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SB 48: California’s FAIR Education Act Is This Year’s Prop 8. Is It DOA?

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SB 48, California’s FAIR Education Act, is this year’s Prop 8. You have absolutely no idea how incredibly organized the anti-gay hate groups are on this issue, and we will lose if and when it gets to the ballot box (and it will.) Don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the head of Equality California (EQCA), Executive Director Roland Palencia. “The prospects are not good if this gets to the ballot,” Palencia said. “I am not under any illusion.”

Why?

Because, just like with Prop 8, the anti-gay hate groups, and religious and faith-based groups have all teamed up against SB 48 and are organizing around hate and under the false guise of “protecting our children!”

Via the Bay Area Reporter:

Right now the anti-gay groups that spearheaded Proposition 8 are gathering signatures to get the SB 48 referendum on the ballot next year. They have until October 12 to collect 504,760 valid signatures. According to EQCA and its coalition partners, much of that work is currently taking place in churches – no surprise there – but the prospect of hired signature gatherers sprouting up outside big box stores in the final push is very real.

We noticed something on the EQCA conference call, which included coalition director Andrea Shorter and communications director Rebekah Orr: there’s no robust unified strategy to keep the referendum from qualifying or what to do if it does. There needs to be one message to meet the opposition. If we’ve learned nothing else from the Prop 8 fiasco, it’s that our side was disorganized, afraid, and timid.

Palencia later clarified his comments, but still maintains – correctly – that any ballot fight over SB 48, which would require public schools to include factual, age-appropriate information about the contributions of LGBT people and people with disabilities, will be extremely difficult. Orr acknowledged that the coalition has yet to find the “silver bullet” on overcoming the fear factor that the homophobes are quite adept at instilling in straight parents, especially mothers.

Yesterday, The New Civil Rights Movement showed you this video of a California Pastor evicting gays and lesbians from a church meeting about SB 48. He actually told them to exit the building. He also claimed, “this is not about us hating anyone or being homophobic or guilty of bigotry.” Yeah, right.

But that was just the result of sinister forces hard at work.

Forces like The Watchmen Ministry, who are actively working against SB 48. How actively? They’ve even produced a secret set of videos training pastors how to get enough ballots signed to put a referendum of SB 48 on the ballot. No, seriously. Secret videos on YouTube, but not listed so you can’t find them through ordinary means. “This video is unlisted. Only those with the link can see it,” it says, right at the top of the page.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=whDKj_3UBnU%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

And then there’s the head of the certified anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins — who is extremely anti-​science — but actually has the temerity to claim that SB 48 will take time away from the teaching of science. Which is a lie, just like all the other lies he’s told about SB 48. Like, it’s expensive. In truth, it won’t cost the state a dime. Fortunately, EQCA is calling Perkins for what he is: a liar with ties to the KKK. Watch:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jiQ96NNRLwY%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

And then there’s Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, California. Pastor Hibbs apparently has made it his mission to stamp out California’s FAIR Education Act, SB 48. He says,

“The indoctrination of our children regarding gay and lesbian, transgender lifestyles and practices as it relates to state history, as it relates to US history, and as it relates to our own economy… This new teaching, frankly, comes against the very ministry of Jesus Christ, the word of God, and you and I.”

“If we don’t stop it, this will be the indoctrination of our children, on our watch…There’s no opting out for your student, they must take this course, there’s no getting away from it.”

Watch:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=wAdR6ChYLXM%3Fversion%3D3%26hl%3Den_US

And there’s Paulo Sibaja of the conservative “family” organization, Capitol Resource Institute. Back in July, GLSEN wrote, that “there are still some anti-LGBT activists who would like nothing more than to shove the LGBT Civil Rights Movement back into the closet.”

“Look no further than Paulo Sibaja, President of the socially conservative Capitol Resource Institute. CRI has recently submitted paperwork asking California voters to overturn the FAIR Education Act – a law passed by both Chambers of the California state legislature and signed by the Governor. Mr. Sibaja argues the FAIR Education Act “will teach children as young as five to not only accept but also endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality.” But you and I both know that nothing could be further from the truth! Much like teachers already do with the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the FAIR Education Act ensures that students in California will be taught about the many contributions made to America by LGBT Americans such as Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Virginia Woolf and Del Martin.”

And there’s right wing extremist Randy Thomasson, of the infamous group, Save California, who in May started, “Protect Your Children From Harvey Milk Gay Day In Schools.” Thomasson calls the FAIR Act “the most in-​your-​face sexual brainwashing yet.”

Thomasson writes, falsely,

“On July 14, 2011, Democrat Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 48 into law. This means that, beginning in January 2012, children as young as kindergarten in California K-12 government schools will be forced to admire “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans” as their personal role models. It’s because SB 48 mandates that the unnatural and unhealthy lifestyles of both historical and contemporary persons who engaged or currently engage in homosexuality, bisexuality, or transsexuality be positively portrayed to impressionable children through “instruction in social sciences.” It’s the most in-your-face sexual brainwashing yet. And there’s no opportunity for parents to opt-out or opt-in their precious boys and girls.

“SB 48 is the EIGHTH SCHOOL SEXUAL INDOCTRINATION LAW on the books.”

Thomasson’s group adds,

RESCUE YOUR CHILD:
Parents, you only have one shot at raising your child. Don’t delay.
Click here to visit our website RescueYourChild.com where you will:

1) See all 10 reasons to rescue your children, plus understand the 8 bad laws
2) Learn how to afford a solid private school or church school
3) Discover how manageable, inexpensive and rewarding homeschooling can be

And includes a link to this flyer (image, partial, above.)

And, of course, there’s Stop SB 48 itself. One-stop anti-gay, anti-education, anti-fact shopping.

So, will SB 48, a law that merely is dedicated to telling the truth about the LGBT community, along with the African American community, the disabled, and other minorities, actually go into effect in January?

Was Prop 8 stopped? No.

Did Maine’s marriage equality law ever go into effect? No.

“The FAIR Education Act would ensure that LGBT people are included in instructional materials, which studies have shown is linked to greater student safety and lower rates of bullying,” writes Equality California. “The FAIR Education Act would require that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are included and recognized for their important historical contributions to the economic, political, and social development of California. Specifically, this legislation would add LGBT to the existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, which are covered by current law related to inclusion in textbooks and other instructional materials in schools. This inclusion will help to ensure that students get a fair and accurate picture of the people and events that have shaped our society, and that fair and accurate portrayals of LGBT people are no longer” excluded from classroom discussions. The FAIR Education Act will bring classroom instruction into alignment with non– discrimination laws passed by the California Legislature and adopted by the State Board of Education a decade ago, by prohibiting the adoption of discriminatory instructional materials and textbooks.”

Right now, it’s up to you. Don’t let it be up to the Tony Perkins, Randy Thomassons, and Paulo Sibajas of this world.

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News

Trump’s Scheme for Absolute Immunity From State Prosecutions Forever: Report

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Having successfully obtained delays in his federal trials and his state trial in Georgia, possibly until after the November election, Donald Trump is now seeking an “insurance policy” to protect him from any future state prosecutions if he again becomes president.

The indicted ex-president who turns 78 next month “seems convinced that if he wins another four years in the White House, state prosecutors will still be waiting for him on the other side of his term — ready to put him on trial, or even in prison, just as they are now,” Rolling Stone reports.

“To avoid such risks, the former and perhaps future president of the United States wants Congress to create a very specific insurance policy that would help keep him out of prison forever, two sources familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone. Trump vaguely alluded to this idea last week outside his New York criminal hush money trial, when he said he has urged Republican lawmakers to pass ‘laws to stop things like this.'”

Trump “has pressured” Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill to do so, describing it as imperative that he signs such a bill into law, if he again ascends to the Oval Office.”

READ MORE: Pence Defense of Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Highlights Its Ties to Violent Government Overthrow

Rolling Stone also notes, “Trump appears fixated on the idea of passing a law to give former American presidents the option of moving state or local prosecutions into a federal court instead, the two sources add.”

Trump “has hinted at a legislative push to limit his exposure to such criminal charges. In an improvised press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday, Trump said he’s been telling the Republican lawmakers who want to attend his trial and show solidarity to focus on legislation instead.”

“We have a lot of ’em. They want to come. I say, ‘Just stay back and pass lots of laws to stop things like this.’”

In 1973, while still President but under the cloud of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon said, “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.”

If Trump is elected in November, he can have his Attorney General drop any federal prosecutions he is currently facing. That may call into question, for some legal experts, the actions of the far-right justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who have delayed ruling on his immunity claim, and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.

On May 7, Judge Cannon indefinitely suspended the Espionage Act case, also known as the classified documents case, against Donald Trump.

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

Foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf this week blasted the judge:

“Judge Cannon is not, as commentators and cartoonists would have it, just working on behalf of Trump. She is actively working on behalf of the enemies of the US who have and would benefit from the national security breaches she is effectively defending and making more likely.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) earlier this month declared, “The courts are deliberately delaying justice — and effectively denying it.”

This coming week Americans may get a verdict in the New York criminal case against the ex-president. If it comes, it may be “guilty” or “not guilty,” but it could also be a hung jury, forcing another trial which also would not likely come before the election.

If Trump is elected in November, and can get his “insurance policy” legislation passed, he could possibly avoid all criminal trials for the rest of his life.

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OPINION

Pence Defense of Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Highlights Its Ties to Violent Government Overthrow

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Mike Pence is defending far-right U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, whose ethics and ability to serve on the nation’s highest court are being questioned after The New York Times revealed he had been flying a highly-controversial flag used by the January 6 insurrectionists, neo-Nazis, and a far-right neo-fascist hate group. Democrats are demanding the justice recuse himself from all cases involving Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election, and some are also demanding his resignation or impeachment.

The former Trump Vice President, in defending Alito, may have made the situation even worse for the 74-year old jurist by highlighting the flag’s ties to revolution and the overthrow of government. In his defense Pence also encourages all Americans to fly the flag: “The ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag is part or our proud heritage of Faith and Freedom and every American should be proud to fly it,” he writes.

“The Appeal to Heaven Flag” dates back centuries, to the American Revolution, but in recent years was very clearly co-opted by the radical religious right and was seen being carried by the insurrectionists during the assault on the U.S. Capitol, some of whom who chanted, “hang Mike Pence,” as he and his family were being whisked away by Secret Service on January 6:

MSNBC columnist Sarah Posner, who for years has been writing about religion and politics, on Thursday noted, “the more one knows about the background of the flag, the more chilling its presence at [Alito’s] house becomes.”

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

Posner says the flag is “an unmistakable emblem for an influential segment of Christian nationalists who claim the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, contrary to God’s will, and that believers’ spiritual warfare is essential to restoring God’s anointed leader to his rightful office.”

“It was one of numerous Christian nationalist flags and other iconography carried by Trump supporters Jan. 6 and at the Jericho March, a series of prayer rallies that were like jet fuel for the insurrection,” Posner explains. “The Jericho March featured right-wing evangelical and Catholic speakers alongside militants such as conspiracist Alex Jones, Trump’s disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Oathkeepers founder Stewart Rhodes, now serving an 18-year prison sentence for seditious conspiracy and other crimes.”

Posner adds the flag “originated in Revolutionary times as a call to take up arms against unjust rulers who ignored the pleas of their citizens.”

Pence also refers to the Revolutionary War in his defense of Justice Alito, ignoring that the Revolutionary War was won several hundred years ago, and ignoring that a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice promoting the very concept of taking up arms against rulers, unjust or otherwise, is, as constitutional scholar and University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe wrote, “close to treason.”

Pence calls the “controversy” of Justice Alito’s flag-flying “absurd and anti-historical.” He quotes English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, promoting his idea of the right to revolution, to replace a government.

In its Bombshell report Wednesday announcing the existence of a second Alito flag tied to the insurrectionists, The New York Times explains the Locke tie to the “Appeal to Heaven” flag.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

“Since its creation during the American Revolution, the flag has carried a message of defiance: The phrase ‘appeal to heaven’ comes from the 17th-century philosopher John Locke, who wrote of a responsibility to rebel, even use violence, to overthrow unjust rule. ‘It’s a paraphrase for trial by arms,’ Anthony Grafton, a historian at Princeton University, said in an interview. ‘The main point is that there’s no appeal, there’s no one else you can ask for help or a judgment.'”

Coincidentally or not, Grafton’s “trial by arms” seems to echo Trump acolyte Rudy Giuliani’s January 6 speech in which he specifically called for “trial by combat.”

Religious studies scholar Matthew Taylor, quoted in The New York Times’ report on Alito’s “Appeal to Heaven” flag, told CBS News (video below) Christian nationalist leader Dutch Sheets “was given one of these flags and he believed that he received a prophecy when he received this flag, that it was a symbol of a revolution that would take place in America, a spiritual revolution that would reconstitute the United States as a truly Christian nation.”

He adds the “Appeal to Heaven” flag has become a “very potent symbol of Christian nationalism, Christian Trumpism, opposition to abortion, opposition to gay marriage, and the desire for a more Christian America.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump’s Bronx Rally Attendance Claim Fuels Mockery as Aerial Images Show a Different Story

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OPINION

‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

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A senior U.S. district judge is denouncing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito‘s flying of two insurrection-related flags at his homes in Virginia and New Jersey, declaring the actions “improper. And dumb.”

Judge Michael Ponsor, 77, who has served on the federal bench since 1984, writes in a Friday New York Times op-ed that he has “known scores, possibly hundreds, of federal trial and appellate judges pretty well,” and “can’t think of a single one, no matter who appointed her or him, who has engaged or would engage in conduct like that.”

“You just don’t do that sort of thing, whether it may be considered over the line, or just edging up to the margin. Flying those flags was tantamount to sticking a ‘Stop the steal’ bumper sticker on your car. You just don’t do it.”

Justice Alito’s first flag scandal came late last week, when The New York Times reported an upside down U.S. flag had flown at his Virginia home jut days before Joe Biden was sworn in as President. That flag is associated with the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. As of January, more than 1200 who were there that day have been arrested and charged with crimes.

Alito blamed his wife, claiming she made the decision to fly the flag upside down, which according to the U.S. flag code should only be done to signal distress. Martha-Ann Alito, her husband claimed, had gotten into an argument with a neighbor and manifested her anger by flying the “Stop the Steal” flag.

READ MORE: ‘Investigate Now’: As Alito Scandal Grows Pressure Mounts on ‘MIA’ and ‘AWOL’ Judiciary Chair

The second flag scandal came on Wednesday, when The Times again revealed an Alito insurrection-related flag, this time at his New Jersey home, where the Alitos were flying the “Appeal to Heaven” flag which has ties both to the insurrectionists, and to extreme right Christian nationalists.

Justice Alito has not made any public comment defending his second flag.

Judge Ponsor offered up a hypothetical to counter Justice Alito’s claim his wife was to blame, in this case, an example of him presiding over a death penalty case.

“Let’s say my wife was strongly opposed to the death penalty and wished to speak out publicly against it. I’m not saying this is true, but let’s imagine it. The primary emotional current in our marriage is, of course, deep and passionate love, but right next to that is equally deep and passionate respect. We would have had a problem, and we would have needed to talk,” Ponsor explained.

“In this hypothetical situation, I hope that my wife would have held off making any public statements about capital punishment, and restrained herself from talking about the issue with me, while the trial unfolded. On the other hand, if my wife had felt strongly that she needed to espouse her viewpoint publicly, I would have had to recuse myself from presiding over the case, based on the appearance of partiality.”

READ MORE: ‘Going for the Jugular’: Legal Scholar Warns ‘Trumpers’ Want to End Major Civil Right

Note he mentions as a sitting federal judge he would have applied the same standards that jurors are expected to observe: to not discuss the case with anyone, including their spouses.

And should there have been a discussion, or if she were to air her views publicly, he would be forced to recuse himself from the case.

Justice Alito has not recused from any 2020 presidential election cases, any Trump-related cases, any insurrection-related cases.

That includes the Trump “absolute immunity” case the Supreme Court heard in April, for which they have yet to rule.

The Supreme Court “recently adopted an ethics code to ‘guide the conduct’ of the justices,” Ponsor observes. “One of its canons states that a justice should ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.’ That’s all very well. But basic ethical behavior should not rely on laws or regulations. It should be folded into a judge’s DNA. That didn’t happen here.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

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