A controversial Tennessee District Attorney is now facing an official state investigation after leaked audio exposed him bragging about refusing to recognize same-sex spouses as legally married, and doing so based on his religious beliefs. Those beliefs, Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott claimed, mean he doesn’t have to use the law to protect LGBT people.
The state Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility is now investigating Northcott, the Tennessean reports.
Northcott, in a 2018 speech to pastors bragged that his God does not recognize the marriages of legally-wed same-sex couples. He explained that since “there’s no marriage to protect,” he does not use domestic violence laws to protect victims in those cases.
“Well the reason where I came down in my evaluation was the reason that there’s extra punishment on domestic violence is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage,” Northcott told attendees at the Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference. “And I said, ‘There’s no marriage to protect.’ So I don’t prosecute them as domestics,” meaning, domestic violence cases.
Northcott has also attacked Muslims in Facebook posts, calling Islam “an evil belief system,” a “growing threat,” and likening it to the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacist hate groups.
“I will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace,” Northcott wrote.
Last week, in light of the revelations, over 200 Nashville lawyers called for the state to conduct an ethics investigation.
In late May the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the state board over Northcott’s anti-Islam remarks. CAIR received a letter Friday indicating an investigation has been opened.
The Tennessee Holler was the first to report on both sets of remarks by Northcott.
Northcott reportedly has said he will not resign.
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.