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Far-Right Judge Under Fire for Failing to Disclose Interviews on Civil Rights – but LGBTQ Community Had Warned Senators



U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the Trump-appointee who has drawn nationwide attention – and condemnation – for suspending the FDA’s decades-old approval of a commonly-used abortion pill, mifepristone, is under fire once again, this time for failing to reveal during his confirmation process interviews he gave to right-wing Christian talk radio shows during which he shared his hard-right views on issues including same-sex marriage and contraception.

Nominees for federal judgeships are required to disclose during the confirmation process every public and published remark, “including copies of nearly everything they have ever written or said in public,” notes CNN, breaking this latest development on Kacsmaryk.

“In undisclosed radio interviews,” CNN reported, “Matthew Kacsmaryk referred to being gay as ‘a lifestyle’ and expressed concerns that new norms for ‘people who experience same-sex attraction’ would lead to clashes with religious institutions, calling it the latest in a change in sexual norms that began with ‘no-fault divorce’ and ‘permissive policies on contraception.'”

Kacsmaryk “made the unreported comments in two appearances in 2014 on Chosen Generation, a radio show that offers ‘a biblical constitutional worldview.’ At the time, Kacsmaryk was deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit religious liberty advocacy group known before 2016 as the Liberty Institute, and was brought on to the radio show to discuss ‘the homosexual agenda’ to silence churches and religious liberty, according to the show’s host.”

READ MORE: Judge Smacks Down Trump in Scathing Memo: Show Up for Trial or Don’t, but Don’t Try to Blame Anything on the Court

CNN also aired a portion of one of the radio interviews Kacsmaryk had not disclosed.

On June 19, 2019, at 3:30 PM, the U.S. Senate confirmed Kacsmaryk in a 52-46 vote. No Democrats or independents voted for him. Only one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Kacsmaryk.

The headline at The Washington Post that day read: “Senate confirms Trump judicial nominee who called homosexuality ‘disordered’.”

“Mr. Kacsmaryk has demonstrated a hostility to the LGBTQ bordering on paranoia,” Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had said before the vote, The Post reported. “It’s unbelievable that this man has been nominated, and he’s not alone. The parade of narrow-minded, often bigoted people who were putting on the bench. . . . One Republican senator rightfully voiced concerns about this man’s fitness. Where are the others?”

Kacsmaryk had “described being transgender as a ‘mental disorder,’ called homosexuality ‘disordered’ and said that ‘sexual revolutionaries’ had made the unborn child and marriage secondary to ‘erotic desires of liberated adults.'”

READ MORE: ‘Crisis of Public Confidence’: Chief Justice Invited to Testify Over ‘Decade-Long Failure’ to Fix Ethics – GOP Warns Against It

While some may find Kacsmaryk’s remarks stunning, surprising, and offensive, the LGBTQ community during his confirmation had raised and vehemently waved the red flag, only to be ignored by the Republican-majority Senate.

One day before he was confirmed, a headline here at NCRM read: “Republicans Advance Anti-LGBT Pro-Discrimination Christian Extremist Nominee for Lifetime Appointment.”

“Kacsmaryk is opposed by hundreds of LGBT and civil rights groups,” we reported at the time. “The Leadership Conference, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations calls Kacsmaryk ‘a right-wing extremist who has made a career out of dehumanizing LGBTQ people, debasing women, and assailing health care rights. He has expressed staunch opposition to the Equality Act, marriage equality, and promoted the dangerous lie that being transgender is a ’delusion.’ He has attacked Roe v. Wade and challenged the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive access.'”

We also reported that day on a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein from Lambda Legal and 74 other groups that also opposed Kacsmaryk.

NCRM also reported on a six-page report from the Alliance for Justice on Kacsmaryk, which concluded, “Kacsmaryk has built his legal career opposing equal rights for millions of his fellow citizens. His harsh and demeaning rhetoric regarding LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights sends a clear message that he has little regard for established legal precedent in this area. Kacsmaryk often couches his opposition to equal rights in religious language.”

READ MORE: Lawmaker’s Viral Speech Attacking ‘Sin’ and ‘Perversion’ Is Getting Laughs but Expert Says It’s ‘Incitement to Violence’

“Kacsmaryk’s statements demonstrate beliefs that discrimination against LGBTQ Americans is valid and should be condoned,” the AFJ added.

Despite all the documentation of Kacsmaryk’s extremist, Christian nationalist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion, anti-contraception views, one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, is now saying she was “duped” into voting for him.

“You want to talk about the ultimate bait and switch?” Murkowski told Politico Wednesday. “I feel like I got duped. I feel like voted for somebody based on what had been presented to me. And you do this? That is totally, totally wrong.”

As MSNBC’s Jordan Rubin notes online, “it doesn’t really matter what Murkowski or any other senator feels. Rather, the question is: What, if anything, are they going to do about it?”


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Lone Dissenter Calls Texas Supreme Court Transgender Ruling ‘Cruel, Unconstitutional’



texas supreme court

The lone justice to dissent called the Texas Supreme Court ruling to uphold the ban on gender-affirming care for minors “cruel” and “unconstitutional” Friday.

The Texas Supreme Court, currently made up of all Republican justices, decided 8-1 to uphold a ban on providing gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, to transgender people under the age of 18. The Court said that it did “not attempt to identify the most appropriate treatment for a child suffering from gender dysphoria,” claiming it to be a “complicated question” for doctors and legislators.

The Court ruled that even though “fit parents have a fundamental interest in directing the care, custody, and control of their children free from government interference,” that interest is bound by “the Legislature’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine.”

READ MORE: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine Vetoes Anti-Trans Bill After Talking to Families With Trans Kids

“[W]e conclude the Legislature made a permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children, particularly in light of the relative nascency of both gender dysphoria and its various modes of treatment and the Legislature’s express constitutional authority to regulate the practice of medicine,” Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle wrote.

Justice Debra Lehrmann, the only justice to dissent, was clear in her disagreement. She wrote that the decision means “the State can usurp parental authority to follow a physician’s advice regarding their own children’s medical needs.” Lehrmann identified that gender-affirming care can be “lifesaving.”

She also mocked the idea that the Court’s ruling didn’t “deprive children diagnosed with gender dysphoria of appropriate treatment.” Lehrmann pointed out that by upholding the law, it “effectively forecloses all medical treatment options that are currently available to these children … under the guise that depriving parents of access to these treatments is no different than prohibiting parents from allowing their children to get tattoos.”

“The law is not only cruel—it is unconstitutional,” she wrote, calling the ban a “hatchet, not a scalpel.”

Lehrmann also put the lie to the claims by anti-LGBTQ activists that surgery is common for transgender minors.

“Indeed, the leading medical associations in this field do not recommend surgical intervention before adulthood. Without a doubt, the removal of a young child’s genitalia is something that neither the conventional medical community nor conscientious parents would condone,” she wrote. “Moreover, medical experts do not recommend that any medical intervention … be undertaken before the onset of puberty.”

Lehrmann is correct. Prior to puberty, transgender care is basically limited to social changes. For example, wearing gender-affirming clothing and using appropriate pronouns, according to Advocates for Trans Equality.

Puberty blockers can be prescribed for those who are starting puberty. Puberty blockers are safe, according to Cedars-Sinai, and are not only used for transgender youth. A common purpose is to stop precocious puberty, which affects 1 in 5,000 children, including children as young as 6. For both transgender youth and kids going through precocious puberty, puberty blockers are known to improve patients’ mental health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puberty blockers are also fully reversible. However, in terms of trans youth, a study published in The Lancet found that 98% of those on puberty blockers went on hormone replacement therapy upon turning 18. But even for those few teens who realize after being on puberty blockers that they aren’t trans, all they have to do is stop taking them, and their puberty will progress as normal.





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Rep. Tim Walberg Tells Uganda to ‘Stand Firm’ on ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Ted Cruz Called ‘Horrific’



Tim Walberg Uganda Kill The Gays Law

Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.

Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.

“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”

READ MORE: Mike Johnson Once Agreed to Speak at ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor’s Conference – Until an NCRM Report

Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.

“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.

Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.

The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer communitycondemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.

This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.

Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.

While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.

A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.

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If States Start Designating ‘Christian History Month’ You Can Thank This Far Right Christian Nationalist Group



When the National Association of Christian Lawmakers held its annual conference at Liberty University last month, the event featured a “para-legislative session” at which state legislators and religious-right activists proposed and discussed various resolutions and sample legislation.

Among the speakers at the session was Allan Parker, president of religious-right organization The Justice Foundation, who urged the lawmakers in attendance to return to their states and introduce resolutions declaring the month of June to be “Christian History Month.”

“I think people are feeling it’s time for Christian History Month,” Parker said. “I hadn’t thought about when but I’m going to suggest June because it’s also Celebrate Life Month. The life of this nation was founded on a Christian worldview [and] if we preach all this and teach it in June, we’ll be ready for the Fourth of July with a true understanding of what it means.”

“You have the authority to create celebratory months and recognize things,” Parker reminded the gathered lawmakers.

Parker’s comments make it clear that religious-right leaders would use any state-designated “Christian History Month” as an official vehicle for promoting false and exclusionary Christian nationalist versions of American history, the kind promoted relentlessly by right-wing activists like David Barton, his son Tim, and pastors like Jackson Lahmeyer and Jack Hibbs.

The NACL was founded by unabashed Christian nationalist and former Arkansas state senator Jason Rapert, who is quite open about his intention to do everything that he can to ensure that Christians who share his far-right worldviewtake authority” over every aspect of this nation.

Christian nationalists like Rapert believe that the country was founded as an explicitly Christian nation and that right-wing Christians must do everything they can to keep it that way, including making laws align with their particular religious and political worldview, one that is not shared by many Americans and even many Christians.Via the National Association for Christian Lawmakers, Rapert is putting this talk into action, using his organization advance so-called “biblical” legislation in statehouses throughout the country that would roll back abortion rights and the rights of LGBTQ Americans, defund public libraries that offer LGBTQ-friendly materials, and now perhaps push states or localities to honor Christian History Month.

It is surely no coincidence that LGBTQ Pride Month is already celebrated in June in the United States, a fact that drawn increasingly hostile responses this year from anti-equality activists as right-wing political leaders have escalated their rhetoric targeting LGBTQ people and their supporters.


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

Image via Shutterstock

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