Baptist Pastor, House Member Claims Anti-LGBT Discrimination Doesn’t Exist, Says Issue Is Media-Driven Â
Republicans in IndianaÂ are becoming increasingly defensive and hostile in the face of scrutiny from the media and the public over their refusal to pass legislation banning anti-LGBT discrimination.Â
During a town hall on Friday, state lawmakers from Elkhart County were asked whether it should be legal to fire people based on their sexual identity.
GOPÂ Rep. Tim Wesco, a Baptist pastor, quickly grabbed the microphone and stubbornly declared that Indiana doesn’t need such a law because it’s legal to fire him for being straight, and because anti-LGBT discrimination doesn’t exist.
“It is legal to fire me for being straight. Doesn’t mean it happens,” Wesco said, referring to nearby South Bend’s LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance. “There have been zero verified complaints against discrimination in the city of South Bend.”
According to a 2015 report fromÂ WNDU-TV, there were in fact four sexual-orientation discrimination complaints filed in the first three years after South Bend enacted its nondiscrimination law. All of the complaints were related to employment bias, and one was filed by a heterosexual person.Â
Meanwhile, another member of the panel, GOP Rep. Curt Nisly, said LGBT people don’t deserve “collective rights” based on their “choices.”Â
“Personal choices in sexual partners should not be elevated to a civil rights issue,” -Rep. Tim Wesco. “Figures a reporter would ask this.”
â€” Alexis Gray (@AlexisG_FOX28) February 12, 2016Â
@AlexisG_FOX28 since when are civil rights a popularity contest? If that was the case 68 Civil Rights Act would never have passed
â€” studioonesb (@studioonesb) February 12, 2016
When Fox 28 tried to follow up with Wesco after Friday’s town hall, he brushed aside the station’s camera and accused its crew of being “very, very intrusive.”Â
“I made my statements,” he said.Â
Indiana Competes coalition member says 65 percent of Hoosiers support expanded LGBT anti-discrimination laws pic.twitter.com/GtFaezKtM9
â€” Alexis Gray (@AlexisG_FOX28) February 12, 2016
Matthew Straw, a representative from the pro-LGBT business coalition Indiana Competes who posed the question to the lawmakers, told Fox 28 that Wesco’s statements were untrue.Â
“People across the state face discrimination,” StrawÂ said, adding that Wesco’s decision to dodge the media after the town hall was telling. “That sends a message to me that he’s not willing to have a discussion about this.”Â
“Any organization that wants to hold a moral standard is now in danger of being called bigoted,” -Wesco
â€” Alexis Gray (@AlexisG_FOX28) February 12, 2016
According to a report on the town hall from The Elkhart Truth, Wesco also said he believes the issue of LGBT rights is â€œIndianapolis-drivenâ€ and media driven, adding that constituents in his district aren’t clamoring about it.Â
â€œTo compare this to the black civil rights movement is ridiculous,â€ he said. â€œThere is not a single, verifiable case of discrimination that has occurred in Elkhart County. It is not a problem. So why are we having this discussion?â€
â€” Timothy Wesco (@RepWesco) March 30, 2015
Wesco, who serves as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Elkhart, was an outspoken supporter of Indiana’s anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015. After weeks of intense business backlash, lawmakers amended the RFRA to clarify that it doesn’t sanction anti-LGBT discrimination.Â
Wesco has also said same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, and his church’s Doctrinal Statement compares homosexuality to bestiality and incest, calling them “sinful perversions.”Â The church also claims God “disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter oneâ€™s gender by surgery or appearance.”Â
â€” Timothy Wesco (@RepWesco) June 26, 2015
GOP Rep. Curt Nisly, also said during the town hall he believes LGBT protections are unnecessary â€” but for a different reason.Â
“LGBT are individuals,” Nisly told Fox 28. “So they have individual rights. I don’t think that we should have collective rights just because you make certain choices.”
Image via Indiana House Republicans
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Acting Speaker McHenry Did Not Have Authority to Evict Pelosi Says Top Rules Committee Democrat
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Kevin McCarthy’s hand-picked temporary successor and acting Speaker, operated outside of carefully crafted House rules when he evicted Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic Majority Leader, from their Capitol Hill offices just hours after Republicans ousted McCarthy as Speaker.
That’s according to the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), who previously served as the Chair of the Rules Committee. He says the “Speaker pro tempore” has one job only: help elect a new Speaker of the House.
“I want to clear up some confusion,” McGovern wrote late Wednesday afternoon.
“As an unelected acting Speaker pro tempore, @PatrickMcHenry’s job is to guide the House toward the election of a new Speaker. That’s it.”
“His power is constrained by the plain text of Rule 1, Clause 8 of the Rules of the House,” said McGovern.
Rep. McGovern said he is “alarmed” by McHenry’s order evicting Pelosi and Hoyer.
“Given the plain text of the rule, I don’t think he has that power,” McGovern added.
McGovern further explained, “The rule says he can only exercise as much authority as is ‘necessary and appropriate’ towards the end of electing a Speaker. The Rules Committee narrowly described this rule in 2004: an acting Speaker pro tempore serves ‘for the sole purpose of electing a new Speaker.'”
“These rules were put into place after 9/11 to ensure continuity of government & quick election of a new Speaker in an emergency. Not to provide for a short-term Speaker due to Republican dysfunction,” concluded McGovern, who has served in Congress since 1997.
‘My Job Is Not to Put Pool Noodles Around Hard Corners for Republicans’: AOC Blasts Critics Over McCarthy Vote
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted critics across the political spectrum who are angered House Democrats did not vote to keep Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, after Republicans ousted him on Tuesday.
“Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right,” Ocasio-Cortez said on social media. “The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”
AOC also blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is now a former Democrat, after he criticized Democrats on CNN.
“Why did Dems vote along party lines to oust Kevin McCarthy? Not because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do,” Yang said on social media when posting his remarks.
“Yes,” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded, “because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country.”
“Do some of you hear yourselves?” she asked rhetorically.
Tuesday night she also defended Democrats for not, as some have put it, “saving” McCarthy.
“Does anyone believe for one minute that McCarthy would help elect a Dem speaker ‘for the institution’?” she asked. “McCarthy’s hubris is a theme. He loudly stated he wouldn’t negotiate w/Dems, called virtually none, trashed those who helped w/CR, and then expected Dem votes for free?”
Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos
In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.
“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.
“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.
“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.
“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”
Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”
“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”
“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”
Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”
Watch below or at this link.
Fox News cuts off interview with senator for “breaking news,” which is Peter Doocy asking KJP the following questions:
– is the West Wing “loving the fact” that the GOP doesn’t appear able to govern the House?
– are you guys talking about a possible Speaker Trump? pic.twitter.com/Csr2E2CYI5
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