Senator Marco Rubio may be setting up to run for president in 2020. The Florida Republican has just snagged a huge name in conservative politics to become his chief of staff. Michael Needham, 36, is the CEO of a powerful anti-gay Koch Brothers-funded ultra-conservative activist organization, Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation.
The New York Times calls Needham “a leading practitioner of the uncompromising, scorched-earth style of political combat.”
Heritage Action has posted dozens of tweets advocating against LGBT and especially transgender people.
Obama’s preparing to veto the bill that sets budgets for our nation’s fighting forces to get his radical LGBT agenda https://t.co/svlY77Lwne
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) October 28, 2016
Transgender ideology in society today is hurting children & undermining scientific research, these doctors say: https://t.co/L3UMrDeXvf
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) November 3, 2017
Pointing out that a transgender service member becomes nondeployable after surgery doesn’t make you a bigot https://t.co/9qeNvliE3s
— Heritage Action (@Heritage_Action) August 8, 2017
“The move is certain to raise questions about whether Mr. Rubio, whose hopes of becoming president in 2016 were dashed by Mr. Trump, may be positioning himself for another run,” The New York Times reports. “And it underscores how unsettled the conservative movement remains nearly two years after Mr. Trump won the Republican presidential nomination and became the party’s improbable leader.”
Needham was a leader of the charge to repeal ObamaCare, and in 2013 the federal government shutdown.
Heritage Action’s parent organization, the Heritage Foundation, has steadfastly attacked the LGBT community and worked to oppose same-sex marriage and rights for transgender people. Heritage senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson is a leading anti-LGBT activist.
Heritage Action has also worked to destroy ObamaCare, food stamps, and immigration reform.
And it has worked hard to push the pro-discrimination First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a federal “religious liberty” bill that would carve out special rights for people who oppose same-sex marriage.
“It is imperative that we protect religious liberty for all Americans by passing the First Amendment Defense Act,” Needham said in 2016.
If Marco Rubio is exploring a 2020 presidential run, hiring Needham will definitely move him further to the right.
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MAGA Students’ Attacks on LGBTQ Unity Week Met With Civil Rights Complaint Filed With Dept. of Education
A group of high school Democrats in South Dakota have filed an official complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Education claiming their annual Unity Week events are under a “coordinated” attack by pro-Trump MAGA supporting students, and the school administration has refused to do anything to stop the bullying and targeted harassment.
South Dakota High School Democrats, representing students at Aberdeen Central High School, charge there is a “coordinated effort by certain students to target, harass, and bully those students celebrating the week.” In their complaint they also say “racist and homophobic slurs are openly spouted” at students, and there are images of these being spread on social media.
“They actively seek to target and harass the students while bringing their ‘religious’ and hateful beliefs to the forefront of student life,” the letter reads.
“The administration reportedly does ‘nothing’ in response to these actions,” they say, charging that the Aberdeen School District has allowed the “targeted harassment” to “go unrestrained.”
According to one student, the complaint reads, “this coordinated harassment campaign happens every year.”
BREAKING: After talking with numerous students from the school, we have deemed it appropriate to file a complaint with the Department of Education Civil Rights Division. pic.twitter.com/C9roDmEluK
— SDHSD (@SoDakHSDems) May 7, 2021
NCRM has not verified any of these images below but KELO News reports Friday evening: “Social media posts from Central High School in Aberdeen are getting a lot of attention. The posts include pictures of students who appear to be against a ‘Unity Week’ the school was hosting.”
The social media posts include screenshots from Snapchat with messages against the week. One of the screenshots encourages students to carry a Bible with them around school and to not talk to anyone participating in the dress up days. It goes on to say ‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve or Eve and Bri and Adam and tractor.’
Another screenshot appears to feature students holding Trump flags with expletive text over the picture that is anti-LGBTQ.
Here is one tweet that appears to represent some of what the complaint alleges:
Hate has no place in our state. The Aberdeen school district needs to take appropriate actions immediately. https://t.co/0MSmRX7ZGp
— SDHSD (@SoDakHSDems) May 7, 2021
On TikTok a video describes what LGBTQ and minority students are facing this week. The young woman, who says she is a student at Aberdeen Central High School, says some of the students participating in the unity week’s events were told to go kill themselves. Some students were pushed down stairs, and the anti-LGBTQ students “blocked the entrance to the school,” while yelling expletives.
“The school board has done nothing about this,” she says. “This is absolutely repulsive.”
@dollop.of.daisyplease don’t let this video get taken down. This needs to be heard #fyp#spreadtheword#viral#important#lgbtqplus#translivesmatter#share#blowthisup♬ original sound – Dollop.of.Daisy
Aberdeen News adds that the schools superintendent sent parents a letter saying appropriate disciplinary action has been taken, but refusing to say what that is, who the students are. The letter appears to suggest parents should counsel their children but the situation is over.
Based on the students’ letter and social media posts it’s clear they do not believe it is.
Anti LGBTQ Tennessee Lawmaker Blocks Resolution Honoring Gay Country Singer: ‘We Have Some Concerns’
A Tennessee Republican lawmaker on Monday blocked a resolution that had passed unanimously in the state senate honoring country music star T.J. Osborne of the Brothers Osborne. In February Osborne came out, becoming the first openly-gay country music artist signed to a major country music label.
“We have some concerns,” Rep. Jeremy Faison told his fellow lawmakers on the House floor Tuesday as he blocked the bill.
When pressed, he claimed the resolution had not gone through committee. One lawmaker noted the House had already voted on several bills today that had not gone through committee, and neither Faison nor anyone else had blocked them.
Nevertheless, Faison used his status as the Chair of the House Republican Caucus to block the resolution, sending it to committee.
As the Tennessee Holler notes (video below), that committee is closed for the year, which means that Faison killed the resolution.
Rep. Faison has a long anti-LGBTQ history, but perhaps he is best known nationally for claiming in 2012, during a flood of LGBTQ youth suicides caused by bullying that LGBTQ children and teens don’t die by suicide because of bullying.
“We can’t continue to legislate everything,” Faison said. “We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.”
Faison also signed once onto a brief with 70 other lawmakers attempting to intervene in the case of a divorce of a same-sex couple.
In 2019 Faison defended a bill that allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples in the name of religion.
WATCH: “We have some concerns.” @JeremyFaison4TN and the @tnhousegop block a resolution to honor out gay country music star TJ Osborne of the @brothersosborne for no reason other than blatant bigotry and spite.
It passed the senate 30-0.
So much hate in our state. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/feOo5tAG9f
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 4, 2021
We’ve lived in this state for over half of our lives. @JeremyFaison4TN honored Ben Shapiro who doesn’t even live here. Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day. On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person. https://t.co/00w2rdwCec
— Brothers Osborne (@brothersosborne) May 4, 2021
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Thank Americans for ‘Continued Prayers’ as Son Josh’s Trial Date Is Set
33-year old former “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star Josh Duggar pleaded “not guilty” to federal charges related to child pornography on Friday in Arkansas and his parents released a statement thanking Americans for their “continued prayers.”
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told Us Weekly in a statement. “The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
Josh Duggar, a father of six children with one more on the way, has a trial date has been set for July 6. He is currently jailed and will not be released on bond until he can prove he has housing that keeps him away from children.
“I will also advise you that any proposed third-party custodian, it would need to be in a residence, where there are no minors in the home,” the judge told him Friday.
Duggar if convicted could face 20 years and $250,000 for each charge.
He is charged “with receiving and possessing child pornography,” the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said in a statement. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
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