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Texas Lawmakers Begin Week Focusing On Anti-Gay Bills By Voting To Shield Clergy And Churches

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Texas lawmakers will vote on several anti-gay bills this week, starting today. A bill that allows all clergy members – including those employed by the state as county clerks or justices of the peace – to refuse to marry same-sex couples, has just passed the Texas Senate.

The Texas State Senate has just passed a bill that allows all clergy members to refuse to officiate at weddings of same-sex couples. Of course, no clergy member can be forced to officiate at the wedding of any couple they chose to not marry, but when that clergy member is an employee of the state, some argue they have a duty to do their job.

Texas bill SB 2065 would allow these clergy members to bow out of that role.

But the bill, which passed today 21-10, would go much further.

LOOK: Lawmaker Totally Certain His Unconstitutional Bill Will Override Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

“A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.”

In other words, any “religious organization,” which the bill does not define, can refuse any goods or services if the recipient is a same-sex couple getting married.

The bill also shields clergy and these religious organizations from being sued.

“The First Amendment already protects clergy from being forced to officiate religious ceremonies that violate their consciences, so it’s unnecessary to pass a bill to protect against this,” Sarah Jones of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, tells the Dallas Voice. “But if a member of the clergy accepts a job as a public official, they have a duty to uphold the laws of the state and municipality in which they serve, and should treat all people equally and fairly.”

Tuesday will bring a vote on a bill that would literally defund same-sex marriage. It would not only ban clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and fine them if they do, but it bans the state or any locale from spending tax payer dollars on anything related to a same-sex marriage, including recording the documents.

Related:

Texas Anti-Gay Lawmaker And Gay Son Suffer Fallout Over Anti-Discrimination Bill

Powerful GOP Congressman Links Same-Sex Marriage To Riots In Baltimore (Audio)

Texas Attorney General Sues Feds To Stop Same-Sex Spouses From Taking Care Of Each Other

 

Image by King County, WA via Flickr and a CC license
Hat tip: Dallas Voice

 

 

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'CAN'T WE END THIS ALREADY?'

“Armed Militias to Intimidate Voters”: Donald Trump Jr.’s new ad recruits GOP “army” to “secure” election

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Donald Trump Jr.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., appears in a social media video ad asking people to join an “army” to stop the “radical left” and their plan to “steal” the election. Nevermind, that Trump Sr. has already refused to ensure a peaceful transfer of power if he loses and has also said he can only lose if the vote is rigged.

Here’s the ad itself:

In the ad, Trump Jr. says:

“The radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father, President Donald Trump. They are planting stories that President Trump will have a landslide lead on election night but will lose when they finish counting the mail-in ballots. Their plan is to add millions of fraudulent ballots that can cancel your vote and overturn the election. We cannot let that happen.”

“We need every able-bodied man and woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation at defendyourballot.com. We need you to help us watch them, not just on Election Day but also during early voting and at the counting boards. President Trump is going to win. Don’t let them steal it. Go to defendyourballot.com and enlist today.”

While the actual website DefendYourBallot.com is just a Trump campaign get out the vote effort that doesn’t actually instruct supporters to monitor polling places or post offices, one tech culture website said the “ads incite armed militias to intimidate voters.” Keep in mind, Trump Sr. has already promised to deploy thousands of law enforcement officials to polling places on Election Day, a move that will discourage voting by people with a distrust of police.

Considering the numerous armed protesters at anti-lockdown rallies during the start of the COVID-19 epidemic and Trump Sr.’s repeated lie that Democrats want to abolish the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, it’s easy to see how Donald Jr.’s appeal could inspire right-wing gun nuts to “monitor” polling places and post offices by scaring voters, poll workers, and postal delivery people by challenging anything that looks even remotely suspicious to them.

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'AS AN AMERICAN WHO CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION

“A Direct Attack on Millions of Americans”: Reactions to Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Nomination

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Amy Coney Barrett

Yesterday, The New York Times announced that President Donald Trump has chosen far right-wing religious extremist, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to be his third Supreme Court pick.

Although Trump won’t make his official announcement until 5 p.m. ET today, reactions against Barrett have already started rolling in. Here’s a growing sample voicing concern over her hypocritical and extremist positions:

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DONALD TRUMP IS A FASCIST

Trump Has Choosen Right Wing Extremist Amy Coney Barrett for SCOTUS – Did Not Interview Any Other Candidates: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reportedly chosen a far right wing religious extremist, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to be his third Supreme Court pick, according to The New York Times.

The Times is reporting, and contrary to Trump’s claims, that he did not interview any other candidates. Barrett was vetted, as much as any Trump White House candidates are, when he ultimately chose Brett Kavanaugh as his second SCOTUS choice.

Judge Barrett is anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, and would vote to strike down Roe v. Wade and same-sex marriage.

She has made clear she does not respect stare decisis, the legal tenet that says Supreme Court decisions are settled law.

Barrett is just 48 years old, and could sit on the bench for four decades should she be confirmed.

Trump is slated to make his announcement Saturday at 5 PM.

 

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