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Breaking: Michigan House Passes Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Bill



Michigan House Republicans just passed a religious “license to discriminate” bill, which would allow anyone to refuse service to anyone and claim their “religious beliefs” require them to discriminate.

The Michigan House of Representatives, led by Speaker Jase Bolger (photo, above, left, with Gov. Rick Snyder,) just passed a bill that would allow discrimination to become sanction by the state. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, akin to one that made nationwide headlines in Arizona but was vetoed, appears to merely force the government to step aside if a person’s “deeply-held religious beliefs” mandate they act, or not act, in a certain manner.

Supporters of these bills claim they allow people of faith to exercise their religion without government interference, but in reality, they are trojan horses, allowing rampant discrimination under the guise of religious observance.

For example, under the Religious Freedom law, a pharmacist could refuse to fill a doctor’s prescription for birth control, or HIV medication. An emergency room physician or EMT could refuse service to a gay person in need of immediate treatment. A school teacher could refuse to mentor the children of a same-sex couple, and a DMV clerk could refuse to give a driver’s license to a person who is divorced. 

Michigan Speaker Bolger fast-tracked the bill, which passed on partisan lines, 59-50. It now heads to the Michigan Senate, and if successful, to Republican Governor Rick Snyder. It is not known if Gov. Snyder would sign it. 

RELATED: Kansas Republican Promises To Pass Anti-Gay Marriage ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

“I support individual liberty and I support religious freedom,” Bolger said today. “I have been horrified as some have claimed that a person’s faith should only be practiced while hiding in their home or in their church.”

MLive reports that Michigan’s RFRA is “modeled after a federal version that the Supreme Court has said should not apply to states.”

Editor’s note 12.07.14 3:33 PM EST: Without noting the change, (Google cache of original article, screenshot should that change,) MLive’s article now reads: 

The Michigan RFRA, modeled after a federal version that the Supreme Court has ruled does not apply to states, would establish a two-part balancing test for legal challenges, according to Bolger.

“The idea that we need to ‘restore’ religious freedom — rights that are already enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — is a farce created by conservative lawmakers for the sole purpose of appeasing their far-right donors and the religious-right,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement.

Earlier today a Michigan House committee failed to pass an LGBT non-discrimination bill after a local anti-gay pastor delivered scathing testimony. 

“No one from the LGBT community has ever had fire hoses turned on them by the police department, they have never had to drink out of an LGBT water fountain,” Stacy Swimp told the committee. “There is no record of LGBT — homosexuals, lesbians being forced to sit at the back of the bus in an LGBT section.”

Some responses via Twitter:


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‘The President Is the Smoking Gun’: Democratic Congresswoman Reminds Republicans Trump Confessed On National TV



U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal delivered what may be the most convincing argument to Republicans yet on why they should vote to impeach President Donald Trump during Wednesday night’s impeachment articles markup debate.

“The president is the smoking gun,” the Democratic Congresswoman told her fellow Judiciary Committee members, as NBC News reports.

“This is not hearsay. The president was the first and best witness in this case. The president admitted to his wrongdoing and corrupt intent on national television. The president is the smoking gun.”

Noting that the “facts are clear,” Rep. Jayapal made her case, saying “Donald Trump abused the power of the office of the presidency to pursue his own personal political gain, and leveraged critically needed, congressionally approved military aid to coerce a fragile foreign ally to interfere in our elections.”

Trump’s “obstruction of Congress and blanket directive to deny us even a single witness, a single document, is unprecedented, and yet, in spite of that obstruction, multiple patriots came forward and provided damning corroborating testimony.”

“President Trump has solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again. The smoking gun is already reloaded. And whether or not it gets fired, that’s up to us.”

Full video:


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Trump Has Pastor Who Says Jews Are Going to Hell Deliver a Speech at White House Hanukkah Celebration



Just days after American Jewish organizations criticized President Donald Trump’s anti-Semitic remarks in a speech he delivered before an American Jewish organization President Donald Trump added insult to injury Wednesday. At an early White House Hanukkah celebration the President asked an evangelical Southern Baptist pastor who believes Jewish people are going to hell to deliver remarks.

Dr. Robert Jeffress is among the closest of Trump’s Evangelical Christian allies. A Fox News contributor, Jeffress regularly lauds Trump on the conservative cable channel while verbally obliterating the president’s critics.

As The New York Times has documented, Jeffress indeed believes Jews will not be saved from eternal damnation.

In a now infamous 2011 interview, Dr. Jeffress said that “every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell,” and, “Judaism, you can’t be saved being a Jew.” He also included LGBTQ people in those remarks.

Jeffress sits on President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and is a member of his White House Faith Initiative.

On Wednesday Trump introduced Jeffress as someone who talks “really great about me.”

Also present during Wednesday’s event were Trump defender, attorney Alan Dershowitz, New England Patriots owner Robert Craft, who was arrested earlier this year on a solicitation charge, and John Hagee, a pastor who has called Hitler a “half breed Jew” and a “hunter” who was fulfilling God’s will.

Here is the full video of today’s event.




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‘Flashback Much?’: Senator Mocked for Saying IG Report Made Him Feel Like He Had ‘Dropped Acid’



“About 25 percent of the way through it I thought I dropped acid. It’s surreal.”

A prominent Republican Senator is getting his own special due process on social media after using his precious time to question U.S. Dept. of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz by saying reading the 434 page report on the FBI’s Russia investigation was like dropping acid.

U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) admitted to Horowitz on Wednesday that he had not finished reading the lengthy document but was about 70 percent done. He also appeared to be trying to make the infractions about FISA warrants committed by FBI agents to be seen as unprecedented and historically offensive, in an attempt to serve President Donald Trump by damaging the reputation of the FBI.

“About 15 percent of the way through it made me want to heave,” Sen. Kennedy announced. “About 25 percent of the way through it I thought I dropped acid. It’s surreal.”

Someone can be heard laughing in the background.

Kennedy chose to focus on the misconduct by the FBI agents instead of on the actual investigation, which the Inspector General found to be warranted: that is, opening up the Russia probe to determine not only how Putin and his cronies attacked the U.S. election but to what extent any Trump campaign officials may have been involved.

The Louisiana Republican Senator was not done. He made clear someone would have to pay for the misdeeds.

Apparently it would not matter to Kennedy who.

“I hope you’ll tell your colleagues at the FBI that we appreciate their work, but this has got to be fixed. At minimum someone’s got to be fired,” he announced.

Many were perplexed and shared their concerns about Sen. Kennedy on social media.


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