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HRC Almost Gets It Right – Mormon Church Still Doesn’t Get It



Earlier this week, in “HRC Wrongly States Mormon Church Says Same-Sex Attraction is “Normal”,” I wrote, “Nowhere in the Mormon Handbook does it state that “homosexuality is normal.” This is a dangerous misstep by HRC, and appears to be more of a marketing move than anything else…” I also wrote in that piece that I had reached out to HRC the day before, and I wanted to follow up now with you to share the results.

To their credit, HRC responded very quickly — several times — and told me they were looking closely at it. They also spoke separately with Pride In Utah’s Eric Ethington, who runs an excellent blog and is very in tune with the LGBT community’s dealings with the Mormon Church. Also to their credit, HRC removed their press release and the next day posted, “HRC & Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons to LDS Church: You Have Further to Go.”

Well, this is a big improvement over stating that the Mormon Church now thinks homosexuality is “normal.” (They do not.)

But did HRC go far enough?

Eric Ethington doesn’t think so.

In, “HRC Releases A Revised Statement On New Mormon Handbook,” Ethington writes, “While it’s much better and takes a more appropriate tone, they still got one major point wrong.” Ethington says that HRC’s piece, “claims that the Mormon Church is no longer calling for professional counseling for LGBT people. This is absolutely incorrect. While the Mormons DID remove the call for counseling from one page of the handbook, it is still there in the 2010 handbook on page 165.”

“Overall though,” he writes, “I’m thrilled to see the HRC taking a stance calling for further changes, rather than giving credit to a religion which to this point deserves none.”

I’ll defer to Ethington on this, and I do agree. But I’ll also add this:

First, the Mormon Church needs to move much further into the twenty-first century. Semantics and “softening” don’t undo centuries of ruined lives or countless suicides.

Second, HRC.

Everyone makes mistakes. But part of being a major player, and a major voice, is owning up to those mistakes, and realizing that our mistakes can cause damage and harm. Newspapers are often criticized for making errors on their front page and issuing retractions on their back page. That’s bad, but what’s worse is when there’s no retraction, no public acknowledgement, no correction, no admission of fault.

(I should note that this is a major issue I have with Perez Hilton, and have written him directly on this, and in these pages as well. There’s no reason to hold Hilton to a lower standard, especially give the fact that his reach is huge, as is his income. But that a point for another day.)

HRC, while removing the offending and incorrect piece, did not go far enough in its analysis of the Mormon Church’s so-called “new” position on homosexuality, and did not publicly state its error or issue guidance of how it corrected its mistake. And that is unacceptable.

HRC is often held to a higher standard, and rightly so. It is perceived as the premiere LGBT advocacy organization, and often seen as the voice of our community, at least from outside our community.

I’m not here to criticize HRC, any more than I am here to praise them. I will do both, objectively, as often as I need to, and that goes for any other person or organization that impacts our community and our rights.

HRC did some damage, and acted quickly to fix it, but they did not undo the damage.

The first step would be a retraction. The second, an apology.

We are a community, and when any one of us missteps, these are things that we need to do to make things right. I hope HRC sees that it will gain far more ground playing ball with the rest of us, and holding itself to the same standards that its reputation and stature require.

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how we handle them that is the true test of our honor and integrity. I trust that in the future, HRC will have learned and will do better for our community.

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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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