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Anti-Gay Lawmakers Revive ‘Witch Hunt’ Against LGBTQ Youth Conference

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Allegations From Bob Vander Plaats’ Anti-Gay Group, The Family Leader, Sparked Legislative Inquiry

Iowa lawmakers are moving forward with an investigation into a statewide LGBTQ youth conference, in response to allegations from an anti-gay group that last year’s event included sexually explicit content. 

GOP Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, who chairs the House Government Oversight Committee, last week appointed two members of the panel, one Republican and one Democrat, to investigate the annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, now in its 11th year. The Republican appointed by Kaufmann to investigate the conference is Rep. Greg Heartsill, who serves as vice chair of the oversight committee and has led a hateful legislative crusade against the conference in recent years. 

Organized by the nonprofit advocacy group Iowa Safe Schools, the educational conference is the largest of its kind in the nation, drawing more than 1,000 students, parents and teachers from across the Midwest to address issues like bullying, homelessness, suicide and sexual health among LGBT youth and teens. 

Posted by Iowa Safe Schools on Monday, April 20, 2015

Although the conference doesn’t directly receive any taxpayer funds, it has come under fire from some GOP lawmakers as well as the The Family Leader, the Iowa anti-LGBT group led by Bob Vander Plaats, which sent an undercover operative to the event last year. 

RELATED: Top Anti-Gay Activist Demands Schools Teach Gays They Can Never Have Sex

“There were only two sessions [among more than 20] that had anything to do with bullying,” the Family Leader’s anonymous spy later alleged in a rather salacious report. “It’s a conference teaching kids how to be confidently homosexual, how to pleasure their gay partners — one session even taught transsexual girls how to sew fake testicles into their underwear in order to pass themselves off as boys.”

The operative’s report went on to quote a father, also anonymous, who said his daughter left the conference early because she was “absolutely distraught.” 

“It was crude. One presenter told students who asked whether anal sex hurt that, as a lesbian, it really depended on how big the device is that their partner straps on,” the father said. “My daughter went to listen to the comedian, Sam Killermann, thinking it would at least be funny. But instead, Killermann explained how pleasurable it is for gay couples to eat each other’s behinds and how to use different flavors of [oils] to make it taste better.” 

Conference participants flatly denied the undercover operative’s allegations. Kerri Barnhouse, adviser for the Gay Straight Alliance at West High School in Iowa City, said the Family Leader “twisted and manipulated” the conference, while students who attended launched a letter-writing campaign to Vander Plaats.

RELATED: Anti-Gay Iowa Republican Partners With Anti-Gay Christian Group To Bully Anti-Bullying LGBTQ Group

Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, suggested that people like Vander Plaats, Kauffman and Heartsill are waging “a witch hunt” aimed at shutting down the event. 

“I have no words to describe the violation of civil liberties – and common human decency — it is to listen into the conversations of young people in settings where parents and youth are encouraged to have an open dialogue about tough issues,” Monson wrote, adding that the “campaign of pure hate” has led to Iowa Safe Schools representatives being called “child-molesting enablers, fags, dykes, queers, and homos.”

“If a supposedly responsible adult can unleash untruths and distort an event like our conference in such a way as to garner such hateful reaction directed at the LGBTQ community, can you imagine what our youth face when bullies hear those same messages?” Monson added.  

Posted by Iowa Safe Schools on Friday, March 20, 2015

Despite his fringe views, Vander Plaats enjoys considerable influence among the state’s Republicans, marked by his power player status in Iowa’s GOP presidential caucus, in which he’s endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz this year.

In response to the undercover operative’s report, Heartsill sent a letter to school superintendents — which Monson described as “creepy” — asking how many people from their districts attended the conference and whether they covered any of the costs, including transportation. Then, Kauffman scheduled a legislative hearing on the conference for October, but later postponed it before reviving the investigation last week. 

Heartsill also introduced an unsuccessful amendment last year that would have required students to obtain parental consent before attending the conference. During debate on the amendment on the House floor, Heartsill infamously acknowledged that he didn’t even know what “LGBTQ” stood for.

Monson told The New Civil Rights Movement that the other lawmaker appointed by Kaufmann to investigate the conference, Democratic Rep. Phyllis Thede, has been a strong advocate for safe schools. However, Monson said he believes Heartsill will attempt to use the investigation to leverage support for a similar amendment this year. 

“He’s going to use this spot to bully and harass Iowa Safe Schools to try and get that passed in addition to stopping kids from coming this year by distorting the event,” Monson said. “Most of our attendees are rural kids who come with teachers and their parents. Every year these youth get to meet a major figure in our community. … Homeless youth from one of our shelters come annually and for those kids rejected by their families to know everything is OK, that’s why we do this. Heartsill has no shame in wanting to hurt our most vulnerable youth.” 

This year’s conference is set for April 29 in Des Moines. To support the conference, which is funded entirely by donations, go here. 

 

Images via Iowa Safe Schools/Facebook

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder

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In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

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Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports

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Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

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