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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An archived version of the website is still available here.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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‘They’re Not Taking My Gas Stove’: Joe Manchin Teams Up With Hard Core Republicans to Promote False Claims

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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is again promoting the false claim that the federal government is planning to remove gas stoves from private homes, after news last month revealed once more the open-flame appliances are responsible for hundreds of thousands of cases of children’s asthma.

“They’re not taking my gas stove out,” said Manchin, who has made millions from coal and protects his state – which  ranks in the top five for production of natural gas – at every turn.

Manchin, a rare breed of conservative Democrat, announced in a Senate hearing on Thursday that he is teaming up with Republican Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford to fuel the unfounded fears of the federal government coming to rip gas stoves out of Americans’ homes – fears promoted by the right.

READ MORE: ‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)

“Gas stoves have been in the news lately and I’ve come out strongly against the Consumer Product Safety Commission pursuing any ban of gas stoves,” Manchin declared, despite there being no possibility of that. “In fact, I’m introducing legislation today with Senator Cruz that would ensure that they don’t and separately sending a letter to the commission with Senator Lankford.”

“I’ve always been a proponent of energy efficiency,” Manchin continued, “but the draft proposes efficiency levels that DOE [Dept. of Energy] says at the highest level, up to 96% of gas stoves don’t currently meet. I don’t like where I think they’re going with this and I tell you one thing, they’re not taking my gas stove put. My wife and I would both be upset.”

Manchin went on the claim the Biden administration is “looking to find ways to push out natural gas.”

And he warned the feds to stay out of his kitchen.

“Like I said before,” Manchin declared, “the federal government doesn’t have any business telling American families how to cook their dinner.”

The federal government does have a responsibility, by law, to warn Americans of health and safety issues in their homes. For decades it has been doing just that.

But the West Virginia Senator went even further, stating: “retrofitting or removing stoves that people have had for years is not going to happen.”

Manchin isn’t just blowing smoke – he has a lot at stake in the “gas stove war.”

READ MORE: ‘Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands’: GOP Vows ‘Stove War’ Legislation, Doesn’t Want Feds ‘Coming After Kitchen Appliances’

“West Virginia is the fourth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in the nation,” according to a federal government December report.

“At every step of his political career, Joe Manchin helped a West Virginia power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business. Along the way, he blocked ambitious climate action,” The New York Times reported last year. It called the West Virginia Democrat “the single most important figure shaping the nation’s energy and climate policy.”

Watch Sen. Manchin below or at this link.

 

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‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)

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Trump White House press secretary turned Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been chosen by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address next week.

Speaker McCarthy hailed Huckabee Sanders, 40, as the nation’s “youngest governor” on Thursday afternoon in remarks to reporters (below).

The former press secretary was quickly endorsed by Trump, ran a campaign carefully crafted away from the press, and has no relevant experience to run a state.

“Can Sarah Huckabee Sanders be elected governor without ever taking questions or talking specifics about public policy?” Arkansas Times’ senior editor Max Brantley asked rhetorically last summer, calling her campaign “stealth.”

READ MORE: ‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin

“Her inauguration marks the first time in 42 years Arkansas will have a governor without any experience in elected office,” the AP noted last month.

“She clearly has some national aspirations,” University of Arkansas political science professor Janine Parry told the Associated Press last month. “In order to fulfill those, it’s likely she’ll have to show some capacity for governance.”

According to Speaker McCarthy, she has already accomplished a lot in her first 23 days as governor.

Although McCarthy did not offer any specifics, CNN did: “Within 48 hours of being sworn in as governor, Sanders signed a flurry of executive orders, with one targeting critical race theory ‘to prohibit indoctrination’ in schools and another banning the use of the term ‘Latinx’ in official state documents.”

After the announcement was made, Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday. What America needs – and what Republicans are offering – is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

But in a joint statement with McCarthy and McConnell, Huckabee Sanders took a much different tone.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats. We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America – to be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs, and opportunity for all.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

Responding to the news, critics online pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ history that was fraught with controversy and false claims in the Trump White House.

Indeed, conservative critic Charlie Sykes on MSNBC pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ ties to Trump, telling Andrea Mitchell that Huckabee Sanders was “a firehose of misinformation and disinformation” during the “Trump era,” and noted she has been “prioritizing the culture war” in her short tenure as governor.

“Yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years,” he added.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin

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At least three House Republicans this week began wearing pins in the shape of an assault weapon on their clothing. U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) were all caught on camera with the pins, leading some to express outrage.

U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) was among the first to circulate images of the two Republicans wearing the pins.

“Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out?” he asked.

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), captured an image of Congressman Clyde wearing the pin on his tie.

“Absolutely repulsive,” Duke University Professor of Global Health and Public Policy, Gavin Yamey said in response to the assault weapon pins. “We have mass shootings almost daily, and the Republicans are wearing assault weapon pins FFS.”

READ MORE: Watch: Angry, Santos Reacts to News DOJ is Investigating His Alleged ‘Ghosting’ With $3000 Raised for Veteran’s Dying Dog

One of the Members wearing the pins, Congresswoman Luna, on Wednesday also participated in a House Natural Resources panel debate to push back on Democrats’ attempt to ban firearms inside the Committee’s hearing room.

She tweeted later, “The same Democrats who are voting to send firearms to Ukraine are telling me I can’t carry one.”

Politico reports the meeting (video below) was “raucous.”

Sociology professor and author Samuel Perry observed, “Republican members of congress are wearing AR-15 lapel pins. That’s not just tone deaf. We find Republicans value gun rights more than any other right, including freedom of speech or religion. No need for a flag or cross pin. The gun is both their patriotic & religious symbol.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called wearing the pins “freaking sick,” and noted “they are doing it during #GVSurvivorsWeek,” the hashtag for National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

READ MORE: Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) also pointed to National Gun Violence Survivors Week.

“While gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children in our country,
@GOP members are wearing assault rifle pins during #GVSurvivorsWeek. Shameful.”

American historian of Christianity Diana Butler Bass did not mince words: “Always said it was just a matter of time before the GOP replaced the cross with an assault rifle. Guns are their god.”

Democratic Texas state Rep. Gene Wu said the GOP “has stopped playing coy and is now openly and unabashedly praising mass shooters. Will there be special versions to celebrate specific mass shootings?”

Professor of International Relations Nicholas Grossman said: “Legislators from party that defends recent coup attempt by their up-til-recently—and possibly still—party leader replace traditional patriotic flag pin with a pin depicting a rifle.”

California state Sen. Dave Min weighed in, saying, “The debate over 2A [the Second Amendment] has never been about 2A. It’s about ‘disrupting’ civilized society as we know it, and trolling the ordinary Americans concerned about our insane levels of gun violence. That’s why it’s the biggest assholes who are most loudly touting irresponsible gun access.”

The addition of the assault weapon pins to Republican Members’ clothing comes on the heels of U.S. Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) distributing grenades to fellow Members last week. In a note he declared they are “inert.”

See video and photos above or at this link.

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