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Bill Allowing Therapists to Refuse Service to LGBT People Becomes Law if Governor Doesn’t Veto Today

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Tennessee’s LGBT Citizens Are About to Become Even More Marginalized Unless the Governor Vetoes HB 1840

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today must veto a bill that would allow therapists, counselors, and mental health professionals to cite their “sincerely held religious beliefs” as reason to refuse service to LGBT people. Unless the governor signs it or does nothing it becomes law. Only his veto, today, can stop this unconscionable attack on his citizens, some of whom are among the most vulnerable and in need of support. It would be the first law of its kind in the nation.

HB 1840 passed the Tennessee legislature and was sent to the governor April 15. He has ten days, excluding Sundays, to act.

The bill technically allows therapists to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to refuse service to anyone – they must refer them to another counselor – so atheists, people who are divorced, Muslims, and other minorities are all potential targets.

Last week Gov. Haslam, NPR reported, “said he is ‘talking to a lot of folks to get some input’ on the bill and that he had boiled his thinking down to this central question: whether therapists could truly leave their values out of their work.”

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Dan Howell, “said last week that administration officials have told him the governor ‘appears to be happy with HB 1840 and he may sign it,'” the Times Free Press reports.

Like many conservatives who support so-called “religious freedom” legislation, Haslam appears to be more concerned with “protecting” religious extremists increasingly unable or unwilling to operate in a diverse world, than actually protecting those who need protection the most, those who are at risk.

The choice is simple.

A therapist who isn’t allowed to refuse to help a teenaged LGBTQ person because they are LGBTQ isn’t going to consider or attempt self harm, but that LGBTQ teen, especially those who live – as 25 percent of Tennesseans do – in a rural area, might. 

The clock is ticking, Governor.

 

EARLIER:

CEO to Sponsor of TN ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill: Why Are You Protecting Counselors and Not LGBT Kids?

TENNESSEE: Governor Vetoes Bill to Make Christian Bible Official State Book, Saying It Deserves More

 

 

Image by Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce via Flickr and a CC license 

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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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