Connect with us

GOP Chair Schedules Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill for One Month Anniversary of Orlando Massacre

Published

on

Sweeping Anti-Gay Bill Being Pushed by NOM and Religious Extremists

A federal bill that would give special rights and protections to anyone who claims to have a deeply-held religious conviction against LGBT people has been scheduled for a hearing in the House on the one month anniversary of the nation’s worst anti-LGBT hate crime, which was also the worst terror attack since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting in modern times. 

The powerful House Oversight Committee Chairman, Republican Jason Chaffetz, has scheduled a hearing for the First Amendment Defense Act (FAFA) for July 12, one month to the day of the attack on Pulse, an Orlando gay nightclub, as blogger Joe Jervis first noted.

The bill was first introduced in the House one year ago, and has sat dormant until now. The hearing is being denounced as “nothing more than an election-year stunt to rally conservatives at the expense of LGBT Americans,” by Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. 

“In most states, you can get married on Saturday, post photos of your wedding to Facebook on Sunday and then get fired or kicked out of your apartment on Monday just because you’re gay,” Cicilline said, as Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade reports. “FADA exacerbates this injustice by allowing religion to be used as a blanket excuse for denying LGBT people access to employment, housing, mental health care, emergency shelters and other essential services. This is wrong. Fairness and equality are core American values.”

The bill, if passed, literally would give license to anyone to refuse to interact with, serve or do business with any adult who is not in a different-sex monogamous marriage, unless they can prove they are not having or have not ever had sex.

The First Amendment Defense Act “prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage,” according to a summary. 

Currently, only anti-gay witnesses have been invited to testify before Chairman Chaffetz’s committee hearing on July 12, as the Blade reports. They include heroes of the anti-gay religious right, including former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, fired for not obtaining permission to publish and distribute to his employees a virulently anti-gay book steeped in religious dogma, while using his title and position to promote the book. Also invited is Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kristen Waggoner, who represents  Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist who refused to provide flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding and refused to settle the case for $1000. Waggoner repeatedly and falsely claims Stutzman may lose her home, business, and life savings because she refused to sell flowers to a same-sex couple.

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, has been pushing for lawmakers to pass the bills and fundraising off their efforts to do so.

 

Image via Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

US Senator Blames CRT, ‘Liberal Indoctrination’ and Lack of Religion for Mass Shooting in Small Texas Town

Published

on

Uvalde, Texas is a small town of just over 15,000 people. Almost all its elected officials, from the governor on down, are Republicans. That includes its Republican mayor who used a slew of curse words this week to attack Beto O’Rourke, the former U.S. Congressman who is now the Democratic gubernatorial candidate challenging incumbent GOP Governor Greg Abbott.

There are still many facts to be uncovered about the 18-year-old who legally bought two AR-15 style assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the three days after his 18th birthday, then went on to commit the third-worst school shooting in the United States this week.

While one lawmaker claims Salvador Ramos was born in North Dakota, various reports make it seem clear he grew up in Uvalde, where he has a mother and father, the grandmother he lived with for the past few months who he shot in the face before slaughtering 21 people at Robb Elementary School, and at least one cousin, an uncle, and a sister in the Navy.

The Texas Tribune describes Uvalde as a “tight-knit community” that “prays.”

Reports say he was a loner, bullied for a stutter and lisp, and had a difficult relationship with family members.

Although he was 18 he had not graduated high school, apparently ineligible after missing too many days of class.

But according to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), the real problem, why 21 people including 19 elementary school children, are dead, is critical race theory, “wokeness,” “liberal indoctrination,” and a lack of religion.

Rejecting Fox Business host Neil Cavuto’s suggestion that “maybe stiffer background checks” would help reduce gun violence Senator Johnson, who is running for a third term in office this year despite pledging to serve only two, rejected any legislative solution to the explosion of mass shootings in America.

“No matter what you do, people fall through the cracks,” Johnson, appearing exasperated and shaking his head, told Fox Business. “You can’t identify all these problems. You can’t arrest somebody for a crime they haven’t committed yet,” he argued, something no one has suggested.

“These are difficult issues, but again, the solution lies in stronger families, more supportive communities. I would argue renewed faith. We’ve lost that. We’ve stopped teaching values in so many of our schools,” he added, despite most conservatives demanding schools stick to the basics.

“Now we’re now teaching ‘wokeness,’ we’re indoctrinating our children in things like CRT, telling, you know, some children they’re not equal to others and they’re the cause of other people’s problems,” he continued, falsely explaining what critical race theory is.

“There’s a sickness,” Johnson tried to get in as Cavuto jumped in to correct his CRT claim. Republicans have been once again pushing mental health as a cause for gun violence to distract from the fact that there are now more guns than human beings in America.

“These shootings were going on long before CRT,” Cavuto said.

“Well, I think I think CRT’s been going on under the radar for quite some time as well,” he claimed, which is false. Johnson has been one of the greatest spreaders of falsehoods and conspiracy theories in the U.S. Senate. CNN labeled him the “Senate’s leading conspiracy theorist.”

“Wokeness has been” going on, Johnson claimed. “Liberal indoctrination has been,” he added, baselssly opining that liberalism leads to more gun violence when liberals are more likely to oppose guns.

“This is a much larger issue than what a simple new gun law’s gonna – it’s not going to solve it. It’s not gonna solve it,” Johnson insisted.

No one has ever suggested a single gun control law would solve all gun violence, but the facts are clear. After Republicans allowed the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004 a 2019 study found: “Mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur during the federal ban period.”

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Defiant Trump Brags About His Upcoming NRA Speech as Cancellations Mount: Have to ‘Protect’ Second Amendment (Video)

Published

on

For more than half a century “American Pie” has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA’s annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be “hurtful” and “disrespectful” to appear.

Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.

Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA’s convention, “due to the horrifying tragedy,” Daniel Defense said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he’s canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement’s apparent horrific handling of the attack.

Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.

Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend’s NRA convention, he is bragging about it.

“I’m making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it’ll be very interesting,” Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.

“And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly.”

Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.

“But on Friday night, I’ll be in Houston. And we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly.”

Watch:

Continue Reading

News

‘Font of Misinformation’: Reporter Explains ‘Major Discrepancies’ in Texas Police Account of Uvalde Shooting

Published

on

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday examined the “major discrepancies” in the police account of the roughly one hour that a teenage gunman spent at the Texas elementary school where he killed at least 19 children and two teachers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety defended the response by Uvalde police, but “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist said the changing narrative of what happened and how officers reacted was jaw-dropping, and he asked NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian to explain what was so troubling about the law enforcement account.

“It’s really astonishing,” Dilanian said. “Let’s remember, the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is conducting the briefings, they did not respond to this incident. Their whole job here was to investigate and find out what happened and tell the public. They’ve really been a font of misinformation, including from the head of the agency, who sat next to the governor of the state and told the world in a very confident voice that there was a school resource officer who encountered the subject as he came into the school. Then yesterday, we learned that that person didn’t exist. There was no such school resource officer.”

“Then we learn other, new information, that the shooter actually exited his grandmother’s truck, which he crashed outside the school, then fired shots at onlookers across the street, and then essentially was lingering outside the school for 12 minutes, firing shots, before he entered through an unlocked door, also new information, unimpeded, unobstructed, nobody confronted him,” Dilanian continued. “Then we learned in this new — and, again, all this information is coming from the same agency that has provided misinformation. We should take it all with a grain of salt. But according to the latest account, some local police officers, Uvalde police officers, immediately rushed in, which is what the doctrine of mass shooting says they should do. They were met with a hail of gunfire from the 18-year-old with an assault rifle, AR-15, a weapon of war. They were armed, presumably, with handguns. A couple were shot and wounded, the police are saying.”

READ MORE: CNN reporter refuses to accept Texas official’s claims about Uvalde shooting: ‘Why don’t you clear all of this up now?’

“Victor Escalon said they made entry, didn’t make entry, retreated,” Dilanian added. “Bottom line, they were out-gunned, treated, then we have this mystery. We have this decision by the police to wait 60 minutes for a Border Patrol tactical team. There’s a lot we don’t know and don’t understand about that, so we should be a little careful. There were police inside the school, we were told, evacuating children, in other parts of the school. But the account is, somehow, the gunman had barricaded himself. They use the word ‘barricade.’ It was two adjoining classrooms.”

“Now we’re learning … that dead children were found in four separate classrooms,” he said. “That’s a thing we don’t understand but, as you know, the doctrine for police response to mass shootings really changed after Columbine. The rule now is go in with whatever force you can. This is a policy from the Texas Police Chief Association, a manual says the first two to four officers should form a team and immediately enter the building. That’s what they did initially. Then, for whatever reason, they didn’t follow up with that. They waited for essentially federal agents, a group of Border Patrol and other police who formed a team, a stack as they put it, went in with a ballistic shield in front, took fire from the shooter — incredible act of bravery — and killed the shooter. There were local police officers involved in that, we’re told. These videos we’re seeing and the accounts of parents screaming for the police to go in while they were standing outside, that has to be explained. There is just no good explanation for why they waited 60 minutes when the doctrine calls for them to go in immediately.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.