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Can Maggie Gallagher, NOM Get The NY Same-Sex Marriage Law Repealed?



Can Maggie Gallagher, NOM, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, or, really, anyone, actually get marriage equality in New York state repealed now that Governor Cuomo has signed the right to same-sex marriage in to law? Maggie Gallagher, and her anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have pledged “$2 million to reverse same-sex marriage in New York.” At 11:49 PM Friday, six minutes before Governor Cuomo signed into law his same-sex marriage equality bill, Gallagher — known for her hostility when on the losing side of a battle (remember Carrie Prejean, anyone?) — threatened in her National Review column that, “The GOP Will Pay a Grave Price,” and flung the tepid threat, “Consequences to be continued.” But are these the empty promises of an embattled bigot on the losing side of history? Or can an unholy trinity of Maggie Gallagher and NOM, Archbishop Dolan, and New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz — or, anyone else — actually stage an effective campaign that repeals marriage equality from New York’s same-sex couples, after they have been given equal rights, just like Prop 8 did to California?

READ: Archbishop: If Marriage Equality Law Passes NY Will Be Like North Korea

In the weeks, days, and hours leading up to Friday’s historic vote that delivered marriage equality to same-gender New York couples — by a vote in the NY State Senate of 33-29 — talk of religious “carve-outs,” religious exemptions, or, simply, state-sanctioned religious discrimination — depending on your political position on the bill — flooded the news wires. On Monday of last week, New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos told reporters the issue is not just religious carve-outs, but “severability.”

In other words, New York’s Republican lawmakers, in an unholy partnership with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the Catholic Conference, were working on language to make the bill judicial hammer-​proof. Republicans and religious leaders didn’t want lawyers and “activist-judges” going back after the bill became law and removing the religious exemptions.

Could severability, also known as “no contest,” really be the key to killing marriage equality in New York? The bill indeed is judicial hammer-proof — but not in a good way. In contract law, and in law-making, severability is important. Generally, it’s beneficial to ensure that if one part of a bill or contract can be deemed invalid by a judge, the rest of the law or contract can still be in effect. Not so with the New York marriage equality bill. If a judge finds any part of the law unconstitutional or legally invalid, could same-sex marriage equality be tossed out?


“Our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”


We spoke with noted New York City civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland — who currently is defending Lt. Dan Choi in his federal trial for chaining himself to the White House fence to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) — about Maggie Gallagher and NOM’s prospects of being able to “reverse” Cuomo’s marriage equality law. Here’s what she told The New Civil Rights Movement, via email, literally three hours after Cuomo signed the bill.

“While of course there is always a threat of backlash from people like Maggie Gallagher and others who seek to push back efforts towards equality, it would certainly be an uphill battle for them to repeal or overturn this statute,” Kurland, founder of Kurland, Bonica, and Associates, P.C., says. “That is not to say that there won’t be efforts, unfortunately, including, potentially, efforts to exploit the ‘no contest’ clause in the statute which says if any part of the statute is found to be invalid then the entire statute is invalid.”

“But this provision was meant to deter suits against religious entities for exercising the religious exemptions of the law, and there is some question about whether or not such a clause could be enforced,” Kurland definitively states, and adds, that “unlike in California where the right to marry was created through judicial action, this was an affirmative right created through legislative action. That means the Maggie Gallagher’s of the world have the onus on them to prove that the law is somehow invalid, unconstitutional, etc.”

READ: Victim Or Victimizer? Catholic Church, Diaz’s Gay Equality Intolerance

“We are now the 6th state in a country of 50 states to have marriage equality. There is much work to be done,” Kurland reminds, and much like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated Saturday, Kurland had the foresight to say, “our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well-organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”

Gallagher’s empty threat, at eleven minutes to the stroke of midnight Friday, was beneath the veteran professional hater of homosexuals. No doubt Gallagher and her partner in equality-fighting, NOM president Brian Brown, are licking their financial chops at the thought of all the cash that will pour in to their coffers. But the nascent, four-year old anti-gay group will need to come up with more than fake polls, lies, faded football players, and robocalls to turn the tide of public opinion in New York. No doubt, laughing or crying, they’ll be pulling out all the stops, and New Yorkers can expect even more ugliness from the anti-equality bigots from NOM, Archbishop Dolan’s Catholic Conference, and separation of church and state violators like New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz.

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‘We’re Not Gonna Fix It’: TN Republican Says Congress Can Do Nothing to Stop Gun Violence – Calls for Christian ‘Revival’



U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) says there’s nothing the 535 elected officials in the House and Senate can do to reduce gun violence and gun deaths.

“We’re not gonna fix it,” Congressman Burchett said on the steps of the Capitol.

“I don’t see any role that we could do other than mess things up, honestly,” he said in response to Monday’s school mass shooting in Nashville, where three nine-year olds and three adults were shot to death by a shooter with two AR-15 style assault rifles and a handgun.

READ MORE: Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting

Instead of Congress enacting stricter gun laws, background checks, and a ban on assault weapons, Congressman Burchett said, “you’ve got to change people’s hearts,” as he called for a Christian revival.

“As a Christian, we talk about the church. I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a revival in this country.”

Monday’s shooting at the Covenant Presbyterian Elementary School was the 130th mass shooting this year in America, bringing the death toll from all gun violence across all causes to 9989, including 403 children 17 or younger, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Congressman Burchett is a member of the far-right Republican Study Committee, which has strong ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

On Monday, Burchett released a statement saying, “Kelly and I are praying for everyone at The Covenant School, especially the families of the shooting victims. No one should have to go through that kind of horrific event or lose a loved one like that. I’m so thankful to those brave folks who brought down the shooter and took care of the students and their families.”

Earlier this month Rep. Burchett was one of 26 House Republicans on the Oversight Committee who refused to sign a simple two-sentence statement denouncing white supremacy.

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Trump Trying to ‘Pollute the Jury Pool’ With ‘Gibberish and Obstruction’: Analysis



Donald Trump has been hurling ominous warnings and racist insults against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg ahead of a possible indictment, and legal experts fear those threats could provoke violence in the same way his rhetoric fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The former president has attacked state and federal prosecutors “thugs,” claimed two Black district attorneys are “racist” and used anti-Semitic tropes to suggests he’s the victim of a “globalist” conspiracy and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the prosecutors who are investigating him, reported The Guardian.

“Trump cannot stop the judicial process, although he can try to slow it,” said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor. “But he can undermine its credibility through his charges and by mobilizing his supporters. I see what he’s doing now as aimed at them, just as he tried to discredit the election returns in their eyes and anger them with baseless charges over the ‘steal.'”

Trump’s legal defenses have recently weakened after federal courts required some of his top aides, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to testify in the Jan. 6 grand jury investigation, and compelled the testimony of his current lawyer Evan Corcoran in the classified documents case, and prosecutions in Manhattan and Georgia also appear to be nearing conclusion.

READ MORE: David Pecker is a ‘critical witness’ who could get Trump charged with a ‘second crime’: former prosecutor

“If I were on the prosecution teams in Manhattan or Georgia, I would expect Trump to assert every defense he can think of, including accusing the prosecutors of misconduct,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Michigan.

“None of these accusations about the motives of prosecutors, however, will negate the evidence of Trump’s own crimes,” McQuade added. “A jury will focus on the facts and the law, and not any of this name calling. The Trump strategy may work in the court of public opinion, but not in a court of law.”

Trump’s lawyers are using his trusted stalling tactic by raising “specious” objections in Georgia, according to former Watergate prosecutor Phlip Lacovara, and Trump is “trying to pollute the jury pool” with attacks on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

“All he needs is one juror who believes this is all a concocted plot,” Lacovara said.

Trump used many of the same tactics in his attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss, which ultimately led to the deadly U.S. Capitol attack.

“This is more of what we saw during the election,” said Donald Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general in the George H. W. Bush administration. “He throws up gibberish and obstruction.”


Image: Hunter Crenian/Shutterstock

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Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting



Governor Bill Lee quickly drew tremendous outrage in the wake of a school mass shooting where six people including three young children were shot to death. Social media users criticized the Tennessee Republican, who had signed a permit-less gun carry law, for declaring he was “praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community,” without posting any mention of the mass shooting.

Tweeting he was “closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant,” Gov. Lee said, “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”

There was no mention of any loss of life, and, as Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts passionately noted, the “situation” was a mass shooting.

“If thoughts and prayers alone worked to stop gun violence, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at a Christian elementary school. It’s your actions – including weakening the state’s gun laws – that’s killing kids in Tennessee,” Watts also tweeted. “SHAME ON YOU.”

Gov. Lee signed a permit-less carry bill into law in 2021, at a Beretta gun manufacturing plant.

According to the CDC, as of 2020 – one year before the permit-less carry bill was signed into law – Tennessee ranked tenth in the nation in per-capita firearm mortality.

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

Meanwhile, others took notice of the gun culture Gov. Lee has fostered in “The Volunteer State.”

MSNBC analyst and Bulwark writer Tim Miller commented, “Tennessee governor Bill Lee issued a statement recently about how the drag ban in Tennessee ‘protects children.’ If only he would have instead focused on laws that might have prevented the mass murder of children in his state today.”

Historian Kevin Kruse pointed to an article from last year, after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, titled: “Rep. Clemmons Seeks Renewed Gun Laws, Gov. Lee Requests Prayer.”

“You chose prayer over gun reforms last year after the Uvalde massacre,” Kruse wrote. “And now here we are.”

The progressive website Tennessee Holler pointed out that Gov. Lee, along with GOP lawmakers, “just appointed Jordan Mollenhour to the [state] board of education— whose company was sued for selling ammo to an underage mass killer (SANTA FE) and sold ammo to at least one more (AURORA) He has ZERO education experience.”

Let’s Give a Damn founder Nick Laparra tweeted, “We are 86 days into 2023. So far, 9859 people have died by gun violence and there have been 128 mass shootings. Meanwhile, @GovBillLee spends his days being outraged over drag queens and CRT and book bans. This is Bill Lee’s and the GOP’s fault.”

See the tweets and video above or at this link.

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies




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