Tim Gill, the secretive Colorado software multi-millionaire and behind-the-scenes "gay" activist who has boasted of his strategy to buy up campaigns for pro-homosexual candidates, soon may be learning he cannot buy the First Amendment. Gill, whose strategic campaign donations in 2004 largely are credited with turning the GOP majority in the Colorado statehouse into a Democratic bastion and whose work in 2006 helped install Democrat Bill Ritter, a vigorously pro-abortion campaigner, in the governor's office, has been blamed by Christian organizations for the success of a new Colorado law that bans the Bible in the state.
But the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado and Liberty Counsel are teaming up on a soon-to-be-filed lawsuit expected to highlight the apparent First Amendment violations of SB200, the state law that bans references to homosexuals that could be perceived as "discriminatory" and raises the issue of whether the law applies to the Bible's label of homosexuality as an "abomination."
The protection for homosexuals is wrapped up in a "gender" discrimination ban that widely was publicized as the "bathroom bill," because it also allows adults who say they are a particular sex to use public restrooms designated for that sex, whether their physical characteristics match that sex or not. Such laws also have been adopted locally in Florida and Maryland, too.
But within the bill are the much more drastic provisions addressing the Bible. "Section 8 of the bill makes it a crime to publish or distribute anything that is deemed a 'discrimination' against the homosexual and transsexual lifestyle," said a statement from the Christian Family Alliance.
Mark Hotaling, executive director for the Alliance, said the work of Gill and his homosexual lobby has been evident since Democrats took the majority position in the state legislature in 2004. "But this is just so over the top," he said of the latest attack on biblical values. He said initially supporters and even some opponents of the bill explained that there was an exception for churches and church organizations. However, lawmakers then attached to the bill a state "safety clause" which is supposed to deal with laws that are fundamental to protecting the lives of residents. That, he said, simply stripped away any potential allowances for churches and church groups. "Anyone who claims that there's an exception for churches really doesn't know the ins and outs of the bill," Hotaling told WND. "So the religious exemption is purely window dressing and very deceptive," he said. "The Word of God literally now is banned, and that's a legitimate slam-dunk First Amendment issue there."
Also a horror is the provision for adults to be provided access to restrooms of their choice, he said. The law "gives increased access for predators and cross-dressers to go into any bathroom they choose," he said. "The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says predators prey on children where they have their greatest access." What could better suit predators' purposes than the closed doors of public restrooms, he suggested.
He said his organization is working with Liberty Counsel to document the impact of the law, its provisions and what constitutional authority may be usurped by the state law. "We're going to fight this thing," he said. "We're very confident that at least some aspects of SB200 will be thrown out, and perhaps the entire bill."
There have been no reports of prosecutions under the law yet. "But it will happen," Hotaling said, "The danger is this legislation is not necessarily an individual complaint, but how it is weaved into the fabric of society. I heard . there are school districts in the state where elementary schools are trying to figure out how to implement unisex bathrooms."
The most important issue, he believes, is that churches keep preaching the Bible. "If we're yelling anything from the rooftops, it's that pastors and churches should not stop preaching the Word of God and not to temper the Word out of fear," he said.
Mathew Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, said he's had staff members researching the law, checking other states for similar provisions and doing other preparation for a lawsuit. "Colorado is by far the most restrictive," he said.
Gill, in a report carried by the Christian Broadcasting Network, boasted recently about his strategy to infuse specific campaigns with the money they need to "eliminate the anti-gay state legislators." "The Republican Party is controlled by a bunch of bigots, and the only way the bigots are going to learn is if we take their power away from them," he said in the CBN report. He also urged donors to be selective in their targeted campaigns. "Just a little bit of money goes a long way. I'll tell you that $500 or $1000 in Wyoming goes a lot farther than $500 or $1000 in L.A., where it probably doesn't even buy a bottle of wine," he said.
Last spring, shortly after Ritter signed SB200 into law, state Rep. Kevin Lundberg told WND it was written with intentional vagueness. "This is so loaded. It's written in an open-ended fashion that anybody can take just about any part of it and grow it into a huge monstrosity," he said. His comments came in conjunction with a news conference at which a number of groups announced their intention to challenge the law. Lundberg cited Section 8, which is titled, "Publishing of discriminative matter forbidden."
Others represented at the news conference were WND columnist and national syndicated talk show host Janet Folger, author of "The Criminalization of Christianity;" Steve Curtis, president of the American Right To Life Action and former chairman of the Colorado GOP; Kevin Swanson of Christian Home Educators of Colorado; Hotaling and Colorado for Family Values.
WND reported that one of the supporters of the bill, Cathryn Hazouri of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the state House Judiciary Committee: "One may practice one's religion in private; however, once a religious person comes into the public arena, there are limitations in how the expression of their religion impacts others." The Christian publishing house Focus on the Family has called the law a payback by the Democrat-controlled legislature and Ritter to homosexual activists such as Gill
Britain's candyfloss garbage collectors
"Health and safety" again. Just an excuse for an arrogant bureaucracy that cannot be bothered to do the work that people have been forced to pay for
A council is refusing to empty wheelie bins if they are left on gravel driveways - in case they injure binmen. Bosses at West Wiltshire district council fear stones could become trapped in the wheels and cause the bins to topple over. Only months ago the same council refused to empty wheelies which its binmen could not pull using just two fingers.
The latest policy came to light when binmen repeatedly refused to touch the bin left out by Mark Birkett, 38, in Trowbridge, because the wheels were on his gravel drive. Mr Birkett said: 'I can pull it 30ft down my drive but they cannot pull it just a few inches over gravel. 'They only have to pull the bins literally a couple of inches over the gravel and it is downhill. 'But I was told they would not be pulled across the gravel for health and safety reasons', Mr Birkett said.
'I laughed at first. I just could not believe it. I think these health and safety rules are bonkers.' 'I have to submit to these rules or else my bins are not emptied.'
Councillor Ernie Clark, who took up the case, said: 'It is health and safety gone mad. It is lunacy. It is not really even gravel. It is gravel compacted into a hard surface.' Following complaints, the council says it will now collect bins from loose driveways so long as they are the other way round with the wheels on the pavement.
In June, binmen in Warminster refused to empty a green bin because they could not lift it with two fingers.
Bureaucratized Britain again
Good Samaritan threatened with arrest after organising whip-round for oldster's $230 penalty fare. The conductor should be fired for sooling the police onto a kind man
Lena Ainscow was forced to hand over 115 pounds after a train conductor said she boarded the wrong train. Mr Wrigglesworth, a 32-year-old stand-up comedian from East London, intervened to help the pensioner and pleaded with the train guard for leniency. When he was told he should not interfere, he started a whip-round among fellow passengers.
He said: 'I couldn't sit there and let this helpless woman deal with it on her own. I got a paper bag from the buffet car and told the other passengers that if we all gave 50p or one pound we would get the money in no time. 'Everyone was happy to help and someone even put in 30 pounds.'
The ticket was duly bought, but when Mr Wrigglesworth got off the train at Euston he was met by transport police officers. He said: 'Thankfully a couple of the other passengers helped to explain. Once the police had been put in the picture they walked away.'
Mrs Ainscow said: 'Tom really spoke up for me - he was marvellous. The train was only half full. I don't know why the manager had to make me buy another ticket. 'It was a simple mistake - and not mine either.' Her daughter added: 'Tom has restored my faith in mankind. He was an angel. I dread to think what would have happened to my mother if he hadn't been there.'
A spokesman for Virgin Trains said: 'We apologise for the distress caused to both passengers and have launched an investigation into the incident.'
The bogus charges of racism
John McCain is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. He could never mention Jeremiah Wright and ensure his campaign aides don't either, and he'd still be accused of running a racist campaign.
Have his tactics against Obama in recent days gotten more personal and hard-edged? Yes. Are his top surrogates, including his running mate, suggesting that the Democrat is a terrorist sympathizer who is not a patriot? Yes.
But is McCain doing anything overtly racist? No.
As Harold Ford Jr. told me in Nashville: "If Barack were not African-American, they'd be doing this."
Indeed they would. Just look at some of the GOP tactics questioning how much John Kerry, a white Vietnam veteran, cared about the troops.
That doesn't matter, though, to the outrage industry, ever on the lookout for any sign of racism and quick to pounce even when it's not there.
I was reminded of McCain's quandary when I got an e-mail touting the expertise of a college professor. Now, reporters get such pitches from PR shops and college publicity departments all the time. But this one stood out:
Lester Spence, an assistant professor of political science at The Johns Hopkins University, is available to discuss with reporters his belief that racial overtones are becoming part of Sen. John McCain's campaign rhetoric as Election Day approaches.
"Sen. John McCain's recent attacks on Barack Obama, accusing him of being a terrorist, combined with GOP columnists and bloggers arguing that Obama supports 'painting the white house black' and 'racial reparations' represent an embrace of the problematic 'Southern Strategy' that the GOP has historically used to increase white racial resentment," said Spence, who is African American. "But as can be seen in the most recent presidential debate, he is employing this strategy selectively, only among the GOP faithful."
McCain has not called Obama "a terrorist."
And those "GOP columnists and bloggers?" Spence is apparently referring to Peter Wallsten's LA Times story on Sunday that drew much liberal outrage. In the piece - a well-reported and fascinating look at Obama's racial challenges in Appalachia - Wallsten alluded to a Republican activist in Southwest Virginia who wrote a racially offensive column for a local paper.
From that - one isolated piece from a low-level party activist in a rural paper that only got noticed by the good reporting of a journalist who delved deep into the coalfields - Spence infers "an embrace of the problematic 'Southern Strategy' that the GOP has historically used to increase white racial resentment?"
This publication and others have been vigilant for any signs of Republicans using Obama's race against him. But let's be candid - McCain has done no such thing, nor is there any evidence that he's instructed GOP allies to go there.....
The purpose of these bogus charges of racism is to chill political speech that is critical of Obama. I think they are being made in obvious bad faith. By crying wolf over none racism these Democrats are cheapening the offense making real racism less of an offense. This reverse race baiting is big mistake.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH (2), EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.