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Shaw: Same-sex marriage, Trump runs again and other thoughts

Columnist Jim Shaw offers critical remarks after North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer voted against the Respect for Marriage Act. "Hoeven and Cramer are using religion as a cover to justify bigotry and discrimination," Shaw writes. "History will not be on their side."

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
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It’s great to see that Congress is on its way to protecting same-sex marriages. Congressional votes to do so are necessary in case the Supreme Court reverses itself on the matter. We’ve seen that happen with women’s reproductive rights, and we can’t take the chance with gay marriage rights.

However, it is alarming that North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer voted against the legislation, as did Minnesota Rep. Michelle Fischbach. Kudos to Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith for voting for it, along with North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong.

Hoeven’s and Cramer’s bogus excuse for voting against it is because they are concerned that it threatens “religious freedom.” Oh, please. Religious freedom is fully protected in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers brilliantly decided that people can worship the way they want or they don’t have to worship at all. Better yet, they determined that government is to stay out of the religion business. Legalizing same-sex marriage doesn’t change a thing.

Hoeven and Cramer are using religion as a cover to justify bigotry and discrimination. History will not be on their side. They are reminiscent of members of Congress who voted against equal rights for Black Americans in the 1960s. It’s shameful that Hoeven, Cramer and Fischbach want to prevent some people from marrying the individuals they love. How do those marriages affect the lives of Hoeven, Cramer and Fischbach? They don’t.

The votes of Hoeven, Cramer and Fischbach send a disturbing message. With the LGBTQ community under constant attack, it’s way past time for Hoeven, Cramer and Fischbach to promote inclusion, love and equal rights for all.

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Interesting to see that many Republicans and the conservative media are abandoning Donald Trump in his latest run for the presidency. Sadly, it’s not because Trump incited a violent coup attempt, attempted to extort Ukraine, stole classified documents, separated children from their families or tear-gassed peaceful protesters. It’s only because Trump has lost three elections in a row and is a drain on the party. Still, Trump is way ahead in the polls for the Republican Party nomination.

Of course, Trump is running in large part to stay out of prison for his treason and transgressions. During his campaign announcement, Trump referenced that he served as president for “decades.” Somebody should tell him he only served for four years. It just felt like decades.

It’s a sad sign of the times that the Grand Forks School District had to launch a page on its website called, “Rumor Has It.” The point of the page is to combat lies, conspiracy theories and false rumors, such as the district has litter boxes in school restrooms, ACT scores are very low and the district teaches critical race theory. I wonder if State Rep. Jim Kasper knows how the CRT lie started?

I am honored and humbled to once again be voted “Best Newspaper Columnist of the Red River Valley.” Thank you so much. It’s a real privilege to connect with you, the readers.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

READ MORE FROM INFORUM COLUMNIST JIM SHAW
Watch, listen and read exclusive reporting 40 years in the making as Forum Communications Columnist Jim Shaw looks back at the infamous Medina, North Dakota, shootout and tells where it stands today.

Opinion by Jim Shaw
InForum columnist Jim Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
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