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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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'YOU GOT OWNED TODAY'

‘Squashed Like a Bug’: Gaetz Smacked Down After ‘Rage-Tweeting a Slander on America’s Entire Military History’

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“Buddy the only war you fought is against age of consent”

Congressman Matt Gaetz attacked the U.S. Armed Forces on Wednesday, suggesting America doesn’t win wars because of Generals like the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley. General Milley, who has worn an Army uniform since before the Florida Republican congressman was born, is being heralded for delivering a strong and intelligent rebuke of Gaetz’s attack on critical race theory and criticizing the U.S. Military for being “woke.”

Gen. Milley told Gaetz during a House committee hearing that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage,” which he implied was connected to Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection.

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” Milley told Gaetz.

Gaetz, whose district has a huge military presence including one of the largest air bases in the world, did not wait long to strike back, attacking  General Milley:

Attacking Americans who believe systemic racism is real:

Attacking the U.S. Armed Forces:

And praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):

It did not go well for him:

 

 

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WHOA

Watch: Joint Chiefs Chairman Incinerates Matt Gaetz With Epic Lecture on Critical Race Theory

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley blasted U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking and  opposing critical race theory during what was supposed to be a budget hearing. He left the Florida Republican Congressman speechless and only able to shake his head.

Milley, a General in the U.S. Army who has been in uniform since 1980 decimated Rep. Gaetz, his supporters, and conservatives in general for mocking the idea that systemic racism exists, while adding that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage.”

“First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, etc,.” Milley began. “A lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform, to be open minded and be widely read, and the United States Military Academy is a university, and it is important that we train, and we understand, and I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”

“So, what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building, and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out,” Milley, who has degrees from Princeton, Columbia, and the Naval War College, declared. “I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it, it’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders, now and in the future, do understand it.”

“I’ve read Mao Tse Tung, I’ve read, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin: that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there. That was started at Harvard Law School, years ago, and it proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being, when this country was formed, and then we had a civil war and Emancipation Proclamation to change it, and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – took another 100 years to change that. So look it I do want to know, and I respect your service and you and I both Green Berets, but I want to know. And it matters to our military in the discipline and cohesion of this military, and I thank you for the opportunity to make a comment on that.”

Watch:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Pray for the Christians’: Graham Urges School Boards to Fight the ‘Godless Socialist Agenda’ of CRT

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Evangelical and anti-LGBTQ activist Franklin Graham is urging Americans to “pray for the Christians” who are fighting what he calls a “godless socialist agenda,” an agenda he says now includes critical race theory and “concerning transgender policies.”

Pointing to an article about Loudon County, Virginia, currently a hotbed of controversy over transgender students’ rights and the teaching of critical race theory (which is not actually being taught in public schools, only in colleges and universities,) Graham patted himself on the back for traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to urge Christians to run for office, especially school boards.

He says those local boards’ decisions “impact our children and our grandchildren’s lives, and they impact the future of our country, so it is vitally important. I’m thankful for the parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, who are speaking up and working to keep things like critical race theory and concerning transgender policies out of their schools.”

“We have to stand up against the godless socialist agenda trying to divide us and take over this country,” he claimed.

“Pray for the Christians in Loudoun County, that they would stand strong and speak the truth in love. And pray about how you can get involved in your city and make a real difference. Will you?” Graham urged.

Conservatives have been infiltrating local school boards, where they have the opportunity to indoctrinate children at a young age into far right wing extremism, the pro-Trump MAGA movement, white nationalism and white supremacism, and an anti-science agenda.

In April TIME reported, “QAnon Candidates Are Winning Local Elections,” and asked, “Can They Be Stopped?”

And earlier this month the National Education Association (NEA) asked: “Is QAnon Radicalizing Your School Board?

“Proponents of QAnon allege that Satan-worshipping pedophiles are secretly running the country, and they also have spread false information about COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the recent election and more,” the NEA article revealed. “When they get elected to local offices, they endanger citizens because their potential decisions—around budget, safety, school curriculum and more—aren’t grounded in reality.”

And in 2017 Media Matters reported on “How The Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Is Infiltrating Public Schools.”

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