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Breaking: Georgia Senate Passes Discriminatory Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill By Huge Margin

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GOP Senators Allowed No Amendments to Be Proposed to Fast-Tracked Bill – Could Be Signed Into Law as Soon as Monday

The Georgia First Amendment Defense Act just passed the Senate by a vote of 38-14. The bill now makes its way back to the Georgia House, which only needs to agree on it. In all likelihood, given that a previous version passed unanimously, it will. The anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation could be signed into law by GOP Gov. Nathan Deal as soon as Monday, after the House reconvenes.

The bill, known as FADA, like many that have been making their way around the nation’s legislatures this year, makes anti-LGBT discrimination legal by providing special protections for people who wish to claim their religious faith prohibits them from performing certain acts, including baking a cake for a same-sex wedding, or allowing a child to be adopted by a same-sex couple.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State analyzed the legislation, and concludes the bill “allows any individual or ‘faith-based’ business, non-profit entity, or taxpayer-funded organization to ignore any law that conflicts with their religious beliefs about marriage.”

UPDATE: Georgia Based Telecom Says ‘Time to Relocate’ After Lawmakers Pass Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

During the initial hearing Friday morning, Republican senators led by Sen. Greg Kirk (photo, lower center), moved quickly to engross the bill, banning any amendments to the legislation from being proposed. 

In explaining the bill before the vote Friday, Sen. Greg Kirk claimed it does not impact any business, including its relationship with employees, and claimed “it is a live and let live bill.” Legal experts disagree.

In a letter to Georgia Senators this week, Maggie Garrett, AU’s Legislative Director explains “any person, business, or taxpayer-funded organization could refuse anyone else rights, services, and benefits because they: are part of an interracial couple; are part of an interfaith couple; are a single mother; are part of a same-sex couple; are divorced; are remarried; live or have lived with a partner without being married; or have had sex outside of marriage at any time in their life.”

Just a few of the troubling real life consequences could include: a single mother and her child being denied safety at the domestic violence shelter; a hospital denying a man the opportunity to say goodbye to his dying husband; a cemetery corporation denying an interracial couple a shared cemetery plot; a restaurant refusing to allow a child’s birthday party because his parents are divorced; or an unmarried couple and their child being denied a room at a hotel late at night after their car broke down.

Senator Kirk, who is also a minister, told his fellow lawmakers concerned about religious organizations denying help to someone because they are LGBT, “I have never known a faith-based organization to turn anyone away.” 

“This law does not allow discrimination,” he falsely stated.

He then told the Senators that on Sunday, “I want you to look at those church members in the eye and tell them how you voted.”

Democratic Senator Emanuel Jones, who is Black, challenged Kirk on his definition of “faith-based organizations,” noting that the KKK would fall under that definition. Kirk then compared the Black Panthers to the KKK.

UPDATE: Sponsor Of Georgia’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Has ‘No Problem’ Knowing It Would Protect The KKK

Despite excellent arguments by Democratic senators, the bill passed by a huge margin.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

Image by Lori Geary via Twitter

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Watch: Trump Stunned When Asked if He Regrets ‘All the Lying You’ve Done to the American People?’ at ‘News’ Conference

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President Donald Trump was asked an unusual question during his supposed “news” briefing Thursday evening.

“After three and a half years, do you regret at all, all the lying that you’ve done to the American people?” HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte asked. The briefing was carried live on Fox News, but not on MSNBC or CNN.

“All the what?” a startled President Trump asked.

“All the lying, all the dishonesties,” Dáte repeated.

“And who is that?” Trump, still stunned, asked.

“You have done,” Dáte repeated again.

“Ah… Go ahead, please,” Trump said, pointing to another reporter, refusing to answer the original question.

Watch:

Minutes earlier, Dáte posted these important tweets:

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Trump Calls for ‘A Certain Freedom’ to Wear Masks or Not – and Lies That Biden’s Coronavirus Policies Are ‘Anti-Scientific’

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President Donald Trump tried to contrast his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the deaths of nearly 170,000 Americans, against former Vice President Joe Biden, who has called for strong measures far earlier than Trump ever did.

On Thursday Biden called on the nation’s governors to issue across the board mask mandates. Trump, in a campaign speech delivered under the false pretense of a coronavirus news conference, attacked his Democratic rival, and falsely claimed Biden had called for a national mask mandate instituted by presidential decree.

Trump, who misuses the power of his office regularly, claimed he did not think a President has the power to mandate mask wearing (he or she does.)

“Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing. The estimates by the experts are that it will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months. Forty thousand lives, if people act responsibly,” former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday, referring to scientific studies. “It’s not about your rights. It’s about your responsibilities as an American.”

Trump offered a different take on mask-wearing, saying “maybe they’re great and maybe they’re good and maybe they’re not so good, but frankly, what do you have to lose?” and adding, “we want to have a certain freedom,” to wear or not masks, “that’s what we’re about.”

Watch:

 

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Trump’s Postmaster General Removing Hundreds of Mail Sorting Machines – Before the Biggest Vote By Mail Election Ever: Report

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President Donald Trump’s Postmaster General is quietly removing mail sorting machines and has scheduled the removal of  hundreds more from USPS facilities across the country. The action, which is both unprecedented and unexplained, comes barely months before the 2020 November election, which begins in weeks when early voting starts in some states.

“In many cases, these are the same machines that would be tasked with sorting ballots, calling into question promises made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the USPS has ‘ample capacity’ to handle the predicted surge in mail-in ballots,” VICE’s Motherboard reports. “Motherboard identified 19 mail sorting machines from five processing facilities across the U.S. that either have already been removed or are scheduled to be in the near future.”

That may not seem like a lot, and as Motherboard notes, “the Postal Service operates hundreds of distribution facilities around the country.”

But The Guardian’s voting rights reporter Sam Levine has posted what he reports is a letter and attached spreadsheets detailing where literally hundreds of USPS machines are slated to be removed, from where, and when.

NCRM examined the spreadsheets, which refer to the removal of a total of 671 mail sorting machines with names like Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSMs), and Delivery Bar Code Sorters (DBCSs).

These are used to sort mostly letter-sized, flat mail pieces – the exact kind that, say, voting ballots would be sent in.

The letter, which was sent to the President of the American Postal Workers Union, cites only the “reduction in letter and flat mail volume,” but does not say why the machines are being removed now. The schedule calls for all 671 machines to be removed by September 30, which in some states is when or just after early voting begins.

 

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