Connect with us

Jindal Says ‘Far Left’ Weakening 1st Amendment, Demands Lawmakers Pass ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Published

on

Gov. Bobby Jindal is using his last months in office to pave the road for his 2016 presidential run, regardless of the costs to his state.

It was a brazen act of sheer self interest, a testament to the danger of unchecked ego combined with political power.

Monday morning Governor Bobby Jindal opened this year’s session of the Louisiana state legislature with a 22-minute oratory that sounded in part more like a presidential campaign ad than a speech helping a co-equal branch of government set a rational vision for the future.

Jindal focused on three issues: balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes, improving education in Louisiana by killing Common Core, and passing a sweeping anti-gay “religious freedom” bill already labeled as worse than Indiana’s.

It was that portion of the speech that smacked of sheer self interest and unchecked ego.

HB 707, the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, was introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson. But in the wake of the firestorm caused in Indiana and Arkansas by their “religious freedom” bills, lawmakers in the Pelican State have little desire to vote on or pass this anti-gay legislation.

LOOK: Louisiana Lawmaker Introduces The ‘Marriage And Conscience Act’ Legalizing Discrimination Against Gay Couples

But with an eye focused on 2016 and his White House aspirations, Jindal has latched onto this bill as a flag of religious liberty he can wave in the air, his banner of bigotry he thinks can open the door to the Oval Office.

“There is a nationwide push by the far left to weaken the First Amendment to the Constitution,” Jindal charged.

“We either believe in religious liberty or we don’t. In Louisiana, I believe we do,” he touted. 

“Let me be crystal clear – I absolutely intend to fight for the passage of this legislation,” Jindal said of HB 707, “and any other that seeks to preserve our most fundamental freedoms.”

“And here in Louisiana, as long as I’m your Governor, we will protect religious liberty and not apologize for it.”

The 43-year old Oxford graduate told the lawmakers in the chamber he wanted to “clear up some falsehoods” about the bill.

“All this bill does is provide necessary protections for individuals to prevent adverse treatment from the state based on religious beliefs regarding marriage.”

And he warned that “people, charities and family-owned businesses are at risk of being penalized by the state because they believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”

Equality Louisiana says “the bill clearly is targeting gay and transgender people by focusing on religious beliefs about marriage,” and warns that it “aims to make actions legal — such as denying the same sex spouse of an employee access to life-saving benefits such as health insurance.” 

Jindal sailed on, denying the Marriage and Conscience Act has any impact on gay people at all, but rather, saying it protects Christians.

“In the United States, a state should not be able to take adverse action against an individual for holding a sincerely held religious view regarding marriage. That would be true discrimination,” Jindal concluded.

Unlike his tax and education remarks, Jindal’s preaching about the “religious liberty” bill received not a single clap, not one lawmaker applauding.

Watch:

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube
Transcript via WWLTV
Hat tip: Times-Picayune

 

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Radical Right-Wing Paramilitary Group Recruiting Texas Cops for ‘Bloody Civil War’: Report

Published

on

According to a report from the Star-Telegram, a senior member of the rightwing paramilitary group Oath Keepers who moved to Texas in 2015 is actively recruiting local law enforcement employees while telling them a “bloody civil war” against the U.S. government is on the horizon.

The report states that John D. Shirley, the national director of the Las Vegas-based Oath Keepers finagled himself a job as a county constable in Hood County which provided him with access to other police officers and now he is using his position to recruit.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Oath Keepers organization is “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today” with, reportedly, thousands of members made up of former law enforcement officials and military veterans.

The Star-Telegram reports that Shirley’s “Oath Keepers of Hood County” drive was scheduled at a local golf course earlier in the week before being canceled by the management because they felt the group had misrepresented itself when they booked the meeting place.

The report notes that Shirley has attempted to allay fears about the group’s intentions despite claims on their own website about a coming “New World order” and antisemitic rhetoric, that goes hand-in-hand with their unyielding  defense of gun ownership.

According to Shirley, in column for the online publication Hood County Today, the Oath Keepers are not “anti-government” because, as he wrote, “I am a public servant OF the government,” before adding, “The U.S. Constitution, the document this organization holds as sacrosanct, is the foundational document of our GOVERNMENT.”

The report notes that local law officials say there is no policy that bans police from joining the group which has one local running for sheriff extremely concerned.

According to Vance Keyes of Fort Worth, “I am absolutely concerned about militia groups infiltrating law enforcement. Their presence in policing undermines our obligation and ability to provide impartial justice … free from the thinly veiled, and often outright, racial bias that exist in such organizations.”

He added, “They destroy sincere efforts to strengthen police/community relations in minority communities. Their anti-government rhetoric is also an affront to police professionals that take seriously their obligation to public service and the rule of law.”

You can read more here.

Continue Reading

AMERICA IN CRISIS

Intelligence Agencies Saw Growing Risk From Coronavirus-Like Outbreak — but Stayed Quiet for Fear of Trump’s Wrath

Published

on

U.S. intelligence agencies have been warning against the likelihood of a global pandemic — just as coronavirus seems poised to become — but have recently backed down for fear of angering President Donald Trump.

Intelligence analysts assessed in 2017 and 2018 that a pandemic could strain resources and harm the global economy, but they agreed not to release a public warning so far this year because they’re reluctant to discuss intelligence that might displease the president, officials told NBC News.

“We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support,” said the most recent worldwide threat assessment, issued in January 2019 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

But so far this year the leaders of intelligence agencies have agreed not to release their threat assessments publicly, which has prevented Congress from getting public testimony about the implications of the outbreak’s impact on the economy and national security.

The intelligence analysis found that outbreaks are being spread from animals to humans, just as COVID-19 is believed to have originated — and analysts even mentioned a close cousin to the coronavirus strain in one report.

Related: Watch: Trump Jr. Falsely Accuses Democrats of Hoping Coronavirus ‘Kills Millions’ to End President’s ‘Streak of Winning’

 

Continue Reading

DISCRIMINATION

Bill Barr’s DOJ Intervenes to Support Lawsuit Filed by Christian Photographer Refusing to Photograph Same-Sex Weddings

Published

on

The U.S. Dept. of Justice under Attorney General Bill Barr has intervened in a pre-emptive lawsuit filed by a Kentucky wedding photographer who claims her interpretation of her Christian religion bars her from taking photos of weddings of same-sex couples.

No same-sex couple has ever tried to hire Chelsey Nelson to photograph their nuptials, but her attorneys, the far right wing Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the lawsuit against Louisville city officials anyway, according to the AP. The ADF appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

And now the Justice Dept. in a 23-page “statement of interest” says the “Court should find that Plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits.”

In other words, the DOJ has told the court hearing her case directly that it agrees with the ADF.

The Louisville law bans businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people. Many legal experts agree that refusing to provide a service to an entire class of people is discrimination, hence the countless laws across the country that protect LGBTQ people and other minorities from being refused services their non-LGBTQ peers regularly pay for and receive without question.

The DOJ, however, in a press release claims the legal statement it filed explains that Nelson “is likely to succeed on her claim that requiring her to photograph weddings against her conscience constitutes government-compelled speech that violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”

“The First Amendment forbids the government from forcing someone to speak in a manner that violates individual conscience,” said Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The U.S. Department of Justice will continue to protect the right of all persons to exercise their constitutional right to speech and expression.”

The ACLU disagrees, and “filed a brief defending the city, arguing that the Nelson’s intent to offer wedding photography only to heterosexual couples violates the city law.”

The renowned  civil rights group calls Nelson’s position “identity-based discrimination.”

The SPLC says the Alliance Defending Freedom “has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.