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Ted Cruz Decries 'Mandatory Gay Marriage,' Calls Backlash Over Anti-LGBT Indiana Law 'Heartbreaking' - VIDEO

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Sen. Ted Cruz claims the Democratic Party is trying to impose "mandatory gay marriage" on America at the expense of religious freedom, and says recent backlash over anti-LGBT laws in Arkansas and Indiana was "heartbreaking." 

Cruz first made the comments at the "Watchmen on the Wall" conference sponsored by the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, in Washington on Thursday. Cruz spoke immediately after Wayne Grudem, a theology professor known for his views that men have spiritual leadership over women, and who told the crowd that FRC President Tony Perkins is a modern-day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Time reports:  

“The modern Democratic Party has become so radical, so extreme, that they have determined that their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states trumps any allegiance to religious liberty under the First Amendment,” Cruz told the ballroom. “We’ve got an obligation, as this conference recognizes, to be watchmen on the wall.” ... 

In his remarks, Ted Cruz portrayed religion in America as under “assault” and referenced “heartbreaking” religious freedom battles in Indiana and Arkansas, where state lawmakers backed down from laws that critics said would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Cruz made similar statements on Friday during an interview with conservative radio host Eric Metaxas, according to a report from The Houston Chronicle:

"We are seeing today profound threats to religious liberty in America, the greatest threats we've ever seen and just a couple of months ago we had the battles in Indiana and Arkansas when they passed their religious freedom restoration acts," Cruz said. "What happened afterwards was heartbreaking. We saw, number one, a perfect storm of the modern Democratic Party that has gotten so radical and so extreme in its devotion to mandatory gay marriage that they've decided there's no room for the religious liberty protected under the First Amendment. And sadly Democrats joined with big business in an effort to vilify our religious liberty. But what was most striking is how many Republicans, including Republicans running for president in 2016, ran and hid in the hills, were afraid to stand and be counted. I think that Indiana and Arkansas, as Reagan put it, were a time for choosing, that was a sorting moment."

Meanwhile, video has surfaced of an incident we told you about earlier in the week, in which Cruz got into a testy exchange with reporters about gay marriage during a visit to Beaumont, Texas. 

Watch the clip from KBMT-TV, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Ted Cruz Decries 'Mandatory Gay Marriage,' Calls Backlash Over Anti-LGBT Indiana Law 'Heartbreaking' - VIDEO" »


Senator Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Candidacy On Thursday

Senator Bernie Sanders (I- VT), the longest-serving independent in congressional history, is going to announce his run for the U.S. presidency on Thursday, proving that when someone says they're 99% sure they're not going to do something, that 1% can still happen. The self-described democratic socialist will be directly competing with Hillary Clinton by running as a Democrat on the ballot, though registration rules in Vermont will not require him to officially change parties.

SandersSanders has been quite vocal in his defenses of lower and middle class Americans, and a year ago in an interview with Time he expressed his doubts that Clinton would be a candidate that would bring about the political revolutions needed for the working class:

I like Hillary. I knew her when I was in the House and she was First Lady, and obviously I knew her when she and I served together in the Senate. So I like her. She’s a very, very intelligent person, no question about it. But I think, you know, if you talk about the need for a political revolution in America, I think it’s fair to say that Secretary Clinton probably will not be one of the more active people.

More recently, in an interview with Bloomberg Sanders reaffirmed his doubts:

Is Hillary Clinton, are other candidates, prepared to take on the billionaire class? Based on her record, I don't think so.

So far the political landscape appeared to be shaping up as Clinton versus a veritable clown car of right-wing wackjobs, thus effectively guaranteeing Clinton a victory. With Sanders entering the race, the waters are bound to get much muddier: Clinton has experience in the White House already, and following up the first black president with the first female president would be quite the flourish in the country's march towards greater equality, but continuing a dynasty of (primarily) two families warring over the presidency is something that gives many pause; meanwhile, Sanders is one of the most truly and fiercely progressive voices in American politics and has political experience a mile long, but his relative lack of presence with the general public and his advanced age are two things that could be leveraged against him.

Pop some popcorn; things are about to get interesting.


House Democrats Introduce Resolution Against LGBT Discrimination

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A group of four House Democrats have introduced a resolution "expressing the sense of Congress that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should be protected from discrimination under the law," Indiana's WIBC reports.

“When intolerance occurs anywhere everyone has an obligation to take a stand and Congress doesn’t get a waiver on that,” House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said during a press call Monday, according to The Hill

Israel is joined by Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), André Carson (D-IN) and David Cicilline (D-RI). Cicilline is currently drafting a comprehensive civil rights bill that he says will "cut through a patchwork of 50 state laws to make sure all LGBT Americans can enjoy their basic rights no matter where they live, work or go to school.” 

CarsonAdded Rep. Carson (right) in a statement:

"Year after year, we see attacks on the LGBT community as governments at all levels look to institutionalize discrimination in the name of religious freedom.  Recently, we witnessed my home state of Indiana enact the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, giving businesses the right to refuse service based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“In the wake of the backlash of Indiana’s misguided law, it is clear that the vast majority of Americans oppose this type of discrimination.  It is long past time for Congress to ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, know that they are valued members of our society."


Oregon House Of Representatives Passes Measure Outlawing Conversion Therapy

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The Oregon House voted on Tuesday to outlaw the dangerous practice of conversion therapy, with several lawmakers arguing the practice is heavily discredited and can cause irreparable emotional and mental damage reports KATU.com. The passage of HB 2307 makes it illegal for social workers or licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, to practice conversion therapy on children under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon. The bill even received support from Rep. Knute Buehler, a Bend Republican.

Said Buehler:  

"Conversion therapy itself can cause incredible emotional and mental trauma to people, particularly young people in the process of coming to terms with their sexual identities."

The measure passed 41-18 and now heads to the Senate. New Jersey and California recently passed laws banning the dangerous therapy with Federal appeals courts upholding the bans. However, others such as Rep. Duane Stark, a Republican from Grants Pass who voted against the bill, felt there should be an opt-in option for the treatment should youth choose to pursue the treatment on their own volition.

Said Stark: 

"It's a normal, common practice that when people come in they can request from their therapist what sort of therapy they want to receive. I felt like there should be some sort of opt-in option for youth and empower them in that client-centered therapy."

However, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have both condemned the dangerous therapy, with proponents of the bill saying the therapy leads to anxiety, depression and destructive behaviors in children. 


Barney Frank on How LGBT People 'Beat the Prejudice' and Changed Hearts By Coming Out: VIDEO

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Former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank appeared on Sunday's episode of Meet The Press and gave his viewpoint on changing attitudes toward LGBT people and Congress. Rep. Frank reasoned that the increasing visibility of LGBT people in everyday culture is because of LGBT people's refusal to stay in the closet, which is helping erase stereotypes and change perceptions.

As for Americans' views on Congress, Rep. Frank told host Chuck Todd that the anger directed toward Congress stems from peoples’ shattered beliefs in a system they truly believed to work.

Watch Rep. Frank elaborate on the two topics, along with how his fellow representatives reacted to his marriage to husband James Ready, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Barney Frank on How LGBT People 'Beat the Prejudice' and Changed Hearts By Coming Out: VIDEO" »


Texas Democrats Deliver Gay Wedding Cakes To Bigoted Lawmakers Who Pulled Cake-Cutting Stunt

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Last month, anti-gay bigots in the Texas Legislature celebrated the 10th anniversary of the state's marriage amendment by slicing a symbolic wedding cake during "Texas Faith and Family Day" at the Capitol. 

The Austin-American Statesman reported: 

Cake[Lt. Gov. Dan] Patrick’s speech was followed by the cutting of two symbolic wedding cakes to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of a Texas constitutional amendment that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples.

State Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, was called forward to slice into one of the cakes in recognition of his House Bill 623, which would withhold the pay of county clerks and government employees who issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

“My family’s been in Texas since 1852,” Bell said after the forum. “What has always been normal for us, we’re suddenly being told it’s not normal, that those things that are our traditional values, somehow they are wrong.”

On Wednesday, the Texas Democratic Party responded by delivering gay wedding cakes — accompanied by cards saying "LOVE IS LOVE" — to the offices of several of the legislators who participated in the cake-cutting stunt. From a fundraising page for the event, "Send a slice of love"

Cake2We’ve identified each of the people cutting into this offensive cake -- Rep. Stuart Spitzer, Rep. Mark Keough, Rep. Molly White, Rep. Scott Turner, Sen. Charles Perry, Rep. Cecil Bell, Sen. Brian Birdwell, and, of course, Sen. Donna Campbell.

We want to send these officials a clear message that Texans stand up for the freedom and the right to marry who you love. So we’re going to send several of the people in this picture a slice of love -- cakes that show that, in Texas, love is love. 

No matter how low Texas Republicans get when showcasing their disrespect for basic civil rights like the freedom to marry, we will never stop pushing back.

These cakes are a fun way to show your support for marriage equality in Texas and send a powerful message to Texas Republicans that Texans deserve the freedom to marry who they love.

No word on whether the Texas Department of Public Safety will now issue a warning about gay wedding cakes.

In any case, the next symbolic showdown in the battle over same-sex marriage in Texas comes March 23, when Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore visits the Capitol on the same day as Equality Texas' Family Advocacy Day

Stay tuned. 


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