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9 Pastors Face Discipline After Attending Wedding Of Fellow Pastor Fired For Being Gay

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30 pastors decided to attend the wedding of their friend, a fellow pastor fired for being gay and having a same-sex partner. Now nine of them are facing disciplinary charges.

Last week, Benjamin Hutchison, the beloved Senior Pastor at Cassopolis United Methodist Church in Michigan, was fired – technically, forced to resign – after his District Bishop asked him if he had a same-sex partner. He does, it was well-known among his parishioners, and so Hutchison decided he would marry his long-time partner. The happy couple married on Friday.

Hutchison’s congregation is angry about the dismissal, and have made their position quite clear:

Among the guests at Hutchison’s wedding were 30 fellow United Methodist Church pastors. Fifteen of them joined together to pronounce Hutchison and his partner, Monty, “husband and husband.”

Now, nine of them are facing disciplinary charges from the United Methodist Church district superintendent in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Church law forbids pastors from being openly-gay and forbids pastors from marrying someone of the same gender.

Rev. Michael Tupper is one of the pastors who officiated the wedding, and he signed the marriage license. He tried to get more pastors’ signatures on the document as an “as an act of protest, an act of witness,” but the county clerk only allowed two signatures.

“Folks were aware that it violated the book of discipline by saying those words,” Tupper told the Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive.com.

Tupper says the pastors who participated in Hutchison’s wedding could face a church trial and lose their credentials, effectively removing them as United Methodist Church pastors.

“I want to highlight the injustice, at the same time to witness to our inclusive God who does welcome all people and welcomes them whether they are gay or straight,” Tupper said. “It’s just another opportunity to celebrate and witness to our inclusive God.”

Next May, leaders among the United Methodist Church will meet t discuss the issue of gay clergy, one that Tupper thinks might force a chasm in the church.

“There’s definitely more push on both sides, both the conservative side as well as the progressive side, to fight over this and possibly to split over this,” Tupper said. “I’m hopeful that we can at least agree to disagree. In our denomination now we can’t even agree to disagree on it.”

 

Image by Evan Dean via Twitter

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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