Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson Friday afternoon signed into law a bill designed to give medical professionals, hospitals, insurance companies, and other medical providers – including students – legal protections to discriminate against LGBTQ patients while claiming they have a religious or moral right of “conscience” to do so. SB 289, the “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act,” is a sweeping law that could have devastating implications on the health and well-being of every LGBTQ person in the state.
SB 289 is sponsored by Republican state Senator Kim Hammer, a Missionary Baptist preacher and hospice pastor who earlier this year declared war on Democrats after then-President Donald Trump had been impeached.
As NCRM reported earlier, when Hutchinson’s “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act” goes into effect this summer a physician could refuse to treat a transgender person, a mental health professional could end treatment with a young teenager who just revealed to them he is gay, a pharmacist could refuse to dispense contraceptive medication even if prescribed for non-pregnancy-related illnesses, and a student nurse could refuse to assist with an abortion, even if it were medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
But that’s not all. The new law is so broad that it allows hospitals and even insurance companies to refuse service for – including refusing to pay for – anything their polices claim violates their conscience. Catholic hospitals for decades have been refusing to allow abortions to be performed, but now an insurance company could refuse to pay for HIV medications, or even PrEP. They could refuse to pay for gender confirmation surgery.
NEW: Gov. @AsaHutchinson has signed SB289 into law. The Medical Ethics & Diversity Act. Opponents argued it would allow health care providers to deny treatment to members of the LGBTQ based on religious beliefs. #arnews #arpx @KATVNews pic.twitter.com/piUoE10qAd
— Marine Glisovic KATV (@KATVMarine) March 26, 2021
Gov. Hutchinson signed the possibly unconstitutional legislation less than a day after signing another anti-LGBTQ bill into law, one that bans transgender girls and women from playing women’s sports.
Hutchinson, who is possibly considering a 2024 presidential run, is term limited and will be out of office after the 2022 election.
Last week the governor signed into law an anti-abortion bill he fully admits was designed to go to the Supreme Court in a far right wing effort to kill Roe v. Wade,
Hutchinson back in 2015 signed into law an anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” law he himself had called “divisive,” after having a small portion of the language changed. That same year Gov. Hutchinson allowed a bill prohibiting towns from enacting non-discrimination ordinances to become law.
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Jan. 6 Rally Attending Lawmaker Wants ‘One Nation Under God’ Decals Put on School Buses to Root Out ‘Communists’
More than a week before incoming Glenn Youngkin is sworn in as governor of Virginia, a Republican lawmaker who attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot has introduced a bill to put God on school buses.
Delegate Marie March has introduced House Bill 113, which “permits local school boards, notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, to display on the sides and rear of public school buses decals containing the motto ‘In God We Trust’ or the phrase ‘One Nation Under God,’ provided that no such decal obstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus.”
March made waves in southwest Virginia after traveling to Jan. 6 for Trump’s rally seeking to overturn the 2020 election.
“At least two local restaurant owners are facing backlash for attending President Trump’s rally in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday,” WSLS-TV reported one year ago today. “A Christiansburg business owner is also taking heat. Marie March owns Fatback Soul Shack and Due South. She also attended the rally.”
March addressed her attendance in a statement issued to The Daily Beast, claiming she left before Trump’s speech ended.
“I apologize for nothing, I regret nothing,” March said.
March has said her school bus bill will expose communists.
“If there are communists in the House of Delegates, let’s figure out who they are,” March said.
Watch: MAGA Congressional Candidate Calls for All Laws ‘Contrary to God’s Word’ to Be Overturned
Mark Burns, a MAGA pastor who is running for Congress in South Carolina, is an unabashed Christian nationalist who openly declares that “any policy that is contrary to the word of God” needs to be made illegal.
MAGA pastor Mark Burns, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, says that “this is a Christian nation and any policy that is contrary to the word of God, we need to remove it from mainstream America and make it illegal.” pic.twitter.com/4j8oxoavhg
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 18, 2021
Burns appeared on the Real America’s Voice program “The Water Cooler” Monday, where he proclaimed that “the gospel of Jesus Christ should be [at] the center of American politics.” When asked by host David Brody what he meant by that, Burns declared that “any law that is against the word of God” must be overturned.
“Laws that are contrary to God’s word that are actively legal or laws today need to be overturned,” Burns said. “Any law that is against the word of God, that is clearly against what God has said in his word—in a nation that is a Christian nation, a nation that has the majority of citizens who actively believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that he is coming back again with omnipotent power in his hands—if it’s against the word of God and it’s actively a law today, then it should be overturned. We should have a moral compass, and right now in America, we’re losing that moral compass. The liberal left is slowly [chipping] away.”
Burns was a proponent of the movement to keep former President Donald Trump in power. He has made numerous calls for war, including on the eve of the Capitol insurrection when he riled up Trump loyalists at a Stop the Steal rally by telling them, “We’re ready to do war!”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is published here by permission.
Watch: Far Right Anti-Vaxx Pastor Just Can’t Understand Why There Are No ‘Big Democrats’ Who Have Died From COVID
Far right wing pastor Kent Christmas, famous for his anti-LGBTQ remarks, is now seemingly embracing a conspiracy theory, telling parishioners no “big Democrats” have died from COVID and asking them, “Doesn’t that make you wonder?”
Christmas is a pro-Trump anti-vaxxer who back in August claimed Christians should not get vaccinated because “the law of God supersedes the law of men.”
Now he’s saying no “big Democrats” or billionaires have died of the coronavirus, and he’s correct – but for reasons that appear to escape him.
“I can’t think of one big Democrat that’s died from the Coronavirus,” he says in video posted by Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta. “I can’t think of one billionaire that’s died of Coronavirus. Bill Gates is fine. George Soros is fine,” he adds, as an parishioner can be heard saying, “You’re right.”
“Biden’s fine. He’s 80 years old and half dead anyway,” the pastor added, to laughter and applause. “Rupert Murdoch’s fine. The CEOs of Vanguard and Berkshire Hathaway and State City and Mark Zuckerberg – they’re just fine.”
“Doesn’t that make you wonder?” he asks, as audience members agree.
Christmas has claimed gay people die by suicide at a high rate because they feel guilty about being gay, and blamed a “demonic spirit that comes after our seed” for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.
Here he is not comprehending the power of COVID vaccines:
“I can’t think of one big Democrat that’s died from the coronavirus…”
Pastor Kent Christmas is so close to figuring it out.
Instead, he’s going with a conspiracy theory. pic.twitter.com/hWe3bYxT78
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) December 2, 2021
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