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LGBT

We do not see conservatives trying to make THESE more legitimate challenges to the sanctity and success of traditional marriage illegal. In fact we have seen some of the clerks who claim sincere religious belief as a failed excuse not to do their jobs turn out to themselves have multiple failed traditional marriages to their credit, raising questions about how sincerely they really believe in monogamy.

 
For example, Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who is suing to be able to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses on religious belief grounds, is apparently on her own fourth marriage. From Snopes:

 

A 9 July 2015 report from Lexington station WKYT on David Moore’s video noted the rumor that Kim Davis had herself been married four times and stated that her marriage certificate confirmed that fact

My understanding and impression is that Ms. Davis has undergone multiple divorces.

 

Quite the opposite of supporting traditional monogamy in practice, we see conservatives engaging in more cheating on spouses, more use of pornography (remembering that committing adultery in one’s mind and heart are the same as doing it in the flesh), higher rates of divorce, and high rates of multiple marriages (mostly while ex-spouses are still living). So the concept of one man/one woman until death do us part is just simply bullshit; the right does not defend this kind of traditional marriage. Rather it is more a case of TREAD-itional marriage, where they trample all over it. No, the objection to same sex marriage equality is about one thing and one thing only — screwing over the LGBT community and doing their level best to treat them as second class citizens. Shame shame shame on them; they do NOT deserve respect for their position. They instead deserve to be called out for their hypocrisy and hatred of others, and their desire to harm others.

 
A federal judge promises to rule later this month on the Davis sincere-religious-belief suit.  Rowan County is claiming they are immune from this suit, since the county is not refusing to issue the same-sex marriage licenses, which could leave clerk Kim Davis on the hook for some considerable cash.  However as her position and suits are being funded by the radical right wing instead of her personally, I’m sure there will be a generous outpouring of bigot bucks in her direction to help defray judgments against her, since it looks highly likely she will lose, and lose big.

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Ban pedophiles, not gays.  Gays are not automatically pedophiles or sex predators.  Conservatives know, or should reasonably be expected to know this, but prefer to hate “the gays”/LGBT community anyway, while ignoring the very real predatory pedophilia of heterosexuals.

 

The crazy, dishonest, and ignorant radical religious right do this by engaging in blatant homophobic propaganda.  Propaganda, as a working definition, is a combination of animus and factually false claims that negatively target a group with the intention to manipulate the emotions of the gullible against them, and occasionally to manipulate the gullible for additional agenda purposes.

 

The Minnesota Family Council is big on using scare tactics and pushing narratives that are false.  They seek ways to legalize and to try to justify hateful and discriminatory actions to victimize against anyone who does not conform to their extremist agenda.  And like so many conservatives do, they try to assert they are victims, when they are nothing of the kind.  Any group with so little regard for the truth is no supporter of either truth, or anything or anyone other than hate and bigotry.

 

Minnesota Family Council falsely claims they are “strengthening the family and advancing truth.  All gay kids and adults have families; those families are not ‘strengthened’ by discrimination and hateful propaganda.  Minnesota Family Council has routinely shared supposed news items that were factually false, without ever bothering to do the most minimal fact checking before promoting them.

 

NO ONE is forcing any church in the United States to alter their ugly religious views or teachings.  There is no valid threat to churches from the Boy Scouts or any other advancement of the LGBT community towards dignity and equality.

 

The Boy Scouts HAVE had a problem with HETEROSEXUAL pedophile predators in the past, so it is not as if their prior policy was serving them well.  Rather the assumption that heterosexual men were consistently safe with boys was a fallacy that should have been obvious based on the organization’s own pervert files. Just as one law suit was settled in Minnesota, another one was filed against them for the same thing, one of five such law suits in the past two months, with four others currently open.  According to the STrib, the attorney who filed the most recent suit has spoken with other men who claimed to have been similarly victimized, so the numbers of pedophile victim suits may go higher.

 

From bringmethenews.com

At the time of the alleged abuse, Opalinski was a leader for the St. Paul-based Boy Scout Troop 12 and was also an Explorer advisor for Troop 2012.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court; it’s the fifth such lawsuit to be filed in Minnesota in the past two months and the fourth to name Opalinski as the alleged abuser, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The Northern Star Council is facing at least nine lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by former leaders or volunteers, MPR News reports. They were allowed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act – the same state law that has led to the spate of legal action against the local Catholic Church.

Contrary to the common mis-perception among conservatives, the target of pedophiles is often one of accessibility rather than sexual orientation.  We consistently see conservatives demonstrating extreme ignorance on a wide range of issues relating to sex, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, and reproduction.  This is just one more.

 
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RFRA & the Conservative Riffraff

by Dog Gone on July 8, 2015 · 0 comments

bad religion logo

RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is not a justification for discrimination, no matter how conservatives try to use and abuse it.  This use of RFRA and of religious belief are wrong, bad, and flat out evil.  It is also generally, broadly illegal.

 

Those conservatives who seem to be bent on misusing freedom of religion are wrong, but they also tend to be the riffraff, the fringe, the mouth breathers, knuckle daggers, Bible-thumping mouth-foamers of the radical right who are too cray-cray to merit serious consideration.  These are not the educated serious thinkers on the right, and these are not people who anyone would view reasonably as statesmen and women.  These are not the people who should be in charge, of ANYTHING, as distinct from rational people of faith across the spectrum of political thinking.

Dictionary.com, riffraff:

noun: people, or a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless:
a pack of riffraff.
the lowest classes; rabble

adjective: worthless, disreputable, or trashy.

These are the extremists who have hijacked the GOP.  The GOP needs to hijack their party back, they need to expel these crazy extremists, or the party will fracture and die out, like the Whigs which preceded them.

 

That does not seem to stop them from trying to get attention or their evil and hateful way.

 

Conservatives as the right side of the political spectrum, regardless of parties, has always been pro-discrimination, pro-unequal treatment,pro-injustice,  pro-subordination of others.  We have had to pass civil rights laws, and had ill treatment adjudicated BECAUSE conservatives won’t treat people fairly and equally without the coercion of law.  Rather we see conservatives having used terrible violence to coerce conformity to their discrimination.

 

Conservatives also believe in an ‘immaculate conception’ notion of business creation, by which I mean the belief that any business can be created without the contribution of others, notably government provided services like infrastructure (roads, utilities, educated workforce, customers, fire and police services, etc.).  Nope, it’s just the business owner and divine fertilization, in the minds of conservatives.

 

This is factually false.  But it is also the core premise underlying the current attempt by conservatives to claim a right of businesses to discriminate, and to assert a religious right to treat people differently by refusing service to some (aka public accommodation).

 

I cannot come up with a better definition of public accommodation than that provided by wikipedia:

Within U.S. law, public accommodations are generally defined as entities, both public and private, that are used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments and service establishments, as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities and service centers. Private clubs and religious institutions were exempt. However, in 1984, the United States Supreme Court declared the previously all-male Junior Chamber International, a chamber of Commerce organization for persons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six, to be a public accommodation, which compelled the admission of women into the ranks.

One of the premises of a right of the public to service is that the public provides the context and framework, the infrastructure, in which business operates, and which are essential to business to exist.  But more than that, it is a foundational premise of equality that people be able to expect equal treatment in the public sphere, that separate is not equal, that disparate or inferior is not fair or equal, and that refusal of service causes harm.

 

Courtesy of Findlaw for a partial list of court cases relating to civil rights decisions relating to the conservative laws being overturned that mandated or gave legal cover to discriminate, INCLUDING ON THE BASIS OF SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:

Shelley v Kramer, 1948, overturned the right to exclude property sales on the basis of race, used to keep neighborhoods segregated;
Brown v Board of Education 1954 and 55(I and II) ended segregated education, invalidating separate but equal (hint: it was never equal, but consistently inferior);
Bailey v Patterson, 1962, overturned segregation of transportation facilities (public or private, inter and intrastate);
Loving v Virginia
, 1967, overturned prohibitions of inter-racial marriage, in which the Bible and sincerely held religious beliefs about the separation of the races figured prominently;
Jones v Mayer
, 1968, another decision that prohibits in property sales and property rentals, (regardless of sincerely held religious belief, or any other pretext or justification);
Griggs v Duke Power Co., 1971, (yes – THAT Duke Power that funds/ owns conservative candidates) overturned discriminatory education and IQ testing for employment (again, based in part on a sincerely held religious-based belief in racial differences);
Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. 1987 banned same-sex sexual harassment violated the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  (the court did not make an exception for sincerely held religious beliefs motivating harassment or bullying);
Add to this list any of the Bob Jones University court decisions that religion or religious beliefs (sincere or otherwise) was not an excuse or legal pretext for discrimination;

This has not been an encyclopedic listing of cases, rather it is a sampling only.  Religion is not a legitimate or legal basis for discrimination.  In some locations, like the state of Oregon, these protections extend to gender and sexual orientation, and this has been the trend in civil rights.

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Behold a new iteration of conservative Christianity at war WITH ITSELF.

Yesterday, in the news, a Montana man applied for a second marriage license to legally marry his ‘second’ wife.  Conservative social media went crazy claiming  this was the inevitable next step in their (made up) liberal war on Biblical marriage. From CBS News:

 

Montana man seeks license for second wife
HELENA, Mont. – A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage.

…The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.

…Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”

 

Anyone who actually reads the Bible would be aware that it mandates polygamy, and in particular that Levirate marriage especially requires that a man marry all of his brothers’ wives and get them pregnant, if any or all of the brothers die.   But the Bible permitted polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery, but that was men having multiple women, never the other way around.  From the old testament, specifically the Pentateuch first five books of the Bible) aka the Torah:

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’

 

Anyone who has followed the course of OPPOSITION to gay marriage would be aware of the funding by Mormons of Prop 8 in California, and other anti-gay marriage legislative initiatives.  From the Atlantic:

The Mormon Money Behind Proposition 8
Californians Against Hate released figures Tuesday showing that $17.67 million was contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August to groups like Yes on 8. Contributions in support of Prop. 8 total $22.88 million. Additionally, the group reports that Mormons have contributed $6.9 million to pass a a similar law, Proposition 102, in Arizona…

Karger said Californians Against Hate came up with the figures by cross-referencing donor information from the California secretary of state with Brigham Young University alumni lists, church memberships, and other personal documentation that could identify Mormon Church members. He said the surge in support has been an attempt to boost the church’s social standing among the greater religious community.

“For whatever reason, they’re trying to get some respect from other religions,” he told The Advocate Tuesday. “They’ve always been looked down upon by the Christians, the Catholics, and evangelicals.” Success with the marriage amendment would give the church credibility, Karger said.

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The Battle of the Alamo in Texas in the spring of 1836 lasted 11 days, following a 13 day siege of the fort. The Battle was ultimately lost, not even a Pyrrhic victory, but it became a famous and unifying loss.

 

The modern opposition, no matter how vehement those who are in opposition CLAIM to be, lasted less than 24 hours, not even the 24 days of the Alamo conflict.

 

Raw Story notes:

 

Texas county clerk reverses course, starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections.

Some counties in other socially conservative states such as Kentucky have declined to issue such licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The controversy could result in a new round of lawsuits over gay marriage.

Katie Lang, clerk of Hood County, southwest of Fort Worth, said staffers will issue the licenses although she will not do so based on her Christian beliefs, which she believes are protected under the Constitution.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said county clerks who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Paxton, a Republican, said those officials could expect to be sued but would have ample legal support.

“Several groups have publicly expressed their willingness to help government employees who feel their religious rights have been violated,” a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said.

Legal experts said same-sex couples could seek injunctions compelling clerks to issue licenses and easily win, based on the Supreme Court decision. They also could file civil suits seeking damages from counties that are largely rural and short on funds for a prolonged legal fight.

But clerks could try to request pre-emptively an injunction or judgment that says they do not have to issue the licenses because of religious liberty, said Texas A&M University law professor Meg Penrose.

Counties in the most populous areas of Texas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.

Out of 254 counties in Texas, 114 are ready and willing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, according to the Dallas Morning News. Nearly 100 other counties said they were waiting for software upgrades and gender-neutral application forms.

So we have 214 counties out of 254 that are cooperating with the recent gay marriage SCOTUS decision.

 

From the Dallas News earlier this week:

 

Benefits to be extended to spouses of Texas’ gay state workers
AUSTIN — The state bureaucracy is moving forward to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, even as statewide elected leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have lambasted the landmark ruling. Starting Wednesday — less than a week after the decision — the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System will extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees. That means the list of employers providing same-sex partner benefits will include the state’s largest: the state itself.

I expect that the remaining pockets of opposition are going to crumble. But if they do not, I expect not only action by the DOJ, but from individuals like those who brought suits that rose to the level of the SCOTUS decision. …READ MORE

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At the end of the most recent Supreme Court session, we again have Senator Cruz making wild statements about the latest SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage and the ACA.

 

Some are ironic, some are just bubbling buckets of pus designed to deceive and mislead his electorate base.

 

From Today News:

White House hopeful Ted Cruz believes Supreme Court judges who voted in favor same-sex marriage and national health care “rewrote the Constitution,” he said Monday on TODAY.
Cruz, a Harvard grad, criticized the Supreme Court justices as a group of “elites” from Harvard or Yale who lack religious diversity.

“They think that our views are simply parochial and don’t deserve to be respected,” he said. He said it was a point amplified by Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented in both cases: “What a crazy system to have the most important issues of our day decided by unelected lawyers.”

Let us Fisk these statements.

To Fisk: verb 1.(slang) to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point
Word Origin:  after the use of this technique by Robert Fisk (born 1946), British journalist, to criticize articles (- dictionary.com)

First of all we have the grotesque hypocrisy of Cruz being a Harvard Law graduate com laude, and much like President Obama, a few years ahead of him, Cruz was an editor of the Law Review. So for Cruz to criticize ANY justice of the SCOTUS as an ‘elite’ for having high qualifications for the bench is ridiculous. It is precisely people with legal training who should be sitting on the Supreme Court Bench. A lack of such credentials should be a deterrent, not a qualification to serve on the SCOTUS.

 

This is the rankest kind of pandering to the anti-intellectual crowd of the willfully ignorant conservative extremists.

 

Then Cruz goes on to complain about what the Today article refers to as a lack of religious diversity because none of the SCOTUS justices were Evangelicals.

 

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT OR EVEN DESIRABILITY THAT EVANGELICALS HAVE A SEAT ON THE SCOTUS BENCH. Cruz is not concerned about an ACTUAL diversity of religion on the court — he does not seek the court adding  Jews, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs or Hindus. THAT would be genuine religious diversity, as would having an atheist or agnostic. The reason we do NOT have that provision is that we are NOT A THEOCRACY. It is INTENTIONAL that there be no preference for Evangelicals – OR ANY OTHER BELIEF OR FAITH.

But this is not a failing of the court, this is a feature not a bug of our Constitution, and it has a name:  the No Religious Test Clause, Article VI, paragraph 3.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

So for Cruz, who is in his own right genuinely knowledgeable about the Constitution, to complain about this is to conservatives as some kind of religious SLIGHT to them, or quality of unfairness, is a crock of manure too toxic to be used as organic fertilizer.  It is intended only to foment distrust of the government and to promote ignorance about our Constitution.

 

This is just the crassest ploy to extract conservative mouth breathers and knuckle draggers from their hard earned cash.

 

Likewise, the emotional appeal to the exclusion of reason and logic, and facts, that the SCOTUS decision is one of the ‘darkest days’ of our nation is propaganda, designed to manipulate the weak-minded who vote for candidates like Cruz.

 

Like the No Religious Test clause, it is a feature, a deliberate choice, that the SCOTUS Justices are not elected and have no term limits, a choice made by the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution, which they created to solve the obvious problems and failures of the original government post-American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unity.  This Constitution was established by those august Founding Fathers, who were well aware of the need to avoid political pressures on that entity.  It was not an oversight, it was not a mistake, and it was ratified by the people of the United States after it was created through a carefully negotiated approval process.  Specifically, Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2 states:

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

 

The approval of those Justices by the Senate, by our directly elected Senators courtesy of <u>the 17th amendment to the Constitution,</u> which superseded Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution.  Ironically and inexplicably, Cruz wants to repeal the 17th amendment, so that citizens of the United States would no longer be entrusted with direct elections of their Senators to Congress – he wants to take that away from citizens, whom he apparently does not trust with that power — but he now claims by inference that he wants those same citizens to directly elect the SCOTUS Justices, whom the Senate approves or votes down on our behalf.  Either the electorate is trustworthy to vote, or they are not.

Here is the text of the 17th amendment, that Cruz wants to repeal:

 

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect that the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

We elect or senators to approve Justices appointed to the SCOTUS on our behalf; we ARE represented adequately.   Specifically the Senate holds the power to advise and consent to nominations from the President, which confers legitimacy on the SCOTUS by an approval process that includes both the Executive branch and the senior /more prestigious  house of the Legislative branch.  Direct election would not confer greater legitimacy on the SCOTUS Justices, particularly when we have been faced with such an epidemic of conservative enacted voter suppression and resulting decline in voter participation.
All Cruz is angling for is to offer the illusion of a means of control for the minority fringe to hijack the Constitution and to gin up dissatisfaction with the fact that everyone sometimes has to contend with a decision they do not like.  Rational thinking or a respect for the Constitution have nothing to do with his position.
We saw no such objections to the SCOTUS over Hobby Lobby, an ENTIRELY PAROCHIAL decision.  If Cruz was making a valid criticism, that criticism would have been appropriate to the legitimacy of that decision as well, yet no such criticism was offered.  The minority extremist right wing evangelical fringe won on that one.

 

This kind of invalid criticism from Cruz ONLY appeals to those who claim to LOVE the Constitution, but who have no functional working knowledge of it.

 

These dishonest and unconstitutional opinions of Senator Rafael Cruz should disqualify him with the electorate of the United States from being a presidential candidate.

 

Cruz is genuinely demonstrating that he is a danger to the nation, a threat to the Constitution, and that he is a profoundly dishonest man.

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SCOTUS decides for freedom

We have not seen any of the claimed harm from recognizing the rights of LGBT people.

 

Our armed forces have not collapsed because of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Our country has not collapsed with same sex marriage either; the rest of the world has not ended with gay marriage continuing to expand worldwide.

 

With the exception of Ben Carson, the candidates for the GOP presidential nomination have consistently shown themselves to be against freedom, INCLUDING religious freedom and against justice and equality. They show themselves to be against the rule of law, in challenging the clear provisions of the Constitution which establish the SCOTUS (right or wrong) as the arbiter of what is and is not constitutional at all levels of government.

 

And once again we see the use of dog whistle politics from the right, with the argument of states rights, which is the means the abusive and the oppressors rely on to violate rights, violate freedom, violate justice when it is upheld at the federal level.  States Rights mean nothing more and nothing less than the whine of those who wish to behave badly, who seek to be dickish toward others; it is the pout of those nasty bullies who were prevented from harming others.  Had the states that opposed same sex marriage not been so oppressive that they refused to recognize the marital status of people who married in other states (or countries), but instead tried to obstruct them, and to vilify them with lies about the validity and effectiveness of same sex parenting and family.

 

We now need the remaining legal change, the protection of ENDA, the protection of people from discrimination for their gender or sexual orientation, in hiring and employment, in housing, and in all other areas of daily public life, such as public accommodation, that should apply to everyone.

 

As President Obama gives the Eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina, I expect that his words will include a mention of this decision.  State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney was a strong advocate for same sex marriage.  His loss is a great sadness, but it is especially poignant that he was deprived of the joy of this decision being handed down as one more accomplishment for this nation in the 21st century.

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scotusArguably the most so since Roe v. Wade, because of the massive expectations that are being dashed. This court, despite its right-wing majority, has simply refused to automatically do whatever right-wingers want it to do.
 

The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell is not simply a victory for the Obama administration — and for the millions of Americans who depend upon the Affordable Care Act for their health coverage. It is a sweeping, crushing blow for conservatives who seek to use the courts to undo what President Obama and a Democratic Congress accomplished. “In a democracy,” Chief Justice John Roberts implicitly scolds the activists behind this litigation, “the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people.” He then offers a broad statement to future judges called upon to interpret the Affordable Care Act: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
 
The message here is clear: In this and in future litigation, judges should turn aside clever attempts to undermine the law if there is any possible way to read the law otherwise. The attorneys and activists behind this lawsuit came to the Court hoping to gut Obamacare; instead, they placed it on the strongest possible legal footing.
(Think Progress)

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality, and the four dissents—one from each of the justices who voted to continue discrimination—are a decent sign of what’s to come from opponents of equality. Lots and lots of predictions that the world is coming to an end, everything is terrible, tears rage tears.
(Daily Kos)

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There is a law suit against North Carolina for trying to prevent freedom of religion, violating First Amendment rights, under the guise of guaranteeing freedom of religion.  The law suit is supported by both Christians and Jews who wish to exercise their freedom of religion to marry same sex couples.

 

Those who try to force conformity to  their religious belief on others tie the nation up in knots – avoidable and expensive, divisive controversies.

 

On June 3, 2015 the Charlotte Observer reported on this law suit where the state attempted to deny freedom of the exercise of religion by Christians and Jews:

 

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Alliance of Baptists have made it official that they are joining as plaintiffs in a Federal District Court lawsuit opposing North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban.

The United Church of Christ filed the lawsuit in April, challenging North Carolina’s state ban on same sex marriage. The suit is said to be the nation’s first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans.

As it stands, North Carolina law makes it illegal for rabbis, priests, ministers and other religious officials to solemnize the marriage of same-sex couples on an equal basis with opposite sex couples without fear of criminal prosecution and civil penalty.

There is no definition of marriage in the Bible as a  relationship between one man and one woman.

 

There are plenty of examples of  polygamous marriages – between one man and multiple women, and there are other relationships available to married men, such as concubinage with contractual protections, less formal mistresses on a more temporary basis without contractual protections,   and lastly, sex slavery, which are also not defined as between one man and one woman — it can be several women to one man, or one woman as property sexually gratifying multiple men. including as slave prostitutes.   Children?  Children belonged to men, and were not even remotely recognized as part of nuclear families.  Children could be killed, or sold, like goats, chickens, cows or other livestock.

 

That is NOT a model we would or should emulate in the 21st century, or EVER. It is terrible, wrong, bad, and properly illegal here and now.

 

Abortion prohibitions are ALSO NOT IN THE BIBLE.

 

Quite the opposite;; there is a whole lot of god-approved womb ripping and approved infanticide and killing of younger children  goes on in the Bible.  Innocence does not get much of a mention for the unborn, but original sin that everyone is born with does, both old and new testament. (For example: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalms 51:5)  Pure innocence that ‘God’  demands be coerced pregnancies………..NO, that is NOT in the Bible.

 

Same-sex relationships., again not prohibited in the Bible, but if it were, like slavery, there re plenty of things in the Bible we don’t do. (What IS prohibited in the Bible is man-on-man clergy temple prostitution, Egyptian style, is a much more specific and limited restriction, that is not defined as an abomination.)

 

Prohibition or ban on inter-racial sex……..also NOT IN THE BIBLE.  Rather there are tribes of African Jews, as apparently ‘chosen of God” and acceptable to God as any others, in southern Africa, like the Lemba people.

 

The queen of Sheba,was African, from Ethiopia, and ol’ Jewish King Solomon (who had hundreds upon hundreds of wives, concubines, female servants and sex slaves) were a case in point, with the ‘Song of Songs’ aka ‘the Songs of Solomon’ reputed to be love poetry between them. So inter-racial sex is acceptable, and is not ANYWHERE condemned or prohibited.  The black Jews of Cochin, in India, are dated to the time of King Solomon as well.
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We have an issue in our legislature relating to sex and science.  Not surprising, we have a divide along political lines relating to the issues, with conservatives rejecting the science and medical opinion.

 

Conservatives are consistently wrong on these issues, and their being wrong does real harm to real people.  Conservatives have faulty information, and worse values.  Transgender children and LGBT children are as much a part of their families and communities as any other children.

 

Hooray for the democrats in the Minnesota legislature, especially in the Senate for their vote in support of transgender children in our schools, as part of the education policy omnibus bill.

 
Boo! No! Wrong! Bad! to conservatives, republican or more fringie extreme for pushing an anti-transgender children legislation that would not benefit any of our children or adults, but which only promotes ignorance on the subject of gender identity.

 

The largest organization focused on factual information and policy on this topic is WPATH, which sides with the Dems against the GOP:

 

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) recognizes the right of all people to legal identity recognition and to identity documents consonant with their gender identity.

 

Conservatives want to push sexual attitudes and knowledge back to another century, to a reproductive and sexuality dark ages.  Conservatives as a group, as a voting block, as a demographic, are terribly lacking in knowledge and have a failed attitude towards any aspect of human sexuality.

 

what the reality of
conservative ignorance
looks like – an avoidable
chlamydia outbreak

They do not understand gender identity, and they do not understand their own human sexuality — if the rate of divorce, cheating on spouses in marriage, use of pornography (including homosexual porn), and the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and underage teen birthrates are anything to go by as a metric.

 

We see this in the Chlamydia outbreak in Texas, in a school which has embraced religious rightwing  abstinence only sex ed, which provides factually inaccurate information to students, and which largely do not provide sexual information at all.

 

In Crane High School, in Crane, Texas, the superintendent of schools finally admitted that abstinence only sex ed does not work — although this has been clear for a long time, by objective, scientific research. From the WaPo:

 

“We do have an abstinence curriculum, and that’s evidently ain’t working,” Rumage told KFOR. “We need to do all we can, although it’s the parents’ responsibility to educate their kids on sexual education.”

 

In spite of not accomplishing the stated goal of abstinence only sex ed, conservatives in Texas have thrown more money down this s*it hole of abstinence only sex ed. Keep in mind that in addition to equipping students for life as adults with complete and factually accurate information on all aspects of sex and human reproduction, including sexually transmitted diseases and safe sex.  Most recently in Texas, as another example of failed conservative thinking, the legislature defunded HIV Prevention, to fund instead more abstinence only sex ed.  From the Texas Observer:

 

House Votes to Defund HIV Prevention to Pay for Abstinence Education

Texas has the third highest rate of HIV infections in the country, but that didn’t stop lawmakers from passing an amendment that defunds HIV/STD prevention programs Tuesday. The amendment to the House budget proposal—offered by Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman)—diverts $3 million over the next biennium to abstinence-only sexual education programs.
House Democrats fought against the amendment in a debate that rapidly devolved into awkward farce, with Rep. Spitzer revealing details of his own sexual history as proof of the effectiveness of abstinence. For those keeping tabs at home, he was a virgin until marrying his wife at age 29, although he declined to answer a question from Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) on whether she was the first person he propositioned. “Decorum,” shouted state Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs).
Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) asked Spitzer just how much money is needed for abstinence education in Texas, which receives more federal funding than any other state. Spitzer responded that additional funds are needed as long as people are still having sex before marriage.  His goal, he said, was for everyone to know that “abstinence is the best way to prevent HIV.”
“My goal is for everyone to be HIV/AIDS free,” Turner said.

 

For all the good it would do, Turner might as well religiously sacrifice a goat or a chicken, on an alter on the Texas legislature steps to accomplish the same thing… or more precisely FAIL to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

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