Yesterday, Attorney GeneralÂ Pam BondiÂ came under fire for her defense ofÂ Floridaâ€˜s ban on same-sex marriage, which claimed that recognizing out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would â€œimpose significant public harmâ€ and play havoc with existing marriage laws in the Sunshine State.
Those four words, â€œimpose significant public harm,â€ earned Bondi, a 48-year oldÂ Tea Party Republican who has been married three times,Â scorn and rebuke fromÂ several FloridaÂ LGBT organizationsÂ and countless news outlets, includingÂ The New Civil Rights Movement.
But further examination of the same court filing, which claims same-sex marriage will â€œimpose significant public harmâ€ shows Bondi also suggests that same-sex couples donâ€™t create stable or enduring homes.
TheÂ Tampa Bay TimesÂ reportsÂ that â€œ[l]ost in the uproar was another statement, buried deeper in the response, that sounded more potentially inflammatory. In a section on marriageâ€™s historical definition, Bondi seemed to argue that unions between men and women produce more favorable environments for children.â€ That is, of course, a claim no reputable scientific study has found to be true.Â
â€œFloridaâ€™s marriage laws,â€ Bondi wrote in the court filing (PDF), â€œhave a close, direct, and rational relationship to societyâ€™s legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units.â€
The procreation argument is not a valid legal argument to deny marriage. But, regardless, many same-sex couples do raise their own biological children â€” at least of one of the members of the couple. Many gay same-sex couples raise the children one of the fathers may have had in a previous marriage, for instance. Many lesbian same-sex couples raise the children one of the mothers may have had in a previous marriage, too. And same-sex parents also adopt the children sometimes abandoned by those â€œmothers and fathers who produced themâ€ in non-stable and non-enduring family units.Â There are, of course, other methods for couples to conceive.
Bondi also argues that excluding same-sex couples from marriage might promote a legitimate governmental purpose.
The plaintiffs simply are wrong to argue that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the definition of marriage must further a legitimate state interest. A classification will be upheld where â€œthe inclusion of one group promotes a legitimate governmental purpose, and the addition of other groups would not.â€
Hereâ€™s Bondiâ€™s argument, filed in the combined case ofÂ Brenner v. ScottÂ andÂ Grimsley v. Scott, that recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state would â€œimpose significant public harmâ€:
â€œThe Court should also deny the preliminary injunction motions because there is no likelihood of success on the merits, there is no immediacy requiring a preliminary injunction and disrupting Floridaâ€™s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm.â€
Of course, itâ€™s arguable there is not one single truth in that statement. Every same-sex marriage case since the supreme Court ruled on DOMA less than a year ago has been won by those seeking equality, and even federal judges have written that imposing stays â€” delays â€” on those rulings would cause harm. Worse, the fact that an entire class of people have been denied their rights for generations far outweighs whatever administrative changes the State of Florida might need to perform. And whatever financial costs the State incurs as a result of extending marriage â€” and equal rights â€” to same-sex couples is outweighed by the fact that same-sex couples are legal tax-paying citizens and have paid into that system AG Bondi wants to exclude them from now accessing. In short, gays lesbian, and bisexualÂ Floridians have been supporting the marriages of heterosexual couples for centuries. Itâ€™s time they were allowed to enter into the institution.
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‘Could Have Killed One of Our Colleagues’: Former Trump Official Rips Him for Hiding Positive COVID Test
Former Trump White House official Alyssa Farah on Wednesday shredded her one-time boss for concealing his positive test for the novel coronavirus last fall.
Appearing on CNN, Farah told Jake Tapper that she was stunned to learn from former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows that Trump had tested positive for the virus days ahead of his first debate with President Joe Biden and decided against informing his staff members.
“Very few things shock me and this revelation shocked me,” she said.
Farah went on to explain that she had not been informed of Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, and accused the former president of recklessly endangering his own staff members.
“This demonstrates a flagrant lack of regard for public health and for the well-being of others,” she said. “At this time in the White House, I had staffers who were pregnant. I had one who is a multi-time cancer survivor. Plenty of people in the West Wing over 65. We could have killed one of our colleagues and instead they decided to not tell anyone, putting every one of us at risk.”
Watch the video below.
Mark Meadows Retweets Trump’s Denial He Tested Positive for COVID Before Debate – a Fact That Appears in Meadows’ Book
Less than 24 hours after former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared to agree to cooperate with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, news broke that The Guardian had obtained a copy of his new book, and from it the revelation that three days before appearing on stage with Joe Biden at the Sept. 26 presidential debate the then-president, Donald Trump, had tested positive for coronavirus.
Never mind that a second test showed a negative result – one Harvard epidemiologist says that merely meant Trump was not yet infectious but he was, by the debate, “blazing positive” but decided to go on a potentially infect countless others. That act, the noted disease specialist and professors says, “was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision.”
Trump, as usual, especially in recent days, issued a quick statement via his spokesperson, this time denying the revelation in Meadows’ book, a revelation The Washington Post Wednesday afternoon reported it had confirmed with two other former Trump aides.
What is stunning is that, as Politico National Political Correspondent Meridith McGraw notes, Meadows himself retweeted Trump’s statement of denial:
Mark Meadows retweeted Trump’s denial pic.twitter.com/hUxZRL2OTP
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) December 1, 2021
The Washington Post also notes that at least six people close to Trump tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the debate, including Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, and Kayleigh McEnany.
“Trump on Wednesday was furious that Meadows revealed the anecdote in his forthcoming book and that it was published via the liberal-leaning Guardian website, according to a person familiar with the former president’s reaction, who requested anonymity to reveal a private conversation,” the Post adds. “Meadows through an emissary has offered to put out a statement ‘clarifying things,’ but that offer was rejected, the person said.”
Which is likely why he decided to retweet Trump’s statement.
Writer and political activist Don Winslow has another take on the day’s events:
Notice how Donald Trump’s three line statement today denying the Covid-test story does NOT mention Mark Meadows even though the claim ORIGINATES in Meadows upcoming book.
In EVERY other case Trump attacks the person by name + denigrates them.
Trump and Meadows are in lock step.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) December 1, 2021
Watch: Stacey Abrams Announces She’s Running for Governor of Georgia
Stacey Abrams has just announced she is running for governor of Georgia. Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for more than six years ran for governor in 2018, losing by a slim margin to then Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a race many saw as tainted by his voter suppression actions.
Abrams went on to become a highly-effective voting rights advocate and activist, and many credit her with helping elect Joe Biden president by helping him win the state by registering an estimated 800,000 more voters.
I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power. #gapol
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) December 1, 2021
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