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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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GRIFTERS

Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING HYPOCRISY

Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.

The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.

The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”

The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:

Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.

Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).

Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:

Aderholt (Alabama)
Allen (Georgia)
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Arrington (Texas)
Babin (Texas)
Baird (Indiana)
Banks (Indiana)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Boebert (Colorado)
Brady (Texas)
Brooks (Alabama)
Buck (Colorado)
Budd (North Carolina)
Burchett (Tennessee)
Cammack (Florida)
Carl (Alabama)
Carter (Georgia)
Carter (Texas)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Cheney (Wyoming)
Cline (Virginia)
Cloud (Texas)
Clyde (Georgia)
Crawford (Arkansas)
Davidson (Ohio)
DesJarlais (Tennessee)
Donalds (Florida)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Dunn (Florida)
Fallon (Texas)
Fitzgerald (Wisconsin)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Fulcher (Idaho)
Gibbs (Ohio)
Gohmert (Texas)
Good (Virginia)
Gooden (Texas)
Gosar (Arizona)
Graves (Missouri)
Green (Tennessee)
Greene (Georgia)
Grothman (Wisconsin)
Guest (Mississippi)
Harris (Maryland)
Harshbarger (Tennessee)
Hern (Oklahoma)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Hice (Georgia)
Higgins (Louisiana)
Jackson (Texas)
Johnson (Louisiana)
Jordan (Ohio)
Joyce (Pennsylvania)
Keller (Pennsylvania)
Kelly (Pennsylvania)
LaHood (Illinois)
Lamborn (Colorado)
LaTurner (Kansas)
Letlow (Louisiana)
Long (Missouri)
Loudermilk (Georgia)
Luetkemeyer (Missouri)
Mace (South Carolina)
Mann (Kansas)
Massie (Kentucky)
Mast (Florida)
McClain (Michigan)
McClintock (California)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (Illinois)
Miller (West Virginia)
Moore (Alabama)
Nehls (Texas)
Norman (South Carolina)
Palazzo (Mississippi)
Palmer (Alabama)
Pence (Indiana)
Perry (Pennsylvania)
Pfluger (Texa)
Posey (Florida)
Reschenthaler (Pennsylvania)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rodgers (Washington)
Rogers (Alabama)
Rose (Tennessee)
Rosendale (Montana)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Roy (Texas)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Sessions (Texas)
Smith (Nebraska)
Smucker (Pennsylvania)
Steube (Florida)
Taylor (Texas)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
Walberg (Michigan)
Weber (Texas)
Westerman (AR)

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