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Religion: Putting A Halt To The Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Rhetoric



“I wish I could be happy, I try, I try, I try … I just want to feel special to someone.” –Jamie Hubley

On October 14, Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old boy, committed suicide. He struggled with depression and bullying from classmates because he was openly gay. The challenges experienced by this young man are heartbreaking and perhaps better witnessed through his own words or hearing them directly from those who knew him best.

These types of teen suicides painfully remind us that there is an anti-LGBT culture within our societies that isolate many young people from the love they deserve. It’s particularly concerning that the urgency this reality warrants is consistently absent from the religious right, which was further evidenced at the “Values Voter Summit” in Washington this month.

As the day neared for this annual gathering of religious conservatives, my inbox began to fill with press releases, statements and emails from allies across the country. “Boycott Values Voter Summit,” and, “Anti-LGBT Hate Fest?”

The concern was real.

A common chill rippled through civil rights and progressive religious communities across America. Moderate voices speculated about what type of rhetoric would be cooked up and lobed at minority communities this year. Like many Americans, I joined those who condemned the event, which was hosted by two nationally recognized hate groups. In 2010 both the Family Research Council and American Family Association joined over 1000 active hate groups in America, on a list that includes factions of the Ku Klux Klan, black separatist and Neo-Nazi organizations.

But there was something even more troubling about the summit. Why would Republican Party leadership—House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Erik Cantor—appear in such a setting? Why would seven Republican Presidential candidates do the same? The summit promotes hostile anti-LGBT sentiment that in many ways has contributed to a culture of LGBT bullying.

I tuned in to CSPAN’s coverage from my office in New York City. I watched speakers offensively degrade the LGBT community and demonize Muslims as a dangerous other; the rhetoric was sorely absent of any hope for moderation.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association declared the American President should be a man, that Muslims are not welcomed, and that the LGBTQ community is a threat to American freedom.

Star Parker, a conservative activist, insinuated that the California government was “sick” for trying to combat LGBT teen bullying by helping students learn about the history of Gays and Lesbians in their state.

The speeches went on. The damage continued. But when all was said and done, an important point was evident: this event wasn’t about Christian values— it was about hate.

The Montgomery Alabama-based civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, defines these “representatives” of the religious right well: “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” These groups who claim to represent the religious right contribute to a deadly anti-LGBT culture.

They circulate pamphlets and propaganda that mischaracterize the LGBT community—propaganda that has been thoroughly rejected by relevant institutions. They routinely quote junk science sourced from anti-gay “front organizations” like the “American College of Pediatricians” (ACP) to claim LGBT people are a threat. These front organizations are deeply flawed. For example, the ACP is a tiny 200-member anti-gay organization, which broke away from the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It broke away because it rejected its parent organization’s support of LGBT rights. Going rogue, they now produce misleading junk science that is solely aligned with political agendas.

These hate groups also rely on similarly flawed research to claim LGBT people suffer from “mental disorders” and that they should undergo “reparative therapy.” Again, relevant scientific institutions, such as the American Psychiatric Association reject such nonsense.

“In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure,” they said. “APA recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation.” The American Psychological Association echoes that “the discipline of psychology is concerned with the well-being of people and groups and therefore with threats to that well-being … Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.”

Because of this scientific reality, many reparative therapists have come out of the closet to reject and repudiate the flawed practice.

Other “science” and “research” they utilize, continues to be discredited, and every day its irrelevance is being more widely understood. Those outside of this extreme wing are becoming much more conscious of the damage caused by extreme factions of the religious right. Droves of young people are leaving churches that reject the gay and lesbian community. Two-thirds of Americans say there is a harmful connection between messages coming from America’s houses of worship and higher rates of LGBT youth suicides. And most remarkably, Gallup found that a majority of Christians and non-Christians believe that Gay and Lesbian relations are “morally acceptable.”

America’s values are clear. Why then does the religious right continue to dominate the national conversation?

It is time for us to put this nonsense to rest.

There is a growing community of LGBT-inclusive Christians and non-Christian allies, working each day to promote welcome in faith settings and put their LGBT inclusive faith into action by taking to the streets, the polling booths and the airwaves. Just this week, more than 900 Methodists in Connecticut and New York vowed to defy their denomination’s ban on gay marriage and make weddings available to all.

These inclusive Christian voices are putting the religious right on notice: while their voice of hate may be loud, our voice of love will be louder.

Joseph Ward is the Director of Believe Out Loud, an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, and a writer on religion and LGBT equality issues. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWardIII..

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‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad



The imagery is dark. The words are defiant. The message is dystopian. An ad for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘s presidential campaign, currently “in turmoil,” features the First Lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis, issuing a warning: “They’re coming after our children.”

The ad never quite says who is coming after the kids, but the video (below) includes clips of President Joe Biden and former Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the war on COVID and the now-retired Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

While it was first released over the summer, it received little attention. Casey DeSantis on Friday reposted her “Mamas for DeSantis” ad. It comes in the wake of the alleged ménage à trois sex scandal involving an unnamed woman who has accused Christian Ziegler, the head of the Florida Republican Party of rape. His wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, who reportedly confirmed the consensual three-way sexual relationship, is Casey DeSantis’ “best friend,” according to Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch.

“In America, we’ve witnessed a lot and put up with enough,” Casey DeSantis says in a voiceover at the start of the two-and-a-half minute video.

“We’ve been forced into silence,” she charges, amid a baby crying and a COVID mask being put over a child’s face. “Into compliance.”

“Told that we must ‘trust the science,'” DeSantis continues, in a direct attack on Dr. Fauci, showing him speaking during the height of COVID in the Trump administration.

READ MORE: ‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court

And in an attack on LGBTQ children and adults, she says: “We’ve been told that we must deny truth. Back down. And look the other way.”

“Enough is enough. When you come after our kids, we fight back. Because there’s nothing we won’t do to protect our children,” she says.

Seconds later, the video shows President Joe Biden declaring, “Our nation’s children are all our children.”

“We will not allow you to exploit their innocence to advance your agenda. We are no longer silent,” Casey DeSantis declares. “We are united. We have finally found our fighter.”

Casey DeSantis praises her husband, saying he will do for America what he did for Florida: “Schools: opened. Parents’ rights: defended. School choice: universal. Critical race theory: prohibited. DEI: stopped. Child mutilation: illegal. Girls’ sports: saved. Communities: protected. Our economy: growing. And freedom: guaranteed.”

READ MORE: ‘Dystopian’: Potential Trump Cabinet Picks Send ‘5-Alarm’ Shock Waves of Terror

In the section where President Biden says, “Our nation’s children are all our children,” Casey DeSantis doesn’t explain that those words came from a White House celebration honoring Teachers of The Year from across the country. The President was praising an Oklahoma Teacher of the Year whose district includes students who speak 62 different languages, so she had to work hard to ensure everyone felt included. She had said, “There’s no such thing as someone else’s child.”

Nor did DeSantis acknowledge that Governor DeSantis’ performance for children has been poor.

The Florida Policy Institute, which says it is “an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization,” in September warned “368,728 youth aged 20 and younger” have been cut from Medicaid. “Because Florida has not expanded Medicaid, the vast majority of those losing insurance during this time have been children, parents, young adults, and new mothers.”

Florida ranks 35th in child well-being (with 1 being the best), according WUSF, citing the Kids Count Databook from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Some critics on social media blasted Casey DeSantis’ remarks.

“Republicans refused to extend child tax credits that pulled 2 million children out of poverty. They resist the idea of free school lunches. Yet they come up with bullshit about their opponents ‘coming after our children.’ Yes, we’re coming after them, to give them a sandwich,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob.

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

Watch the Casey DeSantis video below or at this link.

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‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court



A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court Friday afternoon largely upheld and reinstated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s very narrow and limited gag order on Donald Trump for his trial on charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” reads Judge Patricia Millett unanimous three-judge panel ruling, posted by Lawfare’s Anna Bower. “The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part.”

The judges upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

They also upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”

The judges removed from the gag order “speech beyond those specified categories.”

“We do not allow such an order lightly,” the judges added. “But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.”

Bower explains, “Chutkan’s order would have prohibited statements that refer to special counsel Jack Smith as a ‘thug’ or ‘deranged.’ But the appeals court order does not apply to speech about the special counsel himself.”

CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane sums up the ruling: “Much of the gag order in Donald Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy criminal case in DC is *REINSTATED*.”

READ MORE: Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business

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Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business



In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.

“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.

Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.

The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.

“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”

Watch Doocy below or at this link.

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