Franklin County Officials Weigh Strict New Rules For Student Clubs in Response to Controversy Over Gay-Straight Alliance
In response to the controversy over a newly formed Gay-Straight Alliance, the school board in Franklin County, Tennessee, is set to approve strict new regulations affecting all non-curricular clubs, including a requirement that students obtain parental permission before joining.Â
LGBT students and their allies clashed with adult anti-gay protesters on Monday outside Franklin County High School in the small town of Winchester, where board members discussed the proposed new regulations that are expected to be voted on in April.Â
Supporters of the GSA staged a peaceful rally prior to the meeting, but things got heated when they encountered anti-gay protesters with Westboro Baptist Church-style signs saying things like, “DANGER: SIN KILLS: TURN OR BURN,” suggesting that LGBT people who don’t change their sexuality will go to Hell.Â
â€œYou will go to Hell for judging,” one student told an anti-gay protester before a sheriff’s deputy intervened and separated them, according video (above) from Nashville’s Fox 17.Â
The anti-gay protester was wearing a T-shirt saying: “Homosexuality Leads to Hell” on the front and “LGBT: Letting Go Of Biblical Truth” on the back. As we reported Monday, national anti-LGBT hate groups MassResistance and Liberty Counsel have joined the fight against the GSA.Â
The school board called in extra security, barred supporters and opponents of the GSA from bringing large signs into the auditorium, and ordered the crowd to remain silent during the meeting.Â
In addition to parental consent before joining clubs, the proposed new rules would require all student organizations to keep membership rolls, attendance logs and minutes of their meetings. In addition, non-curricular clubs would be barred from “solicitation for membership,” an apparent response to fears that the GSA will be used to recruit children, and required to obtain approval from the administration before having visitors.Â
Only one board member, Adam Tucker, objected to some of the requirements, saying he believes they’re designed to target the GSA, which first met in January.Â
“Prior to January, there was never any discussion by this board, or to my knowledge, discussion among any administrative employees, about seeking approval from parents before children participate in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or P7,” Tucker said, referring to two non-curricular clubs for Christian students. “It’s a double standard.”Â
When supporters of the GSA cheered Tucker’s statements, board Chair Kevin Caroland threatened to remove them. Caroland then argued that according to Tucker’s logic, the board could never consider new rules for student clubs â€” since the GSA was the most recent one approved. He also said the board’s legal counsel has indicated that the language is acceptable.Â
“As an attorney who represents school districts and local governments regularly against federal civil rights claims, I respectfully disagree,” Tucker responded.Â
Other board members referenced a Tennessee law requiring any school-sponsored discussion of sexuality to stress abstinence, as well as pending state legislation that would require parental permission to join student clubs.Â
Tucker also objected to the solicitation ban and a requirement that clubs promote â€œa positive school and community atmosphere and unity” â€” saying it is subjective. And he proposed an appeals process if clubs are accused of violating the rules.Â
The GSA’s faculty sponsor later wrote on Facebook that despite the proposed new rules, it was “a good night, on balance.” Last week, board members indicated they would consider eliminating all non-curricular clubs to get rid of the GSA without violating the federal Equal Access Act.Â
“The GSA still stands,” the faculty sponsor wrote. “The clubs still stand. And overworked and underpaid faculty (and administrators) will likely be buried in paperwork … again.
“I cannot tell you how wonderful these FCHS GSA kids are!” she added. “Wow! They are going to change the world. You can count on it.”
After the meeting, supporters of the GSA again clashed with opponents. Â
“Itâ€™s not discrimination or hate,” the man wearing the anti-gay T-shirt told Fox 17. “Itâ€™s actually loving them and helping them.”Â
“I love the homosexuals. I want them in heaven with me, and the Bible is clear that with that choice of lifestyle, theyâ€™re not going to go there,” said anti-gay protester Christine Weick.Â
Weick is a national Christian activist and author who’s best known for her theory that Monster energy drinks are the work of Satan:Â
Images: Screenshots via Fox 17Â
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Abortion-Banning, Voter-Suppressing, Gun-Promoting Texas Gov. Abbott Not Far-Right Enough for Pro-Trump MAGA Extremists
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the nation’s most radical abortion ban, a far-reaching voter suppression law, and legislation that allows Texans to carry handguns without a permit or training. He responded to a surge in COVID-19 delta variant cases by blocking local vaccine and mask mandates, and he mobilized state police and national guard troops to “seal” the border with Mexico. But none of that is enough for some Trump-loving Republicans. Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis recently declared on her radio show that Abbott is “not a real Republican” while endorsing Abbott challenger Don Huffines in the state’s Republican primary.
Ellis endorsed Huffines in a video released last Thursday and interviewed the far-right candidate on the Sept. 15 edition of the “Jenna Ellis Show,” where she declared Abbott to be a “Republican in name only” while describing Huffines as a “true, actual Republican.” Ellis also attended a Sept. 15 brunch event hosted by Huffines’ wife.
Ellis reminded listeners that she is “not a fan” of the Republican National Committee or “any of the RINOs,” adding, “And we as conservatives, as faith-based Christians, as people who just care about this country, we need to make sure that we are advocating for, supporting, endorsing the true actual Republicans.” Ellis and Huffines criticized Abbott for not taking more aggressive action on the border sooner, and Ellis claimed, not very credibly, that “it has really also concerned me to see the LGBT movement that has basically been broadly endorsed by Abbott.”
Despite being turned out of office by voters in 2018, Huffines, a wealthy Dallas-area developer and former state senator, announced his candidacy for governor in May. Huffines’ campaign website is a parade of far-right rhetoric on “election integrity,” “critical race theory,” “social media censorship,” and more. In a section labeled “Texas Values,” Huffines declares:
We will stop bowing down to the federal courts. This is Texas. We don’t care what John Roberts thinks. He and other sellouts on the Supreme Court have proven that they cannot be trusted to protect our liberty or state sovereignty.
“The Marxists and the socialists have taken over our education system, our seminaries, our politics, and our media, of course,” Huffines said, adding that “the real fundamental role of government is to protect the citizens from government.” He told Ellis, “We’ve got to awaken the sheep.”
Huffines told Ellis that the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border is “a premeditated attack on Texas by the Biden administration.”
“The power of the governor is almost unlimited if you’re willing to use it for our Constitution,” Huffines told Ellis, pledging to stop all inbound commercial traffic from Mexico until that country secures its side of the border.
Ellis asked Huffines to talk about the importance of pastors and churches being involved in politics. “If we can get everyone out of the pews and vote their faith, we will never lose an election,” Huffines said, adding that “this is a battle of good versus evil.” He claimed that Democrats want to bring tyranny to the U.S. “today” and that “RINO Republicans” are headed in the same direction.
Huffines’ website pledges that he will “reject any attempts to mandate, force, or coerce any medical test, procedure, or product, including vaccines or masks, on Texans,” calling it an “insult” to even suggest that vaccines be made mandatory. He said Abbott’s initial COVID-19 shutdowns were an assault on liberty and a “catalyst” for Huffines getting into the race.
Huffines spoke at the American Conservative Union’s July 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, where he made similar claims and said that “almost all” Republicans who call themselves conservatives are “liars.”
Ellis is far from the only Trump-loving wing of the GOP to support Huffines. Another former Trump staffer, Katrina Pierson, is backing Huffines, who has also been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul, with whom he traveled on a “private” trip to meet with Russian officials in 2018. Huffines may have to compete for support from the Trumpist wing of the party with the former Texas GOP chair, Allen West, who also announced his candidacy for Texas governor this July.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Gov. Abbott celebrating after signing a near-total ban on abortion.
McConnell Refuses to Commit to Confirming a Biden Supreme Court Nominee if GOP Takes Back the Senate
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not “mount a blockade” against a possible Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Joe Biden, should the opportunity arise, if Republicans take back the Senate after the 2022 elections.
McConnell, as Majority Leader, infamously refused to even allow then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to have any confirmation hearings, keeping the seat open if a Republican won the White House in 2016, which Donald Trump did.
In an interview with Politico’s Burgess Everett, the Kentucky Republican who has been in the U.S. Senate since 1984 was asked if he would again “mount a blockade.”
“Cross those bridges when I get there, we are focusing on ‘22,” McConnell said, Everett reports. “I don’t rule anything in or out about how to handle nominations if I’m in the majority position.”
Politico’s Anthony Adragna opines that “progressives will freak”over McConnell’s remarks.
“Liberal groups have ratcheted up the pressure on Justice Stephen Breyer to consider retirement, fearing McConnell would simply keep the seat open if he regains power in the midterms…. These comments will only add fuel to those fears.”
The U.S. Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, with three of those six justices being placed on the Court by Donald Trump. Many Democrats believe it’s time to expand the court to 11 or 13 justices to better represent the American people. The Court has had nine justices since 1869. The 1870 census reported the population of the United States at just 38 million people. Today, the total U.S. population is 332 million, nearly nine times that number.
Fox News Goes Full White Supremacist With Republican Who Says ‘Hope and Change’ Means ‘Replace the American Electorate’
Fox News has gone full white supremacist. The right wing cable network’s top primetime host, Tucker Carlson, has been promoting the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory since April, doubling down on it this week. But now Fox News’ daytime programming is totally on board, embracing that racist rhetoric.
On Friday “Fox & Friends” hosted U.S. Rep Brian Babin, who spewed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, adding a new racist twist.
According to the Texas Republican, former President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” slogan means “change America” by replacing “the electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive.”
Babin repeatedly said “change America,” honing in on the white supremacist conspiracy theory of “replacement,” a concept seared into the minds of many Americans who saw the tiki-torch wielding neo-Nazis marching through Charlotte chanting, “You will not replace us.”
“We know what the grand strategy of the Democratic Party is,” Congressman Babin declared. “They want to change America, ‘hope and change,’ and it started under Obama and now it’s really going to just racehorse speed.”
“They want to change America, they want to they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive, drug resistant tuberculosis, I’m a health care provider, I can tell you it’s a disaster down there from a public health standpoint, and they are just want to change the electorate and put these people on a path to citizenship and franchise them with a vote and have a permanent majority. On every phase we can see every aspect the Democrats are trying to change America, from what we know what we love and what we have enjoyed for 244 years, right, it’s despicable.”
Fox News, largely through Tucker Carlson, has turned the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory into Republican orthodoxy.
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 24, 2021
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