Stacey Abrams drops into historic Verzuz rap battle to encourage Georgians to vote in critical Senate runoff races: ‘Let’s get it done’

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AOC Called Out Senate Republicans For Trapping Congress Into A ‘Shameful’ Bill

Progressive Democrats are not impressed with the stimulus bill that the House of Representatives passed on Friday (March 27) — and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went as far as calling the bill “shameful” in a biting speech on the House floor the morning of the vote. She also called out Senate Republicans for creating a bill that she says puts corporations before workers.
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Mark Zuckerberg Senate Testimony Highlights

Highlights from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.”
WIRED Videos

Mark Zuckerberg Senate Testimony Highlights

Highlights from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.”
WIRED Videos

Senate Comeback

A member of the Senate, known for his hot temper and acid tongue, exploded one day in mid-session and began to shout, “Half of this Senate is made up
of cowards and corrupt politicians!”

All the other Senators pleaded to the angry member that he withdraw his statement or be removed from the remainder of the session. After a long pause,
the angry member accepted.

“OK,” he said, “I withdraw what I said. Half of this Senate is NOT made up of cowards and corrupt politicians!”

Received from Pastor Tim.
The Good, Clean Funnies List

Arkansas Senate Passes Religion Bill Called Anti-Gay

(Adds Walmart comment)

By Jon Herskovitz

March 27 (Reuters) – The Arkansas Senate overwhelmingly approved on Friday a Republican-backed bill whose authors say is intended to protect religious freedoms but critics contend could allow businesses to refuse service to gay people.

The Republican governor of Indiana signed into law a similar “religious freedom” bill on Thursday, prompting protests from human rights groups and criticism from some business leaders.

The bill advancing in the Republican-led Arkansas legislature says “governments should not substantially burden the free exercise of religion without compelling justification.”

Supporters say a business should not be forced to, for example, cater a same-sex wedding if doing so would violate the religious beliefs of the owner.

Two of the most powerful companies in the United States, retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which has its home office in Arkansas, and technology giant Apple Inc have criticized the measure.

“We feel this legislation is counter to this core basic belief of respect for the individual and sends the wrong message about Arkansas, as well as the diverse environment which exists in the state,” a Walmart spokesman said in a statement.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, referring to the measures in the two states, said in a tweet: “Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar HB1228.”

The measure passed the Arkansas House in February by a comfortable margin and now goes back to it for consideration of amendments in the Senate version. Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, has said he would sign the measure into law.

A U.S. judge last year struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage but the decision has been put on hold pending appeals. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Steve Barnes; Editing by Sandra Maler & Kim Coghill)

Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

Chemistry.com gay - First Date 300x250

North Carolina Senate Votes To Allow Officials To Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples

By Marti Maguire

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb 25 (Reuters) – The North Carolina state Senate voted on Wednesday to allow government officials to refuse to marry same-sex couples without fear of being fired, adding a new twist to the gay marriage debate in a region where such unions have faced strong opposition.

North Carolina, which began allowing gay marriages last year to comply with a federal court order, had banned same-sex matrimony in a 2012 referendum. It is among 37 states where gay marriage is legal.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month agreed to decide whether states can ban gay marriage in a ruling that will determine whether 13 remaining state bans will be struck down.

In North Carolina, some of the civil officers who perform marriages, known as magistrates, threatened to resign rather than perform unions that ran counter to their religious beliefs.

While the bill does not mention gay marriage explicitly, it allows employees to recuse themselves from performing marriages by citing a “sincerely held religious objection.”

After submitting their objections in writing, magistrates would be barred from performing any marriage for six months or until they removed their objections.

Senate leader Phil Berger, the Republican who sponsored the bill, cited a case in his home county in which a magistrate was forced to resign over his refusal to perform gay marriages.

Berger said the bill will allow the state to comply with the law while preserving religious freedom.

“While the courts have taken steps to provide special rights to some, we must not ignore the constitutionally protected rights of others,” Berger said in a statement after the bill passed.

Supporters of gay marriage condemned the legislation, drawing parallels to officials’ past reluctance to perform bi-racial marriages.

“This discriminatory bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and distorts the true meaning of religious freedom,” Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, said in a statement.

The bill, which also applies to the registers of deeds who issue marriage certificates, would require local governments to ensure that eligible couples are not denied the right to marry.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate by a 32-16 vote and heads next to the Republican-controlled state House, where final action on the bill could come as early as Friday. (Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Steve Orlofsky)
Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

Chemistry.com gay - First Date 300x250