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Gay Connecticut Official Investigating American Family Association Now Target of Conservative Hate Campaign

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Comptroller Wants to Ensure All Groups Receiving Donations Through State Employee Program Meet Nondiscrimination Requirements

The American Family Association is attacking the State of Connecticut’s comptroller after he launched an investigation to ensure the anti-gay group is eligible to receive donations from a state employee payroll deduction program. In response to the letter the comptroller, Kevin Lembo, sent the American Family Association, the AFA has responded publicly, by lying.

State official demands AFA discard its Christians beliefs,” reads the lie, a call to action posted to AFA’s website. That post includes links to Lembo’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and a letter supporters of the anti-gay hate group can use, along with Lembo’s email address and two telephone numbers to contact him.

“This is a state government official coming directly after your AFA,” the post continues, “and the letter is nothing more than an attack on AFA for standing strong for Biblical principles. Moreover, it is an unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment rights of all religious organizations,” which of course is false.

Lembo late last month, after an employee brought the American Family Association’s participation in the program to his attention,  sent a letter stating that based on their actions and statements they’ve made on their website it appeared the AFA did not meet the state program’s nondiscrimination requirements. He requested they provide proof that they did, including signed documents attesting to their nondiscrimination practices.

The American Family Association appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of active anti-gay hate groups. And while they call themselves a “ministry,” they and their employees, as NCRM has chronicled over the past eight years, are a purveyor of lies and anti-LGBT hate.

“We have a responsibility to donors to ensure that participating organizations abide by the rules and regulations,” of the Connecticut State Employee Campaign for Charitable Giving program, Lembo’s letter reads, “particularly those that ensure inclusiveness and protection against discrimination.”

The voluntary program “allows Connecticut State Employees to contribute to non-profit charities at the workplace through the convenience of payroll deduction,” its website states.

Because Connecticut’s generous state employees have donated to date this year almost $1.4 million to several hundred charities, the AFA is angered they might be cut off from the Connecticut cash spigot. There is no reason state employees could not donate directly to the AFA but organized programs like the CSEC are very lucrative for many non-profits.

Lembo tells a local Connecticut NBC affiliate (video above) that he’s received over 10,000 emails from AFA supporters who oppose his actions. He says about ten percent of them are “over the top.”

The Family Research Council, another organization that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-gay hate groups list, is  now joining the attack against Lembo:

On Twitter, anti-gay supporters of the AFA have done their best to be as vile, offensive, or just plain ignorant as possible. A sampling (caution):

 

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BREAKING NEWS

14 Students and One Teacher Dead at Texas Elementary School Mass Shooting (Streaming Video)

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Fourteen students and one teacher are dead, and others have been injured after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

ABC News live video (below) reports “14 dead,” stating Gov. Greg Abbott has made that announcement. ABC News, online, citing multiple sources, reports the shooter is also dead.

CNN confirms 15 are dead:

NBC News adds: “The shooting occurred after new FBI statistics released Monday showed active shooter incidents in 2021 surged by more than 50 percent from 2020 and nearly 97 percent from 2017.”

Streaming video via ABC News:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Corporate Chief Shrugs Off Complaints of Network’s White Nationalism: ‘Comes With the Territory’

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Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman and CEO of the parent company of Fox News does not appear concerned about the far right-wing network’s embrace of white nationalism, saying the growing criticism just “comes with the territory.”

“I think when you’re in the news business, and you’re number one,” said Murdoch in an interview with Axios, “you get a lot of heat and it just comes with the territory.”

“I think the world is more divided and on edge than it has been, you know, for a very long time,” Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, added. “I think on the noise around it, so much of it is politicized … And so, you’ve got to be tough about it.”

The 50-year-old Murdoch took no responsibility for the world being more divided, on edge, and politicized.

Axios points out that a “broad array of Democratic officials and progressive groups have criticized Fox News, saying its hosts have referenced the ‘great replacement theory,’ a racist conspiracy theory that reportedly inspired the Buffalo shooter.”

Like his father, Lachlan Murdoch shares citizenship with Australia and the United States (but also with the U.K.)

Last week, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt called on the United States government to revoke Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. citizenship. He said the 91-year-old Australian-born media titan is “the most venomous and dangerous foreigner to ever arrive on American soil.”

Schmidt added:

Meanwhile, Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz noted, “Lachlan Murdoch has apparently given up on his obvious lie that Tucker Carlson doesn’t promote ‘replacement theory,’ he is making it quite clear that Fox prioritizes white supremacist content.”

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump says Lachlan Murdoch is blaming “complaints about white nationalist rhetoric on jealousy.”

“Presented with Tucker Carlson combining anti-left and anti-immigrant rhetoric into an indefensible the elites are out to get regular Americans narrative — a common racist trope — the CEO of Fox responds: Haters gonna hate. Never mind that nearly half of Republicans now think that this theory accurately reflects reality; people are just jealous of Fox News.

 

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Far Right Activist Behind CRT Panic Brags About Attacks on Disney, State Farm for LGBTQ Support: Others ‘Will Be Next’

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The far right-wing activist whose work helped ignite millions of Americans into fighting against the specter of something they had never heard before and knew nothing about is now bragging about turning his tactics against corporate America’s support for the LGBTQ community – and he’s just issued a warning, or, some might say, a threat.

Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, is the man behind the right’s false panic and fury over CRT, Critical Race Theory. He’s proudly said he wants to “have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,'” and “put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.”

To Rufo, those “insanities” include support for LGBTQ people.

“Mr. Rufo has taken aim at opponents of a new Florida law that prohibits teachers in some grades from discussing L.G.B.T.Q. issues and that critics call ‘Don’t Say Gay,'” The New York Times reported last month. “He declared ‘moral war’ against the statute’s most prominent adversary, the Walt Disney Company. And he has used the same playbook that proved effective in his crusade on racial issues: a leak of insider documents.”

Rufo consulted on and appeared with Governor Ron DeSantis “at the signing of a bill known as the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which bars teaching in workplaces and schools that anyone is inherently biased or privileged because of race or sex,” The Times added, noting that Rufo “warned Disney that an in-house program it had run that urged discussion of systemic racism was ‘now illegal in the state of Florida.'”

The signing was the culmination of Mr. Rufo’s long campaign to short-circuit corporate and school efforts at diversity and inclusion training.

On Monday news broke that State Farm, the insurance giant, had been supporting a program designed to put LGBTQ-supportive books into schools, libraries, and community centers. State Farm has been actively promoting its support of the LGBTQ community, but within hours the company dropped its support of the program, citing consumer complaints after a right-wing media outlet published a report.

Rufo is taking credit for the extensive vitriol being catapulted at State Farm, a century-old company whose “Like a good neighbor” slogan has been part of American culture for 50 years.

And now, just one week before LGBTQ Pride month, he’s very publicly threatening any other company that supports LGBTQ people, the LGBTQ community, diversity, or equality they will be next:

“There are three ways to wage war against corporations: reputational, political, and financial,” Rufo adds. “With Disney, we drove public approval down to 33 percent, passed legislation to remove its special status, and helped tank the stock by $50 billion. That’s how we win.”

 

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