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Anti-Gay Texas State Lawmaker: Marriage Equality Doesn’t Exist (Audio)

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Democrat Responds To Homophobic Lawmaker: ‘Them’s The Rules, Bubby’

Anti-gay Texas Tea Party state Rep. Cecil Bell is in serious denial about same-sex marriage. 

During a panel discussion in Austin last month, Bell claimed that despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, marriage equality doesn’t exist in Texas.

Bell, (R-Magnolia), the author of failed legislation seeking to undermine the high court’s ruling, has also called for the impeachment of justices who were in the majority. He made the comments in response to a question about why he doesn’t consider Obergefell to be the law of the land. 

“In fact, our Constitution has in place provisions that say the court cannot make law,” Bell said. “So, the very laws that you’re talking about enforcing don’t exist, and the Supreme Court cannot create those laws. In order for a clerk in Texas or in any other state to have the legal authority to issue a same-sex marriage license, the state Legislature will have to act to affirm that legal right. Otherwise we have granted to the federal court system through the Supreme Court or a lower federal court the lawmaking provisions that are specifically withheld from the court.” 

Bell’s statement drew a strong rebuke from state Rep. Rafael Anchia, (D-Dallas), a staunch LGBT ally who was also a member of the panel. 

“There’s this new case, I don’t know if any of you have seen it, it’s called Marbury v. Madison,” Anchia said sarcastically, referring to the iconic 1803 case that cemented the Court’s mandate of judicial review. His comment elicited laughter from the audience.

“It kind of puts in place the judicial branch’s ability to interpret the law, and then we do have supremacy principles. Again, not very well known out there, but them’s the rules, Bubby, and that’s where we sort of end up. It’s interesting when my esteemed colleague says there are no laws in place and we should respect the constitutional principles here. Well, the constitutional principle is the 14th Amendment, and that’s what being discussed. Do people have equal protection under the law? And to me, it’s kind of straightforward in that respect.” 

Bell responded that the 14th Amendment was intended to give freed slaves equal rights, not legalize same-sex marriage. He suggested that Anchia wanted to “throw out the Constitution.”

“It may be, ‘Them’s the rules, Bubby,’ but the truth of the matter is, that’s not what our forefathers said, that’s what this generation says,” Bell said. 

LOOK: Anti-Gay State Rep. Cecil Bell Thinks Texas Sovereignty Is A Thing, Totally Trumps Federal Law

Anchia, who’s Latino, noted that the 14th Amendment also protects his civil rights, even though they weren’t contemplated at the time.

“There are a number of different groups that are covered by the 14th Amendment despite what gave rise to the ratification in 1870,” Anchia said. “I kind of like the 14th Amendment. I would not throw that out, because it protects me against bigots.”

“I think bigots have used religion to discriminate against people for a long time,” Anchia added. “Religion has been used as pretext to discriminate against African-Americans, against women, against gay people, for a very long time.”

Anchia also held up a photo of John Stone-Hoskins, who successfully sued Texas in the wake of Obergefell after he was denied an accurate death certificate for his late husband. Anchia said he was supposed to have lunch with Stone-Hoskins on the day of the panel discussion, but Stone-Hoskins died in early October. 

“When you talk about people wanting to delay and demure and fight against the implementation of civil rights, it has real impact on real people, and this is one of them,” Anchia said. 

When Anchia asked what people like Stone-Hoskins should do when they’re denied civil rights, Bell said they should “continue to live the way they’re living.”

“The do have civil rights,” Bell said. “They have the freedom to speak. They’re not a privileged class, which is the effort here.” 

The panel also featured Brantley Starr, deputy Texas attorney general; Jonathan Saenz, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values; and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, a marriage equality supporter who issued a license to a same-sex couple in February under a court order.

Starr was asked about anti-gay Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton‘s post-Obergefell opinion encouraging county clerks to defy the ruling. 

“He was saying if clerks have religious objections, state law allows them to delegate to others in their office,” Starr said. “He was simply encouraging people to recognize those longstanding rights of the employees and the clerks themselves, and not necessarily telling offices they should shut down and not issue licenses.” 

DeBeauvoir responded that Paxton’s opinion created confusion among clerks. One Texas clerk, Hood County’s Katie Lang, was sued for refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, resulting in a $40,000 settlement. 

“Many county clerks around the state read his letter to say, ‘I’m free of this now, I don’t have to do this,'” DeBeauvoir said. “With all due respect to the attorney general, he did those county clerks no favor at all.” 

Saenz suggested that DeBeauvoir should have been jailed for issuing a same-sex marriage license in February, comparing her to Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. He alleged that same-sex marriage supporters want to punish people for exercising their religious liberties.  

“It’s a dangerous environment that we live in,” Saenz said. 

DeBeauvoir responded that during her 29 years in office, she’s followed the law despite her personal beliefs. 

“I was required to discriminate against my fellow brothers and sisters and not issue marriage licenses when it was a matter of civil rights,” DeBeauvoir said. “Kim Davis was not thrown in jail for something about her religious obligations. She was thrown in jail for violating the law, for taking over her office and using it as a tool to impose her religious beliefs on everyone else in her county.” 

Listen to the full discussion below. 

https://soundcloud.com/texas-tribune-festival/ttf15-gay-rights-states-rights

 

EARLIER:

Lawmaker Totally Certain His Unconstitutional Bill Will Override Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

GOP Lawmaker Pushes Bill To Defund Same-Sex Marriage

Texas Legislator Throws a Tantrum Trying To Stop Marriage Equality

  

Image: Screenshot via Agendawise/YouTube

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump-Aligned Christian Nationalist Group ‘Taps Into Unholy Well’ That Threatens Democracy

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A well-funded and powerfully connected extremist group is raising alarms about its activities ahead of the 2024 election.

ReAwaken America, a project organized by Oklahoma businessman Clay Clark and funded by Donald Trump ally Patrick Byrne, has blended conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the 2020 election to promote a Christian nationalist political message at rallies and other events, reported The Guardian.

“Christian nationalism has deep roots in American history and has gained traction at different points,” said Amanda Tyler, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. “The ReAwaken America Tour taps into the unholy well of Christian nationalism to sow doubt about the U.S. election system and the safety of COVID-19 vaccines while equating allegiance to Trumpism with allegiance to God.”

“Clay Clark and others who run this tour are using the name of Jesus, Holy Scripture, and worship music to promote a partisan political agenda and personal business interests,” she added.

READ MORE: Bill Barr’s ‘hollow and self-serving’ image rehabilitation tour shredded in scathing NYT editorial

Michael Flynn, the Trump-pardoned former national security adviser, and convicted Capitol rioter Dr. Simone Gold have each made multiple appearances at ReAwaken America events, and a recent gathering hosted at the Tennessee church of right-wing pastor Greg Locke drew My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, Eric Trump, Roger Stone and Kash Patel.

“The religious nature of these events is a pretext for a rally by people who are united by feeling victimized and outraged,” said Samuel Perry, a sociologist at the University of Oklahoma. “This is incredibly corrosive for democracy because you have a group of political leaders and their followers who not only feel victimized by the culture, but they feel like the very political system is against them. That’s how you get populist coup attempts.”

Trump National Doral will host a ReAwaken America gathering in May, which could give the impression that Trump still has strong support from evangelical voters, but mainstream religious leaders are concerned about the convergence of conspiracy theories about Trump’s election loss and COVID-19 could have a corrosive effect on democracy.

“White evangelicals are among the least educated of Americans,” said David Hollinger, a history professor emeritus at Berkeley. “The Republican Party’s increasing reliance upon them marks an unprecedented stage in American history: for the first time, one of the major political parties displays contempt for learning. Not even the Democratic party of Andrew Jackson was so dependent for its success on anti-intellectual postures.”

 

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News

‘Low Energy Donald’: Trump Buried for ‘Monotonous’ Kick-Off Speeches in Critical Battleground States

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Donald Trump’s first two speeches touting his 2024 Republican Party presidential bid before smaller crowds in New Hampshire and South Carolina ended up being a rehash of old complaints and with a few lines that garnered applause but his demeanor was lacking the usual fire once seen at his raucous rallies.

On the morning after the speeches, MSNBC host Katie Phang shared clips of the president speaking and noted the lack of enthusiam from the former president when one considers how important the first foray into public in 2023 was to his third presidential bid with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and a bevy of GOP lawmakers nipping at his heels.

As the MSNBC host pointed out, the president’s uncharacteristically short speeches were nothing less than monotonous.

“Do you guys remember low-energy Jeb?” Phang began, referencing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, “That was the moniker Donald Trump branded on the former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush while they compete with others for the Republican nomination in 2016.”

“Well, now it seems like we have a low-energy Donald,” she continued. “Here was Donald Trump yesterday when he tried to kick his third white house run into high gear.”

RELATED: ‘All washed up’: Republican insider says Trump needs to ‘move on’ because ‘he’s bleeding support’

After showing a clip of the subdued former president telling the crowd, “So, we’re here. We start, we begin. I want to thank New Hampshire for the warm welcome outside. We are so far ahead in the polls, both in New Hampshire — one came out this morning, very nice poll — we are way ahead. We had a tremendous period of time. We had a tremendous thing happening just two and a half years ago,” Phang noted Trump’s demeanor.

“King of the monotone,” she pointed out, “Despite trump saying he is leading in the polls the reality is so far he is the only Republican who has even announced a run for president.”

“Trump’s first lethargic campaign stops of the 24 race come as sources are telling NBC News that [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is angling to be his vice president,” she added. “The MAGA conspiracy theorist slash insurrectionist, slash election denier, reportedly sees herself as someone who can bridge the divide between the party’s far-right hard-liners and its, quote, establishment wing.”

Watch below or at the link:

 

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COMMENTARY

McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), sat down for a freewheeling hour-long interview with Donald Trump Jr., the son of the one-term twice-impeached ex-president currently under multiple criminal investigations including for absconding with hundreds of classified intelligence documents.

McCarthy, who had to battle his own Republican caucus 15 times before finally being granted the Speaker’s gavel, is now tied even more to Donald Trump. Trump reportedly was “working the phones,” making calls to House Republicans for days – and even hours before the final vote – strong-arming them to support the weakened McCarthy.

In one segment of the interview, McCarthy tells Trump Jr., “you know what? I’ve been around you guys privately. It is a real family that has real love for one another. And really, it stems of what [Donald Trump] did as a father.”

READ MORE: Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’

Don Jr., a bit choked up, comes out and says point-blank he wishes his father would “show some of that” love.

“I appreciate that, ya know, I want him to show some of that.”

Just before those remarks, McCarthy, again praising Donald Trump, says he’s a great father and grandfather, claims none of the ex-president’s children are “into drugs,” “have problems,” or “laptops” – presumably a dig at Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

“I’ve watched him too, the pride he has [in] his children – and this is what I’ll say to you: Look, raising a family is not easy. You know – you’re a great father. But they don’t see him as a grandfather – I see your kids walk up.”

READ MORE: ‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

“But you know what? You think of your life, okay? He was successful,” McCarthy continued, praising the disgraced ex-president. “He comes from a successful life. I’ve watched all you kids, as brothers and sisters love one another. You’re not into drugs. You don’t have problems. You don’t have laptops. You don’t have these other things,” McCarthy claimed.

Trump Jr. interjected, saying, “According to the press I’m really into drugs.”

Also in that interview, McCarthy admitted to “flipping cars” (buying for one price, quickly selling at a higher price) when he was in college, only to say it was illegal.

“I didn’t have the athletics to get a scholarship. I went to junior college, which was a great school,” McCarthy says. “But while I’m going there, I meet this guy that owns a liquor store but has a car dealer license – I’ll let you figure out how I met him,”

“But one day I say, ‘I’ll give you 100 bucks if you take me to L.A.,’ because L.A. has these car auctions – you got to be a dealer to get in there.”

READ MORE: ‘X-Rated’: Christian Nationalist Mastriano Promises Bill to Ban Public Drag Shows After High School’s ‘Queer Prom’

“So I started going down there, I start flipping cars, to pay my way through college. I find out later it’s illegal but I don’t know why I do it, I’ve been an entrepreneur, right?”

Don Jr. again interjects, telling the camera, “By the way, just just so you understand. We may have to cut this. Nancy Pelosi is gonna try to figure out how to impeach you for doing something like that.”

Trump Jr. also criticized most members of Congress who he said don’t have the same “hustle” as he does. He claimed his father made him work minimum wage jobs and he worked “for tips,” which both agreed was important.

“Like, no one’s ever had to make payroll. No one’s gonna sign the front of a check as opposed to the back,” Trump Jr. complains.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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