A Republican state Senator warns LGBT peopleÂ â€“ but no one else â€“ that theyÂ shouldn’t have an expectation of being treated equally or fairly in his conservative state.
Joseph Silk is working to protect people who have deeply held religious beliefs about gay people from having to actually have anything to do with them. TheÂ Oklahoma state Senator is sponsoring two decidedlyÂ anti-gay bills. One, theÂ Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015, would allow anyone â€“ including religious and secular businesses â€“Â to discriminate against LGBT people for any reasons, as long as they claim doing so would violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The other would bar same-sex couples, but allow different-sex couples, to enter into “covenant marriage,” which makes it extremely difficult to later divorce.
Senator Silk’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for people who claim to be of faith, is so sweepingly broad it would allow any person or businessÂ â€“ including non-profit or for-profit organizationsÂ â€“ to refuse to provide services to anyone whose “sex, gender, or sexual orientation” offends thoseÂ “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
That means that if your religion directs you to treat women as not equal to men, the State of Oklahoma will supportÂ your actions. If your religion, or your interpretation of your religion, mandates you to hate the gays, don’t worry, Oklahoma’s got you covered.Â
The bill’s scope is so broad it allows anyone to refuse to provide “any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges,” or “counseling, adoption, foster care, and other social services” to anyone else â€“Â again, based on theirÂ “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
It also allows anyone, including the State of Oklahoma, to refuse to acknowledge or recognize as valid any marriage or other domestic union.Â
Senator Silk would like folks to know that he’s not anti-gay, just pro-faithful.
Silk told TheÂ New York Times in an article published today, that the “L.G.B.T. movement is the main thing, the primary thing thatâ€™s going to be challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions.”
â€œThey donâ€™t have a right to be served in every single store,â€ said Sen. Silk. â€œPeople need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.â€
He added:Â â€œAnd I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.â€Â
Some responses via Twitter:
No one with homosexual friends says “I have homosexual friends.”
â€” Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) March 5, 2015
How to determine a tool?”I have [insert minority group]friends.â€œ@jonlovett: No one with homosexual friends says”I have homosexual friends.”â€
â€” emine deniz (@eminedeniz) March 5, 2015
@jonlovett Maybe that’s just what he calls his “Will & Grace” box set. “It’s sort of like a homosexual ‘Friends’.”
â€” Tim Carvell (@timcarvell) March 5, 2015
Oh, he has “homosexual friends.” I guess that makes discrimination against them ok. https://t.co/nMIXYwEJZ6
â€” Robert Worrell (@DCTiger78) March 5, 2015
I like how when people say something bad about the LGBT community they try to make it better by saying they have homosexual friends lol
â€” Brooke Homer (@bhomes23) March 5, 2015
Yo, Senator #Silk of the great state of Oklahoma! Anyone who says they have “homosexual” friends, doesn’t.
â€” ManWithMartini (@ManWithMartini) March 5, 2015
Whenever a politician says they have “homosexual friends” I can’t help but feel bad for them. They have less friends than they realize.
â€” Sarah. (@sac12389) March 5, 2015
Silk is not the only Oklahoma lawmaker into attacking gays. Notorious state Rep. Sally Kern is pushing several anti-gay bill too.
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Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police
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.
#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave
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.
Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.
Today, I signed bills into LAW to reform ERCOT & weatherize & improve the reliability of the state’s power grid.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 8, 2021
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.”
BREAKING: ERCOT is now asking people to conserve electricity through Friday, saying there are a significant number of power plants offline and expecting possible record use for June. pic.twitter.com/zWZkf0bkPq
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 14, 2021
Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.
— Heather (TX) 🇺🇸 (@hka003) June 14, 2021
Thanks to @GovAbbott, on one of the first hot days, we’re already being told to conserve electricity.
They didn’t FIX the grid because they were too busy legislating women’s vaginas & stopping POC from voting.
VOTE @GregAbbott_TX out in 2022 to save TEXAS!!! #AbbottFailedTexas https://t.co/a97aR7DO2u
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 14, 2021
So now ERCOT ‘CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT’. Someone should check the flight logs to Cancun bc I’m sure Cruz is already on his way there. And fuck Abbott too #AbbottFailedTexas
— Amelia (@agerson24) June 14, 2021
…are you FREAKING KIDDING ME, Texas?!
ERCOT: Our grid wasn’t built for temperatures this cold!!!
ERCOT: uhm….it’s too hot! How could we ever have anticipated this! https://t.co/vlqcXW6wUN
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) June 14, 2021
— KiKi ♡✌🇺🇸🌊👑💙📣 (@KLoYo77) June 14, 2021
What could go possibly wrong with a combination of Texas’s summer power outages and its new conceal-carry for all law?#AbbottFailedTexas
— Truth Integrity Logic Fully Vaccinated (@LogicIntegrity) June 14, 2021
ERCOT has issued a new warning to Cancun that Ted Cruz might be back sooner than expected.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) June 14, 2021
If you listen closely, you can hear Ted Cruz booking a flight to Cancun https://t.co/gmPLkaeMXi
— Nunca Trumpismo (@NeverTrumpTexan) June 14, 2021
— Rachel (@Rachelmoor29) June 14, 2021
— ₚₒₗᵢₜᵢcₐₗ ⱼₒᵢₙₜ™ (@PoliticalJoint) June 14, 2021
We need Beto.
While Abbott prattles on about a bloody wall, we need our grid repaired now. This is going to a long, hot summer.
— ToutdeSuiteLaSinner (@ToutSuiteSinner) June 14, 2021
FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers
The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.
Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.
The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.
This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.
CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.
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