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Texas Gets a 2nd Bathroom Bill, and Its Author Has Vowed to ‘Die Politically’ Defending It

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Rep. Matt Shaheen Has Also Called For Removing Blacks, Women From Nondiscrimination Ordinances

Texas now has not one but two anti-transgender bathroom bills. 

GOP state Rep. Matt Shaheen, who once vowed to “die politically” for the cause of anti-trans discrimination, on Monday filed House Bill 1362. 

With Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill, Senate Bill 6, facing intense opposition from the business community, Shaheen is attempting to disguise House Bill 1362 as somehow less hateful, but the two measures would have similar effects. 

HB 1362, which you can read here, would prohibit school districts from adopting policies that allow people of “more than one sex or gender” to use the same multi-occupancy restrooms. It would also bar government entities, including cities, from limiting the ability of businesses to adopt their own policies on restroom use — thereby preempting trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth and San Antonio. 

HB 1362 doesn’t define “sex” or “gender,” but its provisions would be enforced by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is rabidly anti-trans. In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Shaheen claimed HB 1362 is needed because the state didn’t create cities “to tell people where to go to the bathroom.” 

“There’s no way a serious person could call this bill discriminatory,” Shaheen said. “It tells people on the left side of the political spectrum they can’t tell people where to go to the restroom, and it also tells people on the right side of the spectrum they can’t, either.” 

Chuck Smith, CEO of the statewide LGBT group Equality Texas, responded that there’s no such thing as “a good version of the bathroom bill.”

The Texas Association of Business (TAB), which is the state’s chamber of commerce, has come out against any discriminatory anti-LGBT bills, saying they could cost the state’s economy up to $8.5 billion. 

“We caution against any type of legislation that limits businesses’ ability to recruit talent, and doing away with local discrimination ordinances with that preemption would really tarnish the Texas brand,” TAB President Chris Wallace told the Tribune in response to HB 1362.  

Although he claims the bill isn’t discriminatory, Shaheen happens to one of the Legislature’s most anti-LGBT members. He first got elected to public office in 2008 by gay-baiting his opponent, and last year, he vowed he would “die politically” if that’s what it takes to prevent trans people from using restrooms based on their gender identity. He also offered to help Target pack up and move out of Texas after the retailer announced its trans-inclusive restroom policy. 

Shaheen serves as a deacon at Prestonwood Baptist Church, an anti-LGBT megachurch in Plano, Texas, that fought bitterly against that city’s nondiscrimination ordinance in 2014. Prestonwood Baptist is led by the Rev. Jack Graham, who backed President Donald Trump despite his videotaped remarks condoning sexual assault. Prestonwood Baptist also happens to have a history of child sex abuse scandals. 

In 2014, when Shaheen led his church’s effort to block Plano’s nondiscrimination ordinance, he told Plano City Council members that instead of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to nondiscrimination laws, they should consider removing blacks and women.

“Do we really think the citizens of Plano are going to discriminate against women or minorities or African-Americans? I don’t think so,” Shaheen said. “I would ask you to consider that — not adding classes, but taking away classes.”

Shaheen can be reached at Matt.Shaheen@house.texas.gov or 512-463-0594. You can also find him on Twitter. 

Watch a clip of Shaheen’s remarks to the City Council in 2014 below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcxtz5bIvY0 

Image via Matt Shaheen on Facebook

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Texas Educators Want to Change ‘Slavery’ to ‘Involuntary Relocation’ After GOP Bans Topics Making Students ‘Feel Discomfort’

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An advisory group of Texas educators has proposed changing the word “slavery” to “involuntary relocation” after the Texas State Board of Education directed them to examine how to implement a new law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, banning the teaching of topics that would make students “feel discomfort.”

The group, comprised of nine educators, made the proposal for second-grade social studies instruction, but “board members have asked them to reconsider the phrasing, according to the state board’s chair,” The Texas Tribune reports.

State Board of Education Member Aicha Davis told the Tribune, that calling slavery “involuntary relocation” is “not going to be acceptable.”

“Part of the proposed social studies curriculum standards outlines that students should ‘compare journeys to America, including voluntary Irish immigration and involuntary relocation of African people during colonial times,'” the Tribune notes.

Last year in September Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law SB3, which “prohibits teaching certain concepts about race,” The Dallas Morning News reported at the time.

It also “develops a civics training program for teachers,” and “urges educators to teach only that slavery and racism are ‘deviations’ from the founding principles of the United States.”

RELATED: ‘Ghoulish’ Greg Abbott Slammed as a ‘Monster’ for ‘Inhumane’ Response to Deaths of 50 People Locked in Tractor-Trailer

SB3 “establishes that teachers can’t be forced to discuss current controversial topics in their classrooms,” The Washington Post reported last year.

Attorney Imani Gandy, a Senior Editor of Law and Policy for Rewire News Group, responded to the news via Twitter.

This was always the point of the CRT hysteria— to teach white children that slavery was just ‘involuntary relocation’ so they don’t feel bad about what their ancestors did to Black people in this country,” she said. “Classic fascist move.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘QAnon Justice’: Clarence Thomas Under Fire as He Suggests COVID Vaccines Are Derived From Cells of ‘Aborted Children’

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In a dissenting opinion published Friday the nation’s far-right Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, falsely claims that every COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. was “developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”

As Politico reports, this is not accurate.

Thomas dissented in the Court’s decision to not take up a religious right case filed against New York State’s order requiring all health care workers to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that to date has killed well over one million Americans.

“They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Justice Thomas wrote.

No Covid vaccines in the U.S. contain the cells of aborted fetuses,” Politico states. NBC News calls Justice Thomas’ assertion a “debunked claim.”

“Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing,” Politico notes. There is no human embryonic material in COVID vaccines.

“Justice Thomas has already proven that he is unfit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Twitter. “Spreading false information about a lifesaving vaccine is further evidence that he must either resign or be removed.”

Veteran journalist Katie Couric tweeted simply, “This man needs help.”

“The cells are grown in a laboratory and were derived from a few elective abortions performed more than three decades ago,” National Geographic wrote last year in response to the rise in attempts to obtain religious exemptions to the COVID vaccines. “These same cell lines are also used to test and advance our understanding of several routine drugs, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, and they continue to be used for treatment research in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and hypertension.”

Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali accused Justice Thomas of being “a QAnon Supreme Court Justice.”

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, both conservatives, joined Justice Thomas’ dissent.

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Religious-Right Attorney Says Companies Offering to Provide Abortion Assistance Are Paying to ‘Kill Your Children’

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In the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reversing 50 years of precedent by eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, dozens of companies announced that they could provide coverage or reimbursements to employees who may now need to travel out of state to obtain an abortion.

Appearing on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program Tuesday, religious-right legal activist Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel likened those companies to those who cooperated with the Nazis in Germany during World War II and accused them of treating their employees like “slave labor.”

“These employers say they will give money to the mothers in order for the mothers to kill their children so you won’t miss any time off from work rather than give you time off from work, which is what’s required by federal law,” Staver said. “They don’t want to give you the time to be a mother. They don’t want you to be away from the place of work. They would rather kill your children—pay you to do so—so you could jump back into the workplace and you can go through their eight-hour day or however long they’re going put you at the at the wheel so that they can make a profit.”

“That’s the despicable nature of what’s happening,” he continued. “Women and others across the country ought to just really cry out and say, ‘You despicable companies!  You’re paying to kill the children of these mothers so that you can continue their slave labor and continue your profits off of them.”

“These companies and the states that go down this road, they will not be blessed,” Staver warned. “They will ultimately be complicit with the shedding of innocent blood, and we’ll look back on those companies just like we look back on some of the things that happened during Nazi Germany and say, ‘Shame on you. How in the world did this ever happen?’”

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

 

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