Attorney General Greg Abbott just appealed a federal court ruling that found theÂ Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Why? For the children.
One day after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a same-sex marriage ban in Virginia, Republican Greg Abbott, running to become the next governor of Texas, is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that found the Lone Star State’s 2005 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. And he’s doing it, according to the filing, for the children.
Texas ranks at or near the bottom in children’s access to healthcare. Almost one out of five children in Texas, according to a 2011 article by the Commonwealth Fund, is uninsured. Compare that to just 3 percent of children in Massachusetts. And the United Health Foundation notes that in Texas,
Immunization coverage among children decreased by 12 percent in the past year, from 72.7 percent to 64.8 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months.
In his federal filing today, Abbott proclaims that Texas’ “recognition and encouragement of opposite-sex marriages increases the likelihood that naturally procreative couples will produce children, and that they will do so in the context of stable, lasting relationships.”
In other words, same-sex marriages cannot produce children (false) and are not stable or lasting (also false.)
“By encouraging the formation of opposite-sex marriages,” Abbott argues, “the State seeks not only to encourage procreation but also to minimize the societal costs that can result from procreation out- side of stable, lasting marriages. Because same-sex relationships do not natu- rally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does.”
Amusingly, perhaps, Abbott argues that marriage laws are almost the result of irresponsible heterosexual couples.
“The Stateâ€™s decision to regulate opposite-sex relationships through marriage flows from a recognition of the costs imposed on society when the procreative power of those relationships is used irresponsibly, not from a desire to demean or harm anyone.”
In other words, straight couples accidentally make babies — gay couples do not, and that’s a reason to restrict their civil rights, according to Abbott.
Here’s the complete ruling, thanks toÂ Equality Case Files
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
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Red states are lining up to stop Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan
Six red states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina — are suing the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden over Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year.
The Biden administration based its plan on a 2003 law. According to the Justice Department, the law, initially meant to help military members, says that Biden can reduce or erase student loan debts during times of national emergency.
The red states’ lawsuit, filed Thursday in Missouri, said that Biden’s plan was “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers.” The lawsuit adds that, since Biden recently declared the COVID-19 pandemic as over, he can’t use it as a justification for his wide-scale debt relief plan, ABC News reported.
“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said of her state’s lawsuit. “The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”
The states argued that Biden’s plan inflicted a “number of ongoing financial harms” to student loan providers and also “will ultimately disrupt revenue to state coffers.” They also argued that Biden’s plan violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a law regulating how federal agencies ensure that presidential policies are well-reasoned and explained, the aforementioned publication reported.
Despite these claims, the White House has said it will continue with its plan, confident it can survive a court challenge.
“Republican officials from these six states are standing with special interests, and fighting to stop relief for borrowers buried under mountains of debt,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said Thursday. “The president and his administration are lawfully giving working and middle class families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January.”
Alex Jones declares that he’s Hitler and a child murderer in unhinged interview
Alex Jones, the host of the conspiracy theory show InfoWars declared that he himself is Hitler and that he shot kids to death in an interview on Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan.
When Callaghan asked Jones if he felt responsible for what happened to the Sandy Hook parents, meaning the harassment and death threats they faced after Jones told his millions of viewers that they were “crisis actors” who helped fake a 2012 school shooting in order to help the government confiscate people’s guns.
Jones responded, “I went to that school. I pulled the gun out. I shot every one of myself. I mean, I’m guilty.” Later on, he repeats over and over again, “I killed them. I’ll admit it. I did it. I’m the bad guy…. I murdered those children. I did. I did it myself.”
The December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 26 people dead, including 20 children ages 6 and 7. Jones was not the shooter.
“We should bow five times a day to New Haven, Connecticut for the kids that died,” Jones said, before saying that people have been hypnotized into believing that they should give their guns to George Soros, a Jewish billionaire that anti-Semites think controls left-wing politics.
“I was actually Hitler. It wasn’t actually Hitler,” Jones said. “I did it. I was in a time machine in Germany. I did all that.”
Later in the interview, Jones said, “I was being sarcastic earlier. I didn’t kill the children. I’m not Jeffrey Dahmer. I didn’t invent hemorrhoids. I simply questioned things and they’re trying to demonize me to say questioning things is a bad deal.”
That’s a lie though. Jones himself said the shooting was fake, and he has said in court that he believed it was, though he now believes otherwise. He has also claimed that his company is broke, despite raking in millions in online sales.
“Nobody thinks you killed the kids,” Callaghan told Jones during their interview. “Nobody thinks that oh, it’s what you did. What you killed is [the parents’] ability to get over the death of children.”
Jones responded, “Everyone’s like yeah, ‘We’re gonna get him immediately.’ Like, they’ve built me up and like I’m this giant creature like all-powerful, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and none of it’s real. So it’s like it’s funny, actually. It’s actually comical. I mean, it’s, it’s actually hilarious.”
Jones is being sued for defamation by several parents of Sandy Hook victims who said they experienced hardship stemming from his claims. In court, Jones said he was tired of apologizing for his statements about the shooting being a hoax.
In August 2018, Jones and InfoWars were both banned from YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) for repeatedly violating their policies forbidding hate speech and glorifying violence. Twitter banned him a month later for “abusive behavior.”
Jones said his banning was political censorship because the mainstream is afraid of “the truth.”
Jones has claimed on InfoWars that the government is controlling the weather; Democratic politician Hillary Clinton runs a child sex ring out of a gay-owned D.C.-area pizza restaurant (something known as Pizzagate); that the transgender rights movement is a plot to allow people to have sex with their cars; and that millions of undocumented immigrants illegally voted in the 2016 presidential election (echoing a baseless claim repeated by then-President Donald Trump).
In a child custody case, Jones’ lawyer said that he is an actor whose words shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Extremist expert predicts political violence during the 2022 midterm elections
Andy Campbell, a senior editor at The Huffington Post who is the author of the book We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism has said that The Proud Boys and other far-right vigilante groups will likely commit violence during the next two upcoming elections.
In a recent interview, Campell noted the Proud Boys were founded by right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes to fight in ways that other straight-laced Republicans wouldn’t.
Campbell also noted former President Donald Trump’s ominous command for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during his final September 2020 debate against now-President Joe Biden.
Several Proud Boys members are currently on trial for sedition for their involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I think we might learn some bombshells about their connection to Trump’s inner circle,” Campbell said. “And the fact that several top-level Proud Boys have already agreed to testify against their own means we may learn a lot.”
Trump also recently said that the nation would face “problems … the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted for taking classified documents after leaving office. His comment was widely seen as a call for his followers to commit violence if he’s ever criminally charged.
“I think Trump knows that everybody is going to react violently to this,” Campbell said. “The pipeline between the rhetoric and the violence in the street is so short now. How many hours was it between the time he was complaining about the FBI going through Mar-a-Lago and somebody showing up with a gun to an FBI field office? He knows he has people waiting to mobilize.”
Campbell added, “There will absolutely be Proud Boys violence in 2024 and I think in the 2022 election, too,” noting that Arizona Republicans have called for vigilante justice around ballot boxes.
“I think they are absolutely going to show up in force for Trump’s election regardless of what happens. I think we have to realize that the violence has trickled out to everyday Americans. It’s not just extremist groups anymore. Trump pointing to the back and calling the press the enemy, Trump glorifying Jan. 6 rioters,… that has come full circle.”
He concluded, “I think the spirit of January 6 is still here. All of the groups involved are still here, and everyday Americans have joined them… It’s going to be scary.”
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