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Sally Kern’s Bill Prohibiting The Banning Of ‘Ex-Gay’ Conversion Therapy Passes Committee

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Oklahoma’s most notorious anti-gay lawmaker is successfully pushing legislation to protect harmful “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

Last month Oklahoma Republican representative Sally Kern filed three anti-LGBT bills. If all three were to become law, it would be nearly impossible for any LGBT person to live in the Sooner State.

Kern was persuaded by her colleagues to withdraw one bill – a license to discriminate against gay people – as another lawmaker’s was more comprehensive, but two others remain.

One, a bill that effectively defunds same-sex marriage and makes it illegal for county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, advanced out of committee last week.

LOOK: Oklahoma Bill Replaces AP US History Courses With Sermons, Ten Commandments, Reagan Speeches

The second, a bill that protects harmful and dangerous so-called conversion, reparative, or “ex-gay” therapy, advanced out of committee today. “Ex-gay” therapy claims to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, despite no scientific evidence that it is effective – and despite the stance of nearly every major medical organization against it.

In a 5-3 vote with no debate, the Oklahoma House Children, Youth and Family Services Committee sent the legislation to the full House for a vote. Kern is the Committee Chair.

The bill is likely a response to laws passed in California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. that ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors. 

Those laws have withstood legal scrutiny. One judge earlier this month classified conversion therapy as “fraud.”

Kern is a religious extremist who has characterized gay people as “dangerous,” “sinful,” and as “an enemy who wants to destroy us.” She has also said gays have hijacked freedom and equality “to destroy the future of America,” and claimed they are more dangerous than terrorists.

 

Image by David Glover via Flickr and a CC license

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'WAKE UP!!'

‘House Is on Fire’: Liberals Message Justice Breyer in ‘Fantasy Land’ After McConnell Says He’ll Block Biden Nominee

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Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to block any Supreme Court nominee President Joe Biden should put forth if the GOP retakes the Senate next year, and now liberals are urging Justice Stephen Breyer to consider stepping down so Democrats can replace him instead of allowing Republican to create a 7-2 majority.

President Donald Trump, thanks to McConnell, was able to put three justices on the nation’s highest court, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.

Justice Breyer, who is 82, was put on the court by then-President Bill Clinton in 1994. He was confirmed 87-9.

Here’s what some are saying:

 

Image by U.S. National Archives via Flickr and a CC license

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'EXPAND THE SUPREME COURT'

‘Endless Cycle of Republican Abuse of Power’: Legal Experts Blast McConnell for Planning to Block a Biden SCOTUS Pick

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U.S. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off the week by telling right wing radio host Hugh Hewitt that he is planning to block any U.S. Supreme Court nominee President Joe Biden makes if Republicans win back the Senate next year.

“Let me ask you, if you regain the majority in 2022 for the Republicans, and there’s a very good chance of that happening,” Hewitt posited, “would the rule that you applied in 2016 to the Scalia vacancy apply in 2024 to any vacancy that occurred then?”

McConnell responded by once again invoking happenstance as precedence.

“Well, I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled,” he said, not mentioning that none were actually blocked. “So I think it’s highly unlikely. In fact, no, I don’t think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election. What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president.”

“And that’s why we went ahead with it,” McConnell added.

The U.S. Constitution says nothing about party control in the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee, and in fact the founders warned of the dangers of even having political parties.

During the interview Hewitt credited McConnell’s blocking of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to Donald Trump winning the 2016 election. Obama nominated then-Judge Merrick Garland 237 days before Election Day. McConnell bragged that blocking him is “the single most consequential thing I’ve done in my time as majority leader of the Senate.”

Legal experts are blasting McConnell.

“I’m not convinced a Republican-controlled Senate will ever confirm another Democratic president’s appeals court nominees, either,” says Slate staff writer on courts and the law, Mark Joseph Stern. “*Maybe* a tiny handful, but as a rule, Republicans will hold those seats open. They’ve all but admitted as much!”

Clinton White House official, Harvard-educated attorney, CNN political commentator Keith Boykin:

Legal Affairs Editor, Condé Nast Luke Zaleski:

National Security attorney Brad Moss:

Voting rights expert and contributing writer at The Nation Ari Berman:

Election law expert, Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine Rick Hasen:

US Senator for Massachusetts Ed Markey:

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump-Appointed DOJ Official Involved in Spying on Democrats to Exit Next Week

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Trump-appointee John Demers, the head of the Dept. of Justice’s National Security Division and one of the officials who was involved in the spying on Democratic lawmakers in Congress is expected to step down at the end of next week.

The New York Times reports “prosecutors supervised by Mr. Demers seized the records of reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN and of top House Democrats while investigating leaks of classified information. The department’s inspector general announced an investigation on Friday into the matter.”

But the Times makes clear spying on Democratic lawmakers, at least two, plus their staffs, family members, and even a minor child – or at least the gag order on that spying – required sign-off by the Attorney General.

“While it is common for the Justice Department to try to find out who shared classified information with the media, it is highly unusual to secretly gather records from the press and lawmakers. The prosecutors also prevented the lawyers and executives of The Times and CNN from disclosing that records had been taken, even to their newsroom leaders, another highly aggressive step,” the Times notes.

“Such moves require signoff by the attorney general. But Mr. Demers and his top counterintelligence deputies in the division would typically be briefed and updated on those efforts.”

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has demanded Demers, whose official title is Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, testify.

The Times claims that Demers’ departure “was arranged months ago but now comes amid widespread backlash over investigations into leaks of classified information that began under the Trump administration.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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