Franklin Graham is waging war against the Equality Act, legislation that would merely extend the already-existing Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include LGBT people in areas such as housing, credit, education, and public accommodations.
Graham went on an insane diatribe in the July/August edition of his Decision Magazine, calling the fight against equality “A Battle for the Soul of the Nation.”
According to Graham, were the Equality Act, which passed the House in May and is languishing in the Senate, ever to become law, it would be, he warns, “a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.”
Think about that.
He is literally warning his constituency that merely treating LGBTQ people with the same respect that white Christian heterosexual men are granted as a birthright would be a “nightmare,” and have “catastrophic consequences.”
This legislation will have catastrophic consequences for competitive sports, along with churches and faith-based nonprofits who would lose all protections to hire people who adhere to their Biblical statements of faith. Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before. The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered “hate speech.” It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.
That is, of course, all false.
Graham, of course, knows that the Equality Act has no chance of even coming to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote, as long as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is in charge. And he knows President Donald Trump will never, ever sign it should it by some miracle reach his desk.
So what’s Graham’s real agenda? Why the feverish fear-mongering?
He shows his hand, saying: “If the Senate majority changes or if enough Republican senators change their position, it would be up to the president to veto the bill. And if that office were to change hands in 2020, I have little doubt this would become the law of the land.”
As with many things Graham does, he is using his tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit status to campaign-while-not-campaigning for the President and the Republican Party.
Graham frames his argument by pointing to the very genuine support given to LGBTQ Americans and the very American actions exhibited by the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
Calling it “immoral behavior clearly condemned by Scripture,” Graham complained that “New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand served drinks at a gay bar; Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke sported a rainbow sweatband; and gay South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg talked openly about his coming out,” during Pride month.
Imagine, a straight woman serving drinks at (horrors!) a gay bar, a straight man showing support for LGBTQ people, and a gay man talking – “openly” – about his journey of self discovery.
These acts, Graham writes, reveal “the deepening depravity that now vexes our country.”
Graham sees these actions, along with the House passage of the Equality Act and the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell marriage decision, as a sign “that same moral and spiritual framework, which has held our nation together for 243 years, is now unraveling so quickly that I fear for the future of our children and grandchildren.”
How sad that a 67-year old man of faith has so little faith in the American people he claims to serve, and in our Founding Fathers he claims to revere.
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‘Find a Spine’: State Farm Criticized After Celebrating Pride Then Dropping Program Supporting LGBTQ Books in Schools
Over the past year, insurance giant State Farm has posted ten tweets supporting LGBTQ people, programs, and organizations, as recently as last week:
When we talk about mental health, we take away the stigma. For #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, learn about challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth in the new 2022 national survey on LGBTQ+ youth mental health from @TrevorProject: https://t.co/KQ74fWPDvx
— State Farm (@StateFarm) May 19, 2022
The $79 billion company will turn 100 years old next month, which coincidentally is LGBTQ Pride Month. It has made strong statements in support of LGBTQ equality and diversity. Just last June they tweeted: “We believe no one should be afraid to celebrate who they are. Let’s support our LGBTQ+ neighbors and show our Pride together!” They even tagged the tweet with their own corporate branding, using #GoodNeighbor and #PrideMonth hastags.
— State Farm (@StateFarm) June 8, 2021
So many were left stunned when the Illinois-based corporation’s chief diversity officer sent an email to employees and agents, as The Daily Beast reports, stating it was dropping its “support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool,” saying it “has been the subject of news and customer inquiries.”
The program helps put LGBTQ-inclusive books into libraries and schools.
“This program that included books about gender identity was intended to promote inclusivity,” Victor Terry continued. “We will no longer support that program.”
And in an apparent bowing down to rising far right-wing extremism and anti-LGBTQ hate, the diversity expert declared, “conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents.”
The right-wing outlet Washington Examiner on Monday, as part of a series titled “Restoring America” published a report on State Farm’s support of LGBTQ students: “Backlash prompts State Farm to end program donating trans books to schools.” That article was a follow-up to one the very same day titled, “State Farm donating transgender books for 5-year-olds to schools in Florida.”
Here’s what those two pieces look like:
Outrage over State Farm’s “180” was immediate.
Well-known LGBTQ Activist and writer Charlotte Clymer explained via her Substack platform:
Last night, State Farm, the insurance company, gave up on LGBTQ rights after being pressured by hateful extremists.
So much for being a good neighbor. I wrote about it here.https://t.co/m5VD6Nu2qA
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️⚧️🇺🇦 (@cmclymer) May 24, 2022
Parker Molloy, also a well-known LGBTQ activist and writer, blasted State Farm.
Since the company is so clearly and easily moved by public backlash, State Farm customers should call their agent and cancel their policies.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) May 24, 2022
She adds: “One of the reasons this is getting to me so much has to do with the fact that my dad (who is great and accepting, etc.) is a State Farm agent. That company has been a part of my life for as long as I’ve been alive.”
Bobby Lewis, who writes for Media Matters, tweeted, “something as anodyne as a fucking insurance company buying kids books turned into another fascist outrage campaign, and the corporate cowards caved in a second. it’s pathetic.”
He wasn’t finished, adding: “corporate pride is all window dressing that will never save anyone, but goddamn find a spine you sniveling cowards.”
Veteran journalist Michelangelo Signorile, host of the SiriusXM Progress’ “Signorile Show” and writer of The Signorile Report newsletter calls State Farm’s actions “grotesque as LGBTQ rights are backsliding across the country. Now companies joining Ron DeSantis, MAGA and the ‘don’t say gay’ purge.”
i’ll be canceling the State Farm insurance, switching to another company. You should too.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) May 24, 2022
— Colleen •WearAMask• Barry 🇺🇦🌻 (@Cbeary1608) May 24, 2022
.@StateFarm is a horrible neighbor to LGBTQ families.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) May 24, 2022
Like your bigoted, racist neighbor, State Farm is there. https://t.co/KbHbFGH6yX
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) May 24, 2022
So @StateFarm = cowards. Teaching kids about different identities is suicide prevention. Comprehensive sex education prevents *actual* grooming. Don’t listen to right-wing pundits and bitter transphobes. State Farm should double down, not back off. GenderCool does important work.
— Finley Daniels ☭🇵🇸 (he/him) (@FinleyDaniels1) May 24, 2022
State Farm is caving to the bigots and bullies and helping them erase LGBTQ children.https://t.co/pzZXZ8oqAE
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) May 24, 2022
There is no greater cowardice than giving into hate out of financial convenience.
When you appease homophobes, you empower homophobia and put LGBTQ families at risk. https://t.co/Nfcm5gZv1v
— Melanie D’Arrigo for NY03 (@DarrigoMelanie) May 24, 2022
— Erica French Csapo (@EricaCsapo) May 24, 2022
‘Sordid, Corrupt, Lawless’: Experts Call New Ginni Thomas Revelations ‘Breathtaking’ and Ask ‘What Did Her Husband Know?’
The latest revelations about the actions of Ginni Thomas, the far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice who had unprecedented access to the Trump White House are leading experts to demand Clarence Thomas’ recusal while calling the combination of their actions “breathtaking corruption,” and noting the Justice’s extraordinary hypocrisy.
Later Friday morning The Washington Post reported that Ginni Thomas pressed two Arizona lawmakers to overturn the will of Arizona’s voters in the 2020 presidential election by choosing a “clean” slate of electors, representing Donald Trump and not Joe Biden. The Post notes Thomas did not mention any candidate by name but reports “the context was clear.”
“Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” an email bearing Ginni Thomas’ name, sent to the Arizona lawmakers, reads.
It included a link to a video of a man delivering a message meant for swing-state lawmakers, urging them to “put things right” and “not give in to cowardice.”
“You have only hours to act,” said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.
Thomas also pressed Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work to overturn the election, as has been widely reported.
Her efforts, combined with Justice Thomas’ actions on the Supreme Court, amount to “breathtaking corruption,” writes Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern.
“The conflict of interest between Ginni and Clarence Thomas has never been greater. While Clarence was applying the ‘independent state legislature doctrine’ from the bench, Ginni was using the exact same theory to try to overturn the 2020 election. Just breathtaking corruption,” Stern says.
Clarence Thomas’ continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics. He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump. It is sordid, corrupt, and lawless in the extreme.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 20, 2022
To be clear, I put “independent state legislature doctrine” in quotes because it’s a baseless theory that shouldn’t be taken seriously. It is precisely what Ginni Thomas describes in that email, though she didn’t use the academic name for it. Read more: https://t.co/6Hwvb1Q6ES
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 20, 2022
Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor, issued a strong warning:
“Either Justice Thomas recuses in every case that comes to the Court where his wife is heavily involved in the action or the public’s confidence in the Court will be damaged beyond repair.”
Reuters reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court, Lawrence Hurley:
“I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them,” Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni’s husband, said last week https://t.co/MQNH8YDupn
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) May 20, 2022
Former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder, who is president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says it is “outrageous” Justice Thomas has refused to recuse:
“New evidence that Ginni Thomas’s participation in efforts to overturn the 2020 election was even greater than we knew; in this case pressure on AZ legislators to overturn that state’s vote. Makes it even more outrageous that Justice Thomas did not recuse.”
“Wow!” exclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona legislators to overturn Biden’s win and choose a ‘clean slate of electors.’ In other words, she supported a coup to overthrow an elected president. What did her husband know?”
Economist and frequent political commentator David Rothschild observes, “Ginni Thomas was conspiring with high ranking Republicans to overturn [the] republic, and her husband was either privy to or actively involved in this conspiracy before using his position to coverup his wife’s role.”
Former SDNY Asst. U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli sums up:
“clean slate of Electors” = sedition
Ginni Thomas = psycho https://t.co/UGygIBpaPu
— Richard Signorelli (@richsignorelli) May 20, 2022
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
‘Y’all Don’t Give a Damn’: 192 ‘Heartless’ Republicans Just Voted Against a Bill to Help Ease the Baby Formula Shortage
Republicans just voted against two bills to ease the baby formula shortage they have spent weeks falsely trying to pin on President Joe Biden.
In tweets and in floor speeches, Republicans have been attacking President Biden for the nationwide baby formula shortage caused by one manufacturer’s recall and closure of its plant for bacterial infection after two infants died. The shortage has been exacerbated by a trade agreement signed by then-President Donald Trump that makes it extremely difficult and expensive to import formula from other countries, and the fact that 90 percent of baby formula in the U.S. is manufactured by just four companies. Also, hoarding, and price-gouging.
Last week President Biden sat down with manufacturers and retailers to map out a plan to get more formula onto store shelves immediately and directed the Food and Drug Administration to help get the plant reopened. This week he went two steps further: he invoked the Defense Production Act to force manufacturers to produce more formula and produce it ahead of other products and created a program to use federal planes to import baby formula from other countries.
House Democrats last week also opened an investigation into the baby formula shortage.
On Wednesday the House voted on two emergency bills to further ease the shortage.
One example of Republicans falsely attacking President Biden and the left is House GOP Caucus chair Elise Stefanik‘s now-infamous tweet accusing Democrats of having “no plan” as she labeled them “pedo grifters.”
The White House, House Dems, & usual pedo grifters are so out of touch with the American people that rather than present ANY PLAN or urgency to address the nationwide baby formula crisis, they double down on sending pallets of formula to the southern border. Joe Biden has NO PLAN
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 13, 2022
One bill would give FDA $28 million to add staff, work to help get more formula to consumers, and create a long-term strategy, including increased safety inspections so this cannot happen again. The second would dramatically increase supply from foreign sources to consumers using the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.
192 House Republicans voted against giving FDA $28 million to help fix the crisis and ensure it does not happen again.
Nine House Republicans voted against making it easier for WIC customers to get access to baby formula.
Many Americans are becoming outraged as the news from last night’s votes is spreading online.
How heartless do you have to be to vote against this pic.twitter.com/uf8kk3vp5S
— Aki Peritz (@AkiPeritz) May 19, 2022
Today’s GOP are Monsters! GOP wants to FORCE women to have children but 192 Republicans voted against federal funding for baby formula. They literally don’t care if babies die after birth from starvation as long as they control women by imposing their “religious beliefs” as law.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) May 19, 2022
Thomas Massie just voted against funding baby formula. https://t.co/8wQ1w7wYR1
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 19, 2022
Imagine being so “pro-life” that you are willing to vote against baby formula …
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) May 19, 2022
Why would anyone vote against a bill to ensure families can buy Baby formula?
Here’s the list of 9 members of Congress (all Republicans)who voted NO:
Marjorie Taylor Greene
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) May 19, 2022
TODAY 192 House Republicans voted AGAINST funding to address the manufacturing shortage of baby formula.
— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@harrisonjaime) May 19, 2022
There were two seperate bills voted on in the House today to help ease the baby formula shortage.
Thomas Massie voted against both of them. https://t.co/YsU4eBZIhe
— What Biden Has Done 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 (@What46HasDone) May 19, 2022
When 192 Republicans vote against funding to fix the baby formula shortage, they are telling you they don’t care about the health of babies or actual governance. But you already knew that if you’ve been paying attention.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) May 19, 2022
Thomas Massie is the guy whose Christmas card was him with his wife and kids posing with guns in front of their Christmas tree. A week after posting this angry tweet, Massie voted against funding to address the baby formula shortage. Stop calling these folks pro-life. https://t.co/IWQ4qr73WO
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) May 19, 2022
192 Republicans voted against $28 million for baby formula. Their faux outrage was always just opportunistic performance to stir up the base ! pic.twitter.com/Y9qq6ME8bH
— Truth Seeker 🕵️♂️ (@WSSMomma) May 19, 2022
Wow. After Republicans spent every waking hour over the last week blaming Biden for no baby formula, only 12 Republicans voted YES on $28M for baby formula.
192 Republicans voted NO.😳
Making babies starve is apparently “pro life” now. Horrific. pic.twitter.com/atR6kX1g8U
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) May 19, 2022
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