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‘White-Hot Fury’: Anti-Gay Hate Groups on Rise in Wake of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

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Southern Poverty Law Center Adds Seven More Organizations to Anti-LGBT List, Which Has Nearly Doubled in Size Since 2011

Seven organizations were added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of active anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015, in a sign of increasing backlash over recent gay-rights victories including the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality last June.  

The surge in anti-LGBT organizations contributed to a 14 percent increase in the total number of hate groups in 2015, from 784 in 2014 to 892. It was the first overall increase in five years, and SPLC said thanks to politicians like Donald Trump — who graces the cover of its annual “Intelligence Report” released Wednesday — the nation is more polarized and angry than it’s been since the political turmoil of 1968. 

The Montgomery, Alabama civil rights group listed 48 organizations as anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015, up from 44 in 2014, as a few from previous years became inactive. The number of anti-LGBT hate groups has nearly doubled since 2011, when there were only 27. 

“These groups have had a series of losses that have them in a white-hot fury,” SPLC senior fellow Potok told The New Civil Rights Movement. “People who resent LGBT people and the gains they’ve made are organizing, but it’s very much a rear-guard action. These groups are really vile and nasty, but they’re losing the battle, and ultimately they’re going to lose the war.” 

In the face of mounting losses in the U.S., Potok said more anti-LGBT groups are turning their attention overseas, leading efforts to make homosexuality illegal in some countries. Anti-LGBT hate groups are also increasingly targeting transgender people, which contributed to an increase in anti-trans violence last year, including at least 23 murders. 

“Transgender people, and in particular transgender women of color, are the single most victimized group of people in the United States,” Potok said. “These are people whom it is apparently still alright to hate.” 

In addition to anti-LGBT backlash, the overall spike in hate groups was fueled mostly by new Ku Klux Klan chapters and black separatist groups, as well as anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations, SPLC said. 

“While the number of extremist groups grew in 2015 after several years of declines, the real story was the deadly violence committed by extremists in city after city,” Potok said. “Whether it was Charleston, San Bernardino or Colorado Springs, 2015 was clearly a year of deadly action for extremists.

“After seeing the bloodshed that defined 2015, our politicians should have worked to defuse this anger and bring us together as a nation,” Potok said. “Unfortunately, the carnage did little to dissuade some political figures from spouting incendiary rhetoric about minorities. In fact, they frequently exploited the anger and polarization across the country for political gain.”

Below are the seven new anti-LGBT hate groups in 2015: 

• The Campus Ministry USA of Terre Haute, Indiana

• Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati, Ohio

• Conservative Republicans of Texas in Houston, Texas 

• D. James Kennedy Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

• Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, Georgia (formerly Sons of Thundr)

• Faith2Action in North Royalton, Ohio

• The Friendship Assembly of God in Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges

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Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.

Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.

The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.

READ MORE: Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”

Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.

In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”

Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”

Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.

“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Respect for Marriage Act a second time, approving even stronger religious liberty protections after the legislation was changed in the Senate. But this time was different – this time Republicans really showed up, in even bigger numbers, to vote no.

And it’s worse than it looks.

The bill once again did pass, and will now be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

But how we got here does not bode well for the future of civil rights.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

On July 19, the bill passed the House 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting yes and all 157 no votes also coming from Republicans.

On Thursday the bill passed in a 258-169 vote, with just 39 Republicans voting yes and all 169 no votes again coming from Republicans.

Just looking at the overall vote totals, comparing the vote in July to the vote on Thursday, it’s easy to think eight Republicans (47 minus 39) switched their yes vote to no.

It’s a bit more complicated.

And it’s the no votes that are striking. Because in reality, this time a lot more Republicans voted no.

READ MORE: Watch: Speaker Pelosi Excitedly Announces House Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Protection Bill – 169 Republicans Vote No

Eight Republicans who did not vote in July showed up this time to vote no. Only one who did not vote in July voted yes on Thursday.

Another six Republicans switched their vote from yes in July to no on Thursday.

Two who voted yes in July did not vote on Thursday.

One switched from no to yes.
One switched from yes to present.
One who voted no in July is now deceased.

Republicans on the House floor on Thursday made their message clear.

Republicans like Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, a former anti-LGBTQ activist who worked for an organization created to block same-sex marriage. She literally cried own the floor begging her colleagues to vote no. And Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who said practically everything wrong in society can be traced back to same-sex marriage.

Here’s the breakdown. (If they are not listed they voted no.)

Here’s how we get to eight fewer yes votes:

Bentz Republican Oregon Yes to No
Mast Republican Florida Yes to No
Meuser Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Perry Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Salazar Republican Florida Yes to No
Van Drew Republican New Jersey Yes to No

Owens Republican Utah Yes to Present

Kinzinger Republican Illinois Yes to Did Not Vote
Zeldin Republican New York Yes to Did Not Vote

Herrera Beutler Republican Washington No to Yes

Here’s how we get a lot more no votes:

Babin Republican Texas Did Not Vote to No
Burchett Republican Tennessee Did Not Vote to No
Diaz-Balart Republican Florida Did Not Vote to No
Finstad Republican Minnesota Did Not Vote to No
Hartzler Republican Missouri Did Not Vote to No
Lucas Republican Oklahoma Did Not Vote to No
McKinley Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Miller (WV) Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No

Gallagher Republican Wisconsin No to Did Not Vote

Sempolinski Republican New York New Member to No
Yakym Republican Indiana New Member to No

Brady Republican Texas No to Did Not Vote
Walorski Republican Indiana No to deceased

 

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Kellyanne Conway Serves up Some Alternative Facts About Herschel Walker’s Failed Election Bid

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Kellyanne Conway, a political strategist who also served as White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, recently delivered critical remarks leveled at Republican senators.

According to Conway, Republican lawmakers did not stand behind Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the days leading up to the state’s highly publicized election runoff.

Walker, who was endorsed by Trump, lost the election by less than 100,000 votes.

On Wednesday, December 7, Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” where she voiced her concerns about the election.

According to Mediaite, Conway also “railed against Walker’s fellow Republicans for abandoning him.”

“To the 49 Republican senators, where were most of you?” Conway asked while appealing to other Republican lawmakers to support members of the party. “Why weren’t you in Georgia?”

Conway continued:

“They all should have been because they should’ve been there in some form, town hall, in person, saying the following: ‘I serve in the United States with Raphael Warnock. He’s a terrible senator. He doesn’t represent Georgia. He’s not fit to serve. He votes with Joe Biden. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that doesn’t do that. He said nothing when they pulled out of Afghanistan. He said nothing that Joe Biden has been to Delaware 174 days and down to the border zero days.’ That’s what needs to happen. Where were the other senators to say, ‘I want Herschel Walker, not Raphael Warnock in the Senate with me?'”

Conway’s remarks come shortly after another prominent conservative went on a rant about Walker; however, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) perspective is starkly different from Conway’s.

Speaking to far-right influencer Steve Bannon, Greene said that Walker’s campaign rarely reached out for assistance; something she describes as “insulting.” During the interview, Greene insisted, ″They only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting.”

 

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