EXCLUSIVE: Passage of unconstitutional, discriminatory, anti-gay legislation leads one Georgia company to take a stand.
Georgia state senators on Friday passed a highly-controversial bill that would enshrine into law special protections for people of faith who are opposed to same-sex marriage and LGBT people. Erroneously named the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), HB 757, according to legal experts, is likely unconstitutional and extends legal cover to both individuals and corporations â€“ including taxpayer-funded non-profits â€“ who wish to claim they have a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits them from serving LGBT people or same-sex couples.
The passage of the bill led at least one Georgia company to announce their intention to exit the Peach State.
â€” 373K, Inc. (@373KInc) February 19, 2016
373K is a telecom company based in Decatur, Georgia. Co-founder Kelvin Williams stands by the tweet and its message.
“I’m gay, our CFO is gay, we have people from every walk of life working here,” Williams toldÂ The New Civil Rights Movement in a telephone interview Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve got Muslims, Buddhists, atheists here,” he added. “We’ve got great Christians working for us. They’ve never thought of not serving anyoneÂ â€“ that’s not the message of Christ.”
“We don’t tolerate that crap,” he said, explicitly, of discrimination.
Williams says the anti-gay bill is “not conducive for Georgia,” lamenting that the “business environment in the state is not that great anyway.”
“It’s sad our state government wants to take us back in time,” Williams says. “I wish Georgia would wake up.”
“If you’re not a white married Christian heterosexual, prepare to be persecuted,” he warned.
Asked if he were concerned his tweet might lose business for his company, Williams said he doesn’t care, and that he doesn’t want to do business with those who support the legislation, whom he calls “fake Christians.”
373K Client Relations Manager Brian Greene echoed the sentiment, tellingÂ The New Civil Rights Movement that “what’s wrong is wrong and sometimes you have to take a stand.”
He denounced “uninformed governing bodies continuing to act this way,” adding he’s “uncomfortable” with the environment manifested by the bill.
Asked if 373K were truly considering relocating, Greene says they’re “definitely seriously considering” it, no longer feeling “comfortable” in “paying taxes to the State of Georgia.”
The tweet and the sentiments behind it might come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the national battle over anti-gay “religious freedom” bills, which many have labeled licenses to discriminate, but to those who remember the international attention a similar battle in Indiana drew last year, it doesn’t.
The CEO of the $4 billion corporation SalesForce last year announcedÂ he was canceling “all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination,” after another “religious freedom” bill passed and GOP Gov. Mike Pence said he would sign it into law.
Other companies around the nation expressedÂ similar condemnation of Indiana’s attempt to enshrine anti-gay discrimination into the law. Among them were Nike, Apple,Â Fortune 500 member Cummins,Â Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., and NASCAR.Â
373K’sÂ Kelvin Williams says, “we’re hoping Coca-Cola” takes similar steps in denouncing the legislation. TheÂ Coca-Cola Company, now 130 years old, is based in Atlanta, Georgia. On social media many have asked the $44 billion multi-national corporation to speak out.
Across Georgia, literally hundreds of top corporations that do business in the state are doing so, having signed the Georgia Prospers pledge.
“We believe that in order for Georgia businesses to compete for top talent,” the pledge states in part, “we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for all people, no matter oneâ€™s race, sex, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
During debate on Friday, Democratic lawmakers warned their Republican colleagues who had fast-trackedÂ HB 757 that the world is watching Georgia, and the anti-gay bill could cost the state millions in lost revenue from companies refusing to hold meetings and conventions there.
The bill passed by a huge majority, 38-14. The House, having already passed an earlier version of the bill will likely give it the thumbs up this coming week. GOP Gov. Nathan Deal hasn’t said if he would sign it but chances are strong he will.
Image by Liz Flowers via TwitterÂ
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‘One Minute to Live, Sir’: Trump Shared Details of Soleimani Assassination With Top Dollar Donors at Mar-a-Lago Fundraiser
President Donald Trump shared moment-by-moment details of his assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani with top high-dollar donors at Friday night’s fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. The Commander-in-Chief also revealed he authorized the killing, not because of any supposed “imminent threat,” as he has previously asserted, but because intelligence reports, he said, found Solemiani was “talking about bad stuff.”
Killing Solemani as an act of retribution instead of as a preventative measure against imminent attack could be a war crime, legal experts have said.
The Washington Post reports Trump “spoke broadly about Soleimani as ‘the father of the road side bomb’ responsible for ‘every young, beautiful man or woman who see walking around with no legs, no arms.'”
Soleimani “was saying bad things about our country, like we’re going to attack, we’re going to kill your people. I said, ‘listen, how much of this shit do we have to listen to, right?’” Trump said, to applause.
The president also gave a blow-by-blow account of Soleimani’s killing.
“‘Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds.’ No emotion. ‘two minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8 …’ Then all of a sudden, boom,” Trump told the group of donors, according to audio recordings the Post received.
The Post also revealed that at Friday’s fundraiser, “Trump is heard boasting about increasing the defense budget by $2.5 trillion. To those who criticized his spending and the growing national debt, Trump said, ‘Who the hell cares about the budget? We’re going to have a country.'”
Lev Parnas Details ‘Intimate’ Cannabis Industry Dinner With Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
In an extensive interview with the Daily Beast, Lev Parnas — the associate of Rudy Giuliani who is at the center of more allegations of corruption against Donald Trump — revealed details of a meeting he had with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner that the White House has tried to dismiss.
Speaking with the Beast’s Betsy Swan, Parnas stated that we was a participant at a private dinner at the Trump Hotel, with Swan writing, “In October 2018, he attended a dinner in a private suite at Trump Hotel hosted by the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The dinner, with around a dozen people, connected Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump with leaders in the cannabis industry. Parnas said he was invited because he “was a Trump loyalist,” and because the super PAC’s Director of Development Joey Ahearn knew he was pro-cannabis.”
According to Parnas, cannabis entrepreneurs were hoping to influence Kushner in the hope he could influence the White House’s stance on weed.
“They wanted Jared to be more involved, maybe help push the agenda with the president because they felt that that was something he needed to be more lenient on,” Parnas explained.
As for a picture taken with the couple that went viral, Parnas sais the White House was lying about the circumstances under which is was taken.
“The White House has claimed that a picture of Parnas with Kushner and Ivanka Trump was ‘taken at an event in a photo line.’” the report states. “Parnas, however, said it was taken at the intimate dinner with cannabis industry insiders. Two sources with knowledge of the dinner confirmed that it happened in October 2018 and that Parnas attended. The decor in the background of the picture–as Zack Everson, author of a newsletter on Trump properties noted–indicates the photo was taken in the pricey Trump Hotel suite where the dinner was hosted.”
You can read more here.
Rod Rosenstein Admits He Authorized Release of Strzok-Page Texts That Spawned Preposterous GOP Conspiracy Theories
Strzok and Page, who were involved in the Russia investigation prior to dismissal by former special counsel Robert Mueller, and whose extramarital affair inflamed Fox News’ outrage for months, revealed a dislike of President Donald Trump in their text messages, which formed the basis of GOP conspiracy theories that the FBI had been secretly working to bring down the president with the Russia investigation.
Subsequent investigations have failed to find any evidence that Strzok, Page, or any other FBI officials tried to politically target Trump with the power of the agency. However, a recent inspector general report suggests some of their surveillance practices may have been improper and require reform.
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