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Breaking: House Passes Vital Spending Bill Gutting Obama’s LGBT Nondiscrimination Executive Orders

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Will Allow All Federal Contractors to Discriminate Against LGBT People for Religious Reasons

The U.S. House of Representatives just after 10:00 PM EDT Wednesday night passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a sweeping 1299 page appropriations bill that funds the U.S. military. Included in the bill is the Russell Amendment, which guts and nullifies all of President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive orders prohibiting federal contractors and their employees from discriminating against LGBT people. The bill passed 277-147. Opposing the NDAA were 142 Democrats and five Republicans.

The amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee April 28 over the objections of Democrats who rightly saw through GOP Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell‘s claim that he merely wanted to decrease federal regulations, and claimed Obama’s protection order “unduly burdens the practice of religion.”

Like many bills in state legislatures, Russell’s amendment, now officially part of the House version of the vital military funding legislation, would allow contractors to discriminate against LGBT people by merely citing their sincerely held religious beliefs. Protections President Obama extended to LGBT people would disappear if the House version of the NDAA becomes law.

“Obama has already threatened to veto the House bill and gave a long list of reasons why, including problems ranging from misuse of funds and operating the prison at Guantanamo Bay, to military pay raises and base closures,” The Huffington Post’s White House and Congressional Reporter Jennifer Bendery reports. “White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he couldn’t single out any one item, such as the anti-LGBT provision, as grounds for a veto.”

“There are a whole lot of reasons why the bill is bad,” Earnest said in his daily briefing. “It’s unfortunate that it is being larded up with a bunch of proposals … that aren’t related to our national security but are intended to be divisive.”

The Human Rights Campaign had said the Russell Amendment “would dismantle President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal contracting based on sexual orientation or gender identity, under the guise of religious liberty.”

HRC also says that the amendment “would allow sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination in an attempt to promote anti-LGBT religious-based discrimination in the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. With far-reaching intended and unintended consequences, the vague amendment could even undermine existing nondiscrimination provisions that protect workers, and perhaps even beneficiaries, against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.”

Democratic Rep. Mark Takano went on a Twitter rant:

As did Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney:

The NDAA now heads to the Senate. 

UPDATE: House Republicans Conspire to Defeat LGBT Protections Bill That Had Already Passed (Video)

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

Image by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr and a CC license

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ANTI-SCIENCE EXTREMISM

Protestors in Idaho Bring Their Kids to Mask-Burnings Promoted by Far Right Extremist Lawmakers

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Two far right Republican state lawmakers in Idaho recorded a video promoting coronavirus mask burnings, which subsequently took place across the state Saturday, including on the steps of the state capitol in Boise.

Despite what the two lawmakers say, Republican Governor Brad Little has instituted no statewide mask mandate, businesses are mostly open, and there are no stay-at-home orders, according to The New York Times.

The two GOP lawmakers are Rep. Dorothy Moon, whose husband belongs to the antigovernment extremist group the John Birch Society, and Rep. Heather Scott who reportedly supports white nationalism and according to a report is a leader in a group known as COWS, or the Coalition of Western States. Its founder was removed from the GOP caucus after a report stated he had engaged in domestic terrorism.

In April of 2020 Scott “compared Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) to Adolf Hitler because she said that stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic are akin to Nazi extermination camps.”

In the video the two lawmakers, Moon and Scott, say they “fully support” the mask burnings.

“People are gonna be lining up [at] burn barrels to throw masks in, mandates, or emergency orders or replications there have, because I think everyone’s ready for this emergency order to be lifted,” Moon says. “And now we’re almost one year into this COVID lockdown and mandates and orders that it’s time to end the numbers aren’t there.”

Given that Idaho ranks 43rd in per capita coronavirus testing, it’s impossible to say accurately “the numbers aren’t there.”

Scott chimes in to say the mask-burnings will be “pretty fun,” and Moon adds that there will be “50 burn barrels set up around the state.”

And indeed, people did come out to burn masks, and brought their children with them. One speaker referred to Idaho residents as “political refugees,” apparently for living under mask requirements in Boise.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos posted these photos and videos of the mask-burning at the Idaho capitol. Law enforcement officers asked the anti-science extremists, who are promoting the mask-burnings and including their children in them, to put out the fire.

 

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ANALYSIS

Expert Explains How Dems Just Brilliantly Forced Trump to Respond Under Oath for the Capitol Riot

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On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance outlined the legal problems that the new civil suits against former President Donald Trump will create for him.

“These civil cases are a very interesting aspect of the search for accountability,” said Vance. “We’ve seen the flawed impeachment procedure, which failed to hold him accountable despite evidence. We’re looking at the criminal process and criminal investigations ongoing, too early to conclude whether that would ultimately reach former President Trump and his inner circle. These civil cases are a direct and potentially more quick route for the American people to gain the truth.”

“Representative [Eric] Swalwell’s complaint is particularly interesting because it raises claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act, which talks about interference with Congress’ performance of official duties, and files suit in his individual capacity, arguing interference and interference with his well-being and the well-being of others,” said Vance. “Only one of the claims in this complaint have to survive a motion to dismiss, an early preliminary motion that the defendants will file in order to begin the discovery process, and that’s part of the legal proceedings in the civil case where a litigant like Representative Swalwell has the ability to take depositions to ask for documents where there’s actually an obligation that the defendants respond under oath.”

“This could get interesting relatively quickly,” concluded Vance, although she added, “It’s too early, I think, to assess whether the suit has a chance of success on the merits.”

“At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president,” saidformer EEOC general council David Lopez. “I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I’ve never heard of that happening before.”

Watch below:

Image via Shutterstock

 

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NOPE NOPE NOPE

Sinema Slammed After Spokesperson Says It’s Sexist to Discuss Her ‘Thumbs Down’ Vote Against $15 Minimum Wage

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Friday offered up a dramatic “thumbs down” vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15, which NCRM and other news outlets reported. While she was one of eight Democrats to vote against the legislation, she was the only one to mimic the late Republican Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, who famously stopped Republicans from killing ObamaCare.

Sinema was also the only one to bring cake to the Senate floor, giving her critics ample ammunition to compare her to Marie Antoinette.

But now Senator Sinema is fighting back.

According to HuffPost, Sinema’s spokesperson says it’s sexist to discuss her thumbs down act.

“Sinema’s office responded to a question about the gesture by making the absurd claim that the inquiry is sexist,” the news outlet’s Sara Boboltz reports. “‘Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,’ Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, told HuffPost.”

Related: ‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

On social media news of the “sexist” claim spread quickly, and did not go over well. Some responses:

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