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Religious Right Vows First Amendment Suits Over Law Banning Ex-Gay Therapy For Kids

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The Religious Right is vowing to sue the State of California, claiming their First Amendment religious liberties are being attacked, in response to a California law Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend finally signed banning so-called “ex-gay,” “conversion,” or “reparative” therapy on LGBTQ children to try to turn them straight. The Liberty Counsel, which since 2006 has supported s program of ex-gay therapy, along with NARTH, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, and the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) are all claiming they will sue the state of California, in separate lawsuits.

“The California governor and legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs,” Mat Staver, founder and Chair of the Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. “A number of minors who have struggled with same-sex attraction have been able to reduce or eliminate the stress and conflicts in their lives by receiving counseling of their choice which best meets their needs and religious convictions.”

Nationally, the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants have all condemned the use of so-called “ex-gay,” “conversion,” or “reparative” therapy, and there is no scientific study that proves it actually is effective.

“Legislative supporters and gay-rights groups denounce SOCE [“sexual-orientation change efforts”] as ‘quackery’ that doesn’t work and is harmful to children,” the conservative Washington Times reports:

“If anyone had any doubts such practices were evil, they need only listen to accounts of victims who went through this abusive practice,” California state Sen. Ted Lieu, a Democrat representing Torrance, Calif., and lead sponsor of the bill, said Sunday after it was signed into law.

“Some victims, such as Kirk Murphy, committed suicide,” Mr. Lieu said. “This law is partly in remembrance of Kirk.”

Equality California, a gay-rights group that backed the Lieu legislation, credited the law’s passage to dozens of organizations and individuals, including Ryan Kendall and Peter Drake, who “opened their lives and sacrificed their privacy to share the damage they suffered as a result of these abusive practices.”

Many mental-health organizations, including the California Psychological Association, California Board of Behavioral Sciences, the California Latino Psychological Association and the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, endorsed the law.

However, opponents said the law is unconstitutional because it restricts First Amendment, privacy and parental rights.

This law “binds” clergy who are also licensed professional counselors “from giving any counseling that does not affirm homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle,” said Mr. Dacus, who said a member of the clergy is among the plaintiffs in PJI’s lawsuit.

The law also “makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction,” he said.

NARTH, which represents therapists who offer SOCE, said it would “lend its full support to the legal efforts to overturn” the law.

“California citizens, and especially parents, should know the indifference that supporters of this bill have toward their freedom of choice,” said NARTH President Christopher Rosik.

But  Nick Seaver at AmericaBlog reminds that the “entire notion of reparative therapy — that you can pray away the gay — has been debunked repeatedly.  Perhaps most famously by the leader of the largest “ex-gay” group in the world, Alan Chambers of Exodus International.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election

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Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Arizona brought many opportunities for his supporters to explain why they think the former president will be back in office any day.

Politico spoke to a few MAGA folks on the ground at the event and got their thoughts on what’s next in the Trump movement.

“I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election,” Politico cited Ray Kallatsa from Tucson. “I do think it’s possible, very possible.”

His thoughts echo those of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, who spoke to the crowd ahead of the former president. He cited QAnon language.

“Can you feel the storm building? It’s America,” he said using the allusion of “the storm” which is part of the conspiracy group’s messaging.

The storm, “refers to excessive social conflict that is predicted to occur prior to society reaching the point of ‘The Great Awakening,’ explained Murray State University.

See the photos from the event at Politico.

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'WINDOW INTO WHERE THIS IS ALL HEADED'

‘Avalanche of Lies’: Trump’s Arizona Speech Smacked Down by CNN Host

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The morning after Donald Trump rehashed all of his complaints about the 2020 presidential election that saw him lose to President Joe Biden and then attacked fellow Republicans, a CNN host dismissed his words as an “avalanche of lies.”

During the speech, the president also asserted that his “Stop the Steal” rally crowd was massive, telling the crowd, “They talk about the people that walked down to the Capitol, They don’t talk about the size of that crowd. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before, and they were there to protest the election.”

After sharing clips of Trump’s ranting about critics within his own party who aren’t buying into his election lies, host Abby Phillip cut to the chase and also noted the former president’s defense of the Capitol insurrectionists.

“I don’t actually recommend people listen to the avalanche of lies last night,” she stated, “but it’s notable how much effort went into defending these January 6th defendants and saying that they were being held as political prisoners. It’s a window into where this is all headed for Republicans.”

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CRIME

Sedition Indictments Reveal the DOJ Is Looking Beyond the Jan 6th Insurrection: Former US Attorney

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Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday morning, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained that a deep reading of the federal seditious conspiracy indictments filed against eleven members of the Oath Keepers revealed that the Department of Justice is looking at more than the Jan 6th insurrection.

Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Vance suggested more indictments are likely to follow.

“One of the keys to understanding this indictment is it doesn’t look at January 6th as just one day,” she began. “The conduct starts shortly after the election and continues to January 6th. We now seemingly have a more firm answer to the direction whether the DOJ is looking at January 6th as a standalone day or is this continuing course of conduct surrounding the big lie.”

“The fact they are looking at the longer spectrum of conduct is good news for people who want to see people who were involved in the day’s events held responsible for all of the efforts to interfere with the election, not just the violence that manifested on January 6th” she continued. “This is prosecutors continuing to move up that ladder of responsibility. They’ve now hit a point with people involved in a definitive way and the violence on that day. The question is whether some of these individuals and other people who have been indicted will decide to cooperate with prosecutors and if they decide to cooperate, what information they may have to share.”

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