About 50 People Attend March ‘Celebrating Freedom From Homosexual/Transgender Lifestyles by the Grace and Power of Jesus Christ’
The Christian Right is the most virulently anti-LGBT segment of America today. The latest polls show at least six out of 10 Americans support same-sex marriage, and the 30 percent who oppose it are made up of “conservative Republicans (58 percent), Republicans overall (51 percent), Mormons (53 percent), white evangelical Protestants (58 percent) and adults in Alabama (51 percent)” – the only state where a majority oppose marriage equality.
So it should come as no surprise the only LGBT people groups like the Family Research Council and the Christian evangelical wing of the GOP “support” are so-called “ex-gay” or “formerly-LGBT” people.
Praying for those in attendance at the Freedom March rally today.
— FRC (@FRCdc) May 5, 2018
On Saturday afternoon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the religious right organized a “Freedom March” for people who believe Jesus Christ has transformed them from gay to straight.
Tens of people showed.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) May 5, 2018
Among the speakers at Saturday’s “Freedom March” was conservative Elizabeth Johnston, aka, “The Activist Mommy,” who last month organized a protest that urged parents to keep their children out of school in an anti-LGBT “sit-in,” over comprehensive sex-ed classes. She recorded a crazed video titled, “They Are Coming For Our Children!”
The anti-gay hate group Family Research Council supported the protest, likening sex-ed to child molestation, and using the hashtag, #HandsOffOurKids.
Far right wing anti-LGBT activist Dr. Michael Brown, who falsely claims a new California bill that bans conversion therapy would also ban the Bible, weighed on on the march:
If our society celebrates those who are out and proud LGBT’s, why can’t it celebrate those who are out and proud FORMER LGBT’s? #FreedomMarch Paul wrote about this in 1 Cor 6:9-11. Jesus really does transform!
— Dr. Michael L. Brown (@DrMichaelLBrown) May 5, 2018
This woman’s Twitter bio says she’s the National Grassroots Co-Director for Patriot Voices, a PAC founded by Rick Santorum. She also thinks being LGBT is a “lifestyle.”
Watching @activist_mommy speaking live at #FreedomMarch in DC showing support for those who are celebrating Jesus transforming their lives from the #LGBT lifestyle. https://t.co/EWsXtSs69v #tcot #RedNation #PJNET #CNN #FoxNews #msnbc #CCOT #faith #prayer
— Shirley Widlacki (@patriotmom61) May 5, 2018
Some who oppose the concept of being “ex-gay” or “formerly LGBT,” because it’s not possible, and actually harmful, weighed in:
The greatest freedom I’ve ever experienced was to walk away from ex-gay ministry and to fully love and embrace myself as God loves and accepts me. #FreedomMarch
— Tim Schraeder (@TimSchraeder) May 5, 2018
“It’s hard to believe they would seek to rid God-given desire to love someone of ss iif it weren’t for leaders in their communities who fail to consider the possibility that they’re wrong about the value/ dignity of #LGBT ppl made in image of God” @julie_rodgers #FreedomMarch
— Amanda Hite (@amandahite) May 5, 2018
It’s important to note that so-called “conversion therapy” which portends to change LGBT people into straight or non-transgender people is fraud, as several courts have ruled. Those who undergo it have called it torture. It has been declared at best ineffective and at worst harmful by major medical organizations. And it has been linked to suicide.
Image: Screenshot via Ford Fischer/Twitter
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FBI Investigating ‘Massive’ Alleged Campaign Finance Scheme to Help Fund Susan Collins’ Re-Election: Report
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating an alleged campaign finance scheme it characterized as “massive” involving a political action committee aligned with Senator Susan Collins, and direct donations to the Collins’ campaign. The Maine Republican won re-election in November despite polling that showed her Democratic challenger beating her.
“A recently unsealed search warrant application shows the FBI believes a Hawaii defense contractor illegally funneled $150,000 to a pro-Collins super PAC and reimbursed donations to Collins’ campaign. There’s no indication that Collins or her team were aware of any of it,” Axios reports.
The report shows that Senator Collins, who sits on the Defense subcommittee of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, helped the contractor secure an $8 million Navy contract, before most of the donations were given. That contractor is the Martin Defense Group, formerly known as Navatek.
A shell company was allegedly used. Federal contractors are prohibited from donating to super PACs.
“Former Navatek CEO Martin Kao was indicted last year for allegedly bilking the federal government of millions in coronavirus relief loans,” Axios reports.
The Collins Campaign “had absolutely no knowledge of anything alleged in the warrant,” a Collins spokesperson, Annie Clark, told Axios.
Maine voters elected Collins “to a fifth term by 9 points. No Maine senator has been popularly elected five times. It was a far cry from previous supermajority wins,” The Bangor Daily News reported at the time, “but resounding after every public poll showed [Democrat Sara]Gideon ahead. Democrats had pinned their hopes of flipping the Senate on Maine, leading to more than $200 million spent on the race.”
Here’s a copy of the search warrant:
NEW: The @FBI is investigating whether Martin Defense Group (a government contractor with a presence in Maine) & its executives illegally donated to @SenatorCollins‘s campaign & its supportive super PAC, 1820 PAC, per this search warrant application. https://t.co/DrNIYIru7u
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) May 18, 2021
‘I’m Not Releasing the Video – This Is Done’: NC DA Gets Defensive After Announcing No Charges in Police Shooting
The Pasquotank County, North Carolina District Attorney announced Tuesday he will not be filing charges against police officers who shot Andrew Brown, Jr., an unarmed 42-year old Black man, in the head, killing him while serving an arrest warrant on April 21. After holding a lengthy press conference Andrew Womble became defensive when asked about releasing the video, and later when asked how he could make a decision to not charge officers when all the facts are not in.
“I’m not releasing the video, this is done,” Womble told reporters. “Anything in my office is not public record by statute.”
The Associated Press adds: “Womble, who showed portions of the video at the news conference, said Tuesday that he would not release the video.”
Womble reportedly has a total of about two hours of video from police body cams, but only allowed the family of Andrew Brown, Jr. to see less than 20 minutes worth. He showed a very small portion of video on Tuesday to support his decision to not file charges against any of the officers.
Womble went on to say that any release of the video would have to be done through the court, but when asked if he had requested the video be released he said he had not.
“You can not swing a skunk in front of a group of people then ask them not to smell it,” Womble said last month.
On Tuesday Womble told reporters, “Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified, because Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”
After urging the public to not “jump to conclusions until all the facts are out,” one reporter reminded Womble he had just admitted he did not have all the facts.
“Do you think all the facts are out?” the reporter said. “You told us that you don’t know how fast the car was going, whether the car was decelerating or accelerating. And the still images you showed us told a different story, before the first shot was fired. Once you put the video in motion, it looked like Brown was turning away from the officer.”
“I’m sorry, your question is?” Womble, defensively replied.
“How do you respond to that?” the reporter posited.
“What was the question?” Womble again replied.
“Are you sure all the facts are in?” the reporter continued. “You said you don’t know if the car was decelerating or accelerating.”
“I know that all of the facts that I needed to make this decision are in,” Womble replied.
“Isn’t that important?” the reporter pressed. “That’s important. If you look at the video. If you look at the video in motion, it looks like he’s turning away before the first shot is fired, that’s important.”
“Sir, there are several cases,” Womble said defensively, “there’s a litany of cases in our American jurisprudence where shots are fired into still cars, cars that aren’t moving. So, the speed at which Mr. Brown is moving at the officers…notv relevant in my determination.”
The reporter said if Brown had hit the brakes, “isn’t that important?”
Womble refused to answer and went to another reporter.
The full video of Womble’s press conference is here:
Al Sharpton weighed in:
Elizabeth City DA Womble who is running for Superior Court Judge gave a bizarre and unconvincing defense of not charging Police for shooting Andrew Brown, Jr. In the back of head! The Feds and a Special Prosecutor is clearly needed.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 18, 2021
‘Ineptitude’: Maricopa County Destroys Top AZ GOP Senator’s Recount Company as ‘Grifters and Con-Artists’
Arizona’s Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a letter sent Monday slammed both the State Senate Republican President and the company she chose to perform a highly-controversial recount of the 2020 presidential election ballots.
That recount, which has been going on for nearly four weeks, has been plagued by regular reports of irregular and suspicious actions and, as the Board of Supervisors said today, “ineptitude.”
Already the U.S. Dept. of Justice has notified the company performing the recount, Cyber Ninjas, that it is watching their actions and warning them their actions may violate the law.
The Maricopa Board of Supervisors – which is made up of four Republicans and just one Democrat – Monday did not hold back, blasting Senate President Karen Fann, accusing her of lying, among other disturbing actions.
Fann, in a false accusation picked up and repeated by Donald Trump over the weekend, claimed Maricopa County deleted an entire database. The accusation was made either out of ignorance or political vengeance, or both, but the damage has been done.
The County responded today, calling the accusations “false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate.”
“We demand that you immediately rescind your false and malicious tweet,” the county tells Senate President Fann in a 13-page letter, “asserting that Maricopa County ‘spoiled evidence’ in the days before we provided the server to the Senate. Your tweet, which relies on the ‘modified date’ shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors’ incompetence. Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County.”
The Senate, Maricopa County adds, “is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings.”
You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call “kinematic artifacts” while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.
A few more excerpts:
“Your various questions about our election procedures reveal a serious lack of understanding of election law.”
“a spectacular lack of understanding on your part”
“we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you.”
“We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your “auditors”. Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn’t get the best people to perform in your political theatre. We have wasted enough County resources. People’s tax dollars are real, your ‘auditors’ are not.”
“Your ‘audit’ is harming all of us, and we ask you to end it.”
But perhaps among the most disturbing accusations Maricopa County makes, is, as The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports, Cyber Ninjas is “just straight miscounting ballots.” Read this short tweet:
— Sam Levine (@srl) May 17, 2021
Jack Sellers, the Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, concluded a meeting Monday afternoon by announcing to the Arizona Senate, “Finish your report and be ready to defend it in a court of law.”
Image: Screenshot from Maricopa County May 17 press conference via YouTube
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