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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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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

ABC Host Pops Marco Rubio’s Balloon Rant: It ‘Happened Three Times’ Under Trump

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ABC host Jonathan Karl reminded Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that former President Donald Trump had failed to notify Americans on at least three occasions when Chinese balloons entered the country’s airspace.

During an interview on ABC, Karl asked Rubio if President Joe Biden should have gone against the advice of the U.S. military and instead shot the balloon down over populated land.

Rubio agreed that the debris could have “hurt, harmed or killed people.”

“If that was the case, then I think it really would have been helpful for the president of the United States to get on national television and explain to the American people, this is what we’re dealing with, this is what I’m going to do about it, and this is why I haven’t done it yet. None of that happened. And I don’t know why. I don’t know why they waited so long to tell people about this.”

But Karl pointed out that Trump had failed to disclose similar incidents at least three times.

“This happened three times under the previous president,” the host said. “Obviously, there were no public notifications there.”

READ: Trump’s wall is ‘morphing’

Watch the ABC video below or at this link.

 

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Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed

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Supreme Court employees raised security concerns that were not made public when an internal investigation was completed following the leak of a draft opinion reversing abortion rights.

Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.

“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.

Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.

Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.

Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.

A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: ‘Has made my life miserable’: Marjorie Taylor Greene explains why she hates being in Congress

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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’

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If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.

“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.

But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”

“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.

READ MORE: Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report

It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”

The allegations continue.

“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”

“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”

READ MORE: ‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories

The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”

The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”

The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.

You can read The Beast’s full report here.

 

 

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