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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‘Deranged Police State Fever Dream’: Internet Explodes Over Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Incredibly Fascist’ Video for 9/11
Former New York City mayor, now President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani observed the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by posting a chilling, creepy, and many are saying “fascist” video in the early morning, tweeting “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” in all-caps.
The highly-edited video opens with staged images of people protesting fascism, as a young child slowly sings “America the Beautiful.”
The camera closes in on a lone police officer starting at the protestors, who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
In an apparent flashback the officer seems to be remembering his life: a police badge is pinned on his shirt, a flag-draped coffin of a U.S. service member is carried past him, and a young boy sits in front of a television set watching footage reminiscent of fire fighters raising a flag in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
He then flips down the clear shield on his helmet, and the camera shows him whipping out a club – just as the protestors jump the barricade.
The words “This We’ll Defend” flash on the screen.
GOD BLESS AMERICA! pic.twitter.com/VklXvWggKJ
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 11, 2019
The video is looped, repeating until the user stops it.
NBC News’ Ben Collins explains the video is “a ‘banned from the Super Bowl’ ad that skirted the rules and got conservative media attention.”
This is not the start of a dystopian David Fincher movie about a cop who lost his mind (good guess!).
It’s a “banned from the Super Bowl” ad that skirted the rules and got conservative media attention. He cut off the logo of the t-shirt company at the endhttps://t.co/gjWNfKYcvF
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) September 11, 2019
Response to the disturbing clip was astonishment, confusion, anger, and outrage – and with many decrying it as clear fascism.
Take a look:
This video from Rudy honors the Republican tradition of using the memory of 9/11 to attack people who had absolutely nothing to do with it, and it’s incredibly fascist to boot. https://t.co/mgTxpLPgLT
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 11, 2019
Rudy Giuliani was always a fascist. Now he’s just more comfortable being open about it. https://t.co/NdfJGLqTOv
— דער ייִדישר אַרבּעטער (@JewishWorker) September 11, 2019
Rudy Giuliani was never more popular than the 3 months after 9/11/01. It was because he displayed empathy, compassion, and stoicism — not this deranged police state fever dream. https://t.co/zvY5EK1FAd
— Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) September 11, 2019
Wtf, Giuliani? On 9/11.
The theme moving forward — we’ll defend our minority rule, via all means necessary.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) September 11, 2019
Rudy’s been an out-fascist for a long, long time https://t.co/ZEg4AzL4OE
— Jason (@longwall26) September 11, 2019
Once upon a time, Rudy Giuliani was an attorney who understood the First Amendment. https://t.co/mgnjSbuwVo
— Bad Fox Graphics (@BadFoxGraphics) September 11, 2019
Well… Rudy is certainly on brand
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 11, 2019
welp it’s just Mayor 9/11 celebrating fascism on 9/11 day https://t.co/hkxrqSM7io
— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) September 11, 2019
nothing says “i remember 9/11 and respect the freedoms that were attacked” more than a video comparing social justice protesters to terrorists https://t.co/VFcyxhlzZu
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 11, 2019
not sure what’s more risible here: Giuliani’s slobbering fascism, or the fact that he has to use an unattributed commercial for a shitty clothing brand to do it https://t.co/qL4s76t63T
— Patrick Blanchfield (@PatBlanchfield) September 11, 2019
This is an ad for fascism, holy shit. I think Giuliani sucks, I’ve been worried about the right’s nationalism, etc, but I’m still floored at how explicitly pro-fascist this is. These protesters are protesting fascism, it’s on their sign, & this cop is gonna maul them for it. Wtf! https://t.co/wmi7ig5B8x
— Regular UltraDavid (@ultradavid) September 11, 2019
I’m sorry but this is deranged https://t.co/hgz4SjU4QS
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) September 11, 2019
Gaslighting America on 9/11? Now this is DEPLORABLE https://t.co/y9OlhEZRpS
— Cass OMalley 🏳️🌈 (@CassOMalley1) September 11, 2019
9-11 First Responders died so police could quash protest and deport immigrant families?
Rudy was a terrible mayor but he will be remembered mostly for being a pathetic Trump flack https://t.co/A0fqk5G9We
— Nathan Newman 🧭 (@nathansnewman) September 11, 2019
Holy fuck Rudy.
1. You just reminded everyone how you used the police against the Black community while you were NYC mayor…
2. …how you had to be hauled into court 20+ times over free speech violations.
3. If this is what’s on your “mind” on 9/11, you’re the problem. https://t.co/VHMPFNsJut
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) September 11, 2019
Because the true message of 9/11 is that we need riot police to beat up some protestors https://t.co/GJdQepBNxt
— 🕷Dante Atkins🕷 (@DanteAtkins) September 11, 2019
Conservative Operatives Allied With the Trump White House Are Acquiring ‘Dirt’ on Journalists and Their Families
President Donald Trump’s war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump’s allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they “aggressively investigated” him.
The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.
“If the @nytimes thinks this settles the matter we can expose a few of their other bigots,” Schwartz tweeted, responding to an apology from a Times reporter who tweeted something anti-Semitic long ago. “Lots more where this came from.”
Those familiar with the operation explained that there are decades worth of public posts these conservative operatives have gathered to go on the attack as the 2020 election goes into full force.
“It is not possible to independently assess the claims about the quantity or potential significance of the material the pro-Trump network has assembled. Some involved in the operation have histories of bluster and exaggeration. And those willing to describe its techniques and goals may be trying to intimidate journalists or their employers,” The Times explained.
This isn’t the first time the public is hearing about a war between conservatives and specific journalists. CNN reported in 2016 that Fox News had built a dossier on a reporter who was writing a book at Roger Ailes.
In leaked documents acquired by NBC 7 San Diego, a secret database was revealed showing Trump’s government is watching at least ten journalists and immigration advocates. The advocates had ties to groups like Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras, neither of which are extremist groups.
According to The Times, the information published so far has removed all of the contexts and presenting the comments in a misleading way. The goal is to harm the targets professionally.
Trump Chillingly Tells Students’ Group the Constitution Gives Him ‘The Right to Do Whatever I Want as President’
Maybe the students attending Turning Point USA’s Teen Action Summit weren’t paying attention in whatever civics or history classes they recently took, but President Donald Trump on Tuesday went unchallenged when he told attendees the U.S. Constitution gives him unlimited power.
“Then I have an Article Two, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said.
Article Two, which defines the executive branch, including outlining impeachment, does not in any manner suggest the President has unlimited powers or the right to do whatever he wants.
Here’s President Trump making this chilling and fascistic claim in Washington, D.C. earlier today:
TRUMP: “Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
(Article 2 does not in fact empower the president to do whatever they want.) pic.twitter.com/qIFP1AbHw6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 23, 2019
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