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North Carolina: On Gay Marriage And Civil Rights, They Have Issues.

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North Carolina has a terrible record on the civil rights front, especially when it comes to treatment of their LGBT community and marriage equality.

What the hell is your problem, North Carolina? Seriously. What did we ever do to you? Nothing, that’s what. We were just minding our own business, trying to forget about how your high school graduation rates are 37th in the nation, or maybe trying to figure out how to find jobs considering that you have the 42nd highest unemployment rate out of all 50 states. We haven’t been running around spreading gay cooties in pre-schools, or trying to find new methods to bring about the destruction of your marriages, or whatever it is you straight people think we do. Here’s a fun fact you may find surprising: Gay people, for the most part, find your marriages painfully boring.

Yet, we have to be subject to this sort of crap:

Gay Marriage: North Carolina Senate Votes To Put Ban Before Voters

Another marriage amendment. This time, a ban on same-sex civil marriage that will get written directly into the state constitution.

This is why you can’t leave issues like marriage equality up to the states. Some of them will get it right, like New York and Iowa, but most of them will do everything they can to remain as ignorant and intolerant as possible, for as long as they can manage to hold out. Gay North Carolinians are out there quietly living their lives, not bothering anybody, just trying to scrape out a life for themselves that contains a little peace and dignity. They didn’t ask to be political footballs. They just want to be left alone. Instead, they find themselves the continual victims of bigotry, not just from their fellow citizens, but from their government.

Before we go much further, let me say that I’m sure many North Carolinians are decent, honest, free thinking individuals who have no interest in crusading against marriage equality or gay rights generally. But really guys, you can’t blame me. You picked these sociopaths to run your government, and to represent you in Congress, and if you dislike the negative attention they bring your state, feel free to do something about it.

However, as the rest of you have chosen to pick a fight, I present to you:

Things You May Not Know About North Carolina

  • Same-Sex unions are already banned by North Carolina law. Conservative lawmakers just want to make it harder to change things when public opinion finally does catch up with reality. This proves that the bigoted proponents of this amendment know that they are on the losing side of history. As the passage of time will only diminish their political influence over this issue, they have to act now while they can still get away with it. I like to call this asshole insurance.
  • Wanna marry your first cousin? Then North Carolina is the place for you. I suppose the Bible doesn’t have much to say about this, so it’s okay. The Bible doesn’t get into cognitive dissonance much either, for obvious reasons.
  • Oh, and bestiality is legal. No word on where North Carolina law comes down on sex with animals that are of your same gender. I assume that’s when this behavior becomes frowned upon.
  • If you are gay in North Carolina, things are already pretty dicey. North Carolina has no discrimination protections of any kind. Gays can be refused services, fired, or denied housing, and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. This is a state’s way of saying “Hey gay people, it’s totally okay to hate you. You are not as human as everybody else.” LGBT people are second-class citizens in North Carolina, and the law is never on their side. I wonder if they have to pay the same tax rate? That hardly seems fair.
  • State judicial precedent exists that could mean losing custody of your children because you are gay. Right. Let’s examine this last item for a moment.

I want to draw your attention to the case of Pulliam v. Smith. This little gem from North Carolina judicial history involves the troubled marriage of Carol Pulliam and Frederick Smith. They were together for 8 years, and in that time had two children. They divorced, and an arrangement was worked out where Fred got physical custody of the children, and Carol got them for a couple of months in the summer. This goes on without incident for three years or so, right up until the day Mr. Smith’s boyfriend, Tim Tipton, moves in with him and the kids.

Apart from going some distance toward explaining the collapse of the marriage, this change in living arrangements prompts Ms. Pulliam to sue for sole custody on the grounds that Mr. Smith is not only a homosexual, but one who has the unmitigated audacity to actually live as a homosexual. That is, and I’m not kidding here, the only basis for her claim.

And the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed with her.

What offenses were depraved enough to require the removal of the children? I turn to the judgement itself for answers. All of this comes right from the court documents.

  • That Tim Tipton and the Defendant often kiss on the check [sic] and sometimes on the lips in front of the two minor children. That Tim Tipton and the Defendant would often hold hands in front of the two minor children.
  • Mr. Tipton keeps in the bedroom he shares with the Defendant pictures of “drag queens”. These are pictures of men dressed like women. These pictures are not under a lock, and it is possible for the children to gain access to the pictures.
  • That Tim Tipton and the Defendant [had sex] while the minor children were present in the home. That the minor children share the same bedroom and the said bedroom of the minor children is directly across the hall from the bedroom occupied by the Defendant and Tipton.
  • That the Defendant and Mr. Tipton on at least one (1) occasion had a party for homosexuals at the home… That the occasion was an anniversary party marking the first year since the Defendant and Tim Tipton meet [sic] at a homosexual bar in Asheville, North Carolina.

What. A. Monster. How dare that gay man be gay. And like gay things. And have gay friends.

Let me reiterate: He got his kids taken away and returned to a woman who only three years earlier the court had decided should only see these children for two months of the year, solely because he had a boyfriend. That, and pictures of drag queens, which is a big deal here for some reason. I am not even doing this story justice. You really need to read through the judgement issued by the North Carolina Supreme Court. Really. Go read it right now. It is among the most insulting legal documents I have ever seen, and is not only morally appalling, but really gives you a good idea of bullcrap the LGBT citizens of North Carolina have to put up with. An actual journalist should dig into this little nugget, as it hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention.

This is the kind of bigotry that every citizen of North Carolina should find not only disgusting, but fundamentally unacceptable.

The good news for you citizens of North Carolina is that you have a chance to start fixing this. When the primary elections come around you can vote against this amendment and tell the world no, we don’t want to be the kind of state that would take a man’s children away from him simply because he gay. You have an oppertunity to right some of these wrongs. You do seem to be a little confused about the issue. While 61% of you feel gay marriage should be illegal, 55% of you would vote against the amendment. That’s something, but you can do way, way better. I have faith in you, though based on your record, I’m not sure why.

(Image: North Carolina’s Wake Up Church which pushed the North Carolina legislature to put a marriage equality ban on the ballot. You can buy the graphic as a yard sign for $7.00)

 

Benjamin Phillips is a Humor Writer, Web Developer, Civics Nerd, and all around crank that spends entirely too much time shouting with deep exasperation at the television, especially whenever cable news is on. He lives in St. Louis, MO and spends most of his time staring at various LCD screens, occasionally taking walks in the park whenever his boyfriend becomes sufficiently convinced that Benjamin is becoming a reclusive hermit person. He is available for children’s parties, provided that those children are entertained by hearing a complete windbag talk for two hours about the importance of science education, or worse yet, poorly researched anecdotes PROVING that James Buchanan was totally gay. If civilization were to collapse due to zombie hoards or nuclear holocaust, Benjamin would be among the first to die as he has no useful skills of any kind. The post-apocalyptic hellscape has no real need for homosexual computer programmers who can name all the presidents in order, as well as the actors who have played all eleven incarnations of Doctor Who.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

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

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Embattled Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel is launching two advisory groups in an effort to expand the party’s appeal to voters and examine what went wrong in the wake of stunning, historic midterm election losses – and she’s turning to some of the right’s most extreme leaders to perform the investigations.

Political analysts on both sides of the aisle generally agree that Donald Trump, Trumpism, the party’s lurch to far right wing extremism including white nationalism, white supremacy, Christian nationalism, antisemitism, authoritarianism, fascism, and the “Big Lie” of stolen elections hurt, not helped candidates in the 2022 midterms.

McDaniel has now tapped some of the very purveyors of that failed extremism to lead the shrinking party’s efforts to broaden its outreach and correct its errors.

“The RNC is tapping nearly a dozen people to serve in what it’s calling a ‘Republican Party Advisory Council’ – a group that includes former Donald Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, evangelical leader Tony Perkins and a pair of Senate candidates who ran this year,” Politico reports.

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

Tony Perkins is a far right wing religious extremist and anti-LGBTQ activist who decades ago reportedly had ties to white supremacist groups, which he has denied. For decades he has been president of the Family Research Council, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

Deeply embedded in Republican theocratic politics, Perkins was appointed twice by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government body that has a history of advancing the agenda of America’s Evangelical Christian movement.

He is also a past president of the highly-secretive far Christian right organization, Council for National Policy (CNP).

READ MORE: Hate Group Head Tony Perkins Prays for ‘Conflict’ and ‘Gridlock’ to ‘Settle Upon’ DC if Biden Enacts His Agenda

CNP’s members are believed to include far right activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, whose attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results have been the subject of numerous reports. Also, Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, which has faced allegations of racism, and far right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Other members of the Council for National Policy include two other heads of organizations that appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups: Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel; and Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association.

“The panel will also include former Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters, who in the wake of his loss has called on the party to move on from ‘consultant one-size-fits-all strategies,'” Politico reports.

READ MORE: ‘Lowest Common Denominator’: Trump Refuses to Denounce White Supremacist He Dined With Despite Advisers’ Urgings

Masters is a “Big Lie” purveyor who has also promoted the white nationalist conspiracy theory of the “Great Replacement,” which falsely claims immigrants – people of color – are “replacing” white Americans.

Separately, Politico adds, the RNC is commissioning an investigation into what went wrong, commonly referred to as an “autopsy” to ensure in future elections the same decisions are not made. That work will be lead by current RNC members.

 

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

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Where Herschel Walker lives has been a question since before he officially announced his candidacy as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Numerous reports have looked into claims he lives in Texas and not the Peach State, which some Georgia voters might find problematic, but new reporting exposes what could lead to tax or voting fraud investigations.

Walker’s Georgia home, according to reporting from The Daily Beast‘s Roger Sollenberger, is owned by his wife, who for years has rented it out.

When Walker announced his candidacy, after a strong push from Donald Trump, it “was widely known at the time that the Republican hopeful had been living in Texas for decades, though he has claimed to maintain a residence in Atlanta for ’17 years.’ Less widely known, however, was that Walker’s wife collected tens of thousands of dollars in rental income for that residence, according to his 2021 financial disclosure forms.”

READ MORE: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

While it is unclear if the home was rented out when Walker officially launched his Senate run, the “house doubled as the Walker campaign’s first official address when he launched his bid in August 2021. Fulton County tax and property records show the home is solely owned by Walker’s wife, Julie Blanchard, who also collected rental income from 2020 and 2021 ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, according to the disclosure—defining the asset as ‘Georgia residence.'”

CNN last week reported that “Republican Herschel Walker is getting a tax break intended only for a primary residence this year on his home in the Dallas, Texas, area, despite running for Senate in Georgia.”

“In Texas, homeowner regulations say you can only take the exemption on your ‘principal residence,'” CNN’s K-File reported. “Walker is listed to get a homestead tax exemption in Texas in 2022, saving the Senate candidate approximately $1,500 and potentially running afoul of both Texas tax rules and some Georgia rules on establishing residency for the purpose of voting or running for office.”

READ MORE: Raphael Warnock Blasts Herschel Walker Over Kanye West Endorsement: ‘My Mama Told Me Birds of a Feather Flock Together’

Even after he launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate Walker still filed for the Texas tax exemption.

On Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a nine-page complaint filed with the state’s Attorney General’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The complaint alleges “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony in August 2021 when he registered to vote in Georgia,” and “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony when he voted in the 2022 Georgia primary and general elections.” These are allegations and have not been investigated by authorities.

When he announced is candidacy, “Walker’s main GOP rival challenged him to ‘move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections’ before running,” The Journal-Constitution notes. “Warnock’s allies have taken a similar line of attack, framing the Republican as an out-of-state charlatan.”

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Trumps Latest Tactic? Attacking Special Counsel’s Sister-in-Law

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Donald Trump is going all-in on attacks against the family of special counsel Jack Smith. Instead of mounting a defense for his actions, Trump deployed one of his top tactics: attacking anyone trying to hold him accountable.

One of Trump’s right-wing allies posted a claim that Smith’s sister-in-law, who is allegedly a psychologist and whose patients were “crying” and “sobbing” over Trump’s 2016 election.

“And I’m supposed to get a fair shake from this person, who’s under tremendous pressure from his family, but he is actually worse than they are?” Trump rambled on his personal social media site. “Can Republicans, and fair-minded people, generally, allow this to happen? Jack Smith is nothing less than a hit man for Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder, and Andrew Weissmann. Weaponization. Our Country is in big trouble, a real mess!”

Smith was hired by Trump’s administration to serve as an acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee during Trump’s first year in office, his biography states. During this same time, the new Trump Justice Department was firing most of the U.S. Attorneys hired under President Barack Obama’s administration. One of those biggest names was Preet Bharara, who helped Trump with the transition while serving as the U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York. He was fired the same month that Trump hired Smith in 2017.

 

 

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