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Congressman Upset Religious Freedom Law ‘Doesn’t Go Far in Enough’ to Allow Discrimination Against LGBT People

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Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is under fire once again for comments he made as a radio talk show host, this time during which he lamented that Indiana’s religious freedom law “doesn’t go far in enough in allowing discrimination,” against LGBT people. CNN first reported on Rep. Lewis’ remarks, and last week first reported that Lewis had been upset he was no longer able to call women “sluts.”

In a 2015 blog post he railed against Indiana’s religious freedom law.

“There’s only one thing wrong with Indiana’s (or anyone else’s) Religious Freedom & Restoration Act (RFRA): it doesn’t go far in enough in allowing discrimination,” Lewis wrote in 2015, as CNN reports.

“That is, why should you have to invoke a religious exemption in order to freely determine with whom you want to associate? I might not want to hire you because your ‘lifestyle’ (gay or straight) violates the tenants of my company’s religious beliefs (the Supreme Court upheld Hobby Lobby’s decision not to offer contraceptives for the same reason), but I also might not want to employ you because your ears are large. The former is protected by RFRA, the latter is not. Why?”

Lewis, now a U.S. Congressman representing Minnesota, also attacked the Americans with Disabilities Act, actually suggesting it is responsible for an increase in workplace shootings. (That is false.)

“Because of the ADA, we have eviscerated the notion of fair play and in the process in these workplace shootings, I have the temerity today, the audacity, to suggest that that is partly responsible for these workplace shootings. In every single instance, the person had a history of mental, mental illness, something set them off and they go bonkers and kill people. So why did we not screen those people out?”

Lewis “has repeatedly demeaned recipients of welfare and government assistance, calling them ‘parasites’ and ‘scoundrels,’ and said the black community had ‘traded one plantation for another,'” CNN adds.

He also called “part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that applied to private businesses ‘unconstitutional’ as well as calling the Americans with Disabilities Act ‘one of the worst’ laws.”

House Speaker Ryan says he will not call on Lewis to apologize.

 

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BIGOTRY

DeSantis Spokesperson Says LGBTQ Pride Lights on Jacksonville Bridge Will Be Back On – No Word on Others

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A spokesperson for Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis says the LGBTQ Pride Month display on Jacksonville’s Acosta Bridge will be back on Wednesday night. They were ordered removed after just one night by the state’s Dept. of Transportation, after dozens of other displays went unquestioned.

DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske told Florida Politics, “the lights will be on.”

Fenske said FDOT is “letting it go,” adding that other lighting displays “went up that were not on the approved list” previously, referring to already in place permits. However, the Pride display was the first to get blocked, a move that roiled locals.

The LGBTQ community remains targeted by DeSantis and his administration.

Permits for lighting other Florida bridges, including in Sarasota and St. Petersburg to celebrate Pride Month were denied, and there’s no indication they too will be allowed.

Ordering the Acosta Bridge LGBTQ celebration lights removed is “just the latest in a string of anti-LGBTQ actions” from DeSantis, Equality Florida Communications Manager Michael Womack tells NCRM.

Womack says the Florida Dept. of transportation “answers to the governor,” who he notes signed into law Florida’s first anti-LGBTQ bill in 24 years. He also says that in 2020 the permit to light the Acosta Bridge in LGBTQ rainbow colors for Pride Month was denied.

It is no coincidence that the Florida governor, a likely 2024 presidential hopeful, chose Jacksonville, a conservative Christian private school, and the first day of Pride Month to sign into law a bill banning transgender girls from playing in girls sports.

“Girls are gonna play girls’ sports,” DeSantis said June 1. “Boys are going to play boys’ sports.”

DeSantis chose June 2 to veto legislation that would have provided funds for counseling for survivors of the Pulse massacre and funding for LGBTQ homeless youth.

“Let’s be clear about what this is: Governor DeSantis has declared war on Florida’s LGBTQ community,” Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf, who now works for Equality Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday the DOT ordered the Pride Light display removed, claiming there was no permit for the event. But the DOT never had a problem with countless other displays, including those recognizing Memorial Day, Autism acceptance and awareness, St. Patrick’s Day, Lupus, the first day of Spring, Christmas, child abuse awareness, and Easter – to name a few.

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BIGOTRY

DeSantis Admin Orders Jacksonville Bridge Stripped of LGBTQ Pride Month Rainbow Lights One Day After Turned On

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis or someone in his administration ordered the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville to take down a special LGBTQ Pride Month rainbow light display, just one day after it had been turned on.

The Florida Times-Union reports the order came from the Florida Department of Transportation, which ordered the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to remove the display. The FDOT owns the bridge even though it is controlled by the JTA.

“This afternoon, the FDOT informed the JTA that our scheduled color scheme for the Acosta Bridge is out of compliance with our existing permit. The JTA will comply accordingly,” the Jacksonville Transportation Authority announced in a statement.

But Florida Times-Union metro columnist Nate Monroe says there’s “almost no way this didn’t come from the governor’s office. JTA has lit the bridge up with all sorts of colors on all sorts of occasions, with no pushback, until now.”

He also encouraged social media users to contact Gov. DeSantis’ Press Secretary, who is a fan of light shows, at least some light shows:

Requests for Pride Month displays on other bridges, including in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, were allegedly denied.

Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx legislator expressed outrage:

Equality Florida’s Senior Political Director notes DeSantis has used LGBTQ Pride Month to attack LGBTQ people several times already:

An investigative reporter and Executive Producer at WTLV/WJXX weighs in with other events that were allowed (even more examples on her Twitter page):

UPDATE: DeSantis Spokesperson Says LGBTQ Pride Lights on Jacksonville Bridge Will Be Back On – No Word on Others

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BIGOTRY

‘I Live in Oakland’: Homophobic Hotel Guests Shamed Out of Pool After Profanity-Laced Freakout Over Two Women Kissing

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A Sacramento hotel was the scene of a homophobic incident when a group of people witnessed two women kissing and flipped out.

The Black Bay Area Instagram account showed the white women losing their minds while queer Black women were kissing. They insisted they weren’t racist, just homophobic, mentioning there were children.

One person in the pool kept chanting “SHAME” as the people left in disgrace. The chant lasted for at least three minutes non-stop. The first woman walked away but the second and third woman tried to argue with the people in the pool, filming them and shouting at them.

“Do you have kids? Good because you’d be a terrible father!” one woman said while holding her beverage. Another woman flipped off the camera.

Pride Month begins today, June 1st.

See the video below:

 

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