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Equality Advocate’s Mississippi Billboard Perfectly Mocks New Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

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Planting Peace Pokes Fun at Mississippi’s Law, but Offers Strong Support for LGBT Youth

With the state capitol building in the background, a Jackson, Mississippi billboard now spreads an amusing yet pointed message mocking Governor Phil Bryant‘s anti-LGBT law. The Republican governor Tuesday signed into law a hate-based “religious freedom” bill that allows those who claim to have sincerely held religious beliefs the right to deny service to LGBT people, especially same-sex couples.

“Guys, I said I hate figs, and to love thy neighbor,” the electronic billboard reads, with an image of Jesus holding his head in shame. Love is spelled with a heart.

The billboard is the quick-thinking response of a worldwide non-profit organization, Planting Peace, and its president, Aaron Jackson. 

“The intent of this billboard is to bring awareness to how the anti-LGBT movement continues to try to move us backwards in the fight for equal rights,” Jackson told NCRM in an email today. “Like many other anti-LGBT groups, Governor Bryant and Mississippi legislators are sighting ‘religious objections’ as a validation for discrimination and being extremely selective in their definition of ‘traditional’ institutions or values. It’s important to bring awareness to this fact, because these actions have never been simply about a political or religious debate.”

Jackson, whose recent project included traveling to Antarctica and planting LGBT equality flags in the snow, among penguins, has a special message for LGBTQ youth.

planting_peace.jpg

“There are LGBT youth across the world who are taking their lives at an alarming rate because of these messages that make them feel broken or less than,” Jackson told NCRM. “We have to meet intolerance with compassion. Our message to our LGBT youth: You are loved, valued, supported, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you, and we will stand by you. You are not alone. We will keep sharing this message as long as we need to to counter hateful actions designed to infringe on people’s basic human rights and dignity.”

On their website, Planting Peace writes, “we are making a bold statement to show how ridiculous these laws are, and to bring attention to the need for equality. Our latest billboard sends a message about literal interpretations of the bible and addresses some of the hateful, homophobic language anti-LGBT hate groups often feature on their protest signs. In Matthew 21: 18-22, Jesus literally curses a fig tree. But we don’t see a lot of ‘God Hates Figs’ protests or cries for stronger legislation regulating figs. It’s heartbreaking to see in this day and age groups are still fighting so hard to restrict basic human rights of others based on claims of religious freedom. We want to be sure the opposing voice is heard.”

Planting Peace, which Jackson co-founded in 2003, famously bought a house across the street from the anti-gay hate group Westboro Baptist Church, and painted it in rainbow colors. Equality House now stands “as a visible reminder” to WBC members in in Topeka, Kansas, of the organization’s “commitment, as global citizens, to equality for all.”

The humanitarian organization calls itself a “global nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world,” and says their “projects focus primarily on humanitarian aid and environmental initiatives, including our multi-national deworming campaign, Equality House LGBTQ rights advocacy, a network of orphanages and safe havens, and conservation effort in the rainforests of Peru.”

You can make a donation to the group here.

 

EARLIER:

Antarctica Has Now Been Declared the World’s First LGBT Friendly Continent

Planting Peace Plants A Billboard In Kim Davis’ Home Town

Gandalf And Dumbledore To Marry At Equality House This Sunday

 

Images via Planting Peace

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COMMENTARY

FDR, JFK, and LBJ: White House (Finally) Takes (Cautious) Victory Lap on Biden’s (Huge) Successes

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The White House is coming off a year of approval rating declines, thanks in large part to Republican obstruction and attacks, but President Joe Biden, Democrats, and the nation now have a lot to celebrate.

“We now have a presidency where the president has delivered the largest economic recovery plan since Roosevelt, the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower, the most judges confirmed since Kennedy, the second largest health care bill since Johnson and the largest climate change bill in history,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, not known for bragging, told Politico’s Ryan Lizza. “The first time we’ve done gun control since President Clinton was here, the first time ever an African American woman has been put on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“I think it’s a record to take to the American people,” Klain added.

Lizza and Eugene Daniels of Politico’s Playbook note, “At the start of the summer, this conversation would have been vastly different. Now, gas prices have dropped, and the last CPI report hints that inflation may finally be trending down after hitting a peak. Election forecasters are writing pieces at least entertaining the idea that Democrats might not suffer the long-predicted midterm wipeout. And there’s that burst of legislative victories that were squeezed out of Congress in July and August that had Biden, a lover of alliteration, calling this period ‘a season of substance.’”

The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly observes, “Klain’s references to historical figures chimes with Biden’s own interests. The president has regularly consulted historians, among them Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss and Eddie Glaude Jr, while Jon Meacham, a biographer of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and George HW Bush, has been a close adviser in shaping Biden’s effort to restore ‘the soul of the nation’ after the presidency of Donald Trump.”

Pengelly adds: “Democrats control Congress by narrow margins. Opposition parties commonly do well in the first elections of a presidential term, and Republicans remain favoured to take control of one or both chambers. But legislative successes, most recently the passage of a major domestic and climate crisis spending plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, have given Democrats hope.”

With just 80 days to Election Day – less, if you include early voting – FiveThirtyEight put the likelihood of Democrats retaining their Senate majority at 63 in 100 chances, but give Republicans 78 in 100 chances of taking over the House.

You can hear Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Politico’s podcast here.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr and a CC license

 

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Trump Is Privately Admitting Dr. Oz Will ‘F–king Lose’: Report

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Donald Trump has a long list more than 200 hand-picked candidates he’s endorsed, and he’s very proud of his record – for the most part.

Dr. Oz is going to “fucking lose” his race for a U.S. Senate seat “unless something drastically changes, Trump has said privately of his chosen man in the Keystone State, according to two sources who’ve discussed the midterm election with the ex-president,” Rolling Stone reports.

The magazine adds, “the former president is coming to the same conclusion that numerous party consultants and conservative bigwigs arrived at earlier this summer: Oz is very likely doomed.”

Trump seems to be taking this projected loss personally, given the Pennsylvania GOP nominee, like himself, has wide name-recognition thanks to his TV show.

READ MORE: Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad

“In recent weeks, some Trump allies have repeatedly flagged polling for the former president showing Dr. Oz down, at times by wide or double-digit margins, to his Democratic opponent. Trump has sometimes responded by asking advisers how it’s possible that someone who was that popular on TV for so long is doing so poorly in the polls. When Trump has inquired if the polling has been ‘phony’ or skewed, multiple people close to him have assured him that — as one of the sources describes to Rolling Stone — ‘this is not a matter of the polls being ‘rigged,’ there are major problems with this campaign and, more specifically, this candidate.'”

Indeed, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke just days before winning the Democratic primary for that Senate seat, is beating Oz in polls by double digits. One recent GOP insider poll showed Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points. The latest Fox News poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 11 points.

The Fetterman team is displaying massive political savvy with its mocking memes of the celebrity TV doctor, mostly around his “crudité” video from April. They’ve resurfaced it, making a mockery of the man they already claim doesn’t actually live in Pennsylvania, but is a carpetbagger from New Jersey.

READ MORE: ‘Grifter’ Dr. Oz Mocked for Video Blaming Biden for $6 Salsa as New Disclosure Puts His Wealth at Up to $400 Million

Oz calling Redner’s, a local grocery store chain, “Wegner’s” in the video while complaining about the high cost of vegetables to make “crudité” has not helped the celebrity physician known for selling “diet scams” and “false and baseless medical claims,” and the Fetterman team has milked it for all it’s worth – even creating a parody account for the non-existent supermarket.

37% of respondents in that Fox News poll added they are “extremely” concerned that Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz) “may not be familiar enough with the state of Pennsylvania to carry out the job of senator effectively.” Just 13% of respondents said they were “extremely” concerned that John Fetterman “may not be healthy enough to carry out the job of senator effectively.”

 

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Fulton County DA Slams Lindsey Graham’s Efforts to Avoid Testifying: Causing ‘Substantial Injury’ to Grand Jury

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Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is punching back hard at U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s efforts to avoid testifying to the Special Purpose Grand Jury (SPGJ) investigating efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Politico’s Kyle Cheney points to a new court filing in which Willis urges the judge to not indulge Graham’s efforts to delay.

A stay would “significantly harm” and “result in substantial injury to the Special Purpose Grand Jury,” Willis warns. She calls Graham’s testimony “crucial,” and notes that Graham has already delayed the grand jury’s work by six weeks by filing motions in “three separate jurisdictions.”

READ MORE: Georgia DA Says ‘Possible’ Trump Could Be Subpoenaed, Lindsey Graham ‘Doesn’t Understand Seriousness’ of Investigation

Granting Graham’s request “will ensure that the Senator’s involvement with the SPGJ will not be resolved for months.”

She notes on Monday U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May denied Graham’s attempt to delay his testimony, but on Wednesday Graham filed an emergency motion to get the court to grant his request.

In her conclusion she eloquently reminds Sen. Graham and the judge what the law is about.

“Senator Graham insists that he seeks to delay his appearance before the Special Purpose Grand Jury not just for his own sake, but also for the sake of the separation of powers, federalism, and ‘for the People,'” Willis writes. “The Special Purpose Grand Jury, however, is the People: a collection of citizens called together to perform their civic duty on behalf of their neighbors and families. They have sacrificed their time, effort, energy, and attention for months in order to investigate matters that affect themselves, their community, and the nation as a whole. The District Attorney asks that this Court deny Senator Graham’s motion in order that he, for a single day, can assist them in that great task without further delay. The People have requested Senator Graham’s testimony and stand ready to receive it. All that is left is for the Senator to meet them.”

READ MORE: ‘Should Expect to Be Indicted’: Giuliani Now Target of Georgia DA Investigation Into Efforts to Overturn Election – Report

Willis also explains exactly why the grand jury needs his testimony.

“As this Court recognized in its Order, Senator Graham’s testimony is sought by the SPGJ not simply because he possesses necessary and material information but also because he is expected to provide information regarding additional sources of relevant information,” Willis tells the court. “As a result, delaying the Senator’s testimony would not simply postpone his appearance; it would also delay the revelation of an entire category of relevant witnesses or information, each of whom would require additional time and resources to secure on behalf of the SPGJ.”

On Monday, Judge May wrote: “Senator Graham has direct personal knowledge of conversations with Georgia election officials which have been the subject of public dispute as to the nature of his inquiries and requests, including any implicit or overt suggestions to discard ballots or otherwise alter the election results.”

Judge May added, “the District Attorney described Senator Graham as a ‘necessary and material witness in [the Special Purpose Grand Jury] investigation’ not only because of his personal knowledge of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, but also because he possesses ‘unique knowledge’ concerning ‘the Trump Campaign and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.’”

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