Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who notoriously flouted a federal court ruling which struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, today suggested that he will continue to defy the federal judiciary on marriage equality.
Moore shared a statement on Facebook from his wife, who heads the Religious Right legal group he created, The Foundation for Moral Law, vowing to defy the “illegitimate” ruling from the Supreme Court:
The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation dedicated to the defense of the Constitution and the rights of religious persons, says the battle for traditional marriage will continue despite the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Today the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reverse a ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals that had upheld the marriage laws of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, holding that the right to marry a person of the same sex is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. But the Foundation for Moral Law is blowing the whistle on the illegitimacy of today’s decision.
Not only does the U.S. Supreme Court have no legal authority to redefine marriage, but also at least 2 members of the Court’s majority opinion were under a legal duty to recuse and refrain from voting. Their failure to recuse calls into question the validity of this decision.
"This means we've got more work to do, but we are determined to do it," said Foundation President Kayla Moore. "The Foundation is involved with a same-sex marriage case in the Middle District of Alabama, and that case will continue. There are issues in this case that the Supreme Court's decision didn't resolve."
Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association (AFA) called the ruling a “spiritual 9/11”:
"We're not surprised but extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision. I fear for our country, quite frankly, because this is a spiritual 9/11, I believe. We have said to God Almighty, We don't care what you say about marriage and your definition of what's natural and normal.
With this ruling, the Supreme Court is essentially saying individuals have civil rights based on their sexual behavior, and setting up a monumental battle with the free exercise of religion. This could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back – that camel being the up till now silent, passive Americans who have been cowed into “tolerating” societal changes that go counter to their fundamental beliefs.
The SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage is not about the issue itself — it is about individual religious freedom and the imposition of the State’s will against faith. After all, it is the original reason why the Pilgrims fled England. And since there is no place for men and women of faith to retreat — they will make a stand. This ain’t first century Rome.
If ever a time the phrase “Now the end begins” meant something, it is now.
In a decision just as sinister, far-reaching and abominable as the 1973 Roe v Wade decision on abortion, the Supreme Court of the United States has just declared that reality and biology no longer exist, and we can now declare marriage to be whatever we want it to be.
Judicial activism at its worst has once again struck America. Instead of allowing the American people to decide, five judges have decided for them, and have declared war on marriage, on God, on morality, on family, and on our children.
This is a declaration of war by five judges who have spat in the face of their Creator, of marriage, of biology, and freedom. Now a major proper response for Christians and others is massive civil disobedience and defiance of this homo-fascist decision.
Despite numerous media reports that the Republican Party is ready to drop its strong opposition to marriage equality, GOP presidential candidates are continuing to cater to the party’s extreme anti-gay base rather than side with the majority of Americans who believe the Supreme Court should strike down state marriage bans. Several presidential candidates have even vowedtodefy any ruling from the court in favor of gay marriage.
While their rhetoric may be different, their policy goals are the same. Even more concerning is the fact that the Republican leaders have all pledged to reshape the judiciary — where many of the most critical gay rights milestones occurred — by appointing judges who will rule similarly to Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker further paved the way for his GOP presidential bid today, signing two bills weakening his state’s gun laws, just one week after a gun massacre left nine people dead at a church in South Carolina. Walker said that he went ahead with the planned signing despite the recent attack because if he had postponed it, “it would have given people the erroneous opinion that what we signed into law today had anything to do with what happened in Charleston.”
Clarke first emerged as a Tea Party hero in 2013, when he recorded a radio ad urging his constituents to arm themselves because “calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.” This earned him the “Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer’s Association, a far-right group that holds that county sheriffs have the power to defy federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional and arrest federal agents enforcing them. Accepting the award, Clarke called the group a “friend for life.”
Last year, Clarke joined conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program to warn that a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban would lead to weapons confiscation and would spark “the second coming of the American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison”:
This year, Clarke has burnished his Tea Party credentials by appearingrepeatedlyon Fox News to assure its viewers that racial disparities in the justice system are a myth and to attack President Obama for saying otherwise.
While the choice of Clarke’s office for the bill-signing may have seemed mundane to many observers, Walker was sending a clear signal to some of the most extreme elements of his party’s base.
Jim Garlow celebrated Father’s Day this year by inviting David and Jason Benham — conservative activists who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a planned house-flipping TV show after their extreme views came to light — to speak about manly courage at his Skyline Church. As an extra bonus, the Benham brothers brought along their father, Flip Benham, a fiery street preacher and anti-choice activist who told the audience that the real problem of “fatherlessness” in America is the rejection of “the Heavenly Father.”
The elder Benham quoted the book of Malachi: “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the hearts of the children to their fathers, or I will smite the land with a curse.”
“That is what is happening here,” he said, “fatherlessness. The Heavenly Father, we reject him, we’ve expelled him from school, we’ve banished him from the schoolyard and he’s been replaced with metal detectors, condoms, drugs and violence of unprecedented order, while we’re looking at each other with awkward amazement wondering what has happened here. When you move God, when you take Him out of the equation, violence always enters in.”
After the brothers told their story of persecution at the hands of gay rights activists, David Benham compared America today to first-century Rome, when Nero “started the persecution against the Christians” by using a “narrative that the Christians and Jews were haters of Rome because they would not bow to the emperor.”
“I’m telling you, the same spirit of Nero is in America,” he said, “and persecution is coming.”
During a recent appearance on Daystar TV’s “Joni Table Talk,” televangelist Rick Joyner warned that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage will “start an unraveling where our country fractures like it hasn’t since the Civil War.”
Joyner also repeated his claim that gay marriage is a “trial run” for the Mark of the Beast, warning that people will soon have to choose whether they “bow to the Beast” by respecting non-discrimination laws or practice civil disobedience.
Homosexuality is “worse than a sin because of its corrupting influences,” Joyner said, explaining that gay rights measures are destroying the military and the country as a whole and bringing about God’s judgments: “We’re under them right now.”
On yesterday’s “Washington Watch,” California pastor and influential anti-LGBT activist Jim Garlow spoke to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about the upcoming decision from the Supreme Court on marriage equality.
As Garlow explained, any plumber or electrician can explain why homosexuality is wrong.
“I live in a home and most or all of your listeners live in a home or an apartment or a condo, and when the plumber and the electrician built the home, they knew the difference between the male and female ends of a pipe and the male and female ends of an electrical current, and if they had simply said, ‘I’m going to put the male and male ends of the pipes together,’ nobody would want to live in that home, it doesn’t work,” Garlow said.
Garlow told Perkins that opponents of gay marriage should know that they are fighting a “winnable war” against marriage equality.
While it may take a long time, he said, it also took “over one hundred years” to abolish slavery. He added it is “not a time” for anti-LGBT pastors to “capitulate” to the “bullying and the badgering and the clubs that come at them from the radical homosexual agenda.”
Fresh from his failed anti-LGBT bank boycott, Franklin Graham shared his outrage on Facebook today about an LGBT Pride Month celebration in the White House.
“The shift in attitudes he refers to is the moral decline we are seeing manifest daily around us,” Graham wrote. “The President is leading this nation on a sinful course, and God will judge him and us as a nation if we don’t repent.”
President Barack Obama was right about one thing in the speech he gave at a Gay Pride event he hosted in the White House yesterday. He said, “There has been an incredible shift in attitudes across the country.” That’s true—but it is definitely not a shift for the good of America. The shift in attitudes he refers to is the moral decline we are seeing manifest daily around us. Accepting wrong as right—accepting sin as something to be proud of. Yes, that’s definitely a shift. Should we be surprised that he thanked the LGBT community for all that they had helped him accomplish during his time as president? He said, “A lot of what we’ve accomplished over these last six and a half years has been because of you.” He also noted there were two states where gay marriage was legal when he took office, but now there are 37. The President is leading this nation on a sinful course, and God will judge him and us as a nation if we don’t repent.
In an interview with an Alabama Christian radio station on the day of the arguments in the Supreme Court marriage cases in April, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver warned that although “we have faced in Judeo-Christian history more dire times than this,” marriage equality opponents should be prepared to face martyrdom at the hands of an unjust government just like Daniel and Esther were in the Old Testament.
In anticipation of a decision striking down gay marriage bans, Staver said, “we must ask for God’s intervention, God’s grace, God’s forgiveness and God’s miraculous turn of events.”
If not, he said, marriage equality opponents should be prepared to emulate Daniel, who was thrown into a lion’s den, and Esther, who risked her life to save the Jews of Persia from execution.
“We may have to stand like that,” he said. “We may have to stand like people of old, like Martin Luther King, Jr., did when he faced unjust laws. And we have to be prepared to face the consequences. But one thing we cannot do, one thing we will not do because we cannot do it, we cannot betray our Lord, we cannot deny reality, we cannot disobey the scripture and the teachings of the church, that’s a line we cannot cross.”
Today, on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, People For the American Way joins a diverse group of civil rights and voting rights advocates in Roanoke, Virginia to rally for a restored Voting Rights Act (VRA). Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way, is addressing the crowd. Below are her remarks, as prepared.
Hello everyone. I am Minister Leslie Watson Malachi and I’m the director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way.
It’s been two years since the Supreme Court gutted the crown jewel of the Civil Rights Movement. Two years since Justice Scalia claimed that protecting the right to vote somehow represents “racial entitlement.”
The Voting Rights Act, when it was whole, was one of the most important tools we had for confronting a very ugly entitlement: the entitlement of those who think that certain votes and certain voices should matter more than others. It helped interrupt a phenomenon that is still alive and well – the ongoing devaluation of the votes, and the lives, of Black Americans. The racist massacre at Emanuel AME church in Charleston provided a horrific reminder of that reality.
The VRA gave a sense of security and safety that translated beyond just security and safety in the voting booth. After the VRA, we had the election of first-time African Americans in mayoral and gubernatorial seats post Reconstruction. The Voting Rights Act was more than a piece of public policy. It was a statement, enshrined in law, about the value of African American lives and voices.
So far, Congress has failed to restore that statement, those protections. What kind of message does that send?
Chairman Goodlatte, we are here in your backyard to demand that you and your Republican colleagues do better. Stop ignoring racial discrimination at the polls. Stop ignoring the calls from Americans of all political stripes and restore the VRA.
In the past two years, politicians in cities and states that were once protected by the federal oversight of the original VRA have been passing laws that make it harder for people of color to vote. These politicians didn’t waste any time in turning back the clock on progress we’ve made toward making sure that all Americans can participate in our democracy.
Congress shouldn’t waste any more time in doing just the opposite: restoring the Voting Rights Act and protecting every person’s right to cast a vote that counts.
Fifty years ago, courageous men and women died fighting for these protections. They knew that the right to vote is the most precious right we have in a democracy. We can’t let their legacy come undone.
“No more rainbow flags, America!” declares anti-LGBT activist Linda Harvey, who offers up an unhinged rant in BarbWire today about why Americans should take down the LGBT rainbow flag along with the Confederate battle flag.
Harvey, the head of the far-right group Mission America, writes that homosexuality is just as “evil” as slavery, adding that “‘LGBT’ lifestyles will ultimately be revealed to be a destructive blight on our nation.” Similarly, according to Harvey, the LGBT rainbow flag is just as offensive as the Confederate flag since the Pride flag’s “hateful colors” push “depravity” and “bigotry.”
“If only we had that kind of leadership now in Washington as we had in Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863,” Harvey continues. “We need an Emancipation Proclamation now to free America from the tyranny of sodomy.”
Recognizing that slavery is an inhumane act of discrimination, and that the confederate flag may serve as a painful symbol of that tragic era of American history, our leaders should also admit that the promotion of homosexuality is creating a major rift in the fabric of our nation.
We are seeing an unjustified war against the 51 million Americans who voted for man/woman marriage on state ballots. But the reality of marriage remains as elemental as the rising of the sun each day.
Same sex relationships will never be marriage, regardless of what any court decides. The identity and behavior of homosexuality can never be the basis of an authentic union between two people.
Still, a rebel flag flies on some government buildings and some of our embassies as a symbol of hatred. Sexual morality and authentic marriage are despised by those who wave the rainbow flag, which is even waved in front of schoolchildren as an illegitimate banner of “civil rights,” although it’s the opposite. It’s the logo of a war being waged against virtue, against the reality of male/female biology and against the witness of Jesus Christ.
It’s time to lower the rainbow flag everywhere. God created the rainbow as a sign of hope (Genesis 9:12-17). But homosexual political operatives have captured this symbol as an unauthorized expression of “pride.” Well, rainbows accompanying this depravity are as unfitting as the term “gay,” and it’s time for Christians to demand recognition of the offense involved and a permanent retraction.
Proud homosexuals don’t love God. They take pride in disobedience. Therefore, these rebels have no right to the rainbow, period.
So, let’s demand that no more rainbow flags fly above our federal agencies. No more hateful colors on our embassies, or on the Pentagon website. And it’s time for retailers with a conscience to stop selling rainbow- adorned “gay” merchandise and show respect and sensitivity to the outcry of concerned families and parents.
If the confederate flag truly causes pain to some black Americans, well, understood. Where’s the understanding for Christian Americans who are victims of the newly empowered bigotry of “gay” activists? The lost jobs, the closed businesses, the ruined reputations, the children corrupted? It’s the beginning of sorrows and won’t end unless those with a conscience intervene.
If only we had that kind of leadership now in Washington as we had in Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
We need an Emancipation Proclamation now to free America from the tyranny of sodomy.
I visited Gettysburg recently and was reminded once more about how evil can become natural in a country, and even be quite comfortably accommodated– except, of course, for those whose safety and freedom are in jeopardy.
Slavery was and is (since it is still a practiced in some parts of the world) a reprehensible practice. It became a natural thread in the fabric of our southern culture, just as “pride” parades are becoming big business for most major cities in America, just as corporations are allowing “gay” employees to have favored status while faithful Christians are silenced and demeaned, demoted and dismissed.
But when the truth comes out, “LGBT” lifestyles will ultimately be revealed to be a destructive blight on our nation, and if our president won’t lead and stand up for virtue, other Americans must stand in the gap and do so.
Homosexuality needs to be seen for what it is: a grave sin, a depraved lifestyle, and an oppressive threat to truth, liberty, family and faith.
And so, the theft of the rainbow needs to be confronted and it needs to end. No more rainbow flags, America!
GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told Iowa-based talk radio host Simon Conway yesterday that if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, “religious liberty in this country will radically change and it will never be the same again” and consequently all other liberties will fall away.
“The issue, for example, in marriage is really an issue about religious liberty,” he said. “That’s what the fundamental underlying issue, when the government can tell me how much I can believe, if it can restrict my faith and restrict my belief by putting a boot on religious liberty. Religious liberty is the heart of all freedoms, so if the government tells me what I can believe, they can tell me what I can say, what I can do, where I can go, with whom I can associate, they can restrict how much privacy I have. Everything falls away when the government takes away religious liberty.”
Laughably claiming that marriage equality isn’t “an issue that I’ve put front and center” but that the Supreme Court has forced him to talk about it, Huckabee insisted that the marriage case isn’t “about just having people who want to love each other.”
“No, this is not an expansion of marriage, this is a redefinition,” he said. “And when it changes, religious liberty in this country will radically change and it will never be the same again.”
Huckabee, who has vowed to block a pro-marriage-equality decision from the court if he becomes president, added, “By the way, I don’t think the Supreme Court can make a decision about same-sex marriage because they can no more suspend the law of nature than they can the law of gravity.” Such a decision, he said, would not be “the law of the land.”
“Judicial supremacy leads to judicial tyranny, and that’s where we’re headed,” he said.
In an interview yesterday on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., railed against Pope Francis and other Christian leaders who have addressed the human influence on climate change.
Inhofe told FRC President Tony Perkins that the pope’s recent encyclical on climate science will encourage other Christian leaders to come “out of the closet” to “tell the truth” about climate change. Of course, “the truth,” according to Inhofe, is that climate change is a myth: “The science is still out on what effect CO2 might have in terms of what they call global warming and the science is more on our side than on their side.”
The Republican senator maintained that the Bible prophesied the pope’s climate change encyclical.
“We were warned this was going to happen,” Inhofe said. “Romans 1:25 said there would be a time when people would start worshiping the creation instead of the Creator, and that exactly is what’s been going on, the trend that has been going on today. The interesting thing is that all of those people on the other side are the extreme liberals that are against everything that you and I stand for. This is a highly political environment we’re in right now that should not have been brought into the Catholic Church or any other church.”
Conservative pundit and musician Pat Boone took to WorldNetDaily today to claim that the Charleston massacre wasn’t so much about racism than it was about demonic possession.
According to Boone, Obama has fomented racial hatred while suppressing God, giving power to “minions of Satan” like Dylann Roof.
“God loves America, Mr. President. But during your watch, His name is being erased from public life, forbidden in schools, ignored and repudiated in much public policy and laughed at in popular entertainment,” Boone wrote. “And as our society increasingly moves away from God’s protective, loving hand, we can expect more and more horrific demonic evil.”
Mr. President! For God’s sake, and America’s sake, quit so often calling crimes that involve a black person “racist”! As the president who came to office, a black man promising to bring people together, a man ideally suited for that job since you were born both black and white, you had a God-given chance to actually proclaim and demonstrate that racial divides and prejudice had greatly diminished and that our society was truly becoming colorblind.
Instead, both at home and, even more sadly, abroad, you have continued to bring up and confess America’s past record of racial prejudice and indicate we “still have issues to resolve” pertaining to race – as if your very presence as twice-elected president of the United States doesn’t proclaim loud and clear that we as a people have largely, though not completely, put to rest any image of America as an ongoing “racist” nation. We are not!
Now we come to the horrific scene in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a satanically inspired young white kid mercilessly kills a number of fine black Christians in a Wednesday night prayer service, in church!
And yes, I said, “inspired by Satan”! Though this had a racist element, to be sure, it was more than that and of far greater significance to America than that. This boy wasn’t just a sadist, or even criminally insane – he was carefully prepared and led by the Devil himself to kill as many Christians as he could. The fact that they were black was an excuse more than a reason.
Let me prove it to you. And let me persuade you to substitute another, more valid word for “racist.”
The word evil.
Mr. President, look in the eyes of these sad, forlorn, lost evildoers – the Roof kid, the Colorado theater killer, the young New Englander who mowed down little children at school, the Columbine duo, the maniac who shot up the Jewish day-care center and then killed a Hispanic postman “just because he was there,” the increasing mall and workplace insane murderers, even the thousands of children hypnotized by vile and violent video “games” – look deeply into their inner beings (not their skin color or professed motives), and you’ll encounter demons from hell, minions of Satan himself, coming diabolically against anything that God loves. God loves America, Mr. President. But during your watch, His name is being erased from public life, forbidden in schools, ignored and repudiated in much public policy and laughed at in popular entertainment. You declared, “Whatever America once was, she is no longer a Christian nation.”
Simple, stupid “racism” is not our problem, Mr. President. It is declaring that we are no longer a nation “under God.” And as our society increasingly moves away from God’s protective, loving hand, we can expect more and more horrific demonic evil.
Honorable mention: The most popular line on conservative Twitter this morning was written not by a professional pundit, but by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent. We’ll let Glenn Beck share this one:
“We should start calling this law SCOTUS Care,” Justice Scalia
WASHINGTON – Two years ago today, the Supreme Court gutted a core provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in its Shelby County decision. Yesterday a group of senators and representatives took new action toward restoring the VRA by introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would modernize the “preclearance” formula for federal oversight and make additional, critical updates to the landmark law.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the measure in the Senate. Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, introduced an identical measure in the House.
People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:
“We applaud Senator Leahy, Representative Lewis, and their colleagues for introducing this urgently-needed legislation.
“Two years after the Shelby County ruling gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act, voters in cities and states that were once protected by federal oversight are facing laws that make it harder to vote – laws that disproportionately affect people of color. This is unacceptable. Voting discrimination is still a very real, pervasive problem, even if some members of Congress choose to ignore it.
“The Voting Rights Advancement Act would help protect voters from this kind of discrimination and ensure that every American is able to exercise their fundamental right to participate in our elections. Congress should take up and pass this legislation now so that we can have fairer rules in place before 2016.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes spoke at the Faith and Freedom Conference last Saturday in order to warn his Christian comrades that a war is coming. Starnes argued that if “our Founding Fathers” could see “these Republicans campaigning as culture war conservatives but governing as godless Democrats” they would “start another revolution.”
Standing before the audience to “sound a warning, an alarm,” Starnes claimed that “the American way of life is under attack” from an “active and aggressive war on religious liberty.” However, this war does not affect “the Jewish faith, or the Muslim faith, or the Hindu faith,” but instead is targeted only against “people of the Christian faith.”
As evidence for this war against Christianity, Starnes used the horror story of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of gay marriage bans. “Understand this,” Starnes commanded.
“This is not just about marriage; this is about whether or not a government can begin to put limitations on the conscience and the convictions of people of faith.” Christians, according to Starnes, are already facing “considerable adversity” as “our businesses, and our families, and our churches are in jeopardy.”
However, moral Christians should not be hopeless. Starnes finds hope for the salvation of America in the Old Testament’s Book of Exodus, in which God sent a “swarm of hornets to clear the battlefield” for an outnumbered Israelite army. This story, argued Starnes, should be the “battle prayer of every patriot saint:”
When the public schools tell students that our Founding Fathers were a bunch of terrorists: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear the field! When a teacher tells a little boy he can’t pray over his meal: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear that field! When the Pentagon tells them to take down a cross on a Christian chapel: Send those hornets! Clear the field! When the Supreme Court says they know better than God: Send the hornets, Lord! Clear the field!
And, when the president says that America is no longer just a Christian nation: Don’t send the hornets, Lord. Send the mosquitoes and the gnats, and the bumblebees and the lightning bugs and the cicadas! Send every critter you got, Lord! Clear the field!”
Today People For the American Way will join a diverse group of civil rights and voting rights advocates in Roanoke, Virginia – represented in Congress by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte – to rally for a restored Voting Rights Act (VRA). The gathering will take place on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted a key provision of the VRA.
The event will include speeches from many esteemed leaders and activists, including People For the American Way Director of African American Religious Affairs, Minister Leslie Watson Malachi.
PFAW President Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“We join together to recognize both the brave leaders who paved the way for the Voting Rights Act fifty years ago and the road ahead to restore protections at the polls. For almost half a century, this landmark law helped ensure that people of color had equal access to the ballot box.
“It is imperative that Congress restores the protections that the Court gutted two years ago. Two years is far too long for voters to face the threat, and the reality, of increased racial discrimination at the polls. As we gear up for the 2016 presidential election, it’s more urgent than ever for these protections to be restored.
“Today we call on Chairman Goodlatte and his colleagues to honor those who have fought for decades for the right to cast a vote that counts by working together to renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.”
People For the American Way and African American Ministers In Action commend Senator Patrick Leahy, Representative John Lewis, and their colleagues for introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the VRA. Congress should take up and pass this legislation as quickly as possible.
The right-wing tactic of pushing discriminatory policies under the guise of religious freedom is nothing new -- we’ve already seen it used to hurt LGBT people in North Carolina, Louisiana, and elsewhere across the country. But now Republican lawmakers are going a step further, by attacking anti-discrimination legislation meant to protect Americans who aren't even represented in Congress.
The legislation is Washington, DC’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which would protect workers from being fired or punished by their employers for things like using birth control, getting pregnant without being married, or having an abortion. DC’s City Council recently passed RHNDA, and now Congress is using its (fundamentally undemocratic) authority to reverse DC’s local laws to repeal it on the grounds that it violates the religious freedom of employers. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a rider that would block DC from using local funds to enforce RHNDA.
Today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) held a press conference in DC, where she denounced these congressional attacks and praised the DC employers who have vowed to embrace RHNDA’s protections anyway.
“Republicans do not understand how united this city is against discrimination, and they do not need to; they just need to let the District be the District... Our Republican opponents claim that the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act will allow pro-choice employees of anti-choice organizations to espouse their own personal pro-choice beliefs. That falsehood must be met with the truth that employees must carry out the mission of their employer.”
Jindal’s support for Creationism in schools has brought international notoriety to the state, as over 70 Nobel Laureates signed a letter reminding the governor that “scientific education should accurately portray the premises and processes of science. Teaching religious ideas mislabeled as science is detrimental to scientific education: It sets up a false conflict between science and religion, misleads our youth about the nature of scientific inquiry, and thereby compromises our ability to respond to the problems of an increasingly technological world.”
While Jindal made Louisiana a laughingstock with his stand for Creationism, he brought the state further disrepute when he traveled abroad to claim that Sharia law “no-go zones” are springing up around Europe and will soon come to the United States. Seemingly relying on debunked talking points from Fox News and anti-Muslim activists, Jindal didn’t know how to react when a reporter in London asked if he could name a single Sharia law “no-go zone” in the British capital. He responded that he did not actually know where they exist.
Jindal has been so committed to the Religious Right’s attack on gay rights that when state lawmakers backed away from legislation that would have potentially enshrined discrimination into law, Jindal signed an executive order based on the controversial bill. The governor believes that gay rights opponents are the “real victims of discrimination” in American society, pointing to A&E’s temporary suspension of the show Duck Dynasty after one of the cast members made racist and homophobic statements in a magazine interview as a sign that First Amendment freedoms are under “assault” as part of a “war on religious liberty.”
Religious freedom laws which don’t include protections for anti-LGBT businesses, Jindal warned, are “dangerous” and represent “an attack on our Constitution.”
When it came to choosing between solving Louisiana’s self-inflicted budget crisis or catering to a D.C. lobbyist, Jindal chose the latter, leading to a rebellion even among his fellow Republicans. Jindal wants to keep his no-tax bona fides in place for the presidential campaign, and as a result has to please anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, whom some in Louisiana have called “Governor Norquist” since Jindal will apparently only approve budget plans that have his blessing.
Instead of raising taxes outright to stave off a budget shortfall, the governor worked with Norquist on an opaque and complicated revenue scheme known as the SAVE Act which one lawmaker called the “DUMB Act.” With actions like these, it is no wonder that not even a third of Louisiana voters give Jindal a positive job approval rating.
Of course, Jindal’s attacks on Common Core defied reality, as he claims that it is a federal government takeover of education policy, even though it is and always has been a state-led initiative. “Look at the math, it makes absolutely no sense to a lot of our kids, including my own children,” he said.