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News This Week: Your Rights Are Being Stolen. What Are You Going To Do?

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=EWCum9yQhTg%26hl%3Den%26fs%3D1

Only fifteen days into the new year, a year of promise that ushers in our first African American president, and yet, already our rights are being taken, no, stolen, away from us. But honestly, the fault is ours, for we haven’t done enough to stop the slow creep of hatred and bigotry that is the result of an organized effort by the Right to marginalize and permanently cement gays into second-class status once and for all. 

Here’s an update:

✪ Indiana: “Opponents of same-sex marriage said today that they would try again to amend Indiana’s constitution to prohibit gay unions“. “The new proposed amendment states: “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

✪ Wyoming: “Some Wyoming lawmakers are pushing to amend the state constitution to specify that Wyoming won’t recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.“ 

What’s even more troubling is that all these states already had laws on the books discriminating against homosexuals or against gay marriage. The Indiana and Wyoming proposals are designed to strengthen the existing laws. How many nails in the coffin are needed?

✪ Michigan: “Six weeks after passing a gay rights law, the Kalamazoo City Commission has voted to rescind it.

✪ New Jersey’s Governor has made it clear that he backs gay marriage, but, as The New York Times reports Governor Corzine saying, “While this administration is focused squarely on the economic crisis for the foreseeable future, it’s clear that this issue of civil rights must be addressed sooner rather than later.” But concludes,

“Opponents of gay marriage have pledged to make it an issue in the 2009 election. Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said his organization believed that some New Jerseyans might support same-sex marriage but that a majority do not want to see marriage redefined in the process. … “There could be a backlash,” said Harold Hodes, a Democratic strategist. “There are other issues that are more pressing at this time.”

✪ File this one under, “Yup, we weren’t wrong”: Queerty says of The American News Project’s report,

“Video and audio of Mormon leaders discussing a ‘war plan’ to pass Prop 8 with specific references to costly video ads, mailers and websites the Church created has surfaced, lending new credence to the argument that LDS leaders illegally dipped into their own finances to fund the effort to outlaw gay marriage in California.”

✪ Fox News (unsurprisingly, but bottom-of-the-barrel-scrapingly) ran “Gay America Prepares To Party at Obama Inauguration”, complete with amazingly bigoted statements from extremists. Just so you don’t have to give them traffic, here are a few quotes:

“Jennifer Giroux, founder and president of Women Influencing the Nation, a group that focuses on restoring traditional family values, said, “I think (the) inauguration should be kept away from that. Christians may love the individual, but they are offended by the gay lifestyle. It’s unhealthy — spiritually, emotionally and physically.”

“It’s not a day where a group that feels like it has some payback coming should be putting its decadent lifestyle on display.”

“Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, an organization that describes itself as “devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda,” is worried less about what happens in public and more about what may go on behind closed doors.

“I think most Americans would be put off if they knew what went on at these parties,” LaBarbera said. “Every special interest group has a ball of some sort, but this is not just any special interest group. More than half the country considers their behavior immoral.”

“But there is some lingering resentment toward the gay community for its reaction to the passing of Proposition 8 in California, when demonstrators protested outside some houses of worship. “We would never choose the route of bigotry or hatred,” Mahoney said, “as the gay community did when they lost Prop 8, by defacing and vandalizing churches and places of worship, and attacked people of faith because they did not share their beliefs.

“For all their cries of inclusion and openness, there are few groups out there more intolerant and hateful than the gay community.”

And the “article” closes with this tidbit:

“James T. Harris, a Christian conservative radio host who famously told John McCain to “go after” Barack Obama at a rally in Wisconsin, said he thinks the inauguration will provide a chance for conservatives to showcase their tolerance.

“The gayer inauguration, the better,” Harris said. “I hope that all of San Francisco turns out, and turns the inauguration into a gay pride festival. Then liberals can see how open and tolerant conservatives are.

“Let America see liberalism in all of its self-absorbed lunacy. Then maybe America will only have to tolerate four years of the madness.”

Thoughts? Are you going to take action? Can I help?

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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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