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GOP Senator With Anti-LGBT Record Has Gay Democratic Challenger – Who Could Be the First Out Gay Man in the Senate

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U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has no problem pretending to be pro-LGBT when he’s at a fundraiser hosted by a conservative LGBT organization, but he can’t hide his record from voters or from his challenger, a gay Democrat.

Dan Baer, a former U.S. Ambassador under President Barack Obama, announced in April he is running for the U.S. Senate, hoping to win the Democratic nomination and the Senate seat currently held by Gardner. As The Advocate reports, Baer “just received the endorsement of the LGBTQ Victory Fund,” which works to help elect out LGBTQ candidates.

Baer, if elected, would be the first openly gay man to serve in the U.S. Senate. Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is a lesbian, was the first out LGBT person elected to serve in the Senate.

As the Colorado Times Recorder reported in May, Sen. Gardner “was one of three swing-state Republican senators to receive money from a fundraiser hosted by American Unity Fund (AUF), a conservative LGBT rights group.”

Here he is posing with “AUF supporter Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers,” who “posted a picture of Gardner and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) posing with Timmons and his husband at the event.”

Senator Gardner’s anti-LGBT history is well-known. He has been rated extremely low (12% and 16%) by HRC.

Gardner has a troubling relationship with marriage equality. He has stated very publicly his opposition, but in his tough race against Democrat Mark Udall, the incumbent, Gardner massaged his position, saying it was a matter for the courts.

In June of 2014 HRC called Gardner’s views on equality “incredibly antiquated,” noting he “voted against allowing unmarried same-sex partners to adopt children and to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.” Gardner, HRC said, “is determined to discriminate against and exclude LGBT people.”

Later that year, less than one month before he would be elected to the U.S. Senate, Gardner “issued a statement … that he isn’t budging from his position that marriage should only be between a man and a woman but also emphasizing his respect for the law and for all couples,” Colorado’s Fox 31 reported.

“My views on marriage have long been clear,” Gardner told the Denver-based station. “I believe we must treat each other with dignity and respect. This issue is in the hands of the courts and we must honor their legal decisions.”

His press secretary in that same article is quoted saying Gardener is “a strong supporter of marriage equality.”

Marriage equality seems to be a marriage of convenience for Sen. Gardner.

Image via Facebook

 

This article has been updated to correctly identify former U.S. Senator Mark Udall.

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Kobe Bryant Dead in Helicopter Accident: TMZ

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Basketball great Kobe Bryant has died in a tragic helicopter accident, along with everyone on board, TMZ was first to report. The 41-year old NBA star played with the LA Lakers for two decades. He retired in 2016.

“Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down,” TMZ adds. “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.”

The LA County Sheriff’s Office posted this tweet, but did not include Bryant’s name.

In 2013 after his own missteps Bryant stepped up to correct a fan for using the word “gay” as a slur. Nearly seven years ago, it was a big moment for awareness and for the LGBTQ community.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Image via Wikimedia

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The Saudi Crown Prince Tried to Have a Comedian and Critic Kidnapped on US Soil — but the FBI Stopped It: Report

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In an exclusive interview with the Daily Beast, 27-year-old comedian and former USD student Abdulrahman Almutairi revealed that he was nearly kidnapped by a suspected agent of the Saudi government and it happened on American soil.

Almutairi, who has a huge social media following, has been an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. While the Saudi leader may have the power to take out critics in other countries, in the United States it’s not an acceptable form of legal action.

“After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources,” reported the Beast.

Almutairi said that he’s certain if he ever returns to Saudi Arabia that he’ll be killed in the airport.

It was also revealed this week that MBS’s cell phone number was responsible for hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s cell phone.

“There is a pattern of the Saudi authorities, particularly over the last two years, targeting individuals—high profile people with a big Saudi audience, either because they’re critical of MBS or the government or not just for what they say but what they don’t say, if they’re insufficiently supportive,” said Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

Read the full report at the Daily Beast.

 

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‘So We Don’t Have to Fight Russia Over Here’: Schiff Delivers Powerful Statement to Senators in Trump Impeachment Trial

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House Intelligence Chair and Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff delivered powerful remarks to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, summing up why what President Donald Trump did – extorting Ukraine – was so damaging to both Ukraine and the U.S.

Schiff reminded the Senators who will decide the fate of the nation’s chief executive that 15,000 Ukrainians have already died fighting Russia. That was after Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea.

And he reminded the Senators that President Trump withheld nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine, despite the nation’s fight against Russia.

That military aid helps “to protect and advance American national security interests in the region and beyond.

Quoting a House impeachment inquiry witness, Schiff said: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

Watch:

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