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Group: Kentucky ‘religious freedom’ bill would allow discrimination over birth control

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“The Religious Freedom Act,” a bill created in response to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage mandate, cleared Kentucky’s Senate Thursday night despite activists’ warning that it could topple years of civil rights progress in the state and “make discrimination legal.”

“[The] legislation could be used by an individual or entity under the guise of a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ to violate the constitutional and civil rights of other persons or organizations,” the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights warned on Tuesday. “In other words, it could make discrimination legal if the discrimination perpetrated is claimed to be due to ‘a sincerely held religious belief.'”

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Despite the potential for abuse, state senators advanced House Bill 279 Thursday night by a vote of 29-6, leaving its fate in the hands of Gov. Steve Beshear (D).

The bill originated as a response to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance policies offer contraception to women free of charge — a measure that some religious organizations objected to, despite a compromise that places the financial burden on insurance companies.

Kentucky Democrats joined with Republicans in the General Assembly to pass House Bill 279 by a vote of 82-7 last week. It’s not clear whether the governor will sign it into law.

If it does become law, Kentucky’s “Religious Freedom Act” could enable discrimination against more than just women seeking birth control. Civil rights advocates worry that landlords and employers could also use the law to justify discriminating against LGBT people and minorities as well, all in the name of “religious freedom.”
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This billionaire Republican governor has been sued dozens of times for millions in unpaid bills

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Raymond Dye had a buildup of blood behind his left eye that prevented him from seeing. David Polk had an abnormal heartbeat, and his wife had high cholesterol. Roger Wriston’s wife had a bad back.

All the men had worked for a collection of coal companies owned by Gov. Jim Justice and his family, which had pledged to provide health insurance after the miners retired. Last year, though, the retirees learned that those firms had stopped paying their premiums. And as a result, their coverage had been terminated. Polk skipped doctor appointments.

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2020 Election

‘Recipe for disaster’: NC doctor slams Trump’s hopes for a packed GOP convention as ‘an incredibly bad idea’

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A North Carolina strongly cautioned his state's governor from caving in to President Donald Trump's wishes for a packed Republican National Convention.

The president has threatened to move the RNC this summer from Charlotte if Gov. Roy Cooper did not ease coronavirus restrictions to allow for a full-scale event, but a local physician told WCNC-TV that Trump's plan was unreasonable.

"What do we know about infections?" said Dr. Jeffrey Galvin, of the Vitality Medical Wellness group. "Infection requires two things, exposure plus time."

Trump wants to pack 20,000 Republicans, journalists and others into Spectrum Center in August, but Galvin said infected people shed small amounts of the virus every time they breathe.

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Trump Tower’s profits magically grew by $3 million in 2010 — which helped them borrow another $73 million

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A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously.

The next year’s earnings for the building also “improved” between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp.

ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures.

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