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Montana pastor to lawmakers: We discriminate against incest, why not gay people?

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A Montana pastor testifying in the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday questioned why people should not be allowed to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I am here primarily as representative of myself and my family, most specifically my children, and that wouldn’t change if one of my children were to come forward and announce themselves as homosexual,” Steve Boettger of the First Baptist Church of Cascade said at the hearing.

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“I firmly believe I do not have to agree with someone’s behavior in order to continue loving them.”

The lawmakers were considering legislation that would provide protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the state. The bill would have added “gender identity and expression and sexual orientation” to the Montana Human Rights Act.

Boettger said he wanted to address a topic that he had not heard addressed during the hearing.

“We do, as a culture and as a people, discriminate against behavior, and whether it is voluntary, innate, in-born, a choice, it is really not relevant to the point that it is indeed behavior,” he explained. “For instance, we discriminate against incest. We discriminate against child molestation. We discriminate against a long list of behaviors that have long been believed to be wrong.”

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Boettger said he didn’t understand why anyone would want to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

“I don’t understand how it is we could possibly disagree with what thousands of years have said, that most people have agreed is wrong. I think it is easy to understand that every advancement of this agenda… comes at the expense of what our founders, who I believe were right, set forth as our first right, and that is the right of religious expression.”

Boettger concluded that the proposed legislation would prevent him from displaying his religion “openly and proudly.”

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The state senators later voted down the bill 7 to 5 along party lines, with Republicans against it.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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CNN

‘All over the map’: CNN details the bizarre surge of Trump’s flip-flops

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Following two mass shootings in one weekend, President Donald Trump promised to strengthen background checks for gun purchases. But just the next week--reportedly after speaking with NRA head Wayne LaPierre--dropped his resolve and said there were already sufficient background checks on the books.

That's not the only recent policy flip-flop by the President.

On CNN Thursday, White House reporter Sarah Westwood chronicled all the policies on which the president has reversed course. First, the president abruptly cancelled plans to cut foreign aid.

"President Trump, the White House, they were facing a wave of opposition from Congressional appropriators in both parties and from the State Department who thought that this move could do harm to national security," Westwood said.

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2020 Election

Ex-Trump official bashes White House ‘apologists’ who haven’t quit yet: ‘There’s not much hope for them’

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A report on the silence coming from first daughter Ivanka Trump and her White House advisor husband Jared Kushner after Donald Trump attacked American Jews turned to the future of White House aides who are either complicit in the president's policies or stand idly by as he lurches from controversy to controversy.

In an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, former Trump adviser J.W. Verret pointed out there are still some "adults in the room" with Trump, but CNN's Kaitlan Collins first pointed out that -- as of late -- Ivanka and Kushner are not among them.

"This fits a pattern that we've seen from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at times during times when the administration tried to repeal parts of Obamacare, and of course, the big one the president has made about Jewish people who are supporting Democrats," Collins explained. "Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are both Orthodox Jews. They've been involved with the president on many things. but neither of them have said anything publicly about the president's comments. and when we asked the white house have they been advising the president privately on this, the White House did not get back to us."

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GOP facing nightmare scenario as rural America gets hit with a depopulation crisis

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The Republican Party is entrenched in rural America with the overwhelming majority of small towns being represented by the GOP. But the population in these areas are under a huge decline.

That's a nightmare scenario for Republicans in Congress, whose districts are determined by population. The Republican Party has worked diligently to ensure gerrymandering can protect their rural members as the population shifts toward the suburbs.

One key component of the Affordable Care Act went to subsidizing rural hospitals to prevent them from closing. Most of that has been defunded by Republicans if the states were even willing to allow Medicare/Medicaid expansion in the state, to begin with. A Navigant report out earlier this year showed that more than one in five rural hospitals have closed so far.

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