cities who are in committed, loving relationships, who are active participants in the civic life of our communities, and who deserve to be able to marry the person with whom they share their life.

We are proud that at its 2009 annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution stating that: “The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports marriage equality for same-sex couples, and the recognition and extension of full equal rights to such unions, including family and medical leave, tax equity, and insurance and retirement benefits, and opposes the enshrinement of discrimination in the federal or state constitutions.”

Our cities derive great strength from their diversity, and gay and lesbian families are a crucial part. Studies have shown what we know through our hands-on experience—that cities that celebrate and cultivate diversity are the places where creativity and ideas thrive. They are the places where today’s entrepreneurs are most likely to choose to build the businesses of tomorrow. Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry enhances our ability to build this kind of environment, which is good for all of us.

We stand for the freedom to marry because it enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do. We look forward to working to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage with the person with whom they share their life.

Noticeably absent from the list is Dallas, Texas, mayor Mike Rawlings. The Dallas Voice reports that Rawlings, “says he ‘personally’ supports same-sex marriage but doesn’t sign things related to social issues that don’t directly impact city affairs.”

Here’s the list. Is your mayor on it? If not, ask them!

Current Mayors for the Freedom to Marry:

Michael Bloomberg – New York, NY (Chair) Thomas Menino – Boston, MA (Chair)
Annise Parker – Houston, Texas (Chair) Jerry Sanders – San Diego, CA (Chair)
Antonio Villaraigosa – Los Angeles, CA (Chair) Samuel Adams – Portland, OR
Tom Bates – Berkeley, CA William Bell – Durham, NC
David Berger – Lima, OH Richard Bloom – Santa Monica, CA
Cory Booker – Newark, NJ Bruce Botelho – Juneau, AK
Ardell Brede – Rochester, MN Christopher Cabaldon – W. Sacramento, CA
John Callahan – Bethlehem, PA Stephen Cassidy – San Leandro, CA
Craig Cates – Key West, FL Mark Chilton – Carrboro, NC
Joshua Cohen – Annapolis, MD Chris Coleman – St. Paul, MN
Dennis Coombs – Longmont, CO Joy Cooper – Hallandale Beach, FL
Frank Cownie – Des Moines, IA John Duran – West Hollywood, CA
Paul Dyster – Niagara Falls, NY Rahm Emanuel – Chicago, IL
Bill Finch – Bridgeport, CT Peter Fosselman – Kensington, MD
Bob Foster – Long Beach, CA Laura Friedman – Glendale, CA
Ava Frisinger – Issaquah, WA Marie Gilmore – Alameda, CA
Mike Gin, Redondo Beach, CA Vincent Gray – Washington, D.C.
George Heartwell – Grand Rapids, MI John Hieftje – Ann Arbor, MI
Bobby Hopewell – Kalamazoo, MI Sylvester James, Jr. – Kansas City, MO
Edward Kelly – Cleveland Heights, OH Mark Kleinschmidt – Chapel Hill, NC
Mark Kruzan – Bloomington, IN Don Lane – Santa Cruz, CA
Timothy Leavitt – Vancouver, WA Edwin Lee – San Francisco, CA
Lee Leffingwell – Austin, TX Craig Lowe – Gainesville, FL
David Lublin – Town of Chevy Chase, MD Karen Majewski – Hamtramck, MI
Jan Marx – San Luis Obispo, CA Mike McGinn – Seattle, WA
Alex Morse – Holyoke, MA Lori Moseley – Miramar, FL
Jeri Muoio – West Palm Beach, FL David Narkewicz – Northampton, MA
Don Ness – Duluth, MN Michael Nutter – Philadelphia, PA
Frank Ortis – Pembroke Pines, FL Kitty Piercy – Eugene, OR
Steve Pougnet – Palm Springs, CA Jean Quan – Oakland, CA
Thomas Richards – Rochester, NY Clarissa Rowe – Arlington, MA
Matthew Ryan – Binghampton, NY RT Rybak – Minneapolis, MN
Robert Sabonjian – Waukegan, IL Helene Schneider – Santa Barbara, CA
Ann Schwab – Chico, CA Pedro Segarra – Hartford, CT
Eric Senter – Franklinton, NC Jeffrey Slavin – Town of Somerset, MD
Paul Soglin – Madison, WI Marilyn Strickland – Tacoma, WA
Angel Taveras – Providence, RI Nick Tell – Manhattan Beach, CA
Elizabeth Tisdahl – Evanston, IL Setti Warren – Newton, MA
Bruce Williams – Takoma Park, MD Dana Williams – Park City Park, UT

Image: Mayor Parker of Houston speaking at the launch of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, via Freedom to Marry

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News

‘Recycling Stale and Debunked Burisma Conspiracy Theories’: Raskin Refutes Comer’s Claims as ‘Effort to Smear Biden’

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It is an internal FBI document used to record an informant’s unverified statement, and House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer wants it.

On Monday after weeks of threats and intimidation, Chairman Comer announced he will seek to obtain a contempt of Congress conviction against FBI Director Chris Wray, who refused to hand over to the committee the document, known as an FD-1023, which allegedly contains allegations of unlawful activity by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Ranking Member Raskin late Monday afternoon released a statement slamming Comer.

READ MORE: Comer Struggles to Defend Need for Internal FBI Document on Biden as He Seeks Contempt of Congress for Director Wray

“As the FBI explained at length during today’s briefing, and in previous conversations leading up to today’s accommodation, releasing this form publicly could place the Confidential Human Source in grave danger and undermine the integrity of FBI programs and investigations going forward,” Reskin said in a statement. “Yet, rather than acknowledge these legitimate law enforcement concerns, Chairman Comer has declared his intent to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress to further promote debunked Republican conspiracy theories.”

“We now know what I had long suspected: that Chairman Comer’s subpoena is about recycling stale and debunked Burisma conspiracy theories long peddled by Rudy Giuliani and a Russian agent, sanctioned by former President Trump’s own Treasury Department, as part of the effort to smear President Biden and help Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign,” Raskin revealed.

Announcing,”here are the facts,” Raskin wrote, “the FD-1023 form, which we reviewed first-hand today, records what a Confidential Human Source told the FBI about conversations he had with individuals in Ukraine. The source, who has been described as highly credible by the FBI, told the FBI he could not provide any opinion on the underlying veracity of the information provided by these Ukrainian individuals.”

“Chairman Comer’s actions prove that his interest in issuing this subpoena was never about seeking the truth, but was always about weaponizing the powers of this Committee to hold Director Wray in contempt as part of MAGA Republicans’ efforts to discredit and ultimately ‘dismantle’ the FBI.”

READ MORE: ‘Indictment Anytime’: Experts Explain Significance of Trump’s Attorneys Meeting With DOJ – Warn Plea Deal Possible

Indeed, then-President Donald Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an infamous July, 2019 telephone call, to “do us a favor though.”

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump said, according to a declassified transcript released by the White House.

On Sunday Rep. Raskin told CNN Comer “admitted” this is an attempt to help Donald Trump. “It’s all about the 2024 campaign.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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Comer Struggles to Defend Need for Internal FBI Document on Biden as He Seeks Contempt of Congress for Director Wray

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer (R-KY) Monday afternoon announced he will seek to obtain a contempt of Congress referral and conviction against FBI Director Chris Wray.

For months conservatives have been talking about a document supposedly damaging to President Joe Biden that the Federal Bureau of Investigation only recently verified exists. It is not classified, but it has also not been proven accurate. It was deemed so spurious even then-Attorney General Bill Barr questioned its credibility.

Chairman Comer has demanded Director Wray not only show him the document – which the Bureau did Monday – but hand it over to the Oversight Committee.

After the FBI, according to Comer, refused to hand over the document, Comer announced, “we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings.”

On Monday, Comer said the FBI is using the document as part of an ongoing investigation.

READ MORE: Grassley Admits He Doesn’t Care if GOP’s Accusations Against ‘Vice President Biden’ Are True or Not – He Vows to Pursue Them

Comer announced he will seek contempt of Congress charges against Wray even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation briefed him Monday on the document, allegedly from an unverified whistleblower, claiming then-Vice President Joe Biden engaged in an unethical or unlawful act.

Some reports say the document alleges Biden accepted a bribe in exchange for enacting a policy decision, although there has been no evidence to support that claim.

When asked by a reporter why he is pursuing a contempt of Congress charge against Wray, since he has now seen the document and been briefed on it, Comer struggled to defend his actions.

“So why do you need to document at hand? You just got a chance to view it, so why do you need it? Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?” the reporter asked.

“Well,” Comer replied, “if, let’s just look at what what I’ve read in a lot of the media accounts. and and with statements that Ian Sam’s has made from the White House, that, ‘There’s no merit to this. this is crazy. This is a conspiracy theory.’ And you’re just supposed to take my word or, or the FBI’s word, I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this, or that, uh, you, you’re gonna write that the source is unverified wherever, remember, the main reason they’re not wanting to make this public is because they’re concerned about the source.”

Comer also told reporters, “All I know is there’s an ongoing investigation. They’ve confirmed there’s an ongoing investigation, using, this information. I assume that ongoing investigation is in Delaware. I don’t know that.But I assume that.”

Meanwhile, Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin was asked about Comer’s remarks that the document is part of an ongoing investigation.

Shocked and stunned, with his jaw literally hanging open, Raskin looked around as reporters told him what the chairman said, and he replied, “then I must have missed that because I had not heard that this is part of any ongoing investigation.

Comer, according to the clip below, also described the source of the allegation as “highly credible,” but Raskin appeared to correct Comer, saying the highly credible source “reported a conversation with someone else.”

Raskin has previously described the document as a “tip,” containing “unsubstantiated, second-hand claims.”

READ MORE: ‘Untrue and Hateful’: Nikki Haley Slammed for ‘Damnable Lie’ of Blaming Teen Girls Contemplating Suicide on Trans Kids

The unverified document, called an FD-1023 form, “has origins in a tranche of documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Justice Department in 2020, people briefed on the matter said,” CNN has reported.

“According to Comer,” CNN added last week, the FD-1023 form, “dated June 30, 2020, says [a] foreign national allegedly paid $5 million to receive a desired policy outcome, based on unclassified and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”

“The allegations of wrongdoing by the then-vice president,” CNN added, many originating from sources in Ukraine, were dubious enough that Attorney General William Barr in early 2020 directed that they be reviewed by a US attorney in Pittsburgh, in part because Barr was concerned that Giuliani’s document tranche could taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation overseen by the Delaware US attorney.”

Watch the video clips above or at this link.

 

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'GROTESQUE SCAREMONGERING'

‘Untrue and Hateful’: Nikki Haley Slammed for ‘Damnable Lie’ of Blaming Teen Girls Contemplating Suicide on Trans Kids

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GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley is under fire for what some are calling “outrageous and fact-free,” and “unserious, untrue, and hateful” statements during her CNN town hall Sunday night, where at least one of her more attention-getting remarks is drawing anger and upset.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper to define the term “woke” as conservatives see it, Haley, according to Mediaite, replied: “There’s a lot of things,” which seemed to define her responses to several of the questions she was asked.

“You want to start with biological boys playing in girl sports,” said the former Trump Ambassador to the United Nations, referring to transgender girls. “That’s one thing. The fact we have gender pronoun classes in the military now.”

NCRM could find no reference to “gender pronoun classes in the military” via a Google search, although at least one right-wing website has posted what allegedly is a U.S. Military training video on pronouns.

“All these things that are pushing what a small minority want on the majority of Americans, it’s too much,” Haley continued.

READ MORE: ‘Indictment Anytime’: Experts Explain Significance of Trump’s Attorneys Meeting With DOJ – Warn Plea Deal Possible

That complaint could easily be applied to right-wing bans on abortion, school library books, and refusal to allow background checks on all gun purchases, to name a few.

“The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls’ sports, it is the women’s issue of our time,” Haley, a former South Carolina governor insisted, choosing that over equal pay for women, access to health care including abortion services, the economy, or gun violence.

But it was the next portion of her remarks that have many especially outraged.

“My daughter ran track in high school. I don’t even know how I would have that conversation with her. How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker room? And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year.”

Georgetown University professor of policy Don Moynihan blasted Haley.

“This really is grotesque scaremongering. Research I’ve done suggests that such stigmatizing political rhetoric has mental health effects,” Moynihan writes, pointing to this piece. “Of course, Haley does not mention that trans teens have the highest suicide rates.”

Haley baselessly suggesting teens are contemplating suicide because of transgender girls participating in girls’ sports has no bearing in fact.

“Clinical psychologist here,” writes Heather O’Beirne Kelly, PhD. “Nikki Haley’s suggestion that trans youth are responsible for girls’ elevated suicide risks is disgusting. Let’s also be clear that the suicide rate for trans youth is sky high — they need support, not blame from a politician seeking the presidency.”

And just how many transgender girls playing girls sports in the U.S. are we talking about?

“While we don’t know the exact number of trans women competing in NCAA sports, I would be very surprised if there were more than 100 of them in the women’s category,” researcher and medical physicist Joanna Harper told Newsweek in April.

READ MORE: ‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer

“One hundred transgender athletes would comprise an incredibly small number of the U.S. population,” Newsweek added, “and the number dwindles even further when it comes to middle school and high school athletes.”

NYU Professor Scott Galloway also criticized Haley.

“There is no data, or study (anywhere) linking teen depression to presence of trans kids,” he writes. “This mocks a serious issue, and reinforces a GOP theme of demonizing our most vulnerable. The opposite of leadership.”

Boston Globe opinion writer Renée Graham went even further: “There isn’t a shred of evidence connecting suicidal ideation in teenage girls to being in close proximity to trans girls. None. An ugly, damnable lie and exactly what one should expect from Haley.”

But Haley wasn’t done attacking transgender Americans.

“We should be growing strong girls, confident girls. Then you go and you talk about building a strong military. How are you going to build a morale and strong military when you’re doing gender pronoun classes?”

Her remarks on CNN were just part of her regular stump speech – Haley has said the exact same thing several times before.

And while she appeared to struggle for terms to define “wokeness,” back in March she had little trouble, telling attendees of the right wing conference, “wokeness is a virus more dangerous than any pandemic – hands down.”

Haley apparently does not see transgender service members as part of the U.S. Military — or part of its need to build “morale.”

“Our veterans deserve to be proud of their service,” Haley tweeted in May. “As president, we’ll ban gender pronoun classes in our military. No more ‘diversity and inclusion’ training.”

Chasten Buttigieg also blasted Haley.

“Nikki Haley suggesting that 1/3 of American teenage girls are contemplating suicide because of the existence of trans people is an unserious, untrue, and hateful thing to say. But hate is the point, isn’t it?” he asked. He also lauded CNN’s Tapper who appeared to mildly served up some important facts to Haley.

Author, essayist, and former naval aviator Brynn Tannehill responded, saying: “Nikki Haley’s claim last night that transgender people are the reason why teen girls contemplate suicide is beyond specious, it’s actively contradicted by the actual statistics. It’s also dangerous pro-extermination propaganda.”

READ MORE: Extremist Group Targets Florida High School’s Yearbook Over Inclusion of LGBTQ Students Section

“Idaho leads the nation in teen suicides. It has been one of the leaders in banning trans youth from everything from sports, health care, bathrooms, government IDs, and inclusion in sex ed. It was the first to ban trans athletes,” she adds, linking to this Reuters article from 2020.

“The six states with the lowest teen suicide rates are all either blue or purple. Five of the six (CA, NJ, NY, MA, and MD) all have explicit protections for trans people codified into law. So it’s not the existence of trans kids in school,” Tannehill adds.

“Haley is also making the claim that Dylan Mulvaney being on TikTok is enough to cause teen girls to want to kill themselves,” Tannehill continues, noting her “videos are basically floof (hair, makeup, comedy, video diary). Mulvaney’s stuff is light entertainment. No one has to watch it, and she’s not telling people to go out and be a jerk to anyone.”

Haley has been using Mulvaney as a “punch line” for months, including last month, when her “joke” reportedly bombed.

“But simply by being visible, she (and any other visible trans person) is somehow responsible for the deaths of hundreds or thousands of cisgender girls,” Tannehill adds, saying Haley’s “implication is clear: tolerating transgender people causes the deaths of lots of cisgender kids.”

Journalist Emma Vigeland notes the GOP presidential candidate is “saying that trans kids’ very existence is so confusing that it’s causing cis suicide.”

“Barbaric,” Vigeland concludes.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

 

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