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Quotes From New York State Senators On Gay Marriage Bill

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Below is a continuously updated and quick transcription of some statements being made right now on the floor of the New York State Senate as they debate the gay marriage bill today. Quotes are exact as I can manage! Refresh the page often – newest are at the bottom.

Eric Schneiderman: This is a vote that is not about morality, that is not about religion. You can’t legislate morality, but you can legislate justice. This is about the essence of the United States of America. Every generation is called to this challenge to the quintessential challenge of making Thomas Jefferson’s words more true. This bill hurts no one. Vote for justice, vote for equality, vote for your affirmation that all men and women are created equal.

Eric Adams: There are certain moments here where we can benchmark our lives by the votes we took. (Listed group of states) All states that bought and sold slaves at one time or another. It was only until 1967, before my son could marry (another senator’s) daughter. Thank God for Google. Go read what they said about blacks being able to marry. The same comment made about Tom Duane wanting to be married are the same comments my grandmother was told. Some say, don’t try to make this a civil rights issue. When I walk through these doors, my bible stays out. I make laws that protect the entire state. There is one thing about New York: We have the legacy that sets the tone of the rest of the country. I’m going to be an agent of change. You don’t have to be gay to respect the rights of those who are. You don’t have to be black to understand the pain of slavery.

Jeffery Klein: I’d like to apologize that this took so long. (Quotes from the 14th Amendment.) I think it’s important to read the statement from Mrs. Loving (Loving vs. Virginia) NYC will benefit by $200 million if we pass gay marriage. Make a decision today not based on political reasons. This is an issue of fairness.

David Valesky: This can’t be a matter of religion. Nothing we do can be done in violation of the United States Constitution. The founding fathers made it very clear that freedom of religion is one of the most important tenets of this democracy. This bill does not, could not, and as long as our constitution stands, could never compel any house of worship to do anything against their beliefs.

Kevin Parker: The time to pass this legislation is now, because it is still the right thing to do. The morality stands in doing the right thing. We have an opportunity to change our history. This is the time we strike a blow to one of the last inequalities in our country. (Reads benefits same sex couples cannot currently acquire.) This bill is about millions of families and the basic protections they need. As we sit here now its almost ridiculous to think that at one time African-Americans could not even marry each other. I’m hoping that the idea in a few years that same sex couples couldn’t marry will be seen as equally ridiculous.

Pedro Espada: If this vote were taken in my district today, this bill would fail. But this is not about demographics, this is not about religion. Is it a vote of conscience? What is a vote of conscience? It is constitutionally correct to vote “yes.” Let’s write this headline, let’s send a message of hope, by voting yes here today. Let’s not continue to be scared into ignorance.

Diane Savino: Rarely have we faced an issue as important as this. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers lives hang in the balance here today. I hope we are going to make that history here today. This vote is about an issue of fairness and equality. We in government don’t determine the quality or the validity of relationships, if we did we wouldn’t give three quarters of the licenses we do. What are we really protecting, when you look at the divorce rate in this country. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America. People stand up in front of God and swear to honor and obey, and they don’t mean a word of it. We have nothing to fear from love and commitment.

Liz Krueger: Ask yourself, how can you vote “no.”

Daniel Squadron: It’s a bill that really has to do with what sort of government we have.

Velmanette Montgomery: I will only add that in my family and my culture I just want to remind my colleagues, it was always considered that if you were living together and not married, in those days, you were living in sin. I know the whole institution of marriage has changed over time. There are some states that actually recognized common law marriage. The institution of marriage is actually a part of our government contractual practice, and we also attach religion to it. I want to remind you that if a minister marries you, and you don’t go to court, you are not married. If our husbands decide, as often happens, that they want to run away, there are certain protections I want everyone to have. I want to talk about the ministers, the doctors, the choir directors, many of whom are gay, and people in all walks of life, African Americans, Latinos, white people, black people, men, women, they are my constituents too, they would like to have the right to marry. I am voting yes so you can have the right to marry.

Jose Serrano: This is a great day. History has proven that extending civil rights further will make our communities stronger. No one should be subjugated to less rights than anyone else. Extending freedom through marriage equality is the foundation of the American ideal. What separates this nation is that we dare to say the things that others refuse to say. We cannot be free until all of us are afforded the same rights that everyone should have.

Ruth Hassell-Thompson: My oldest brother was gay. Publicly that’s something I’ve not said before. (Told a very moving story about her brother and his life away from home in France.) People have the right to choose. This bill is about giving them the right to choose. If there’s a condemnation in that choice then that is between them and God.

Craig Johnson: On January 10th, 1998, I exercised my right to marry my wife. This bill is simple, it does two things. It’s about equality. The notion of a civl union creates a separate but equal system. This bill is also about love. What’s interesting is look at the history of marriage. Historically marriage wasn’t about love it was about property. This is about civil marriage. There comes a time for this body to step up.

Bill Perkins: History reminds me that more than half of the people here would not be during another point in time. Get ready, marriage equality is here, it is inevitable. I can see Dr. Martin Luthor King smiling down on us today.

Suzi Oppenheimer: I’m glad we’re doing this today. I feel strongly that everyone is entitled to equal rights and protections. It is most assuredly a civil issue not a religious issue. Some have said it diminishes their marriage. I don’t understand that. Almost all of us have friends who are lesbian or gay. And they are for the most part in serious committed relationships in long standing. They are stable people. Isn’t that what we want?

Malcolm Smith: People are asking me, “Why are you supporting marriage?” When I ask them is why are you not? They retreat to the bible. The bible does not say same sex marriage is wrong. What is wrong is when you quote a bible for your own purposes. Please don’t quote the bible or refer to it if you don’t know what it means. Because of my religious relationships, I believe everyone in this chamber has experienced discrimination. When you experienced discrimination, it hurt. The completion of a family is not the children but a marriage. This is not a challenge to the church. It takes one. Rosa Parks was that one. Tom Duane is that one. Colleagues, we need to do this today. A win is 35 votes.

Thomas Duane: “I’m like a dog with a bone, I won’t let go until the last moment. The time is never right for civil rights. The economy, wars… it’s never, ever the right time for civil rights. But the paradox is it’s always the right time to be on the right side of history. Now is the time to put that into law – the same way that we have treated you, you have treated us. let’s not have a do-over. I was out when Harvey Milk was around, I’ve been gay a long time. Soon, I’m going to be a married gay.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Watch: Kevin McCarthy Leads Over a Dozen Republicans in Prayer at Event Co-Sponsored by Five Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy joined hands with more than a dozen House Republicans, leading them in prayer at Wednesday’s National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance, an event co-sponsored by several far-right Christian organizations, at least five of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

The California Republican specifically mentioned his upcoming meeting later Wednesday with President Joe Biden, when the two will discuss the debt ceiling, which Republicans want to leverage to massively cut federal spending on programs critical to keeping many Americans alive, including Social Security and Medicare – or shut down the federal government if Democrats do not agree to their terms.

“Father, I want to lift up those who are not here today. I want you to open their hearts,” McCarthy prayed. “Father, I want to lift up the president. Father, you know I will meet with him today. Father, I ask. I asked that you open both of our hearts that you put our meaning, our meaning that seeks your truth. And the help for this nation. Father, we know as we struggle, is we come up short and again but continue to seek your guidance. We ask that you give us the patience of Job. We ask that you give us the intellect the leadership that you gave David we ask that you give us the boldness.”

The event was held at the Museum of the Bible, a non-profit founded by right-wing evangelical activist David Green and the Green family. Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby, the privately-held chain store that won a Supreme Court case enshrining into U.S. jurisprudence the concept that for-profit corporations can and do have religious beliefs.

READ MORE: Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

The five groups sponsoring the event which also appear on the SPLC’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups include the American Family Association (AFA), the Family Research Council (FRC), the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Liberty Counsel, and the Pacific Justice Institute.

Other attendees included anti-LGBTQ activists, like “right-wing pastor Andrew Brunson, who blasted the United States as ‘the primary corrupter of the world’ because ‘our government and corporations increasingly march under the rainbow flag,'” he said, as Right Wing Watch reported.

Also, two “ex-gay” activists.

Later, the Republicans, including McCarthy, were prayed over by Tony Perkins, the longtime head of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council. Perkins has also served as chair and vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government commission.

Far-right House Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Weber of Texas descended into an anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ tirade during which he invoked “the blood of the lamb” to telegraph to McCarthy his concerns about U.S. debt.

Weber is an original co-sponsor of the federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill. He once compared then-President Barack Obama to Hitler.

Right Wing Watch reports some of the Members of Congress who attended include Reps. Mary Miller, Diana Harshbarger, Steve Scalise, Rick Allen, Brian Babin, Michael Cloud, Robert Aderholt, Tracey Mann, Burgess Owens, Gary Palmer, Michelle Steel, Warren Davidson, Brandon Williams, Dan Bishop, Nathaniel Moran, and Mike Johnson.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

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COMMENTARY

Trump Vows to Use DOJ and Congress to Make Being Transgender Illegal While Promoting the ‘Nuclear Family’

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As part of his 2024 campaign, Donald Trump is now declaring war against transgender people – especially transgender children – even vowing to use DOJ and Congress to make being transgender illegal under federal law, if elected President. He also promised to promote the “nuclear family,” an attack on same-sex couples and families. And he pledged to use the Dept. of Education to file federal civil rights charges against local school teachers who support transgender children – or even the very concept of being transgender.

In 2015, as his first presidential campaign took shape, Trump was falsely hailed by some LGBTQ Republicans as being “pro-gay.” In 2016, for a short while, Trump said transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” although less than 24 hours later he reversed course. But that same year he merged two powerful culture war issues, LGBTQ rights and illegal immigration, into a combined wedge issue to attack his Democratic opponent.

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he tweeted.

It was a lie.

Fast forward to 2023.

Trump’s promise on Tuesday afternoon to attack transgender Americans, despite medical evidence and expert opinions to the contrary. go much further than any other national Republican’s, and it’s clear he had help creating these new anti-LGBTQ policies. Right-wing extremist media promoted the ex-president’s assault on this highly-vulnerable population almost immediately.

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In his video he calls gender-affirming care “child sexual mutilation” and “left wing gender insanity,” suggesting transgender people did not exist throughout history, which is false.

“The left wing gender insanity being pushed in our children is an act of child abuse very simple,” Trump, in his unique oratorical style, begins in a nearly four-minute video posted on Rumble and on his Truth Social platform. “Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical and emotional mutilation of our youth.”

Nearly every major medical organization recognizes and supports gender-affirming care for children.

Just last August Dr. Moira Szilagyi, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest professional organization of its kind, said: “There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving. The decision of whether and when to start gender-affirming treatment, which does not necessarily lead to hormone therapy or surgery, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family.”

Trump is promising to make that care illegal, and to sign a federal law “establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth,” and one “prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“On day one,” Trump declared, “I will revoke Joe Biden’s cruel policies on so called gender affirming care. Ridiculous, a process that includes giving puberty blockers, mutating their physical appearance and ultimately performing surgery on minor children. Can you believe this?”

Dr. Szilagyi spoke to that falsehood last year, writing: “Critics of our gender-affirming care policy mischaracterize it as pushing medical or surgical treatments on youth; in fact, the policy calls for the opposite: a holistic, collaborative, compassionate approach to care with no end goal or agenda.”

Trump also promised to “sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease all programs that promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age. I will then ask Congress to permanently stop federal taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or pay for these procedures and pass a law prohibiting child sexual mutilation.”

“In all 50 states it’ll go very quickly. I will declare that any hospital or health care provider that participates in the chemical or physical mutilation of minor youth will no longer meet federal health and safety standards for Medicaid and Medicare and will be terminated from the program immediately.”

READ MORE: ‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling

Trump also promised to turn the executive branch into an anti-transgender machine for his personal political ends.

“The Department of Justice will investigate Big Pharma and the big hospital networks to determine whether they have deliberately covered up horrific long term side effects of sex transitions in order to get rich at the expense of vulnerable patients, in this case, very vulnerable. We will also investigate whether Big Pharma or others have illegally marketed hormones and puberty blockers which are in no way licensed or approved for this use.”

He also promised his “Department of Education will inform states and school districts that if any teacher or school official suggests to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body, they will be faced with severe consequences including potential civil rights violations for sex discrimination, and the elimination of federal funding.”

Trump did not waver in using the full power of the federal government to target and attack transgender children and LGBTQ families, while using local school teachers to carry out his pogrom.

READ MORE: $1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

“As part of our new credentialing body for teachers, we will promote positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers and celebrating rather than erasing the things that make men and women different and unique.”

“I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth. The bill will also make clear that Title IX prohibits men from participating in women’s sports and we will protect the rights of parents from being forced to allow their minor child to assume a gender which is new and an identity without the parents’ consent,” he said, appearing to correct himself by adding: “The identity will not be new, and it will not be without parental consent.”

“No serious countries should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender, a concept that was never heard of in all of human history, he declared, which is false. “Nobody’s ever heard of this, what’s happening today. It was all when the radical left invented just a few years ago, under my leadership this madness will end.”

Nearly every anti-LGBTQ claim Trump made in under four minutes is false or contrary to accepted medical and scientific studies and practice.

 

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News

Trump Could ‘Screw’ GOP With Self-Enriching Third Party Run: Conservative Author

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Former President Donald Trump is able to “screw” his own party with an independent or third-party run should they reject him in 2024, wrote conservative author Jonathan Last for The Bulwark on Wednesday.

Trump is currently the only Republican who has formally declared his candidacy for president, although multiple others like New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have expressed interest. Trump mainly appears focused on heading off a challenge from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attacking him as a “RINO globalist.”

“Sarah [Longwell] made a bunch of news this morning with her poll about Always Trumpers. I’m sure you’ve seen it. If not, the most interesting number is that 28 percent of Republican respondents said they’d vote for Trump over either an R or a D if he made a third-party run in 2024,” said the report. “Certain members of the Match Throwing Club . . . scoffed at this idea. Ross Douthat explains that, ‘Trump is unlikely to run third party and 28 percent of the GOP primary base isn’t actually going to vote for a spoiler if it’s DeSantis v. Biden.'”

This analysis, said Last, is just “wishcasting” — because Trump doesn’t actually need to pull 28 percent of the vote to spoil the election. Just a few points could do it, given how close the last two presidential elections ended up being.

READ MORE: Lead investigator blows the whistle on key finding Jan. 6 committee ignored in final report

It’s impossible to know for sure whether Trump would actually run third party if he lost the nomination, wrote Last — however, “I do know that if Trump were to lose the Republican nominating contest, he could bring in a lot of money by running a third-party campaign. And if the question is: ‘Trump could make a lot of money by doing X; will he do X?’ Well, then the answer is usually: Yes.”

Notably, polling doesn’t indicate that it’s likely Trump will lose the GOP nomination in the first place, with recent Morning Consult numbers suggesting he leads the pack by 17 points.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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