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Tennessee bill allows Christian counselors to reject suicidal LGBT students

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The Tennessee state Senate on Monday considered a bill that would allow counselors to discriminate against LGBT students, sexually-active students or anyone else based on religious objections.

Republican state Sen. Joey Hensley encouraged fellow senators to pass SB 514 to “prevent an institution of high education from discriminating against a student in the counseling, social worker, psychology programs because of their religious beliefs.”

According the The Tennessean, the bill was inspired by Julea Ward, a Christian student who was expelled from Eastern Michigan after she refused to “engage in gay-affirming counseling” by helping an LGBT student who wanted to be treated for depression in 2009. Arizona has already passed a law based on the case. Similar bills have also been proposed by lawmakers in Michigan and Georgia.

Hensley’s bill would protect any student who “refuses to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief.”

State Rep. John J. DeBerry Jr., who had been a defender of Tennessee’s so-called “don’t say gay” bill barring the discussion of homosexuality in schools, has introduced a version of Hensley’s bill in the state House. Both bills were written with the help of the conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee.

Jake Morris, the head of the counseling program at the Nashville-based Christian Lipscomb University, told The Tennessean that he objected to the bills because student counselors needed to be available to treat all clients.

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“I want my students to be able to help anyone who walks in their door,” he explained. “For example, if a student thinks divorce is sinful, that student still needs to know how to treat clients who have gone through a divorce.”

“We are health care professionals,” Morris added. “We need to act like it.”

The New Civil Rights Movement’s David Badash observed that the bill seemed to be using religion as a “door to hide and cower behind.”

“The concept of so-called ‘religious liberty’ as it’s being (mis)used is faulty,” Badash wrote on Tuesday. “If anti-gay people want a reason to not help gay people, they should have the personal courage to do so, and accept the consequences.”

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The Tennessee state Senate tabled discussion of SB 514 until next Thursday to give senators a chance to discuss amendments. A House subcommittee was expected to consider DeBerry’s version of the bill on Tuesday.

Watch this video from Tennessee State Senate, broadcast March 11, 2013.

 
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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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CNN’s Cuomo demands Scott Jennings admit if he’ll ever be tired of Trump lying — but he refuses to say

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On Monday, CNN's Chris Cuomo clashed with Republican adviser Scott Jennings over President Donald Trump's decision to fire pollsters that showed him losing to former Vice President Joe Biden.

"I don't want to get too in the weeds for people especially this far out," said Cuomo. "But the word of one of the reasons that there's some resonance and relevance of the internal polls that the president lied to the American people about in terms of what they say is his lying, Scott, that it's a problem. It's a problem for him across the country. It makes people wonder whether or not they can count on his word. When you see a scenario like this one, don't believe the polls, they were your own polls, Scott, from inside the campaign. How damaging is that to this president?"

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Rachel Maddow gets to the bottom about why Trump ‘freaked out’ so much at report U.S. hacked Russia

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Monday examined the motivations for President Donald Trump freaking out over the latest bombshell New York Times revelations about his Russia policy.

Maddow identified two key takeaways for her viewers.

"The weird things here are two things about the way the story has broken and both have to do with President Trump," she noted.

"The first really strange thing about the reaction is President Trump’s response to it online. This story apparently sort of made him flip out," she said, putting his Twitter reactions on screen.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140065300186128384

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