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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘We Will Stand for the Freedom of Religion’: Pence Brags Trump to Allow Adoption Agencies ‘Right’ to Ban LGBTQ Parents

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Vice President Mike Pence this week attended a federal government event during which he bragged about the Trump administration’s latest attack on LGBTQ people. The vice president (video below) heralded a fast-tracked proposed policy from the Dept. of Health and Human Services that would reverse an Obama-era rule barring discrimination by adoption and foster care agencies against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples.

The proposed rollback of that rule is expected to go into effect in just a few weeks, granting government protection to religious, faith-based, or any other adoption organization that wishes to claim a moral opposition to LGBTQ people from facing a loss of federal funding.

“We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption,” Vice President Pence told supporters at an HHS event Tuesday, as he pounded his fists on the podium, to cheers.

“I couldn’t be more proud that at President Trump’s direction and with the strong support of leaders across foster care, adoption, and our faith communities, we’ve taken decisive action,” Pence bragged.

That “decisive action” literally reduces the pool of prospective parents for large numbers of children who don’t have parents or homes.

“More than 100,000 foster children are awaiting adoption, according to government data, but a constellation of religious agencies refuse to consider same-sex parents when placing these children,” NBC News reports. “Shortly before the end of his second term, President Barack Obama changed nondiscrimination rules governing adoption agencies to expand the definition of groups protected against discrimination to include LGBTQ people. Trump’s proposed rule change will undo that.”

In fact, same-sex couples have far higher rates of adopting and fostering children than their different-sex couple peers.

A 2018 report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that 1 in 5 of the estimated 114,000 same-sex couples raising children in the United States are raising adopted or foster children — significantly higher than the 3 percent of heterosexual couples doing so.”

The latest discriminatory HHS rule Vice President Pence bragged about comes from Roger Severino, HHS’s Director of the Office of Civil Rights. Severino is known as a “radical” anti-LGBTQ religious right activist who previously served as CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a religious right non-profit that opposes separation of church and state. He also once served as the Director of the DeVos family’s Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.

Watch Vice President Pence (video may be slow to load):

RELATED STORIES:

Texas Teams Up With Far Right Religious Law Firm to Sue for ‘Right’ to Use Foster Agencies That Discriminate Against Gays

Federally-Funded Catholic Adoption Agency Blocks Same-Sex Couple From Fostering Migrant Children, Because Jesus

HHS Being Sued Over Policy Giving Special Religious Rights to Healthcare Professionals Over LGBT People and Women

 

Hat tip: Towleroad
Video via Washington Blade/Facebook

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump Guts Protections for LGBTQ Workers and Expands Religious Orgs’ Ability to Discriminate in Final Weeks

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As time speeds to the end of the Donald Trump presidency the administration is moving fast to expand the ability of faith-based institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has just finalized a rule gutting protections for LGBTQ people who work for federal contractors, including allowing religious institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people, as The Washington Blade reports.

President Barack Obama codified the protections via a set of executive orders in 2014.

The Dept. of Labor is headed by Eugene Scalia (photo), who has a long record of attacking the civil rights of American workers. He is the son of the infamously anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

“It is hard to overstate the harm that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is visiting on LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others with the sledgehammer it is taking to federal nondiscrimination protections,” Lambda Legal Director of Law and Policy Jennifer Pizer said in a statement. “For nearly 80 years, it has been a core American principle that seeking and receiving federal tax dollars to do work for the American people means promising not to discriminate against one’s own workers with those funds.  This new rule uses religion to create an essentially limitless exemption allowing taxpayer-funded contractors to impose their religious beliefs on their employees without regard to the resulting harms, such as unfair job terms, invasive proselytizing and other harassment that make job settings unbearable for workers targeted on religious grounds.”

Nearly 4 million American workers are employed by federal contractors.

“Within its final weeks, the Trump-Pence administration has chosen to prioritize gutting existing protections for LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David also said in a statement. “This lame-duck action by the administration is blatantly offensive, unnecessary and simply unacceptable. Since taking office, the administration has worked around the clock to dehumanize and demean LGBTQ people all while misrepresenting the law to justify creating a license to discriminate against people including  on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘I’m Doing the Right Thing for God’: Jenna Ellis Says Jesus Christ Wants Her to Overturn the Election

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Jenna Ellis, an attorney for President Donald Trump, on Monday explained that she had religious reasons for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

During an interview on Fox Business, Ellis was asked how she maintains a positive attitude amid setbacks in court and Rudy Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

“You know, my life is in service and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ellis said. “And so whatever anybody else says really doesn’t bother me. I hope that I can be a light and inspiration to everyone else that no matter what anyone else says about you, it’s all about just who you are as a person and made in the image of God and in Christ.”

“And that’s ultimately at the end of the day, as long as I know that I’m pursuing truth and I’m doing the right thing for God and my country, that’s all that matters,” she added. “So that’s what gives me my optimism and my hope.”

Watch the video below from Fox Business.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Believe in Divine Immunity’: Trump-Supporting Megachurch Pastor Tells Congregation Not to Take COVID Vaccine

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Guillermo Maldonado, the Florida megachurch pastor and self-declared apostle who hosted President Donald Trump at an election rally earlier this year, told his congregation not to take the soon-to-be available vaccine for the COVID-19 virus because it is part of a plan to prepare people to accept the biblical Mark of the Beast.

Maldonado, who mocked members of his own congregation for staying away from church in the early days of the pandemic, used his Sunday sermon to warn that the COVID-19 vaccine will “alter your DNA” as globalists set about “preparing the structure for the Antichrist.”

“People, I want you to look at me,” Maldonado said, as he frequently switched between speaking English and Spanish. “That is exactly what is happening with COVID-19. They’re preparing the structure for the Antichrist. How? The vaccine. They’re gonna demand for you to have the vaccine in your passport, otherwise you will not be able to travel. Because they are preparing the way.”

“The vaccines, they are made to alter your DNA,” he continued. “They are made to track you down. Do not [take] the vaccine. Believe in the blood of Jesus. Believe in divine immunity.”

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission

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