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Oklahoma Senate About to Vote on ‘Religious Beliefs’ Bill Creating a ‘License to Discriminate’ Against LGBT People



The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday morning will take up on an extremely broad bill that would allow anyone to refuse service to LGBT people, merely by citing their “sincerely held religious beliefs or conscience.” 

SB 197, the Oklahoma Right of Conscience Act, protects people, businesses, and religious organizations from providing “any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges used in a marriage ceremony or celebration of a specific lifestyle or behavior.”

The language is so broad that “celebration of a specific lifestyle or behavior” could apply to, for example, refusing to allow children into a movie theater for a birthday party if the child’s parents are of the same sex. And celebration of a “behavior” could apply to nearly any act at all.

The bill also applies to government agencies, and could prevent, for example, a same-sex couple to be unable to get a marriage license. It specifies that government employees can refuse service based on their religious beliefs, and the employer “shall otherwise ensure that the requested service is provided, if it can be done without undue hardship to the employer.”

Undue hardship is not defined. If that particular government agency only has a handful of employees able to perform the specific function – say, issue marriage licenses – and each cites their religious objections, then the couple would be forced to visit another city or town.

The bill’s co-sponsor is Senator Joseph Silk, who has been pushing similar legislation for years. In 2015 he infamously said LGBT people “don’t have a right to be served in every single store.” 

UPDATE: 11:44 AM ET –
“We decided a long time ago in this nation, that separate but equal was always separate, and never equal,” Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson tells NCRM exclusively. “Bigotry has no place in our society, and asking us to fund bigotry with our tax dollars is more than insulting, it is unconstitutional… Never forget that when hate is defeated, it always looks for another ‘other’ to hate.”

Freedom Oklahoma has about 100 people at the Oklahoma statehouse today, lobbying against the bill. Stevenson tells NCRM, “we are hoping to keep it from being heard.”

Developing – updates to come. Stay tuned.

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‘Minneapolis Is Burning’: Shocking Videos Emerge as Protesters Seek Justice for George Floyd



Protesters and police clashed for a second night in Minneapolis as the former cop who killed George Floyd remains a free man.

Photos and video from the scene show at least one business burning.

Here are some of the images from the protest:

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US Breaks 100,000 Mark for Coronavirus Deaths



At 1:02 PM the United States coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 mark. It’s been just four months and eight days since the first case of the deadly virus was diagnosed in the U.S.

According to Johns Hopkins and NBC News, the death toll is now 100,012.

President Donald Trump spent months not taking action and downplaying the threat, then falsely claiming it would “disappear,” like a “miracle.”

A new study shows President Trump’s decision to cut off incoming traffic from China forced hundreds of thousands to enter the U.S. without being tested, likely resulting in the huge numbers of coronavirus infections. Trump repeated that deadly error when he shut down traffic from Europe.

The United States has more infections and more coronavirus deaths than any other nation, by far.

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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DOJ Refuses to Prosecute GOP Senator Accused of Dumping Stocks in Post-Coronavirus Briefing Insider Trading Scandal



Bill Barr’s Dept. of Justice has closed the file on U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, refusing to prosecute the Republican from Georgia accused of insider trading. Loeffler, who is in an increasingly desperate election bid, was accused of selling millions of dollars in stocks after receiving confidential information on the impending coronavirus pandemic before it tanked the markets.

The FBI was looking into stock trades of Sen. Loeffler, along with those of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Richard Burr (D-NC). All investigations except for the one into Senator Burr have been dropped, The Wall Street Journal reports.

All three Senators whose cases were dropped have said their investment advisors made the trades without their prior knowledge.

Loeffler was appointed to her seat in January by Gov. Brian Kemp to complete the term of Senator Johnny Isakson, who resigned. She is down in the polls. Her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). He gave Trump’s Super PAC a $1 million check last week. The couple reportedly have donated $3.2 million to political campaigns, mostly Republican.

“Loeffler and her husband sold 27 stocks between January 24 and February 14 at a value of $1.28 million and $3.1 million, according to Senate financial disclosure records,” CNN reported in March. “They also purchased three stocks for between $450,000 to $1 million, including shares in Citrix, a software company used for teleconferencing that’s one of the few that’s gained value amid the coronavirus outbreak.”

Her husband “recently acquired as much as $415,000 in stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that manufactures protective equipment in exceedingly high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic,” the AP reported last month.



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