Or so the radical Right would have you believe. Specifically, “Focus On The Family” and the “American Family Association” would like you to think that part of the gay agenda, in addition to marriage equality (or, “homosexual marriage,” as the hate-mongers like to call it,) is instituting anti-bullying policies in schools. And they are outraged because they “think” that LGBT advocacy groups are now the schoolyard bully.
“Focus On The Family” and the “American Family Association” exist to inject their particular breed of religious bigotry and hate into the American mainstream. Focus On The Family’s latest endeavor, a website called “True Tolerance,” claims to offer “New Resources on Bullying Issues,” yet right up front asks, “Concerned about homosexual advocacy in your child’s school?”
Evidently, “New Resources on Bullying Issues” means, “Here’s how to help your kids bully other kids and get away with it.”
Now, I don’t know any parent who woke up today and said, “Gosh, I wonder if the reason Johnny can’t read is because of homosexual advocacy?” Do you? When did “homosexual advocacy” become a problem in our schools? I think hate and hate-mongering is the problem, don’t you?
Of course “True Tolerance,” offers “tips on communicating with your school officials.” Because I’m sure there are a ton of principals who — amidst budget cuts, a renewed focus on education (thanks to the Obama administration) and a brand new school year — are dying to hear from parents who just woke up and imagined a “homosexual agenda” that is creeping into their children’s classrooms.
Talk about creating fear and hysteria where none should exist.
What Focus on the Family should be concerned about is tolerance of bullies, instead of lying to parents by asking, “Why is one-sided promotion of homosexuality happening in your childâ€™s school?”
Take this little tidbit from FOF’s “True Tolerance” agenda of hate:
“Our nationâ€™s K-12 public schools are coming under increasing amounts of political pressure from national homosexual-advocacy groups. This pressure often comes in the form of demands to create a â€œsafe environmentâ€ for gay and lesbian students. Schools are told that if they do not ban â€œhomophobicâ€ and â€œanti- LGBTâ€ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) messagesâ€”as well as include positive statements about homosexuality in their policies, curriculum, books and during special events like the Day of Silenceâ€”they will face legal liability.”
The obvious question is this: Does FOF want more children to be bullied for possibly being different? Does FOF want more children who are merely perceived as gay, or lesbian, or just a little less “stereotypical,” to be beaten, or killed in school, or to come home and commit suicide?
Here’s a reminder for FOF, via The Trevor Project:
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds, accounting for over 12% of deaths in this age group; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses.
For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made.
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
More than 1/3 of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt.
Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.
Questioning youth who are less certain of their sexual orientation report even higher levels of substance abuse and depressed thoughts than their heterosexual or openly LGBT-identified peers.
LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide than LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.
Focus on the Family, by creating “True Tolerance,” — a disgustingly bigoted idea, that “true tolerance” is allowing bullying, which leads to increased child deaths — is saying “Bullying is A- OK!”
Blogger Joe.My.God. quotes the “True Tolerance” site, which says, “The emphasis should be on the wrong actions of the bully â€” not on the bullyâ€™s perceived thoughts or motivations.” Then he says, “They should ask Carl Walker-Hoover‘s mother what she thinks about that.”
Michael A. Jones at Change.org asks a related question in, “Why Is the Anoka-Hennepin School Board Doing Nothing About LGBT Suicide?”
“[T]hree gay students in the span of one year who have taken their lives, all the while the school district has done nothing to open discussions about LGBT bullying or creating safe spaces for LGBT students in Anoka-Hennepin schools.
“Why would the school district do nothing amidst three suicides by LGBT youth? Because they’re worried about offending some socially conservative religious leaders in the area, who want to keep any mention of homosexuality, even if it relates to anti-bullying, verboten on high school campuses.”
Pam’s House Blend examines another facet of this latest right-wing religious hate-mongering. In “AFA Highlights/Recycles FOTF Campaign Against Perceived Gay Public School Agenda,” Autumn Sandeen dissects an American Family Association/OneNewsNow piece (of garbage) titled, “Combating Homosexual Promotion In Schools.”
Like I said, I don’t know any parent who woke up today and said, “Gosh, I wonder if the reason Johnny can’t read is because of homosexual advocacy?” Or, “homosexual promotion,” (whatever that is!) for that matter.
Karoli at Crooks And Liars, in “A Perfect Example of Focus on the Family’s Evil,” adds this:
“This is what happens when the fires of homophobia are stirred. Children are assassinated in cold blood by classmates, threatened by the sexuality and the messages they get from organizations like Focus on the Family. When those fires are stoked up too high, 14-year old boys take guns to school, walk up to classmates, and put two bullets in the back of their heads.
“Tell me again. Who is the bully here?”
I don’t care your political or religious affiliation. If you think it’s OK to bully a child, if you think it’s OK for other children to bully kids, there is something wrong with you.
As I wrote last year, “Iâ€™ve written about child suicides here, here, and here. Half of all school bullying is anti-gay, and ‘schools are ignoring it.’ Itâ€™s a national emergency, and not enough is being done.”
Focus on the Family is the icon of the Religious Right.
When will they ever learn?
When will we stop them from teaching hate and putting our children in danger?
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‘Don’t Say Gay’ Florida GOP Lawmaker Quits One Day After Pleading Not Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charges
Joe Harding, the Florida Republican state representative who authored the highly-controversial and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law has just resigned, one day after pleading “not guilty” and assuring his constituents on social media he is working “for a fair and just resolution” to federal felony fraud and money laundering charges.
Harding’s resignation also comes one day after he was stripped of his committee assignments, and is effective immediately, Florida Politics reports.
The charges involve a COVID-related Small Business Administration loan for $150,000, according to the Dept. of Justice, which notes if convicted on all charges he could get 35 years in prison.
“I want the public and my constituents to know that I fully repaid the loan and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding told his constituents via Facebook on Wednesday. “On advice from counsel, I will be unable to say anything more specific about the legal proceedings until a later date and refer any questions or concerns related to this matter to my attorney. I ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers as we work for a fair and just resolution. Thank you, and may God bless you.”
Also on Wednesday Harding shuttered his Twitter account.
In another statement Harding wrote: “To my many colleagues that have reached out to me, including many I have deep policy disagreements with, thank you. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you for the past two years.”
Florida Politics notes Harding ended his statement with a bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11-12. That verse can have several different meanings depending on the version of the Bible.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded to news of Harding’s resignation via social media: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics notes. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Respect for Marriage Act a second time, approving even stronger religious liberty protections after the legislation was changed in the Senate. But this time was different – this time Republicans really showed up, in even bigger numbers, to vote no.
And it’s worse than it looks.
The bill once again did pass, and will now be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
But how we got here does not bode well for the future of civil rights.
On July 19, the bill passed the House 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting yes and all 157 no votes also coming from Republicans.
On Thursday the bill passed in a 258-169 vote, with just 39 Republicans voting yes and all 169 no votes again coming from Republicans.
Just looking at the overall vote totals, comparing the vote in July to the vote on Thursday, it’s easy to think eight Republicans (47 minus 39) switched their yes vote to no.
It’s a bit more complicated.
And it’s the no votes that are striking. Because in reality, this time a lot more Republicans voted no.
Eight Republicans who did not vote in July showed up this time to vote no. Only one who did not vote in July voted yes on Thursday.
Another six Republicans switched their vote from yes in July to no on Thursday.
Two who voted yes in July did not vote on Thursday.
One switched from no to yes.
One switched from yes to present.
One who voted no in July is now deceased.
Republicans on the House floor on Thursday made their message clear.
Republicans like Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, a former anti-LGBTQ activist who worked for an organization created to block same-sex marriage. She literally cried own the floor begging her colleagues to vote no. And Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who said practically everything wrong in society can be traced back to same-sex marriage.
Here’s the breakdown. (If they are not listed they voted no.)
Here’s how we get to eight fewer yes votes:
Bentz Republican Oregon Yes to No
Mast Republican Florida Yes to No
Meuser Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Perry Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Salazar Republican Florida Yes to No
Van Drew Republican New Jersey Yes to No
Owens Republican Utah Yes to Present
Kinzinger Republican Illinois Yes to Did Not Vote
Zeldin Republican New York Yes to Did Not Vote
Herrera Beutler Republican Washington No to Yes
Here’s how we get a lot more no votes:
Babin Republican Texas Did Not Vote to No
Burchett Republican Tennessee Did Not Vote to No
Diaz-Balart Republican Florida Did Not Vote to No
Finstad Republican Minnesota Did Not Vote to No
Hartzler Republican Missouri Did Not Vote to No
Lucas Republican Oklahoma Did Not Vote to No
McKinley Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Miller (WV) Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Gallagher Republican Wisconsin No to Did Not Vote
Sempolinski Republican New York New Member to No
Yakym Republican Indiana New Member to No
Brady Republican Texas No to Did Not Vote
Walorski Republican Indiana No to deceased
Kellyanne Conway Serves up Some Alternative Facts About Herschel Walker’s Failed Election Bid
Kellyanne Conway, a political strategist who also served as White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, recently delivered critical remarks leveled at Republican senators.
According to Conway, Republican lawmakers did not stand behind Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the days leading up to the state’s highly publicized election runoff.
Walker, who was endorsed by Trump, lost the election by less than 100,000 votes.
On Wednesday, December 7, Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” where she voiced her concerns about the election.
According to Mediaite, Conway also “railed against Walker’s fellow Republicans for abandoning him.”
“To the 49 Republican senators, where were most of you?” Conway asked while appealing to other Republican lawmakers to support members of the party. “Why weren’t you in Georgia?”
“They all should have been because they should’ve been there in some form, town hall, in person, saying the following: ‘I serve in the United States with Raphael Warnock. He’s a terrible senator. He doesn’t represent Georgia. He’s not fit to serve. He votes with Joe Biden. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that doesn’t do that. He said nothing when they pulled out of Afghanistan. He said nothing that Joe Biden has been to Delaware 174 days and down to the border zero days.’ That’s what needs to happen. Where were the other senators to say, ‘I want Herschel Walker, not Raphael Warnock in the Senate with me?'”
Conway’s remarks come shortly after another prominent conservative went on a rant about Walker; however, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) perspective is starkly different from Conway’s.
Speaking to far-right influencer Steve Bannon, Greene said that Walker’s campaign rarely reached out for assistance; something she describes as “insulting.” During the interview, Greene insisted, ″They only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting.”
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