Attorney General Falsely Claims the ‘Hate Group’ Label Is Being Used to ‘Bully and Intimidate Groups That Fight for Religious Freedom’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Alliance Defending Freedom Wednesday night that they are not hate group. The ADF has been designated as a anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a organization that actively tracks approximately 1000 hate groups nationwide.
“I wanted to come back here tonight partially because I wanted to say this: You are not a hate group,” Sessions told attendees (video below) at the ADF’s Summit on Religious Liberty, as Towleroad reports.
“When I spoke to ADF last year, I learned that the Southern Poverty Law Center had classified ADF as a ‘hate group.’ Many in the media simply parroted that as a fact,” Sessions charged. “They have used this designation as a weapon and they have wielded it against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak for their conscience and their beliefs. They use it to bully and intimidate groups that fight for religious freedom, these constitutional rights of the American people.”
Sessions raised eyebrows last week when he announced the creation of a secretive “religious liberty” task force at DOJ.
“We have gotten to the point,” Sessions said as he announced the new task force, “where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The religious right and far right wing extremists for years have been outraged that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded anti-gay groups that promulgate lies about LGBTQ people with the same label given to the KKK. And anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council, and the ADF have responded by falsifying the SPLC’s very clear definition of what hate groups are.
Sessions is responding to that outrage, apparently by targeting those who work to identify and monitor hate groups. And he’s made clear he will turn the concept of First Amendment freedom of religion on its head to do so.
Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen sent a letter to Sessions earlier this week explaining what a hate group is, and reminding him that the Dept. of Justice uses a similar definition. Sessions clearly ignored it as he addressed the ADF.
“In a manner analogous to how the Department of Justice defines hate crimes,” the SPLC president wrote, linking to the DOJ’s own website on hate crimes, “we identify hate groups as those that vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability – prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines.”
“Just as sincerely held religious beliefs would not be a defense to a hate crime prosecution, vilifying others in the name of religion should not immunize a group from being designated as a hate group, in our view,” Cohen added.
Watch Sessions address the anti-gay hate group’s Summit on Religious Liberty.
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‘I Made Juneteenth Very Famous’: Trump Raged Against ‘These People’ After Being Forced to Reschedule Tulsa Rally
Donald Trump bristled at moving his comeback rally in Tulsa due to a scheduling conflict with Juneteenth.
The former president had scheduled his first rally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for June 19, 2020, but he was notified — by a Black Secret Service agent, he says — of the date’s historical significance and the extra weight it carried in the days following the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, according to excerpts from a new book published by The Hill.
Can you imagine “changing the day of the rally in Oklahoma to accommodate these people?” Trump groused, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “Have you ever heard of such a ridiculous thing?”
Murphy and his wife had joined Trump for dinner at his golf club in Bedminster, where the former president told the couple that he was looking forward to packing the arena to show off his electoral strength, but he ultimately agreed to reschedule for a day later — and then claimed credit for popularizing the day marking the end of slavery in the U.S.
“I did something good,” Trump said. “I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”
The rally ultimately drew a much smaller crowd than had been expected, with at least a third of the seats empty at BOK Center, and a spokesman for his campaign later blamed the paltry attendance on “radical protesters.”
Meanwhile, Trump is scheduled to speak tonight at a rally at 9pm ET tonight in support of embattled Nebraska Gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster.
After Herbster, a businessman endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was accused of sexually assaulting eight women, including a state senator, Republicans throughout the state washed their hands of him, and sitting Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts told him to end his campaign and “get help.”
But according to POLITICO on Thursday, Trump himself is still all in on Herbster’s candidacy.
“Trump did not withdraw his support for Herbster, or scrap plans to hold a Friday evening rally for the candidate in Nebraska. Instead, he doubled down: The former president relayed word that Herbster wasn’t fighting back hard enough, backing plans for Herbster to hold a press conference aggressively denying the allegations and pushing back at his adversaries,” reported Alex Isenstadt.
Watch: Newsmax Host Wants to Know Why Movies ‘Have to Be About LGBTQ People?’ in Anti-Gay Rant
Newsmax propagandist Greg Kelly is jumping on the right’s rapidly growing anti-LGBTQ extremism by denouncing movies with LGBTQ people in them, while likening being LGBTQ to having a hobby – like trains – that he says no one needs to know about.
“I don’t get this be your whole self routine at work or even in art, even in products that you are creating for other people to consume,” Kelly said on Newsmax Wednesday. “For instance, take me, I love model trains. Did you know that? I actually do.”
“I love trains. I love them,” he continued. “I don’t talk about a lot on TV because it’s a pretty niche hobby and not a lot of people are into it. Alright, especially at my age. That’s my thing. I’ll do it on my time and I’m not going to bother you about it fair? You get it? I think that’s a pretty good analogy.”
It’s actually not. What Kelly is talking about is called a hobby. Being LGBTQ is not.
The Newsmax host who, coincidentally is a former Fox News correspondent and host, and the son of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, then played what appeared to be an internal Walt Disney Company video of an employee talking about including LGBTQ characters in her work.
The segment included her stating: “Like I was just wherever I could just basically adding queerness to like, if you see anything queer in the show [undiscernable] no one would stop me and no one was trying to stop me.”
Kelly, who, according to Vanity Fair, has a history of “very racist-seeming tweets,” jumped on that immediately.
“Just have fun with your not-so-secret gay agenda,” he said. “And queerness and putting it in movies and cartoons and where is it been so far? I watch this stuff from time to time. I guess over the years. These are movies you’ve heard of I’ve heard of is this what they’ve been up to all along?” he asked, as the camera pans over classic Disney works like “Mary Poppins.”
(LGBTQ people have been creating Disney classics for decades, or longer. )
“Is this what they will be up to from now on? I don’t think it’s going to help the plotline. You know, movies are about people. Uh, why do they have to be about LGBTQ people or anything like, is the orientation really all that?”
(Full anti-LGBTQ segment on YouTube.)
Newsmax host: “You know, movies are about people. Why do they have to be about LGBTQ people?” pic.twitter.com/y39ycxvXwM
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 31, 2022
Watch: DeSantis Discusses and Signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill While Surrounded by Young Children
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis violated the spirit of the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation he signed into law Monday afternoon by discussing it in detail while surrounded by young children – a discussion that could lead to a school being sued for thousands of dollars had it happened in a public school classroom.
DeSantis waited until about 45 minutes before press call time to inform reporters that he was signing the bill, where, and when. One publisher surmised he did so to avoid giving opponents the opportunity to protest, while the head of Equality Florida noted he did so at a charter school that is exempt from the bill.
The bill signing and detailed discussion was carried live by CBS News affiliates WPEC and WESH. NCRM has blurred the children’s faces in photos for their protection.
— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) March 28, 2022
Here’s DeSantis holding up a copy of a book that the law will now restrict or ban from schools.
— Liz Crawford WTSP (@LizCrawfordWTSP) March 28, 2022
After discussing the bill then signing it into law he took a few questions from reporters while standing behind a podium with a sign that reads “Protect Children Support Parents.”
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