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Democrat vows to impeach Clarence Thomas if elected

(Washington Times) A Democrat running for the U.S. House in Massachusetts has made an unusual political promise: Put me in Congress and I’ll impeach Justice Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment and perjury.

State Sen. Barbara L’Italien said the promise would be part of a broad assault on sexual abuse at the highest levels of the U.S. government that also would include congressional hearings about claims made by many women about President Trump.

At Justice Thomas’s confirmation hearings in 1991, Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment — one of the first such cases made against a public figure. Justice Thomas vehemently denied the charges, calling them a “high-tech lynching” against an “uppity” black man.

Numerous women who’d worked with Justice Thomas said the graphic accusations from Ms. Hill were not credible to them.

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Obama-era DACA program likely illegal: Judge

(Washington Times) A federal judge ruled Friday that the DACA deportation amnesty was probably illegal when President Obama created it in 2012 — but he refused to halt the program altogether, leaving it to other courts to sort out a major legal mess.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen’s ruling clashes with those of several other federal courts which said President Trump’s attempt last year to phase out the DACA program was also illegal.

Taken on face, the rulings mean that the program is illegal — but so is the effort to erase it from the books.

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Sponsor of California ‘Bible-sale ban’ pulls proposal

Bible lit up

The sponsor of a proposal in California that would have called any financial transaction involving counseling against same-sex attractions – a conference fee, a book purchase and more – consumer fraud has pulled his proposal.

AB2943 was just one vote short of the governor’s desk, and it had virtually unanimous support from Democrats who are in the majority in the state Assembly and Senate.

But it had been condemned by faith leaders as a virtual ban on the sales of the Bible, which includes text condemning homosexuality.

The Sacramento Bee reported Friday Assemblyman Evan Low said after meeting with faith leaders, he dropped his plan.

“I left those productive conversations feeling hopeful. I believe every person who attended these meetings left with a greater understanding for the underlying reason and intention of this bill to create a loving and inclusive environment for all,” the Democrat said in a statement. “However, I believe there is still more to learn.”

The deadline for a vote also was Friday.

Assembly Bill 2943 would have made it against the law – a “consumer fraud” – to sell any service intended to change an individual’s sexuality or gender identity.

Such counseling, which studies show is effective, is anathema to homosexuals and lesbians, because it takes away their argument that they were born that way and cannot change.

It reveals the decision to choose an alternative sexual lifestyle as just that – a decision, even if there are factors that push a person in that direction.

The state already adopted such a prohibition for counseling for minors.

Low, a homosexual, claimed those therapy programs inflict abuse on people.

That claim also was made just this week by Chelsea Clinton, who erupted when it was reported some ads promoting that therapy found their way on the pages of Facebook.

Following user complaints, Clinton stormed into the discussion on Twitter:

“Child abuse. ‘Conversion therapy’ is child abuse. There are not two sides to this question and these ads – and the practices they promote – should be illegal everywhere. Full stop,” she wrote, apparently tossing the Constitution’s free speech protections into the dustbin.

The London Daily Mail reported that a Facebook user named Alystair Ryder had complained of an ad for a book titled “Help for Men with Same-Sex Attraction.”

He said the ad left him “shaken.”

According to the British paper, users said that when they clicked on an option to find out why they were being shown the ads, they were informed it was because they showed interest in “gender” issues.

Critics of the plan had promised an immediate challenge in court because of the free speech implications.

Officials with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund expressed gratitude that it was gone for now.

A statement issued by the group said: “The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund is dedicated to the preserving the First Amendment rights of all Americans. If passed, AB 2943 would have criminalized even ordinary religious speech on same-sex attraction, and it also would have forbidden LGBT persons from making a deeply personal choice to explore conversion therapy.

“We applaud Assemblymember Low for understanding he represents all his California constituents, regardless of political ideology or sexual orientation. His choice to at least listen to the millions of Californians who opposed AB2943 should be a model example for all elected politicians.”

The California Family Council and other groups has actively opposed it.

From the National Center for Law and Policy, spokesman Dean Broyles said, “I am grateful to Evan Low for listening to pastors and religious leaders who were legitimately concerned about how AB 2943 targeted, chilled, and censored religious beliefs and speech.

“Tolerance is a two-way street. As recently confirmed in the NIFLA v. Becerra and Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court, we still have a First Amendment that protects conscience and religious beliefs, even unpopular beliefs not approved by the state. Change is possible and we need to preserve freedom of choice here. Citizens struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria must remain free to choose to seek the counseling assistance they desire and need.”

Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute added, “This should be a great encouragement to the faith community in California that active engagement with lawmakers can still make a difference.”

The legislation had been looming amid the release of a Liberty Counsel study showing that such therapies overwhelmingly are effective.

The study, titled “Effects of Therapy on Religious Men Who Have Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction,” authored by Paul Santero, Neil Whitehead and Dolores Ballesteros, all PhDs, introduces its findings by noting that the American Psychological Association and other organizations “have formally claimed that sexual orientation change therapies should not be used because they are probably ineffective and may cause harm.”

However, the authors report: “A survey asking for negative and positive experiences of 125 men with active lay religious belief who went through sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) strongly conflict with those claims. In our study, most of those who participated in group or professional help had heterosexual shifts in sexual attraction, sexual identity and behavior with large statistical effect sizes, similarly moderate-to-marked decreases in suicidality, depression, substance abuse, and increases in social functioning and self -esteem. Almost all harmful effects were none to slight.”

This result, Liberty Counsel explains, “strongly refutes claims the American Psychological Association and other organizations have made aimed at discouraging counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, and identity.”

WND reported on when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a news commentator, warned of “a terrible storm that’s brewing on the horizon.”

“You may have heard the news or seen the reports, but people of faith in California are bracing for one of the most dramatic ideological shifts away from the First Amendment in our nation’s history,” Huckabee said. “It’s the kind of storm that destroys the foundations of liberty and a free society.”

Huckabee said it “prevents faith-led counselors from assisting clients with same-sex attraction or gender confusion. It prohibits churches from holding any ticketed events addressing topics of sexuality.”

“But it’s FAR more reaching than that,” he added. “This means the sale of ANY book that states the practice of homosexuality or transgender identification as immoral actions would be illegal in California. … This could include the Bible!”

Although the legislation’s sponsors deny it, he said, “legal experts agree that AB 2943 is so broadly worded in its description of prohibited activities that it can easily be interpreted to stop the sale of goods and services that promote a biblical worldview!”

WND has reported that a lawmaker and an LGBT activist have admitted that the bill targets “pastors” and members of the “faith community.” A video showed California state Assembly member Al Muratsuchi admitting he wants to target people of faith.

After all, the lawmaker argued, the First Amendment “does not prohibit banning fraudulent conduct.”

“The faith community, like anyone else, needs to evolve with the times,” he declared.

Meanwhile, in a speech at Google headquarters, LGBT activist Samuel Brinton promised to “figure out” how to stop “pastors” and churches from offering such counseling.

“I may not be able to find every little camp … every pastor, but I can make it something that is culturally unacceptable,” he said. “Yes, it’s directly affecting mental health professionals, but by proxy, it’s affecting everyone else.”

The California bill had been approved by the Assembly, then the Senate, and was awaiting only another vote in the Assembly to consider Senate amendments.

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Pelosi condemns due process for accused students

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who wants to be House speaker, condemned new rules being implemented by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that give due process to students accused of sex assault on college campuses.

DeVos’ actions follow the controversy over the Obama administration’s rule that a “preponderance of evidence” standard be used for such cases instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The “preponderance” standard holds that it’s more likely than not that an incident occurred.  Consequently, many students have been punished on evidence that would fail in a criminal court.

DeVos previously suspended Obama’s rules, and now is preparing new ones.

The new Title IX policies call on schools to conduct objective investigations and provide “prompt and equitable” resolutions. And just as an institution’s treatment of a complainant could constitute sex discrimination, so also would the treatment of the accused under the new rules.

The rules also require that schools approach all investigations under the presumption that the accused is innocent until proved guilty.

That enraged Pelosi, the House minority leader, who tweeted: “BetsyDeVosED has consistently worked to undermine Title IX protections for survivors of campus sexual assault. Her plan to create extraordinary new barriers to justice for survivors is an insult to students across the country.”

In her statement, Pelosi said Democrats “will always protect students, victims and survivors – not betray them.”

“As we stand firm against this administration’s relentless attacks on the rights of women and students, we will continue to fight For The People to ensure our government works for everyone.”

Twitchy, the Twitter news curation site, noted California resident Cynthia Garrett responded to Pelosi’s tweet writing: “You either have no shame and are intentionally lying about the leaked draft Title IX policies, or you are embarrassingly uneducated about what has been proposed. Either way, call me one seriously unimpressed California resident.”

 

 

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Supremes give thumbs down on Catholic foster program

philadelphia_gay_flag

An emergency plea from families helping Philadelphia’s neediest children through a Catholic Social Services foster care program has been given a thumbs by the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined Thursday to intervene in a lawsuit over the charity’s refusal to place children with same-sex couples.

Catholic Social Services had asked the court to order the city to resume placing children with its foster care program while litigation continued.

Three justices dissented — Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas — and the battle lines now are being drawn in a lower court.

“We hoped for a different decision today, but we are encouraged that three justices agreed that we had an ‘indisputably clear right to relief’ in order to help foster parents to continue serving children in need,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket, which is representing the parents.

“We look forward to pressing these parents’ case at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia next month.”

U.S. District Judge Petrese Tucker earlier this year ruled that the city could order the Catholics to place foster children with same-sex foster parents in violation of their religious beliefs.

CSS argued in court that the city’s “vindictive conduct will lead to displaced children, empty homes, and the closure of a 100-year-old ministry.”

WND reported earlier this year the Catholics submitted a brief to the district court that claimed the city “made clear that Catholic’s religious beliefs would not be an acceptable basis for Catholic’s unwillingness to provide a written certification regarding a [same-sex] couple’s relationship and to approve that couple for foster care.”

“The city’s rhetoric further reveals that the goal of its actions is to force Catholic to change its beliefs such as the statements that it’s ‘not 100 years ago anymore’ and ‘times are changing’ and Catholic’s religious beliefs should change, too.”

Catholics charged the city’s policy is motivated by religious hostility.

WND reported the city cut off the foster homes in the CSS program even while it was making an urgent call for 300 new foster parents to provide loving homes for some of the more than 6,000 children in Philadelphia foster care.

“What justice is there in taking stable, loving homes away from children? If the city cuts off Catholic Social Services from foster care, foster moms like me won’t have the help and support they need to care for special-needs kids,” said a foster parent bring the lawsuit, Sharonell Fulton. “I have relied on Catholic Social Services for support for years, and the city is taking away this help and causing harm and heartache to countless families like mine.”

CSS says the dispute appears to be personal.

“The city has targeted Catholic Social Services because of its religious beliefs. City officials have been open about their disagreement with Catholic teaching on marriage and their personal animosity toward the archdiocese,” the complaint stated.

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Trump team preparing ‘counter report’ on Mueller

(Washington Examiner) Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, said that Trump’s legal team is composing a “counter-report” in an effort to undermine the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe, a new report says.

Giuliani told the Daily Beast the report will evaluate whether the “initiation of the investigation was … legitimate or not.” The report will broken into two categories: one that will cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mueller’s investigation by raising “possible conflicts” of interest from federal law enforcement, and another that will address accusations of collusion with the Kremlin from the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice from Trump.

Giuliani confessed that since it’s unclear was Mueller has unearthed so far, the counter-report has become quite lengthy.

“Since we have to guess what it is, [our report so far] is quite voluminous,” Giuliani said.

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Gohmert: FBI ‘deceptive’ over Clinton hacking report

(Washington Examiner) Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, rebuffed the FBI after it issued a denial in response to a report that said an unidentified Chinese company hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized private email server.

In a report published earlier this week, the Daily Caller News Foundation cited sources that said a Chinese-state owned firm located in the Washington, D.C., area had access to Clinton’s emails in real time courtesy of a code embedded in the New York-based server which then made copies of the emails, some of which contained classified information.

In response, an agency spokesman said: “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”

But Gohmert, who told Fox News on Tuesday that a foreign entity had obtained Clinton’s emails but did not identify from which country, put out a statement that emphasized it was not the FBI but rather the intelligence community inspector general that discovered the hack.

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