Connect with us

Texas GOP Lawmakers Vow to Pass North Carolina-Style Anti-LGBT Legislation Next Year

Published

on

Rabidly Anti-LGBT State Rep. Matt Shaheen: ‘If a Company Like Target Wants to Leave, I’ll Help Them Pack and Leave’

Despite severe economic backlash over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2, Republican Texas state lawmakers are vowing to pass similar legislation when they convene in January. 

GOP state Rep. Matt Shaheen told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, for a story published Sunday, that he plans to introduce a bill that would prohibit cities, counties and school districts from allowing transgender people to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

“We’re taking that ability away,” Shaheen said. “We should leave that power where it should reside, at the state and federal level. I think this is such a silly topic. At the end of the day, this is about common sense and decency.”

Shaheen told the Star-Telegram he’s unconcerned about potential economic backlash over such a hateful, discriminatory bill. HB2, of course, has cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars, including the loss of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. 

“We are the 12th-largest economy in the world,” Shaheen said of Texas. “If a company like Target wants to leave, I’ll help them pack and leave. But the Texas economy is going to do fine.”

Such rhetoric is hardly surprising from Shaheen, who serves as a deacon at the notoriously anti-LGBT Prestonwood Baptist Church, and who first got elected to public office by attacking his opponent for voting to hire a gay man. On a side note, I contacted Shaheen about anti-LGBT legislation a few weeks ago, but he refused comment: 

It’s unclear just how far Shaheen’s bill will go, but his suggestion that it would drive Target out of Texas indicates it could even extend to private businesses, which would amount to an extreme example of the type of government overreach that Republicans so frequently rail against. Shaheen has also previously said he supports the removal of race- and sex-based protections from local nondiscrimination ordinances: 

But Shaheen is hardly alone in his zeal to pander to his right-wing base by persecuting marginalized communities. GOP Rep. Bill Zedler, who once tried to ban LGBT resource centers on state university campuses, told the Star-Telegram that the issue of trans restroom use “raises concerns mainly because anytime you want to make it where someone who self-identifies as a man … can now go into the woman’s restroom, I believe it puts small children at risk as well as … inconveniencing 99, 98 percent of the population so a very small percent of the population can supposedly feel comfortable.”

And GOP state Rep. Matt Krause, who once worked as an attorney for the Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group, reportedly plans to introduce “religious freedom” legislation along the lines of Mississippi’s House Bill 1523, which was recently struck down as unconstitutional. This is despite the fact that Krause’s district includes Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, a perennial contender to host major sporting events whose organizers would undoubtedly look elsewhere if a such a bill were to pass. 

Texas lawmakers, who meet only every two years, filed the most anti-LGBT legislation in the history of any state in 2015, only to have the mark shattered by Oklahoma this year. Based on early indications, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Texas Legislature to recapture the dubious record in 2017, when it gathers in Austin for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell.  

EARLIER:

Second Texas City Responds to Target by Targeting Transgender People With Hateful ‘Bathroom Bill’

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.

'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

QAnon Sends Death Threats to Gay Senator for Trying to Make Sex Laws Less LGBTQ-phobic

Published

on

image via Wikimedia Commons, Scott Weiner

Democratic California State Senator Scott Wiener has received death threats from far-right supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory after he introduced legislation to reform the state’s sex offender registry to be less queerphobic.

Right now, California law allows judges to refuse to list the full names of certain offenders from the sex offender registry if the judge finds a valid reason to do so—let’s say, for example, if an 18-year-old has sex with a 16-year-old. The rule only applies for offenders who have sex with minor ages 15 to 17 and it only applies to penis-in-vagina sex.

As such, in any cases involving digital penetration, anal or oral sex—sexual methods often used by LGBTQ people—the judge has no choice but to list the offender’s full name without exception.

Wiener wanted to change the law to include all types of sex, and that’s when the death threats started pouring in.

“You’re dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. I’ll publicly execute you. I’m gonna embarrass you. Pedophile,” one Instagram user wrote.

Another wrote, “I’ll come cut your head off and deliver it to your mom if you even considering introducing your ‘bill.’ Got it?”

Others messages were anti-Semitic or accused Weiner of being a child rapist. Because it’s against the law for elected officials to block users on social media, all of his social media channels have to remain open to such threats.

The QAnon conspiracy theory believes that the Trump administration will expose a top-secret international child sex trafficking network run by “deep state” senior Democrats who are determined to stop Trump at all costs. Its theories infamously led an armed gunman in 2017 to enter a gay-owned Washington D.C. pizza parlor, Comet Ping Pong, to investigate “Pizzagate,” the claim that the pizzeria had child sex slaves locked in its nonexistent basement.

QAnon conspiracy theorists have become more active during the COVID-19 lockdown and the runup to the November 3 presidential elections as many U.S. residents find themselves at home without jobs.

“Whether its QAnon or Russian troll farms, these are factories of false info designed to undermine democracy and public discourse, and also to send a message to elected officials that if you pursue unpopular progressive change to help marginalized groups like queer kids, ‘We’re going to target you,'” Weiner told Mother Jones.

Continue Reading

'DEEPLY EMBARRASSING'

“I’m Not a Racist” Says Republican Politician Who Repeatedly Uses N-word to Discuss Black Lives Matter

Published

on

Tom Eckerle

Tom Eckerle—a Republican road commissioner for Leelanau County, Michigan—is reportedly resigning after political pressure for repeatedly using the n-word, an anti-Black racist slur, to describe racial justice protestors.

Before a meeting of the road commission started last Tuesday, Eckerle was asked by a commission member why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He responded, “Well this whole thing is because of them (n-words) down in Detroit.”

When Bob Joyce, the commission’s chair, told Eckerle he couldn’t say that, Eckerle said, “I can say anything I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us.”

Let’s be clear: the social aims listed on the Black Live Matters (BLM) website do not mention white people. According to its website, the BLM movement seeks to unite Black communities worldwide to oppose state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism while also create creating healing, empathetic communities free from prejudice.

When asked about his comments during a Thursday interview with Interlochen Public Radio, Eckerle said didn’t realize the public found out about his comments and said, “No, I don’t regret calling it an (n-word). A( n-word) is a (n-word) is a (n-word). That’s not a person whatsoever.”

Eckerle also told the Associated Press, “I’m not a racist. Black Lives Matter is racist. If I believed in Black Lives Matter, I would be racist. … Black Lives Matter has no heart. And that is as offensive to me as the N-word,” before saying the actual n-word again, just to make his point.

“If I could get a few people that, when they see a Black Lives Matter sign up, to think the N-word, I have accomplished what I’m after,” he added.

Eckerle was elected to his eight-year position in 2018. Of Leelanauhas County’s 21,700 residents about 90 percent are white. Black people are less than 1 percent of its population.

Continue Reading

'ANGRY AND APPALLED'

Trump’s Postmaster General Destabilizes Postal Service Just 87 Days Before Presidential Elections

Published

on

In a memo released yesterday, President Donald Trump ally Louis DeJoy — who was hired by Trump’s handpicked Postal Service Board of Governors — reshuffled two top executives and 21 to 31 other executives and staffers who represent “decades of institutional postal knowledge” out of leadership roles or into new positions in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

This move, along with other recent “cost-saving” measures which have slowed down mail delivery and threatened to worsen the service, comes as an unprecedented wave of mail-in ballots are expected in the November presidential elections as voters avoid in-person polling stations to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure.

The USPS was already in financial trouble because of a 2006 law requiring it to pre-fund 75 years worth of retirement benefits — a $110 billion cost. Also, like many U.S. businesses, the epidemic significantly harmed the USPS. Many workers fell ill or began quarantining, causing USPS leaders to spend millions on personal protective equipment, plexiglass and social distancing equipment for offices while its reduced workforce began working overtime at increased pay to help continue services.

New measures instated by DeJoy ban employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail while reducing hours at different branches nationwide. The Friday memo also said the service would implement a hiring freeze, ask for voluntary retirements, and reduce its operating units and service regions.

These moves are allegedly meant to help the USPS stay financially solvent as it’s expected to run out of money anytime between March and October 2021, despite the recent approval of a $10 billion Treasury loan approved in the upcoming coronavirus relief package.

The moves are also eyebrow-raising seeing as DeJoy and his wife have between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS competitors and contracts who might directly benefit from the USPS’s failure.

People suspect Trump of deliberately sabotaging the USPS as a way to try and sway the upcoming November elections in his favor. Trump, who has repeatedly and falsely claimed that mail-in voting increases voting fraud, wants to deny the service billions in federal aid unless USPS quadruples its prices, something that would compel people to use USPS competitors.

The Trump campaign has sued state and local governments nationwide over mail-in ballot rules, and according to Vox.com:

Different states have different laws about how mail-in ballots work. Currently, 34 states — including swing states like Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — require ballots to be received by election authorities by Election Day, so any delay in the mail could lead to untold numbers of votes going uncounted.

“We’ve been doing mail ballots as postal workers for generations,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. “It’s been increasing in popularity. In the last election, 31 million people voted by mail. There’s virtually no fraud.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.