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Ten Times Mike Pence Worked to Defeat the LGBT Community

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From conversion therapy to HIV to DADT to marriage, Donald Trump’s likely running mate Mike Pence has long opposed LGBT equality.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who endorsed Donald Trump for President one week after he endorsed Senator Ted Cruz, is expected to be named as Trump’s vice presidential running mate Friday.

Donald Trump, who told the New York Post that rather than asking himself if his vice presidential choice would make a good President that “the most important thing is chemistry,” is expected to make his announcement tomorrow at 11 AM EDT in Manhattan.

The chemistry in question may be found in an anti-LGBT agenda, as evidenced by Trump’s own stance and the GOP’s 2016 platform, described as the most anti-LGBT platform in history.

One needn’t look further than these ten examples of Pence’s record on the LGBT community for evidence:

1. His 2000 congressional campaign platform favored conversion therapy rather than “needy” HIV treatment.

He proposed that Congress should audit their federal spending to ensure that “federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus,” his website read.  “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

2. That same platform cautioned that LGBT military personnel weakened the military.

“Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion,” his platform read.

An archived version of the website is still available here.

3. He labeled the potential repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as “a backdrop for social experimentation.”

Pence told CNN, “I don’t believe the time has come to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I really believe our soldiers that are at the tip of the spear know that. We ought to put their interests and the interests of our national security first.”

4. He voted against same-sex marriage and against prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination while in the House.

As a GOP Congressman, Pence voted in favor of legislation defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, and against legislation prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. He was quoted by The Atlantic as saying that prohibiting workplace discrimination “wages war on freedom of religion in the workplace.”

5. Pence supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Even after the section of DOMA barring legally married same-sex couples from having their marriages recognized by the federal government was ruled unconstitutional, Pence said, “I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation. For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together.”

6. He subsequently supported HJR-6, an amendment to Indiana’s constitution banning same-sex marriage.

Pence’s spokeswoman said that Pence “supported the effort to ‘defend Indiana’s right to define the institution of marriage for the residents of our state.’” Same-sex marriage was already prohibited in a state statute at the time. He also supported Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s effort to appeal the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Indiana.

7. He signed an open letter drafted by the Family Research Council that ran in Politico and the Washington Examiner that supported organizations opposed to same-sex marriage.

“We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity… [with] pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family,” the letter read. “We support the vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans.”

8. Pence was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision on nationwide marriage equality.

“Like many Hoosiers,” he said, “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to recognize the historic role of the states in setting marriage policy in this country.”

9. He opposed guidance from the Department of Education regarding transgender students.

“The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature,” he said.

But perhaps most notoriously…

10. In 2015, Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, giving businesses a “license to discriminate” against the LGBT community.

When asked if businesses should be able to discriminate against the LGBT community, Pence did have little to say:

The RFRA impacted more than the LGBT community, as the IndyStar reported that the bill “cost the city of Indianapolis as many as 12 conventions and up to $60 million in economic impact.”

The announcement will come on the same day that Governor Mike Pence, up for re-election and holding a 40% approval rating, must withdrawal from the gubernatorial race under Indiana law if selected. LGBT and progressive organizations have already begun to issue statements denouncing Pence as Trump’s running mate.

  

EARLIER:

LGBT and Progressive Orgs Issue Statements Protesting Pence as VP Pick

Breaking: Mike Pence Will Be Donald Trump’s Pick for VP: Reports

Trump’s Vice President Expected to Be Mike Pence or Newt Gingrich – Will He Throw GOP a Curve Ball?

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst

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A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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News

Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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