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GOP lawmaker wants Idaho out of the marriage business to protest same-sex unions

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An Idaho Republican is considering legislation that would end state-sanctioned marriage to protest the court ruling that overturned a constitutional ban on same-sex unions.

State Sen. Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens) said he and other lawmakers are considering several options after officials in Coeur d’Alene told the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel that they must perform same-sex ceremonies or risk violating the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

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A violation carries the risk of a possible misdemeanor citation, according to the city attorney. Similar laws have applied in other states to florists, bakeries, and photographers.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of The Hitching Post, have filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order — arguing that the anti-discrimination ordinance would force them to violate their religious beliefs and Idaho’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“It’s very disappointing to me that they would require a Christian business owner to do something that violates their religious convictions,” Vick told World Net Daily.

The lawmaker said he expects the state legislature to address the issue, and he’s exploring two possible options.

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“One is to try to re-establish the standing of those who have deeply held religious convictions,” Vick said. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

He’s discussed the elimination of state sanctioning of marriage with just a few people, Vick said, but so far the response has been very positive.

“I don’t have a bill drafted or anything, (but) I have discussed it at some of the town halls I’ve been at – (and) actually seems to be fairly well-received,” Vick said. “In my opinion, if we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.”

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He admits that for-profit wedding chapels such as The Hitching Post occupy a different legal terrain than churches, but he fears LGBT rights activists will target them next.

“I believe the next step will be to say that churches themselves cannot discriminate,” he said. “They cannot discriminate, and the church will have to marry same-sex couples and not be allowed to say anything. Clearly they’re going after the freedom of the church’s speech through the hate-speech statutes.”


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2020 Election

Virginia was the bellwether of 2017’s big blue wave — but could it happen again?

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In November 2017, powered by a surge of grassroots activism one year after Donald Trump’s election, Democrats wiped out a Republican supermajority in the Virginia House of Delegates, and came within one disputed ballot and a random drawing of sharing power in a 50-50 chamber — an early harbinger of the 2018 blue wave. Now they’re back to finish the job, aiming to recapture control of both legislative chambers for the first time in 26 years and set the tone for the 2020 election.

Swing Left, a key player in flipping the House of Representatives last year, has targeted 15 races in the House of Delegates and five in the State Senate. Their main focus is people power, but they’ve also raised more than $550,000 in grassroots donations as of Sept. 11. Just two seats are needed to flip each chamber, and a court-ordered redistricting has made flipping the House much more doable.

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‘Did Obama know?’ Rudy Giuliani flings wild new accusations against Biden in overnight tweet rant

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani hurled accusations of Ukraine corruption at Joe Biden and his son in a series of middle-of-the-night tweets.

The president admitted Sunday to speaking to Ukraine's president about an investigation of Hunter Biden's business dealings with a natural gas company in the country, after a series of reports revealed his efforts to pressure that government to come up with dirt on the former vice president.

Early Monday morning, Giuliani accused Kiev of laundering $3 million to Hunter Biden and suggested the Obama administration was aware but did nothing, although the former New York City mayor offered no supporting evidence of those allegations.

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Chronically underpaid EMTs are being assaulted at record rates

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If Upton Sinclair were to write the modern equivalent to “The Jungle,” he might make the setting the metaphorical meat grinder of today’s emergency medical services industry.

Across the nation, emergency medical service professionals, the front-line workforce upon which so much of a patient outcome rests, are grossly underpaid for brutal work schedules that put them at risk of both serious physical injury and burnout.

The cherry on the top of this abuse sundae is that they are 14 times more likely to be violently assaulted on the job than a firefighter.

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