People are angry with Georgia’s new anti-LGBT bill that also protects the KKK. So far, one company has vowed to leave the state.Â
You’d think Republicans would have learned their lesson after Indiana was on the receiving end of a huge backlash for trying to make it legal to discriminate against LGBT people. Well, they didnâ€™t. In what appears to be a direct reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, legislators across the country have been working overtime to find new ways to attack the LGBT community. Earlier this month, we reported that the state of Oklahoma broke a record by submitting at least 26 anti-LGBT bills! Now, Georgia is stepping up to the plate to hit a home run with their latest hate-filled legislation, and they are quickly seeing the consequences.
Georgia state senators on Friday passed a controversial bill that 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. Basically, itâ€™s a license to discriminate against the LGBT community without legal repercussions. For those of you thinking this law is just about “protecting” anti-gay bakers from having to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, think again.
Remember that doctor in Michigan who refused to treat a newborn last year because the baby had two moms? That could also be legal with this new bill. Georgiaâ€™s First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), or HB 757, would allow doctors to refuse treatment to patients if the doctor didnâ€™t agree with that patientâ€™s (or their family members) sexual orientation. It would allow foster and adoption agencies to deny qualified parents from adopting children, thus justifying using tax dollars to keep children homeless.
As if that weren’t enough to make you cringe, GOP Sen. Greg Kirk (photo) acknowledged his bill would protect members of the KKK from their hate-filled actions, and he had no problem with that.
â€œCouldnâ€™t that organization, if they chose to do so, identify themselves as â€˜faith basedâ€™?â€ State Senator Emanuel Jones asked referring to the KKK, an organization with a history of calling itself faith-based.
â€œIâ€™m not an attorney,â€ Kirk responded. â€œI guess they could, Senator. Iâ€™m not sure. I donâ€™t know what would stop them.
â€œSo thereâ€™s nothing in your legislation that would stop them, is that correct?â€ asked Jones.
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ Kirk said.
â€œDoes that present a problem for you, Senator?â€ Jones continued.
After a long pause, Kirk simply said, â€œNo.â€
Many people took to Twitter to express their outrage over the senate passing the discriminatory bill.
A few companies in Georgia, including Delta, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot, appealed the legislature to table the bill, insisting it will hurt their ability to attract employees and customers, but the Republican-dominated legislature didnâ€™t seem to care. HB 757 passed the Georgia Senate on Friday with a vote of 38-14. The above companies have yet to make a statement since the billâ€™s passing, but one telecom company, 373K, has announced it is moving because of it.
“I’m gay, our CFO is gay, we have people from every walk of life working here,” co-founder Kelvin Williams toldÂ The New Civil Rights Movement in a telephone interview Saturday afternoon. The company has decided to move to Nevada.
“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.”
Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance also spoke out in an editorial in Saturday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“No one in Georgia wants to go through what Indiana experienced. It is a little-known fact that Georgia state law offers no nondiscrimination protections for the LGBT community. In other words, this bill will take Georgia law from a â€œsee-no-evilâ€ approach to discrimination to tacit approval. That could prove devastating for our reputation as a great place to do business.”
GOP Gov. Nathan Deal made a public commentÂ on the legislation and explained that theÂ measure is still evolving. He mentioned he was working with his top aides, House Speaker David Ralston, also a Republican, and other legislative leaders, but declined to discuss specifics about the possible changes.
â€œWeâ€™re working with the leadership of the General Assembly now as that bill is continuing to move through the process,â€ he said. â€œSo weâ€™ll see.â€ He also added, â€œI donâ€™t comment until things are finalized, and, by far, itâ€™s not finalized yet.â€
Since the governor seems to have concerns about the bill, that’s all the more reason to add pressure to companies and organizations to speak out. Daily KosÂ noted that the NCAA has been noticeably quiet about HB 757 and they are urging people to put pressure on the organization to stand up against the bill.
â€œThe NCAA recently awarded their College Football Championship to Atlanta for January 2018. The NCAAâ€™s nondiscrimination policy and threats of sanctions against the state of Indiana helped win the fight against Indianaâ€™s RFRA last year. A similar threat to revoke the CFB championship would likely drive the GA legislature into a tizzy to kill this bill.â€
Daily Kos is urging people to signal boost and tweet at NCAAâ€™s press/media/legal contacts. We support that too. Feel free to use the following tweet:
Finally, here’s Gov. Deal’s contact information as well. Make sure you tell him that you don’t agree with state sanctioned discrimination.
Image via the Georgia Senate
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Sinema Says ‘DC Solutions’ on Guns Not ‘Realistic’
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), one of two major roadblocks to Democrats passing President Joe Biden’s top agenda items including gun control, just one day after an 18-year old gunman massacred 21 people in Texas including 19 elementary school children, offered to be open to discussion but made clear she does not believe in a federal solution to the gun violence that plagues America.
The United States is the only country in the world with a gun crisis of this magnitude. The leading cause of death for children and teens is now a gun.
Republicans allowed the 1994 federal ban on semi-automatic weapons to expire in 2004. A 2019 study found “Mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur during the federal ban period.”
Senator Sinema appeared to disagree with that study in remarks to reporters late Wednesday morning.
“I asked her if she was willing to set aside the filibuster,” Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman reports. “She said she didn’t believe ‘that DC solutions are realistic here.'”
The federal assault weapons ban was a “DC solution.”
Sinema also told Sherman that “despite the fact that there is always heated rhetoric here in DC, I do think there’s an opportunity for us to actually have real conversations and try and do something. I think the conversation across America is very different than it is here.”
90 percent of Americans want Congress to pass a background check bill, which the House already has but Senate Republicans refuse to allow. Eliminating the 60-vote threshold in the filibuster might allow that legislation to pass, as it almost did under President Barack Obama, with 54 votes.
“People at home all across America are just, they’re scared,” Sinema added, suggesting that is no reason to make changes to the way the Senate works, or to pass gun control legislation. “They want us to do something.”
Sinema committed to no action other than “to start having conversations again with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to determine whether or not there’s something we can actually do to help increase safety and protect kids across the country.”
The House has already passed multiple bills the Senate could take up and pass — or at least get Senators on the record.
Sen. Sinema’s reluctance to do anything substantive stands in clear contrast to her Arizoan Democratic colleague in the House. U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, long rumored to be a potential primary opponent when Sinema is up for re-election, on Tuesday night blasted Sinema and others, like “baby killer” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), standing in the way of gun control.
Please just stop.. unless you are willing to break the filibuster to actually pass sensible gun control measures you might as well just say “thoughts and prayers” https://t.co/YA5Pp3dqao
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 24, 2022
Just to be clear fuck you @tedcruz you fucking baby killer.
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 24, 2022
Fuck you @NRA
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 24, 2022
‘Avowed White Nationalist’ Republican Criticized as ‘Unfit for Office’ Over False Claim Shooter Was LGBTQ, Undocumented
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is being criticized after falsely identifying the Uvalde, Texas shooter who massacred 19 children and two adults at an elementary school as being a “leftist,” undocumented, and LGBTQ.
Last year Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) called Gosar an “avowed white nationalist.” Gosar appeared by video at an event run by a far-right activist who has been labeled a white nationalist and a white supremacist.
In a tweet posted very early Wednesday morning, well after the identity of the alleged shooter was widely reported, the far-right Arizona Congressman said the 18-year-old who slaughtered 21 people was a “transsexual leftist illegal alien.”
Many hours earlier Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott had specifically said at a news conference the shooter (NCRM will not name him here) was a U.S. citizen. There is no indication he was “transsexual,” as Gosar falsely claimed, or “leftist.”
Former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski posted a screenshot of Gosar’s tweet, which has since been deleted after massive outcries.
Deleted tweet by Gosar. He wasn’t trans. He wasn’t leftist. He wasn’t an illegal alien. The only thing Gosar got right was the name. Another in an endless list of despicable acts by Gosar. pic.twitter.com/ohM3STIOQG
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 25, 2022
Reporting on his tweet, Huffpost called Gosar “an anti-immigration hardliner who routinely cozies up to white nationalists, ” and “was apparently promoting a false claim circulating on right-wing networks.”
The lawmaker was censured and stripped of his committee assignments last year after he posted an anime video depicting him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and threatening President Joe Biden. Only two Republicans voted with Democrats on the measure.
Meanwhile, in response to the false tweet an opinion writer for The Arizona Republic, Laurie Roberts, called Gosar “Arizona’s reigning king of disinformation,” and “a gossip of the worst kind – one who delights in distorting the facts to fit his own warped view of the world.”
“The congressman – already censured for his sick anime video in which he shows himself killing a congresswoman and threatening the president – has shown himself, yet again, to be completely unfit for office.”
Roberts added: “Not a single Republican leader in this state will denounce him,” and “He’ll be re-elected in a landslide.”
Florida Republican Levies ‘Threat’ Against Biden Over Guns After Being Investigated for Cyberintimidation
Florida State Representative Randy Fine, a Republican from Brevard County, Wednesday morning posted what some say appears to be a threat against President Joe Biden. Tuesday evening the President addressed the nation just hours after 19 second, third, and fourth-grade school children and two teachers were massacred in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings.
“We as a nation have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby. When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” President Biden implored Americans as he spoke barely more than one hour after landing at the White House after a five-day Asia trip.
Early Tuesday morning Rep. Fine tweeted: “I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our President — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place.”
Some online are seeing that as an apparent threat.
“This sounds like a threat against the President,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Is this a threat Randy?” asked another.
Several reported the tweet to Twitter Safety, and more responded by tweeting it to the FBI and Secret Service.
One user whose bio says she is an Internet Safety Expert tweeted “18 U.S.C. §871(a).” That is the federal law for ‘Threats against President and successors to the Presidency.”
Rep. Fine has been investigated but not prosecuted for cyberintimidation, among other allegations.
In February, “prosecutors announced that after an exhaustive investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a thorough review by Chief Assistant State Attorney Stacey Salmons …, no criminal charges would be filed in allegations leveled at State Representative Randy Fine by Brevard County School Board Member Jennifer Jenkins, and Publisher Robert Burns,” the Florida State Attorney’s Office stated.
“Jenkins and Burns alleged that between July and August of 2021, Fine had committed the offenses of Corruption by Threat Against a Public Servant; Cyberintimidation by Publication; Stalking; Residency Qualification Violations; Campaign Finance Violations; and Voter Fraud (Oct. 2019 – Nov. 2020).”
The State Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Fine, but State Attorney Phil Archer added: “Although no criminal charges are being filed, I am concerned that the continued use of heated rhetoric on social media and public statements by both sides, could produce a volatile and dangerous escalation we should all seek to avoid.”
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