You just won’t believe some of the names on this list of prominent conservatives and Republicans who want same-sex couples to have the legal right to marriage.
Let’s be honest. The Republican Party has been home to almost if not all of the most anti-gay politicians, religious leaders, activists, and power brokers in America. Which is not to say all Republicans are anti-gay, but when being anti-gay is embedded in the actual text of your party’s platform, there’s little room to claim your party supports equality.
So it should come as both a huge surprise and be viewed as a monumental event that over 300 prominent Republicans, some of whom have publicly spoken out against same-sex marriage or LGBT civil rights, have signed on to an amicus brief sent to the U.S. Supreme Court today.
As TIME points out, the brief states its signers “share the view that laws that bar same-sex couples from the institution of civil marriage, with all its attendant profoundly important rights and responsibilities, are inconsistent with the United States Constitutionâ€™s dual promises of equal protection and due process.”
Who’s on that list?
Here are a few of the more than 300 names:
Ken Mehlman, whose name is listed as the person behind the group of conservatives.
Former EBay CEO and GOP nominee for California GovernorÂ Meg Whitman
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal
Former Bush Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
Former U.S. Senator of Missouri and ordainedÂ Episcopal priestÂ John C. Danforth
Ronald ReaganÂ White House Chief of StaffÂ Kenneth M. Duberstein
Sen. John McCain’s former Press Secretary Crystal BentonÂ
Sen. John McCain’s formerÂ National Spokesman Tucker Bounds
Gov. Scott Walker’s former Deputy CampaignÂ Manager Dan Blum
Former U.S. Congresswoman Mary Bono
Komen for the Cure founder and formerÂ US Ambassador to Hungary under George W. Bush Nancy Brinker
Alex Castellanos, CNN contributor and GOP strategist
U.S Senator Susan Collins (Maine)
BushÂ National Security AdvisorÂ Stephen Hadley
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (Illinois)
CNN’s Ana Navarro
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Dir. Tom Ridge
CongresswomanÂ Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Mitt Romney Press Sec. Andrea SaulÂ
Perhaps one of the most interesting signatories is Ben Domenech, co-founder of RedState, now run by anti-gay religious right radical Erick Erickson, and co-founder of The Federalist, a conservative website that has published extremelyÂ anti-gay articles.
The one take away from the list is it includes many people behind leading anti-gay politicians, like Mitt Romney and John McCain. But it also includes many old guard Republicans, who grew up in a GOP decades before the politics of ignorance were embraced by the Tea Party. And it includes many younger Republicans, 61 percent of whom support same-sex marriage.
One final note about the list: It is extensive and there are many on it who likely deserve to be listed above. We opted to include some of the more surprising names, along with some of the better-known names. There are others who deserve recognition, and we offer our sincere thanks to each and every one.
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Trump Is a ‘Phony President’ Who Must Immediately Be Removed From Office: Ethics Watchdog Richard Painter
The former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration argued President Donald Trump must be immediately removed from office during a Monday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat.”
Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin played a clip of Trump saying the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution is “phony.”
“What other parts of the Constitution are phony?” Painter wondered. “The First Amendment? Freedom of the press? The impeachment clause of the Constitution? He is going to find out than one soon. The 25th Amendment, is that phony? The 25th Amendment that empowers the cabinet and Congress to remove a president who is psychologically unstable, unfit for office? He wants to say the Constitution is phony.”
“He has no business being president of the United States. He needs to be impeached and removed from office now. The emoluments clause is a critically important part of the Constitution that was inserted in there by the Founders because they did not want foreign governments being able to influence United States government officials,” he explained.
“It is not a phony constitution. We are not a phony country. We have a constitution, and we don’t want a phony president,” Painter said. “He needs to get out of there if he can’t play by the rules.”
Teacher at Taxpayer-Funded Private Christian School Forced Out for Being Gay
A private Christian school in Florida that receives taxpayer funding for school vouchers has forced out one of its teachers, she says, because she is gay.
Monica Toro Lisciandro says Covenant Christian School in Palm Bay, Florida not only parted ways with her after she acknowledged she is gay when school administrators asked her, but her students were told her “morals” did not line up with the schools, Lisciandro says.
The school questioned Lisciandro, who teaches theater, after someone called to report saying they had seen her at a pride event.
“Lisciandro said the assistant principal told her the school received word that Lisciandro was in a relationship with a woman, she had attended a pride festival, and she hosted an LGBTQ group in her studio,” Florida Today reports.
“Well, it’s true,” she told the assistant principal.
“I want kids to see me and know that you can be a Christian and you can be gay,” Lisciandro tells Florida today (video below). “You can be gay, you can teach at a Christian school. You don’t have to feel shame about who you love, or who you are, or how you were born to be.”
Covenant Christian School has come under fire recently after reports found the school’s handbook says students can be expelled for being gay. Florida offers no protections for LGBTQ employees, and faith-based schools and workplaces are often exempt from laws that protect LGBTQ people. That handbook has since been removed from the school’s website.
The school also blamed her for leaving.
“I am sorry to say that for personal reasons, Mrs. Lisciandro is not able to continue teaching our musical theater class. We are aggressively pursuing another teacher to finish the class and (direct) our play, and I will keep you posted,” Head of School Lorne Wenzel wrote in an email sent to parents.
Covenant Christian participates in the State of Florida’s school voucher program. That program has come under fire for its anti-LGBTQ policies. One opinion writer, citing the school’s policy of expelling students who are gay, observed, “the line separating church from state has been crossed.”
Those vouchers help offset the school’s tuition. Fees and tuition combined can reach over $8600 per year per student. The school also asks for a voluntary “faith pledge,” or donation, of around $500 per family.
Video via Florida Today:
CNBC Reporter Laments ‘Very Sad’ Decline of Trump: ‘We Just Heard 20 Minutes of Nonsense’
CNBC’s John Harwood reacted to President Donald Trump’s appearance before the press corps on Monday by calling it “20 minutes of nonsense.”
“I say it is nonsense,” Harwood explained following Trump’s comments. “We just heard 20 minutes of nonsense from the president. It was very sad actually. He looked to me like somebody who understands his White House is in crisis and he’s in over his head.”
“And you have Democrats coming after him and career diplomats and Republicans who are fed up with defending him privately,” he continued. “They make fun of him behind his back. His own former officials don’t respect him. This is a situation where a president is trying to justify the picture that exists in his head [of an] all powerful and efficient guy that’s doing a great job.”
“That was a sad performance from the president just now,” Harwood concluded.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.
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