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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Busted: Mike Pence Quietly Adds Hate Group Leader to Advisory Board of His New Organization

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Former Vice President Mike Pence launched his new organization, Advancing American Freedom, on Wednesday.

Since then, one name has quietly been added to the advisory board  that was announced at launch.

Pence’s advisory board now includes Mike Farris, the president and CEO of the group Alliance Defending Freedom.

In 2016, Alliance Defending Freedom was declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

“The SPLC lists ADF as a hate group because it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex,” SPLC explained. “It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans.”

“ADF has spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community. It has, for example, linked being LGBTQ+ to pedophilia and claimed that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign-sounding phrases, but the truth is that it works to dehumanize LGBTQ+ people and restrict their rights for being who they are,” SPLC explained. “The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime.”

Other Republicans who are serving with Farris on Pence’s board include Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Ambassador Callista Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow, and actor Kirk Cameron.

The addition of Farris was reported by Nick Surgey.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Anti LGBTQ Tennessee Lawmaker Blocks Resolution Honoring Gay Country Singer: ‘We Have Some Concerns’

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A Tennessee Republican lawmaker on Monday blocked a resolution that had passed unanimously in the state senate honoring country music star T.J. Osborne of the Brothers Osborne. In February Osborne came out, becoming the first openly-gay country music artist signed to a major country music label.

“We have some concerns,” Rep. Jeremy Faison told his fellow lawmakers on the House floor Tuesday as he blocked the bill.

When pressed, he claimed the resolution had not gone through committee. One lawmaker noted the House had already voted on several bills today that had not gone through committee, and neither Faison nor anyone else had blocked them.

Nevertheless, Faison used his status as the Chair of the House Republican Caucus to block the resolution, sending it to committee.

As the Tennessee Holler notes (video below), that committee is closed for the year, which means that Faison killed the resolution.

Rep. Faison has a long anti-LGBTQ history, but perhaps he is best known nationally for claiming in 2012, during a flood of LGBTQ youth suicides caused by bullying that LGBTQ children and teens don’t die by suicide because of bullying.

Instead, Faison claimed, they died by suicide because their parents did not instill “proper principles.”

“We can’t continue to legislate everything,” Faison said. “We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.”

Faison also signed once onto a brief with 70 other lawmakers attempting to intervene in the case of a divorce of a same-sex couple.

In 2019 Faison defended a bill that allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples in the name of religion.

UPDATE:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Thank Americans for ‘Continued Prayers’ as Son Josh’s Trial Date Is Set

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33-year old former “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star Josh Duggar pleaded “not guilty” to federal charges related to child pornography on Friday in Arkansas and his parents released a statement thanking Americans for their “continued prayers.”

“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told Us Weekly in a statement. “The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”

Josh Duggar, a father of six children with one more on the way, has a trial date has been set for July 6. He is currently jailed and will not be released on bond until he can prove he has housing that keeps him away from children.

“I will also advise you that any proposed third-party custodian, it would need to be in a residence, where there are no minors in the home,” the judge told him Friday.

Duggar if convicted could face 20 years and $250,000 for each charge.

He is charged “with receiving and possessing child pornography,” the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said in a statement. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Top Michigan Republican Urges Workers to Sue Employers Who Make Them Wear Masks

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The co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party this week promoted a tweet that encouraged workers to file lawsuits against employers who ask them to wear “harmful” masks during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Meshawn Maddock, the Trump-loving Michigan GOP leader who helped bus Trump supporters to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, retweeted a message this week that was loaded with false information about mask wearing along with a call to take legal action against employers who enforce mask mandates.

“Masks are Ineffective, Harmful (physically n mentally) and Never Intended for General Population Use,” the tweet promoted by Maddock falsely claimed. “Ppl need to start bring Legal Action against Employers.”

The Free Press notes that Maddock’s promotion of false medical information “comes as Michigan remains one of the worst COVID-19 hot spots in the country amid some Republican skepticism about masks, vaccines and other mitigation efforts.”

It is also not clear, the paper writes, whether Maddock’s promotion of the tweet indicates that the entire Michigan GOP is now opposed to wearing masks, even voluntarily, or if it represents her personal opinion.

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