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GOP Dirty Politics Moving Constitutional Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Forward



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Perhaps the phrase “win at any cost” appears in some Indiana GOP memo about passing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Because at every step of the way, Republican political leaders have done just that.

Despite the fact that the legislation known as HJR3 — which would have voters decide if they want a ban on marriage equality written into their state constitution — is more than likely unconstitutional and would be overturned by a federal court, as Oklahoma and Utah recently saw, costing the state exorbitant legal fees and even jobs, Indiana Republicans have forged full-steam ahead.

First, Republican Speaker of the Indiana House Brian Bosma pulled the bill, after over three hours of testimony before the House Judiciary committee, because the votes just weren’t there to pass it onto the floor of the full House. Bosma gave it to a committee far more receptive to the anti-gay legislation, which indeed did pass it, as did the full House.

Republican Governor Mike Pence (image)– who, as US Congressman Mike Pence could boast one of the most anti-gay records of his peers — has been offering very vocal support of the legislation, reportedly for months.

And actually, Pence has used his political positions — as a US Congressman and now as a Governor, to try to kill equality for LGBT people. “Marriage must be defended in the Congress, in the courts, and if need be in the Constitution of the United States,” Rep. Pence said in 2010, while speaking at the virulently anti-gay CPAC.

Earlier that year, in a written response to a constituent’s letter about same-sex marriage, Rep. Pence wrote that the “debate is not about discrimination.”

“I believe that if someone chooses another lifestyle than I have chosen, that is their right in a free society,” Pence continued. “But tolerance does not require that we permit our courts to redefine an institution upon which our society is built. Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”

The traditional two-parent family is the nucleus of our civilization. Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that throughout history, societal collapse was always brought about by the deterioration of marriage and family. Sociologists tell us that children raised by married parents experience lower rates of premarital childbearing, illicit drug use, arrests, health, emotional and behavioral problems, school dropout rates and poverty. Moreover, a five-year study released in 1998 found that continuously married husbands and wives experience significantly better emotional health and less depression than people of other marital status.

Marriage was ordained by God, instituted among men; it is the glue that binds the American family, and the safest harbor in which to raise children. That is why it is so important to put in that most sacred of documents an affirmation of the foundation of our society – traditional marriage.

[Bolding ours]

So much for separation of Church and State.

Now, Pence has stated that he wants the controversial, discriminatory, and vindictive language that the Indiana House removed — which would have prohibited civil unions or even domestic partnerships from ever being sanctioned — to be added back in, and he wants the Senate to vote for and pass the bill. Pence has demanded that the bill be passed and included on this November’s ballot.

So Senate Republican President Pro Tempore David Long, following his counterpart in the House’s lead, has switched the anti-gay bill to the committee he chairs, the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee, so he can ensure it moves to the full Senate for a vote, in the form Gov. Pence requires.

Despite any initial optimism equality supporters may have had over the past few days, that should now be discounted.

In Indiana’s game of anti-gay dirty politics, winning at any cost is the name of there game.




Video and screenshot: WISH-TV, Hat tip: LGBTQ Nation

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



“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



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



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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