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Entire Hitching Post Controversy Is False: ACLU Finds Chapel Falls Under Religious Exemption

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The ACLU, which fights civil rights violations across the nation, says Idaho’s Hitching Post chapel is exempt from a non-discrimination ordinance.

By now, the entire nation likely know of a little wedding chapel in the tiny town of Coeur d’Alene. Thanks to the nation’s top anti-gay law firm, The Hitching Post has become the iconic victim of “homosexual bullies” who want to destroy traditional marriage and the First Amendment – if you listen to the homophobic, ignorant, Fox News watching masses, Mike Huckabee, and the American Family Association.

LOOK: Mike Huckabee’s False, Fear-Mongering Facebook Rant About ‘Hitching Post’ Gay Marriage Story

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-gay law firm that has defended laws mandating life in prison for gay people, has spun a tall tale so ridiculous that the religious right bought it immediately.

But, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported earlier this week, the “facts” spewed by many, are lies.

LOOK: Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About The Idaho Wedding Chapel Story Is A Lie

And now, even the ACLU states the wedding chapel’s ministers, who have been marrying couples for decades and cite their faith for their refusal to marry same-sex couples, won’t have to. 

That’s what the entire argument that has captivated much of America, even managers at Walmart, has been about.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, as far as we can tell, are falsely claiming that at least one and maybe two same-sex couples have tried to get Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of The Hitching Post, to marry them.

But there’s zero proof of that, and the City of Coeur d’Alene states no one has filed a complaint. The City of Coeur d’Alene also states the Knapp’s business falls under the religious exemption clause of the non-discrimination ordinance, and wonder why the Knapps never asked.

Fortunately, the ACLU (that’s their logo at the top) has made clear this manufactured anti-gay attack by the ADF is totally false.

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho says it will not challenge a northern Idaho wedding chapel’s refusal to conduct gay marriages because the chapel falls under a religious exemption,” the AP reports. “Interim Executive Director Leo Morales said in a news conference Thursday that the Hitching Post became a religious corporation in Idaho nearly a month ago. Morales says the ACLU believes that under that exemption, the chapel does not have to comply with the city of Coeur d’Alene’s ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation because the chapel only provides religious services.”

Will the Alliance Defending Freedom withdraw its suit and apologize to the City of Coeur d’Alene, which has been flooded with 33,000 emails attacking them?

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that despite the facts, the anti-gay hate group American Family Association is milking this for all it’s worth — and it’s worth a lot.

The American Family Association – one of the biggest anti-LGBT organizations in the country with an estimated $20 million annual budget – says “homosexual bullies” are threatening to pressure the city of Coeur d’Alene to fine or arrest Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who operate the private wedding chapel.

The city of C’oeur d’Alene has asked the Knapps to withdraw the lawsuit, since they filed for religious exemption two weeks ago and would thus not be required to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

All those developments haven’t stopped American Family from making the Hitching Post case its cause célèbre, with a new “action alert” posting on its web page. “Once again, homosexual bullies have targeted Christian-owned businesses in their attempt to silence all opposition to their sinful lifestyle,’ the AFA message says.

That has resulted in a deluge of 33,000 e-mails and an estimated 300 phone calls to the office of Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer, city spokesman Keith Erickson told Hatewatch today. The e-mail messages “all read the same,” and are cut-and-paste scripted from the AFA web site, Erickson said.

One of American Family’s senior officials, Bryan Fischer, is the former director of the Idaho Values Alliance, a former AFA state affiliate. He has said homosexuality gave the world Adolf Hitler and was responsible for the extermination of six million Jews. Fischer also has called for criminalizing gay sex which, he claims, would end “gay indoctrination” public schools. He has also advocated forcing gay people into therapy to “cure’’ homosexuality which he likens to intravenous drug use.

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Georgia GOP Rep. Who Denied Tours Were Given Now at Center of Investigation Into Who Led Pre-Insurrection Capitol Tours

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One U.S. Congressman led a tour of the United States Capitol on January 5, 2021, the day before the January 6 insurrection when thousands of Trump-supporting MAGA activists, including many with weapons, breached the building that is the center of American democracy.

Representative Barry Loudermilk, Republican of Georgia, was caught in video surveillance footage leading a tour Jan. 5, according to a letter sent to him by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

“Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021,” the letter from Chairman Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney reads.

Loudermilk’s leading a tour is not in itself illegal, but it is complicated by several factors.

First, Loudermilk sits on a committee that point-blank told the House Select Committee no one led any tours on January 5.

“Republicans on the Committee on House Administration—of which you are a Member—claimed to have reviewed security footage from the days preceding January 6th and determined that ‘[t]here were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on,’” the Jan. 6 Committee tells Loudermilk. “However, the Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial.”

In fact, as attorney Luppe B. Lupen notes, Loudermilk himself filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) – who is a former federal prosecutor and former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot – urging the Ethics Committee to investigate her and 33 Democrats for claiming “without evidence” there were reconnaissance tours conducted.

RELATED:
‘I Can Confirm That’: Democrat Says GOP Member of Congress Gave Capitol Tour to Insurrectionists Day Before Attack

Second, Loudermilk was one of the Republicans texting White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the insurrection. CNN published this transcript:

Rep. Barry Loudermilk to Mark Meadows

It’s really bad up here on the hill.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk to Mark Meadows

They have breached the Capitol.

Mark Meadows to Rep. Barry Loudermilk

POTUS is engaging

Rep. Barry Loudermilk to Mark Meadows

Thanks. This doesn’t help our cause.

Third, Loudermilk has run interference for Donald Trump numerous times.

“He didn’t have anything to do with January 6. I think that’s a far-fetched idea,” Loudermilk said last year, causing Esquire magazine to literally ask if the Georgia Congressman was “insane.”

One year earlier Loudermilk “criticised the process of impeachment and drew a comparison between the current inquiry into President Donald Trump to the trial of Jesus,” the BBC reported.

Political scientist Norman Ornstein weighs in:

 

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News

Kellyanne Conway Accuses Husband George of ‘Cheating’ on Her – With Twitter

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Kellyanne Conway’s forthcoming memoir accuses her husband, George, of having an affair with a social media site, People Magazine reported on Thursday.

While some couples might feel their partner spends too much time on the internet, Conway went to the extreme.

“Heading into the school year in the fall of 2018, all four Conway children were thriving,” the senior Trump adviser wrote in the book. “They were with me full-time in D.C. My mom had moved in with us to help with my Core Four. George was spending chunks of time in New York at the firm, where he voluntarily went from partner to an of-counsel role, spending his nights alone at our house in Alpine, New Jersey, 240 miles away from D.C. The numbers don’t lie. During this time, the frequency and ferocity of his tweets accelerated. Clearly, he was cheating by tweeting. I was having a hard time competing with his new fling.”

Instead of blaming Conway for being 240 miles away from her and the family, she says that his public disagreements with the president is what appears to have damaged their marriage.

IN OTHER NEWS: Reporter booted out of Madison Cawthorn party describes ‘stunning and sudden desertion of his closest allies’

“Don’t assume that the things he says and does are part of a rational plan or strategy, because they seldom are,” Mr. Conway wrote of Trump in 2019. “Consider them as a product of his pathologies, and they make perfect sense.”

Mrs. Conway refused to address it when asked by the media, but the president was eager to do so on her behalf.

“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted,” Trump responded, threatening Mr. Conway’s manliness by calling him Mr. Kellyanne Conway. “I barely know him.”

“I had already said publicly what I’d said privately to George,” wrote Mrs. Conway in the book. “That his daily deluge of insults-by-tweet against my boss—or, as he put it sometimes, ‘the people in the White House’—violated our marriage vows to ‘love, honor, and cherish’ each other. Those vows, of course, do not mean we must agree about politics or policies or even the president. In our democracy, as in our marriage, George was free to disagree, even if it meant a complete 180 from his active support for Trump-Pence–My Wife–2016 and a whiplash change in character from privately brilliant to publicly bombastic.”

WATCH: Hearing witness turns the tables on Republican for complaining about Florida textbook that mentioned racial bias

She implies that something significant happened in 2018 to change her husband’s attitude so much toward the president that it was enough he switch sides.

“Whoop-de-do, George!” Mrs. Conway told him. “You are one of millions of people who don’t like the president. Congrats.”

“If I had a nickel for everybody in Washington who disagreed with their spouse about something that happens in this town, I wouldn’t be on this podcast. I’d be probably on a beach somewhere,” Mr. Conway said about his regular disagreements with the president in an extended Skullduggery podcast in 2018. “I don’t think she likes it. But I’ve told her, I don’t like the administration. So it’s even.”

Critics of Mr. Conway harken back to his desperation for a job with the Trump administration. But he has said that top Justice Department gig wasn’t something he wanted after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

IN OTHER NEWS: Trump’s ‘dangerous’ election lies may be about to blow up in Pennsylvania Republicans’ faces

“If I get this door prize, I’m going to be in the middle of a department he’s at war with,” Conway recalled thinking at the time. “Why would anybody want to do this?”

He went on to brag about his wife and that she was the one who got Trump elected. Prior to her, “he was in the crapper.”

By the end of 2018, Conway said he was so disgusted with the Republican Party that he was quitting.

“I don’t feel comfortable being a Republican anymore,” he said. “I think the Republican Party has become something of a personality cult.”

All of it circulated around Trump’s treatment of the Justice Department and the justice system. Mr. Conway said he was “appalled” when Trump tried to go after federal prosecutors for indicting GOP members of Congress before an election.

“To criticize the attorney general for permitting justice to be done without regard to political party is very disturbing,” he said.

Thus began the internal marriage war of the Conways.

Read the full report in People Magazine.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Second Most-Powerful Senate Republican Says Bill to Fight Domestic Terrorism After Buffalo Is Too ‘Partisan’ to Pass

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Senate Republican Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota immediately poured cold water on a just-passed House bill to help fight rising domestic terrorism, in the wake of his past weekend’s massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo by a self-avowed white nationalist and antisemite and a California church shooting deemed a “politically motivated hate incident” by local law enforcement.

The House bill passed with all Democrats and just one Republican voting for it. 203 Republicans voted against the legislation that would establish new offices across three federal agencies to help identify and combat domestic terrorism. Three of the Republicans who voted against the legislation are original co-sponsors of the bill, and many who voted for a very similar bill two years ago voted against this bill Wednesday. The final tally was 222-203.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports Senator Thune, the second-most-powerful Senate Republican, is “skeptical the domestic terrorism bill that passed the House will get 10 GOP senators,” which it would need to pass, assuming all 50 Democrats vote for it.

“He noted that it was a ‘pretty party-line vote.’ Said he had not studied the details of the bill yet but noted the outcome in the House makes him think it is ‘largely a partisan bill.'”

Republicans have a long history of blocking any attempt to curtail or get out in front of preventing domestic terrorism, despite – or because of – the vast majority of extremist-related murders are committed by right-wing extremists.

Republicans’ opposition to addressing right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism goes back at least as far as 2009, when, as Wired reported, “an analyst at the Department of Homeland Security focusing on far-right extremist groups” published this report about the danger of right-wing extremism. Outrage was so dramatic DHS was forced to retract it.

In 2016 Politico reported Congressional Republicans also in 2009 “succeeded in pushing to shut” down a DHS program, an intelligence unit “called the Extremism and Radicalization Branch.” Its mission? “Studying and monitoring sub-sections of the population for potential signs of ideological and political radicalization.”

RELATED:

GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt

 

 

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