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TX Reps To Vote On Bill Shielding Religious Service Providers Who Put Kids Into ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

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Bucking the trend, Texas lawmakers want to protect those who choose to use providers of harmful “ex-gay” therapists.

In California, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Oregon (as soon as the governor signs it) lawmakers have made it illegal for children to be subjected to harmful “ex-gay” therapy. That so-called therapy is not only harmful but has been linked to suicide, and has been discredited by nearly every major medical organization nationwide, and by many others internationally.

So, naturally, as Texas state lawmakers increase their attacks on the LGBT community this month, before the legislative session ends, House members possibly today are expected to vote on a bill to protect welfare service providers who place children into that harmful, discredited, “ex-gay,” “reparative,” or “conversion” therapy that has been linked to suicide.

Rather than consult medical experts and actual science, Texas lawmakers want to poison and punish and damage children by encouraging what many who have undergone those “sexual orientation change therapies” call “torture.” In April, President Barack Obama called for state lawmakers nationwide to ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors.

The language of HB 3864 is so broad that it also protects any child welfare service provider – which could include public or private welfare agencies, foster homes, adoption agencies, schools, etc. – from any action regarding a child, as long as that action was taken in response to “the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

For example, if a female child was raped by a male relative, this law could easily be used to deny her an abortion, forcing her to give birth to her rapist’s child. Think vaccines are of the devil? No need to force the child’s provider to vaccinate the child. The list is endless.

Or, in another example, as the Huffington Post reports, “the legislation protects welfare providers who want to give kids in their care ‘a religious education,’ including ‘placing the children in a private or parochial school.’ Three organizations that advocate on behalf of the LGBT community in Texas have argued this provision would allow providers to force gay and transgender minors into programs to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, under the guise of education.”

The bill, should it become law, could “be used to deny all kinds of care to kids, including counseling or medical care, and to impose an agency’s religious beliefs on children in their custody,” Rose Saxe, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBT project, told The Huffington Post.

 

Image by Kevin Zolkiewicz via Flickr and a CC license

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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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The 9 Discarded Ballots Were Tossed Because Republicans Won Their Lawsuit Requiring Them to Not Be Counted: Report

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Major news is coming in over the “case” of the nine “discarded” ballots from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania that President Donald Trump revealed to Fox News Radio on Thursday.

Here’s what appears to have happened, and we’re going to bullet point this so it’s easy to follow.

  • The ballots were discarded by a temporary, or “contract” worker assigned to sort the mail who appears to have been following direction.
  • The ballots were military ballots, not absentee or other by-mail ballots.
  • The county immediately reported what happened to federal officials, who appear to have immediately politicized the issue.
  • “Because these ballots were returned in envelopes similar to absentee ballot requests, elections officials opened them,” The Washington Post reports. “If the ballots weren’t then enclosed in another envelope which shielded the actual vote being cast, they may have been considered ‘naked ballots,’ a term used to describe mail ballots returned without the voter’s intent being protected.
  • The Trump campaign and the Pennsylvania GOP in a lawsuit argued that “naked ballots” should not be counted. They won that lawsuit. These nine ballots appear to be “naked ballots,” and that appears to be the reason they were thrown out.

Here’s how MSNBC’s Chris Hayes sums it up: It’s the GOP’s fault.

More.

  • The contract worker has been told to not return.
  • Buzzfeed adds it appears the DOJ violated its own policy by issuing a press release about the “discarded” ballots, and even worse, suggesting this is a case of election fraud, and even worse than that, suggesting one candidate over another was favored.
  • MSNBC adds that county officials were not aware of who the ballots were for until the DOJ’s press release was issued.
  • Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Trump about the discarded ballots. Trump and his White House press secretary then politicized the event.
  • The county elections supervisor was exceedingly thorough. “Garbage from the Elections Bureau from September 14 through September 16, the time the independent contractor was on County property, was put in a dumpster and secured by County staff,” a local Pennsylvania news report states. “The trash was then searched by the FBI, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police and county staff. All contents relating to the matter were taken by the FBI.”
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