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Anti-Gay Parents Tell TN School Board Gay-Straight Alliance Will Be Used To ‘Recruit’ Children

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‘Christian’ Flags Waved To Oppose LGBTQ Students And Allies At Packed School Board Meeting

Anti-LGBT parents battled students, equality allies, and local leaders at a Franklin County school board meeting Monday night.

District officials at the meeting announced they don’t plan to try to shut down a newly formed Gay-Straight Alliance at Franklin County High School (FCHS) in Winchester, Tennessee, as some supporters of the club had feared.

However, school board members do intend to enact new requirements for all student clubs – including that they maintain a minimum number of members and keep minutes of their meetings — in response to a weeks-long controversy over the GSA, during which some parents compared the GSA to ISIS.

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Four members of the public, two in support of the GSA and two against it, addressed the Franklin County school board at the start of its much-anticipated regular meeting Monday, which took place in a packed gymnasium at the high school. Supporters of the GSA held up rainbow-colored placards and other signs, while opponents raised Christian flags. Prior to the meeting, about 50 GSA supporters rallied outside the school. 

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“People who want to start a gay club in our high school say it will be all about coming together because of common interest to talk about diversity and political issues,” said one parent who addressed the school board (video below). “But the teachers and administrators and parents need to know that the GSA is a youth recruitment strategy carefully laid out by gay activists that carefully avoids addressing the health issues involved. The mainstream media won’t report it, but the Internet is packed with truths about the radical gay political agenda and lifestyles. In order to get what they want, they’re targeting kids. If you’ve ever heard of Kevin Jennings, he’s the founder of the GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network). In 2006, they had a conference up in Massachusetts where they bused in middle school and high school kids that were members of the GSA, and they were subjected to stuff like fisting, rimming, oral sex, anal sex. The GLSEN does not belong in our schools.” 

Loud cheers and boos erupted in the gymnasium at the end of the man’s remarks, with some attendees calling for him to be removed from the meeting. Speaking in favor of the GSA were a ninth-grade member of the club who is straight and a Sunday School teacher from a local church. 

“For those of you saying this is a gay club, it’s not. I’m heterosexual. It’s called the Gay Straight Alliance. Go figure,” the freshman GSA member said, adding that the club isn’t sexually based and has almost 50 student and faculty supporters. “We have it to end the demeanign of the LGBT community. My point is, this community needs this group, and not just the school. You can’t tear the club down unless you get rid of all non-curricular clubs. You can tear our signs down, and you can tear the tears out of our eyes … but so far we have the legal right to keep meeting.” 

The Sunday School teacher who spoke said some of the founding members of the GSA are members of his church. 

“Love overcomes fear,” the man said. “That’s years of Sunday School in three words. Love your neighbor. That’s three more words. Please retain for these children their God-given right, their legal right, to just be themselves, and to be safe.”

After the public remarks, board chairman Kevin Caroland explained that officials decided to consider new requirements for student clubs so that the district’s policy is consistent for all schools and everyone understands it. Currently, the district’s policy for student clubs is “not very specific” and “provides only general guidance,” Superintendent Amie Lomas told the board as she introduced the new proposed rules, some of which appeared to be geared specifically toward the GSA. 

For example, the new policy would prohibit clubs from “soliciting members,” which may be a response to parents’ misguided fears about the GSA “recruiting” their children into “the gay lifestyle.” And advertising of club meeting times would be restricted to certain areas, after the GSA’s posters were vandalized and torn down. 

School board members also said student clubs should have a minimum number of members, and undergo periodic sunset reviews to ensure they’re still active and adhering to the policy. And officials want clubs to keep minutes of meetings, including a record of who attended, which could serve to discourage people from participating in the GSA if they’re worried about being outed to school administrators or their parents. 

Board members didn’t vote on the proposed new rules, but directed Lomas to amend them to reflect Monday’s discussion before they consider the policy again next month. 

 

EARLIER:

Tennessee Parents Wage War On Gay-Straight Alliance, Compare Club To ISIS

Anti-LGBT Parents Force Tennessee School Board To Consider Shutting Down Gay-Straight Alliance

Students Wear ‘Straight Pride’ Signs In Tennessee High School After Gay-Straight Alliance Formed

 

Images via Facebook

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Virginia School Districts Furious After Youngkin Flip Flops on Promise to Allow Local Boards to Decide Mask Mandates

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For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.

“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.

Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”

Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”

Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.

In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.

Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:

Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:

Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.

Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.

In poll after poll after poll after poll Virginia parents make clear they support mask mandates in schools, and Virginians overall support mask mandates, period.

 

 

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Top Democrats Renew Call to End Anti-Gay Blood Ban as Red Cross Announces First-Ever National Shortage Crisis

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Last week the Red Cross issued its first-ever warning of a blood shortage so dire it is calling it a “national crisis.” In response 22 top Democratic Senators signed a letter urging the FDA to once and for all end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood.

The nearly four-decade old ban was instituted during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 2015 the FDA reduced the complete and total ban to one where gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men could donate blood if they had abstained from sexual activity for one year. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged, threatening blood shortages, the FDA moved to a three-month prohibition.

“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” warns the Red Cross, citing a 34 percent drop in supply, CBS News reports.

“Any policy that continues to categorically single out the LGBTQ+ community is discriminatory and wrong,” the group of 22 top Democrats, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), say in their letter. “Given advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based policy for gay and bisexual men is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude an entire group of people, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”

Blood Shortage MSM Donor Deferral Letter FDA HHS Jan 2022 Final by David Badash on Scribd

 

Image by ec-jpr via Flickr and a CC license

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PARTNERING WITH HATE AND ANTI-IMMIGRANT GROUPS

‘Unprecedented’: Trump Tried to ‘Exert Extreme Partisan Influence Over the Census Bureau’ Docs Reveal

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The Trump administration tried to exert tremendous influence over the 2020 Census, which is now being used in a nationwide redistricting program, often handing Republicans even stronger gerrymandered congressional districts and in some cases attempting to dissolve districts of Democratic members of Congress, while eliminating some majority-Black districts.

Then-President Donald Trump was directly and possibly “illegally” involved, as The Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School’s nonprofit public policy institute, reports. The Trump administration also worked directly with an anti-immigrant group that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of nativist hate groups, a “think tank” devoted to anti-immigration efforts, and with an individual known for “promoting voter suppression efforts.”

“The Trump administration attempted to exert extreme partisan influence over the Census Bureau,” The Brennan Center reveals . It filed multiple Freedom of Information requests with at least ten federal agencies and was forced to sue the Trump administration when it unlawfully refused to produce the requested documents.

The Brennan Center adds that “career Bureau officials pushed back at those attempts. An email among senior officials at the Census Bureau from September 14, 2020, discusses the Commerce Department’s ‘unusually high degree of engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented.'”

“Other records suggest that the Commerce Department planned to have Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [photo, above] make personal calls to Republican state governors to urge them to provide state administrative records to the Census Bureau to ‘enhance the frame from which citizenship status is determined.’ (The Brennan Center did not uncover evidence that Commerce planned to make similar calls to Democratic governors.)”

Citing a “a complete lack of public transparency,” The Brennan Center reports “President Trump issued a memo in July 2020 stating that he would illegally attempt to remove undocumented populations from the apportionment count due at the end of December 2020.”

The Trump administration collected or attempted to collect an unprecedented amount of personal data targeting usesrs of welfare programs from dozens of states: “28 states had entered into agreements to share Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) records with the Bureau, 21 to share Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) records, 30 to share Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) records, and three to share driver’s license data.”

Our FOIA records show Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, emailing directly with Secretary Ross in December 2019. The Center for Immigration Studies is an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group that “has a decades-long history of circulating racist writers, while also associating with white nationalists.” The email also refers to a call from Secretary Ross.

The Center for Immigration Studies was founded by eugenicist and white nationalist John Tanton.

“Commerce Department employees were also engaging with the anti-immigrant Heritage Foundation,” The Brennan Center adds. “An email chain shows a Commerce Department official putting political appointee Nathaniel Cogley into direct contact with Heritage’s Hans Von Spakovsky, an individual the Brennan Center has previously flagged for his extensive background promoting voter suppression efforts.”

 

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