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Texas GOP Lawmaker Files North Carolina-Style Bill To Undo Local LGBT Protections

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GOP State Sen. Bob Hall Believes Nation Is ‘Sliding Into Gomorrah’

Texas tea party Sen. Bob Hall (pictured) has filed legislation that would prohibit cities in the Lone Star State from enforcing nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people.

Hall’s bill is the first anti-LGBT measure filed in advance of next year’s Texas Legislature, which convenes in January. Today marks the first day of pre-filing of bills for the upcoming session, in which dozens of anti-LGBT measures are likely to be considered. 

Senate Bill 92 would prohibit cities, counties and other political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing “a local law that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in the laws of this state.”

Because Texas state law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity, cities and counties would be prohibited from enforcing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances.

Screen_Shot_2016-11-14_at_1.09.18_PM.jpgThree other states — Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee — have passed similar laws, but everything’s bigger in Texas: Hall’s bill would nullify LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination measures covering nearly 9 million residents, or roughly one-third of the state’s population, according to Equality Texas.

In addition to LGBT groups, Hall’s bill and other discriminatory measures will face opposition from the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which is the state’s chamber of commerce. The TAB recently estimated that anti-LGBT legislation could cost the state’s economy $8.5 billion and 185,000 jobs. 

Hall filed a similar bill two years ago, and following the 2015 legislative session, Equality Texas ranked him No. 2 on its list of the state’s most anti-LGBT senators.

According to The Texas Observer, Hall once said he believes the nation is “sliding into Gomorrah.”

“If we do not change what we’re doing by changing the leaders when we go to the ballot box, our children and grandchildren may be having to change their leaders with the ammo box,” Hall said.

 

 

Image via Bob Hall on Facebook

 

 

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Sinema Slammed After Spokesperson Says It’s Sexist to Discuss Her ‘Thumbs Down’ Vote Against $15 Minimum Wage

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Friday offered up a dramatic “thumbs down” vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15, which NCRM and other news outlets reported. While she was one of eight Democrats to vote against the legislation, she was the only one to mimic the late Republican Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, who famously stopped Republicans from killing ObamaCare.

Sinema was also the only one to bring cake to the Senate floor, giving her critics ample ammunition to compare her to Marie Antoinette.

But now Senator Sinema is fighting back.

According to HuffPost, Sinema’s spokesperson says it’s sexist to discuss her thumbs down act.

“Sinema’s office responded to a question about the gesture by making the absurd claim that the inquiry is sexist,” the news outlet’s Sara Boboltz reports. “‘Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,’ Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, told HuffPost.”

Related: ‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

On social media news of the “sexist” claim spread quickly, and did not go over well. Some responses:

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PLAYING WITH FIRE

‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

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Sinema arrived at the Senate with an actual cake Friday

U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in one of his final acts before passing away famously cast the deciding vote against killing ObamaCare by walking on to the Senate floor and casting his vote with a dramatic “thumbs down.”

On Friday U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, appeared to be trying for the same effect, but was not heralded as a hero. Far from it.

Senator Sinema opposes the $15 minimum wage, and made that very clear when she voted against an amendment to advance it Friday afternoon on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The $15 minimum wage has become a rallying cry of Democrats, and liberal and progressive grassroots voters have drawn a line in the sand, demanding Democratic lawmakers make it a reality – or else.

Video and GIFs of Sen. Sinema dramatically and proudly voting against increasing the minimum wage to $15 went viral, and as it did “Marie Antoinette” trended on social media. Comparisons to the French aristocrat whose reputation for indifference to the poor by supposedly saying, “let them eat cake”  is forever emblazoned in history and culture, hundreds of years after her death.

The comparison was only made worse when reporting that Sinema had actually arrived at the Senate with an actual cake:

The cake reportedly was for those who had worked late into the night, after Republican Sen. Ron Johnson forced clerks to read hundreds of pages of the COVID relief bill in an attempt to stall it.

But the damage was done.

That damage was made even worse after an old tweet of Sinema was found in which she argues in favor of raising the minimum wage:

 

 

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'THE PRESIDENT'S POSITION HASN'T CHANGED'

White House: Biden Will Advocate for the LGBTQ Equality Act but Does Not Support Ending the Filibuster to Pass It

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President Joe Biden remains committed to the passage of the LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation he has said he wants to sign into law during his first 100 days. But the President, who served in the U.S. Senate for four decades, does not want to see the filibuster be killed in order to pass the vital civil rights bill.

The LGBTQ Equality Act “is a piece of legislation the President supports as you all know, and he discusses a range of his priorities with members of Congress the House and the Senate, and I’m certain when given the opportunity he will advocate for the passing” of the bill, White House Press Secretary Psaki told Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson Friday during the daily press briefing.

But when pressed on ending the filibuster to pass the bill, something experts say is necessary for Democrats to succeed in keeping their promises – including on the $15 minimum wage, voting rights reform, and the Equality Act – Psaki re-iterated Biden’s stance: no.

“Isn’t there a reasonable expectation that if the person strongly supports this bill that he would want to welcome the end of the filibuster to see [the bill] go to his desk?” Johnson asked.

“The President’s position hasn’t changed. He looks forward to advocating for the passage of legislation that he supports and working with Democrats and Republicans to get that done,” she replied.

Psaki also reiterated Biden’s belief that “trans rights are human rights,” telling Johnson: “No one should be discriminated on the basis of sex, not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view.”

In June of 2019, nearly two years ago and well before the coronavirus pandemic, then-candidate Biden declared passing the LGBTQ Equality Act would be his top legislative priority.

“It will be the first thing I ask to be done,” he said.

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