Posts Tagged As: Jason Chaffetz

The GOP Will Mark The One-Month Anniversary of the Pulse Night Club Massacre with a Hearing to Legalize More Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2016

I kid you not:

Tuesday’s congressional hearing on a federal “religious freedom” bill that would enable anti-LGBT discrimination is “disturbing,” a White House spokesperson said Monday.

Jeff Tiller, a White House spokesperson, made the remarks in response to an email request from the Washington Blade to comment on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s controversial hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act.

“We strongly oppose attempts to roll back non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans,” Tiller said. “It’s disturbing that congressional Republicans plan to hold a hearing tomorrow on discriminatory, anti-LGBT legislation. President Obama remains firmly committed to promoting and defending the equal rights of all Americans, including the rights of LGBT Americans.”

A coalition of 70 groups has called on Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to cancel the hearing, which is set to take place on the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., claiming the lives of 49 people and wounding 53 others.

The so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” will allow businesses and individuals to circumvent federal protections against anti-LGBT discrimination and allow businesses to withhold marriage benefits from same-sex couples for religious reasons. The bill was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) House and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the Senate.

Witnesses set to testify for the bill include Kelvin Cochran, a former Atlanta fire chief who was fired for distributing a book he wrote, titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?,  to his subordinates (including, presumably, LGBT subordinates in the department) which purportedly presented “the Biblical view” of homosexuality, adultery and other sexual topics. Other witnesses include a representative from the anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom and a political science professor from the Witherspoon Institute.

Those set to testify against the bill include former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit which overturned state bans on same-sex marriage nationwide, and a law professor from the Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.

How Will Today’s Republican Party Mark The One Month Anniversary of the Pulse Gay Night Club Massacre?

Jim Burroway

June 29th, 2016

By holding hearings on a bill allowing discrimination against LGBT people. That’s how:

The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform is set to hold a hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act amid pressure from anti-LGBT advocates, including the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, to move forward with the legislation.

…Introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) in the U.S. House and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the U.S. Senate, the First Amendment Defense Act has the purported purpose of preventing federal government action against individuals and businesses that oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons. Critics say it essentially carves out a legal exemption for anti-LGBT discrimination.

…A senior Hill staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the committee sent out invitations to witnesses on the conservative side designating July 12 as the date of the hearing. The staffer declined to share a copy of the invite with the Washington Blade.

So, there you have it. On the one month anniversary of the massacre killing 49 people and wounding 53 more at a gay night club, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will mark the solemn occasion by doing NOM’s bidding. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is the committee chair whose brilliant idea it was to schedule this fine piece of anti-gay animus on that date. Invited witnesses include the usual suspects from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Witherspoon Institute. By the way, here’s NOM’s fundraising pitch sent out earlier today:

Friends — I just met with my team and learned we are seriously behind our fundraising goals for the first half of the year, which ends at midnight on Thursday.

In fact, unless we get contributions from 3,050 supporters in the next 48 hours I’m going to have to cut our budget right as we head into one of the most important periods ever for the fight for marriage and religious liberty.

You can make a difference! Donate Today!

I have to be honest, we’ve never been in a bigger hole and I am freaking out. In the past, we had reserves saved up to help cushion a shortfall, but our reserves are gone.

Not only are we looking at major fights in the next few months, including pushing for passage of the First Amendment Defense Act, but we’re headed into the slowest time of year for fundraising as families take time off for vacations and travel.

Don’t worry NOM. The Republican Party is coming to your rescue.

Chaffetz reacts to DADT report

Timothy Kincaid

November 30th, 2010

Utah representative Jason Chaffetz is one of my favorite legislators. Not because I ever agree with him, but because he’s such a loon that he makes for fun blogging.

Chaffetz is the buffoon who, upon the fifth state enacting civil marriage said, “The trend is still 45 states don’t.”

He’s the fumbling, bumbling fellow who was charged with making sure that the District of Columbia’s marriage law was blocked by Congress. Ah, Utah 3rd District, you surely must be proud.

And, consistent with his method of legislating, Chaffetz has now responded to the DADT report. Or, not exactly to the report…

Chaffetz, who has not yet read the study, said he is “still opposed to such a dramatic alteration in the midst of active war.”

Still opposed, based on, oh, nothing. There ya go, Chaffetz, that’s the ignorant lout with an uninformed opinion that we all know and love.

Eleven Republican legislators reveal that they oppose equality more than they oppose big government

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2010

One of the much-touted principles of the Republican Party is that government which is closer to the people is preferable to big centralized Federal government. For some Republican legislators that is just rhetoric to be ignored when big government better suits their personal agenda.

Nine Republican Senators and two Republican House Members have signed as co-sponsors to a bill to override the near-unanimous decision of the elected representatives of the District of Columbia to allow for marriage equality in that municipality. Although local elected officials and local election boards and local judges agree that this is a local decision and that it is not appropriate for the rights of some citizens to be up for majority veto, these Senators and Representatives believe that Federal intervention is the answer.

    The 9 Senate co-sponsors are Senators

    Robert Bennett (UT) – Mormon
    Sam Brownback (KS) – Catholic
    Jim Bunning (KY) – Catholic
    John Cornyn (TX) – Church of Christ (Restoration Movement)
    Mike Enzi (WY) – Presbyterian
    James Inhofe (OK) – Presbyterian
    Pat Roberts (KS) – Methodist
    David Vitter (LA) – Catholic
    Roger Wicker (MS) – Southern Baptist

    The 2 House co-sponsors are Representatives

    Jason Chaffetz (UT) – Mormon
    Jim Jordan (OH) – Grace Bible Church (independent)

This bill is going nowhere. It will not be brought up for a vote in either the House or the Senate. So the only reason to sign on is to publicly identify with the idea of forcing the city to do what the they want by use of the full power of the Federal government. These eleven Republicans do not really believe in what the Party claims to believe about local v. centralized power.

Conservatives are quick to claim that moderates who verge from the party platform on an issue or two are RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). I wonder if they will use the same term for these Republicans who have flipped the bird to one of the central tenets of the Party.

Chaffetz feebly tries to stop DC marriage

Timothy Kincaid

January 27th, 2010

From the Mormon Church’s Deseret News

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to overturn a new District of Columbia ordinance allowing gay marriage, but he predicts Democratic leaders will not allow it to come to a vote.

Not only are the Democratic leaders going to ignore Chaffetz, so are the Republican leaders. The poor guy is the Rodney Dangerfield of Congress.

Congressmen file amicus in support of DC’s anti-gays

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2010

Two Senators and 37 members of the House (all Republicans) have filed an amicus brief in support of anti-gay activists who are suing to put marriage equality to a vote in the District of Columbia.

Their official reason is some mumble-jumble about serving “as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule”. But their basic beef comes down to, “When we said that DC residents could make their own decisions, we didn’t mean that they could make choices that we don’t like!!”

Relatedly, last night I saw GOP Party Chairman Michael Steele, arguing on Fox that Democrats are taking away the ability of people to live their lives the way they want… and using DC’s marriage law as example. I’m paraphrasing, but it seemed like he was arguing that DC residents were losing individual freedom because they were not free to vote on what their neighbors could do. Truly, it was an example of someone totally confused about the idea of personal liberty and individual freedom.

The good news is that these congressmen are only a small percentage of the Senate and the House and are even a minority in their own party (twenty years ago you’d have nearly all of the members of both parties). This is not to say that other Republicans would necessarily support marriage equality, but perhaps that they didn’t feel the need to identify themselves with the extremist right-wing caucus of Republicans who never lose an opportunity to attack the rights, freedom, and equality of gay people.

In a way, they did us a favor. We now have a nice list of the most extreme of the extreme. And while I didn’t see any surprises on the list (perhaps our readers might), it’s nice to have a compilation of equality’s biggest opponents all in one place.


James Inhofe (Okla.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)


Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio)
Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.)
Robert Aderholt (Ala.)
Todd Akin (Mo.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
J. Gresham Barrett (S.C.)
Roscoe Bartlett (Md.)
Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
John Boozman (Ark.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
John Fleming (La.)
J. Randy Forbes (Va.)
Virginia Foxx (N.C.)
Scott Garrett (N.J.)
Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
Louie Gohmert (Tex.)
Jeb Hensarling (Tex.)
Wally Herger (Calif.)
Walter Jones (N.C.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Steve King (Iowa)
Jack Kingston (Ga.)
John Kline (Minn.)
Doug Lamborn (Colo.)
Robert Latta (Ohio)
Don Manzullo (Ill.)
Michael McCaul (Tex.)
Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.)
Patrick McHenry (N.C.)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)
Jeff Miller (Fla.)
Jerry Moran (Kan.)
Randy Neugebauer (Tex.)
Mike Pence (Ind.)
Joe Pitts (Pa.)
Mark Souder (Ind.)
Todd Tiahrt (Kan.)

Feel free to walk precincts, call volunteers, work get-out-the-vote, or contribute to the campaigns of their primary and general opponents as much as possible.

Chaffetz to fight DC’s marriage law

Timothy Kincaid

December 15th, 2009

As expected, Jason Chaffetz will be the pointman assigned to overturn marriage equality in Washington, DC. (SL Tribune)

A Utah Republican renewed his pledge Tuesday to prevent the nation’s capital from allowing gay couples to marry after the Washington, D.C., Council signed off on such a measure.

That Chaffetz is visible in this effort suggests to me that the Republican Party isn’t going to put up much of a fight. Jason isn’t exactly known for either his intellect or his abilities. He was also the lead in trying to block out-of-state marriages from being recognized in the capital. I wish him equal success.

Rep. Chaffetz: A Shining Illustration of Anti-Gay Intellect

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2009

Representative Jason Chaffetz, a California Jewish Democrat turned Utah Mormon Republican, is now auditioning for the position of Congress’ Biggest Homophobe. As lead Congressional opponent to D.C.’s out-of-state marriage recognition bill he was strikingly inept, but he did manage to get some press by announcing:

“It’s not something I think we can just let go lightly into the night.”

Chaffetz got into BYU on a soccer scholarship so perhaps he can be forgiven for mangling Dylan Thomas’ poetry. But his other comments suggest that his approach to legislation is not particularly nuanced (abc4):

“Marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. I don’t see much other wiggle room for it.”

This stance comes in a week where America’s fifth state legalized same sex marriages.

So, we asked the congressman whether he is going against a trend towards gay unions.

He said simply, “The trend is still 45 states don’t.”

Sorry, Jason, but a trend would be… oh, well… nevermind.

But now Jason has now found his cause. He has discovered that he can get the media’s attention by saying some rather, ummm, interesting things about gay folk. So he was quick to state his mind when he found that Rep. Tammy Baldwin wants to pass legislation that would give benefits to the domestic partners of federal employees. Baldwin thinks its a matter of equal compensation for equal work.

But Chaffetz called the legislation “directly discriminatory” against heterosexual couples that choose not to marry.

That argument didn’t get much traction with the other panel members who noted that gay couples don’t have the choice to marry in most states (including Utah). Rep. Gerry Connolly found his argument “a screaming contradiction”.

Ah, Jason. You haven’t yet figured out that everyone is laughing at you, have you?


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