No gays allowed?Â
Lawmakers in Arkansas Friday afternoon ignored political reality and passed an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill similar to one signed into law in Indiana. Are they aware of what’s to come?
Conservative Republican lawmakers across the country recently have been raiding the anti-gay tool chest, borrowing animus-inspired legislation designed to attack the LGBT community under the cloak of “religious freedom.” From state laws nullifying city and town non-discrimination ordinances to religious freedom restoration acts, these bills all accomplish the same goal: telling the LGBT community, other minorities, and their families and allies that they are all unwelcome and unworthy.
Lawmakers are loving these bills because they accomplish the goal of legalizing anti-gay discrimination without actually stating it. It’s a kinder, gentler hate, all wrapped up in cries of “religious freedom!” and “liberty!”
Need proof? Just yesterday lawmakers in Georgia voted down a bill extremely similar to the one Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law earlier that day. Not, mind you, because it was clearly discriminatory, but because a few smart lawmakers, lead by a Republican no less, were able to attach an amendment stating the legislation was not to be used to support discrimination. Who led the charge to kill the bill? The same lawmaker who authored it.
Meanwhile, it seems the nation is abuzz today about the anti-LGBT hijinks in TheÂ HoosierÂ State, thanks to Gov. Pence signing the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday morning.
As of now, Apple CEO Tim Cook,Â the White House, Broadway’s Audra McDonald, $4 billion software firmÂ Salesforce,Â $50 million annual gaming convention Gen Con, Fortune 500 member Cummins,Â Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co.,Â Yelp,Â Hillary Clinton,Â George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus,Â James Van Der Beek, Sophia Bush, Dustin Lance Black,Â Mara Wilson,Â Jack Antonoff,Â the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s own tourism board, among many others have all offered strong criticism of Indiana’s new anti-gay “religious freedom” law.
The nation is so outraged thatÂ #BoycottIndianaÂ has been trending on Twitter most of the day.
Arkansas lawmakers apparently are unaware of any of this.
Earlier this afternoon, the Arkansas Senate passed HB 1228, a religious freedom restoration act very similar to the one causing such an uproar in Indiana.Â
Since the Arkansas House already passed a version of HB 1228, all that remains is for the two bodies to reconcile the legislation, and send it to conservative Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson to sign.Â
You might remember last month Gov. Hutchinson was presented with a bill nullifying all city and town non-discrimination laws. While he was opposed to it, he refused to sign or veto it, allowing it to automatically pass into law.Â
Will Governor Hutchison find the courage to do what’s right and veto HB 1228, or will Arkansas keep its well-earned reputation as one of the most intolerant and anti-gay states in the nationÂ â€“ and suffer the tremendous emotional and economic impact Indiana is now faced with?
â€” Memeographs (@memeographs) March 27, 2015
Image Â©2015 byÂ The New Civil Rights Movement
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Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia
Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.
“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.
“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.
WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.
“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”
Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’
One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.
Exclusive: US Congressman Matt Gaetz snorted cocaine at a GOP fundraiser after-party… with an escort.
His donors footed the bill, because the hotel was a campaign expense.
The woman landed a taxpayer-funded job… where no one saw her work.https://t.co/uGIqQhALAj
— 𝙅𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙋𝙖𝙜𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙮 (@Jose_Pagliery) May 14, 2021
“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.
“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.
“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”
“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”
“This is the start of a long road,” he added.
Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.
The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.
The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”
The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”
Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:
Pregnant workers have been fired or discriminated against simply for being pregnant. Today we passed legislation to protect pregnant Americans. This is just basic fairness. Proud to cosponsor this legislation.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) May 14, 2021
Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.
Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).
Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Budd (North Carolina)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Mace (South Carolina)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (West Virginia)
Norman (South Carolina)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
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