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Breaking: Indiana Committee Passes Bill Allowing Voters To Ban Same-Sex Marriage

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After hearing over four hours of explanation and testimony, a Republican-led Indiana House committee has just advanced a bill that would place before voters the question of whether or not to ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution. The one-sided ballot initiative would not allow voters to allow same-sex couples to marry, however. The full Indiana House is expected to vote on the legislation soon.

The House Elections and Apportionment Committee, by a vote of 9-3, voted to allow the full House to vote on the legislation. Committee Chairman Rep. Milo Smith, a Republican, rammed through and voted for the bill. He was asked to delay the vote and refused. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Eric Turner, shown above explaining the legislation to the committee today.

The controversial bill is likely unconstitutional, as similar bans against same-sex marriage have been struck down by federal judges across the nation, most recently in Utah, and by state legislatures, as in Hawaii.

The anti-gay testimony exclusively from the professional, anti-gay evangelical-funded religious right, including attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Most of those who spoke in support of the legislation were not from Indiana. It was not disclosed if they were paid or compensated for their testimony or reimbursed for their expenses.

JacobusOthers included Dr. Brent Jacobus, who claimed he owns a hospital. Jacobus (image, right,) also claimed that same-sex marriage would harm his business, and strongly suggested that heterosexuals live longer than homosexuals.

Rev. Ron Johnson was another anti-gay testifier. Last week, Johnson warned same-sex marriage would lead to “sexual anarchy.” Today he warned of “government thought police” and “sexual sin.” Johnson warned that same-sex marriage would take away the right of the faithful to discriminate against gay people.

Many who testified also falsely claimed that same-sex marriage deprives children of a mother and a father — which they claimed, through various statements from quasi-scientific studies or misleading and cherry-picked statements from pro-equality people, like Barack Obama, harms children.

“A man cannot be a mother, and a woman cannot be a father,” one said.

Rev. Andrew Hunt somehow tried to make the argument that same-sex marriage infringes on his rights as an African-American because of slavery, but also claiming that LGBT rights are not civil rights. “Which one of these things from the civil rights era is analjegous [sic] to the gay marriage movement?”

Many also claimed that if Indiana bans same-sex marriage in its constitution, “nothing will change,” and yet also claimed the very institution of marriage is at stake.

But the opponents of the discriminatory legislation far outweighed the proponents, and the committee was forced to extend the time for testimony to accommodate all those who showed up to today’s hearing.

Maria Rose of Cummins Engineering (NYSE:CMI), a $17.3 billion international corporation, delivered a passionate plea to vote down the legislation, stating that times have changed in the past decade — Indiana has been debating this amendment for that long.

“People come to Cummins because of our core values… Our board of directors is fully supportive” of same-sex marriage.

Rose said that Cummins has lost employees because of the anti-gay laws in Indiana.

Carol Trexler, diagnosed with lung cancer, discussed her unsanctioned marriage to another woman, and what their lives are like. “People understand what marriage means. They don’t understand what Donna and I are… Because we were not married Donna could not take medical leave to care for me.”

Trexler came to today’s hearing after having chemo therapy this morning. “This issue is that important to me.” She talked about all the legal forms they’ve had to fill out to protect themselves, expensive forms that many same-sex couples cannot afford. “Every form I filled out was another reminder that we were treated differently.” “I want to be sure that Donna will be with me at the end and that she will have the same rights of a surviving spouse.” “We want to be have the same protections as our married neighbors, the protections that this amendment would prohibit under law.” “This issue is that important to me”

Another woman who said she is straight and married, and opposed to banning same-sex marriage asked, “Who voted on my marriage rights?,” and added, “I’m a citizen of the United States and we are not a theocracy.”

Elizabeth Reese lamented to lawmakers, “we should be quoting the constitution instead of referencing the Bible.”

Henry Fernandez told the committee that he and his partner have been together for 19 years, and have been raising twins for 13 years. When they moved into the same neighborhood as Speaker Bosma lives, Fernandez said, “divorce rates did not go up, no neighbors moved, property values did not drop…we are not a threat to any family in our neighborhood.”

“A family’s love should not be subjected to a legislative vote or a statewide referendum,” Fernandez added.

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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

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“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.

Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.

“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”

She begins her dissent by explaining the case:

“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”

“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part

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Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.

A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.

“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”

But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:

 

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Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference

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A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.

Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.

“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”

 

 

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