Faith Leaders Call upon Republicans to Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill: ‘Corrosive’ to Religious Freedom

Faith leaders are calling upon Republicans to uphold their party’s platform that declares “the union of one man and one woman” to be the “cornerstone of the family.”

The leaders are reacting to the fact that 12 Senate Republicans joined with Democrats Wednesday to advance legislation, dubbed by Democrats the Respect for Marriage Act, that would codify the Supreme Court‘s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.

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Tennessee AG Skrmetti Comments on Taylor Swift Debacle, Walmart and Google Settlements

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti to the newsmaker line to discuss the Taylor Swift, Ticketmaster debacle and big settlement for the state from Walmart and Google.

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Recovering Journalist Clint Brewer on Republican Party: ‘We Need a New Head Coach’

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist Clint Brewer in the studio to discuss the state of the Republican party and what needs to be done to repair it.

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SLF Litigation Director Braden Boucek Discusses the Recent USDA Reward of $2.2 Billion for Racism

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Litigation Director, Braden Boucek of Southeastern Legal Foundation in studio to discuss his recent article regarding bureaucracy, racism, and the United States Department of Agriculture scam.

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Kari Lake Says Race for Arizona Is Not over Yet

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake released a video Thursday sharing that she is not conceding in the race for governor and will continue to fight for the office.

“I can promise you one thing, this fight to save our Republic has just begun. I love you, Arizona, and I love you, America,” Lake said. “My resolve to fight for you [Arizona] is higher than ever.”

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Candace Cameron Bure: Christian Message of ‘Traditional Marriage’ at Core of Great American Family Channel

Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure says in her new top-level role at the Great American Family Channel, she will place faith and “traditional marriage” at the core of its Christmas movies.

In April, Bure became chief creative officer at Great American Family, a channel that is aiming to become the faith and freedom alternative to Hallmark, where the actress once served as the chief representative of the romantic comedy Christmas channel.

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Republicans Win Control of the House

Republicans gained control of the United State House of Representatives, edging out a narrow victory in the tightly-contested midterm elections.

The GOP currently holds 218 seats after mail-in ballots caused over a week of delays in results, The Associated Press reported, though that number may grow as the last few remaining races wrap up. The elections were far closer than pre-midterm projections, with most pollsters predicting Republicans would take between 225 and 255 seats.

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Commissioner Schwinn Presents Department of Education Budget for Coming Year, Promising More of the Same

An optimistic Penny Schwinn, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education, presented the department’s2023/2024 proposed budget to Governor Lee and his advisors. For his part, the Governor was cordial, congratulatory, and to the point – often raising questions during the 30-minute presentation.

With confidence in his re-election bid running high, Governor Lee scheduled state departmental budget hearings for November 9th. A day after Tuesday’s statewide election that awarded him four more years as Governor. In the wake of securing his job for another term, Governor Lee indicated that education would remain a top priority going forth.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Lee to Retire

A Tennessee Supreme Court Justice will retire next year, according to a press release.

“Today I notified Governor Lee I will retire on Aug. 31, 2023. It’s been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve in the TN judiciary. I am filled with gratitude,” said Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, attaching an official statement. 

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Sumner County Commission Passes Resolution Calling Out Local School System for Inappropriate Books

GALLATIN, Tennessee – Sumner County’s Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday night that calls out Sumner County Schools (SCS) for having books in the system’s libraries that contain pornographic material and divisive concepts, in apparent violation of two different sections of Tennessee state law.

After about 90 minutes of debate and hearing from SCS Chief Academic Officer Scott Langford, the measure passed with a vote of 15 yes, 5 no and 1 abstention, after an earlier debate that resulted in adding the item to the agenda.

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USFL’s Memphis Showboats Return to City for 2023 Season

According to the city of Memphis, a prolific United States Football League (USFL) team will be returning to action in city. 

“Officials reached an agreement for the Memphis Showboats to play the USFL 2023 season at historic Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, home of the 1980s team that featured Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White,” according to a release from the city. “The USFL announced the inaugural game will kickoff on Sunday, April 16, 2023.”

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TBI Makes Arrest in Medicaid Fraud Case

 A man who is accused of abusing the Tennessee Medicaid system is now in custody, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

“An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division into fraudulent TennCare time sheets has resulted in the arrest of a TennCare recipient in Bethel Springs,” TBI said.

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Tennessee Officials Celebrate Teacher Apprenticeship Program During National Apprenticeship Week

Novemer 14 to 18 is National Apprenticeship Week, and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) is celebrating by touting its one-of-a-kind teacher apprenticeship program. 

“This week, the Tennessee Department of Education is celebrating the important role apprenticeships play in postsecondary preparation during the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, happening November 14-18. Specifically, the department is highlighting the Tennessee Teacher Apprenticeship, the first registered apprenticeship program for teaching in the country, paving the way for the future of the teaching profession,” according to a release.

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Senate Advances Bill Enshrining Same-Sex Marriage Agenda in Federal Law with Significant Republican Support

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) moved for a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law and block any states refusing to recognize such marriages.

The bill also would provide federal protection for interracial marriage.

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Congressman John Rose Reacts to House Hearing on the Collapse of FTX

Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06), who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, applauded the committee’s decision to have a bipartisan hearing on FTX’s collapse.

“The overnight collapse of FTX will have a lasting impact on consumers and the digital asset industry as a whole,” Congressman Rose said in a statement. “The American people deserve answers, and bad actors must be held accountable to the laws and regulations meant to safeguard consumers. I appreciate Ranking Member McHenry and Chairwoman Waters for swiftly scheduling a hearing on this pressing matter, and I look forward to hearing Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony soon.”

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Knoxville’s ‘Christmas in the City’ Begins This Friday at Chilhowee Park

The City of Knoxville recently announced that its ‘Christmas in the City’ begins Friday, November 18th at Chilhowee Park with Comcast Christmas. Knoxville’s ‘Christmas in the City’ is a series of festive events leading up to the holidays.

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Shelbyville Caregiver Charged for Abusing, Neglecting Elderly Patients at Assisted Living Facility in Bedford County

As a result of an investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Medicaid Fraud Control Division and many other agencies, a Shelbyville man has been charged with the abuse and neglect of elderly patients.

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Metro Council Gives Approval for Mayor Cooper’s Office to Pursue Development Partner for Stadium Area

At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening, Metro Council gave approval for Mayor John Cooper’s office to pursue a solicitation for development of a portion of the Nissan Stadium campus.

By voice vote, an amended RS2022-1828 was approved unanimously, having advanced through three committees unanimously after it had been deferred at a previous Council meeting.

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Warnock, DSCC Sue to Allow for Extra Day of Early Voting in Georgia Senate Runoff

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, along with party allies, have sued the state to allow for an extra day of early voting before the U.S. Senate runoff election on Dec. 6.

Warnock, joined by the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has filed a complaint for an injunction in the Fulton County Superior Court, seeking to force Georgia to allow early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26. Early voting in the race is scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 28 and run until Friday, Nov. 29, the mandatory five days required by state law.

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Minnesota’s Tom Emmer Elected Majority Whip

A Minnesotan will be the third most powerful Republican in the U.S. House come January.

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer was elected by his caucus Tuesday for the House majority whip position, defeating Reps. Jim Banks and Drew Ferguson. He will be outranked by just the speaker and majority leader.

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Numerous Programs Exist to Assist, Recognize Florida’s 1.5 Million Veterans

Calling Florida the “most veteran-friendly state,” Gov. Ron DeSantis says state agencies and partners are committed to caring for its 1.5 million veterans through a range of programs and resources. Throughout Military Family Appreciation Month, Attorney General Ashley Moody is also highlighting the state’s efforts to protect them from scams targeting those in the military.

“Florida’s veterans have made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms, and in return we are working hard to ensure they have the resources and support they need to be successful and take care of their families,” DeSantis said. “My administration will continue to invest in our veterans in the same way that they made sacrifices to invest in the freedom of our nation.”

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Milwaukee Democrats Oppose State Plan to Widen I-94

There is a growing chorus of Milwaukee Democrats who say the state is missing the mark by expanding I-94 instead of focusing on buses and bicycles.

The Department of Transportation on Friday announced plans to widen I-94 between 70th Street and 16th Street in Milwaukee. That includes the lanes around American Family Field. The ultimate goal is to add new lanes, going from the current six lanes up to eight lanes.

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Special Election to Replace Sen. Kiggans Expected to Be Close

Governor Glenn Youngkin and Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) have called a January 10 special election for Virginia’s seventh state senate district, filling a vacancy that will be left by Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) after she takes office as representative of Virginia’s second congressional district.

Local nominations for the race will be made this weekend, with a Republican canvass and a Democratic caucus scheduled for Saturday. Two Democrats have filed for the nomination: former NFL player Aaron Rouse who is a Virginia Beach City Council member, and former Delegate Cheryl Turpin who was the first Virginia Democrat to flip a Trump district in 2017, according to her city council campaign website.  So far, only one Republican has filed for the nomination, Navy veteran Kevin Adams, but candidates can file by 4 p.m. Thursday.

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Yale Law School Withdraws from School Rankings List in the Name of ‘Equity’

Yale Law School has pulled out of a national school ranking, calling the program “flawed” because it hurts schools that admit students with lower test scores, according to a press release.

Yale Law School is removing itself from the U.S. News & World Report after consistently ranking first because it fails to reward schools which help students who come from “low-income backgrounds,” according to a press release. Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken said the rankings discriminate against schools that accept students with lower grades because they could not afford tutoring and academic services.

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill Expanding College-Savings Deduction

The Ohio state Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed legislation to permit more families to take advantage of an income-tax deduction that incentivizes saving for college. 

The measure sponsored by Senators Jay Hottinger (R-OH-Newark) and Andrew Brenner (R-OH-Delaware) applies the deduction to all savings programs nationwide established under Section 529 of the federal Internal Revenue Code. Current law allows Ohioans to take the deduction only for contributions to Ohio’s own 529 program.

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Philadelphia District Attorney Krasner Impeached; Pennsylvania Senate to Conduct Trial

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) by a vote of 107 to 85.

All Democrats in attendance opposed the resolution introduced by Representative Martina White (R-Philadelphia). All present Republicans supported it except for Representative Mike Puskaric (R-Jefferson Hills) who is retiring at the end of the term.

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Arizona House Republicans Elect New Leaders for Next Legislative Session

Members of the Arizona House Republican Caucus met Tuesday to elect new leadership positions for the coming legislative session, ultimately choosing Rep. Ben Toma (R-Peoria) to serve as the next Speaker of the House.

“It is a profound privilege to lead the House of Representatives and our Republican majority caucus,” said Toma in response to his election. “Together, I know that the House will rise to meet the state’s immense challenges and we will continue to unlock freedom and opportunity for every Arizonan.”

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Ohio Lawmakers Move to Strip State’s Education Board of Power

Ohio Republican lawmakers are pushing to take away some of the State Board of Education’s powers and give them to the governor, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The state senate heard Senate Bill 178 on Tuesday which would take power over K-12 curriculum standards and textbooks from the state’s board of education and give it to members of the governor’s executive workforce board, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The board would be left with control over the state superintendent and teacher licensing.

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Virginia Expects $60 Million in Tentative Opioid Crisis Settlement with Walmart

Virginia is expected to receive $60 million as part of a tentative $3.1 billion settlement agreement with Walmart after allegations of insufficient oversight of opioid dispensing at the chain’s pharmacies.

“Companies who facilitated the dispensing of opioids contributed to the opioid epidemic that has devastated millions of lives. This significant settlement will help us fight back against the epidemic and provide abatement and rehabilitation resources to suffering Virginians,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a press release.

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Arizona Activists Report Their Demand for ‘Fair and Free Election’ Is Catching Fire Across Nation

Activists in Arizona have spearheaded a campaign for demands for a “fair and free election” that, they say, is already beginning a national movement to counter election fraud.

Spurred on by the projection that Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) has defeated Republican Kari Lake, Joe Oltmann, founder of FEC United, Lance Migliaccio, host of “The Big Mig,” and David Clements, a New Mexico State University professor and one of the leading advocates for election audits and against vaccine mandates, laid out for their listeners the demands that start with a new election on December 6, Gateway Pundit reported.

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Ohio GOP Bill Seeks Overhaul of State Education System and Board of Education

A new bill introduced by Ohio Senate Republicans aims to “restructure” Ohio’s State Department of Education, create a new administrative division under the governor’s office, and reduce the duties of the state Board of Education.

Senate Bill (SB) 178, sponsored by Senator Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) was introduced in the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill seeks to “improve the academic achievement and workforce skills of our students, to drive better outcomes in their education, and to prepare for more effective career readiness,” Reineke told the committee.

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Ohio Secretary of State Looks to Identify Areas for Improvement in Ohio Elections

One week after another successful statewide election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is taking action to keep Ohio ahead of the curve.

Beginning immediately, The Secretary of State’s Office will work in conjunction with Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections to conduct an After-Action Review (AAR) of the statewide 2022 midterm election to evaluate overall performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

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Governor DeWine Announces New Outdoor Recreation Projects Across 62 Counties

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) director Mary Mertz have awarded $1.7 million in grants to help support dozens of new outdoor recreation projects in local communities throughout the state.

“We are excited to help communities all over Ohio create fun, safe, and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities. These grants help local parks improve and upgrade their outdoor spaces for citizens of Ohio,” Governor DeWine said.

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With Most of the Election Administration Over, Maricopa County Wraps Up Ballot Tabulation

As the final remaining ballots in Maricopa County trickle in for counting, concerns are arising over the tabulation procedures. Some of the most Republican-dominant batches of ballots were not counted until the very end, sparking accusations that the order of counting was deliberately manipulated.

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Arizona Voters Give Illegal Migrants Cheaper College Tuition

Voters in Arizona chose to expand access to more affordable education for illegal migrants as part of a ballot initiative in the midterm election.

Arizona voters approved Proposition 308, a measure to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges. The measure received 51.2% of the vote, according to The Associated Press.

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First Migrant Bus to Arrive in Philadelphia on Wednesday from Texas

Texas is sending its first bus of illegal foreign nationals to the so-called sanctuary city of Philadelphia, Gov. Greg Abbott said. It’s scheduled to arrive at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station Wednesday morning.

“Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has long-celebrated and fought for sanctuary city status,” Abbott said in a statement, “making the city an ideal addition to Texas’ list of drop-off locations.”

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House Democrats Try to Block Trump from Running for President

House Democrats are attempting to block former President Donald Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election by invoking a constitutional amendment, according to Politico.

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline circulated a letter among other House Democrats urging them to back legislation that would invoke the 14th Amendment to stop Trump from running in the 2024 election, arguing that his challenged to the 2020 election and actions preceding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots render him ineligible, according to a report by Politico. The 14th Amendment bars anyone who has engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion” from holding certain public offices, including the presidency.

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Mormon Church Comes Out in Support of National Gay Marriage Bill After Backing Campaigns Against Same-Sex Marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indicated support Tuesday for legislation that would require states to recognize same-sex marriages performed under other states’ laws and repeal any federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, despite previously supporting efforts against same-sex marriage legalization.

The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act in July, with five of six church members in the House voting in favor of the bill. The church’s Tuesday statement expressed gratitude “for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

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Commentary: To America’s Permissive Addiction ‘Fix,’ Critics Just Say No

After nine years as a homeless drug addict in Los Angeles, Jared Klickstein finally checked himself into a drug treatment center. Unlike the program he had gone to six years before, which had hot tubs, acupuncture, and trips to the beach, this one, in North Hollywood, was deadly serious about personal responsibility. Clients kept a strict schedule. They did chores. They scrubbed toilets. “No hot tubs,” Klickstein said. 

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DeSantis Puts Breaks on 2024 Speculation: ‘Chill Out’

Following former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday evening announcement that he would launch a 2024 presidential bid, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis sought to cool speculation on his own ambitions and to direct focus to the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff.

DeSantis cruised to reelection last week, handily defeating Democratic rival Charlie Crist by nearly ten points. Trump-backed Republicans did not fare quite as well and the GOP, though favored to win both chambers of Congress, lost the Senate while the control of the House remains undecided.

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Faith Leaders Warn So-Called Respect for Marriage Act Will Hack Away at Religious Freedom

Leaders of faith-based institutions warned The Daily Signal on Tuesday that the Democrat-led Respect for Marriage Act, which is expected to be voted on by the Senate Wednesday, would hack away at the religious freedom of faith-based groups.

HR 8404 “provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages,” repealing provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Far-Left Dark Money Group Spent over $1.5 Billion for Left-Wing Causes in 2021

A far-left dark money group, the largest in the nation, accumulated over $1.5 billion in anonymous donations to fund left-wing causes in 2021, according to recently-revealed tax forms.

Fox News reports that the network in question consists of five prominent nonprofit groups collectively managed by Arabella Advisors, a consulting firm based in Washington D.C. The five nonprofits are the Hopewell Fund, New Venture Fund, North Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, and Windward Fund. The same network spent another $1 billion in 2022.

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Chinese-Owned TikTok Using DHS Programs to Bring Foreign Workers to U.S.

ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the video platform TikTok, is increasingly bringing foreign nationals to work in the U.S. through foreign worker programs overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

This year alone, ByteDance was employing 579 foreign workers through the H-1B program, an increase from previous years, wrote Jon Feere, the center’s director of investigations, in a new report.

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