Connect with us

News

Saying ‘You’re Homophobic’ Could Cost You $35,000 Under Sweeping Florida GOP Bill

Published

on

A Florida Republican’s bill aims to silence accusations of racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, or any other allegations of discrimination, making them “defamation” under the law and potentially costing the person who made them up to $35,000 in the state known for its “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The sweeping legislation also appears to void journalists’ right to not reveal sources, and, chillingly removes the long-standing requirement that a public figure needs to show “actual malice” to win a defamation lawsuit.

“In cases of alleged homophobia or transphobia, defendants charged with defamation are not allowed to use the plaintiff’s religious or scientific beliefs as part of their defense. If they are found liable for defamation, the defendant could be fined at least $35,000,” The New Republic reports, noting it “would silence basically any accusations of discrimination.”

“The bill applies to statements made in print, on television, or on social media. It also states that someone who is caught in a viral video engaging in allegedly discriminatory behaviors does not qualify as a ‘public figure,’ giving those people even more grounds to sue.”

READ MORE: ‘You Have No Balls’: Nancy Mace Launches Explosive In-Person Attack Against Hunter Biden

LGBTQ activist Erin Reed, who first reported on the legislation, writes: “A person could not call, for instance, a fiercely anti-gay or anti-trans pastor transphobic. The pastor would be able to sue their accusers for $35,000 and their accusers could not use the pastor’s ‘religious expression or beliefs’ to prove that the pastor is transphobic or homophobic. Similarly, if a shopkeeper kicks a transgender person out of a shop while citing ‘God’s word’ or their ‘scientific beliefs’ and the video goes viral, the shopkeeper could claim that they were acting under their ‘constitutionally protected religious expression or beliefs’ or their ‘scientific beliefs.’ It would bar anyone from calling that shopkeeper transphobic.”

Florida Democratic state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani decried the legislation, writing: “More attempts to chill free speech in the ‘free’ State of Florida.”

Dr Robert Bohan, an Irish artist and scientist who says his “work is about the human condition and understanding how the mind is connected with the body and our environment,” on social media where he has over 300,000 followers voiced concern.

“The US is proud of free speech. The KKK can spit racism, misogynists can attack women & groups can call for the annihilation of Gay ppl,” Dr. Bohan wrote. “Florida is now removing free speech, but just for the Gays. If you can’t name your oppressor how do you call them out?”

Florida State University professor of history Paul Renfro observed, “For these folks, accusations of racism, sexism, transphobia, or homophobia are far more objectionable than the racist, sexist, transphobic, and homophobic policies they enact and support.”

The legislation is being sponsored by Republican state Senator Jason Brodeur, who last year “introduced a bill that would require the registration of bloggers who are critical of the state’s government,” leading a columnist at the right-wing National Review to call him a “moron” and an “idiot.” It’s unclear if that would be considered defamation under Sen. Brodeur’s new bill.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

Published

on

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is expressing concern that Americans who hold what he calls “traditional religious views” on homosexuality and refuse to hide them are being labeled as “bigots.” The Bush-appointed 73-year old jurist with a history of anti-LGBTQ opinions has been called the Court’s “staunchest opponent of LGBTQ rights.”

As The New Republic reports, “Alito is complaining that people who oppose homosexuality were being unfairly branded as bigots, despite that being a dictionary definition of bigotry.”

On Tuesday, agreeing the Court should not take a case, Alito wrote he is “concerned” that a lower court’s reasoning “may spread.”

He notes that the lower court “reasoned that a person who still holds traditional religious views on questions of sexual morality is presumptively unfit to serve on a jury in a case involving a party who is a lesbian.”

READ MORE: ‘Putin’s Puppet’: Critics Blast Trump for Comparing Navalny Death to His Own Legal Crisis

In that case, several jurors who acknowledged they held anti-LGBTQ views were released from serving on the trial.

“That holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges … namely, that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.'”

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern writes, “Alito suggests that a trial court violates the free exercise and equal protection clauses when it allows an attorney who represents a gay client to strike potential jurors because they express overt bigotry against gay people.”

Veteran journalist John Harwood observes, “Justice Alito, even if he somehow gets Obergefell overturned, will be aggrieved forever more.”

He adds, “there will never be another time when his views about homosexuality will not be treated as bigotry by most people in our society.”

Attorney Max Kennerly posits, “If we followed Alito’s reasoning that religious beliefs can never serve as a basis to strike a juror, we’d instantly run into a collision with jurors who believe, on religious grounds, the death penalty is wrong. Any guesses how Alito would rule on that? Yeah, exactly.”

READ MORE: Fox News Liberal Explains Why Democrats Don’t Care About Charlamagne Tha God’s Biden Slam

Continue Reading

News

White House Warns Americans in Russia as Biden Prepares Navalny Sanctions

Published

on

Correction: An earlier version of this report did not indicate the date of some of Kirby’s comments at the bottom were from last year.

White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby is reportedly telling Americans in Russia to leave, as the Biden administration prepares to unveil strong sanctions in response to the death of Russian political prisoner Alexei Navalny. Kirby also pressed House Republicans to pass critical foreign aid legislation to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia. His reinforcement of the existing Level 4 “Do Not Travel” Advisory also comes after last Friday’s revelation that Russia may be preparing nuclear weapons for space.

“At President Biden’s direction, we will be announcing a major sanctions package on Friday of this week to hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr Navalny,” Kirby told reporters Tuesday, AFP reports. “Whatever story the Russian government decides to tell the world, it’s clear President Putin and his government are responsible for Mr Navalny’s death.”

“If the Ukrainians aren’t better supplied,” Kirby also said, “if they don’t get a relief from the shortage of ammunition that they are suffering right now, this move on Avdiivka could actually have a larger effect on the fighting in the east and the amount of territory that the Russians might be able to get over time.”

Veteran foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen reports Kirby also said (not direct quotes): “One of the most powerful things that we can do right now to stand up to Vladimir Putin, of course, is to pass the bipartisan national security supplemental bill and support Ukraine as they continue to fight bravely in defense of their country.”

READ MORE: Fox News Liberal Explains Why Democrats Don’t Care About Charlamagne Tha God’s Biden Slam

She also reports Kirby said, “Ukrainian troops were forced to withdraw from the city of Avdiivka …on Saturday…because they practically ran out of supplies, including artillery ammunition.”

And: “I believe that the President’s comments and willingness to have another conversation reflect a sense of urgency that we all we all believe we’re in and frankly, we believe Congress should believe, instead of being on vacation.”

NewsNation Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer reports on the White House’s “WARNING TO AMERICANS IN RUSSIA,” which she says included this phrase: “You outta leave right now.”

Meyer also reports Kirby said, “I want to reiterate our very strong warnings about the danger to US citizens in Russia.”

READ MORE: Chiefs Fan Falsely ID’d by GOP Congressman as Parade Shooter Getting Death Threats: Report

NBC News‘ Peter Alexander reports President Joe Biden will be speaking with foreign leaders of the G7 on Saturday.

Kirby made similar remarks to CNN last year in March, saying, “this is not the time for Americans to be in Russia. If you’re in Russia now, whether it’s on business or leisure, whatever kind of travel, you need to leave now. This is not a good place for you to be in Russia. Even if you are a working journalist, Russia is a is a hostile environment for American citizens right now. It’s time to go if you’re there.”

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Fox News Liberal Explains Why Democrats Don’t Care About Charlamagne Tha God’s Biden Slam

Published

on

Fox News’ liberal co-host Jessica Tarlov is pushing back against remarks made by Charlamagne Tha God, after the popular “Breakfast Club” radio host took a swing at President Joe Biden over the weekend. She’s telling Fox News viewers that Democratic voters care about actual results, not “main character energy.”

Charlamagne, “said Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that the 2024 presidential election is between Donald Trump, who he said was a crook, and President Biden, who ‘has no main character energy,'” The Wrap reports. “Charlamagne described the race as being between ‘the cowards’ of the Democratic Party, ‘the crooks’ of the Republicans and ‘the couch,’ pointing to voter apathy.”

“He said that Democrats are cowards ‘because they don’t fight hard enough on anything.’ Meanwhile, Republicans are being led by Trump, who Charlamagne described as ‘a threat to democracy.’ But he thinks ‘the couch’ might really win the race.”

READ MORE: Chiefs Fan Falsely ID’d by GOP Congressman as Parade Shooter Getting Death Threats: Report

Charlamagne added, “when I’m out and about, you know, just walking in the street or people are calling into the radio station … nobody is inspired by the upcoming election.”

“There’s nothing about Joe Biden that makes you want to listen to him,” Charlamagne claimed. “That’s why he should be leaning on his vice president. Kamala Harris is way more charismatic. He should be leaning on other surrogates like Gavin Newsom or [Gov. Josh] Shapiro in Pennsylvania.”

“You know, like nobody wants to see the rematch between Biden and Trump, and that’s what makes me feel like the couch is going to win. This is the first time in my life when people say things like, you know, this person is a threat to democracy. It’s absolutely true,” added Charlamagne, speaking in very absolute terms.

Last year iHeart Media said Charlamagne’s syndicated show, which he co-hosts with DJ Envy, reaches “an average of over 4+ million listeners, on nearly 100 stations, in over 40+ cities.”

Fox News co-host Jessica Tarloff on Monday told viewers, “main character energy, yes, it is a great saying, but main character energy to most Democrats I talked to is being able to deliver 81 million votes in 2020, or to get this legislation passed, or to oversee the most successful midterms for a party not in power in the House.”

RELATED: ‘Spare Me the Faux Outrage’: Fox News Liberal Destroys Trump and His ‘Cult’ of MAGA Republicans in Under Two Minutes

“That is main character energy,” she insisted.

“We want to win more than anything else because Donald Trump, the sneaker scion, is the guy on the other side of it. So that’s what I think people are paying attention to.”

Watch below or at this link:

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.