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Scalia Insists Pastors Will Be Forced To Marry Gay Couples If Supreme Court Rules For Equality

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In a laughable argument ignoring the First Amendment, Justice Antonin Scalia made a ridiculous argument pleading for the right of clergy members.

Justice Antonin Scalia makes no secret of his religious beliefs. A staunch Roman Catholic, the 79-year old jurist in a 2013 interview admitted, “I even believe in the Devil,” and added, “he’s a real person.”

The interviewer, Jennifer Senior from New York Magazine, was not hiding her shock, so Scalia was astonished.

“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

Fast forward to today.

During oral arguments in this morning’s same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court, Scalia very clearly demonstrated his devotion to religion once again, while ignoring the First Amendment that so clearly protects it.

“I’m concerned about the wisdom of this Court imposing through the Constitution­ a requirement of action which is unpalatable to many of our citizens for religious reasons,” Scalia said, clearly vocalizing his desire to protect people of faith at the expense of same-sex couples (and ignoring that people of faith can be LGBT).

LOOK: Justice Alito’s Gay Marriage Questions: Could It Legalize Polygamy, Did Ancient Greeks Allow It?

“They are not likely to change their view about what marriage consists of. And were the States to adopt it by law, they could make exceptions to what is required for same-­sex marriage, who has to honor it and so forth. But once it’s ­­ it’s made a matter of constitutional law, those exceptions ­­ for example, is it, is it conceivable that a minister who is authorized by the State to conduct marriage can decline to marry two men if indeed this Court holds that they have a constitutional right to marry? Is it conceivable that that would be allowed?”

(Quick answer: No.)

Mary Bonato, the attorney arguing for marriage equality, responded well, reminding him of the Constitution.

“Your Honor, of course the Constitution will continue to apply, and right to this day, no clergy is forced to marry any couple that they don’t want to marry. We have those protections.”

That was insufficient for Scalia.

“I don’t see how you could possibly allow that minister to say, ‘I will only marry a man and a woman. I will not marry two men.’ Which means you would,­­ you could,­­ you could have ministers who ­­conduct real marriages that are civilly enforceable at the National Cathedral, but not at St. Matthews downtown, because that minister refuses to marry two men, and therefore, cannot be given the State power to make a real State marriage. I don’t see any answer to that. I really don’t.”

The conversation continued for a few minutes, with Justice Elena Kagan finally stepping in.

“Ms. Bonauto, maybe I’m just not understanding Justice Scalia’s question, but for example, there are many rabbis that will not conduct marriages between Jews and non­Jews, notwithstanding that we have a constitutional prohibition against religious discrimination. And those rabbis get all the powers and privileges of the State, even if they have that rule, most ­­ many, many, many rabbis won’t do that.”

At that point, Justice Stephen Breyer had to step in as well, to defend Justice Kagan and Bonauto’s argument.

“It’s called Congress shall make no law respecting the freedom of religion…”

 

Image by Shawn via Flickr and a CC license

 

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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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