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Maryland House Votes For Marriage Equality – Reactions And Responses

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This evening the Maryland House voted in favor of same-sex marriage equality, 71-67. Here are responses from LGBT advocacy groups and others.

READ: Maryland House, After Thwarted Attempts, Passes A Same-Sex Marriage Bill

HRC

“We could not be more grateful to the Delegates who today voted to make all Maryland families stronger,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today, we took a giant step toward marriage equality becoming law – and we are in this position due to the unwavering leadership and resolve of Governor O’Malley, Speaker Busch and our legislative allies.”

The Civil Marriage Protection Act allows committed gay and lesbian couples to obtain a marriage license while providing religious exemptions for churches and other religious institutions. Clergy, for example, do not have to perform any marriage they do not agree with. The bill protects religious liberty.

PFLAG

“PFLAG National commends the delegates of the Maryland House for their
votes in support of marriage equality. PFLAGers have worked
tirelessly, in coalition with other marriage equality advocates, to
secure full marriage rights for their LGBT loved ones, and we are
happy to celebrate this advance for recognition and support of all
families in the Free State.” –Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director

Victory Fund

“We’re very proud of the gay and lesbian delegates whose leadership has been crucial in this debate.  Maryland’s lawmakers understand better the necessity of legal marriage for all couples because they serve alongside gays and lesbians whose loving, committed relationships reflect their own,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.

New Ways Ministry

New Ways Ministry thanks and congratulates Maryland’s House of Delegates for passing marriage equality legislation today, insuring that human dignity is honored, discrimination is eradicated, and ALL Maryland families are protected.

“Throughout the years of debate on this bill, New Ways Ministry has maintained, along with the majority of Catholics, that marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples is the proper Catholic thing to do.  It is a simple matter of social justice, which is one of the highest values that our faith professes.  We were proud to publicly testify for this bill in legislative hearings.

“The bill in Maryland still has to be voted on by the state Senate, where it was passed last year.  No senator has said that he or she will be changing a vote from last year.

“Martin O’Malley, the state’s Catholic governor, has vowed to sign the bill.  Mr. O’Malley has worked ardently for the bill’s passage. We are proud that this man of faith has stood up to do the right thing for our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters. We hope that his witness emboldens other Catholic lawmakers to follow his path of courage.

“Please keep Maryland in your prayers, as the bill takes its final steps to becoming a law, which will make Maryland the eighth state (plus the District of Columbia) to enact marriage equality.”

We’ll add more responses as they come in — stay tuned!

Image of Governor Martin O’Malley via his Twitter feed, with the comment, “We are one Maryland.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Far Right Pastor Says There Are More Gays Than Ever Before Thanks to a ‘Demonic Spirit That’s Come After Our Seed’

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A right wing mega-church pastor who falsely claims Donald Trump won re-election “by about 80 million votes” says more Christian children than ever before identify as LGBTQ, making clear he believes that is bad.

Pastor Kent Christmas, who shares his ministry with his wife Candy, appeared on stage before thousands of his followers and declared, “never have Christians’ children been more taken over by homosexuality, than they are right now,” as Right Wing Watch reports (video below).

The vast majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and equal rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ people.

Christmas blamed a “demonic spirit that comes after our seed” for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.

“If I asked each and every one of you to stand that has a son, daughter, or a niece or a nephew, or a brother or sister, that is gay, half of you would stand up in this building, because it is a demonic spirit that’s come after our seed and the church that God has raised it up in this hour is going to have authority over that.”

In 2018 Christmas acknowledged his son is gay, and said, “I know that he wasn’t born that way.”

He claims his son is no longer gay, and is now married with a wife and children.

“I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free,” Christmas said.

Last year a study published by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”

It goes on to reveal that more than eight out of ten Americans who were subjected to dangerous conversion therapy “received it from a religious leader.”

Watch:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Florida Surgeon General’s First Act: Allowing Students Exposed to COVID to Attend School With No Restrictions

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He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.

The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.

“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.

Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.

Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.

 

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GOING SCORCHED-EARTH

‘Will Harm Every American’: Trump Blasted for Telling GOP It’s ‘Unpatriotic’ to Not Block Dems on Debt He Created

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The former President of the United States, still the leader of the GOP and supposed “kingmaker” to any Republican desperate for his endorsement, is doing his best to undermine the Democrats and President Joe Biden, and he’s being criticized for it.

In one of his many press releases that still do not admit he is a former president, Trump on Wednesday said it would be “foolish and unpatriotic” of Republicans to not use the debt ceiling as a tool against the Democrats’ agenda, as he urged what could be economic catastrophe for the United States, should it default on its credit obligations and the government shut down.

As many have noted, raising the debt ceiling is to pay for the trillions of dollars in spending Trump signed into law.

“Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do,” he claimed, implying he wants to see them carry out a scorched-earth policy.

Trump also falsely claimed Democrats are “trying to inflict…horror” upon America’s future.

He then called Democrats’ voting rights legislation that will protect and expand the franchise, “the end of our democracy.”

If the debt ceiling is not raised, ultimately, the federal government would default on its bills. What does that mean?

“If the U.S. government cannot pay its bills, millions of Americans would be affected,” CBS News reports today. “Social Security payments would not go out; U.S. troops and federal civilian employees would not be paid. Veterans could see compensation or pension payments lapse. And millions of Americans on food assistance would see benefits stop.”

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands is warning if the GOP follows Trump’s demands it “will harm every American.”

Trump’s press release:

 

 

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