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

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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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COMMENTARY

Right-Wing Outraged Over Falsely Thinking White House Press Secretary Said National Security Council Is Using ‘TikTok’

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For decades White House press secretaries, military officers, and reporters have used the words “tick-tock” to denote an overview of a conversation, or a chronological telling of a series of events – and not the now-popular Chinese app “TikTok,” which some allege has major national security implications.

And yet, the far-right-wing website Daily Caller, a veteran Fox News host, and many others on the social media site Twitter attacked Karine Jean-Pierre Monday afternoon, after the White House Press Secretary told the press: “I know there was a tick-tock that went out to all of you from the National Security Council that was pretty detailed on how everything broke down for the past week.”

Inside Elections’ Jacob Rubashkin mocked The Daily Caller, (which was founded by Tucker Carlson,) for getting something so basic so wrong.

READ MORE: Morning Joe Reminds Viewers of the Last Time the Koch Network ‘Stopped the Craziness’ in GOP Primaries

Longtime journalist Keith Olberman blasted several people on Twitter who assumed the worst, including veteran Fox News reporter David Asman.

He didn’t stop there.

 

 

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News

House Ethics Committee Begins Questioning Santos Staffers

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The U.S. House Committee on Ethics has begun questioning staffers for embattled Rep. George Santos, who on Friday was accused of sexual harassment and improper hiring practice by a prospective aide the New York Republican interviewed and hired.

CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona, reporting the committee’s questioning, calls it “a sign that the committee is looking into some of the allegations against Santos, though it doesn’t necessarily mean a formal investigation has been launched yet.”

“It is unclear what exactly the committee asked these staffers about, but multiple ethics complaints have been filed against Santos,” Zanona adds.

READ MORE: Watch: Democrats File Ethics Complaint Against George Santos After GOP Leadership Calls It an ‘Internal’ Matter

Most recently, a prospective staffer filed a complaint that the congressman made an unwanted sexual advance.

Two New York Democrats last month also filed an ethics complaint against Santos over his financial disclosure reporting.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Jordan’s First Hearing on ‘So-Called’ Weaponization of Government Mocked Over Conspiracy Theorist Witnesses

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Its first hearing isn’t until Thursday but already Chairman Jim Jordan‘s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is being mocked after the list of witnesses was released.

NBC News’ Garrett Haake reports testifying before the committee on Thursday will be ex-Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and former FBI special agent Nicole Parker.

Gabbard left the Democratic Party and is now an independent and a Fox News contributor. In 2019, Hillary Clinton suggested she was a Russian asset being groomed for a third-party presidential run. She sued the former Democratic presidential nominee and former U.S. Secretary of State but later dropped the defamation lawsuit.

Also, Gabbard “shared false information,” Forbes reported last year, “about U.S. involvement in Ukraine biological laboratories … giving credence to an unfounded Russian-backed conspiracy theory the U.S. has warned could serve as justification for Russia to use biological and chemical weapons against Ukraine.”

READ MORE: Santos Denies Sexually Assaulting Prospective Staffer Working in His Office – Calls Allegations ‘Comical’

Sen. Johnson, who narrowly won re-election after being among the top promoters of Donald Trump’s “Big Lie,” is a conspiracy theorist who uses his Senate seat to spread false information about COVID and a host of other crises.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza branded Johnson the “Senate’s leading conspiracy theorist” just one year ago. The Washington Post reported last May that Sen. Johnson “expressed openness” to “a fervent anti-vaccination” commentator’s “idea that maybe the coronavirus vaccines are a conduit for deliberately giving people AIDS.”

Sen. Grassley has come under fire for his racist remarks about COVID-19, dangerously false claims about the IRS, and apparent falsehoods about the January 6 insurrection and its participants.

Last year The American Independent reported Grassley told a constituent “what you said is accurate.” According to The Independent, the constituent said during a town hall: “Knowing that the FBI and Capitol Police were complicit in Jan. 6, what have you done to get the political prisoners being held in gulag conditions out on bail?”

Some were quick to mock Chairman Jordan’s choice of witnesses to testify before his subcommittee’s first hearing.

“Johnson actively pushed the WI legislature & the VP to overturn the election. Tulsi used her perch in Congress to secretly meet with Assad & whitewash his war crimes. so in a sense, they are indeed experts on weaponizing gov’t.,” mocked former Hillary Clinton foreign policy spokesperson Jesse Lehrich.

READ MORE: ‘Whatever Side Bet on Stupid Won Big’: Steve Schmidt Scorches Marco Rubio for ‘Kernels of Imbecility’ on Balloongate

Jim Manley, a top aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, described the panel as “low energy.”

NBC News Justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly pre-deflated Parker’s possible contributions, citing her as saying: “’I was never asked to participate in anything that was political,’ Nicole Parker said in one of her Fox News hits (Hannity, specifically).”

Even CNN did not hide its skepticism, beginning its reporting with this line: “The GOP-led House select subcommittee on so-called weaponization of the federal government will draw upon a prominent ex-Democrat, two of their Republican Senate colleagues, and a former FBI agent in their first public hearing to discuss how they believe the government has been weaponized against conservatives, multiple sources familiar with the plans tell CNN.”

 

 

 

 

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