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This Lawmaker And Evangelical Pastor Just Got His Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Passed

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Likely Unconstitutional, State Rep. Says Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel And Alliance Defending Freedom Will Defend State In All Lawsuits

Monday night the South Dakota House passed a bill that extends special protections to anyone – person or company, corporation, non-profit, club, with few exceptions – opposed to same-sex marriage or LGBT people in general, if they cite their “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” HB 1107 is sponsored by GOP State Representative Scott Craig, a virulently anti-gay evangelical pastor.

Here’s Rep. Craig in 2010 preaching to his congregation, calling LGBT people “the perverse.”

Craig’s HB 1107, in part, states:

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the state may not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that the person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that:

(1) Marriage is or should only be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

(2) Sexual relations are properly reserved to marriage; or

(3) The terms male or man and female or woman refer to distinct and immutable biological sexes that are determined by anatomy and genetics by the time of birth. 

The bill, according to the ACLU of South Dakota, passed by a vote of 46-10:

BREAKING: The South Dakota House of Representatives just passed HB 1107, the bill that applies special protections to…

Posted by ACLU of South Dakota on Monday, February 8, 2016

“This bill could allow taxpayer funded discrimination and would allow state contractors who provide vital social services – such as homeless shelters – to turn away LGBT people. This bill will now head on to the Senate,” the ACLU of South Dakota says.

Rep. Scott’s campaign website says he is a founding board member of the Family Heritage Alliance, “a family and conservative values advocacy group focused on promoting and defending faith, family, and freedom.”

During Monday’s debate, Rep. Craig shared his thoughts on the bill.

“The real victims of intolerance and discrimination in our day are those who conduct their lives according to a belief regarding marriage and human sexuality,” rep. Craig said. “Our founding fathers never intended erotic freedom to trump religious freedom.”

Apparently, the debate Monday before the vote was rather heated, as these tweets via the Policy Director of the ACLU of SD show:

But if South Dakota residents are concerned that the legislation is unconstitutional (it is,) and that, if challenged in court it could cost taxpayers a small fortune (it could,) at least they can rest assured that the very anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel will defend them, presumably pro-bono – at least according to Pastor/Rep. Scott:

Which begs the question, who wrote the legislation, and why would anyone in advance of a vote obtain legal counsel to defend the state should it go to court?

The ADF is the group of Christian attorneys representing Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, who could have settled her discrimination case for $1000, but chose to become a martyr. Liberty Counsel of course is Kim Davis’ group of attorneys, including Mat Staver.

By the way, here’s Rep. Craig wholly misleading an audience he spoke to last month about one of his religious freedom bills, claiming it “mirrors” the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The convenient fact most anti-gay religious activists omit is the federal statute does not include most corporations. But facts are messy, right, Rep. Craig?

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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News

No ‘Semblance of a Campaign’: Five of Trump’s Candidates for Governor Air Zero TV Ads Combined

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Former President Donald Trump’s picks for governor in five states are facing media scrutiny after failing to air a single television advertisement since winning their primaries.

In a report on Monday, The New York Times revealed that Pennsylvania candidate Doug Mastriano “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May.”

“There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mr. Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations,” the paper added.

Matt Brouillette, the president of a conservative advocacy group, slammed Mastriano in remarks to the Times.

“I can’t even assess things because I don’t see a campaign,” Brouillette said. “I’ve not seen anything that is even a semblance of a campaign.”

According to the report, Mastriano’s lackluster campaign is not unusual among Trump’s preferred candidates.

“Along with Mr. Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Trump-backed candidates for governor in five other states — Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan — have combined to air zero television advertisements since winning their primaries,” the report said.

Over the weekend, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) vowed to campaign against Mastriano and other Trump-endorsed candidates who push lies about the 2020 presidential election.

“I think we have to do everything we can in ’22 to make sure those people don’t get elected,” she told the Texas Tribune Festival. “We have to make sure [Doug] Mastriano doesn’t win.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘We Need to Go All the Way’: GOP Lawmaker Brags Her ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill ‘Goes Further’ Than Florida’s But Not Far Enough

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A far right Republican state lawmaker in Pennsylvania who has worked to get prayer into schools is pushing a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and bragging that it goes even “further” than Florida’s, but wants it to be even broader.

Republican state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz denies her legislation is a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but as PennLive reports it states public and charter schools “may not offer instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to a student in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

Rep. Borowicz admits that although her bill expands on Florida’s which technically bans discussion of LGBTQ issues until after third grade, she wants it to be even more broad.

“It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” she said. “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade, we need to go all the way.”

She does not state what “it” is.

READ MORE: Embattled Vladimir Putin Grants NSA Classified Document Leaker Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

PennLive reports Borowicz supports similar legislation, Senate Bill 1278, “which would allow schools to be sued for material that is ‘not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate’ at any grade level.”

The Pennsylvania Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee, Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, also supports the “Don’t Say Gay” bills.

Like other state’s bills, the language is intentionally broad and undefined, which experts say is intentional to create fear among teachers to steer clear away from any issue that might come near to the ban.

“Asked what sort of communication would constitute ‘instruction’ under the bill, Borowicz said, ‘I’m not going to get into the details of all that.'”

Last week when announcing her new anti-LGBTQ bill, Rep. Borowicz called for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to resign, “because LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and other resources were featured on the Pennsylvania Department of Education site,” WITF reports.

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“Everything from gender neutral days and classrooms, from 3rd to 12th grade to a tutorial on gender pronouns and instructions for teachers to ask before making false assumptions about someone’s gender identity,” Borowicz said.

Borowicz, who was first elected in 2018, she is the first woman and only the second Republican to hold that seat.

“The mission of keeping my word to the people of the 76th Legislative District starts immediately,” she said upon being sworn in.

Borowicz’s bio frequently mentions she was the “president of a nonprofit organization,” while rarely explaining what that nonprofit was.

In 2018 Borowicz “said it was for Make A Stand USA, an organization she and her sister created to get prayer gatherings at schools in 2010. She said it was her sister who paid for it and no money was made for the one event it sponsored. Two years later, she said, it was disbanded,” The Record Online reported.

Rep. Borowicz is a big fan of prayer, but the ways she has used it has caused outrage, even among her follow House colleagues.

Months after she was sworn in, an newly elected state representative, who is Muslim, was sworn in.

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Borowicz delivered the House’s invocation that day, and by the time it was over she had mentioned “Jesus” thirteen times. She was accused of weaponizing pray and Islamophobia and antisemitism.

“God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us, Jesus,”Borowicz said, as HuffPost reported.

“She also prayed for President Donald Trump and thanked the president for ‘unequivocally’ supporting Israel.”

“I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, the one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord, in Jesus’ name,” she also proclaimed.

Think Biblically reports she also said, “thank you for this honor, Jesus. God, for those who came before us like George Washington at Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln who sought after you at Gettysburg, Jesus, and the founding fathers in Independence Hall, Jesus, that sought after you and fasted and prayed for this nation to be founded on your principles and your words and your truths.”

“Jesus, I thank you for this privilege, Lord, of letting me pray, God, that I Jesus am your ambassador here today. Standing here, representing you — the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, the one who is coming back again, the one who came died and rose again on the third day,” she prayed.

Watch Rep. Borowicz’s prayer below or at this link.

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Embattled Vladimir Putin Grants NSA Classified Document Leaker Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

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Embattled and denounced around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who flew to Moscow in 2013, full citizenship.

Snowden is best-known for leaking classified intelligence documents which he gained access to as a contractor with the National Security Agency.

The Associated Press notes that in 2020 Snowden was granted permanent residency in Russia and applied for Russian citizenship.

READ MORE: Critics Blast Top US Conservative Think Tank President for Applauding Italy’s Election of ‘Neo-Fascist’ Prime Minister

Putin’s move comes just days after announcing at least 300,000 more Russians would be conscripted to fight his war in Ukraine, which has been condemned worldwide. Putin and his military are accused of war crimes including rape and summary execution, looting, and bombing civilian infrastructure.

“Ukrainian forces said they found mass graves and evidence that civilians had been killed after their feet and hands were bound,” the BBC reported in July.

“In March,” the BBC added, “a Russian strike on a theatre in Mariupol appeared to be the first confirmed location of a mass killing. The word ‘children’ was written in giant letters outside the building.”

Last week in his Substack newsletter Snowden launched an attack on President Joe Biden and the CIA.

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“It hasn’t been a month since President Biden mounted the steps of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, declaring it his duty to ensure each of us understands the central faction of his political opposition are extremists that ‘threaten the very foundations of our Republic,'” Snowden wrote, blasting the American President for his speech warning that Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are dangers to democracy, a fact supported by the hundreds of prosecutions of January 6 insurrectionists and the numerous legal and civil cases being brought against the former president.

“Congratulations to Ed Snowden who — after a recent attack conflating CIA torture and Biden — has now earned his Russian citizenship,” commented National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler.

Investigative journalist and fellow at the New America think tank, Dave Troy has been focusing on threats to democracy. On the news Snowden is now a Russian citizen, he writes: “It’s time for us to come to grips with the fact that the Snowden, [Glenn] Greenwald, [Julian] Assange ops were all part of a years-long Russia-supported effort to upend the West.”

Snowden handed the leaked intelligence documents to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Troy goes on to suggest Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn belong in that category as well.

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