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Distancing Itself From ENDA’s Religious Exemptions, HRC Calls For LGBT Civil Rights Bill

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Enduring 24 hours of attacks from many in the the LGBT community after eight LGBT legal and civil rights groups withdrew support for ENDA, HRC lays out its vision for the future.

The Human Rights Campaign has never been beloved by the entirety of the LGBT community — no organization has. But despite its boasts of 1.5 million members, HRC is often lambasted by many in the community it serves, and any opportunity to chastise the 34-year old group is rarely overlooked.

But HRC often is its own worst enemy, from finding messaging, transparency, and partnering with grassroots, state, and local groups challenging, to its less than equal, and at times ugly treatment of the transgender community, to recent claims that it used models hired by a PR agency to represent itself at a gay pride parade.

This week has been no picnic for HRC either. Propelled by the twists in the Hobby Lobby decision, Tuesday morning the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced it was withdrawing support for ENDA over the legislation’s extensive (some might say, extreme) carve outs for the religious community. A few short hours later, a coalition of five LGBT legal and civil rights groups announced they too were dropping support of ENDA for the same reason. And later, two more groups announced they were jumping off the ENDA bandwagon. In total, thanks to the Supreme Court’s twisted Hobby Lobby ruling, eight LGBT orgs announced they were dumping ENDA.

But HRC stood tall and steadfast, reiterating the support they announced in June, and adding, “HRC supports ENDA because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people.” The religious “protections” were not mentioned.

Wednesday was a new day, and in a rare, fast move that afternoon the nation’s largest LGBT organization published an op-ed by President Chad Griffin at Buzzfeed and republished it on its own blog. 

Griffin, the Arkansas native behind the successful demise of California’s Prop 8, called for continued support of ENDA, but with the religious carve outs minimized. Even better, Griffin laid out what for HRC seems like a new vision for equality — one fought for by many progressives in the LGBT community who until now had been shut out of the mainstream.

Griffin wrote that “regardless of whether or not ENDA passes in this session of Congress, it is time for the LGBT movement to throw its weight behind a fully comprehensive LGBT civil rights bill. A bill that, at long last, would bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all core civil rights categories—including housing, public accommodations, credit, education and, if ENDA fails to pass, in employment. This is a visionary idea that Congresswoman Bella Abzug brought to Congress in 1974. Its time has come.”

And he reiterated his support of some form of ENDA.

“HRC supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for a very simple reason,” Griffin stated. “It will guarantee millions of LGBT people in all 50 states explicit, reliable protections from discrimination in the workplace. We call on our allies in Congress to improve this bill’s overly broad religious exemption. A strong ENDA is worth fighting for because we cannot ignore the urgent need of countless LGBT people who do not have the luxury of waiting for these protections.”

And he observes, “we also can’t ignore that somewhere in between the introduction of this version of ENDA and today, a revolution has happened in the fight for LGBT equality.”

We’re at one of those moments you read about in the history books, and it turns up everywhere you look. From the tireless advocate-President who sits at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office every day, to the transgender teenager in the heart of Mississippi who, today, can look with hope to Laverne Cox on TV. Public opinion is rocketing forward toward support for equality. A new pro-equality court ruling is issued almost every day. Straight Americans in the heartland today weep supportive tears at the weddings of their gay and lesbian neighbors. Together we have all worked to shift the ground beneath our feet, and an overwhelming national sense has emerged that the tide of history is turning toward full equality for all.

Griffin’s vision for the LGBT community can be summed up in his conclusion.

“In other words, it’s time for full LGBT civil rights to come out of the closet. We all agree that, at the end of the day, full federal equality is the only acceptable option, nothing more, nothing less. The campaign for a strong ENDA continues with more urgency than ever before, but we’ve got to dig in for the fight of our lives.”

Many disagree with HRC on ENDA, believing that the legislation could be used as a license to discriminate thanks to its extreme religious “protections,” especially after the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, and its subsequent actions that revealed claims of a “narrow” ruling were false.

 

 Image by Cary Lee via Flickr

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder

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In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

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Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports

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Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

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