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Breaking: Uganda ‘Jail The Gays’ Law Struck Down On Procedural Grounds (Video)

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The Constitutional Court of Uganda has just struck down its controversial “Jail the Gays” law — but only on procedural grounds.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, created in 2009 as a bill that mandated the death penalty for homosexual acts, has been struck down by Uganda’s Constitutional Court. The Anti-Homosexuality Act Of 2014, signed  into law by President Yoweri Museveni in February, was ruled invalid as the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, had pushed a vote on the bill in December without a required quorum.

“In the five months since Uganda adopted the law, which imposes a sentence of up to life in prison for homosexuality and criminalizes advocating LGBT rights, LGBT Ugandans have lived under the constant threat of arrest or mob violence,” Buzzfeed’s J. Lester Feder reports. “The court’s decision paves the way for organizations to again begin operating openly and to allow LGBT people to resume normal lives. But that change will come slowly — homosexuality remains a crime in Uganda under a provision of the penal code on the books before the Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed last December, and there is a chance of a surge in anti-LGBT violence in reaction to today’s ruling.”

The decision could also significantly ease international pressure on President Yoweri Museveni, who has been under pressure from the United States, the World Bank, and other important donors to get rid of the law or at least substantially weaken it through enforcement.

The court was ruling on a petition brought by a group of 10 human rights activists, legal scholars, and opposition politicians. The court did not rule on the underlying question of whether anti-LGBT laws violate basic human rights, and so the pre-existing sodomy code, which was imposed when Uganda was a British colony, remains in place. Two men are currently awaiting trial under this provision.

Since the vote last year, there has a 20-fold increase in incidents of anti-LGBT harassment, including blackmail, eviction, and torture, according to a study by Sexual Minorities Uganda. The country’s largest human rights organization, the Refugee Law Project, has also had many of its activities shut down by the government, which alleges it was involved in “promoting homosexuality.”

Once the bill was signed into law, authorities wasted no time arresting Ugandans on charges of having sex, and landlords evicted tenants they thought might be gay.

The U.S. religious right is strongly believed to have been the catalyst for the law, and many point to anti-gay hate group leader Pastor Scott Lively, who traveled in Uganda just before MP David Bahati introduced the original 2009 bill. Bahati’s close relationship with Ugandan religious leader Pastor Martin SSempa strengthened the country’s desire for the bill. “This is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil,” Bahati said when the bill passed last year.

Others point to the infamous Washington, D.C. C Street group, known as “The Family,” of which Bahati was a member, for pushing the bill.

Still others have taken to task U.S. evangelical leaders including Pastor Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and hate group head Tony Perkins for their position and association with the bill.

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Related:

Tony Perkins: Uganda President ‘Leading His Nation’ With ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

Scott Lively: Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s Expected Passage A ‘Huge Blessing’

Help Stop Evangelicals Exporting Homophobia And Sexism To Uganda

American Family Association Leader Praises Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law

 

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OPINION

Former Trump Official Claims Biden Choosing First Black Woman Justice Bars ‘Hispanics, Asians and Gays’

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A highly-controversial former Trump official is claiming President Joe Biden’s promise to seat the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court is discriminatory.

Richard Grenell, who served as Trump’s Acting Director of National Intelligence, and as Trump’s  Ambassador to Germany, was seen by at least one lawmaker in Berlin as a “biased propaganda machine.” On Thursday Grenell attacked President Biden by attacking another Democrat, former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart.

Lockhart served as President Bill Clinton’s White House Press Secretary. On Thursday he tweeted, “Ahead of the midterms, I look forward to watching every Republican Senator oppose the first black woman to the Supreme Court.”

Earlier in the day Grenell posted a similar tweet:

Conservatives, including on the far right which Grenell has been accused of having ties to, have been falsely claiming it’s “racist” to choose a Supreme Court Justice who is Black and a woman.

Those same conservatives are apparently ignorant of the fact that smart presidents, like smart managers, create a Supreme Court team. There’s no such things as “the most qualified,” nor is there any way, any right way, to measure. Presidents, smart presidents, want justices who are young so they can have a decades-long impact on the nation and its future. They want great minds who are able to work behind the scenes to win over their colleagues. And, unlike Republicans, they want justices who have the lived experiences of more and more Americans –because the law is not stagnant, despite what the originalists and textualists falsely claim.

Here’s Grenell, attacking President Biden through Lockhart:

Some responses to Grenell’s tweet:

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Christian Nationalist Home-Schooling Podcaster Running for Congress to Bring ‘The Name of God’ Back Into Politics

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Early in 2021, Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a bid for U.S. Congress in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. Outraged by incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, St. John decided to try and unseat her in the GOP primary by appealing to MAGA voters, denouncing public libraries as “evil organizations,” and pledging to “be a mom for America.”

Earlier this month, St. John appeared on the “Stand Up For The Truth” podcast, where she sounded Seven Mountains and Christian nationalist themes that have been central to her campaign, describing politics as “a spiritual battle” and vowing to “bring back the name of God into the political sphere.”

“[Politics is] in my blood,” St. John said. “And I think it should be in the blood of every Christ follower. Politics determined policy, and it is policy that has murdered 63 million of our unborn in this country. It is policy that has gotten us into the mess that we are in as a nation, and we need wise people and godly people to ascend to positions of authority in the nation.”

“What we’ve observed over years and years and years is a church deciding to pull itself out of arguably one of the most important aspects of the culture, which is determining our laws and determining the policy that governs the people here,” she continued. “Christians belong in every sphere of influence. We have a command to be strong and courageous. [God] did not say, ‘Be strong and courageous except for in the political sphere, stay out of that one.’ No, we belong in every sphere of influence. We belong in medicine. We belong in entertainment. We belong in education. And we belong in politics.”

“[Christians] should be canvassing, they should be helping clean up the voter rolls, they should be running for positions of authority in every sphere of influence,” St. John added. “We bring back the name of Jesus, we bring back the name of God into the political sphere and we say out loud, ‘What is the biggest problem in our country? We have turned away from God.’”

“This is a spiritual battle,” St. John declared. “We know that we serve the Lord of Heaven’s armies. We serve the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the world into being. He can do anything. And I think he’s calling his people back out of hiding and out of the shadows and into the battle and onto the battlefield.”

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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'ENGAGED IN A GREAT CIVIL WAR'

Justice Breyer’s Decision to Quote Gettysburg Address and ‘Civil War’ in Retirement Remarks ‘Not by Accident’: Experts

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During his unscripted remarks with President Joe Biden at a White House event Thursday to announce his retirement, Justice Stephen Breyer made very specific mention of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, quoting from the iconic president’s famous Civil War-era speech (video below.)

Bloomberg White House reporter Jennnifer Epstein observed the Justice, who will have served for 28 years on the nation’s highest court, held up a copy of the Constitution at one point as he was speaking.

“Please listen carefully,” NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss urged. “Not by accident did Justice Breyer, in appearance with President Biden, quote Lincoln saying that the nation was ‘engaged in a great Civil War’ and remind us that the American system is always an experiment whose survival must never be taken for granted.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal calls Breyer’s remarks “brilliant,” and also notes his civil war remarks were not by accident.

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan observed, “Justice Breyer seems to be … pointedly talking about threats facing the country. and about how future generations will determine and see whether this experiment succeeds.”

The LA Times’ White House reporter Eli Stokols says Justice Breyer was “suggesting America’s still engaged in ‘a civil war’ but expressing optimism that the democratic experiment will endure.”

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