Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thanks for nothing: Nebraska Democrats assail Rep. Fortenberry for fake 'compassionate conservatism'
but ignore his attack on gay couples

In a posting on the party's website here Nebraska's Democrats quite rightly took Fortenberry to task for shrewdly opposing food stamp cuts, presumably as a means of showing his independence from the most savage of GOP initiatives and thereby camouflaging his tow-the-GOP-line votes on virtually everything else.
     Curiously missing from the Nebraska Democrats' litany of objections to Fortenberry's usual go-along-get-along assent to GOP outrageousness was their loud silence on Fortenberry's recent attack on gay couples, which you may read about in detail here.
     In a nutshell, Fortenberry cosponsored a bill, MARFA, that is so beyond the pale that even Lee Terry and Adrian Smith walked away from it, a development that Nebraska Democrats evidently did not deem worthy of mention — unless, of course, the brazen attack on LGBT couples is something that the party, which aggressively solicits gay donations, just failed to notice.

Here's what the Human Rights Campaign thinks of Fortenberry's bill (emphasis added):
The purpose of the legislation introduced today is simply to let federal employees, contractors and grantees refuse to do their jobs or fulfill the terms of their taxpayer-funded contracts because they have a particular religious view about certain lawfully-married couples – and then to sue the federal government for damages if they don’t get their way. For example, if passed, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would permit a federal worker processing tax returns, approving visa applications or reviewing Social Security applications to walk away from their responsibilities whenever a same-sex couple's paperwork appeared on his or her desk. It would also allow a federally-funded homeless shelter or substance abuse treatment program to turn away LGBT people. Despite the cosponsors claims, there is no evidence that federal programs have or would discriminate against individuals because of their religious beliefs about marriage. Protections against discrimination based on religious belief are explicitly and robustly provided under the First Amendment and federal nondiscrimination statutes.

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