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35 States Still Have Same-Sex Marriage Bans on the Books – Dems Say Same-Sex Marriage Bill Has Enough Votes to Pass

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Democrats and Republicans working to pass a limited same-sex marriage protection bill say they have enough votes to avoid a 60-vote filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced the legislation will hit the floor Wednesday.

“We have the votes” to overcome a filibuster on the Senate’s same-sex marriage protection bill, a “source close to negotiations” told HuffPost Monday.

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court striking down bans on same-sex marriage in its landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, 35 states still have marriage equality bans “in their constitutions, state law, or both,” according to a Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline report in July.

Supporters of same-sex marriage want the Senate to act quickly, given U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has encouraged marriage equality opponents to bring cases that could allow the Court to strike down its ruling in Obergefell. As many Americans learned this summer when the Court struck down its 49-year old ruling in Roe v. Wade, laws that remain on the books can go back into effect immediately.

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CNN’s Manu Raju adds that U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, the bill’s lead Democratic sponsor, “told me they have enough votes to break a filibuster.”

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), “says there are the 10 republican votes needed to pass the Senate bill to codify federal protections for same sex marriage,” NBC News’ Frank Thorp V tweeted on Monday.

Contrary to some reports, however, the legislation does not “codify” Obergefell.

The bill, officially the Respect for Marriage Act, protects both same-sex and interracial marriages. It is very narrow and does not require states to allow same-sex couples to marry, but merely requires the federal government and states to recognize same-sex marriages. States would be required to honor the marriages of same-sex couples if their marriage was legal at the time they were married. In other words, if a state bans same-sex marriage it will be required to fully honor any marriage of a same-sex couple from its own state or another state, and cannot void existing marriages.

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It also repeals DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that originally banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down that portion in 2013, in the famous United States v. Windsor case brought by LGBTQ hero Edie Windsor.

Democrats want to pass the Respect for Marriage Act before the next Congress, especially if Republicans win the House majority. A House version passed with nearly four dozen GOP votes this past summer, although 157 Republicans voted against it.

Several Senate Republicans still oppose the bill, with one, Marco Rubio of Florida, having called it a “stupid waste of time.”

In July, exposing the large number of Republicans opposed to marriage equality, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, considered a “moderate” Republican, blasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Respect for Marriage Act passed the House.

“Is there a single case about it?” he asked, according to NBC News’ Thorpe. “I’m not not answering questions that are about hypotheticals that are just Pelosi trying to divide America with culture wars. I think it’s just the same bullshit. She’s not an adult.”

Nearly half the GOP Senate caucus refused to even respond to CNN’s polling this summer.

READ MORE: ‘Fraud’: Legal Expert Stunned After Trump Appears to Admit He Used DOJ to Interfere in Florida’s 2018 Election

Some Republicans seemed more likely to support the bill after Democrats added an amendment stating the legislation does not legalize polygamy, which Republicans have historically falsely equated with same-sex marriage. The bill also does not restrict religious rights.

The amendment, according to Senator Baldwin, protects “all religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution or Federal law, including but not limited to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and prevents this bill from being used to diminish or repeal any such protection.”

It also “Confirms that non-profit religious organizations will not be required to provide any services, facilities, or goods for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”

 

 

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Revealed: Trump Paid Off Millions in Secret Debt to North Korea-Linked Company While in Office

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There is a “chance” Donald Trump didn’t break the law by hiding debt from his 2016 presidential campaign’s financial disclosure reports, according to Forbes.

Documents obtained by the outlet show that the then-candidate failed to disclose $19.8 million in debt to Daewoo, a South Korean company with a history of ties to North Korea.

“There is a chance that Trump’s omission may have been legal,” the report said, noting that Trump may have used a loophole in the law.

“Although officials have to list personal loans on their financial disclosures, the law does not require them to include loans to their companies, unless they are personally liable for the loans. The Trump Organization documents do not specify whether the former president, who owned 100% of the entities responsible for the debt, personally guaranteed the liability, leaving it unclear whether he broke the law or merely took advantage of a loophole.”

Forbes also pointed out that Trump may have hidden the debt because Daewoo, at one time, “was the only South Korean company permitted to operate a business inside [North Korea].”

The documents, which were disclosed after being obtained by New York Attorney General Letitia James, said that Trump quickly eliminated the debt after taking office.

“Daewoo was bought out of its position on July 5, 2017,” one document explained.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: ‘Full steam ahead’ for DOJ after ‘worst legal week that Trump has ever seen’: former prosecutor

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‘Big Whop’: Even Right-Wing Critics Are Slamming Elon Musk’s ‘Underwhelming’ Hunter Biden Twitter Escapade

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Right-wing Twitter users are weighing in to express their disapproval of the so-called bombshell “Twitter files” Elon Musk promised to deliver on Friday, December 2.

According to The Daily Beast, Musk was set to address Twitter’s decision to implement a policy that would restrict headlines and reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop from circulating on the social media platform. However, the leak ended up being a failure for many right-wing experts.

Sebastian Gorka, a right-wing radio host who previously served under the Trump administration, offered a critical response to Musk’s release after journalist Matt Taibbi shared a full Twitter thread about the findings.

READ MORE: Trump plotted to trade Mar-a-Lago files for ‘sensitive documents’ about his 2016 campaign Russia ties: report

“So far, I’m deeply underwhelmed,” Gorka said, adding, “We know the Dems in DC collude with the Dems in Palo Alto [Califonia]. Big Whop.”

He went on to reiterate his arguments when grilled by his far-right followers who were convinced that Musk’s Twitter files were some kind of “smoking gun.”

Per the news outlet: “Responding to a user claiming the Twitter company emails were ‘a clear violation of the 1st Amendment,’ the radio host fired back: ‘Err no, it’s not the DNC asking a private company to censor has nothing to do with the First Amendment.’”

Speaking to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, New York Post columnist Miranda Devine also disapproved of the release. “I feel that Elon Musk has held back some material,” she alleged. According to The Beast, Devine also claimed: “sinister forces were perhaps controlling Musk after the Twitter chief took a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier in the week.”

READ MORE: Marco Rubio: ‘Not a crime’ to break federal law by taking top secret national security documents from the White House

She added, “In particular, there’s a tweet in which Matt Taibbi says he hasn’t seen any evidence that law enforcement specifically warned off Twitter from our story. But that’s just not correct.”

Free Beacon reporter Joe Simonson also echoed similar sentiments on Twitter. “Twitter files [are] underwhelming so far,” Simonson tweeted. “Just revealing what we already knew: Twitter was staffed by democrats who did the bidding of Democrats.”

READ MORE: Lauren Boebert to file defamation lawsuit against PAC claiming that she was once a ‘paid escort’: report

 

Image by Daniel Oberhaus (2018) via Flickr and a CC license

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Fox News Chief Lachlan Murdoch to Be Deposed in $1.6 Billion Dominion Defamation Case

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Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman and CEO of Fox News‘ parent company, Fox Corporation, is set to be deposed next week in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit. Dominion Voting Systems, which manufactures voting machines, claims the eldest Murdoch son and his father, Rupert Murdoch, have responsibility in Fox News promoting pro-Trump false election fraud claims it says has caused its company harm.

Murdoch is “scheduled to face questions from Dominion’s lawyers on Monday in Los Angeles, according to multiple reports, and will be the highest-ranking official at Fox to be deposed by Dominion,” The Hill reports.

Fox News propagandists Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have already faced Dominion’s attorneys.

READ MORE: Tucker Carlson’s ‘Nakedly Fascist Propaganda’ Leads to Resignations, Internal Outrage, Public Fury – and a Silent Murdoch

After a federal judge in June ruled the case could move forward, Law & Crime explained, “Dominion’s lawsuit contends that Rupert and his son Lachlan Murdoch personally caused Fox News to broadcast false claims about their role in the 2020 election, even though the Murdochs knew former President Donald Trump’s election fraud narrative was false.”

Rupert Murdoch reportedly spoke with Donald Trump just days after the 2020 presidential election to tell him he had lost.

Judge Eric M. Davis ruled there is “a reasonable inference that Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch either knew Dominion had not manipulated the election or at least recklessly disregarded the truth when they allegedly caused Fox News to propagate its claims about Dominion.”

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“Dominion has successfully brought home actual malice to the individuals at Fox Corporation who it claims to be responsible for the broadcasts,” Judge Davis added, Law & Crime reported.

A federal judge has rejected Fox News’ First Amendment defense. The case is expected to be argued before a jury early next year.

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