The congressional district Michele Bachmann (R-MN) represents has seen a huge spike in anti-gay bullying and related teen suicides — nine teen suicides, overall, in the past two years alone — so many that the area Bachmann represents has been labeled aÂ “suicide contagion area.” This should surprise no one, as Congresswoman Bachmann for the better part of a decade has built her political career on the backs of the very gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens she purportedly represents.
“Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied,” reports Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones. “And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her districtâ€”including the high school that she attended.”
â€œIf youâ€™re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, itâ€™sÂ bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement,” then-State Senator Bachmann said at theÂ EdWatch National Education Conference in 2004, when she created the non-existent “problem” of same-sex marriage coming to Minnesota, advocating to write discrimination into the state constitution in the form of a ban on marriage equality.
TheÂ Anoka-Hennepin has been fighting GSAs — Gay-Straight Alliances — and anti-bullying programs under the expected guise that they advance “the homosexual agenda,” ignorantly not acceptingÂ the fact that research shows that kids who live in these conservative, anti-gay environments are far more likely to attempt suicide — whether they are gay or straight. And GSAs are believed by the same researchers to be an effective weapon against teen suicides. So much so that the federalÂ Department of Justice and Department of Education publicly advocate for them.
It wasn’t a one-off statement. There was also this at the conference:
“You have aÂ teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says ‘Mom! Whatâ€™s gayness? We had aÂ teacher talking about this today.’ The mother says ‘Well, thatâ€™s when aÂ man likes other men, and they donâ€™t like girls.’ The boyâ€™s eight. Heâ€™s thinking, ‘Hmm. IÂ donâ€™t like girls. IÂ like boys. Maybe Iâ€™m gay.’ And you think, ‘Oh, thatâ€™s, thatâ€™s way out there. The kid isnâ€™t gonna think that.’ Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You donâ€™t think that this is intentional, the message thatâ€™s being given to these kids?Â Thatâ€™s child abuse.â€
And so much more.
So Bachmann advocated to ban same-sex marriage, by speaking out, one might say religiously, against homosexuals and homosexuality. And while her marriage ban failed to pass, as she feared, child abuse — in this case, children learning to hate homosexuals — and possibly, themselves — thanks to Bachmann’s obsession with homosexuality — grew into a raging suicide epidemic.
The Mother Jones piece adds that in addition to the nine successfully-completed teen suicides, at least seven “students at Anoka Middle School have been hospitalized for attempting or threatening suicide,” this year alone.
Anoka-Hennepin has a policy on the books known colloquially as “no homo promo,” which dates in back to the mid-1990s. Back then, after several emotional school board meetings, the district essentially wiped gay people out of the school health curriculum. There could be no discussion of homosexuality, even with regard to HIV and AIDS, and the school board adopted a formal policy that stated school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a “normal, valid lifestyle.”
Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics saidÂ fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation. Both policies were put into place at the behest of conservative religious activists who have been among Bachmann’s biggest supporters in the district. They include the Minnesota Family Council (MFC), and its local affiliate, the Parents Action League, which has lobbied to put discredited “reparative therapy” materials in schools.
That’s the sort of counselingÂ reportedly practiced by Bachmann & Associates,the mental health clinics run by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. The clinics reportedly counsel people on how to “pray away the gay” to become straight. Before entering politics, Bachmann served as the education advisor to the MFC-affiliated Minnesota Family Institute, a relationship she has continued. This spring, sheÂ headlined a fundraising dinner for MFC, along with Newt Gingrich.
TheÂ Anoka-Hennepin has been fighting GSAs — Gay-Straight Alliances — Â and anti-bullying programs under the expected guise that they advance “the homosexual agenda,” ignorantly not accepting the fact that research shows that kids who live in these conservative, anti-gay environments are far more likely to attempt suicide — whether they are gay or straight. And GSAs are believed by the same researchers to be an effective weapon against teen suicides. So much so that the federal Department of Justice and Department of Education publicly advocate for them.
Bachmann allyÂ Bradlee Dean, the head of the heavy-metal ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, last yearÂ took to the radio to decry efforts to create a more tolerant climate in the public schools. “We were just talking about the homosexual indoctrination,” Dean said. “The state-run media is going after the schools for resisting the homosexual indoctrination. The homosexuals are now blamingâ€”they are playing the victimsâ€”the homosexuals are now blaming [the schools’] stance as the reason that young homosexuals are committing suicide because of the schools’ intolerance to the lifestyle of homosexuality.” Another one of Bachmann’s longtime allies,Â Janet Boynes, an “ex-gay” who works with the ministry Exodus International, has also joined the fight. In May, she spoke at an Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting supporting the neutrality policy.
With all this anti-gay hate coming from Michele Bachmann, her husband Marcus and their Bachmann and Associates Christian counseling practice, which has been proven to practice what every major medical association has labeled as harmful — ex-gay, reparative therapy — is it any wonder that the environment in Bachmann’s district is so toxic?
“One of the plaintiffs eventually dropped out of school and later attempted suicide. Another student, who’d been reporting anti-LGBT harassment for two years, was advised by the school district to find another school because they couldn’t protect him. A third student claims that after he was violently assaulted and called a “faggot” in the hallway, a teacher stood by and watched without intervening. After he reported the incident, the school official blamed him for provoking the attack.”
–– Mother Jones
Mother Jones continues:
The anti-gay climate in the schools in Bachmann’s district has been so extreme that it has attracted the attention of the Justice Department and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which are both investigating allegations of anti-gay bullying. The Southern Poverty Law Center has also been on the ground investigating discrimination against gay students. On Thursday, itÂ sued the school district over its “neutrality” policy, which the group views as a potential violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. In a letter to the district superintendent in May, SPLC wrote:
The gag policy bears no rational relationship to any legitimate governmental purpose. On the contrary, the history surrounding the policy’s enactment clearly shows that the policy was adopted solely in deference to some community members’ disapproval of, and animus toward, a particular class of citizensâ€”LGBT people. The law is clear that mere animus toward an unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental purpose.
The letter describes the plight of LGBT students, several of whom had been harassed physically and verbally for long periods of time. According to the SPLC, the students reported the harassment to school officials, who ignored the complaints. One of the plaintiffs eventually dropped out of school and later attempted suicide. Another student, who’d been reporting anti-LGBT harassment for two years, was advised by the school district to find another school because they couldn’t protect him. A third student claims that after he was violently assaulted and called a “faggot” in the hallway, a teacher stood by and watched without intervening. After he reported the incident, the school official blamed him for provoking the attack.
Of course. Because, as Bachmann and her ilk falsely believe, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, it’s a “lifestyle choice,” and therefore you have control over it, because it’s not “natural,” it’s, as Bachmann has said,Â â€œpart of Satan, IÂ think to say that this is ‘gay.’ Itâ€™s anything but gay.â€
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
- News2 days ago
‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws
- News20 hours ago
‘Fool or a Liar’: GOP Knives Out for ‘A–hole’ Matt Gaetz as Vote to Oust McCarthy Appears Likely to Succeed
- News23 hours ago
Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar
- News2 days ago
Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three
- News2 days ago
McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report
- News22 hours ago
‘Probably So’: McCarthy Says His Speakership Likely Will End After Vote
- News16 hours ago
McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’