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Two Years After Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage Overturned, NC Still Struggling With LGBT Rights



HB2 Shows That the Fight for Rights Is Not Over in North Carolina

When voters passed North Carolina’s Amendment One, a ballot initiative that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, in May of 2012 the state’s equality advocates considered it a crushing defeat. Just when things were finally starting to look up, conservatives had put the rights of same-sex couples to marry up to a vote, and the LGBT community lost spectacularly: 61 to 39 percent.

This was just before the tipping point was reached on same-sex marriage. In fact, just a day after Amendment One passed, President Barack Obama announced his support for marriage equality. A year before, Gallup had reported for the first time that a majority of Americans supported the legalization of same-sex marriage. From the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2013, the number of states allowing same-sex couples to marry nearly tripled.

This cultural shift is what made the overwhelming support for Amendment One so disheartening, even in a Southern state under a conservative governor. It was a setback; a disruption in a series of successes.

Two years later, on October 10, 2014, the amendment was overturned, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn signed what one NC citizen appropriately called “the official death certificate of Amendment One,” the order striking down the state’s ban.

North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory refused to fight the decision, saying, “The administration is moving forward with the execution of the court’s ruling and will continue to do so unless otherwise notified.”

This shouldn’t be mistaken as support for marriage rights, however, as other state legislators attempted to appeal to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear any cases related to same-sex marriage at the time.

McCrory’s response was short and to the point. “I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, which goes against the amendment that North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved. We will continue to respect the legal process as it proceeds.”

Governor McCrory, two years later, is now most known for his devoted support to a different NC law, HB2. 

The state’s infamous anti-LGBT law is based almost entirely on a long list of misconceptions about trans people, although much of it is disguised by dog-whistle rhetoric about privacy. The law also revokes state protections against discrimination of any kind.

In spite of North Carolina beating the nation as a whole to marriage equality, it “became the most anti-LGBT state in less than a day“ with the pro-discrimination bill, aimed largely at the city of Charlotte and their year long fight to successfully protect LGBT residents.

HB2 and the resulting backlash have made headlines again and again, and this time, McCrory isn’t being sated by the court system. He did withdraw the lawsuit he filed on behalf of the state, but he remains the defendant in a separate lawsuit on HB2. That trial will begin on November 14.

In the meantime, LGBT citizens in the state are secure in their right to marry, but their right to a wedding venue, or to be secure in a job or in any public place remains up in the air. 


Clinton in North Carolina Hits GOP on HB2: ‘I Think the American Dream Is Big Enough for Everybody’

Pat McCrory Staged Fake Press Q&A To Answer ‘Questions’ Written by His Staff Rather Than Ones on HB2

Pat McCrory Quietly Withdraws HB2 Lawsuit He Filed Against Federal Government, Cites Costs

Image by Mark Farris via Flickr and a CC license

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Georgia Republicans Push Bill Banning All Government Mandates of ‘Any Vaccination’ Including in Public Schools



Georgia Senate Republicans are pushing a bill that would end any requirements for any vaccinations by any state or local government agency or office in the Peach State, including vaccines for children entering public school.

The bill also bans any government agency from requiring private companies or entities from requiring any proof of any vaccination.

The bill, SB 345, was filed on January 14 with five original co-sponsors. It now has 17, including state Senator Jeff Mullis, whose campaign website prominently features photos of him with former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.

“No agency shall require proof of any vaccination of any person as a condition of providing any service or access to any facility, issuing any license, permit, or other type of authorization, or performing any duty of such agency,” the bill’s text reads in part.

Georgia State Law law professor Anthony Michael Kreis posted Georgia’s school vaccine requirements, suggesting those would be optional were the bill to become law.

The CDC recommends a list of about 17 different vaccines children should have before entering school. The list includes inoculations against diseases, often deadly, including Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal conjugate, Inactivated poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Varicella, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis, Human papillomavirus, Meningococcal, Meningococcal B, and Pneumococcal polysaccharide.



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Watch: Hot Mic Catches Biden Blowing Off Steam With Profane Remark Directed Towards Fox News’ Peter Doocy



It was not a good day for Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy. First, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was clearly irked by his line of questioning as he tried to make news by framing a rise in crime as something the Biden administration has ignored, despite Fox News promoting Second Amendment “activists” and doing its best to oppose efforts to reduce poverty and efforts to counter societal ills.

Later, after the close of President Biden’s Competitiveness Council meeting, reporters continued to shout questions at the President. Among them Peter Doocy, who carelessly asked the President if rising inflation was a “liability” for the midterm elections.

“It’s a great asset – more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch,” President Biden appeared to say sarcastically.



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Democratic Congressman Says Tucker Carlson’s Viewers ‘Upset We’re Not Siding With Russia’



As tensions heat up between the United States and Russia over Vladimir Putin’s unlawful attacks on Ukraine one Democratic Congressman says he’s getting calls from Fox News viewers who think the U.S. should side with Russia.

“My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we’re not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions,” writes Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).

For nearly three years during the Obama administration, Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. He now sits on the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Homeland Security, and Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism.

For years Tucker Carlson has been advancing Russian propaganda, as he did here in November of 2019, only to be forced to walk back his comments later that same evening.

U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols weighed in on Rep. Malinowski’s remarks, observing “Republicans are the Russia Party now.”

“For years,” adds political commentator Jared Yates Sexton, “the American Right has been drawing together with Putinist illiberalism’s antidemocratic, Christian theocratic, white supremacist construction. The divide we have in this country breaks down along these lines. None of this is a surprise or accidental.”

“We’ve been trying to tell you for years now this was happening. The Republican Party and its growing authoritarianism sides with Putin, Orbán, and illiberalism everywhere,” he continues. “It’s an international movement and this Ukraine situation only makes that more clear.”

Propaganda and political warfare historian  and former NATO civilian official Mark R. Jacobson adds: “This is exactly how Russian disinformation/subversion works – they put out a talking point to advance their foreign policy goals & a set of perfidious pundits parrot the point.”

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