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NM GOP Lawmakers File ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill Stripping LGBT Protections

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Two New Mexico Republicans are trying to take away protections from LGBT people under the guise of “religious liberty.”

Lawmakers in New Mexico are claiming Christians should have the right to refuse service to anyone who violates their deeply-held religious beliefs. Specifically, the right to refuse service to LGBT people.

Republican Reps. David Gallegos and Nora Espinoza have pre-filed a discriminatory bill for the 2016 session, HB55, that literally would strip the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” from the state Human Rights Act. 

“The intent of the bill would be to ensure people would not be forced to operate their business that was in a way inconsistent with their religious beliefs,” Rep. Gallegos told KOB-TV. “It would just keep everyone on an even playing field.”

They say state law should not “burden a person’s free exercise of religion by requiring the person to provide a service or to conduct business” that violates their “sincerely held religious belief.” 

Equality New Mexico and the New Mexico ACLU are fighting the legislation. 

“When the bill removes sexual orientation and gender, we know exactly what the intent is. It’s to make the lives of LGBT people harder,” Amber Royster, executive director of Equality New Mexico says. She calls it “blatant discrimination.”

Also opposed is State Senator Jacob Candelaria.

“This bill goes a lot further than just wedding photography. This bill would allow any profession, any person to deny services to people because they are lesbian or gay,” Sen. Candelaria says. “That includes doctors and pediatricians treating children whose parents are gay or lesbian.” 

 

Image by Rafael Gunti via Flickr and a CC license
Hat tip: Joe.My.God.

 

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Democrats Pass LGBTQ Equality Act With Support of Just Three Republicans

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Democrats have passed the historic LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation that expands the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The vote was 224-206. Just three Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to sign the legislation into law during his first 100 days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be in a position to make that possible, should all Democratic Senators support the bill.

The House also passed similar legislation in May of 2019, but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

Some news outlets are characterizing the bill as offering “sweeping” protections, but contrary to what most Americans believe, LGBTQ people have no federal law offering them specific protections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers appropriate, not “sweeping” protections.

Recent court decisions, including the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision, have ruled the Civil Right Act applies to LGBTQ people, but the Equality Act will ensure these protections are realized.

In a sign of the further extremism of the Republican Party, the 2019 Equality Act passed with five more GOP votes than it did today.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Right Wingers Outraged Biden Hasn’t Delivered SOTU – Claim It Was Required by Feb. 20 – Capitol Police Issue Warning

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Right wingers on social media are spreading misinformation, falsely claiming President Joe Biden was required to deliver the State of the Union Address, with some claiming a February 20 deadline. Their false claims and the fact-checking responses caused “SOTU” to trend on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

The outrage comes on the same day acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told the House Appropriations Committee right wing extremists, which she called “militia” members, “have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members” of the House and Senate “as possible.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not yet set a date for what would be a joint session of Congress. The President does not deliver a State of the Union address during his first year in office.

The February 20 claim, which is false, apparently originated or was made popular by this Facebook post, which initiated a USA Today fact check stating it is “false information.”

Despite the ignorance of the MAGA crowd and right wingers, the U.S. Constitution is clear, offering little in the way of expectations for an address to Congress.

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 states the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

No date, mode, or even frequency is mandated. Earlier in U.S. history the President wrote Congress a letter.

Here’s a failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey suggesting the Constitution requires a State of the Union Address. She claims she is “Asking on behalf of the Constitution.”

This MAGAite suggests President Biden is a “fraud,” and “unelected, illegitimate & totally unfit” because he hasn’t delivered a State of the Union address.

A Washington Times columnist falsely claiming President Biden can’t stand up long enough to deliver an address:

Former NRA spokesperson and pro-gun extremist thinks it was supposed to have been delivered “yesterday.”

“Conservative Christian”:

 

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NON-CRISIS ACTOR

Marjorie Taylor Greene Again Tries to Block LGBTQ Equality Act Vote by Forcing Motion to Adjourn

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The “QAnon Congresswoman” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tried to block a vote on the LGBTQ Equality Act once again Thursday afternoon by calling for the House to adjourn, forcing every member to go the the floor to vote.

The move interrupts committee hearings and all other business being conducted by every Representative. The freshman Georgia Republican made the same motion on Wednesday, and received the support of every single Republican when the House voted 214-202 against adjournment in a wholly partisan line vote.

Today’s vote has yet to conclude.

On Thursday Greene, wearing a mask that read “Joe Biden is as useless as this mask,”  suggested she was speaking for the entire Republican caucus who are “very offended” Democrats are “claiming” Republicans “had anything to do” with the January 6 insurrection. On Wednesday a CNN report confirmed that a “close ally” of Greene’s was at least present on Capitol Hill during the attack.

Greene Thursday also lied on the House floor, declaring that “the Equality Act is not about stopping discrimination. It’s about causing discrimination against women and religious freedoms.”

“I would like to motion to adjourn, Madam Speaker,” she concluded.

UPDATE:

EARLIER: Marjorie Taylor Greene Slammed for Attack Targeting Dem With Trans Daughter as House Readies LGBTQ Equality Act Vote

 

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