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BREAKING: Horrific Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Passes Mississippi Legislature

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Mississippi Senate Passes ‘Worst Religious Freedom Bill to Date,’ And Gov. Phil Bryant Has Indicated He’ll Sign It 

The Mississippi Senate approved a sweeping anti-LGBT religious freedom bill late Wednesday. The bill heads back to the House for technical reasons but will soon be sent to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has expressed support for it. 

The Senate voted 31-17 to approve House Bill 1523, known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” which would allow individuals, businesses, government employees, nonprofits and other entities to discriminate against not only LGBT people, but also anyone who’s had extramarital sex, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.  

“This legislation moves Mississippi backward, undermining equality for its residents and jeopardizing its ability to attract and retain fair-minded businesses,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement prior to the bill’s passage. “Governor Byrant should be paying close attention to the backlash against discrimination in Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a terrible anti-LGBT bill, and in North Carolina, where fair-minded people and the broader business community are calling on state leaders to repudiate and repeal the discriminatory law passed last week. Mississippi’s economy and its reputation hang in the balance.”

Ben Needham, director of Project One America, an LGBT advocacy group in the Deep South, told BuzzFeed News that HB 1523 is “probably the worst religious freedom bill to date.” 

GOP Sen. Jenifer Branning, who introduced the bill, said it was drafted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage last June. 

“This isn’t a bill to allow any type of discrimination at all. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite,” Branning said. “It’s about protecting the religious freedom of those who don’t feel they can with a clean conscience assist a same-sex couple.”

Democratic Sen. Derrick Simmons, who’s black, spoke against the bill, invoking Mississippi’s long history of racial discrimination. 

“Can we afford with Mississippi’s dark past, can we afford in 2016, to pass anything that can be construed as discrimination?” Simmons said. “People were actually taken brutally from their homes and they were killed based upon what some considered to be, ‘This is my religious belief’ based on ‘We don’t want any mixing of the races.'” 

Democratic Sen. John Hohrn, also black, cited three Bible verses that implore slaves to “obey their earthly masters.” 

“These are examples of how religion and how the Bible was used to justify slavery,” Hohrn said. “So what I’m saying to you today is that religion isn’t always right about things, isn’t always just about things, because people use religion. … We don’t need to put another stain on Mississippi.”

HB 1523 would bar the state from taking action against anyone who discriminates based on their belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should be reserved to such a union, or that “male” and “female” refer to someone’s “immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

More from HRC on some of the implications: 

Tax-payer funded faith-based organizations could: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBT families including the child’s own family member; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person — even if the organization receives government funding. As introduced, H.B. 1523 would also give foster families the freedom to subject an LGBTQ child to the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy,” and subject a pregnant unwed girl to abuse, without fear of government intervention or license suspension. It would even allow individuals to refuse to carry out the terms of a state contract for the provision of counseling services to all eligible individuals, including veterans, based on the counselor’s beliefs about LGBT people or single mothers.

Furthermore, schools, employers and service providers could implement sex-specific dress and grooming standards, as well as refuse transgender people access to the appropriate sex-segregated facilities, consistent with their gender identity — all in conflict with the United States Department of Justice’s enforcement of federal law. H.B. 1523 even legalizes Kim Davis-style discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBT people. 

 

 

 

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GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

First Capitol Riot Hearing ‘Is Going to Be a Disastrous Day for Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter

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The first Capitol riot select committee hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Politico reporter Rachel Bade predicted it would create major headaches for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.

Specifically, Bade pointed to the fact McCarthy pulled all of his nominees out of the committee, which means that he will have no one to challenge the narrative that gets established.

“Tomorrow is going to be a disastrous day for McCarthy on both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “You are going to have men and women in uniform testifying about the violence they witnessed on January 6th. McCarthy is still sticking with Trump. That… is going to be tough for the party and tough for him. He decided to withdraw all his members from this committee, so he is not going to have anybody to push back on anything that is being said.”

Additionally, Bade said that the four far-right lawmakers who are planning to hold a press conference highlighting the alleged mistreatment of jailed Capitol rioters are also likely to create a public relations nightmare for McCarthy.

“These people were rioters. [They’re] calling them [political] prisoners now?” she said. “It’s going to be impossible for McCarthy.”

Watch the video below.

 

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NOT POLITICAL PRISONERS

4 Top Trump-Supporting House Republicans ‘Demanding Answers’ on ‘Treatment’ of January 6 ‘Prisoners’

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The U.S. Dept.  of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.

On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.

Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the “treatment” of the January 6 “prisoners,” suggesting they are “political prisoners,” which is false.

The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners” from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.

“This is taking place on the same day as the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing,” Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “is also holding a presser ahead of that to counterprogram.”

“The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr,” Solender says in a Forbes article.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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