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WATCH: Equality Florida #ForThe49 Rally Protests Trump and Rubio Headlining an Anti-Gay Conference



‘We Cannot Allow This Bigotry to Go Unchecked in Our Backyard’

Equality Florida’s “Rally to End Hate #ForThe49” began this morning in Orlando, Florida, to protest Donald Trump and Marco Rubio addressing an anti-LGBT conference hosted by Christian evangelical extremists. That conference, “Rediscovering God in America,” is a two-day event that takes place just miles from the site of the Pulse Massacre and during the tragedy’s two-month anniversary.

“Exactly two months after the Pulse Nightclub massacre, presidential candidate Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio will headline a conference hosted by notorious anti-LGBTQ extremists in Orlando,” the rally’s event page reads. This mirrors the statement issued by two top Democratic National Committee leaders denouncing the Republicans for speaking at the conference.

“Rediscovering God in America” is hosted by the American Renewal Project, which Equality Florida advises, “likened gay people to Nazis and called on Christians to ‘risk martyrdom’ to block gays from marrying.” The American Renewal Project leader, David Lane penned a 2013 op-ed calling for a “war to restore a Christian America.” 

Comprised of Equality Florida members, staff, volunteers and community partners, the rally, which attracted nearly 200 progressives, according to Equality Florida, aimed to gather peacefully in opposition to the organization, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio, while also calling for common sense gun measures and fully-inclusive non-discrimination policies.

“I wonder if Marco Rubio or Donald Trump have ever lost a family member to a hate crime?,” Celia Ruiz, the sister of one of the Pulse victims, Juan Ramon Guerrero, asked when speaking to supporters today. “I wonder if they know the pain that comes from losing a family member in this manner? If they knew this pain… I doubt Marco Rubio and Donald Trump would be promoting this conference, promoting intolerance and hate.”

“Shame on you, Marco Rubio,” Ruiz told the crowd.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence posted this tweet:

Orlando Weekly posted video of the beginning of the rally via Facebook Live. Watch below:

Here at the rally against Rubio and Trump's appearance at anti-LGBT religious conference.

Posted by Orlando Weekly on Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sorry guys, my phone heated up. Here's the rally again.

Posted by Orlando Weekly on Thursday, August 11, 2016

“We cannot allow this bigotry to go unchecked in our backyard,” the rally page advised, promising that “together we will make it absolutely clear that hatred and bigotry will no longer go unchallenged, especially here in Orlando.”


Image by Equality Florida via Twitter 

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Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt



Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’



Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”




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Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists



U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”


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