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Sally Kern’s Bill Banning State Employees From Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Advances

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Two bills that effectively ban the State of Oklahoma from issuing marriage licenses just passed a House committee.

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern last month filed three anti-gay bills that targeted same-sex marriage, protected conversion therapy, and provided a license to discriminate against LGBT people. Kern withdrew her pro-discrimination bill, but the other two are still in play.

On Tuesday, Kern’s anti-gay marriage bill, the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act, successfully passed the House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee by a 5-3 vote. It now is headed to the full House.

The bill, HB 1599, makes it illegal for any state employee to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The punishment is, effectively, firing. 

“No employee of this state and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state,” the bill reads. “No taxes or public funds of this state shall be spent enforcing any court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” it adds. 

LOOK: GOP State Rep. Sally Kern Announces Trifecta Of Anti-Gay Legislation

Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson frames Kern’s bill this way: “if they do their job, they will lose their job.”

Another anti-gay marriage bill passed the Oklahoma House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee yesterday also.

Rep. Todd Russ’s bill, HB 1125, makes the issuance of marriage licenses to any couple – regardless of gender – by the State of Oklahoma effectively impossible.

Were Rep. Russ’s bill to become law, Oklahoma would issue marriage certificates, but not licenses, effectively relegating marriage to a religious institution without any legal protections, except possibly common law protections.

“The Supreme Court and the Federal Government try to pretty much cram down our throat what they say we have to believe in Oklahoma,” Russ says, explaining the reason for his legislation.

Stevenson, via a press release, says the bills are “a mean-spirited distraction” from Oklahoma’s looming $600 million budget deficit and part of “a vindictive agenda.”

 

Image via Flickr

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SURE

Louie Gohmert Gave $5500 to a Homophobic Holocaust-Denying Preacher — Then Claimed It Was an Accident

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) donated $5,500 to virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic pastor Steve Anderson — and when caught, claimed the whole thing was an unfortunate mixup.

According to William Bredderman, “Team Gohmert claims it hired a Christian singer named Steve Amerson from Granada HIlls, California, but accidentally reported to the Federal Election Commission that the cash went to the Tempe, Arizona address of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, led by the infamous Pastor Steve Anderson.”

Anderson, whose church is part of the New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement, is known for several abhorrent views, the report noted.

“Faithful Word Church calls for punishing homosexuality with the death penalty in the doctrinal statement published on its webpage,” said the report. “But that demand seems mild compared to the seething rhetoric Anderson has unleashed against the LGBTQ community: in a 2014 video posted to his now-deplatformed YouTube account, he declared “‘if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running around.’ In 2016, he applauded the the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, asserting ‘there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world.'”

But Anderson’s views go much further — he is also virulently anti-Semitic and denies the Holocaust happened.

“Anderson … has demonstrated a particular animosity toward Jewish people, as evidenced in titles of the sermons listed on his IMDB page, which include ‘The Jews Are Our Enemies,’ ‘The Jews Killed Jesus,’ ‘Unbelieving Jews Are Under God’s Wrath,’ ‘Jews Worship a Female God Named ‘Shekinah,” and ‘Jewish Synagogue = Synagogue of Satan,'” said the report. “He has also, as the Anti-Defamation League noted in a 2015 report, propagated false claims that millions of Jews were not gassed and cremated in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.” He also published a video calling Dr. Martin Luther King, “Marxist Lucifer King,” a “false prophet,” a “sexual pervert,” and a “Communist tool.”

This comes shortly after Gohmert landed in the news for demanding to know if the U.S. Forest Service can change the Earth’s orbit to fight climate change.

 

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CRIME

Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police

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A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.

“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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'CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT'

#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave

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Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.

Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.

On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.

In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.

“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”

Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.

 

 

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