June 30, 2015

Drug cops took a college kid’s life savings and now 13 police departments want a cut

In February 2014, Drug Enforcement Administration task force officers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport seized $11,000 in cash from 24-year-old college student Charles Clarke. They didn't find any guns, drugs or contraband on him. But, according to an affidavit filled out by one of the agents, the task force officers reasoned that the cash was the proceeds of drug trafficking, because Clarke was traveling on a recently-purchased one-way ticket, he was unable to provide documentation for where the money came from, and his checked baggage had an odor of marijuana.
Clarke's cash was seized under civil asset forfeiture, where cops are able to take cash and property from people who are never convicted of -- and in some cases, never even charged with -- a crime. The DEA maintains that asset forfeiture is an important crime-fighting tool: "By attacking the financial infrastructure of drug trafficking organizations world-wide, DEA has disrupted and dismantled major drug trafficking organizations and their supply chains, thereby improving national security and increasing the quality of life for the American public."
But the practice has become contentious, in part because agencies are generally allowed to keep a share of the cash and property they seize. In cases like Clarke's, where local and federal agents cooperate on a seizure, federal agencies typically keep at least 20 percent of the assets, while local cops split the remainder among themselves. Critics argue that this creates a profit motive and leads to "policing for profit."
Two local agencies were involved in the seizure of Clarke's cash: the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport Police, and the Covington Police Department, which is the home office of the DEA task force officer who detained and spoke with Clarke. But according to the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit civil liberties group now representing Clarke in court, 11 additional law enforcement agencies -- who were not involved in Clarke's case at all -- have also requested a share of Clarke's cash under the federal asset forfeiture program. They include the Kentucky State Police, the Ohio Highway Patrol, and even the Bureau of Criminal Investigations within the Ohio Attorney General's office.

These numbers all come from an Institute for Justice review of the Justice Department's Consolidated Asset Tracking System, the federal asset forfeiture database. The airport police have requested the lion's share of Charles Clarke's $11,000, at 40 percent. The Cincinnati Police Dept. has requested an additional 6.14 percent of it, with the rest of the agencies requesting 3.07 percent each. That all adds up to just under 80 percent, which by law is the maximum amount local agencies are allowed to receive in cases like this.
Civil asset forfeiture exists, in part, to compensate law enforcement agencies for their crime-fighting efforts. The Controlled Substances Act states that forfeited property handed over to local law enforcement should have "a value that bears a reasonable relationship to the degree of direct participation of the State or local agency in the law enforcement effort resulting in the forfeiture, taking into account the total value of all property forfeited and the total law enforcement effort as a whole."
But there have been a series of high-profile controversies over civil asset forfeiture lately, and the practice has drawn increasing scrutiny from lawmakers. Just recently, three Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration expressing concern over a recent forfeiture case involving a young man, Joseph Rivers, who had $16,000 seized at an Amtrak stop in New Mexico. The letter describes the circumstances of the seizure as "disturbing," particularly Rivers' contention that he was racially profiled as the only black person on that part of the train.
Like Joseph Rivers, Charles Clarke is a young black man. And like Rivers, he lost his cash at a so-called "cold consent" encounter -- that is, a warrantless search voluntarily agreed to -- at one of the nation's transportation hubs. Clarke didn't have any marijuana on him or in his baggage, so he hasn't been charged with any drug crimes.  He was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer, however, after he tried to prevent the agents from seizing his money by yelling at them and struggling with the agents when they grabbed the cash, according to the agent's affidavit. The charges were subsequently dropped, according to his lawyers at the Institute for Justice.
So why are 11 agencies that were not involved with the forfeiture of Clarke's cash requesting a cut of it? The most likely reason, according to Darpana Sheth, the lead attorney representing Charles Clarke, is that they all participate in the same DEA drug task force that's home to the officer who made the seizure. Jill Del Greco, a public information officer with the Ohio Attorney General's office, confirmed that their Bureau of Criminal Investigations has an agent on that task force, but that they "weren't directly involved" with the Charles Clarke case. She referred additional questions to the DEA, who oversees the task force.
Brian Steffen, assistant Chief of the Covington Police Department which is home to the task force agent who made the seizure, also referred questions about the nature of the task force to the DEA. "Wherever [the task force] conducts its operations is at the discretion of the DEA," he said. A representative for the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport similarly referred inquires about the task force to the DEA.
The DEA's Cincinnati office, home to the task force, wouldn't comment on the case or answer questions about the task force. Rich Isaacson, a public information officer with the Detroit DEA office, would only say that "we are bound by the rules and regulations of the asset forfeiture section of the Department of Justice. We don't comment on pending litigation and pending investigations."
The Justice Department's Guide to Equitable Sharing describes how asset forfeiture funds are typically handled in cases overseen by a drug task force: "Many task forces involving federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have pre-arranged, written equitable sharing agreements based upon relative numbers of personnel and other contributions to the task force operation." It states that these agreements will only be honored when "the pre-arranged percentages continue to reflect the true overall agency contributions to the task force."
But in Charles Clarke's case, agencies stand to receive payouts even though they had nothing to do with the seizure. "Law enforcement agencies are just scrambling to get a cut of the money and it has nothing to do with legitimate law enforcement incentives," said Clarke's attorney Darpana Sheth. "It's more about policing for profit." The small amounts that most agencies requested -- just a few hundred dollars -- represent what Sheth calls the "pettiness" of much of civil asset forfeiture. "It's really just the money, its not anything else that's driving the request," she said.
And over time, these payouts can add up. The Institute for Justice provided numbers from their analysis of Department of Justice forfeiture data on the cash value of seizures at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) from 2000 to 2013. Those number show seizure amounts spiking sharply in recent years, even as overall passenger volume has dropped precipitously.

CNN Says It’s Not ‘LEGAL’ For Justice Scalia To Talk About Gay People Like He Used To

Justice Antonin Scalia, along with three others, did not vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage nationwide. So naturally, liberal news media went on attack mode.
Scalia has gotten much criticism over the years, as liberals have hated on him for his outright conservative stances on gay marriage and other topics.
During CNN’s live coverage of the Supreme Court ruling mandating the nationwide legality of same-sex marriage, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin repeatedly dissed Scalia and at one point said that it wasn’t legal “to talk about gay people the way Justice Scalia used to talk about gay people.”
Newsbusters reports:
About 10:30 a.m., after quoting from a dissent written by Justice Scalia in the Lawrence V. Texas case from 2003, Toobin declared:
I mean, really, just outward bigotry against gay people. Now, today Justice Scalia begins his dissenting opinion by saying this issue is of no particular importance to me, and the only real issue here is the democratic process, who makes the decisions. Should it be the courts? Or should it be the people?
The CNN legal analyst then added:
Even Justice Scalia, who is the biggest social conservative on the court, he cannot talk the way he used to talk about gay people because culturally, politically, even legally, it’s simply not appropriate, and even legal in many, in ways to talk about gay people the way Justice Scalia used to talk about gay people.

Hmm… not ‘legal’ to voice an opinion about gay people. I guess “freedom of speech” isn’t a thing anymore? I am pretty sure legalizing gay marriage didn’t illegalize voicing your opinion on gay marriage.
The left must be confused. But we all know that’s nothing new for them.

90% Of People Can’t Correctly Pronounce This Whole Poem About the English Language

From Tickld:
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labor to reading six lines aloud.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation — think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough —
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Google Plans To Integrate Railroad Crossing Locations In Maps Because Dumb People Keep Getting Hit By Trains

Finally, these intersections will appear in Google Maps. The New York Times reports that the Federal Railroad Administration “plans to announce a partnership with Google” today to list all railroad grade crossings in Google Maps.

Google is going to partner with the FRA to provide locations of every public and private highway railroad crossing in the country through Google Maps so that drivers navigating through it are made aware of such crossings ahead of time.
Google will tap into the U.S. Department of Transportation’s database to gather the information, The New York Times said, and drivers will be alerted through voice navigation and visual alerts through Google Maps, so long as they’re navigating using Google’s software.

According to the FRA, crossing accidents can usually be attributed to driver inattention and error (ironic with the increasing reliance on smartphones).
Trains traverse more than 212,000 such crossings in the U.S. each day, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which led to around 270 deaths in 2014 — a 9 percent rise on the previous year.

Accidents are typically caused by human error, and with many railroad crossings there aren’t any barriers or lights between the road and the railway track, leaving it entirely up to the visual attentiveness of the driver to spot a road sign.
The vast majority of these accidents and deaths are preventable, said Sarah Feinberg, the Federal Railroad Administrations acting administrator, speaking to the NYT.


Colorado Court Rules Use of Public Funds for Private Schools Is Unconstitutional

 Colorado’s highest court on Monday struck down a voucher program that allowed parents in a conservative suburban school district to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private schools.
The split decision to throw out the voucher program in Douglas County, Colorado’s third-largest school district, was a blow to conservative education advocates and those who want to redefine public education to funnel tax dollars directly to families who then choose the type of schooling they want for their children.
The state’s Supreme Court ruled against the district’s voucher program, which was passed in 2011, saying it violated a plank of the State Constitution that explicitly prevents public money from going to schools “controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever.” 
“This stark constitutional provision makes one thing clear,” Colorado’s chief justice, Nancy E. Rice, wrote in the court’s opinion. “A school district may not aid religious schools.”
The ruling’s immediate effect will be to prevent the district from giving vouchers to families to send their children to any private school, including secular ones. The court’s decision will also stop other school districts around Colorado from pursuing similar voucher programs.
School officials in Douglas County, just south of Denver, signaled that the district would appeal the case directly to the United States Supreme Court, with the hopes of weakening laws here and in other states that block public money from flowing to religious schools. More than a decade ago, the federal Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution could not prohibit the use of public vouchers to pay for religious schools in Cleveland.
Douglas County’s voucher program, called the Choice Scholarship Pilot Program, created 500 scholarships of about $4,570 each. The funds could have gone to any of 23 district-approved “private school partners” — 16 of which were religious.
The vouchers were at the heart of a series of conservative reforms that have transformed Douglas County into an educational battleground in recent years, pitting teachers’ unions, civil liberties groups and liberal parents against conservative families, a majority conservative school board and a group backed by the billionaire conservative Koch brothers.
In addition to vouchers, Douglas County’s school board has embraced merit-based teacher pay and charter schools. Conservative supporters say the policies have put the district in the vanguard of school reforms. Opponents say the efforts are chipping away at pillars of public education and have made Douglas County a hostile place for teachers.
With the court’s decision on Monday, the state’s largest teachers’ union claimed victory. “We’re incredibly gratified that the state’s Supreme Court recognized that public dollars should stay in public schools,” said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association.
Many states are moving forward with programs that allow families to apply public money toward private school tuition. According to the American Federation for Children, a nonprofit group that supports school vouchers, there are now 46 programs in 23 states and Washington, D.C. They include tax credit scholarships, in which private individuals or companies can earn tax credits for donating to scholarship funds, and education savings accounts that allow families to use tax dollars to pay for a range of educational services, including private schools, tutors and home schoolingmaterials.
In Colorado, opponents challenged the vouchers soon after they were approved, halting the program as the lawsuit moved through the court system. Civil liberties groups that hailed Monday’s ruling said it drew a clear border between public money and private faith.
“Parents are free to send their children to private religious schools if they wish, but the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed today that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for it,” read a statement by Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, which represented some of the challengers.


June 29, 2015

Walmart store bakes man an ISIS cake after refusing to ice Confederate flag design

Walmart has been forced to apologize after it apparently agreed to bake an ISIS-themed cake for a Louisiana customer - just a day after refusing to create a Confederate battle flag cake for him.
Chuck Netzhammer submitted a request for a cake featuring a photo of the Confederate flag, with the slogan 'Heritage Not Hate' printed across it, to his local Walmart store in Slidell on Thursday.
The store reportedly denied his request, which was made just a week after the Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre. Bakery staff wrote 'cannot do cake' on Netzhammer's submission. 
In a YouTube video, Netzhammer explains how his local Walmart store in Slidell, Louisiana, refused to ice this photo of the Confederate flag on a cake - but agreed to make him an Islamic State creation. Netzhammer shows off the ISIS-themed cake, which Walmart has since apologized for baking
Contrast: In a YouTube video, Netzhammer explains how his local Walmart store in Slidell, Louisiana, refused to ice this photo (left) of the Confederate flag on a cake - but agreed to make him an Islamic State creation. Right, Netzhammer shows off the ISIS-themed cake, which Walmart has since apologized for baking
The following day, Netzhammer handed in a second cake request - this time, for a baked creation featuring an iced version of the Islamic State's black and white flag - to test the store's convictions.
Incredibly, Walmart reportedly baked and iced the terror group-themed cake.
On Friday, Netzhammer took to YouTube to express his disbelief at the store's actions.
'Alright, Wal-Mart, you’ve got some explaining to do. I went to go buy a cake from you all the other day with this image on it and y’all wouldn’t do it,' he says in a video he later posted to the site.
'I went back yesterday and managed to get the ISIS battle flag [cake instead].'
In the caption written below the video on YouTube, the angry customer adds: 'ISIS is beheading Christians, selling little girls into slavery, and is currently a terrorist org at war with the United States........but you can't buy the General Lee toy car at Wallmart? It's a damn shame.'
Denied: The Confederate flag image Netzhammer had requested featured the words 'Heritage Not Hate' on it 
In his YouTube video, Netzhammer says: 'Alright, Wal-Mart, you’ve got some explaining to do. I went to go buy a cake from you all the other day with this image on it and y’all wouldn’t do it. I went back yesterday and managed to get the ISIS battle flag [cake]' This photo shows the ISIS cake made by Walmart
In his YouTube video, Netzhammer says: 'Alright, Wal-Mart, you’ve got some explaining to do. I went to go buy a cake from you all the other day with this image on it and y’all wouldn’t do it. I went back yesterday and managed to get the ISIS [cake].' Above, his denied Confederate flag submission (left) and the ISIS cake (right)
Store: The Islamic State-themed cake was apparently baked by staff at this Walmart (pictured) in Slidell, LA
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told the Daily Caller that the store had 'made a mistake'.
'The cake in the video should not have been made and we apologize,' he said, explaining Walmart had 'made the decision to stop selling Confederate flag-related items promoting the flag's image'.
He added: '[Netzhammer] brought in the other image of ISIS and really, what happened, was our associate didn’t recognize what that image was and what it meant or it wouldn’t have been made.'
In the video, Netzhammer also posed with the ISIS cake and showed off his bakery receipts. 
Suspect: On June 17, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, from Shelby, North Carolina, allegedly shot dead nine people at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof had posted photos of himself holding the Confederate flag (pictured) online in the months leading up to the killings
During the massacre at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, from Shelby, North Carolina, allegedly shot dead nine people.
These included the senior pastor and state senator, Clementa Pinckney.

NBC Cuts Ties With Donald Trump Over "Derogatory Statements," Pulls Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants

"To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC," the statement continued. "In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Celebrity Apprentice is licensed fromMark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue."
When speaking at an event Monday in Chicago, Trump said it was his decision to end the relationship. "They did not want me to run. They wanted me to do The Apprentice. And now with my statements on immigration — which happen to be correct — they are going to take a different stance and that’s OK. Whatever they want to do is OK with me," said Trump. "As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC."
The Miss USA pageant was scheduled to air live on NBC from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 12. The network had aired Miss USA as well as Miss Universe for the past 11 years and was in the midst of a five-year, $13.5 million contract between NBCUniversal and Trump's Miss Universe Organization.
Additionally, Trump released a lengthy statement Monday in which he called NBC "weak" and "foolish," and said that he told the network "long ago" that he would be stepping down from Celebrity Apprentice because of his campaign. In the statement, he also said that NBC's "contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court." 
The announcement comes after days of pressure for NBC to follow Univision's lead. On Thursday, Univision announced that it was ending its business relationship with Trump based on what it deemed "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants." In an interview with Politico Thursday, Trump threatened to sue Univision for defaulting on what he called an "ironclad" agreement. "They have no termination rights whatsoever," he told the site.
NBC attempted to distance itself from the real estate mogul late Thursday and issued a statement saying, "We do not agree" with Trump "on a number of issues."
The Miss USA pageant has been a modest ratings performer for the network in recent years. Last year's competition averaged a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, flat in the demo from the year prior. Trump's other NBC program, Celebrity Apprentice, is a very different story. The most recent season was a surprise ratings hit, averaging a 2.4 rating despite the nearly yearlong gap between the start of production in early 2014 and the season's debut in January 2015.
It's unclear who will take the reins of Celebrity Apprentice in Trump's place. He has hosted all seven seasons of Celebrity Apprentice as well as all seven seasons of The Apprentice. It also remains to be seen what this means for Trump's children, Ivanka TrumpDonald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who have served as advisors on the show for several years. 
The controversy dates back to Trump's widely criticized June 16 speech announcing his candidacy, in which he referred to Mexican immigrants as "rapists."
"The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. ... When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," said Trump. "They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Trump's bid for the White House already has put a strain on his various TV ventures. Fox News ended his weekly segment on Fox and Friends immediately after his presidential announcement. 

Man On His Third Wife Has No Good Defense For His Support Of 'Traditional' Marriage

Businessman and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump locked himself into a painfully awkward conversation about marriage equality this weekend, when CNN called him out for citing the idea of “traditional marriage” while attempting to decry the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide — this, from a man in his third marriage.
While speaking with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Trump was asked to respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in all 50 states. When Trump invoked the conservative conception of marriage, Tapper pushed back.
Tapper: You said a few years ago that you were evolving. Where are you?
Trump: Yeah, I’m for traditional marriage. It is changing rapidly—
Tapper: But what do you say to a lesbian who is married or a gay man who is married who says, “Donald Trump, what’s traditional about being married three times?”
Trump: Well, they have a very good point. You know, I’ve been a very hardworking person. I have a great marriage, I have a great wife now, and actually my two [other] wives were very good … 
Trump went on to explain his divorces, but Tapper interrupted him with another direct question:
Tapper: But what do you say to a lesbian or a gay man who are married…
Trump: I really don’t say anything. I just…I’m for traditional marriage.
The uncomfortable exchange exposes an oft-cited hypocrisy common among many conservative opponents of marriage equality: Republicans, including those who have been divorced several times, often say they ascribe to the supposedly biblical concept of “traditional marriage,” even though the Bible explicitly condemns divorce. Trump, who reportedly collects Bibles, did not mention Jesus Christ’s position on the matter, which is probably because Jesus never actually discussed homosexuality in any of the gospel stories. Christ did, however, discuss divorce, telling his followers in Matthew 19: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Of course, Christian denominations long ago developed theologies that allow for divorce, and the issue is largely settled in many traditions. But while Trump and others like him are clearly willing to accept this theological shift, they appear reticent to embrace the increasingly pro-LGBT theology of their own traditions. Trump, like fellow Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul,is Presbyterian, and grew up attending a church affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Yet the PC(USA) already ordains openly LGBT pastors, and officially voted to embrace marriage equality earlier this year.