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Oklahoma GOP Lawmakers Planning North Carolina HB2-Style Anti-Trans Bathroom Amendment

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LGBT Advocates Vow Immediate Lawsuit if Measure Passes

Oklahoma GOP lawmakers reportedly plan to attach an anti-transgender “bathroom” amendment, similar to North Carolina’s HB2, to the state’s budget bill before the legislative session ends next week. 

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Anti-LGBT Sen. Joseph Silk (photo), who authored an anti-trans bathroom bill that died earlier in the session, told KOCO-TV that he and others are “exploring all [their] options.” 

“It’s not just me,” Silk said. “There’s a lot of members of the Senate that are very concerned. We’re hearing from the public.” 

Silk has called LGBT people a “radical, intolerant, movement,” and said “they are a threat to our freedoms and liberties in the United States and Oklahoma.” He drew national attention – and derision – last year for saying LGBT people “don’t have a right to be served in every single store.”

“People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions,” he continued, adding, “I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.”

Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, told The Tulsa World that constituents are “registering their complete frustration and disappointment in the federal government,” in response to the Obama administration’s directive last week requiring public schools to allow trans students to use restrooms based on their gender identity. 

“The Oklahoma Senate is examining its options in responding to what is arguably the most egregious example of executive overreach to occur during the Obama administration,” Cooper said.

Sen. Brian Crain added: “We are looking to provide a response for those students who have objections to sharing bathrooms and shower facilities with a transgender student. And we are trying to provide instruction and direction to school administrators when they are faced with this situation and doing so in response to the outcry many senators have heard from concerned parents throughout the state.”

Troy Stevenson, executive director of the statewide LGBT group Freedom Oklahoma, threatened an immediate lawsuit if such an amendment is passed. 

“Transgender individuals are under the care of a doctor,” Stevenson told KOCO-TV. “It is a long process This is not something that somebody just one day decides needs to happen, and the fearmongering going on with it is absurd.” 

Stevenson and Toby Jenkins, executive director of Tulsa’s Oklahomans for Equality, accused GOP lawmakers of trying to create a distraction from the state’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall. 

“It could not have come at a better time for our legislators,” Jenkins said of the Obama administration’s directive, “who are notorious for not taking care of the real business of government but meddling and messing and wasting time over silly things that do not move this state forward and do not protect working-class families.” 

Lawmakers are expected to come up with a budget by 5 p.m. May 27, according to The Tulsa World. 

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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'ANGRY AND APPALLED'

Former Trump Defense Secretary Mattis Breaks Silence – Scorches Ex-Boss – Stands Up for Protestors in Scathing Statement

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Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served in the military from 1969 to 2013, has finally broken his long silence. In a scathing rebuke far more devastating than any delivered by any former Trump official (except his resignation letter), Mattis denounces Trump for violating the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and stands up for the protestors.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try,” Mattis says, as The Atlantic reports.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

Mattis makes clear he is disgusted with how Trump has handled the protests across the nation – and that he supports the protestors.

“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

He doesn’t stop there.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

Read The Atlantic’s full report, or Mattis’ full statement at CNN.

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WHAT LEADERSHIP LOOKS LIKE

‘Showing Off With These Complete Sentences’: Internet Rejoices as ‘Real President’ Obama Speaks – ‘I Miss Him’

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Former President Barack Obama delivered forward-looking, encouraging remarks in response to the police killing of George Floyd and the ongoing nationwide protests, and the Internet rejoiced. President Obama’s comments, part of a town hall organized by his My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, were focused for his younger audience, and were short and seemingly off-the-cuff, yet inspired a nation thirsting for caring, intelligence, and leadership.

Take a look.

 

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FASCISM

The Pentagon Announced It Was Pulling Hundreds of Troops Out of DC. The Defense Secretary Just Canceled That Order.

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It took Secretary of Defense Mark Esper just two hours to countermand a decision the Pentagon had announced, that it was pulling hundreds of active-duty troops out of Washington, D.C.

“Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions,” the AP reports. “It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.”

Secretary Esper surprised many Wednesday morning when he announced at a hastily-called press conference he disagrees with invoking The Insurrection Act to deploy U.S. troops to cities across the nation to, as President Donald Trump has said, “quell” protestors. President Trump fully supports invoking the law, and has already heavily militarized D.C.

In more than 140 cities Americans have been protesting the police killing of an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, George Floyd, now for nine days and nights.

President Donald Trump has demanded mayors and governors “dominate” the protestors, and has posted threatening tweets advocating his position against the protestors.

About one hour ago several large military vehicles were deployed to the area in front of St. John’s Church, where President Trump held his Bible photo-op on Monday.

Image: DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee
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