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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

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

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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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News

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

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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?”

More:

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

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

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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.”

Watch:

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