Seven Out Hopefuls Could Become Firsts In Their States
This yearâ€™s election contests arenâ€™t just going to be a big day for the presidential race. There are numerous state and local officers up for election. Because we know just how important â€”Â perhaps even more so â€”Â these down-ballot races can be, The New Civil rights Movement is breaking down the other races and what initiatives progressives should be paying attention to as they head to the ballot box on Tuesday.Â
In Part 1 we looked at the 12 states electing a new governor. Part 2 took a look at some of the key US Senate races. This time, weâ€™re taking a look at a few of the candidates who could become the first or only openly LGBTQ legislator in (or from) their state. Â
Coloradoâ€™s 5 Congressional District: Misty Plowright
Misty Plowright is the first transgender candidate from Colorado, and sheâ€™s running for Congress. Sheâ€™s been decried by the Right and ignored by her opponent Doug Lamborn, but as she told the Denver Post, â€œItâ€™s hard to come after me. Iâ€™m not ashamed of who I am.â€ No Democrat has ever done better than 40 percent, though thatâ€™s not stopping Misty from trying. â€œIâ€™ve been underestimated my entire life. Well, Iâ€™m still here and Iâ€™m still going,â€ she said.
Colorado House of Representatives, 8th District: Leslie Herod
If elected, Leslie Herod will become the first African American LGBTQ person to serve in the Colorado legislature. Sheâ€™s running in a reliably blue district and is poised to make history.Â
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 98: Jane Campbell
Jane Campbellâ€™s opponent, Republican John R Bradford III, was one of the chief architects and proponents of HB2, which was motivation enough to convince Campbell to run. Sheâ€™s not affiliated with any party though sheâ€™s heavily backed by Democrats. Sheâ€™s also endorsed by HRC, Equality NC, and The News-Observer. Sheâ€™s poised to be the only openly gay member of the legislature when elected. (Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, was appointed to his temporary position to complete the last session.)Â
Georgia House of Representatives, 101st District: Sam Park
Sam Park joins a long line of openly gay men vying to be the first to be elected in Georgia and may well be the first to actually make it happen. His poll numbers show him in a very tight race against incumbent Valerie Clark. What makes this interesting is that Park comes from Gwinnett County, where, as of this month, a majority of voters represent minority communities. Pundits from both sides of the aisle say this shows the coming change of Georgiaâ€™s red-voting habits to a deeper shade of purple. Parkâ€™s opponent was also a supporter of Georgiaâ€™s discriminatory â€œReligious Freedom Restoration Actâ€ which was famously vetoed.Â (Full disclosure: I know Sam personally and on the board of a group that endorsed him. I also think he’s great.)
Washingtonâ€™s 7th Congressional District: Brady PiÃ±ero Walkinshaw
Brady Walkinshaw is looking to make the move from the state legislature up as the first openly LGBTQ Latino American elected to Congress. Walkingshawâ€™s district is safely Democratic, but his opponent, Pramila Jayapal, is also a Democrat. Both candidates have stood up for LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights and it seems as though Washington (both the state and the district) will be well served by either candidate.
Montanaâ€™s Congressional Representative: Denise Juneau
Denise Juneau could become the first Native American in Congress and the first openly LGBTQ representative from Montana. However, recent polling has her opponent, Trump-endorsing former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, up 19 points. Â
Arizona House of Representatives, District 2: Daniel Hernandez
Daniel Hernandez first made news when he helped then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords stay alive after she was shot in 2011 at a public event. Now heâ€™s advocating for stricter gun laws and LGBTQ rights. If elected, heâ€™ll be the only openly LGBTQ legislator in Arizona.Â
This is just a small sampling of some of the many openly-LGBTQ candidates running in 2016. There are also numerous LGBTQ-friendly candidates running. Be sure to do your research before you head to the polls â€” you could help make history! Check out your local LGBTQ PAC or other groups and make sure your voice is heard!
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SCOTUS Justices Prayed With Evangelical Group Whose Legal Brief Was Cited to Overturn Roe Says Christian Activist: Report
A veteran Christian activist who works for a legal organization that has appeared on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups was caught on a hot mic bragging that she and the organization she works for prayed with the Justices inside the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report by Rolling Stone. Conservative justices cited the organization’s brief in the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
The activist, “a prominent Capitol Hill religious leader,” Rolling Stone reports, “was caught on a hot mic making a bombshell claim: that she prays with sitting justices inside the high court. ‘We’re the only people who do that,’ Peggy Nienaber said.”
Calling the disclosure “a serious matter on its own terms,” Rolling Stone says it “also suggested a major conflict of interest. Nienaber’s ministry’s umbrella organization, Liberty Counsel, frequently brings lawsuits before the Supreme Court. In fact, the conservative majority in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which ended nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights, cited an amicus brief authored by Liberty Counsel in its ruling.”
Separately, NCRM has unearthed video from 2019 (below) that shows a woman who identifies herself as Nienaber bragging, “and yes, we go in and pray with the Justices.” She says she is Vice President of Faith & Liberty in the video. Rolling Stone reports “Nienaber is Liberty Counsel’s executive director of DC Ministry, as well as the vice president of Faith & Liberty, whose ministry offices sit directly behind the Supreme Court.”
Liberty Counsel was founded in 1989 by attorneys Mat Staver and Anita Staver, who are married. The organization has represented Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis, and hate group head Scott Lively. They call their organization a Christian ministry, as Nienaber can be heard saying on the hot mic.
“You actually pray with the Supreme Court justices?” a livestreamer identified as Connie IRL can be heard asking in the video.
“I do,” Nienaber responds. “They will pray with us, those that like us to pray with them.”
“Some of them don’t!” Nienaber adds, not disclosing which ones.
The livestreamer then asked if Nienaber ministered to the justices in their homes or at her office. Neither, she said. “We actually go in there.”
“In other words,” Rolling Stone reports, “Sitting Supreme Court justices have prayed together with evangelical leaders whose bosses were bringing cases and arguments before the high court.”
Rolling Stone reports Mat Staver denied the claim as “entirely untrue,” but NCRM has unearthed a 2019 video in which a woman who identifies herself as and looks like Nienaber, standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, also brags: “and yes, we go in and pray with the Justices.”
You can watch that video below or at this link:
Rolling Stone adds more bombshell reporting, saying that “the founder of the ministry, who surrendered its operations to Liberty Counsel in 2018, tells Rolling Stone that he hosted prayer sessions with conservative justices in their chambers from the late-1990s through when he left the group in the mid-2010s.”
Rob Schenck, who launched the ministry under the name Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, described how the organization forged ministry relationships with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and the late Antonin Scalia, saying he would pray with them inside the high court. Nienaber was Schenk’s close associate in that era, and continued with the ministry after it came under the umbrella of Liberty Counsel.
Schenck told Rolling Stone exactly why the group wanted to pray with the Justices.
“To pray with the justices was to perform a sort of ‘spiritual conditioning,’ Schenck explains. ‘The intention all along was to embolden the conservative justices by loaning them a kind of spiritual moral support — to give them an assurance that not only was there a large number of people behind them, but in fact, there was divine support for very strong and unapologetic opinions from them.'”
Read the entire report here.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Suggests July 4 Mass Shooting Was a False Flag ‘Designed to Persuade’ GOP to Support Gun Control
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted several very different responses over the past few hours to the July 4 mass shooting that left seven people dead, scores injured, and a two-year-old boy orphaned.
The Republican from Georgia went from promoting the right wing’s latest talking points, that antidepressants are to blame for the massacre, and demanding to see the alleged shooter’s medical records, to claiming it “sounds like” a false flag operation, “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with” gun control.
“Now, here’s what I have to say,” Greene declared on her podcast. “I mean, two shootings on July 4, one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display.”
(There were 218 shootings on July 4, according to information from the Gun Violence Archive.)
“Almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control,” she announced, strongly suggesting false flag operations. Police have offered no indication anyone except the alleged shooter planned the Independence Day massacre, and have said he spent weeks doing so.
“I mean, after all, remember we didn’t see that happen at all the Pride parades in the month of June,” she lamented angrily, ignoring all the right-wing violence at Pride celebrations this year.
“But as soon as we hit MAGA month, as soon as we hit the month that we’re all celebrating – loving our country,” she said, implying Democrats don’t love America and don’t celebrate Independence Day, “we have shootings on July 4. I mean, that’s a, you know, that would sound like a conspiracy theory, right? Of course. But what’s the definition of a right-wing conspiracy theory? Well, by the way, it’s the news that’s just six-months early.”
Watch below or at this link:
Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests the two July 4th shootings, “one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display” are false flags “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control.” pic.twitter.com/VEm6ZUdcUq
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 6, 2022
Antidepressants, Pot, and Women to Blame for Horrific July 4 Mass Shooting According to Tucker Carlson
Barely hours after authorities announced charges against the 21-year-old police believe shot and killed seven people and wounded scores of others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Tucker Carlson explained to his Fox News audience why Robert Crimo allegedly committed mass murder: women, marijuana, and antidepressants, along with a life filled with pornography, video games, and social media.
Carlson said Crimo seems “like a nutcase,” but he “he didn’t stand out, maybe because there’s a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.”
“That’s not an attack, it’s just true,” Carlson insisted, as Media Matters reports. “Like Crimo, they inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games. They are high on government-endorsed weed. ‘Smoke some more! It’s good for you,'” he mocked.
“They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors,'” Carlson claimed, apparently referring to antidepressants, also known as SSRIs. School counselors, unless they are also MDs, cannot prescribe SSRIs.
(SSRIs are prescribed for “depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, migraine (prophylaxis), and other conditions.”)
Then Carlson arrived at the root of what he determined drives these young men, presumably these young men who kill.
Instead, he says, “they are angry.”
Because, Carlson declares, “the authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’ Imagine that. Try to imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So, a lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”
Tucker: The authorities in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their so-called male privilege. A lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised? A shockingly large number have been prescribed psychotropic drugs. pic.twitter.com/bB9Nb4CHQ1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
Meanwhile, very little is known about the shooter. It is not known if he’s taking antidepressants, using pot, has a mother who attacks him for his privilege, or uses porn. But Carlson and others at Fox News are suggesting to viewers they know why he flooded more than 70 rounds into an Independence Day parade.
There have been 320 mass shootings in America this year – and we’re only on day 187.
The nation has suffered 22,583 deaths from guns just this year alone. That’s 120 deaths on average every day.
Despite those numbers, the vast, vast majority of people taking antidepressants, or using pot or porn, are not pulling the trigger in a mass shooting.
Carlson points to no statistics to show women “never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege.”
In fact, he offers up no statistics, no proof at all of any of his claims.
Same with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who blames the mass shooting on pot.
Ingraham: On the mass shooting in Illinois, indications are that he was a regular pot user… What can regular pot use trigger in young men in particular? Psychosis and other violent personality changes.. pic.twitter.com/5QxveHmSXZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly dredged up the “psychiatric drugs” allegation less than 24 hours after the shooting started.
“What drugs and/or psychiatric drugs was he on for his mind to be ruined in alternate reality games that caused him to commit a mass shooting? His parents know. The police know. School, arrest, hospital records? The public DESERVES to know.,” she tweeted.
Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, social media researcher, professor at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. She’s also the former president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
And she’s pushing back against the SSRI blame game.
“Psychologist here,” writes Dr. Pagoto. “Yep. And far more women take SSRIs than men and yet women never commit mass shootings. The SSRI hypothesis has absolutely no scientific support. Quite the contrary, SSRIs save lives.”
In 2019 Politifact looked at the “dubious claim that psychiatric drugs fuel mass shootings?” The fact-checking group talked with six medical experts, with one explaining “that in her view there is no evidence that psychiatric medicine is linked to mass shootings.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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