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Gay Utah Dad: Lesbian Book Ban ‘Literally Segregating Our Families’

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A gay Utah father is frustrated that his local school board, which elected to pull a picture book from elementary school library shelves because it included lesbian parents, is “literally segregating” gay and lesbian headed families. Weston Clark, 33, a former teacher in the Davis County school district, who now is a stay-at-home father to a two-year old son whom he raises with his partner of 12 years, has tried to create a dialogue on the book ban with the Davis County School Superintendent, but ultimately was rebuffed.

“A committee of seven teachers, administrators, and parents from Utah’s Davis School District voted 6-1 to segregate In Our Mothers’ House (Philomel, 2009), described in an SLJ review as a “gem of a book” that illustrates how love makes a family, even if it’s not a traditional one,” the School Library Journal reported last week:

“It’s still in the library, it’s just placed behind the counter,” says Chris Williams, a district spokesperson. “If a child hands in a permission slip they can still read it.”

The decision to restrict access to Polacco’s story-about a black girl who describes how her two Caucasian mothers, Marmee and Meema, adopted her, her Asian brother, and her red-headed sister-has raised concerns from the library community and anticensorship organizations, with the Utah Library Association (ULA) holding a meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the situation, says Anna Neatrour, ULA’s executive director.

While news reports have stated that other gay-themed books are being eyed for removal, including Justin Richardson’s and Peter Parnell’s And Tango Makes Three (S & S, 2005) and James Howe’s Totally Joe (Atheneum, 2007), Williams says the district hasn’t received any challenges against the titles, nor has it requested that other books be pulled. And Tango Makes Three topped the American Library Association’s Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2010.

Weston Clark, who attended, graduated, and later taught school in Utah’s Davis County School District told The New Civil Rights Movement in an exclusive interview via telephone that by removing the book, In Our Mothers’ House, from the school shelves and housing it behind a counter, “they are literally segregating our families’ stories and that’s sending a strong message to all families.”

What message?

Clark notes that “just like other areas, we have bullying issues.” He pointed to a recent anti-LGBT bullying related teen suicide. Sadly, there are far too many.

Clark says his goal is “to show the school board the LGBT families live in their community too,” and to “protect the kids. My kids, other people’s kids. All kids.”

Clark adds that he wants the school board to realize that “decisions they make affect all the families” in the district,” and says he finds it “hard to believe that the people of Davis County” will support anti-gay bigotry, even in the form of a book ban.

The Salt Lake Tribune yesterday notes that Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams “said the decision was made because state law dictates that curriculum cannot advocate homosexuality and that the book was determined to not be age-appropriate for kindergarten students.”

Concerns about the book surfaced in January, after the mother of a kindergarten student at Windridge Elementary in Kaysville became upset when her child checked out the book and brought it home. The mother and her husband took their concerns to elementary school officials, according to Williams.

Williams said the book was purchased in part because a student who attended Windridge Elementary has two mothers and librarians wanted to foster inclusion.

Two groups have criticized the district’s decision to limit access to the picture book.

The Kids’ Right to Read Project, a joint effort of the New York-based National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, wrote Bowles last week to voice objections about censoring children from the book. The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah also sent a similar letter to Bowles, stating that the decision to limit access to Polacco’s book is likely unconstitutional.

Tonight, the Davis County School Board is scheduled to meet at an event open to the public. Weston Clark has been working with schools superintendent Bryan Bowles to create a dialogue around the issue, and to have LGBT families attend the meeting and be introduced to the board. When word got out, however, Clark says Bowles denied there had been an agreement to let the families be recognized.

As it stands, tonight’s meeting should prove to be interesting. LGBT families and their allies are still expected to attend the school board meeting, as will Clark, who says he doesn’t have an agenda for the meeting, he “just want[s] to see what happens.”

 Image, top: Weston Clark, left, Brandon Mark, right, son Xander, center. Used with permission.

Related: 

Town’s Anti-Gay Book Ban Leads Mayor To Welcome Children Of Same-Sex Parents

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“Slippery Slope” Leads To Win For Homosexual Penguin Agenda

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Host Claims ‘Whites Are a Minority in California’ So Dems Want ‘On-Ramp’ for Undocumented Immigrants to Vote

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Fox News personality Jesse Watters is making undocumented claims about undocumented immigrants and voting in California, the nation’s most-populous state, along with false claims about voter ID and precisely which race is the majority in the Golden State.

“Didn’t Democrats say that Blacks were incapable of handling an ID to vote?” Media Matters reports Watters, who has been criticized numerous times for racism. said Monday on Fox News’ “The Five.”

That’s false.

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“Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states acceptable for voting,” the ACLU says. “These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  Such voters more frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining government-issued photo ID card.”

That’s very different from falsely claiming Black Americans are “incapable of handling an ID.”

Watters went on to say, “But, I guess illegal aliens are perfectly capable of having a state-issued ID to use it for welfare.”

That too is false.

Undocumented immigrants are almost exclusively ineligible for federal government welfare programs.

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“What I think is going on here is, right now, whites are a minority in California. Hispanics are the majority race in that state,” Watters claims.

Depending on your definition, that’s false, according to the U.S. Government.

Those who reported being “white alone or in combination” with another race is listed as 54.6% for California for the actual 2020 Census. “White alone” is listed as 41.2%.

“Hispanic or Latino” is listed as 39.4% of the population in California. “Not Hispanic or Latino” is listed at 60.6%.

“And white Democrat politicians like Gavin Newsom see the writing on the wall and they’ll do anything they can to cling to the political machine,” Watters claimed. “Now, this looks like an on-ramp to voting, if I was just being suspicious. But, being suspicious has made me very, very successful.”

The segment began with “Judge’ Jeanine Pirro saying “Liberal states and cities from coast to coast putting illegal immigrants over their own residents.” Pirro was lamenting a bill Newsom signed into law she says that will allow “illegal immigrants to acquire a government-issued state ID.”

Just before the 2016 election Watters did a man-on-the-street segment in New York City’s Chinatown and for nearly five minutes engaged in racist, anti-Asian, and downright offensive behavior. Vox’s Libby Nelson put it this way: “Fox News fit an impressive number of offensive Asian stereotypes into 5 minutes.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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News

No ‘Semblance of a Campaign’: Five of Trump’s Candidates for Governor Air Zero TV Ads Combined

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Former President Donald Trump’s picks for governor in five states are facing media scrutiny after failing to air a single television advertisement since winning their primaries.

In a report on Monday, The New York Times revealed that Pennsylvania candidate Doug Mastriano “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May.”

“There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mr. Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations,” the paper added.

Matt Brouillette, the president of a conservative advocacy group, slammed Mastriano in remarks to the Times.

“I can’t even assess things because I don’t see a campaign,” Brouillette said. “I’ve not seen anything that is even a semblance of a campaign.”

According to the report, Mastriano’s lackluster campaign is not unusual among Trump’s preferred candidates.

“Along with Mr. Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Trump-backed candidates for governor in five other states — Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan — have combined to air zero television advertisements since winning their primaries,” the report said.

Over the weekend, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) vowed to campaign against Mastriano and other Trump-endorsed candidates who push lies about the 2020 presidential election.

“I think we have to do everything we can in ’22 to make sure those people don’t get elected,” she told the Texas Tribune Festival. “We have to make sure [Doug] Mastriano doesn’t win.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘We Need to Go All the Way’: GOP Lawmaker Brags Her ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill ‘Goes Further’ Than Florida’s But Not Far Enough

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A far right Republican state lawmaker in Pennsylvania who has worked to get prayer into schools is pushing a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and bragging that it goes even “further” than Florida’s, but wants it to be even broader.

Republican state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz denies her legislation is a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but as PennLive reports it states public and charter schools “may not offer instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to a student in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

Rep. Borowicz admits that although her bill expands on Florida’s which technically bans discussion of LGBTQ issues until after third grade, she wants it to be even more broad.

“It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” she said. “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade, we need to go all the way.”

She does not state what “it” is.

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PennLive reports Borowicz supports similar legislation, Senate Bill 1278, “which would allow schools to be sued for material that is ‘not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate’ at any grade level.”

The Pennsylvania Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee, Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, also supports the “Don’t Say Gay” bills.

Like other state’s bills, the language is intentionally broad and undefined, which experts say is intentional to create fear among teachers to steer clear away from any issue that might come near to the ban.

“Asked what sort of communication would constitute ‘instruction’ under the bill, Borowicz said, ‘I’m not going to get into the details of all that.'”

Last week when announcing her new anti-LGBTQ bill, Rep. Borowicz called for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to resign, “because LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and other resources were featured on the Pennsylvania Department of Education site,” WITF reports.

READ MORE: Critics Blast Top US Conservative Think Tank President for Applauding Italy’s Election of ‘Neo-Fascist’ Prime Minister

“Everything from gender neutral days and classrooms, from 3rd to 12th grade to a tutorial on gender pronouns and instructions for teachers to ask before making false assumptions about someone’s gender identity,” Borowicz said.

Borowicz, who was first elected in 2018, she is the first woman and only the second Republican to hold that seat.

“The mission of keeping my word to the people of the 76th Legislative District starts immediately,” she said upon being sworn in.

Borowicz’s bio frequently mentions she was the “president of a nonprofit organization,” while rarely explaining what that nonprofit was.

In 2018 Borowicz “said it was for Make A Stand USA, an organization she and her sister created to get prayer gatherings at schools in 2010. She said it was her sister who paid for it and no money was made for the one event it sponsored. Two years later, she said, it was disbanded,” The Record Online reported.

Rep. Borowicz is a big fan of prayer, but the ways she has used it has caused outrage, even among her follow House colleagues.

Months after she was sworn in, an newly elected state representative, who is Muslim, was sworn in.

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Borowicz delivered the House’s invocation that day, and by the time it was over she had mentioned “Jesus” thirteen times. She was accused of weaponizing pray and Islamophobia and antisemitism.

“God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us, Jesus,”Borowicz said, as HuffPost reported.

“She also prayed for President Donald Trump and thanked the president for ‘unequivocally’ supporting Israel.”

“I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, the one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord, in Jesus’ name,” she also proclaimed.

Think Biblically reports she also said, “thank you for this honor, Jesus. God, for those who came before us like George Washington at Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln who sought after you at Gettysburg, Jesus, and the founding fathers in Independence Hall, Jesus, that sought after you and fasted and prayed for this nation to be founded on your principles and your words and your truths.”

“Jesus, I thank you for this privilege, Lord, of letting me pray, God, that I Jesus am your ambassador here today. Standing here, representing you — the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, the one who is coming back again, the one who came died and rose again on the third day,” she prayed.

Watch Rep. Borowicz’s prayer below or at this link.

 

 

 

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