Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) was one of 12 Republicans in the Senate who voted last month to extend protection for the marriages of same-sex couples, and she’s getting major blowback from members of her own party back in her home state just because she dared to do the right thing.
According to Iowa Starting Line, Ernst is now being censured by county Republican parties and branded a “betrayer of Christ.”
Six Iowa Republican county parties have voted to censure Sen. Joni Ernst over her “yes” vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, while one of Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ home Republican county parties is openly recruiting for a primary challenger over her same vote.
“[H]omosexuality clearly violates the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, the source of our rights,” the Des Moines County Republicans wrote in their censures. “[T]he same sex ‘marriage’ is a ‘slippery slope’ that will undoubtedly lead to the recognition of polygamous and incestuous unions…”
Wright, Guthrie, Ida, Mahaska, Pocahontas, Van Buren and Des Moines counties have all written to Ernst and condemned her vote. The most common complaint is that Ernst’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage is in conflict with the Iowa Republican Party platform and, in some cases, the county party platforms.
Of course, those counties could easily join the 21st century and amend their platforms, but that would require them giving a damn about all people instead of just those who agree with their right-wing view of the world.
One minister even condemned Ernst as “an enemy of true liberty” and “betrayer of Christ,” even though Christ never once said a word about the subject of same-sex marriage or homosexuality. Makes you wonder what Bible the so-called minister is reading.
The chairman of a Republican district in Michigan is demanding that a library be shut down immediately after he learned that there were LGBTQ books on the shelves.
Bridge Michigan reports that Shane Trejo, Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Chair, is under investigation after making threats against the Patmos Library in Jamestown Township, Michigan.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s office confirmed to Bridge Michigan on Thursday that the office is investigating an allegation that the Patmos Library in Jamestown Township was threatened last week by Republican 11th Congressional District Chair Shane Trejo on Facebook.
The train depot-themed library has received national attention since residents twice this year voted to defund their public library in a fight over graphic novels that some opponents liken to pornography or “grooming” children to be sexually assaulted.
Defunding the library has led to a loss of nearly 84% of it’s $245,000 annual budget. A donation of $100,000 from a local family is keeping the library open through 2025.
Trejo is in trouble for urging that the library be shut down “by force.”
Trejo, who lives more than 100 miles away from Patmos Library on the east side of the state, wrote on Facebook it is “Time to shut down the library by force. And then perhaps charge the people writing these checks as accessories for child abuse.”
The comments were made from a Facebook account under the name “Sean Trujillo (also Shane).” The account identifies the owner of the account as “chairman at Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Republican Committee.”
Trujillo’s post came to the attention of authorities after Marcia Frobish, a board member at the library, called them to say she was fearful for the safety of employees at the library.
Reached for comment, Trejo said the “state should shut down this library and any library that has pornography books available for kids. It should not be allowed to exist on private funding or crowdsourced funding of any kind.”
The books Trejo is so offended by include “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which includes drawings of sex acts and others that depict same-sex relationships among teenagers.
Trejo once hosted a podcast in which he talked with a member of the white supremacist group Evropa. He has also expressed his support for white supremacists who organized the “Unite the Right” which took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, calling them “civil rights heroes.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a case involving the rights of private businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans on “religious grounds,” and there are fears that conservatives on the high court may allow discrimination if the defendant claims it violates his or her beliefs.
The wedding websites that Colorado-based web designer Lorie Smith would like to create for clients might offer ceremony details, pictures, a story about the couple and a biblical quote celebrating how through marriage they “become one flesh.”
They would not, however, show same-sex nuptials.
Smith, an evangelical Christian who believes marriage is only between a man and a woman, has taken her fight to refuse to make wedding websites for same-sex couples and to advertise that policy to the U.S. Supreme Court in a major case to be argued on Monday. Smith is appealing lower court rulings backing Colorado.
During oral arguments, some of the conservative justices did indeed seem included to allow such blatant discrimination, according to CNN.
Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that a businessperson’s objection would not be based on the status of the same-sex couple, but instead, the message the businessperson did not want to send. The question isn’t the “who” Gorsuch said, but the “what.”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett told a lawyer for the designer that her “strongest ground” is that the designer’s work is “custom.”
The newest justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, had a brilliant question for an attorney representing Smith before the court.
“Give me your thoughts on a photography business in a shopping mall during this holiday season that offers a product called Scenes with Santa, and this business wants to express its own view of nostalgia about Christmases past by reproducing classic 1940s and 1950s Santa scenes…because they’re trying to capture the feelings of a certain era, their policy is that only white children can be photographed with Santa in this way, because that’s how they view the scenes with Santa that they’re trying to depict.”
The attorney desperately attempted to differentiate between the two:
When Jackson countered that the two instances are exactly the same, the attorney replied, “The specific objection that you’re including is not necessarily in that photograph, but even if it were, this court has protected vile, awful, reprehensible, violent speech in the past.”
How exactly is it “speech” to refuse to set up a website for someone just because the potential client is LGBTQ? That’s discrimination and it wouldn’t be allowed based on the color of a person’s skin, as Justice Jackson noted. But the current right-wing 6-3 majority on the court may allow it to happen with their approval. Yet another reason we need to expand the court and make sure these six extremist judges don’t take away every right we have.
Earlier this week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson proved yet again what a willfully ignorant bigot he is, attacking Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for daring to have an opinion on the mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado.
According to Carlson, Buttigieg didn’t bother to come out of the closet until his thirties. Oh, and he also accused Buttigieg of lying about his sexual orientation to gain entrance into the U.S. military, where he served with honor and distinction.
“No, Pete Buttigieg wants to talk about identity. He always wants to talk about identity. And the funny, ironic thing is that until just a few years ago, Buttigieg wouldn’t even admit that he was gay. He hid that and then lied about it for reasons he has never been asked to explain. Why not?
“But whatever. Now he is happy to use his sexual orientation as a cudgel to bash you repeatedly in the face into submission. Quote, here’s his latest, ‘If you’re a politician or media figure who sets up the LGBTQ community to be hated and feared, not because any of us who ever harmed you, but because you find it useful that don’t you dare act surprised when this kind of violence follows.’”
That led Chasten Buttigieg, who is married to the transportation secretary, to tell CNN host Don Lemon:
“I would just love for him to follow Secretary Pete on Twitter. He can follow along all of the things that are happening at the Department.
“I just think these people, again, with the megaphones, they have a bit platform. And rather than focusing on real issues, people’s lives – making them better, they decided to focus on hate.”
Chasten also explained exactly why his husband hid his sexual orientation while he chose to serve his country:
But it was what Chasten Buttigieg said next that’s the perfect antidote to the narrowminded musings of Carlson and his ilk.
“Remember, this type of rhetoric is easy. It’s so easy to attack people and go on your talk show and fire people up about something that’s not actually happening.
“I love my husband deeply. I know that he’s a committed public servant and he has everyone’s best interest at heart.”