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BREAKING: Indiana Gov. Pence Quickly Signs Religious Freedom ‘Fix’ Into Law

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Mike Pence has just signed what he says is a “fix” for the discriminatory “religious freedom” law. Is it enough?

Two days after requesting a legislative “fix” for his disastrous and damaging anti-gay “religious freedom” bill, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has quickly signed it into law.

No sooner was the press reporting the bill had passed the legislature than it was already signed by the embattled and fatigued governor.

This is the new “clarifying” language Gov. Pence says will solve the issue of the discriminatory language of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

This chapter does not: (1) authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or United States military services; (2) establish a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution for refusal by a provider to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military Service.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, acording to a local Fox affiliate, said:

“It was clear that the perception had to be addressed. Hoosier hospitality had to be restored,” Bosma said about the law, which created an outcry after Gov. Mike Pence signed it last week. “We’re here to announce that it’s fixed.”

But LGBT activists and corporate supporters are dissatisfied. Angie’s List released a statement saying the “fix” is insufficient, and Salesforce today reported it is spending thousands of dollars to relocate employees who no longer feel secure in the Hoosier state.

This is a developing news story and will be updated. Stay tuned.

UPDATE I – 6:38 PM ET:

UPDATE II – 6:41 PM ET:

Gov. Pence issued a lengthy, 460 word statement:

“The freedom of religion for every Hoosier is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and in the Indiana Constitution, which reads, ‘No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.’ For generations, these protections have served as a bulwark of religious liberty for Hoosiers and remain a foundation of religious liberty in the State of Indiana, and that will not change. 

“Last week the Indiana General Assembly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act raising the judicial standard that would be used when government action intrudes upon the religious liberty of Hoosiers, and I was pleased to sign it.  

“Over the past week this law has become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation. However we got here, we are where we are, and it is important that our state take action to address the concerns that have been raised and move forward.  

“Last weekend I called upon the Indiana General Assembly to clarify that this new judicial standard would not create a license to discriminate or to deny services to any individual as its critics have alleged. I am grateful for the efforts of legislators, business and other community leaders who came together to forge this clarifying language in the law.  

“Hoosiers deserve to know, that even with this legislation, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enhances protections for every church, non-profit religious organization or society, religious school, rabbi, priest, preacher, minister or pastor in the review of government action where their religious liberty is infringed. The law also enhances protection in religious liberty cases for groups of individuals and businesses in conscience decisions that do not involve provision of goods and services, employment and housing.  

“In the midst of this furious debate, I have prayed earnestly for wisdom and compassion, and I have felt the prayers of people across this state and across this nation. For that I will be forever grateful.  

“There will be some who think this legislation goes too far and some who think it does not go far enough, but as governor I must always put the interest of our state first and ask myself every day, ‘What is best for Indiana?’ I believe resolving this controversy and making clear that every person feels welcome and respected in our state is best for Indiana.   

“Our state is rightly celebrated for our pro-business environment, and we enjoy an international reputation for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance and kindness of our people. Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan; it is our way of life. Now that this is behind us, let’s move forward together with a renewed commitment to the civility and respect that make this state great.”

 

 

 

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COMMENTARY

Trump Dodges and Gives an Accidentally Revealing Answer When Confronted on His Anti-LGBT Policies

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When President Donald Trump was asked Tuesday about whether he supports his administration’s anti-LGBT policies — including a new rule that would make it easier for employers to discriminate — he gave what seemed to be an unintentionally revealing answer.

The issue was raised by reporter Chris Johnson from the Washington Blade:

Washington Blade: Mr. President, your administration has been taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workforce. Are you OK with those actions?
Trump: Well, you know, I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from the exact group. You saw that? They gave me the endorsement yesterday. I was very honored. It was Log Cabin. The Log Cabin, and I was very honored to receive it.
I’ve done very well with that community and some of my biggest supporters are of that community, and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with that community, as you know, Peter Thiel and so many others, they’re — they’re with me all the way, and they like the job I’m doing, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group.
Washington Blade: But what about those actions?

Having ignored the actual substance of the question, Trump didn’t answer the follow-up.

But his answer actually revealed a lot. Despite his claim to “fight for” the LGBT community, Trump has been particularly antagonistic its members as president.

Related: ‘They’re With Me All the Way’: Trump Uses Log Cabin Endorsement as Shield When Asked About Destroying LGBT Rights

And contrary to what he said, the vast majority of the LGBT community does not and has not supported him. In 2016, Pew Research found:

Gay, lesbian and bisexual voters may make up a relatively small share of the American electorate – just 5% of voters in the 2012 general election identified as LGB, according to national exit polls – but they have long been a deeply Democratic constituency and today are overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of Donald Trump.

Nearly nine-in-ten LGB voters (89%) give the Republican presidential nominee a rating of cold on a “feeling thermometer” that ranges from 0 (the coldest, most negative rating) to 100 (the warmest, most positive score). About eight-in-ten (82%) rate Trump very cold, including more than half (54%) who give him a score of 0. Just 9% of LGB voters rate Trump warm.

But this doesn’t matter much to Trump, because he only cares about his supporters. So when asked about the LGBT community, he begins talking about the Log Cabin Republicans, a fringe group that does not represent anywhere close to the majority of the community. (As it happens, Jennifer Horn, a member of the group’s board, resigned in protest over the endorsement. And contrary to Trump’s claim, it did not give him an “award.”) And by mentioning Peter Thiel, a wealthy gay investor, Trump is pulling the laughable “I have a gay friend” excuse for being a bigot. He’s refusing to respond to or even consider the actual LGBT community as a whole because he just doesn’t care.

The president has long made clear that he’s only interested in representing his supporters, not the American people as a whole. That’s why he criticizes California when it experiences natural disasters but promises Alabama “A+ treatment” after tornadoes strike. That’s why Sen. Lindsey Graham could point out that Trump wouldn’t be launching racist attacks at a Somali refugee congresswoman if she were “wearing a MAGA hat.” For him, people only deserve basic dignity and respect if they already support him. Unfortunately, the likes of Thiel and the Log Cabin Republicans have to debase themselves to get this recognition.

 

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MESSIAH COMPLEX

#25thAmendmentNow Is Now the Top Trending Topic After Trump Calls Himself ‘The Chosen One’

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President Tweets He’s ‘The Second Coming of God’

President Donald Trump appeared even more unhinged on Wednesday, kicking his day off by posting tweets calling him “the second coming of God,” and the “King of Israel.”  Just hours later Trump trashed the Prime Minister of Denmark, calling Mette Frederiksen’s negative response to him wanting to buy Greenland from them “nasty” – a word he generally reserves for women he does not like.

Shortly thereafter, Trump flip-flopped on his claim just 24 hours earlier that he was thinking about pushing through a payroll tax cut to help get the economy going, amid global fears of a recession. On Wednesday he told reporters he had no intention of implementing any tax cuts.

Trump also scalded veteran NBC News reporter Peter Alexander for simply asking this question: “You said Russia was kicked out of the G8 because they outsmarted Obama; in fact it was because they annexed Crimea… They’re still there, why let them back in?”

And he insisted that he would have to mollify the NRA over any changes in gun policy, while backtracking from his promise to advocate for a law ensuring complete background checks – something the NRA opposes.

But it was during that press gaggle Wednesday afternoon Trump let loose, exploding social media.

He called himself – as he looked up at the sky – “the chosen one” (photo.)

To be clear, it was in reference to his trade war with China, but the religious, messianic inference was palpable.

All this amid the President’s anti-Semitic remarks earlier in the week, when he called the vast majority of American Jews “disloyal” for not voting Republican.

“I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat—I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,”

About 80% of Jewish Americans vote Democrat.

Oh, then Trump declared he is looking “very seriously” at signing an executive order to end the constitutionally-mandated promise of bestowing citizenship at birth to anyone born on U.S. soil.

That’s just a sample of all the insanity Trump has created in under 24 hours.

So perhaps it’s not surprise that #25thAmendmentNow is the top trending topic on Twitter right now, and has been for hours.

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the pathway for the Vice President to declare the President of the United States unfit to continue serving.

 

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News

Trump Says He’s ‘Very Seriously’ Looking at Changing Constitutionally-Mandated Right to US Citizenship

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President Donald Trump says he is looking “very seriously” at altering a constitutional right to citizenship at birth. The president made his remarks during a press gaggle during which he also called himself “the chosen one” as he looked up at the sky. Those remarks came just hours after he tweeted praise calling him “the second coming of God” and “the King of Israel.”

“We’re looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” Trump told reporters. Birthright citizenship is mandated by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Also known as Jus soli, it dates back to English common law.

Basically the law says that any person on U.S. soil at the time of their birth is a U.S. citizen, regardless of their parent’s nationalities.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land. You walk over the border, have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen,” Trump said, calling it “absurd.”

He told reporters if he were to end it he would do so via executive order.

It’s likely that would be unconstitutional and would absolutely be fought in court.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the Constitution reads.

Watch the president discuss birthright citizenship:

In addition to likely being unconstitutional, Trump’s attempt to end birthright citizenship would be opposed by many.

Here’s a University of Texas Law professor:

Here’s a conservative, National Review writer David French:

 

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