U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is advocating against legislation in the Senate that would protect existing same-sex marriages but would not ensure same-sex couples could marry in their state if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down its own 2015 Obergefell ruling – which far-right Justice Clarence Thomas is urging his fellow jurists to do.
The bill, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to attach to a must-pass spending bill to ensure it also passes, would merely say governments at the federal, state, and local levels must recognize any marriage of same-sex couples if it was legal and valid when and where they married.
So if Texas bans same-sex marriage at some point in the future were the Supreme Court to strike down Obergefell, married couples will still be legally married, but couples wanting to marry would have to travel to a state that has not banned marriage equality.
In other words, it ensures the status quo remains the same.
“This bill without a religious liberty protection would have massive consequences across our country, weaponizing the Biden administration to go and target universities, K-12 schools, social service organizations, churches and strip them all of their tax-exempt status,” Cruz said falsely Tuesday on his podcast, called, “Verdict.”
Cruz did not address people of faith whose religions support marriage equality.
Last month Cruz made clear he opposed the Obergefell ruling, calling it “clearly wrong.”
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, September 7, 2022. Robert Pether's life remains at risk in Iraq, Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange and there's no end to the stalemate in Iraq.
Robert Pether is a 47-year-old Australian citizen who has been arrested on questionable charges in Iraq and held in a prison where it is said he has been tortured. Matthew Doran (Austalia's ABC) noted last month, "United Nations investigators have raised concerns Pether, and his Egyptian colleague, Khalid Zaghloul, have been exposed to torture techniques while imprisoned." Christopher Knaus (GUARDIAN) reports:
The Australian government says it holds “serious concerns” for the welfare of Australian engineer Robert Pether as his health deteriorates in a Baghdad jail cell, a process his wife has likened to “watching his murder in slow motion”.
The Guardian has obtained the first photos of Pether since he was arrested and arbitrarily imprisoned in Baghdad in April last year over a business dispute between the Iraqi government and his architecture firm, which was engaged to build a new headquarters for the central bank.
They show a gaunt-looking Pether, with discoloured skin and new moles covering his body, particularly on his back, which his doctors and family fear are cancerous.
Pether had already survived skin cancer prior to his imprisonment, and his doctors say local health services are failing to conduct proper tests and have botched the excision of two moles, putting him at severe risk of infection.
“Robert Pether is imprisoned in a 14ft cell with no windows and only one door with [up to] 21 other men,” his doctor wrote in a letter to Australian embassy staff two weeks ago. “To perform surgery on any patient and send them back into that environment is unconscionable.”
[. . .]
Pether’s family say he is innocent and a United Nations working group has previously criticised his trial – and that of his colleague, Egyptian national Khalid Radwan – as compromised.
In a report in March, the UN working group on arbitrary detention released a report on Pether’s detention in March, finding it to be arbitrary and a breach of international law.
From THE GUARDIAN's Twitter feed:
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he raised the issue in a meeting with Iraq's caretaker prime minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi back in June; however, the transcript the Iraqi government released includes no such exchange.
The Australian government is the weakest in the world. It does nothing to protect its citizens. Their failure with regards to Robert are echoed in their failure to defend Julian Assange. Michael West shines a light on the corrupt government in Australia:
Legendary photographer Tim Page died last month. His work in covering the Vietnam War remains a benchmark. Richard Phillips notes his passing at WSWS and includes this:
Never one to pull his punches, Page was hostile to “embedded” journalism, the mainstream media, and the persecution of Julian Assange and others attempting to expose corporate corruption and the bloody reality of imperialist war.
In a powerful interview with the WSWS in November 2019, Page bluntly declared: “Without a free and open media, we are doomed culturally and politically. In this despotic time, it’s necessary that we have whistleblowers, and folk who can open up the Pandora’s Box of corruption and deceit.
“The fashion in which the Australian government has abandoned its own citizen and whistleblower, Julian Assange, is revealing of its own demise and dysfunction as a democratic system of government.
“The greed mongers and the people that run this country appear to me to be a bunch of corrupt businessmen. They don’t want to defend Assange because it will upset their arrangements with the US.”
The government in Australia has become a dirty joke. But it's not as awful as the government in the US where US President Joe Biden conducts his ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian. WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs. And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own. For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs. Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:
A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death.
To make sure no one's confused, Joe Biden is not going after Julian Assange because Julian committed War Crimes in Iraq. Joe is going after Julian because Julian exposed War Crimes. In Joe's mind, War Crimes are like his son's laptop in that both should be hidden from the public.
In Iraq, the political stalemate continues. October 10th, Iraq held elections and still no president, still no prime minister.
The editorial board of THE HINDU pretends to care in their feature asking why but their selective use of the facts make it clear that they don't care. That's pretty much true of all the western media outlets and of foreign governments who've just stood passively by and pretending this political stalemate is natural and nothing to be concerned about.
Meanwhile, THE NEW ARAB notes:
While the nature of the incident is unknown, it is the fourth explosion of its kind in under a month, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported.
"An explosion occurred and a fire broke out in a warehouse of equipment and missiles belonging to the Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militia in the Al-Suwaira area in Wasit province," Iraqi media quoted security sources as saying.
"The explosion's nature and causes have not yet been determined. It caused flames and columns of smoke which covered the sky above."
The Iraqi government held its second session of a national dialogue among Iraqi political parties on Sept. 6, called for by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and attended by all political parties except Sadrists.
The dialogue did not produce a clear outcome. Attendees only agreed to form a technical committee to seek political solutions, but no timeline has been set for forming the committee.
New videos were released over the last few days from last week’s violence showing young men fleeing gunfire amid the leafy green streets and palatial gates of the Green Zone, amid shouts blaming “the parties” and bloodied limbs. The videos continue to circulate amid festering concerns for Iraq’s stability.
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