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BREAKING: Attorney General Issues Sweeping Order Prioritizing ‘Religious Liberty’ Over Civil Rights of LGBT People

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Ensures the Rights of People of Faith Supersede the Rights of LGBT People

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday issued a 25-page memo that establishes the Trump administration’s interpretation of federal law and regulations in an attempt to deliver to religious conservatives the widest possible license to discriminate, especially against the LGBT community. The AP calls it “an order that undercuts protections for LGBT people.”

Sessions quoted President Trump saying his administration “will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”

The new DOJ memo is “an attempt to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pledge to his evangelical and other religious supporters,” the AP reports, saying it “effectively lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove that their beliefs about marriage or other topics are sincerely held.”

It makes clear the Trump administration across all executive branch agencies and departments will ensure the rights of people of faith supersede the rights of LGBT people.

“Under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override concerns for the civil rights of LGBT people and anti-discrimination protections for women and others,” the AP explains. “The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.”

“This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is a signal to the rest of these agencies to rethink the protections they have put in place on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Attorney General’s memorandum includes 20 “Principles of Religious Liberty.” 

The anti-gay hate group Alliance Defending Freedom “called it ‘a great day for religious freedom.’ The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights group, called the guidelines an ‘all-out assault’ on civil rights and a ‘sweeping license to discriminate.'”

Politico adds that this new legal guidance “could affect health care, gay rights, political action by churches,” and says it takes a “muscular view of religious freedom rights.”

Naturally, a top Trump support, Tony Perkins of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, praised the administration’s new interpretations of law.

“President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. 

“President Trump and the Department of Justice are putting federal government agencies on notice: you will not only respect the freedom of every American to believe but live according to those beliefs,” Perkins added. “As President Trump continues to follow through on his promises on these core issues, he will continue to have the support of social conservatives on his policy initiatives.”

Based on the Session memo earlier Friday the Trump administration issued a sweeping rollback of the ObamaCare contraception mandate, that requires nearly all employers to ensure health insurance plans provide contraception at no out-of-pocket cost to employees or those on their plans. Now, any employer can claim a religious or moral objection and opt out of covering contraception. 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Ocasio-Cortez Takes Victory Lap After Amazon Goes to NYC — Even After She Helped Block $3 Billion in Subsidies

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the progressive leaders in New York City credited with blocking $3 billion in public subsidies for Amazon to open an additional headquarters.

But Amazon is moving into NYC despite the lack of subsidies.

“The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city’s west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Amazon is taking the space without any of the special tax credits and other inducements the company had been offered to build a new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the company said.”

“The new lease represents Amazon’s largest expansion in New York since it stunned the city by abandoning those earlier plans. Amazon pulled back after facing a backlash from some politicians and activists over the roughly $3 billion in financial incentives the city and state had extended to woo the company and the 25,000 new jobs it had pledged to create,” The Journal explained.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, took a victory lap after her argument that the subsidies were unnecessary was vindicated.

“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, and corporate giveaways,” she tweeted.

Here are some of her previous thoughts on the company:

 

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RACISM IS RACISM

Nikki Haley Tries to Stop National Outrage: It Was Other People Who Saw Confederate Flag as ‘Service, Sacrifice, Heritage’

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Former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is trying hard to stop the national outrage over an interview she gave in which she suggested the Confederate flag stood for “service, and sacrifice, and heritage” until white supremacist Dylann Roof slaughtered nine Black church-goers attending a Bible study class.

Haley’s exact words were: “Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always going to be there, but, you know, people saw it [the Confederate flag] as service, and sacrifice, and heritage, and, but once he did that there was no way to overcome it.”

Haley took to Twitter and pushed back by posting the text of a speech she gave when she called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds.

Rather than say directly what she apparently wanted to say, Haley retweeted tweets like these that deliver the message that she didn’t call the Confederate flag an icon of service, sacrifice, and heritage – other people did.

But given that the flag represents an actual attack on the United States of America – the Civil War – and has been used by white supremacists, including the KKK, and others to subordinate, discriminate against, and attack Black people and other minorities, it’s hard to see how splitting hairs makes the former South Carolina governor any better.

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THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

READ: White House Attacks Impeachment as ‘Completely Baseless’ in Letter to Congress Suggesting It Will Not Participate

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The White House has just sent Congress a letter attacking the impeachment inquiry as “completely baseless” while suggesting to the Judiciary Committee that neither the president nor his attorneys will participate in any manner. Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a deadline of Friday 6 PM for a response.

Claiming Congress has “violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness,” which is false, White House Counsel Pat Cipillone also falsely claimed the Committee has not “heard a single shred of evidence” against the president.

The tone of the letter is highly-partisan, calling the impeachment a “charade,” claiming congressional Democrats have “wasted” Americans’ time, and saying if Democrats adopt Articles of Impeachment it will constitute an “abuse of power.”

None of those statements are true.

Read the full letter below:

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