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March 28, 2016

Lawsuit to Be Filed Challenging Broadest Anti-LGBT Law in the Nation

By David Barkey, Religious Freedom Counsel

 

Under the false and offensive pretext of safety in bathrooms, North Carolina last week enacted the broadest anti-LGBT law in the nation.  Adopted in a reckless and inequitable manner, the new law not only sanctions discrimination against LGBT people, but undermines the rights of virtually all North Carolinians.  Yesterday, ACLU, Lamda Legal and Equality North Carolina announced that they will be filing a federal lawsuit challenging the statute.

In February 2016, the City of Charlotte, NC added protections for the categories of gender identity and sexual orientation to its Non-Discrimination Ordinance.  In response, the State Legislature called a special session, customarily reserved for budget, natural disaster or redistricting emergencies, to overturn the amended Ordinance.

Flag_of_North_Carolina.svgWithin twenty-four hours, the legislature – without public hearings or input – hastily enacted sweeping legislation (House Bill 2) and the Governor signed it into law.  It prohibits transgender people from using restrooms or changing facilities in accordance with their gender identity, which ironically will require transgender men to use women’s facilities. But the law did not stop there.

It prohibits local government from adopting any anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people.  Furthermore, the law prohibits any North Carolinian from filing an anti-discrimination lawsuit in state court, including a religious discrimination claim.  It also bars local governments from raising the minimum wage or requiring contractors to pay a prevailing wage or to provide benefits such as sick leave.

House Bill 2, and the process by which it was adopted, are disgraceful.  The law conveys the clear message that the majority of North Carolina’s state government sanctions discrimination against LGBT people.  Undoubtedly it will damage the State’s economy, result in costly litigation, and jeopardize federal funding for North Carolina.  We are confident that the court hearing the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2 will strike down this appalling and unconstitutional law if the legislature does not reconsider and repeal it first.

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June 25, 2014

King Samir Shabazz Said To Be Arrested On “Gun Related Charges”

New Black Panther Party (NBPP) National Field Marshall King Samir Shabazz was arrested “on alleged probation violations and gun related charges” according to former NBPP leader Malik Zulu Shabazz.samir-shabazz-arrested-new-black-panther-malik

While the details of his reported arrest are still unclear, Samir Shabazz was previously arrested in June 2013 in New York for carrying a loaded, unlicensed firearm and illegally wearing body armor.

In an online radio interview on June 17, Shabazz, whose former name is Maruse Heath, announced that on July 5 he would be speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina, and that he intends to start a Charlotte chapter of the NBPP.

In the same interview, Shabazz ranted about the “damn lying bastard, the white man,” stating, “I don’t plan on committing no damn suicide. Damn it, I’m preparing for some homicide, on my enemy.”

Such violent rhetoric is nothing new for Shabazz, who pub­licly stated that NBPP mem­bers should press their uni­forms so the crease could “cut that cracker’s throat in half and watch his head roll down the street.”

In an August 2012 NBPP online radio broad­cast, he went on a vicious tirade describ­ing white nurs­eries and churches as legit­i­mate tar­gets for bombing stating “You’re going to have to go into the God damn nurs­ery and just throw a damn bomb in the damn nurs­ery and just kill every­thing white in sight that ain’t right,” and “Well we gonna throw a bomb in that God damn church, burn up the cracker, burn up the cracker Jesus, and burn up some cracker white supremacy.”

In 2009, Shabazz was impli­cated in a U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice suit after a voter intim­i­da­tion inci­dent while he was head of the NBPP’s Philadel­phia chapter. Additionally, he was arrested and released in 2008 for dis­or­derly con­duct after he and oth­ers inter­rupted a rally in Atlantic City.

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October 16, 2012

Farrakhan Blasts Obama And Romney In Address in Charlotte

On October 14, Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan delivered the keynote address at 2012 Holy Day of Atonement event in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to harshly criticizing President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney and both political parties, Farrakhan advanced theories of undue Israel influence in the American political system.

Farrakhan blasted both candidates for what he characterized as answering to Israeli interests over those of America:

“Mr. Romney, he already went to Israel and bowed down. He went to Israel and wore out his knees, got a patch on his knees. He told Israel and his dear friend Netanyahu: We’re not going to let Iran get a nuclear bomb… Obama, he almost wore out his knees too. I mean he may not have a patch on his knee, but he was down there long enough to rub a little something in that knee. He told Israel, AIPAC, he told them, even though we’re in an economic downtown, don’t you worry because the money we’ve been giving to you, we’re going to give it to you again and add some more to it. If that ain’t deep knee bending, now I’m not making stuff up! We’re in bad shape brother!”

As Farrakhan often does, he also questioned the claim that he laces his sermons with anti-Semitic imagery and allegations of Jewish conspiracies. He describes how in 1984 when Rev. Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic nominee for president, Farrakhan stood up to the Jewish community who “were trying to sidetrack and destroy his bid for the presidency of the United States.”

He later paused for a standing ovation from his audience before adding, “So you have financiers like the oil tycoon Koch brothers, casino owner Sheldon Adelson who have invested tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to buy elections and buy the person who gets elected.”

Farrakhan also criticized the Republican Party for what he views as its “overtly hateful and racist nature.” He asks his audience “What is it that has blinded Republicans? It is race, the image of the Black man rising!” He also vows to fight the “schemes or machinations of our former slave masters” that are part of “a racist system that wants to keep America white.” He claims Romney has no platform and is just a “cheerleader” whose platform is “Sis boom bah, rah rah rah! Come on white team! Let’s get that negro out of office!”

This year’s annual “Holy Day of Atonement” event, which commemorates the 17th anniversary of the NOI’s Million Man March (MMM) in Washington, DC, was attended by approximately 6,000 people.

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