Yesterday we began our five-part series, “19-Year Old Gay Teen’s Suicide” with Part 1: “Watch The Bigots Who Pushed Him Over The Edge.” (See part three: 19-Year Old Gay Teenâ€™s Suicide: Part 3 â€“ â€œGayâ€ Same As â€œFornicator, Adulterer, Bigamist, Prostituteâ€) In it, we showed you a video of a so-called concerned citizen whom I dubbed “Mr. Slippery Slope,” who had the gall to stand in front of his town’s mayor, city council and fellow citizens to protest a proclamation to name October “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.”
You’ll remember Mr. Slippery Slope predicted with certainty, should the proclamation be adopted, that homosexuality will be â€œinfiltratedâ€ into the schools, schools will be forced to teach about how people came out, there will be pictures of gay sex shown to children in school, â€œrecruiting children into these lifestyles will be very easy,â€ hate crimes laws will be passed to discriminate against anyone who speaks out about homophobia, the bible will be banned, the bible will be called a hate book, clergy will be put in jailâ€¦
Sadly, it is words like this, and the words you’ll hear below, that pushed nineteen-year old Zach Harrington into suicide. Yes, Zach’s parents believe their son’s death came as a result of hearing three hours of “debate” on the merits of something as innocuous as a proclamation honoring LGBT history.
The Norman, Oklahoma newspaper reports Harringtonâ€™s father, Van, while blaming the comments from the debate for his sonâ€™s suicide, doesnâ€™t hold them solely responsible. â€œVan Harrington said he feels a lack of acceptance from society and what he calls a â€œtoxic meetingâ€ last month is what finally pushed Zach over the edge.â€
I also believe we have the professional bullies to blame for this ignorance, ignorance that caused this young manâ€™s death, and that caused the death of ten other teens in September alone.
Today, watch this Norman citizen say, “The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that never shuts up.” He then compares a proclamation for “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month” to a proclamation for “wife-swapping.” Classy. “In conclusion,” he says, “If you choose to vote this down, no one will be physically harmed.” Think again.
Our thoughts are with the families of all teens who succumbed to suicide after enduring anti-gay hate. It is my hope that all the people who had a hand in spreading that hate, homophobia, and ignorance, turn their lives around and embrace people’s differences as much as their similarities.
I invite anyone from Norman to contact me to share their thoughts on the proclamation, and on the life and death of Zach Harrington.
(See the next installment: 19-Year Old Gay Teenâ€™s Suicide: Part 3 â€“ â€œGayâ€ Same As â€œFornicator, Adulterer, Bigamist, Prostituteâ€)
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Large Increase in Americans Who Now Identify as LGBTQ – Especially Among Gen Z – But Few Republicans
Over the past three years, a very short time period, there has been a large increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBTQ, or any designation other than heterosexual.
According to a just-published report from Gallup, 5.6 percent of Americans identify as LGBT, or non-heterosexual, up from 4.5 percent in 2017. The report covers all of 2020. (Note: Gallup uses the term “LGBT,” a far narrower construct than many Americans observe today. These numbers reflect that specific designation.)
Among Generation Z, which Gallup defines as those 18-23, nearly 16 percent – about one in six – identify as LGBT. That’s almost three times the national average.
About one in eleven Millennials (those born between 1981-1996) or 9.1 percent, say they identify as LGBT.
Gallup also reports more than half of LGBT Americans (54.6%) identify as bisexual. That’s 3.1 percent of the total U.S. adult population.
One in four (24.5%) of LGBT Americans say they are gay, 11.7 percent lesbian, and 11.3% transgender. 3.3 percent “volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving.”
There is also a political component to the study.
13 percent of liberals, but just 2.3 percent of conservatives say they are LGBT. In stricter party terms, “8.8% of Democrats, 6.5% of independents and 1.7% of Republicans identifying as LGBT.”
In related news, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine who just last June was the only GOP co-sponsor of the LGBTQ Equality Act, has refused to demonstrate similar leadership this year, when she could cast the deciding vote. President Joe Biden has committed to signing the legislation into law.
Image via Shutterstock
Anti-LGBTQ Religious-Right Christian Nationalist Home-School Activist and Anti-Masker Launches Congressional Bid
Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a run for U.S. Congress Sunday in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler became a target of supporters of former President Donald Trump after voting for his impeachment in January and revealing damning details about a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that took place during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
A week prior to the launch of her congressional bid, St. John took to Facebook to post, “Trump now knows who his enemies are in the REPUBLICAN party. And so do we. Silver lining of the shampeachment. The RINOS need to GO!! #acquitted.”
St. John calls herself “The Busy Mom” on Facebook, hosts a daily “Off the Bench” podcast, publishes a blog, and runs a ministry for mothers that promotes her book “Becoming Mom Strong.” She is an ally of Alliance Defending Freedom President Michael Farris and has spoken at the church of religious-right activist pastor Jack Hibbs in California. Rick Green, host of the “WallBuilders Live!” radio program, was a recent guest on her podcast, which she said gets about a million downloads per month.
St. John urges parents to pull their children out of public schools, which she refers to as “government indoctrination centers” that promote “garbage sexual ideologies” and a “weird era of transgenderism.” She said on a recent podcast that gender confirmation surgery should be illegal and that doctors who perform it are “criminals.”
St. John charges that the COVID-19 coronavirus was “weaponized” to create fear by the media and Democrats who saw the virus as an opportunity to hurt Trump’s reelection chances. She urges people not to be mask-wearing “sheep” and to take off their masks. In a Jan. 18 video, she said that Christians’ job is to proclaim truth, adding, “That’s why I don’t do the mask. It’s B.S. of the highest order.”
In a Jan. 9 Facebook video, she declared, “This nation is a Christian nation” while denouncing people who criticized Trump’s religious-right supporters as Christian nationalists or as being part of a Trump-worshiping cult. She said the idea that Trump incited the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol was “a lie that the left is pushing.” She also said that “social justice is a lie from the pit of hell.”
Before Inauguration Day, St. John appeared to be hoping for a miracle that would keep Trump in power. A Jan. 12 Facebook post read, “’It’s all over’? Then along came David with his sling shot. God decides when it’s over.”
In an Inauguration Day blog post she wrote, “My heart is breaking for our Republic today. I know many of you are grieving with me. I am still in disbelief that the left pulled off the greatest vote heist in American history.”
St. John appeared on Wisconsin pastor David Fiorazo’s “Stand Up for the Truth” podcast on Feb. 4, where she said, “I’m hoping that in 2022 there’s a red wave in this country like we’ve never seen, and not just a red wave—a Christian red wave.”
Senate Committee Postpones Confirmation Hearing on Biden OMB Pick After Manchin Leads Revolt Over Mean Tweets
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is postponing its Wednesday confirmation hearing for Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he will vote against her, based on her record of posting mean tweets.
Axios, first reporting the news, calls it “a potential death knell” for Tanden’s confirmation, although it could give the Biden White House time to try to shore up support among Republican Senators.
Tanden would be the first woman of color to head OMB.
Manchin’s stunning announcement Friday has led to three Republicans jumping on board, also announcing their opposition.
None of the opposition is on qualifications – Tanden, a policy expert has led the Center for American Progress for nearly a decade, and worked in both the Clinton and Obama White Houses.
“We are postponing the business meeting because members are asking for more time to consider the nominee,” an unnamed committee aide told Axios. “The president deserves to have a team in place that he wants, and we’re going to work with our members to figure out the best path forward.”
But many Democrats see Manchin’s opposition as nothing more than sexism, misogyny, and racism. He has voted for far less qualified candidates with far greater issues than Tanden, all of whom happened to be men, and mostly white men. Among them, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was not only credibly accused of sexual assault, but engaged a shocking on-camera attack promising revenge during his confirmation hearing.
“Other supporters have accused Tanden’s opponents of hypocrisy, noting Manchin and many Republican senators voted to confirm nominees of President Trump who also had posted caustic tweets,” Axios adds.
Manchin followed up his opposition to Tanden with a suggestion he might not support Biden’s nominee to head the Dept. of the Interior, a sitting U.S. Congresswoman who is Native American, Deb Haaland.
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