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Christian Adoption Agencies Caught Refusing Same-Sex Parents – and Now Taxpayer Funds Are Being Halted

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Two Christian adoption agencies in Philadelphia are under attack – and under review – after being caught with policies refusing same-sex couples and LGBT people from adopting children in their care. In the last year alone the City of Philadelphia has paid them a total of $3 million to care for the children in need of loving homes. Those payments are now on hold and an investigation into both agencies is underway.

Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services are bth refusing to alter their policies, insisting same-sex marriage is not in keeping with their religious beliefs, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“This has been our practice throughout our nearly 75 years of operation and is based on our adherence to what we believe to be foundational Biblical principles,” a spokesman for Bethany Christian Services told the Inquirer. 

“Catholic Social Services is, at its core, an institution founded on faith-based principles,” a spokesman for the Philadelphia Archdiocese said. “The Catholic Church does not endorse same-sex unions, based upon deeply held religious beliefs and principles. As such, CSS would not be able to consider foster care placement within the context of a same-sex union.” 

In years past anti-gay activists and the Catholic Church have falsely claimed Boston’s Catholic Social Services adoption agency was “forced” to shut its doors in 2006 because it refused to allow LGBT people adopt. In reality, its board members voted to allow LGBT people to adopt, but it chose to close rather than allow same-sex parents adopt. 

Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services says it was unaware of the policies of the two agencies, and Mayor Jim Kenney tells WHYY he was surprised the groups have been allowed to discriminate.

“I think that two women or two men that happen to love each other or are married to each other who pass all the background checks and the financial circumstances and have a nice home should be able to welcome a foster child into their home.”

He added, “we cannot use taxpayer dollars to fund organizations that discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation or because of their same-sex marriage status.”

The ACLU is calling the refusal of the faith-based agencies to work with LGBT people “a tragedy for the kids of Philadelphia.” Mary Catherine Roper, the Pennsylvania’s ACLU’s deputy legal director also says giving taxpayer funds to agencies refusing LGBT parents might be unconstitutional.

“A government doesn’t get to use a contractor to implement religious programs and when you start saying, ‘We’re running this as a religious program such that we won’t take you because you don’t fit our religious view,’ then the city is paying for a religious program, and that’s a problem under the First Amendment.”

Philadelphia’s Catholic Archdiocese is headed by the virulently anti-gay Archbishop Charles Chaput (photo). He has claimed same-sex marriage stops children from knowing parents love them. In 2015 he made parents sign a “Catholic identity” loyalty oath.

Image by HazteOir.org via Flickr and a CC license

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$15 Minimum Wage Dealt a Blow – Not Allowed in COVID Relief Bill, Senate Parliamentarian Rules

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The Democrats’ plan, engineered by Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), to pass a nationwide $15 minimum wage cannot be achieved by including the legislation in the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday evening, CNBC reports.

Democrats intend to pass the relief bill via reconciliation, a method that would require just a simple majority.

Politico reported late last week Sen. Sanders was “confident” the $15 minimum wage could be achieved through the reconciliation process, adding that “President Joe Biden has not been as optimistic as the Vermont independent about the prospects of minimum wage working via reconciliation, though he supports a $15 minimum wage.”

“President Biden has promised to support a standalone bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, but it’s unlikely to get any Republican support,” Axios has also reported.

A $15 minimum wage would life 900,000 people out of poverty.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Democrats Pass LGBTQ Equality Act With Support of Just Three Republicans

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House Democrats have passed the historic LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation that expands the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The vote was 224-206. Just three Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to sign the legislation into law during his first 100 days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be in a position to make that possible, should all Democratic Senators support the bill. 60 votes will be needed under current filibuster rules.

The House also passed similar legislation in May of 2019, but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

Some news outlets are characterizing the bill as offering “sweeping” protections, but contrary to what most Americans believe, LGBTQ people have no federal law offering them specific protections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers appropriate, not “sweeping” protections.

Recent court decisions, including the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision, have ruled the Civil Right Act applies to LGBTQ people, but the Equality Act will ensure these protections are realized.

In a sign of the further extremism of the Republican Party, the 2019 Equality Act passed with five more GOP votes than it did today.

Two Republicans who voted to pass the bill in 2019 voted against passing today’s bill.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Right Wingers Outraged Biden Hasn’t Delivered SOTU – Claim It Was Required by Feb. 20 – Capitol Police Issue Warning

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Right wingers on social media are spreading misinformation, falsely claiming President Joe Biden was required to deliver the State of the Union Address, with some claiming a February 20 deadline. Their false claims and the fact-checking responses caused “SOTU” to trend on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

The outrage comes on the same day acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told the House Appropriations Committee right wing extremists, which she called “militia” members, “have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members” of the House and Senate “as possible.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not yet set a date for what would be a joint session of Congress. The President does not deliver a State of the Union address during his first year in office.

The February 20 claim, which is false, apparently originated or was made popular by this Facebook post, which initiated a USA Today fact check stating it is “false information.”

Despite the ignorance of the MAGA crowd and right wingers, the U.S. Constitution is clear, offering little in the way of expectations for an address to Congress.

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 states the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

No date, mode, or even frequency is mandated. Earlier in U.S. history the President wrote Congress a letter.

Here’s a failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey suggesting the Constitution requires a State of the Union Address. She claims she is “Asking on behalf of the Constitution.”

This MAGAite suggests President Biden is a “fraud,” and “unelected, illegitimate & totally unfit” because he hasn’t delivered a State of the Union address.

A Washington Times columnist falsely claiming President Biden can’t stand up long enough to deliver an address:

Former NRA spokesperson and pro-gun extremist thinks it was supposed to have been delivered “yesterday.”

“Conservative Christian”:

 

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