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Second Convention Now Boycotting Tennessee Over Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

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Nashville Loses 550 Person Convention Thanks to Anti-Gay Law

Tennessee has lost its second convention in two days over Governor Bill Haslam‘s anti-gay “religious freedom” law, and this one may smart a bit more. Centers for Spiritual Living, a faith-based organization, is now boycotting Tennessee, citing  HB 1840, which allows therapists and counselors to refuse service to clients based on their claimed sincerely held principles – including religious beliefs.

“When the legislation was sent over to the governor’s desk, we actually had great hopes that it would be vetoed and canceled,” Kenn Gordon, spiritual leader for Centers for Spiritual Living, tells The Tennessean. “But it wasn’t, and so when he signed it into law that was the decision-point we made to pull out.”

“There are a lot of LGBTQ people that are involved in the world, period, but (also) in our organization,” said Gordon, who heads the “global community comprised of more than 400 spiritual communities, teaching chapters, study groups and other ministries in 30 countries.” The organization has between 250,000 and 500,000 congregates.

“We did not think in the practice of openness and inclusivity that that law would serve them very well. They felt violated in the action of that, so we chose to take a principled stand. It’s against what we hold to be true and believe. We believe in the equality of all humanity.”

On Tuesday, Tennessee lost a 3000 person conference when the American Counseling Association (ACA) canceled its 2017 conference, also scheduled for Nashville. The ACA is the largest counseling organization in the world. Its CEO Richard Yep says HB 1840 is “discriminatory” and “targets” LGBT people. In a video he stated the Tennessee law is “in clear violation of the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics.”

The Tennessee law, the first of its kind in the nation, harms LGBTQ people, especially young people who may need support the most but don’t have the resources to travel to another therapist or counselor who might be many miles away. One quarter of all Tennesseans live in rural areas.

 

Image by Brent Moore via Flickr and a CC license 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘It’s Not National God Day’: Pat Robertson’s Reporter Mocked for Attacking Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

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David Brody, a political analyst for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), is getting criticized for attacking President Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation. Brody, a Trump acolyte, slammed the proclamation because it doesn’t include the word “God.”

President Biden’s proclamation clearly was written to be as inclusive as possible, something he has strived to achieve with nearly everything he does.

“Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance,” Biden a devout Catholic, says in the document. “Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans. Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed.”

He goes on to talk about the First Amendment protecting “the rights of free speech and religious liberty, including the right of all Americans to pray.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Brody, a far right wing Christian, who appeared to believe that the proclamation should honor only Christians.

Former Trump personal attorney Jenna Ellis chimed in, replying to Brody with this slur:

On social media Brody was blasted.

 

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'SHIRT-TUCKING STAR OF THE BORAT SEQUEL'

George Conway Muses if Giuliani Was Dropped ‘On His Head’ and Warns He’s ‘Going to Go Through Some Things’

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Conservative attorney George Conway is warning former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani he may be “going to go through some things.”

“The quoted words,” he explains in a just-published Washington Post op-ed, “come from the former president’s supposedly ‘perfect’ phone call with Ukraine’s president, and described what could happen to the American ambassador there, Marie L. Yovanovitch.”

Those “things” Giuliani may go through include “possibly being charged with a crime.”

Giuliani’s home and office were raided by the feds last week, and Conway says “the investigation marks yet another step in Giuliani’s unimaginable fall from grace. The once-respected former federal prosecutor, New York mayor (‘America’s mayor’!), presidential candidate and possible Cabinet pick, stands reduced to a laughingstock: shirt-tucking star of the ‘Borat’ sequel, headliner for a news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, and now defendant in a $1.3 billion defamation suit for having claimed that the long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez founded a voting software company that helped steal the presidency from Trump.”

He also calls Giuliani a peddler of “nutso election-fraud claims,” and says he “had firmly established himself as one of the world’s worst lawyers. He’s the bumbler who blurted out on national TV that his client, Individual-1, had reimbursed a $130,000 payment made to a porn star, a transaction that triggered a sprawling and ongoing New York grand jury investigation into Trump’s overall business affairs.”

“All this boggles the mind of anyone who has followed Giuliani’s lengthy career. It’s as though someone dropped him on his head.”

Conway offers some free advice to Giuliani and Trump:

“If Giuliani has anything to offer prosecutors to save himself, it would have to be Trump, the only bigger fish left. And it was arguably criminal for the then-president to have used his official powers to try to coerce foreign officials into aiding his reelection campaign. In fact, Giuliani’s admission that he wasn’t conducting foreign policy, but merely helping Trump personally, is exactly what would make the scheme prosecutable. The former guy just might want to rethink stiffing Giuliani on those bills.”

Read the entire op-ed here.

 

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'THROWING RED MEAT TO THE RABBLE'

‘Tyranny’: Liz Cheney’s Likely Replacement Says Twitter Suspensions Are ‘Unconstitutional’

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U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is the most-likely the next Chair of the House Republican Conference after embattled Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has served in that role for the past two years, is getting pushed out fast.

House Republicans want Cheney out of leadership because she publicly refuted “The Big Lie” and repeatedly stated a simple fact: Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.

It’s no secret that Cheney is a hard core conservative, and has been her entire life (remember her very public spats with her sister, a lesbian, over same-sex marriage?) Stefanik, meanwhile, has been tidying-up her far right bona fides. In February she voted against the LGBTQ Equality Act, after having voted for it in 2019.

But speaking that one fact – that Biden won fair and square – is sufficient for the Republican Party to boot a member of Congress (and daughter of a former GOP vice president,) who voted with Trump 92.9% of the time – far more than Stefanik.

Yet Stefanik fits the bill. Despite having a bachelor’s from Harvard and despite getting elected in 2014 at the age of 30 – making her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress (Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also of New York, took that title away from Stefanik by getting elected at age 29) – she is playing the role of ignorant and out-of-control MAGA acolyte, and Republicans are thrilled.

CNN’s Daniel Dale has written about Stefanik’s election lies, and posted some of them to Twitter.

Stefanik is still playing to the rubes, as she did Thursday morning when she lied that Twitter temporarily suspending her communications director (apparently by mistake, and rectified within hours) is “unconstitutional” and “tyranny.”

She was quickly mocked.

 

 

 

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