Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Makes Several False Claims on ABC’s ‘This Week’
A top attorney for a Christian legal group claims gays and lesbians have not been denied service, despite being the attorneys for defendants in some of the most notable cases in which gays and lesbians have been denied service.
Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel and senior vice president of legal advocacy forÂ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), was asked byÂ ABC News’ George StephanopoulosÂ on Sunday’s “This Week” to respond to those who say anti-LGBT laws are “just a license to discriminate.”Â
She insisted gays and lesbians have not been denied service.
“Well, that’s absolutely not true. And we should dispel the notion of service right now,” Waggoner toldÂ Stephanopoulos.
“There is no evidence that those who identify as gay or lesbian have been denied service,” she insisted.
ADF, Waggoner’s employer, defendedÂ Elane Photography in a high-profile case in whichÂ the New Mexico Court of Appeals unanimously ruled a photographer discriminated when she refused to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitmentÂ ceremony. ADF defendedÂ Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.Â
Waggoner alsoÂ admitted that North Carolina‘s anti-LGBT law HB2 is unnecessary, becauseÂ for “the last 200 years” law enforcement officials have responded to complaints that arise when men use women’s restrooms, or vice versa. The main focus of HB2 is banning transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Stephanopoulos asked, “how is that going to be enforced? Do you have to go back to the you can only use a restroom that is the restroom of — that’s on your birth certificate, how are — how is the state going to enforce that?”
Waggoner, appearing a bit frustrated, burst out, “The same way that they’re enforcing it and have enforced it the last 200 years. You simply respond to complaints that are received.”
She went on to claim, “what we have seen, when these types of laws have been passed in other states, that allow men to access the women’s restroom, those laws are misused and they violate the safety and security of people.”
That’s actually untrue. The media has reported time and time again that there are actually zero examples of men accessing women’s restrooms because of these laws, despite them being passed in over 200 jurisdictions across the nation.
John Corvino,Â chair of the philosophy department at Wayne State University and an LGBT advocate, toldÂ Stephanopoulos that there “are absolutely no cases of transgendered people trying to use these laws in order to commit assault or to threaten people’s safety in bathrooms, whereas there are many cases of transgendered people suffering, uh, bullying and assault and violence, uh, because they can’t have a safe and comfortable bathroom to use.”
Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden alsoÂ reports, “there are no known instances in 17 states and 225 cities with laws banning LGBT discrimination of the policies being used to promote or defend predatory behavior in bathrooms or locker rooms.”
Waggoner also falsely labeled as “absolutely not true”Â Stephanopoulos’ correct statement that HB2 “strips the ability of people to sue under the state discrimination law.” He rightly noted that “opponents of the law have said if you’re fired because of your race or gender or religion, you no longer have a basic remedy.”
Image: Screenshot via YouTubeÂ
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Marjorie Taylor Greene Suggests July 4 Mass Shooting Was a False Flag ‘Designed to Persuade’ GOP to Support Gun Control
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted several very different responses over the past few hours to the July 4 mass shooting that left seven people dead, scores injured, and a two-year-old boy orphaned.
The Republican from Georgia went from promoting the right wing’s latest talking points, that antidepressants are to blame for the massacre, and demanding to see the alleged shooter’s medical records, to claiming it “sounds like” a false flag operation, “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with” gun control.
“Now, here’s what I have to say,” Greene declared on her podcast. “I mean, two shootings on July 4, one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display.”
(There were 218 shootings on July 4, according to information from the Gun Violence Archive.)
“Almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control,” she announced, strongly suggesting false flag operations. Police have offered no indication anyone except the alleged shooter planned the Independence Day massacre, and have said he spent weeks doing so.
“I mean, after all, remember we didn’t see that happen at all the Pride parades in the month of June,” she lamented angrily, ignoring all the right-wing violence at Pride celebrations this year.
“But as soon as we hit MAGA month, as soon as we hit the month that we’re all celebrating – loving our country,” she said, implying Democrats don’t love America and don’t celebrate Independence Day, “we have shootings on July 4. I mean, that’s a, you know, that would sound like a conspiracy theory, right? Of course. But what’s the definition of a right-wing conspiracy theory? Well, by the way, it’s the news that’s just six-months early.”
Watch below or at this link:
Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests the two July 4th shootings, “one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display” are false flags “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control.” pic.twitter.com/VEm6ZUdcUq
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 6, 2022
Antidepressants, Pot, and Women to Blame for Horrific July 4 Mass Shooting According to Tucker Carlson
Barely hours after authorities announced charges against the 21-year-old police believe shot and killed seven people and wounded scores of others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Tucker Carlson explained to his Fox News audience why Robert Crimo allegedly committed mass murder: women, marijuana, and antidepressants, along with a life filled with pornography, video games, and social media.
Carlson said Crimo seems “like a nutcase,” but he “he didn’t stand out, maybe because there’s a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.”
“That’s not an attack, it’s just true,” Carlson insisted, as Media Matters reports. “Like Crimo, they inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games. They are high on government-endorsed weed. ‘Smoke some more! It’s good for you,'” he mocked.
“They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors,'” Carlson claimed, apparently referring to antidepressants, also known as SSRIs. School counselors, unless they are also MDs, cannot prescribe SSRIs.
(SSRIs are prescribed for “depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, migraine (prophylaxis), and other conditions.”)
Then Carlson arrived at the root of what he determined drives these young men, presumably these young men who kill.
Instead, he says, “they are angry.”
Because, Carlson declares, “the authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’ Imagine that. Try to imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So, a lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”
Tucker: The authorities in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their so-called male privilege. A lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised? A shockingly large number have been prescribed psychotropic drugs. pic.twitter.com/bB9Nb4CHQ1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
Meanwhile, very little is known about the shooter. It is not known if he’s taking antidepressants, using pot, has a mother who attacks him for his privilege, or uses porn. But Carlson and others at Fox News are suggesting to viewers they know why he flooded more than 70 rounds into an Independence Day parade.
There have been 320 mass shootings in America this year – and we’re only on day 187.
The nation has suffered 22,583 deaths from guns just this year alone. That’s 120 deaths on average every day.
Despite those numbers, the vast, vast majority of people taking antidepressants, or using pot or porn, are not pulling the trigger in a mass shooting.
Carlson points to no statistics to show women “never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege.”
In fact, he offers up no statistics, no proof at all of any of his claims.
Same with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who blames the mass shooting on pot.
Ingraham: On the mass shooting in Illinois, indications are that he was a regular pot user… What can regular pot use trigger in young men in particular? Psychosis and other violent personality changes.. pic.twitter.com/5QxveHmSXZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly dredged up the “psychiatric drugs” allegation less than 24 hours after the shooting started.
“What drugs and/or psychiatric drugs was he on for his mind to be ruined in alternate reality games that caused him to commit a mass shooting? His parents know. The police know. School, arrest, hospital records? The public DESERVES to know.,” she tweeted.
Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, social media researcher, professor at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. She’s also the former president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
And she’s pushing back against the SSRI blame game.
“Psychologist here,” writes Dr. Pagoto. “Yep. And far more women take SSRIs than men and yet women never commit mass shootings. The SSRI hypothesis has absolutely no scientific support. Quite the contrary, SSRIs save lives.”
In 2019 Politifact looked at the “dubious claim that psychiatric drugs fuel mass shootings?” The fact-checking group talked with six medical experts, with one explaining “that in her view there is no evidence that psychiatric medicine is linked to mass shootings.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Christian Right Facing ‘Credibility’ Issues — Just as They Try to Force Their Will on Everyone Else: Analyst
On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC’s ReidOutBlog, Ja’han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of “credibility” — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.
Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.
The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.
“First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that’s facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to ‘biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'” wrote Jones. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school.”
“That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists,” wrote Jones. “In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there ‘are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,’ and that Southern Baptists ‘must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'”
All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of “defending children.” And this is “an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to ‘fix.'”
You can read more here.
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