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Will Obama’s Call For Ban On Harmful ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy Make It Happen Quicker?



The lynchpin of the religious right’s anti-gay hate is that gay people choose to be gay, and can be changed. Will Obama’s call to ban this quack “therapy” help?

Last night, the White House announced President Barack Obama had decided to call for a ban on “ex-gay,” “reparative,” or “conversion” therapy for minors. Practitioners of these so-called “therapies” claim they can change the sexual orientation of a person from gay to straight – although none has ever claimed to be able to do the opposite. 

Many major medical organizations have denounced these practices as not only ineffective, but as possibly harmful or dangerous, because they are. It is impossible to change a person from gay to straight, and recently, a New Jersey judge ruled anyone who said they could was guilty of “fraud.”

The President’s stunning announcement came in response to a petition posted on the White House’s website, calling for the enactment of Leelah’s Law, named for Leelah Alcorn, the transgender teen who killed herself after posting, in heart-wrenching detail, the rejection she lived with from her parents, and how they sent her to Christian therapists who tried to change her. 

“My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year,” Leelah wrote. “I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s fucked up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.”

As The New Civil Rights Movement noted in reporting the President’s actions last night, the petition he responded to was the one NCRM had been pushing to meet the threshold. Our readers in just two days added over 34,000 signatures to it, just before the deadline was to pass. 

President Obama said he would not call for a federal ban, although he is “open to it,” the New York Times reported. “Instead, he will throw his support behind the efforts to ban the practice at the state level.”

So where are the states?

California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia have solid bans in place, but around the nation Republican lawmakers are killing attempts in their states to add these protections for children. They claim parents should have the “choice,” as if they think parents should have the “choice” to torture their children – which is what “ex-gay” therapy is.

New York Magazine today notes in Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, and Virginia, lawmakers just killed bills that would have banned the practice on minors. 

In these eight states, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, bills have been introduced, but are languishing. 

And in these seven states, there has been some movement, but not enough: Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Texas.

That means in 33 states, there’s not even an active bill to ban these dangerous practices.

On the White House petition, Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett wrote, “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

That, in itself, sends a powerful and strong message.

Let’s hope the states are listening.

One final note: Anti-gay organizations and hate groups have insisted that being gay is a choice, and therefore a behavior, not an innate characteristic, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. They use this false claim to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars annually, to stay in business. When “ex-gay” therapy once and for all falls, it will be one more nail in the coffins of the anti-gay hate groups. We should try to educate any state lawmaker who opposes these bans. And if they are still opposed, we should ensure that office is occupied by a legislator who does not believe in child torture. 

Image by Will Choi via Flickr and a CC license


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Highly-Anticipated J6 Committee Hearing Likely Postponed



Wednesday’s highly-anticipated hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first one since July, and possibly the final publicly-televised event, will likely be postponed due to Hurricane Ian which is ravaging Florida.

The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey were the first to report the postponement. MSNBC has confirmed the likely postponement.

No new date has been scheduled yet.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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‘Yes’: GOP Nominee Mastriano Supports Charging Women With Murder if They Have an Abortion After a 6 Week Ban (Audio)



Pennsylvania’s GOP nominee for governor, state Senator Doug Mastriano, in 2019 said women who violate a bill he sponsored that would ban abortion after six weeks should be charged with murder.

“OK, let’s go back to the basic question there,” Mastriano told Pennsylvania radio station WITF, as NBC News reports. “Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law.”

“Asked if he was saying yes, they should be charged with murder, Mastriano responded: ‘Yes, I am.'”

READ MORE: ‘Seize the Power’: Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano Prayed MAGA Would ‘Rise Up’ Against the Gov’t on 1/6 (Video)

Mastriano is a conspiracy theorist, election denier, and white Christian nationalist with ties to Gab founder Andrew Torba, an antisemitic Christian nationalist and white supremacist.

Mastriano’s bill would have barred abortions once a so-called “fetal heartbeat” could be detected, NBC News adds, “usually around six weeks,” generally before most women even know they are pregnant.

Mastriano, when confronted, falsely attempted to downplay the ability of a governor to shape laws.

“My views are kind of irrelevant because I cannot rule by fiat or edict or executive order on the issue of life,” Mastriano told the conservative network Real America’s Voice, NBC adds. “It’s up to the people of Pennsylvania. So if Pennsylvanians want exceptions, if they want to limit the number of weeks, it’s going to have to come from your legislative body and then to my desk.”

READ MORE: Watch: Torba Warns GOP to Not ‘Disavow or Condemn Us’ Because ‘Christian Nationalists Are the Republican Party’

Mastriano, endorsed by Trump, is facing Democrat Josh Shapiro, who is leading in the polls.

The New York Times reports Mastriano’s campaign is “sputtering,” and says he “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state’s news media in ways that would push his agenda, and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys.”

Earlier this month Rolling Stone just days before the January 6 insurrection Mastriano “was video taped leading a group in prayer, asking God that the MAGA movement would overthrow the federal government, praying they would ‘seize the power’ and ‘rise up’ on January 6.”

Listen below or at this link:


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Trump Mocked for ‘Sidelining’ His New $3 Million Attorney: ‘Must Have Given Him Actual Legal Advice’



It’s no secret Donald Trump has been virtually unable to hire highly-respected attorneys to defend him in the many legal and civil cases he is facing for a variety of alleged crimes and misdeeds, including his actions surrounding fraudulent efforts to overturn a free and fair election and the January 6 insurrection, his retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents, and his alleged real estate and tax fraud cases, and more.

One of the rumored reasons Trump, a former President, has been unable to retain quality legal representation is he “has a long history of allegedly not paying his bills,” as Vanity Fair has noted.

Trump did manage to hire what many consider a qualified and respected attorney for his legal issues surrounding his classified documents case.

READ MORE: ‘Bright-Red, Ear-Splitting Alarm Bell’: Former Top GOP Congressman Blasted for ‘Normalization’ of Fascism (Video)

Chris Kise, the former solicitor general for Florida, agreed to work for Trump but only if he was paid up front.

Thanks to Trump’s massive fundraising operation Kise is being paid millions, effectively by Trump supporters.

Kise is also no longer leading the case.

CNN reports Kise “has been sidelined from the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation less than a month after he was brought on to represent Trump in the matter, two sources familiar with the move tell CNN.”

READ MORE: Embattled Trump-Appointed DHS Inspector Was Given Phones of Secret Service Agents in July, Raising ‘New Questions’: Report

“Kise’s hiring came with an unusual price tag of $3 million, paid for by Trump’s outside spending arm. The retainer fee, paid upfront, raised eyebrows among other lawyers on Trump’s team, given the former President has a developed a reputation for not paying his legal fees.”

Legal experts are mocking Trump for sidelining his top attorney.

“Obviously this means the lawyer must have given Trump actual legal advice,” teased George Conway.

“Which is just RUDE,” replied attorney Ken White.

MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst and anchor Katie Phang asked, “So Kise is a $3 million dollar benchwarmer?”

“Trump is already throwing over Chris Kise after signing a $3M retainer and convincing him to leave Foley & Lardner? That seems … not smart,” says Liz Dye, who writes about law and politics. “Chaos monkey gonna chaos monkey, I guess.”

Dan Berman, CNN Politics managing editor for legal, immigration, and the Supreme Court serves up the perfect headline: “Trump’s 3 Million Dollar Man is sidelined already.”

LA Times columnist Harry Litman, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former U.S. Attorney offered perhaps the most amusing response:

“The one credible lawyer that Trump has hired in years, Chris Kise, paying $3M up front, now has been demoted and is no longer leading the MAL defense. Must be Trump’s payback for the fix he’s now in w/ Judge Dearie. He thinks he’s Goldfinger/Dr.No but he’s really Austin Powers.”

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