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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Sweeping Legislation Allowing LGBTQ Patients to Be Refused Healthcare Services Over ‘Conscience’ on Governor’s Desk

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Sitting on Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson‘s desk is legislation that, if signed into law, would allow a vast array of healthcare workers including doctors and pharmacists, hospitals, and even students to deny service to LGBTQ people or anyone else for any reason, including religious or moral, if doing so would violate their conscience.

SB 289, the “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act,” 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.

Should it become law, 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 legislation 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.

The wrongly-named legislation – it has nothing to do with supporting ethics or diversity – has the support of an anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Arkansas Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill, saying if it becomes law “we position ourselves as being not open and welcoming like we’ve portrayed ourselves to be,” the AP reports.

“Driving out doctors, nurses, and other medical providers because of their faith means fewer health care options for patients at a time when our nation’s health care system is overstretched and experiencing a dire shortage of providers,” ADF attorney Stephanie Nichols said, The Advocate reports.

The legislation offers only one narrow exception: during a hospital emergency or birth.

If Governor Hutchinson “takes no action within five days from receiving the bill, it becomes law without his signature. If he vetoes it, a simple majority of legislators can override the veto,” The Advocate adds. The bill’s final passage was Thursday, making Tuesday, March 23 the fifth day. Hutchinson has not indicated if he will sign it or not.

UPDATE: 03.24.21 –
Apparently things move slowly in the Arkansas legislature. Despite the bill being passed by the Senate two weeks ago and the House last Thursday, the “paperwork” was delivered to the governor’s desk only today, Wednesday, a week after passage.

 

This article has been updated to include the new date the bill was delivered to the governor, and to add “hospital emergency” to the exceptions list.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Federal Judge Hands Down First Sentence of 1/6 Insurrectionists: Florida Man Gets 8 Months in Prison

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The first person to be convicted in a January 6 insurrection case has just be sentenced to eight months in prison, far less than the 18 months federal prosecutors had requested. The judge told him he inflicted “a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”

Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. He could have been sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.

Hodgkins “was seen carrying a large red ‘Trump 2020′ flag on the floor of the U.S. Senate during the Capitol riot,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports.

“Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss of Washington, D.C. told Hodgkins.

“The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification,” Judge Moss said. “It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”

Mona Sedky, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the judge Hodgkins’ goal in entering the Capitol “was to disturb the election process and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”

While in the U.S. Senate on January 6, in addition to carrying around a Trump 2020 flag Hodgkins took a selfie with the “QAnon shaman.”

The criminal complaint against Hodgkins includes this “selfie.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Let Me Finish’: Psaki Smacks Down Doocy for ‘Loaded and Inaccurate’ False Claim of Admin ‘Spying’ on Facebook Pages

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to take a far more assertive tone after Fox News propagandist and conspiracy theorist Peter Doocy accused the Biden administration of “spying” on millions of American’s Facebook pages.

The White House this week announced that just 12 people are responsible for 65% of all the false and misleading coronavirus disinformation. The number came from a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, not from any efforts by the administration to “spy” on Americans.

“For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?” Doocy asked.

“Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute,” Psaki responded. “Well Peter first of all, as you know, we’re, we’re in a regular touch with, with a range of media outlets, as well as – let me finish,” she was forced to add after he repeatedly tried to talk over her.

“As we are, as we are in regular touch with social media platforms,” Psaki continued. “This is publicly open information people sharing information online, just as you are all reporting information on your news stations.”

Watch:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Pence and Pompeo Speaking at Far Christian Right Conference to Promote Possible Presidential Candidacies

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Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, two of the most far right Christian conservatives in the former Trump administration are pursuing possible 2024 GOP presidential runs by appearing at some of the most anti-LGBTQ events on the Republican political circuit.

On Friday both the former vice president and former secretary of state will speak at The Family Leader’s Summit in Iowa. The event includes an anti-LGBTQ hate group as a sponsor. The Family Leader, while not a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, has for years worked to attack LGBTQ Americans.

The Family Leader has been linked to both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, the latter being an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Family Leader founder Bob Vander Plaats is among the more homophobic Christian activists in the nation.

“He has publicly compared homosexuality to pedophilia, compared the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to past rulings on slavery, and supported conversion therapy to ‘cure’ LGBTQ youth,” a 2015 op-ed in the Des Moines Register recorded. “His organization, the Family Leader, has long been affiliated with the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group (as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center). He has consistently orchestrated attacks against those providing resources and education to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students. And earlier this month, Vander Plaats delivered a keynote address at an event with pastor Kevin Swanson, who says the Bible calls for the punishment of homosexuality by death.”

Like Vander Plaats and The Family Leader, Pence and Pompeo are Christian dominionists, eager to sever the wall between church and state and trying to create a theocratic nation with laws based on the Bible.

Both Pence and Pompeo attended an End-Times Bible study group at the White House, and talk very openly about their faith and how it informs everything they do.

 

 

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