“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.'”
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.”
Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter
Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.
But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.
"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"
"He does," Dilanian replied.
"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."
GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.
"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."
"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."
WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally to shore up GOP support in Louisiana
One day after the first televised impeachment hearing, President Donald Trump traveled to Louisiana for a campaign rally.
The rally is being held at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, which has a 14,000 seat capacity.
On Saturday, November 16th, voters will travel to the pools to choose between Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Trump's pick, Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.