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Catholic School Is Banning a Gay Student From Receiving Matt Shepard Scholarship at Awards Ceremony

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School Has Disturbing History of Anti-LGBT Attacks

Last year a Catholic School in Iowa fired a substitute teacher and volunteer track coach not because he was gay, they said, but because he was openly-gay. Hundreds of students, including Liam Jameson, staged a walkout, and protested school administrators at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Sadly, Tyler McCubbin was not reinstated. 

That’s just one example of the bravery and leadership Liam Jameson has exhibited.

But in an open letter, Jameson writes, because he is gay, he also attempted suicide. 

“I tried killing myself, more than once, stopping each time before I could get any further. I dreaded having to go to school the next day,” Jameson says. “I felt alone and afraid, just hoping for someone to notice me. I wondered what my life would be like. Would this equate to what the rest of my life would be like? Would I be alone? Do I even matter? I asked myself these questions every day, longing to know what the universe had in store for me.”

But Jameson says he made a choice. 

“I vowed that no one should have to go through the experiences that I have, whether they are LGBT or not. So I decided that I would make an example of myself. I would be the person that I wished was there when I needed them the most . . . having a safe environment for LGBT students where they don’t feel the need to self-harm or commit suicide.”

And he was able to form an LGBT club/safe space at his school, thanks in part to the nearly 2000 signatures he was able to collect on a petition.

“I wanted to leave Dowling a better place, one worthy enough to educate all the brave souls who have had lives far better and far worse than mine. A space for all,” he writes. “A space that valued the few just as much as it valued the many. That space is now called One Dowling Family, formerly One Human Family. Dowling was once the bane of my existence but is now a place that I enjoy the most. I left a legacy at Dowling. Through all the meetings, missed class, detentions, and verbal reprimands, I can leave Dowling knowing that I made it a better place, one that provides students a place where they can be free.”

“Because of my efforts at Dowling, I was awarded a Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship by the Eychaner Foundation in Des Moines.”

But Dowling Catholic refuses to allow the scholarship to be awarded to Jameson at its May 5 awards dinner. They’ve even changed the rules several times, he says, to prevent it.

Jameson has a new Change.org petition, asking the school to allow him to receive his award this week. And yesterday, his former teacher, Tyler McCubbin, posted this tweet urging people to sign it:

“The fact the school banning this kid, who has already suffered so much from religion and pressures from society, from receiving this leadership honor is a disgusting display of the worst of Christianity,” Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler writes. “In all my years at Sunday school and reading the Bible, I never read about Jesus shaming gay people or those who are particularly susceptible to suicidal thoughts. In fact, I seem to remember the complete opposite.”

“Jesus Christ himself is ashamed of every single person at this school who led to this decision,” Zeigler says.

 

RELATED:

Student Pens ‘Conscience’ Letter To Catholic School That Denied Job To Openly Gay Teacher

Hundreds Of Students Walk Out To Protest Catholic School Refusal To Hire Gay Teacher

Iowa Bishop: Teacher’s Job Offer Not Rescinded Because He’s Gay, But Because He’s Openly-Gay

 

Image via Change.org

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender

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A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.

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