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Republicans in Congress ‘Working Towards’ Hearing on Federal Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

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Would ‘Protect’ Those With ‘Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs’ That Marriage Is Between One Man and One Woman

House Republicans on the powerful Oversight & Government Reform Committee are “working towards” holding a hearing on a sweeping anti-gay “religious freedom” bill to provide legal protection for those who oppose same-sex marriage and those who oppose having sex outside of man-woman marriage. The bills – one in the House, one in the Senate – were introduced just days before the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Obergefell ruling on marriage, and filed by two conservative Republicans, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and Senator Mike Lee of Utah.

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would ensure that the Federal Government does not take “any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage, and for other purposes.”

A spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee “said the panel is ‘working towards a hearing’ on the legislation,” Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, citing an email conversation, reported this week. He adds, “no date has been scheduled.”

Despite the extreme backlash North Carolina is experiencing over its anti-LGBT bill HB2, and despite backlash in other states that have enacted religious anti-LGBT legislation this year, including Mississippi and Tennessee, Republican lawmakers seem resolved to continue their war on gay people.

The bills have had zero activity since first introduced last June. But, as NCRM reported last week, the National Organization For Marriage (NOM) has been advocating to move the bills forward. The faith-based nonprofit has a “Fax for FADA” campaign NOM claims “is making a big impact.” While the anti-gay group has not released any statistics on how many faxed they have sent, a corresponding petitions currently says it has 3886 signatures, just about 350 more than it did one week ago today.

Johnson notes the House Oversight Committee “is packed with conservative Republicans, including Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), who recently attached to a major defense spending bill an amendment that would undermine President Obama’s executive order prohibiting anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors.” That amendment, attached to the House National Defense Authorization Act, passed 33-29. 

 

Image by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr and a CC license

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CRIME

Giuliani, Graham, Eastman, Others Tied to Trump Subpoenaed by Grand Jury in Georgia Criminal Election Investigation

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Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and several others including Cleta Mitchell have been subpoenaed by a Fulton County special grand jury convened to investigate possible criminal actions or interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

Giuliani, Eastman, Ellis, and Mitchell, along with Kenneth Chesbro, are all members of Donald Trump’s legal team or advised the former president “on strategies for overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia and other swing states,” and are now being subpoenaed, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Senator Graham (R-SC) has publicly admitted to contacting the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Also subpoenaed is attorney and podcast host Jacki Pick Deason.

“The 23-person special grand jury has heard testimony in recent weeks from a parade of witnesses, including some who had direct contact with Trump and his associates. But Tuesday’s subpoenas are the closest jurors have gotten to the inner circle of the former president,” the Journal-Constitution adds.

Eastman, the infamous author of the “coup memo,” is a former law professor and the current chairman of the anti-LGBTQ group National Organization For Marriage (NOM), which has never disavowed his actions.

“A federal judge in March,” the AJC adds, “argued that ‘it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.'”

In the days after the November 2020 election, The Washington Post reported, Sen. Graham “questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.”

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Planned for Weeks’: Highland Park Massacre Suspect Purchased Weapons Legally, Walked to Mother’s House After Shooting

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The 21-year-old man suspected of being the shooter in Monday’s Highland Park, Illinois massacre planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting, police said in a Tuesday press conference.

Six people died and over thirty others were wounded.

The “high-powered rifle” Robert Crimo used is “similar to an AR-15,” Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County major crimes task force told reporters. He used it to “fire more than 70 rounds into the crowd.”

RELATED: Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’

Crimo later borrowed his mother’s car.

Police say there was no one else involved. They add they were aware of him through previous interactions but those were not violent.


 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report

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A political commentator and television host on Russian state TV appears to have suggested Russia installed Donald Trump as president in 2016, attempted to do so in 2020, and has yet to decide whether or not to do so again.

Russia “will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet,” declared Olga Skabeyeva, known as the “Iron Doll of Putin TV” due to her criticism of the Russian president’s opponents.

The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, who is the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, posted the video to Twitter, as Mediaite reported.

RELATED: Five Years Ago Trump Secretly Celebrated Firing FBI Director, Gave Russians Classified Intel Inside the Oval Office

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation,” Skabeyeva says, according to subtitles in the video Davis posted. “To destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it.” Skabeyeva suggested Trump might lose Putin’s support as a result.

Citing her “recent remarks about the onset of ‘World War III,'” that “raised eyebrows across the world,” Insider in April called Skabeyeva “one of Russian state media’s most prominent propagandists.”

A 158-page bipartisan and unanimous report published by the Republican majority Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 revealed that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

 

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