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Religious exemptions are gutting civil rights protections, advocacy groups warn
The Trump administration's expansion of religious exemptions is undermining civil rights protections and codifying discrimination against marginalized groups — particularly LGBTQ people — according to a report released Monday by three research and advocacy groups.
Using a combination of new rules, legal interventions and newly created divisions, the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and State have all taken steps to advance "religious liberty," often at the expense of LGBTQ rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project argue in their report.
The proposed rules — from the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Agriculture and Education, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development — would undo several Obama-era regulations, including those that require federally funded religious organizations to inform beneficiaries about certain rights.
For example, if a homeless LGBTQ teen sought help from a faith-based provider and the provider was not accepting of the teen's sexual orientation or gender identity, the provider would no longer have to inform the teen under the new rule about alternative providers that may be more accepting.
"These rules would be harmful to LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities and others during the best of times, but they're particularly unconscionable during a public health crisis when even more people than usual are relying on social services," said Rachel Laser, president of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which was not involved with Monday's report.
Anti-LGBTQ+ Boosie Hired Sex Worker to 'Prepare' Pre-Teens
Rapper Boosie Badazz is causing an uproar on social media after revealing he once hired a sex worker to give oral sex to his son and nephews when they were 12 and 13 years old.
“I’m training these boys right,” he said in an Instagram Live video yesterday. “Ask any of my nephews, ask any of them, ask my son. Yeah, when they was 12, 13, they got head. Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Hell yeah, I got my fucking son dick sucked.”
Women who dare dissent targeted for abuse by Yemen's rebels
Samera al-Huri’s fellow activists were disappearing, one by one. When she asked their families, each gave the same cryptic reply: “She’s traveling.” A few of the women re-emerged. But they seemed broken and refused to say where they had been for months.
Al-Huri soon found out.
A dozen officers from the Houthi rebels who control northern Yemen snatched her from her home in the capital, Sanaa, at dawn.
They took her to the basement of a converted school, its filthy cells filled with female detainees. Interrogators beat her bloody, gave her electrical shocks and, as psychological torture, scheduled her execution only to call it off last-minute.
Women who dare dissent, or even enter the public sphere, have become targets in an escalating crackdown by the Houthis.
Activists and former detainees described to The Associated Press a network of secret detention facilities where they are tortured and sometimes raped. Taiz Street, a main avenue in Sanaa, is dotted with several of them, hidden inside private villas and the school where al-Huri was held.
Former CBS Reporter Lara Logan Revisits Terrifying 2011 Rape by Mob in Egypt Amidst $25 Million Lawsuit
Lara Logan is recounting her horrific 2011 rape in Egypt while she was covering the resignation of then-president Hosni Mubarak.
Logan, 49, opened up about the ordeal in an interview with Newsweek on Monday, telling the outlet that she wants to tell her story again as part of a bigger discussion about the media.
“You can’t have a #MeToo movement standing up for women and righting the wrongs of the past but say nothing about a female journalist who was gang-raped and almost died,” she said.
Logan, who was in Cairo at the time working as a journalist for CBS News, said that at first, the crowd she was in seemed “pro-American.”
“Suddenly, our translator turned to me with a look of sheer terror and said, ‘Run, run!’ I felt people grabbing between my legs,” she recalled. “I was quite stunned.”
Disturbed teen killer who lured student, 24, to her home on a dating app before choking him to death with a sex toy cord and whispering softly to him as he died 'should spend four years in youth jail'
Death Sentence Upheld For Man Convicted Of Locking Young Girl In Box And Letting Her Suffocate
Two women charged in Bradford, Ont., human trafficking investigation: police
Fans hold sign taunting high school hockey player to “reveal” her gender & shout slurs
Fans of a high school hockey team shouted slurs at a female hockey player while holding a sign asking her to “reveal” her gender. 17-year-old Alyssa Wruble is the only girl on the Northampton Area High School varsity hockey team.
A group of the opposing team’s fans chanted “she has a penis” and “35 you’re a dude!” at the girl. They also held up a sign that asked “Alyssa gender reveal?” and had pink or blue checkboxes.
Priest refuses communion to state lawmakers who voted for pro-abortion bill
A Rhode Island priest is refusing to serve Holy Communion to state lawmakers who supported a pro-abortion bill.
In 2019, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill preserving federal abortion protections into state law. According to U.S. News and World Report, the law says that Rhode Island will not restrict a woman's right to abortion "prior to fetal viability or afterward if an abortion is necessary for the health or life of the mother."
What are the details?
According to the Providence Journal, the Rev. Richard Bucci, 72, passed out flyers at West Warwick, Rhode Island's Sacred Heart Church publicly highlighting all state lawmakers who voted on a pro-abortion bill.
Bucci also said that these lawmakers will not be able to serve as marriage witnesses, godparents, or lectors at church-sponsored events.
Gay-Haters Lob Venom at Shakira, Jennifer Lopez Halftime Show
The sexy and rather political halftime performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira at Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring revealing costumes, pole dancing, and a condemnation of Donald Trump’s immigration policies, is drawing both praise and criticism, with some of the leading critics coming from the religious right.
One of the most vocal is Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (and a reliably anti-LGBTQ voice). In a Facebook post, Graham dubbed the show “sexual exploitation” — even though he has forgiven Trump for his admitted exploitation of women — and he took its sponsor, Pepsi, and the NFL to task.
“I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time television in order to protect children,” Graham wrote. “We see that disappearing before our eyes. It was demonstrated tonight in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show — with millions of children watching. This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay. With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it. I’m disappointed in Pepsi and the NFL.”
North Carolina police officer fired for following the 'Billy Graham Rule,' lawsuit says
A North Carolina police officer is suing for religious discrimination after he said he was fired for refusing to spend extended time with a woman who isn’t his wife, a practice commonly known as the “Billy Graham Rule.”
Manuel Torres, 51, worked as a deputy for the Lee County Sheriff for five years when his boss asked him to train a female deputy in July 2017. Torres requested a religious accommodation, the suit alleges, saying he “holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife.”
Torres, a Baptist who serves as a deacon at his local church, said in the suit that training his colleague would leave the appearance of “sinful conduct.”
Parents protest vulgar anti-LGBTQ priest appointed to teach pre-teens at Catholic school
Rev. Erik Richtsteig is supposed to become a new youth pastor working with kids ages four to 15 in Salt Lake City’s Catholic schools. But more than 150 parents have signed a petition opposing his appointment after discovering his anti-LGBTQ and misogynist social media posts.
According to New York Daily News:
“In a post on Facebook, the paper noted, the priest said that images shared by LGBTQ individuals in June (Pride month) looked ‘like a gnome vomited.’
He also would not accept any friend requests from people who had a rainbow filter over their picture.”
He has reportedly also followed Facebook pages with titles like, “Male feminists are p*ssies,” “Right wing extremist” and “Obama has to go.”
College kicks out trans student for having top surgery
Las Vegas Man Arrested for Plotting Bombing of LGBTQ+ Bar
Report: Sibling Killed in Dayton Shooting Was Trans Man Jordan Cofer
The 14th Black Trans Woman Has Been Murdered Just This Year
Anti-LGBTQ+ Violence in Latin America Reaches 'Alarming' Level
This ‘Straight Pride’ organiser blames her gay son for their bad relationship
Teen girl allegedly knocked out after turning down stranger’s advances
A British teenager claims she was punched unconscious after telling a group of creepy strangers following her in the street, “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.”
Gabrielle Walsh, 18, said she was with a male friend in the early hours walking home from a club in Manchester when three men approached them.
“I’d taken my shoes off and this guy came over and said, ‘I like your feet’. I just said, ‘OK,’ and we tried to walk away,” she told the Manchester Evening News, showing off her horribly swollen left eye from this weekend’s alleged attack.
“They kept walking behind trying to talk to me. Eventually, I turned around and said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not interested,’ ” she claimed.
Giants’ Kamrin Moore arrested for punching woman unconscious
Ex-cop claims co-worker raped and beat her for years
YouTube Star Ray Diaz Charged After Teen Girl Alleges He Sexually Abused and Beat Her
'Doomsday prepper' couple is accused of abusing two victims on their farm for years
Woman sexually assaulted at Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival
When Does America Reckon with the Gravity of Donald Trump’s Alleged Rapes?
Bill to make priests report abuse put on hold in California
A bill that would require California religious leaders to report their co-workers' confessions of child abuse or neglect has been put on hold amid opposition from the Catholic church.
California law already requires clergy to report knowledge of child abuse and neglect. But they can keep it a secret if they learned about it during a confession.
State Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo, wrote a bill this year to change that, but only if the confession was from another religious leader or someone who works at the church. It passed the Senate by a vote of 30-4 in May.
On Tuesday, Hill announced he was putting the bill on hold because it did not have enough support to pass the state Assembly. But Hill said the issue remains important to him, and he vowed to continue his efforts to pass it.
Alleged rape in Germany sparks debate on lowering age of child criminality
Man tried to rape woman who was taking out trash in Brooklyn
28 Women Reportedly Sent to Mar-a-Lago in 1992 for VIP Party of Two—Trump and Jeffrey Epstein
Pet Dogs Save Owner From Sexual Assault, Attack Man During Walk
New Jersey judge who told alleged rape victim to 'close your legs' is 'remorseful,' lawyer says
NDAs: Millionaire given secrecy order over sex assault claims
A senior British establishment figure was given anonymity after accusations of sexual harassment and assault in an employment case, it has been reported.
The Times reported that one woman said she was groped at his country house and another that she was sexually assaulted in his private office.
The women signed "gagging orders" in return for large payouts.
It means the man, who denies the claims, cannot be named and his identity was concealed in court papers.
The Times said it had been fighting for a year to be allowed to name the multi-millionaire businessman, who is described by the paper as having extensive connections in British politics and society.
French priest defrocked for abusing Scouts in landmark case
Indonesia’s top court jails woman who reported sexual harassment
Youth group leader, 22, is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl several times - as his cars are taken by police for examination
Brooklyn teacher admits to sexually abusing 14-year-old student
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex trafficking charges
An anti-gay church pastor confessed to sexually abusing underage boys
Shocking video captures 'brave' 13-year-old girl fighting off, escaping attempted kidnapping
'I Effectively Have Become an Instrument of State Abuse of Power': Abortion in Missouri Now
In Missouri, where the state’s last remaining abortion clinic is in a legal battle to keep its doors open, Republicans have imposed another invasive and unnecessary requirement for anyone obtaining an abortion: now, patients must undergo a pelvic exam at least 72 hours prior to the procedure.
A pelvic exam “includes putting your fingers and other instruments in the vagina, when really that gives no medical information,” Dr. Colleen McNicholas of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services, Missouri’s last abortion clinic, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “It doesn’t do anything to help the patient, or myself, choose what is the best approach for their abortion care.”
Strict US Anti-Abortion Laws Forced a Woman to Give Birth to a Baby Without a Skull
State lawmakers voted to force ‘chemical castration’ on sex offenders. Medical experts urge caution.
A bill in Alabama awaiting the governor’s signature would require people convicted of certain sex offenses to undergo “chemical castration” as a condition of parole — a requirement meant to keep perpetrators from committing similar crimes.
The proposed law, passed by the state legislature, says a judge must order anyone convicted of a sex offense involving a child under the age of 13 to start receiving testosterone-inhibiting medication a month before their release from prison. Most offenders would have to pay for their treatment, which would be administered by the Department of Public Health, until a judge decides the medication is no longer necessary.
Phil Murphy’s office botched staffer’s sex assault claim: panel
A 12-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated in Guam can't have an abortion because there are no providers in the US territory
14-Year-Old Victim Helps Police Bust Human Trafficking Operation
Catholic priest blasted for asking 'ladies' to dress modestly to 'protect the purity of the men at holy Mass'
A Catholic priest was blasted on Twitter for asking "ladies" to dress modestly to "protect the purity of men at holy Mass." And while Father Kevin M. Cusick later tweeted that he isn't backing down from his request, it appears his Twitter account has since been deleted.
Cusick — who's from the Washington, D.C., area — on Monday posted the following tweet: "Ladies, a priest I know was forced on Sunday to ask a woman at Mass to cover her shoulders. Please help the priest to protect the purity of the men at holy Mass by choosing to dress modestly. The alternative is awkward for all involved. Thank you."
Woman accuses top US cardinal of dismissing sex abuse case
Man accused of dropping 13-year-old girl at hospital before her death gets added charge of rape
Patrolling Officers Catch Woman Having Sex With 13-Year-Old Boy In Parked Car