Connect with us

Watch: Lesbian Lawmaker Slams Anti-Gay Colleagues, Reminds Them, ‘We’re Not A Church’



“My Jesus is different,” says State Rep. Celia Israel, who happens to be a lesbian, taking a swipe at her anti-gay colleagues in epic fashion in a new documentary about the role of religion in the Texas Legislature.


“Everyone in Texas is made in the image of God, and because everyone is made in the image of God, that is serious business, it’s almost like representing God, and who would want to blow that opportunity?” –GOP state Rep. James White


God and Governing,” produced by The Texas Tribune, could just as easily be an episode of The Daily Show, featuring right-wing lawmakers discussing how their faith (read: conservative Christianity) influences their views on the issues of guns, abortion, gay marriage and education. 

But Israel, who’s Catholic herself and became the state’s first out lesbian lawmaker in 2014, rejects the notion that the Lone Star State should be a theocracy.  

“The way we get things done here is not by reading the Bible, it’s by reading the rules of the floor of the House of Representatives,” Israel says. “All of this is not of God. All of this is a manmade institution that’s designed to do good things. For me, this is a secular environment. We’re not a church. We’re in the Texas State Capitol trying to do good things.

“When someone is introducing anti-gay legislation and you happen to be gay, it’s hard not to take it personally,” Israel says later. “I’m doing the best I can to not let these issues be personal and respect their view, but I was raised a different way, and my Jesus is different.” 

The comments of Israel and other Democrats are presented in response to numerous Republicans who indicate their personal theologies are paramount when it comes to lawmaking. Although four percent of Texans are Jewish or Muslim, and one in five are nonbelievers, all but four of the state lawmakers who responded to the Tribune said they’re Christian. (Texas has 150 representatives and 31 senators).

And while only three percent of Texans believe guns, abortion or same-sex marriage are the most important issues facing the state, the Legislature spent much of this year’s session focused on those topics, with religion more prominent at the Capitol than at any other time in recent memory. 

“Everyone in Texas is made in the image of God, and because everyone is made in the image of God, that is serious business, it’s almost like representing God, and who would want to blow that opportunity?” GOP state Rep. James White declares. 

“A lot of times I look at as a fight for limited government, bringing government down so that God can be bigger, that there’s more of a role for the church,” says Rep. Jonathan Stickland, one of the state’s most prominent Tea Partiers.  

GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick indicates those views stretch to the highest levels of state government.    

“Despite what anyone would want to say in the media, or anyone in the outside world to try to spin for their own purpose, we are still a Christian nation, and there are some people who want us to deny that,” Patrick says. 

And to Patrick and others, “a Christian nation” clearly shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage. 

Texas lawmakers introduced more than 20 anti-LGBT bills in this year’s session, but all were defeated, largely due to opposition from the state’s chamber of commerce. And based on the Tribune‘s interviews with right-wing lawmakers, it wasn’t due to any lack of homophobic fervor on their part. 

“I don’t look at homosexuality any different than I would at an adulterer, a pornographer, those who are caught up in those lifestyles or bondage,” says Sen. Charles Perry, the author of a bill aimed at undermining the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell. “We all have our demons to slay, but to be in that lifestyle and say I’m a self-professing Christian with no expectation of turning away, that’s a direct violation of the Christian faith. This is a lifestyle and a choice and a decision, rather than an actual right that is granted to our pursuit of happiness.” 

Others told the Tribune they oppose same-sex marriage because they believe the institution was created by God, not government.  

“I do believe it’s revealed in the scripture that marriage is between one man and one women, but I also believe it’s revealed in nature, and so I don’t think it’s government’s right or responsibility to define marriage, but to recognize it,” says GOP Rep. David Simpson. 

Simpson delivers another gem when the subject turns to sex education. During this year’s session, lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to divert $3 million from HIV/AIDS prevention to abstinence-only education, resulting in a hilarious exchange on the House floor.

“If you’re going to talk about sex and marriage and intercourse, it’s best done with one’s parents in the privacy of one’s home, not when your hormones are really growling and moving in the classroom,” Simpson says. “I remember that when I was in seventh grade, and you know, that’s just so unnatural.” 

Watch the full special below. 


Image: Screenshot via The Texas Tribune/YouTube

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him



The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.


Continue Reading


Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run



U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

Continue Reading


Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow



Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.