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24 Hours! Missouri Democratic Senators Have Now Been Filibustering An Anti-Gay Bill for a Full Day

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‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Would Amend Constitution to Enshrine Anti-LGBT Hate Into Law

Missouri’s seven Democratic senators have now been filibustering a “religious freedom” bill to amend the state constitution for a full 24 hours. The bill would allow anyone or any business that claims a sincere religious objection to same-sex marriage or LGBT people the “right” to not serve them.

Lawmakers took up SJR 39 Monday at 4:00 PM local time. The debate turned into a filibuster several hours later, and overnight senators teamed up, working in groups of two, to help each other stay standing and talking. 

They were not required to speak directly on the bill, although conversation and commentary always came back to the anti-gay ordinance. For many hours lawmakers read a list of 1500 local Missouri individuals and businesses who oppose the legislation, chatting when they saw the name of a familiar coffee shop or constituent. A discussion of the taste of protein bars took place after one storeowner opposed to the bill offered to donate some energy bars to hep keep the senators going.

The Missouri state legislature has a record of the longest filibuster: 30 hours. The Democratic lawmakers have promised to break it. One even promised he would keep going through Thursday.

At another point Tuesday morning, lawmakers speaking on the bill talked about all the LGBT people in their lives and how much they love them.

Republicans were allowed to ask questions and there was plenty of debate on SJR 39. 

The seven Democrats are Senators Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Jill Schupp, Jason Holsman, Scott Sifton, Jamilah Nasheed, Kiki Curls, and Gina Walsh.

You can listen here, and follow PROMO Missouri on Twitter, and hashtag #SJR39 for all updates.

UPDATE:
Former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, who bravely filibustered an anti-choice bill, sent this tweet:

 

 

Image by Mike Mozart via Flickr and a CC license

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'BAD FAITH ACTOR'

“She is the Worst”: AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema Leaves the Democratic Party

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After causing years of obstruction within her own party, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has announced she’s leaving the Democratic Party to register as an Independent.

“I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” she said in a Thursday CNN interview.

“I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to,” she continued. “Removing myself from the partisan structure… [is] true to who I am and how I operate. I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”

The move will make her the third Independent Senator in addition to Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). It also means that if she runs for re-election, she will face a Democratic and Republican opponent,

Contrary to her belief, Sinema’s move isn’t even a little bit surprising. Over the last two years, she has consistently alienated herself from her Democratic colleagues by obstructing votes on key Democratic legislative priorities.

She has given speeches on why it’s important to uphold Jim Crow-era filibuster rules in the Senate, even though the rules helped block important voting rights legislation and more.

She also gained infamy when she playfully gave a thumbs down in the Senate to opposed a $15 an hour minimum wage, and was captured on camera ignoring her own constituent.

Her antics, and her refusal to help stump for Democratic candidates during the latest midterm election cycle, have led to her being censured by the Arizona Democratic Party and low approval ratings amongst state Democratic voters. Top Democratic donor groups had also pulled their endorsements and funding from Sinema.

Twitter users were unimpressed with Sinema’s announcement.

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‘The Hypocrisy Is Just Absolutely Insane’: Morning Joe Slams GOP ‘Idiots’ for Criticizing Brittney Griner Release

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed Donald Trump and other Republicans for their “absolutely insane” hypocrisy on the prisoner swap that returned WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony.

GOP lawmakers and conservative media attacked President Joe Biden for agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis oil, and not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of spying. The “Morning Joe” host ripped their complaints.

“The hypocrisy is just absolutely insane,” Scarborough said. “I mean, the same Republicans that were criticizing Joe Biden for not bringing Paul Whelan home failed to place blame on the man who was actually in the White House when Whelan was arrested illegally, jailed illegally. Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2018 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t he do anything in 2019 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2020 to get Paul Whelan home? He was praising Vladimir Putin the entire time, why not actually call his buddy and ask him to release an American? I guess because he just didn’t give a damn.”

“Despite celebrating the releases of other Americans imprisoned while he was in office, Donald Trump didn’t publicly utter Whelan’s name even once as president,” Scarborough continued. “This is according to a review of public remarks and tweets, carried out by The Independent. Trump clearly had the power to negotiate a prisoner swap deal, however, never was this evident in 2020, when he negotiated with, get this, not with his friend Putin to get Paul Whelan home. He didn’t give a damn that Putin arrested Whelan and let him rot in jail. Instead, no, he was negotiating with the Taliban, and he freed up 5,000 Taliban terrorists. What did he get in exchange? Nothing, he got nothing in exchange and he wanted to actually invite the Taliban, the people who actually allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen, to be launched from their country, he invited them on Sept. 11 to Camp David.”

“When these idiot, and they are total idiots, when these idiots going around talking about Joe Biden being a bad negotiator, they are literally talking in defense of with Donald Trump — the biggest loser, the worst negotiator we have ever had,” Scarborough added. “He falls in love with dictators in North Korea, he completely kowtows to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he doesn’t even give a damn about Paul Whelan, lets him rot in jail for three years while Biden and [secretary of state Tony] Blinken and this administration are working their tails off to try to get him home.”

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges

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Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.

Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.

The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.

READ MORE: Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”

Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.

In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”

Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”

Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.

“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”

 

 

 

 

 

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