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‘Homosexuality Is A Behavior’: Christian Conservatives Target Michigan With ‘Grassroots’ Billboard



A nationwide coalition of anti-gay hate groups camouflaged by a local Christian conservative group has once again posted a billboard claiming homosexuality is a “behavior” – and a choice.

This is not the first time you’ve seen this billboard, but for most of the 93,000 Michigan residents who live in or drive through the town of Wyoming, it is, and it’s causing quite a stir.

The digital billboard, which earlier this month made its debut in the Detroit area, claims, “Homosexuality is a behavior, not a civil right.” 

These billboards are part of a money-making campaign by a coalition of anti-gay organizations and anti-gay hate groups, partnering to spread lies while trying to profit from their message of hate.

The billboards are sponsored by a coalition that call themselves Restrain the Judges, and that work in partnership with local anti-gay groups. This time, a group called the Michigan Oak Initiative, which is also Transformation Michigan on Facebook, is the front for Restrain the Judges, paying, according to local NBC affiliate WOOD-TV, $2500 for the billboard. 

Restrain the Judges uses a man named Mark Gurley, identified in the above news story, as its local concerned citizen spokesperson for the Oak Initiative. Gurley was also interviewed earlier this month, but identified as a spokesperson for one of the anti-gay groups that comprise Restrain the Judges. NCRM reached out to Gurley today by telephone but did not receive a response to our message.

“You can choose to engage in sexuality as a married person, you can choose to commit adultery, you can choose to abstain from sexuality before marriage,” Gurley told WOOD-TV. “So any time you’re engaged in any activity that is involved in a sexual arena, you have a choice. And a choice is different than the civil rights that black people fought dearly for in our nation because they couldn’t change their skin color.”

Gurley also falsely fear-mongers in his interview, spreading his message of hate.

“Ultimately, that’s the issue here, is that if same-sex marriage is recognized by our government, that will criminalize Christianity because any Christian that speaks what’s in the Bible can be framed for hate speech,” Gurley said.

Of course, as Gurley should know, in America there are no laws against hate speech, thanks to the U.S. Constitution, so the lie that “if same-sex marriage is recognized by our government, that will criminalize Christianity,” is just that – a lie.

Restrain the Judges’ website says the coalition includes the American Family Association, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, and Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries – all of which appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-gay hate groups list. Other organizations include the Liberty Alliance and Faith 2 Action. Also included in the coalition is Matt Barber’s BarbWire website, which repeatedly has published authors who have called for the death of gay people.

Restrain the Judges offers visitors the opportunity to email a faux “restraining order” to lawmakers in Congress and justices at the Supreme Court. For the low, low price of just $49.95, you can give these anti-gay groups all your personal contact information, and your credit card number, so they can do the same thing you can do for free elsewhere.

In other words, these groups have found yet another way to make money off the anti-gay hate of others, something that for decades the radical Christian right has perfected.


Image: Screenshot via WOOD-TV

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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‘Wannabe Dictator’: Milley Appears to Slam Trump After Ex-President Suggested He Should Be Executed



General Mark Milley, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisor to the President, during his retirement speech Friday appeared to deliver strong criticism of former President Donald Trump, who appointed him to that post but since has waged war against him.

One week ago the ex-president had said that “in times gone by” General Milley would have been executed for treason. Trump in 2021 had called for General Milley to be “tried for treason.”

“Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous, not just because it is the exact sort that incites violence against public officials,” professor of global politics and political scientist Brian Klass wrote at The Atlantic after Trump’s most recent attack on the Chairman, “but also because it shows just how numb the country has grown toward threats more typical of broken, authoritarian regimes.”

READ MORE: Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud

Trump had written, “if the Fake News reporting is correct,” General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

Milley was acting within his duties in a White House approved conversation, according to Klass.

On Friday, Milley appeared to blast Trump.

“We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or queen, or a tyrant, or dictator. We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator,” Milley declared. “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”

“Every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Guardian and Coast Guardsmen, each of us, emits our very life to protect and defend that document, regardless of personal price to a country.”

READ MORE: ‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing

Vanity Fair on Thursday reported General Milley “said he has taken security precautions to protect himself and his family after Donald Trump all but called for his execution last week.”

Watch Milley’s remarks below or at this link.


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