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Christian Utah Republican: Ensuring LGBT rights has helped me ‘live my religion’

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A Christian state lawmaker from Utah said in an interview with NPR that his faith has not been compromised by protecting LGBT rights — in fact, it has been strengthened.

“I actually believe I’m living my religion now, as I look out and try to do good to those that maybe don’t agree with me,” state Sen. Stuart Adams (R) said on Wednesday’s episode of Morning Edition. “Like loving my neighbor or trying to be respectful of other people. I believe those are good Christian religious principles that we ought to not just talk about, that we ought to actually live and act on.”

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Earlier this year, Adams and his fellow legislators approved a law expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, while also allowing exceptions for religious institutions.

“We did not deal with public accommodations. We bookended this at housing and employment,” Adams explained. “And yet, I think if you walk down the streets of most cities in Utah and ask people whether there was protections for the gay and lesbian community, they would say yes. Most people don’t differentiate between housing and employment protections and public accommodations.”

When host Steve Inskeep asked Adams how lawmakers would approach the issue of public restroom access for the trans community — which has provoked heavily-criticized laws in states like North Carolina — Adams said that they relied on findings by the American Psychological Association in crafting the “Utah Compromise,” as their anti-discrimination law has been called.

“Through their processes, it takes about six months of psychological evaluation for someone to actually have a DSM-5 designation of gender identity,” Adams said. “And my understanding, and at least those that I’ve talked to, felt like Utah’s definition was something that was not perfect but was acceptable. And part of this solution is get the right definition so that we don’t have inappropriate behavior inside restrooms.”

“You’re saying part of the solution is to define who we’re talking about here because one of the anxieties that gets thrown out all the time is some boy goes into a girls restroom just because and uses this defense,” Inskeep replied. “That’s what you’re saying.”

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“That’s right,” the senator said. “And so the – when you’re dealing with especially sensitive issues inside of schools, whatever the resolution is, it has to be respectful of everyone. And I think there’s a way to do it, if, again, you try to look at the legitimate concerns.”

However, the Washington Post noted that Utah is one of the 11 states that filed a lawsuit last week opposing the federal directive for public schools to allow trans students to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

“We think we we were handling that community in a very sensitive and a very appropriate way,” Adams said. “To have federal – the government insert their efforts into our local school districts and local schools, people are pretty frustrated.”

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Inskeep’s interview with Adams can be heard in its entirety below.

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Chris Wallace grills Pence aide on Russia attacks: ‘You can’t say it didn’t happen and then say they leaked it’

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Fox News host Chris Wallace called out Marc Short, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, after he insisted that there is no intelligence that shows Russia has a preference for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

"There's not intelligence that said the Russians are trying to help Donald Trump win elections," Short said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.

"I know that's the White House argument," Wallace acknowledged. "There is a consistent story that came out this week and we've heard it from members of the committee, from members of the intelligence community, we've heard it from people in your own White House."

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Intel official who briefed lawmakers on latest Russian meddling targeted for ouster by Trump White House: CNN

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During a discussion on the war on the intelligence community being waged by the Donald Trump's White House, CNN host Victor Blackwell stated that sources speaking with the network stated that the intel official who briefed lawmakers for both parties on new efforts by Russia to meddle in U.S. elections could be on the way out.

Speaking with contributor Lynn Sweet, Blackwell asked about the so-called "purge" being conducted by the White House.

"It sends the signal once again that President Trump is not a respecter of the United States intelligence services with the bigger issue that a permanent director has not been in that office since last summer when Dan Coates was forced out," Sweet explained. "This is a key position, subject to Senate confirmation and Trump hasn't seen fit to have a permanent director for months now."

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2020 Election

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggests four more years of Trump might be better for Democratic Party

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As Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared headed for a decisive victory Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, MSNBC host Chris Matthews pondered whether President Donald Trump's re-election might be better for the Democratic establishment than the Vermont senator's multiracial, multigenerational movement taking over the party.

"I'm wondering if Democratic moderates want Bernie Sanders to be President?" said Matthews. "Maybe that's too exciting a question to raise. Do they want Bernie to take over the Democratic Party in perpetuity? Maybe they'd rather wait 4 years and put in a Democrat that they like."

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