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GetEQUAL Calls On US Senators To Repudiate Uganda Kill The Gays Bill

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In lengthy statement, LGBT activists label Anti-Homosexuality Bill “colonial homophobia,” and link its creation to American Evangelicals

GetEQUAL has just issued a statement calling on U.S. Senators to publicly repudiate Uganda‘s “Kill The Gays” bill, calling it a “horrifying law… created and supported by American right-wing evangelicals in order to impress American right-wing politicians.”

GetEQUAL also is offering a petition to help rally support to “Kill the Bill — Not LGBT Ugandans!

The statement effectively offers both context and history, so we are publishing it in full, below:

GetEQUAL Condemns Pending Vote in Ugandan Parliament to Execute LGBT Ugandans

Calls on U.S. Senators to Publicly Condemn the Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — GetEQUAL — a national civil rights organization pushing for the full federal equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans — condemns the pending vote in the Ugandan Parliament to extend legalized capital punishment for identified LGBT persons. The legislation extends harsh punishments, including fines and prison sentences, even to persons who know LGBT Ugandans but fail to report them to authorities — including family, clergy, counselors, and friends of LGBT Ugandans.

“This horrifying law now before the Ugandan Parliament should be removed from consideration immediately,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “This law was created and supported by American right-wing evangelicals in order to impress American right-wing politicians — it’s colonial homophobia, pure and simple. The American radical-right isn’t satisfied with legal homophobia in the U.S., so they’ve taken to the African continent to kill us — this bill would expand the climate of fear across Africa, and it is unacceptable for Americans to be exporting hate with such draconian consequences.”

The law calls for execution of anyone engaging in same- sex behavior, imprisonment for anyone known to be helping LGBT Ugandans (including landlords renting out an apartment), and even possible jail time for those who fail to report someone else who has engaged in same-sex behavior – including medical personnel, counselors, and family members.

According to GetEQUAL sources, the bill could come up for a vote at any moment.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) — or the “Kill the Gays” bill — was originally introduced by Ugandan parliamentarian David Bahati in 2009 through the aggressive advocacy of extreme right-wing Americans Scott Lively, Rick Warren and Lou Engle — Christian fundamentalists affiliated with “The Family,” a secretive organization based in Washington, DC, which serves as the chief sponsor of the annual National Prayer Breakfast held in the nation’s capital. The bill hascome up again this year, conveniently brought up by the Speaker of Parliament at the same time that massive oil-related corruption charges have surfaced against Members of Parliament. Various news outlets have wrongly reported over the past few days that the death penalty has been removed from the bill; actually, the death penalty is still in the bill as of now, and has been used as a talking point by Ugandan officials to convince U.S. officials that the bill has been “softened.”

In recent days, GetEQUAL has called upon American politicians who are known to be part of “The Family” — including U.S. Senators Jim Demint (R-SC), James Inofe (R-OK), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) — to publicly denounce the bill and to urge Ugandan Members of Parliament to kill the bill.

“GetEQUAL calls on the American elected officials who have supported Uganda’s anti-gay legislation to repudiate the bill and its intent to target, arrest, or kill LGBT persons,” said Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, national field director of GetEQUAL.

In solidarity with other organizations on the national and international levels that are monitoring the situation in Uganda, GetEQUAL has staged protest actions in New York City at the Ugandan Mission and in Washington, D.C. at the Ugandan Embassy, and plans to hold protests in the near future throughout the country.

GetEQUAL has also launched a new public information campaign featuring images of activists across the country who have written the slogan “Uganda, Arrest Me Too” on their hands, urging Members of Parliament in Uganda to think about the full impact of this law on LGBT Ugandans and on those who support them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDHN_QQfctM. GetEQUAL also has a petition up on its website, encouraging pressure on U.S. Senators with connections to the Ugandan MPs who could stop the bill:www.getequal.org/uganda.

Earlier this year, Scott Lively — who has traveled to Uganda and held workshops there encouraging elected officials to legally attack LGBT Ugandans — was sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The legal action was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which alleges that Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in the formulation of anti-gay legislation and policies aimed at revoking fundamental right from LGBT persons, constitutes persecution. This is the first known Alien Tort Statute case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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BREAKING NEWS

Republican Attempts to Create Special Religious Rights Fail as Bipartisan Historic Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate

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Far right activists and organizations for months have been falsely claiming legislation to protect same-sex marriages would destroy different-sex marriages and take away religious rights from ordinary Americans, but early Tuesday evening on a bipartisan basis the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 61-36.

The legislation itself is very simple. It essentially leaves in place the status quo on marriage from the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling. Should right wing Supreme Court justices strike that ruling down, the Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government and states to recognize any marriages that were legal when they were entered, now and in the future.

35 states currently still have same-sex marriage bans on the books. If the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, many of those could become law immediately.

READ MORE: Franklin Graham’s Ugly Lie Ahead of Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

In order to overcome a Republican-led filibuster Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday agreed to allow three GOP Senators to offer amendments to the legislation, amendments that would have created special religious rights to discriminate.

An amendment from Senator James Lankford (R-OK) failed, as did one from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 60 votes were needed for each.

Sen. Lee’s was seen by some as the most extreme, and was strongly supported by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

READ MORE: 37 Senators Just Voted Against a Bill Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages. All Were Republicans.

Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts, in a false claim, had said: “The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ contains so many infringements and encroachments on religious freedoms and on conscience that Republicans should unite solidly against it. Instead, it should be called the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

Far right evangelical activist Franklin Graham falsely claimed the “bill strikes a blow at religious freedom for individuals & ministries & is really the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

The Pennsylvania Family Council wrongly called it “a bill that would redefine marriage and attack religious freedom & Christian social services.”

But despite GOP fear-mongering, the legislation has religious protections built in, protections so strong 20 faith-based organizations including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, have supported its passage.

The bill now heads back to the House for a final vote, and then to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.

 

 

 

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'WAY LATE'

‘Punditry, Not Leadership’: McConnell Slammed for Refusing to Say if He Would Support Trump in 2024

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say if he would support Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2024. McConnell spoke in broad terms about antisemitism and white supremacy Tuesday afternoon, a full week to the day after the former president had dinner with the antisemite Kanye West, and the white supremacist Nick Fuentes, but could not bring himself to disavow Trump by name.

“First, let me just say, there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” McConnell said as he began a press conference, his first remarks about Trump’s dinner with West and Fuentes. “Anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected President of the United States.”

McConnell did not mention Trump, and moments later, when CNN’s Manu Raja specifically asked about the former president, McConnell would only repeat his previous statement.

READ MORE: RNC Taps Right Wing Extremists to Head Group Designed to Expand GOP Appeal in Wake of Midterm Losses

“Look, let me just say again, there is simply no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy, and that would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices,” he told CNN’s Raju.

Many were critical of McConnell’s refusal to denounce Trump.

Boston Globe opinion writer Abdallah Fayyad said, “McConnell will absolutely back Trump if he wins the GOP nomination.”

Previously, McConnell had said he would support Trump if he is the GOP’s nominee.

“Notice how McConnell said such a person is ‘highly unlikely’ to be elected, rather than manifestly unfit. He needs to keep his rhetorical options open for Trump getting the nomination again,” observed Media Matters’ Eric Kleefeld.

READ MORE: Questions Swirl Around Herschel Walker as New Report Shows His Georgia Residence Was Rented Out for Over a Decade

Law professor and former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Sherrilyn Ifill says, “McConnell, Pence, McCarthy and the other folks clutching their pearls today stood beside this man. Distancing from Trump over ‘the dinner’ is way late.”

Political consultant and writer Jamison Foser criticized the Republican Minority Leader, saying: “‘Will not likely be elected’ is punditry, not leadership. McConnell will support Trump if Trump is the Republican nominee; everything else is his attempt to distract from that.”

Before McConnell’s remarks, Ifill had taken the media to task.

“The most dispiriting aspect of the discussion about Trump’s meal w/those two odious ppl is that I thought there was consensus that Trump is a white supremacist. In which case 3 white supremacists had dinner. Why is Trump getting portrayed as an innocent who was snookered?”

 

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News

‘Beyond Horrific’: Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Producer Is an Out Gay Man Helping ‘Ramp Up’ Hate Says LGBTQ Journalist

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Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson, whose nightly show frequently has the largest reach of any on cable news, regularly attacks the LGBTQ community with fear-mongering and hate-filled segments about gay people, transgender people, “groomers” and the latest target: “drag queen story hours.”

His senior executive producer, who oversees Carlson’s media empire at Fox News, is a married, out, gay man named Justin Wells, according to veteran journalist and SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile, who is calling it “beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people.”

Last week, in the wake of the horrific anti-LGBTQ hate crime mass shooting Carlson hosted a guest, the head of the so-called “Gays Against Groomers,” who told Fox News viewers the attack on LGBTQ people at a gay bar in Colorado Springs was “predictable” and warned that these hate crime massacres will continue, “until we end this evil agenda” of gender-affirming care.

Carlson has repeatedly hosted Jaimee Mitchell, the Gays Against Groomers founder who fear mongers against LGBTQ people, with the apparent consent of Wells, who “helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence,” says Signorile.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

“It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin,” Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of media watchdog Media Matters, told Signorile.

Indeed, referring to the Colorado Springs mass shooting massacre, Signorile noted it is “the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.”

“Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people,” says Signorile, explaining that “Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of ‘replacement theory’ and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

READ MORE: Tucker Carlson Serves Up 12-Minute Long Homophobic Hate-Filled Rant Attacking Pete Buttigieg Over ‘Equity’

One of Carlson’s frequent LGBTQ targets is Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who he has called an “unqualified ‘kid’ who ‘breastfeeds,’ and has no business running the agency,” as Mediaite reported.

“And as Carlson further pushed white nationalism, attacked transgender people and embraced Hungary’s authoritarian leader Victor Orban,” Signorile reports, “Wells, in 2021, was named a Vice President at Fox News, in charge of all Carlson product that airs on Fox News TV as well as on Fox’s streaming network, Fox Nation.”

Signorile says, “it’s quite stunning that Wells would work for Carlson, who has a well-known history of visceral homophobia. That’s something that came to light again last year when it became known that Carlson had offered a tribute to Dan White, the assassin of San Francisco supervisor and gay civil rights leader Harvey Milk, in his college yearbook back in 1991, as well as to the late vociferously anti-gay Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who whipped up homophobia during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.”

READ MORE: Tucker Carlson Once Allegedly Bragged He Belonged to a ‘Society’ Named After the Man Who Assassinated Harvey Milk

“I wrote about those jarring revelations when they surfaced last year,” he continues, “as well as about what I dubbed Carlson’s ‘pathological obsession with homosexuality’ throughout his career. Carlson has expressed revulsion at homosexuality, and in one incident he reveled in a violent response. In a TV interview in 2007 he described having smashed a man’s head ‘against the stall’ in a public rest room, after the man ‘bothered’ him.”

“Wells, as a gay man, only emboldens Carlson further,” Signorile concludes. “He gives him permission to launch the ugly attacks and helps Carlson validate, for himself (and likely for executives at Fox News), the vitriol he espouses. That makes Justin Wells’ presence as the powerful gay man behind Tucker Carlson all the more newsworthy. And all the more dangerous.”

Signorile notes that his reporting is not an outing.

“This story is not, however, about a warped closet case, tormented by self-loathing, hiding his true self while bashing those like him. And thus, this story is not an outing, which involves exposing someone who covers up their sexual orientation while publicly presenting as heterosexual — though it certainly may be a startling revelation to a great many. It is, rather, about connecting the dots regarding a reality that seems to have been hiding in plain sight.”

You can read Signorile’s entire report on his Substack newsletter.

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