Watch This Amazing Video Of A Dozen Top Democrats Asking America To Support A New LGBT Equality Bill
Welcome to the new world, a world where top political leaders stand up and demand America gives LGBT people full equality.
Just past noon today, a dozen top Democratic lawmakers gathered to announce the introductionÂ in the House and SenateÂ brand new legislation to protect LGBT people. This, just two decades after virulently discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation, like the Defense of Marriage Act, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” were being signed into law.
The federal Equality ActÂ would protect LGBT people from discrimination in important areas including public accommodations, employment, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federal funding.Â
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is among the dozen lawmakers who are championing the Equality Act.Â
“What we are doing here today is very patriotic. Itâ€™s very American. And itâ€™s a proud day for all of us,” the former Speaker said this afternoon, noting that the Equality Act also “has very strong protections for women in it.”Â
Pelosi also reminded the room that this is the fourth cog in the battle against discrimination for LGBT people.
“It wasnâ€™t been that long ago when we passed in the Congress the hate crimes legislation â€“ fully inclusive hate crimes legislation.Â That was step one and it was a big step. And then we had the repeal of â€˜Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€™ with the help of President Obama taking the lead. And we salute him for his courage and leadership there. And then the [Supreme] Court. We had four issues: again, hate crimes, â€˜Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€™, ENDA and marriage equality.Â Well, the Court and the public took care of the marriage equality issue but more work needs to be done.”
Supporting the bill are 155 members in the House and 40 members in the Senate.
All Democrats, no Republicans currently.
Also speaking at today’s event were the bill’s sponsor in the Senate,Â Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and the bill’s sponsor in the House,Â David Cicilline (D-RI), along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI),Â Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ),Â House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA),Â Jared Polis (D-CO), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)and Mark Takano (D-CA).
Rep. Steny Hoyer, in a well-orchestrated attempt to win Republican votes for the legislation, offered anÂ emotionalÂ plea, reminding the audience about the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s.
“There were some in America who thought it was an opportunity to discriminate against those who became sick. And President Reagan was asked at a press conference, ‘What do you think about discriminating against those with AIDS?,'” Hoyer said. “And Ronald Reagan’s answer was, ‘I don’t believeÂ in discrimination against anybody. Next question.’ That’s what this bill says,” Hoyer reminded the audience.
LOOK:Â Democrats In Congress To Introduce New Comprehensive LGBT Rights Bill â€“ 7 Ways It Could Help You
“This bill says that America will mean what it has said through the centuries,” Hoyer continued. “This is about bringing us together.”
Also speaking were LGBT Americans who have been subjected to discrimination, includingÂ Jami and Krista Contreras of Oak Park, Michigan. Their well-publicized story took place in their pediatrician’s office, when, having just given birth, and having met with and chosen a pediatrician weeks earlier, they were told that after much prayer she had decided she could not be their infant girl’s doctor.
The bill also has the support of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, Apple, Inc.,Â the National Center for Transgender Equality,Â National Partnership for Women & Families,Â Equality Federation,Â American Federation of Teachers,Â National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and other civil rights groups and corporations.
The video itself is long, but it is vitally important. It signals this is a new world, one where America is more equal. And strong leaders are here to help support us.
Image: Screenshots via YouTube
Hat tip: Chris Johnson at Washington Blade
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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
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“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
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Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
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Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.
That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.
Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.
“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.
That could be through September of 2024.
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“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”
“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”
That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.
“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”
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Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”
And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”
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