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Boy Scouts Determined To Continue Ban On Gays After Secret Study

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The Boy Scouts of America say their discriminatory policy “allows the organization to most efficiently accomplish its mission of focusing on interests and perspectives that are held in common.”

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has just announced it has concluded a secret, never-before revealed “study,” and is resolved that gay people should continue to be banned from any association with the century-old organization. Outgoing Boy Scouts head Rex Tillerson is the CEO of Exxon-Mobile, a corporation that has the lowest rating possible by HRC: -25.

READ: Boy Scouts Keep Ban On Gays — Equality Organizations React

“After careful consideration of a resolution asking the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its longstanding membership standards policy, today the organization affirmed its current policy, stating that it remains in the best interest of Scouting and that there will be no further action taken on the resolution,” Boy Scouts of America said via a statement:

“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America. “While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”

Following the recommendation to affirm the BSA’s membership policy, the executive committee of the BSA National Executive Board released the following statement: “Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve the life-changing benefits to youth through Scouting. While not all Board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization and supports it for the BSA.”

In email and telephone conversations with the Boy Scouts of America today, The New Civil Rights Movement asked a variety of questions but received little more than this statement:

Scouting is not the place to resolve divergent viewpoints in society. Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting.  The BSA’s policy is right for the organization because it allows the organization to most efficiently accomplish its mission of focusing on interests and perspectives that are held in common.

The Scouts were quick to note, however, that the decision to continue the ban was not made by Rex Tillerson.

The Boy Scouts did not respond immediately to the following questions related to the statement they released today announcing the ban would continue:

How does the BSA or Bob Mazzuca know what the majority “values” or “agrees with”? Has there been a national/international poll directly questioning the membership on the gay ban?

The statement also says that the “membership standards policy,” aka a ban on LGBT people at all levels of the BSA, “remains in the best interest of Scouting,” yet there is no explanation of how it “remains in the best interest of Scouting,” or how removing the ban on gay people would not be “in the best interest of Scouting.”

Also, the statement says there was “a nearly two-year-long examination,” yet no one has ever mentioned this examination previously. Why? Also, why were people with specific expertise in these matters not invited to be part of the study/examination? Wouldn’t it be the smart thing to do, to bring in outside experts?

When did the examination conclude, what were its specific findings, and will they be released to the public?

(Note: We’ll update this story if the BSA decides to respond.)

Recently, two executive board members of the Boy Scouts publicly endorsed having LGBT people allowed into the BSA. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, and Ernst & Young CEO James Turley have both stood up and said the ban on gay people in the Boy Scouts of America should be lifted.

In 2000, the BSA won a Supreme Court case that ruled private organizations, like the Scouts, are allowed to decide what policies it uses to determine membership.

The Dallas Voice, last week, in a lengthy exploration into discrimination by the Boy Scouts, noted:

The incoming BSA president is Wayne Perry, who is retired from McCaw Cellular, which became a part of Dallas-based AT&T — a company that receives the highest possible score from HRC.

Finally, there is a movement gaining momentum. Via a Change.org press release today:

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls and Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted as her son’s den leader in April and launched a Change.org petition attracting 300,000 signatures, responded today after Boy Scouts of America officials told the Associated Press that a secret committee had decided it will continue to maintain the ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders.

“This announcement is old news. We’ve heard this line before, and I’m sure they’ll keep saying this until the day they decide to change the policy. This announcement, moreover this ‘process,’ is just a distraction. We know where this is headed,” said Wahls, who recently launched Scouts for Equality to overturn the ban. “Above all, what is most disappointing about today’s announcement is the secretive nature surrounding how this conclusion was reached. The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy. There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.”

On Wednesday, July 18, Tyrrell and her 7-year-old son Cruz, formerly a Cub Scout, will deliver more than 300,000 signatures and comments — from the Change.org petition started by Tyrrell — to the Boy Scouts of America’s national headquarters in Dallas.

Tyrrell hopes Boy Scout leaders will meet with her for the first time and accept the signatures as well as consider reinstating her as den leader so her son can resume scouting. Tyrrell’s previous attempts to meet with BSA have been rejected. As a result, Wahls — a prominent Eagle Scout, advocate for the LGBT community, and leader of “Scouts for Equality” — delivered 275,000 of the petitions on behalf of Tyrrell to BSA at an Orlando conference on May 30.

Buzzfeed adds:

Wayne Besen, the executive director of Truth Wins Out, which tracks anti-gay religious activity, blamed the influence of Christian groups. The Boy Scouts “are influenced heavily by the Latter Day Saints church and Southern Baptists. Until the influence of these groups wanes, a new policy is doubtful, if not wishful thinking,” he said.

Wahls made the case that religious values should favor inclusion.

“In the Boy Scouts, I learned about the importance of religious respect. I learned and grew alongside Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus,” he said. “Regardless of your thoughts on homosexuality, surely we can agree that gay people who serve our troops and communities deserve our respect and gratitude.”

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‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)

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Trump White House press secretary turned Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been chosen by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address next week.

Speaker McCarthy hailed Huckabee Sanders, 40, as the nation’s “youngest governor” on Thursday afternoon in remarks to reporters (below).

The former press secretary was quickly endorsed by Trump, ran a campaign carefully crafted away from the press, and has no relevant experience to run a state.

“Can Sarah Huckabee Sanders be elected governor without ever taking questions or talking specifics about public policy?” Arkansas Times’ senior editor Max Brantley asked rhetorically last summer, calling her campaign “stealth.”

READ MORE: ‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin

“Her inauguration marks the first time in 42 years Arkansas will have a governor without any experience in elected office,” the AP noted last month.

“She clearly has some national aspirations,” University of Arkansas political science professor Janine Parry told the Associated Press last month. “In order to fulfill those, it’s likely she’ll have to show some capacity for governance.”

According to Speaker McCarthy, she has already accomplished a lot in her first 23 days as governor.

Although McCarthy did not offer any specifics, CNN did: “Within 48 hours of being sworn in as governor, Sanders signed a flurry of executive orders, with one targeting critical race theory ‘to prohibit indoctrination’ in schools and another banning the use of the term ‘Latinx’ in official state documents.”

After the announcement was made, Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday. What America needs – and what Republicans are offering – is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

But in a joint statement with McCarthy and McConnell, Huckabee Sanders took a much different tone.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats. We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America – to be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs, and opportunity for all.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

Responding to the news, critics online pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ history that was fraught with controversy and false claims in the Trump White House.

Indeed, conservative critic Charlie Sykes on MSNBC pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ ties to Trump, telling Andrea Mitchell that Huckabee Sanders was “a firehose of misinformation and disinformation” during the “Trump era,” and noted she has been “prioritizing the culture war” in her short tenure as governor.

“Yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years,” he added.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin

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At least three House Republicans this week began wearing pins in the shape of an assault weapon on their clothing. U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) were all caught on camera with the pins, leading some to express outrage.

U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) was among the first to circulate images of the two Republicans wearing the pins.

“Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out?” he asked.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), captured an image of Congressman Clyde wearing the pin on his tie.

“Absolutely repulsive,” Duke University Professor of Global Health and Public Policy, Gavin Yamey said in response to the assault weapon pins. “We have mass shootings almost daily, and the Republicans are wearing assault weapon pins FFS.”

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

One of the Members wearing the pins, Congresswoman Luna, on Wednesday also participated in a House Natural Resources panel debate to push back on Democrats’ attempt to ban firearms inside the Committee’s hearing room.

She tweeted later, “The same Democrats who are voting to send firearms to Ukraine are telling me I can’t carry one.”

Politico reports the meeting (video below) was “raucous.”

Sociology professor and author Samuel Perry observed, “Republican members of congress are wearing AR-15 lapel pins. That’s not just tone deaf. We find Republicans value gun rights more than any other right, including freedom of speech or religion. No need for a flag or cross pin. The gun is both their patriotic & religious symbol.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called wearing the pins “freaking sick,” and noted “they are doing it during #GVSurvivorsWeek,” the hashtag for National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

READ MORE: Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) also pointed to National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

“While gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children in our country,
@GOP members are wearing assault rifle pins during #GVSurvivorsWeek. Shameful.”

American historian of Christianity Diana Butler Bass did not mince words: “Always said it was just a matter of time before the GOP replaced the cross with an assault rifle. Guns are their god.”

Democratic Texas state Rep. Gene Wu said the GOP “has stopped playing coy and is now openly and unabashedly praising mass shooters. Will there be special versions to celebrate specific mass shootings?”

Professor of International Relations Nicholas Grossman said: “Legislators from party that defends recent coup attempt by their up-til-recently—and possibly still—party leader replace traditional patriotic flag pin with a pin depicting a rifle.”

California state Sen. Dave Min weighed in, saying, “The debate over 2A [the Second Amendment] has never been about 2A. It’s about ‘disrupting’ civilized society as we know it, and trolling the ordinary Americans concerned about our insane levels of gun violence. That’s why it’s the biggest assholes who are most loudly touting irresponsible gun access.”

The addition of the assault weapon pins to Republican Members’ clothing comes on the heels of U.S. Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) distributing grenades to fellow Members last week. In a note he declared they are “inert.”

See video and photos above or at this link.

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News

Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him

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Kyle Rittenhouse, who skyrocketed to fame in right-wing circles after shooting and killing two protesters during a social rights march in 2020, is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s father, according to PBS.

The lawsuit was filed by John Huber, the father of one of the two victims, and also includes city officials and police officers. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed motions from the city officials, police officers and Rittenhouse to dismiss the civil rights case in its entirety.

Huber’s lawsuit states that Rittenhouse conspired with police officers to intentionally cause harm to the protesters who were marching in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was injured by a Wisconsin police officer.

Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, drove to the demonstrations in Wisconsin and was a minor at age 17 at the time.

In the ruling Adelman said Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants. Huber was killed after Rittenhouse was running after he shot and killed his first victim in the parking lot of a car dealership and Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard to disarm him. After falling to the ground Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded another protester Gaige Grosskreutz, who also has filed a civil lawsuit against Rittenhouse.

Huber’s lawyers and private investigators needed over 100 hours to locate Rittenhouse to serve him with the civil lawsuit paperwork, eventually serving him at his sister’s house. Rittenhouse’s lawyers tried to argue the case should be dismissed because he was not properly served. The judge dismissed that claim.

Rittenhouse has become a popular Republican right-wing speaker at public events and has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Jacob Blake was shot and injured, but not killed, as originally reported.

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