A new Trump administration directive allows anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The directive specifically exempts any faith-based organization – a “religious corporation” – that has a federal contract from anti-discrimination requirements, and wrongly cites the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision to do so.
A U.S. Dept.of Labor directive issued Friday and signed by Craig E. Leen, the Acting Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) actually takes language from the SCOTUS ruling and mis-applies it.
Federal contractors employ about one-fifth of the nation’s workforce. Nico Lang at INTO was the first to report on the new directive.
The new policy memo directs OFCCP staff reviewing contracts and contractors that they “cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices” and must “proceed in a manner neutral toward and tolerant of . . . religious beliefs.”
That is language taken directly from the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece ruling.
The directive also cites the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, and states: “faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for . . . [Federal] contracts.”
That language appears to be taken directly from a May White House memo rebranding the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
But legal experts are crying foul, saying the OFCCP’s directive misinterprets the Supreme Court cases. For example, the Masterpiece ruling stated the Colorado Commission that ruled against the anti-gay Christian baker had acted with animus toward his religion. It did not state that anti-LGBT discrimination was now legal or acceptable.
Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, adds that the memo is actually “contrary to established law.”
“This directive seems designed to undermine the current requirement that federal contractors may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran,” Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told INTO. “In the past, the Department of Labor has made clear that religious contractors may prefer members of their religion, but may not discriminate on any of those bases.”
“By eliminating that important qualification, the new directive is confusing at best and at worst sends a dangerous and false message that such discrimination is now permitted,” he continues.
Minter calls the memo “contrary to established law.”
And the Human Rights Campaign in a Monday night email says the DOL is “encouraging federal contractors to discriminate against their LGBTQ employees.” HRC notes that at “the same time” the new directive was published, the “DOL also removed information from its website concerning frequently asked questions about nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and the limited scope of allowable religious exemptions.”
“Previously, the site made clear religious organizations receiving federal contracts may prefer members of their religion, but no exemption would be granted for discrimination against an employee ‘on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.’ That language has now been deleted.”
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Stephen Miller Blames ‘the Media’ for Trump Losing 59 Cases but Says ‘Alternate’ Electors Are Voting to ‘Certify’ Him
White House senior advisor Stephen Miller is blaming “the media” for President Donald Trump losing nearly 60 election cases in court, but says right now “alternate” electors are voting to “certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election.”
Miller, one of the most prominent white nationalists aside from the president working in the White House, appeared on Fox News Monday in his capacity as a “senior Trump campaign advisor,” something experts say at best draws questions of “the appearance of impropriety.”
“The only date in the Constitution is January 20, so we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends.”
His claim that election was “fraudulent” is a lie. 86 judges across the country in 59 court cases – including at the U.S. Supreme Court – have refused to indulge the Trump team’s lies.
Miller continued to spread falsehoods, while Fox News hosts allowed him to do so unchallenged.
“As we speak,” he then said, “an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we are going to send those results to Congress.”
Stephen Miller on Fox & Friends says “an alternative” group of electors is also voting today:
“As we speak, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we are going to send those results to Congress.”pic.twitter.com/5kIkfsbOFw
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) December 14, 2020
The Trump campaign can send to Congress anything they like but without each state’s certification by the Secretary of State those documents are meaningless.
Miller also falsely claimed “the media” is to blame for the 59 court case losses.
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, fresh off his “groveling” interview with President Trump on Sunday, continued to spread Trump’s lies about the election as he spoke with Miller.
But he finally confronted Miller with a few facts.
“Your legal team, in almost every state, 50 times, lost – some with Trump judges. So do you have the worst legal team who just don’t seem to be presenting a good case? Or [are] you just too late and this case should have been brought before the election?”
Miller crafted a remarkably dishonest attack on the whole of America’s judiciary in response.
“What you have to realize is the pressure from the corrupt corporate media to make everybody cave and bend is overwhelming,” he lied. “And so, yes, judges are caving. politicians are caving.”
He then uttered this dangerous call to action: “We need heroes to step up and do the right thing,” before spreading even more falsehoods.
Kilmeade: “Your legal team [has]… 50 times lost — some with Trump judges — so do you have the worst legal team who just don’t seem to be presenting a good case? Or you just too late in this case should have been brought before the election?”
Miller: [blames media for rulings] pic.twitter.com/BOLLlrBz7N
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 14, 2020
‘This Was DeSantis’: ‘Gestapo’ Trends After COVID Whistleblower Says Cops Raided Her Home, ‘Pointed Guns at My Kids’
Former Florida Department of Health (DOH) data scientist Rebekah Jones, who was fired by Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration after refusing to manipulate coronavirus information, says “state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech. They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint. They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statement confirming the seizure of computer equipment, a report in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper says.
“FDLE began an investigation November 10, 2020 after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only,” FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.
Jones, who set up her own site to continue to report important coronavirus information, posted this tweet, including video:
There will be no update today.
At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech.
They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint.
They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids.. pic.twitter.com/DE2QfOmtPU
— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 7, 2020
“They took my phone and the computer I use every day to post the case numbers in Florida, and school cases for the entire country,” she tweeted. “They took evidence of corruption at the state level. They claimed it was about a security breach. This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo.”
If Desantis thought pointing a gun in my face was a good way to get me to shut up, he's about to learn just how wrong he was.
I'll have a new computer tomorrow.
And then I'm going to get back to work.
If you want to help, my website is still at https://t.co/JbQtrVbRuv
— Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 7, 2020
“Gestapo” has been trending as a result. Take a look at what some are saying:
Rebekah Jones was fired for refusing to manipulate Covid-19 data for the state of FL. She began publishing her own dashboard. Then they raided her home. To support her work and to give the finger to DeSantis and his gestapo, donate to her project here: https://t.co/8Rxs03CybG https://t.co/DJ8md0cc8I
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 7, 2020
They should have never had guns out for this. DeSantis is out of control. Gestapo tactics.
— Debbie Dease 🦋✍🏽🌊🇺🇸 (@debbie_dease) December 7, 2020
She's the former Dept of Health employee who built the COVID-19 dashboard. She was fired after refusing to manipulate data for @GovRonDeSantis. Now he's ordered a Gestapo style raid on her home, guns pointed at her and her kids. https://t.co/IXnM0Pr8ew
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) December 7, 2020
There has to be an attorney out there who will go after @GovRonDeSantis, who just sent his gestapo to confiscate the computers of covid whistleblower and scientist @GeoRebekah, pointing guns in the faces of her and her CHILDREN. What a fucking #Floriduh disgrace. @Maddow https://t.co/K8oaGk9PpG
— Lesley Abravanel🆘 (@lesleyabravanel) December 7, 2020
This is shocking and horrifying. Rebekah Jones, the designer of the Florida COVID data tracker and whistleblower, got raided.
Make no mistake, we have Republican fascism here in the USA, right now. Complete with Gestapo.
More of this if Trump and his Republicans stay in power. https://t.co/mfn57C3UQO
— Denise Dewald, MD 🗽 (@denise_dewald) December 7, 2020
Out and out gestapo tactics by a dictator. DeSantis must be stopped. I hope you get a cadre of lawyers willing to take your case.
— RayWoodson2.0 (@RWoodson20) December 7, 2020
Why are we using gestapo tactics against scientists? Threatening scientists and covering up facts in order to push lies is killing the people of Florida. Let the truth be heard and let it be known DeSantis is a participant in crimes against humanity. He is a Covid Collaborator. https://t.co/8VMP8q5DJT
— Liz (@lizzard1278) December 7, 2020
Ron DeSantis's doing. The governor of Florida is hiding COVID data — and probably hella more. This is evil. This is Gestapo. This is Putin. This is Trump. https://t.co/BvAr5Es8mC
— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) December 7, 2020
Armed Guards at Florida Polling Site Say They Were Sent by the Trump Campaign
Two armed men set up a tent outside of an early voting location in St. Petersberg, Florida, saying that they were with the Trump campaign.
“The Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff’s deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated, and this has not been confirmed yet, that they were hired by the Trump campaign,” said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus.
“The sheriff and I take this very seriously,” Marcus said. “Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter’s ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security, and we had a plan in place and executed that plan.”
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that he would do whatever it takes to protect the authenticity of the election.
“I just don’t want to get too deep into the specifics because we’re trying to balance it,” Gualtieri said. “But I’ll say it’s a combination of uniformed personnel who will be in the area, and also we’re gonna use some undercover personnel just to monitor the situation.”
The guards said they were hired by Trump and would be out at the polling place again tomorrow. It’s illegal to bring a gun to a polling place in Florida.
See the full report below:
Image via Shutterstock
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