The Gay Hate Crimes Crisis Isn’t Over Yet
Thursday’s historic passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is cause for celebration. The first federal legislation to provide inclusive protections for the GLBTQ community, this hate crimes bill will extend significant protections to many Americans.
Yes, we absolutely must celebrate this victory. It tells all our citizens, and the world, who we are, what we stand for – and what we won’t stand for.
But we cannot think we’re done. This is, in fact, just the beginning.
Gays in this country are increasingly becoming victims of violent, and deadly hate crimes. New York City, certainly more “gay-friendly” than many towns and cities across America, has been host to several brutal beatings this year. Among other incidents, New Yorkers have suffered beatings on a tony Upper East Side street, outside a Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood restaurant, and the latest, the vicious beating of forty-nine year-old Jack Price – caught on tape – in blue-collar Queens.
Kicked and beaten by two young men less than half his age, Price had to be put into a medically-induced coma. One of the men arrested in the attack claimed not to be homophobic, yet proudly displayed for the media’s cameras his (misquoted) Leviticus 18:22 tattoo: “You shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee this summer that there has been “nearly one hate crime for every hour of every day over the span of a decade,” since 1998 – the year Matthew Shepard was murdered. It’s been exactly four thousand thirty-one days since Shepard’s death. Over ninety-six thousand hours. Do the math. Yes, it’s taken that long – and that many hate crime incidents – for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation offering protectionÂ to the GLBTQ community against crimes of hate.
But America is not alone in its treatment of GLBTQs. Scotland Yard reports an eighteen percent rise in homophobic hate crimes in London – almost 1200 incidents, more than three a day -Â over the past twelve months. Italy has seen an eleven percent increase in gay-related hate crimes as well. But the worst news comes out of Iraq, where organized militias are roaming the streets and gunning down suspected homosexuals, and Iran, where the government has hanged adults and juveniles – just for being gay.
Homophobic hate crimes are on the rise, and for every hate crime that makes the statistics, how many go unreported? Obviously, there are few numbers available, but one study out of Ireland this year found that sixty-four percent of homophobic hate crimes are not reported to police. A 2007 study by Human Rights First determined that “[London] police themselves estimate that some 90 percent of homophobic hate crimes go unreported.”
Every hate crime – reported or not, affects the larger community. Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker says that a hate crime,
â€œ…is really two crimesâ€‰â€”â€‰one against the individual and another against the group to which he belongs. By that definition, [Matthew] Shepardâ€™s murder may be viewed as a terrorist act against all gays, who would have felt more fearful as a result.â€
And to those, like Rep. Steve King (D-IA) who tried to have the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill name changed to the â€œLocal Law Enforcement Thought Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” we can now, proudly, say, America thinks you’re wrong, and the full weight of U.S. law says so.
Yes, Thursday’s passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is cause for celebration. But it will also be a rallying cry – to those like Rep. King, and to those like the American Family Association, that bastion of bigotry, whose latest call to action offered this attack:
“In its never-ending quest to shred America’s Judeo-Christian value system, the left is planning to hurriedly push through a “thought crimes” bill.
So-called “hate crimes” laws are really laws that criminalize thought, because they punish an individual not for what he did but for what he thought. Politically incorrect thoughts about homosexual behavior will result in enhanced criminal sanctions under this law.
Everywhere hate crimes laws have gone into effect, they have been quickly used to intimidate, silence and punish people of faith who express deeply held religious objections to the normalization of homosexuality.”
We can’t assume the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will put an end to hate crimes. They’re already on the rise. What we need to do is work to ensure more victims of hate crimes report them.
Let’s use this hard-fought success to rally our troops and ensure the momentum we’ve built this year doesn’t end with the hate crimes bill. Let’s redouble our efforts to see repeal of DADT and DOMA, and enactment of ENDA.
There are only two months left in the year. There is a crisis confronting the GLBTQ community. Let’s address it, before it’s too late.
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Extremist Group Targets Florida High School’s Yearbook Over Inclusion of LGBTQ Students Section
The publication of a Florida high school yearbook that included an LGBTQ section has drawn rebuke from a conservative group, The Orlando Sentinel reports.
Lyman High School’s 256-page yearbook includes two pages that highlight the school’s LGBTQ students and features gender identity terms such as “genderfluid” and “nonbinary.”
The Seminole County Public Schools in response to the criticism is offering to issue refunds or reprint the yearbook without the LGBTQ section that the conservative Seminole County Moms for Liberty claims is offensive.
“They shouldn’t have any sexual definitions in a yearbook,” the group’s chapter chair Jessica Tillmann told The Sentinel.
“This is a yearbook that goes to every student as young as 14.”
The school’s yearbook is stirring controversy for a second straight year after the district in 2022 considered putting stickers over photos of a student walkout protesting the so-called “don’t say gay” law, the report said.
The Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher reports that “An LGBTQ+ section in this year’s yearbook includes a picture of members of the student’s Gay-Straight Alliance, definitions of key LGBTQ+ terms, a passage on the evolution of pronouns and a profile of a student who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Danielle Pomeranz, the school yearbook’s faculty advisor, isn’t on board with the district’s decision to remove the LGBTQ content.
“They are definitions,” Pomeranz told The Sentinel.
“They are not teaching anything about sex at all. … Nobody is teaching anybody about sex acts. It is ridiculous.”
Pomeranz has since resigned from her position in the district, citing in part the Sunshine State’s political climate and an unsupportive district, the report said.
“We’ve always had the LGBTQ+ spread in there,” she said.
“Our job as journalists and members of the yearbook staff is to provide coverage of the entire school and that includes all of the communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.”
Image via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer
A self-described “Christian woman” who is a contributor to the far-right wing students organization Turning Point USA, is being widely mocked for posting a video attacking Chick-fil-A over claims the conservative, privately-owned, faith-based fast food restaurant chain recently hired a diversity officer.
“So I’m grieving,” the video, apparently by Morgonn McMichael (below), begins. “It’s lunchtime. I’m here with Aubrey. And we really wanted some Chick-fil-A but because they decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion corporate position, and also bow down to the woke lord because their ESG scores, and also I found out do you know their chicken is funded by BlackRock and Vanguard? Yeah their farms, they use Tyson and this other farm, BlackRock and Vanguard funded chicken.”
If you think that’s a mouthful just wait, there’s more.
“Chick-fil-A,” Morgonn continues, “you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman. All we wanted was some good fried chicken so now we’re gonna go to Cane’s, we’re going to try it out.”
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Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a Louisiana-based fast food restaurant with 600 locations in the U.S. and Western Asia.
“This is really difficult because there’s a Chick-fil-A is across the street. Now eating chicken fingers instead of chicken nuggets. I know, first world Christian woman problems, but no one will ever understand the love that I had for Chick-fil-A.”
“You know, we’re taking this boycott Chick-fil-A thing seriously, and it’s really difficult.”
The video was posted to Twitter by the anonymous group PatriotTakes, which has been described as a liberal political action committee. It quickly went viral, garnering over 2 million views in just eight hours. Late Friday afternoon Morgonn tweeted, “sarcasm and satire are things the left doesn’t seem to understand.”
For those who don’t know, Turning Point USA, a far-right Christian nationalist organization, was founded by the ultra-MAGA Charlie Kirk, now a member of the highly-secretive Council for National Policy.
CNP’s membership list also includes former Trump attorney, ally, and advisor Cleta Mitchell, and Ginni Thomas.
“CNP members range from the leaders of the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to the Southern Poverty Law Center designated anti-LGBTQ hate groups Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom,” Documented reported last year.
Turning Point USA was in the news last week after Rolling Stone reported: “Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA Teamed Up With a Registered Sex Offender.”
Meanwhile, over at TPUSA, Morgonn McMichael’s bio says she is “a Gen Z social media influencer from Texas whose effort to empower and inspire America’s next generation of young conservative female leaders through patriotic online video content has amassed over 100,000 unique social media impressions every week on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more.”
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“Morgonn has dedicated the last year promoting freedom of speech, religious liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government both online and across TPUSA campus chapters. Morgonn has also reached tens of thousands of viewers of all ages with her articles and appearances on Newsmax, Real America’s Voice, OAN, and Breitbart, offering insightful cultural commentary into the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Apparently, Chick-fil-A’s diversity officer (more on that next) is one of “the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”
Morgonn did claim Chick-fil-A “decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion” officer.
Well, stunningly, the company – long known for its hate-filled attacks on same-sex marriage – did, over a year ago.
A USA Today fact check found Chick-fil-A hired Erick McReynolds, its vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, more than a year and a half ago. The company even has a DEI page featuring him on its corporate website.
PatriotTakes also tweeted, “TPUSA Contributor Morgonn, who is now calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-a, previously said, Cancel culture is toxic’ and ‘needs to be canceled.'”
As some social media users pointed out, Cane’s Chicken Fingers is very pro-LGBTQ.
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“Since its inception in the early 2000s, Raising Cane’s has been a strong supporter of the LGBT community,” San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) reported in November. “The chicken chain was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. In 2015, Raising Cane’s was named one of the best places to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.”
In response to Morgonn’s video, Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman posted this screenshot from a Raising Cane’s tweet:
Does she know? https://t.co/JWFCMZmdYB pic.twitter.com/sjyvvKRMPL
— Ashton Pittman 🏳️🌈 (@ashtonpittman) June 2, 2023
Over at TPUSA, Morgonn has written content including a piece titled, “Disney’s Male Employee in a Dress Sparks Outrage,” that begins, “At Disney, anyone can be a princess — even a grown man.”
Also, “Disney in Decline: Company Loses Billions Due to Woke Agenda.”
Noted actor and activist George Takei weighed in, tweeting simply, “They’ve lost their goddamned minds.”
Watch Morgonn below or at this link.
A TPUSA Contributor learned Chick-Fil-A has a diversity, equity and inclusion officer:
“Chick-Fil-A you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman.…We’re taking this boycott Chick-Fil-A thing seriously.” pic.twitter.com/oFMCSeR2ie
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 2, 2023
Watch Live: President Biden to Deliver Rare Address to the Nation on Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Agreement
President Joe Biden will make a rare address to the nation Friday evening, to share with the American people the results of successful negotiations with Republicans to avert what could have been not only a national but global economic disaster had the debt ceiling crisis not been averted.
Biden is being credited for smart and savvy negotiations while keeping out of the public eye and allowing Republicans to control the narrative, while steering the agreement to one best for the American people.
Even Speaker Kevin McCarthy “conceded that he had been impressed with Biden’s negotiating team during the talks, calling them ‘very professional, very smart’ and ‘very tough at the same time,'” HuffPost reported Wednesday.
Many extremist House Republicans were hoping for a default, and over the past several weeks they made clear they did not understand what the consequences would have been.
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Watch President Biden below at 7 PM ET, or at this link.
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