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Democrat Introduces Bill To Ban Conversion Therapy Nationwide For Children And Adults

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Democratic U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu is introducing a bill that goes further than any state law to date to ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy.

California was the first to ban so-called conversion therapy for minors. New Jersey followed, then Washington, D.C. and most recently, Oregon. The bans have been upheld in court against First Amendment arguments. One New Jersey judge ruled that anyone claiming they can “cure” gay people of being gay is practicing “fraud.”

For decades practitioners of “ex-gay,” reparative, or conversion therapy have falsely claimed that homosexuality is an illness, or a behavior, or a choice, and gay people, often through religious-based “therapy,” could be cured of it, to become “normal.” Others gave claimed they can help those who “suffer” from “same-sex attraction” to control it so they can establish marital relationships with the opposite sex. These quack therapies have been used on transgender people as well.

Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who died by suicide after she said she endured religion-based conversion therapy, left a suicide note. “Fix society. Please,” she begged.

Last month, President Obama called for states to enact bans on conversion therapy, citing Leelah Alcorn and a White House petition calling for “Leelah’s Law,” a nationwide ban on conversion therapy.

Today, Democratic U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, held a press conference to announce his bill that would ban conversion therapy nationwide, for both minors and adults.

“The public views conversion therapy as quackery, as something that harms people,” Lieu told BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner in an exclusive report last night. “Eventually, I believe Congress will catch up to that, but you do need to start somewhere, so that’s why we’re introducing this legislation.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has signed on as an original co-sponsor to the bill.

“Conversion therapy is abusive, destructive, discredited, and has no place in any medical practice,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This legislation will stop conversion therapy peddlers from committing these fraudulent and hateful acts against LGBT children and adults. Being LGBT is not an error to be corrected.”

Chris Johnson, the Washington Blade’s Chief Political and White House reporter, tweeted from this morning’s presser:

Lieu’s bill, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, would, as Geidner reports, use the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the legislation.

“There’s nothing unusual about government going out and trying to protect consumers against fraud. It happens all over the place,” Lieu says. 

“There is no medical condition known as ‘being gay or lesbian.’ That is not a medical disease, defect, and for people to charge money to treat you for something that’s not an illness is fraud,” Lieu says. “There already is an established baseline that you cannot practice medicine below a reasonable standard of care, and when you purport to treat someone for a condition they don’t have, that would be medical malpractice.”

 

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DISCRIMINATION

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

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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.”

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RACISM

‘Invalid in Its Entirety’: Appeals Court Blocks Trump’s Racist ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Targeting Asylum Seekers

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A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy that illegally forces asylum seekers into Mexico while awaiting their court hearings.

In the 2-1 decision judges called Trump’s Orwellian “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy “invalid in its entirety due to its inconsistency with” federal law, saying it “should be enjoined in its entirety.” The Washington Post reports.

A senior Trump advisor, the white nationalist Stephen Miller, is the force behind the racist program the court just halted. A 2018 Washington Post article revealed  Miller “pushed to implement the Remain in Mexico plan immediately,” despite it not being ready.

A White House meeting on the program was described in this excerpt from a  now-famous article in The New Yorker earlier this month:

One participant in the November meeting pointed out that El Salvador didn’t have a functioning asylum system. “They don’t need a system,” Miller interrupted. He began speaking over people, asking questions, then cutting off the answers.

As the meeting ended, Miller held up his hand to make a final comment. “I didn’t mean to come across as harsh,” he said. His voice dropped. “It’s just that this is all I care about. I don’t have a family. I don’t have anything else. This is my life.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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POMPEO POMPOSITY

Pompeo Refuses to Answer Questions About Coronavirus Then Smirks When Asked About Speaking at Far Right Conference

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared as an unwilling and combative witness during his testimony before Congress Friday morning. The former CIA director and former U.S. Congressman refused to answer questions from his former fellow Congressmen about the impending coronavirus pandemic, then smirked when asked about his scheduled speaking engagement at a far right wing conference later today.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) asked the Secretary of State about comments White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly made at the same conference Pompeo is about to attend. Pompeo refused to answer.

“Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the Conservative Political Action Conference that the coronavirus was the hoax of the day,” Lieu asked Pompeo. “Do you agree with Donald Trump’s chief of staff that the coronavirus is the hoax of the day?”

“The State Dept. is doing everything it can to protect American citizens throughout the world,” Pompeo responded. When pressed, he responded that he wound not “comment on what others are saying.”

Rep. Lieu insisted on an answer.

Related:
‘All Hands on Deck?’: Reporter Blasts Trump and Cabinet for Plans to Speak at Right Wing Conference and Ignoring Coronavirus

“It’s not even a gotcha question,” he pleaded.

“It’s a gotcha moment. It’s not useful,” Pompeo, appearing exasperated, retorted.

“At 12:15 today are you in fact speaking at CPAC?” Lieu then asked.

“Yes I am,” Pompeo admitted.

“OK. So you can only give two hours to this bipartisan groiup, members of Congress, and instead of answering questions on life and death issues from a bipartisan group of America’s representatives, you’re going to go talk to a special interest group?”

“Yes,” Pompeo responded.

“You’re supposed to represent all Americans. It is shameful you can’t even answer basic questions,” Lieu charged.

Pompeo responded with a smirk.

Watch:

EARLIER:

Mick Mulvaney Goes Nuts at CPAC and Accuses Media of Hyping Coronavirus to Bring Down Trump: ‘That’s What It’s All About’

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

Trump Tried to Halt Stock Market Free Fall. He Lied About Coronavirus. The DOW Just Had the Biggest One-Day Drop in History.

 

 

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