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.
“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.
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SCOTUS Justices Prayed With Evangelical Group Whose Legal Brief Was Cited to Overturn Roe Says Christian Activist: Report
A veteran Christian activist who works for a legal organization that has appeared on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups was caught on a hot mic bragging that she and the organization she works for prayed with the Justices inside the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report by Rolling Stone. Conservative justices cited the organization’s brief in the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
The activist, “a prominent Capitol Hill religious leader,” Rolling Stone reports, “was caught on a hot mic making a bombshell claim: that she prays with sitting justices inside the high court. ‘We’re the only people who do that,’ Peggy Nienaber said.”
Calling the disclosure “a serious matter on its own terms,” Rolling Stone says it “also suggested a major conflict of interest. Nienaber’s ministry’s umbrella organization, Liberty Counsel, frequently brings lawsuits before the Supreme Court. In fact, the conservative majority in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which ended nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights, cited an amicus brief authored by Liberty Counsel in its ruling.”
Separately, NCRM has unearthed video from 2019 (below) that shows a woman who identifies herself as Nienaber bragging, “and yes, we go in and pray with the Justices.” She says she is Vice President of Faith & Liberty in the video. Rolling Stone reports “Nienaber is Liberty Counsel’s executive director of DC Ministry, as well as the vice president of Faith & Liberty, whose ministry offices sit directly behind the Supreme Court.”
Liberty Counsel was founded in 1989 by attorneys Mat Staver and Anita Staver, who are married. The organization has represented Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis, and hate group head Scott Lively. They call their organization a Christian ministry, as Nienaber can be heard saying on the hot mic.
“You actually pray with the Supreme Court justices?” a livestreamer identified as Connie IRL can be heard asking in the video.
“I do,” Nienaber responds. “They will pray with us, those that like us to pray with them.”
“Some of them don’t!” Nienaber adds, not disclosing which ones.
The livestreamer then asked if Nienaber ministered to the justices in their homes or at her office. Neither, she said. “We actually go in there.”
“In other words,” Rolling Stone reports, “Sitting Supreme Court justices have prayed together with evangelical leaders whose bosses were bringing cases and arguments before the high court.”
Rolling Stone reports Mat Staver denied the claim as “entirely untrue,” but NCRM has unearthed a 2019 video in which a woman who identifies herself as and looks like Nienaber, standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, also brags: “and yes, we go in and pray with the Justices.”
You can watch that video below or at this link:
Rolling Stone adds more bombshell reporting, saying that “the founder of the ministry, who surrendered its operations to Liberty Counsel in 2018, tells Rolling Stone that he hosted prayer sessions with conservative justices in their chambers from the late-1990s through when he left the group in the mid-2010s.”
Rob Schenck, who launched the ministry under the name Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, described how the organization forged ministry relationships with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and the late Antonin Scalia, saying he would pray with them inside the high court. Nienaber was Schenk’s close associate in that era, and continued with the ministry after it came under the umbrella of Liberty Counsel.
Schenck told Rolling Stone exactly why the group wanted to pray with the Justices.
“To pray with the justices was to perform a sort of ‘spiritual conditioning,’ Schenck explains. ‘The intention all along was to embolden the conservative justices by loaning them a kind of spiritual moral support — to give them an assurance that not only was there a large number of people behind them, but in fact, there was divine support for very strong and unapologetic opinions from them.'”
Read the entire report here.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Suggests July 4 Mass Shooting Was a False Flag ‘Designed to Persuade’ GOP to Support Gun Control
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted several very different responses over the past few hours to the July 4 mass shooting that left seven people dead, scores injured, and a two-year-old boy orphaned.
The Republican from Georgia went from promoting the right wing’s latest talking points, that antidepressants are to blame for the massacre, and demanding to see the alleged shooter’s medical records, to claiming it “sounds like” a false flag operation, “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with” gun control.
“Now, here’s what I have to say,” Greene declared on her podcast. “I mean, two shootings on July 4, one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display.”
(There were 218 shootings on July 4, according to information from the Gun Violence Archive.)
“Almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control,” she announced, strongly suggesting false flag operations. Police have offered no indication anyone except the alleged shooter planned the Independence Day massacre, and have said he spent weeks doing so.
“I mean, after all, remember we didn’t see that happen at all the Pride parades in the month of June,” she lamented angrily, ignoring all the right-wing violence at Pride celebrations this year.
“But as soon as we hit MAGA month, as soon as we hit the month that we’re all celebrating – loving our country,” she said, implying Democrats don’t love America and don’t celebrate Independence Day, “we have shootings on July 4. I mean, that’s a, you know, that would sound like a conspiracy theory, right? Of course. But what’s the definition of a right-wing conspiracy theory? Well, by the way, it’s the news that’s just six-months early.”
Watch below or at this link:
Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests the two July 4th shootings, “one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display” are false flags “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control.” pic.twitter.com/VEm6ZUdcUq
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 6, 2022
Antidepressants, Pot, and Women to Blame for Horrific July 4 Mass Shooting According to Tucker Carlson
Barely hours after authorities announced charges against the 21-year-old police believe shot and killed seven people and wounded scores of others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Tucker Carlson explained to his Fox News audience why Robert Crimo allegedly committed mass murder: women, marijuana, and antidepressants, along with a life filled with pornography, video games, and social media.
Carlson said Crimo seems “like a nutcase,” but he “he didn’t stand out, maybe because there’s a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.”
“That’s not an attack, it’s just true,” Carlson insisted, as Media Matters reports. “Like Crimo, they inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games. They are high on government-endorsed weed. ‘Smoke some more! It’s good for you,'” he mocked.
“They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors,'” Carlson claimed, apparently referring to antidepressants, also known as SSRIs. School counselors, unless they are also MDs, cannot prescribe SSRIs.
(SSRIs are prescribed for “depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, migraine (prophylaxis), and other conditions.”)
Then Carlson arrived at the root of what he determined drives these young men, presumably these young men who kill.
Instead, he says, “they are angry.”
Because, Carlson declares, “the authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’ Imagine that. Try to imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So, a lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”
Tucker: The authorities in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their so-called male privilege. A lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised? A shockingly large number have been prescribed psychotropic drugs. pic.twitter.com/bB9Nb4CHQ1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
Meanwhile, very little is known about the shooter. It is not known if he’s taking antidepressants, using pot, has a mother who attacks him for his privilege, or uses porn. But Carlson and others at Fox News are suggesting to viewers they know why he flooded more than 70 rounds into an Independence Day parade.
There have been 320 mass shootings in America this year – and we’re only on day 187.
The nation has suffered 22,583 deaths from guns just this year alone. That’s 120 deaths on average every day.
Despite those numbers, the vast, vast majority of people taking antidepressants, or using pot or porn, are not pulling the trigger in a mass shooting.
Carlson points to no statistics to show women “never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege.”
In fact, he offers up no statistics, no proof at all of any of his claims.
Same with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who blames the mass shooting on pot.
Ingraham: On the mass shooting in Illinois, indications are that he was a regular pot user… What can regular pot use trigger in young men in particular? Psychosis and other violent personality changes.. pic.twitter.com/5QxveHmSXZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly dredged up the “psychiatric drugs” allegation less than 24 hours after the shooting started.
“What drugs and/or psychiatric drugs was he on for his mind to be ruined in alternate reality games that caused him to commit a mass shooting? His parents know. The police know. School, arrest, hospital records? The public DESERVES to know.,” she tweeted.
Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, social media researcher, professor at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. She’s also the former president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
And she’s pushing back against the SSRI blame game.
“Psychologist here,” writes Dr. Pagoto. “Yep. And far more women take SSRIs than men and yet women never commit mass shootings. The SSRI hypothesis has absolutely no scientific support. Quite the contrary, SSRIs save lives.”
In 2019 Politifact looked at the “dubious claim that psychiatric drugs fuel mass shootings?” The fact-checking group talked with six medical experts, with one explaining “that in her view there is no evidence that psychiatric medicine is linked to mass shootings.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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