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Rick Perry, If You Don’t Support LGBT Rights, Don’t Run For President



Governor Perry,

I read your furious response to a recent White House memorandum where you called President Obama’s leadership “silly” for strengthening international protections of LGBT human rights. You also made generalizations that unfairly assume all people of faith in America are homophobic.

It’s unconscionable how out of touch you are with the values of equality, freedom and justice. Not only have you alienated Christians across the United States who unconditionally welcome and affirm the LGBT community; you’ve alienated many across the world who look to the United States as an example for upholding basic human and civil rights for all people. I’d like to introduce you to one of them.

There was a man I wrote about earlier this year named “Hamid” who lived abroad in a religious society. He was the owner of a small coffee shop, a law-abiding citizen, and lived his life in relative harmony. But when local authorities found out he was gay, he was abducted on the street, taken to his home, beaten half to death, had his possessions stolen and then dragged to an encampment where he was raped, tortured and humiliated for hours by a group of police officers.

When he attempted to have his day in court to seek justice for these abuses, his existence as a gay person was viewed by the courts as a crime punishable by death. He tried to press charges against the police for the sexual and physical abuse he endured, but the court refused to follow-up on the case. When he returned to his house, it was completely looted and he was forced to flee the country.

I checked in on Hamid a few weeks ago. The man — who once lived a relatively normal life — is now living in exile, unemployed, poverty-stricken and dealing with physical and psychological damage from the trauma and injustice. Let me be clear: the brutality against Hamid occurred because of a hostile, anti-gay culture legalized by government.

Does this sound “silly” to you?

As the White House has stated, the President is directing agencies abroad to make sure that LGBT human rights are protected. Not all countries are like the United States. Not all countries ensure due process or respect an individual’s basic human dignity. The President is directing an effort to combat this unfortunate reality. He is combating the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct to help people like Hamid who are imprisoned or abducted because of their perceived orientation. And he is pushing for stricter protections of vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers who often endure unspeakable trauma in their home countries and are left floating in an international system with no real place to call home.

We have a right to ensure that our tax dollars promote and protect basic human equality for all people. The President asked our State Department to ensure this.

You called these actions “national security nonsense” and accused President Obama of launching a “war on religion.” Our diverse country and world cannot be lead by a Commander-in-Chief who doesn’t recognize the complexities of human rights abuses faced by LGBT people around the world, nor honors the breadth of religious diversity in our country.

As the leader of one of the nation’s largest LGBT-inclusive Christian networks, I have seen the opinions and theology of people of faith grow towards welcome over time. Our organization spreads love and welcome, to make sure God’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender children are taken care of in our country’s churches, schools and diverse communities. We think about individuals like Hamid, who are voiceless and need help. And we think about people of faith, whom you summarily dismissed, who want to be respected for their belief in LGBT equality. Before you call LGBT human rights silly, or assume all Christians endorse your fabricated “war on religion”, you should think about these things too.


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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Trump Indicted by Grand Jury: Reports



Donald Trump’s attorneys have been notified a grand jury has voted to indict the ex-president on numerous federal charges and ordered to appear in a Miami court next Tuesday, according to ABC News, CNN, and NBC News. Trump on his Truth Social account made a similar claim..

“Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in the special counsel’s classified documents probe, sources familiar with the matter tells CNN,” the network reports. “Trump has been charged with seven counts in the indictment, according to another source familiar with the matter.”

“We’re learning from our sources that there appears to be at least seven counts here,” ABC News’ Katherine Faulders reported on-air, ABC News online reports.. “This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal to false statements and representations.”

MSNBC on-air reports NBC News has confirmed the Trump indictment, and NBC News online reports the indictment is “in connection with his mishandling of more than 100 classified documents that were discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, making the twice-impeached former commander-in-chief the first former president to face federal criminal charges.”

Watch this currently ongoing ABC News live streaming video:

In three separate entries on his Truth Social platform, Trump writes: “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted,” along with several false allegations NCRM will not publish.

“I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,” he adds.

He also declares he is “innocent.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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‘Where’s the Money?’: Biden Laughs Out Loud, Mocks GOP’s Allegations



Just as his press conference with the U.K. Prime Minister was coming to a close and reporters were asked to remain seated, a jovial President Joe Biden stayed and took several questions from reporters desperate to ask about Republicans’ baseless and unsubstantiated claims he accepted millions in bribe money when he was vice president.

Shouting “bribery allegations,” one reporter told the President, “Congresswoman Nancy Mace says there’s damning evidence in an FBI file that you sold out the country.”

As a smile worked its way across the President’s face, the reporter continued saying: “Do you have a response to congressional Republicans?”

The President did.

“Where’s the money?” he deadpanned.

“I’m joking,” he added.

READ MORE: Watch: Stunned Bill Barr Speechless After Fox Host Asks Why DOJ Is Pursuing Trump ‘In the Middle’ of an Election

“That’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden ultimately responded, denying the claims which were fueled by FBI Director Chris Wray’s decision to allow the entire House Oversight Committee, in eluding far-right Republicans, access to an old FBI form documenting a second-hand tip alleging bribery.

NBC News Peter Alexander then threw a curious question at the President.

“Mr. President, what do you say to Americans to convince them that they should trust the independence and fairness of the Justice Department when your predecessor, Donald Trump, repeatedly attacks it?”

Biden quickly became less jovial.

READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say

“Because you notice,” he said very seriously, pointing his finger at the reporter, “I have never once, not one single time, suggested to the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative bringing a charge or not bringing a charge.”

“I’m honest,” he stressed.

Foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf responded to the video clip, stating: “Questions like these are not serious journalism.”

Watch below or at this link.


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Watch: Stunned Bill Barr Speechless After Fox Host Asks Why DOJ Is Pursuing Trump ‘In the Middle’ of an Election



Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, once one of the ex-president’s top defenders, appeared stunned and speechless Thursday afternoon when a Fox News host surprised him by asking why the U.S. Dept. of Justice is pursuing a criminal investigation against Trump over classified documents while he is running again for president.

“Why is this process happening so quickly in the middle of a presidential election?” Fox’s Martha MacCallum asked. She neglected to mention that Donald Trump reportedly announced his presidential campaign to avoid being charged.

Barr, who is on record stating he opposes Trump’s actions surrounding the hundreds of classified and top secret documents he likely unlawfully removed from the White House and refused to return, paused for several seconds before replying.

“Uh,” Barr finally replied, “This, this was a fairly simple case,” he said, appearing to defend DOJ.

READ MORE: SCOTUS ‘Surprise’ Voting Rights Decision Could – and Did – Have Big Implications for Democrats, Legal Experts Say

“The Mar-a-Lago case. This is a case that can be done relatively quickly, and that’s why I thought, it’s the main – because it’s a very limited question,” Barr explained, shifting gears. “It relates to, ah, one collection of documents and and why they weren’t given to the government once they were subpoenaed. And it’s a pretty simple case.”

Moving on, MacCallum asked, “And you believe that the charge will be obstruction, based on what you’ve said before?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Barr responded, seeming to not want to bet pinned down to an answer, “if I had to bet I think that that there’s going to be an indictment here on that basis, but it’s not going to be because he took the documents, or even had the documents for a while. I think it’s because they believe that he acted deceitfully once the government tried to get the documents back.”

On Tuesday, Barr spoke with CBS News to refute his ex-boss’s “witch hunt” claims, said the ex-president had “jerked” DOJ around over the hundreds of classified and top secret documents he refused to return, and added there was “no excuse” to do so.

READ MORE: Biden Launches Major Initiative to Protect LGBTQ Community Ahead of Massive White House Pride Celebration

Watch Barr below or at this link.

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