The anti-gay positions and hate speech of America’s religious right extremists — including anti-gay groups like NOM, the National Organization For Marriage,Â and theÂ so-called “pro-family,”Â anti-gay hate groups, like the American Family Association and the Family Research CouncilÂ —Â are sounding eerily similar to all but the most-extreme public policy positions on homosexuality of the Islamic Republic of Iran, designated by theÂ U.S. Department of State as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
From claims that Hollywood is working to “normalize” homosexuality, claims that President Obama is working to spread homosexuality around the world, suggestions he is working to eliminate heterosexual marriage, force Americans into same-sex marriages, and claims of indoctrination of youth into homosexuality through the education system, America’s anti-gay organizations, radical religious institutions, and anti-gay hate groups are echoing some of Iran’s anti-gay propaganda.
In a wild conspiracy theory posing as public policy, Iran’s state-sponsored national newspaper is charging the West and Israel with collusion to “spread homosexuality” around the world in an effort to oppress the masses and to achieve “world domination.”
“A report in a state-controlled Iranian paper last week asserting that the ‘Zionist regime’ ‘spreads homosexuality’ across the globe in order to pursue its goal of world domination has sparked fierce criticism from experts on Iran because of its homophobia and anti- Semitism,” the Jerusalem Post reported:
Mashregh News, an outlet affiliated with radical Islamists in Qom, wrote that the US and the UK are using money from Jews to spread homosexuality throughout the world. The article blasted Israel for promoting demonstrations for gay rights and specifically decried Tel Aviv as the gay paradise on earth. It also ridiculed Conservative Judaism for accepting gay rabbis, and urged Western governments to stop people from engaging in gay â€“ and therefore immoral â€“ actions, and provide medical treatment for homosexuals in order to stop their conduct.
Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, an expert on minority groups in Iran, toldÂ The Jerusalem PostÂ on Tuesday that the article is â€œagainst gays, against the West and anti-Semitic.â€ He added that â€œthe text legitimizes the execution of gays in Iran; they made a text not only to ridicule the West but to provide a reason why Iran executes gays.â€
The Iranian report also attacked Hollywood for depicting gays in positive terms on the silver screen. Moreover, according to the article, schools in California include homosexuality in their education plans because of a recommendation of a Jewish university.
While American anti-gay organizations are stopping short of calling for the execution of LGBT people in the U.S., attacking Hollywood and the government for supporting LGBT rights is a daily event, and some representatives of anti-gay organizations, like Bryan Fischer, the public face of the certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association,Â have called for homosexuals to be jailed. In other cases, one North Carolina pastor this spring called for LGBT people to be penned up in internment camps. Another called for young children to have their possible homosexuality beaten out of them.
Conservatives in California are outraged over SB 48, theÂ Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, that will ensure the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and disabled Americans are properly taught in California schools.
Right wing extremist Randy Thomasson, who heads the anti-gay hate group Save California, started â€œProtect Your Children From Harvey Milk Gay Day In Schools,â€ and calls the FAIR Act â€œthe most in-your-face sexual brainwashing yet.â€
Iran’s Mashregh NewsÂ apparently gave no explanation of how people are being turned into homosexuals, nor was there any explanation of how turning people into homosexuals or “spreading homosexuality” around the world would enable Israel and the West to achieve world domination.
Regardless, many of Iran’s ludicrous claims are strikingly similar to those made by some anti-gay organizations, the radical religious right, and anti-gay hate groups here in America.
Brian Brown, president ofÂ NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, who last month called gay people gay people â€œhomosexual thugs and bulliesâ€ andÂ just this past Friday, sent one of his many infamous fudaising emails to supporters, stating:
After watching the President’s speech last night, one thing is clear: Obama hasn’t just endorsed homosexual marriage as the official, national policy of the United States of America.
Obama is running for re-election on a platform to re-define marriage for everyone.
But don’t take my word for it. Obama’s official, national platform has codified homosexual marriage as its policy for all Americans!
You see, Obama’s platform actually calls for the “full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act” and imposes “one man and one man” marriage on all of us.
So-called “low-information voters” easily could read Brown’s email and believe President Obama is outlawing “traditional marriage” and forcing everyone into a same-sex marriage.
In perhaps one of the most damning pieces of evidence that the anti-gay religious right is promoting much of the same language as presented by Iran, and is in lockstep with most of Iran’s false beliefs about homosexuality, 98 representatives of groups like theÂ Catholic League, including people like hate group headÂ Scott Lively, signed a letter that condemned the U.S. government’s participation in a Prague gay pride event. Here are a few excerpts from the letter:
“anything which undermines the family â€“ including changing the definition of marriage â€“ is a breach of the Stateâ€™s responsibility to protect this indispensable institution which precedes government and makes a stable and free society possible.”
“Washington is aggressively promoting the ‘gay’ agenda internationally, including same-sex ‘marriage’ and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.”
“We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the ‘gay’ agenda on societies with traditional values.”
Right Wing WatchÂ commented on those who signed the letter:
The list of signatories is mighty long, including former House Majority LeaderÂ Tom DeLay; Liberty Counselâ€™sÂ Mat StaverÂ andÂ Matt Barber; American Family Associationâ€™sÂ Tim Wildmon; Catholic Leagueâ€™sÂ Bill Donohue; Vision Americaâ€™sÂ Rick Scarborough;Â Rabbi Daniel Lapin; American Civil Rights Unionâ€™sÂ Robert Knight; Concerned Women for Americaâ€™sÂ Janice Shaw Crouse;Â Pastor Jim Garlow; WNDâ€™sÂ David Kupelian; TFPâ€™sÂ C. Preston Noell III; conservative activistÂ Richard Viguerie; World Congress of Familiesâ€™Don Feder; Media Research Centerâ€™sÂ Brent Bozell; Traditional Values Coalitionâ€™sÂ Louis SheldonÂ andAndrea Lafferty; and the Southern Baptist Conventionâ€™sÂ Paige Peterson.
Other activists likeÂ Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality,Â Scott Lively of Defend the Family InternationalÂ andÂ Sharon Slater of Family Watch InternationalÂ are also among the signatories, as isÂ Mission Americaâ€™s Linda Harvey, who believes people shouldÂ refuse careÂ for themselves and their children from openly gay doctors and nurses.
Speaking of Scott Lively, he has been tied to Uganda’s infamous “Kill The Gays” bill, and a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court is “accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda,” the New York Times in March reported:
Mr. Lively is the founder and president of Abiding Truth Ministries. He is also the author of â€œThe Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,â€ which says that Nazism was a movement inspired by homosexuals, and â€œSeven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child,â€ a guide to prevent what he calls â€œpro-homosexual indoctrination.â€
In June, theÂ Alliance Defense FundÂ (now the Alliance Defending Freedom), part of a team of anti-gay Christian lawyers who work to infuse biblical law into U.S. law, and who defended Prop 8 in court, released a statement decrying â€œHollywood activistsâ€ and claiming that all the Prop 8 rulings, which have all found Prop 8 unconstitutional, â€œwere little more than an attack on the character and judgment of millions of Californians.â€
Also in June, Chuck Norris “wrote an opinion piece …Â blastingÂ President Obama and portraying him as a puppet master working behind the scenes to create a ‘pro-gay Boy Scouts of America’ and promote an increasingly pro-gay agenda,” the L.A. Times reported.
Two weeks ago, the anti-gay hate groupÂ American Family Association, via their One Million Moms group, claimed,Â â€œHollywood is continuing to push an agenda that homosexuality is acceptable when scripture states clearly it is a sin.”
Remember that collusion to ‘spread homosexuality’ around the world?
“To ask the government to crack down on smoking and at the same time promote homosexual behavior is lunacy. Both practices damage people’s health, although there is an important difference: Homosexual practices shorten a person’s life expectancy far more than smoking.Â Of course, the hazard is also to the nation’s health.”
Colson, before his death earlier this year, was a popular prison minister and Watergate felon, and hadÂ repeatedly attacked same-sex marriage and homosexuality. He wrongly stated â€œhomosexual behaviorâ€ is more â€œdangerous than smoking, it lowers the life expectancy dramatically.â€ Colson also falsely stated that legalizing same-sex marriage was â€œsanctioning behavior known to be dangerous.â€ And, again falsely, stated that gays and lesbians â€œdonâ€™t want marriage; they want their sexual choices affirmed as normal and moral.â€
And as late as last year, despite years of research to the contrary, Colson was publicly advocating that homosexuality was both a choice and avoidable if parents â€œproperlyâ€ raised their children.
â€œTodayâ€™s ruling by a three-judge panel upheld a lower court decision by now-retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker in August 2010. Judge Walker laterÂ admitted he is himself a homosexualÂ and has had a long-term partner, meaning that he potentially stood to personally benefit from the legalization of same-sex â€œâ€˜marriageâ€™.â€
â€œTodayâ€™s decision was disappointing but not surprising, coming fromÂ the most liberalÂ Circuit Court in the country. ThisÂ Hollywood-fundedÂ lawsuit, which seeks to imposeÂ San Francisco valuesÂ on the entire country, may eventually reach the Supreme Court. This is not about constitutional governance but the insistence of a group of activists toÂ force their will on their fellow citizens.
â€œThis ruling substituteâ€™s judicialÂ tyrannyÂ for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
â€œHowever, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject theÂ absurdargument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a â€˜rightâ€™ toÂ homosexual â€˜marriage,â€™Â and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves.â€
Gay Star News addsÂ of Iran’s attack:
The article also suggested that Western support for LGBT rights was disingenuous as if it was motivated by genuine concern it would offer them medical support to refrain from homosexuality.
â€˜If support for homosexuals stemmed from humane considerations or defense of human rights, it would be in the form of providing individual assistance to these people, who need care and medical treatment to rescue them from the immoral actions that undermine the family institution,â€™ the report claimed.
Last month, theÂ American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer began a campaign to convince Americans there should be an “underground railroad” to help steal children away from their gay parentsÂ and from same-sex couples. Here’s what he said:
Disagreement is not hatred. We donâ€™t hate anyone. In fact, we love homosexuals enough to tell them the truth about theÂ risksÂ involved in theirÂ lifestyle choices. But for those who hate the truth, the truth will seem to be hate.
In 2010, Fischer said of his attempts to deter people from being gay, “you can’t go wrong telling people the truth about behavior that could destroy them.”
Last year, Fischer, whose show on American Family Radio is broadcast by more than 180 radio stations in 38 states,Â ironically,Â claimed â€œthe homosexual agenda is just like Islam,â€ then said of gays â€” repeatedly â€” â€œthey are Nazis.â€
â€œThe homosexual agenda is just like Islam: there is no room for dissent, there is no room to leave, once youâ€™re in, you canâ€™t leave. Muslims wonâ€™t let you leave, homosexuals wonâ€™t let you leave â€“ if you leave, they claim youâ€™re faking it, so thereâ€™s no way out. Thereâ€™s no freedom of choice, thereâ€™s no freedom of religion â€“ if you have religious views about homosexual behavior, you are squashed.
â€œI mean, ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis. There is no room in their world dissent, there is no room in their world for disagreement, there is no room in their world for criticism. You criticize homosexual behavior, they tag you as a bigot and a homophobe and then they got to work to silence you just like the Roman Catholic Church did in the days of Galileo â€“ itâ€™s no different; itâ€™s the Spanish Inquisition all over again.
â€œLadies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. Theyâ€™ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.â€™
When it comes to promoting the hatred of gay people, there’s little difference between the the public policy positions of anti-gay organizations and anti-gay hate groups tied to religious right extremists, and Iran, aÂ “state sponsor of terrorism.”
Editor’s note: All bolding is added.
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Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticket via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is pushing baseless conspiracy theories about the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon floating over the United States – currently, over Montana – that the Pentagon is tracking, and he’s being widely mocked for his unfounded fear-mongering.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner set the stage perfectly for the far-right Republican from Kentucky, declaring the balloon is “the size of three buses” and that “China says was taken by wind – wind that we can’t substantiate.”
The Kentucky congressman who has falsely described President Biden as “compromised,” and stated he is going to target and investigate him, told Faulkner, “I have concern this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale.”
Comer, 50, a former agriculture commissioner, lamented about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming it hurt the reputation of America’s military and Commander in Chief.
The balloon, he said, should “never have been allowed” to cross over into the United States.
“My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” he asked, pushing unfounded theories while echoing the far-right’s false claims the COVID-19 virus was developed as a bioweapon and escaped the lab in Wuhan, China.
After suggesting it might have bioweapons, he then said it was “very concerning” the balloon was not shot down before reaching the U.S. – which could have spread the alleged bioweapon.
Faulkner, seen by some as a propagandist, then jumped in to exhibit her surprise that “people on Capitol Hill were not briefed” about the balloon.
“Calling for the president to ‘shoot down’ the craft,” The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona adds, “some in the GOP called the president ‘Beijing Biden’ while claiming this is further proof that ‘Communist China’ doesn’t ‘fear or respect’ Biden.”
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer to Fox News: “My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” pic.twitter.com/0r9JmBl4zo
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 3, 2023
“Honestly,” communications strategist Doug Gordon noted, “just surprised he didn’t find a way to include Hunter’s laptop into that conspiracy theory.”
“Actually, he did later on,” Baragona replied.
National security expert Denver Riggleman, the Republican former U.S. Congressman from Virginia who assisted the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, tweeted: “Bioweapons? FFS”
Referring to Comer’s unfounded bioweapons claim, one Twitter user observed, “Isn’t that more reason not to shoot at it? I’m not saying I know what to do, but logic would dictate ‘don’t shoot at balloons full of bioweapons.’ Right?”
Another noted that the Oversight Chairman should have been listening to the Pentagon’s briefing “taking place now instead of running to get on Fox to talk about something he has no expertise in.”
Another, mocking Comer, noted: “If they were sending a bio weapon, why would they park it over sparsely populated Montana? *rolls eyes*”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Trump Spent 2020 Attacking Ballot Drop Boxes – but Now He’s Demanding They Be Deployed in Churches
Donald Trump laid the groundwork early in the 2020 election for his possible defeat by attacking voting by mail and ballot drop boxes, insisting they should be illegal while making clear if he lost the White House those proven safe and effective means of voting would be to blame.
But now, with a flailing 2024 campaign the failed ex-president who is under multiple investigations is demanding ballot drop boxes be deployed – but only in churches.
“Some states use ‘drop boxes’ for the collection of Universal Mail-In Ballots,” Trump tweeted in August of 2020. “So who is going to ‘collect’ the Ballots, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation? A Rigged Election? So bad for our Country. Only Absentee Ballots acceptable!”
That was just one of his many attacks on drop boxes.
“So now the Democrats are using Mail Drop Boxes, which are a voter security disaster,” Trump tweeted just days later. “Among other things, they make it possible for a person to vote multiple times. Also, who controls them, are they placed in Republican or Democrat areas? They are not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!”
The tweet was so false Twitter appended a warning label to it that reads: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity.”
Fast forward to now.
On his social media platform Trump reposted a “truth” (the word Truth Social uses instead of “tweet”) from far-right activist, conspiracy theorist, and provocateur Jack Posobiec. Posobiec was “one of the most prominent promoters of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, that held that the Washington D.C. pizzeria Comet Ping Pong was really a front for a child sex dungeon run by Hillary Clinton. He even went to the restaurant to find out ‘what’s really going on’ there,” according to The Daily Beast.
“In 2017, BuzzFeed reported text messages suggesting that Posobiec held a ‘Rape Melania’ sign during an anti-Trump protest in an apparent attempt to discredit the protesters as insidious and deranged.”
Thursday, on Trump’s Truth Social platform, Posobiec wrote: “I don’t know who needs to hear this but Republicans should put ballot drop boxes in the back of churches in every state where it’s legal.”
Hours later Trump was all over the idea, demanding the Republican National Committee implement it.
“Best idea I’ve heard in a long time,” Trump wrote in all-caps, “put them all over the place. RNC, every Republican, get to work on this now!!!”
Democratic voting rights attorney Marc Elias’ Democracy Docket platform just last week reported that in 2020, “Trump first attacked mail-in voting itself, then tried to undermine the postal service’s ability to handle the volume of ballots. Soon after, he began to target drop boxes as well.”
As Trump learned, making it more difficult to vote is not a winning strategy, unless you’re highly unpopular and can block a significant number of your opponents’ votes while retaining your own, which he did not.
But the GOP sure tried.
“Republicans in many states soon followed Trump’s lead and began restricting the deployment of drop boxes even if the state had previously used them without controversy. [Ohio] Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) limited each county to a single drop box no matter how populous. Similarly, the Texas Supreme Court upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) order limiting every county to a single ballot drop-off location — from Loving County (population of 64 people) to Harris County (population of 4.7 million people). In other states, Republicans moved to ban drop boxes entirely, and Missouri officials decided against deploying 80 boxes the state had already purchased,” Democrat Docket adds.
Meanwhile, Trump’s – or rather, Posobiec’s – strategy is clear: “Republicans should put ballot drop boxes in the back of churches,” because Trump thinks he still owns the Christian vote, despite attacking “disloyal” evangelical leaders just weeks ago.
But drop boxes are largely the purview of state election officials, and there would be a strong case to make again putting drop boxes only in churches. What about other houses of worship? And why just houses of worship – are they more secure than other areas?
Some might think it’s difficult to flip-flop on such a basic idea as drop boxes, especially if you went to court to void voters’ ballots that were deposited in them.
“In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign sued to invalidate the use of drop boxes in the primary election and prevent their use in the general election,” Democracy Docket adds. “Then after the election, Republicans pointed to drop boxes as a reason to question the results in a lawsuit filed in Michigan.”
Now that Trump has succeeded in ensuring Ronna McDaniel remains head of the RNC, this will be a test of his strength, or lack thereof.
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