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Florida Attorney General Suggests Gays Don’t Have ‘Stable And Enduring Family Units’

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Yesterday, Attorney General Pam Bondi came under fire for her defense of Florida‘s ban on same-sex marriage, which claimed that recognizing out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would “impose significant public harm” and play havoc with existing marriage laws in the Sunshine State.

Those four words, “impose significant public harm,” earned Bondi, a 48-year old Tea Party Republican who has been married three times, scorn and rebuke from several Florida LGBT organizations and countless news outlets, including The New Civil Rights Movement.

LOOK: Gay Marriage Would ‘Impose Significant Public Harm’ Says Attorney General Married Three Times

But further examination of the same court filing, which claims same-sex marriage will “impose significant public harm” shows Bondi also suggests that same-sex couples don’t create stable or enduring homes.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that “[l]ost in the uproar was another statement, buried deeper in the response, that sounded more potentially inflammatory. In a section on marriage’s historical definition, Bondi seemed to argue that unions between men and women produce more favorable environments for children.” That is, of course, a claim no reputable scientific study has found to be true. 

LOOK: Gay Dads’ Brains Work Like Mom And Dad Combined

“Florida’s marriage laws,” Bondi wrote in the court filing (PDF), “have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society’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.”

The procreation argument is not a valid legal argument to deny marriage. But, regardless, many same-sex couples do raise their own biological children — 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 “mothers and fathers who produced them” in non-stable and non-enduring family units. 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 “the inclusion of one group promotes a legitimate governmental purpose, and the addition of other groups would not.”

Here’s Bondi’s argument, filed in the combined case of Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott, that recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state would “impose significant public harm”:

“The 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 Florida’s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm.”

Of course, it’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 — delays — 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 — and equal rights — 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 bisexual Floridians have been supporting the marriages of heterosexual couples for centuries. It’s time they were allowed to enter into the institution.

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ONLY COLLUSION ONLY OBSTRUCTION

‘Jurors Meet With Defendant’: Anger Grows Over Report GOP Senators Met With Trump to Map Out ‘Rigged’ Impeachment Trial

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News from The Washington Post that top White House officials held a clandestine meeting Thursday with Republican Senators to map out a plan to limit the Senate impeachment trial while President Trump has been secretly “courting” Senate Republicans in an effort to gauge and gain their loyalty has many angered and alarmed.

The House is expected to pass articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, which would require the Senate to hold an impartial trial, over which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would preside. It very much is a legal proceeding with historic consequences for the future of America’s democracy.

Republicans appear to not have grasped this fact, not the gravity of their constitutional duties.

Many Americans are growing angered as a result. Some are calling the Senate impeachment trial “rigged” before it has even begun. Others are pointing out that this is akin to jurors meeting with the “defendant to discuss how long they think they have to let the trial go on.”

“Juries don’t collude with the accused criminals they’re judging,” one person on Twitter said. “Only collusion, only obstruction,” said another.

Take a look at the responses:

Meanwhile, the fact that the target of an investigation is conspiring with the very public servants who will serve as jurors on his trial is shocking to some.


 
Image by The White House via Flickr 

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT

White House Secretly Meeting With Republicans to Limit Impeachment Trial as President Courts GOP Senators

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The Trump White House is in secret  talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.

“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks,” The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.

Among the Republican Senators who clandestinely met with top Trump White House advisors are: Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Neely Kennedy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). The six strong Trump supporters met, according to the Post, “with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.”

Earlier Thursday Politico reported “Trump cozies up to GOP during impeachment,”noting the President has been “aggressively courting Senate Republicans” including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, both seen as potentially dangerous to Trump should the Senate hold an impeachment trial.

In a separate Politico article Politico suggests the White House attempted to convince the majority-Republican Senate to immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment and hold no trial.

Senators “informed the White House that there simply aren’t the votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial; it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor.”

The Washington Post echoed that reporting, explaining that “even a two-week trial could run counter to what Trump has expressed privately. The president is ‘miserable’ about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away.”

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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory

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Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.

Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.

(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)

Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”

That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.

Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”

“I have,” Holmes replied.

“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.

“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.

Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.

“The black ledger is credible?”

“Yes,” Holmes again replied.

Nunes did not look pleased.

“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”

“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”

Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).

The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.

It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.

Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.

Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.

 

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