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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Calls for School Superintendent to Resign Over Pro-Trans Policy

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Supporters, Opponents of New Guidelines to Gather in Fort Worth on Tuesday

Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the superintendent of Fort Worth schools to resign for following federal law by enacting a progressive new policy for dealing with transgender students.

According to the policy unveiled by Superintendent Kent Scribner last month, trans students are generally allowed to use restrooms and participate in athletics according to their gender identity. The policy also requires teachers to use preferred names and pronouns, and bars staff from disclosing students’ gender identity, including to parents, except on a need-to-know basis.

But not surprisingly, it’s the restroom provision that caught Patrick’s attention. In a statement, Patrick accused Scribner of putting “his own personal agenda ahead of more than 86,000 students attending 146 schools.”

“Without any discussion with parents, board members, principals, and other community leaders, Dr. Scribner’s unilateral action, underscores this lack of fitness to hold his position as superintendent,” Patrick said. “Campus safety should be of paramount concern for anyone in his position. Every parent, especially those of young girls, should be outraged.”

In an interview with WFAA-TV, Patrick said he’s also calling for three members of Scribner’s executive staff to resign. And if they refuse to do so, he’s asking the school board to suspend them at its regular meeting Tuesday night, where supporters and opponents of the policy are expected to turn out in droves.

“This is uncalled for,” Patrick said. “So we want a 15-year-old boy full of vim and vigor that every 15-year-old boy has, walking into the girls’ bathroom. They’re just creating trouble. For what? This superintendent, he’s so irresponsible for doing this, that he needs to step down.”

As we reported the other day, the Fort Worth district’s new policy has also prompted calls for stonings from some critics, including a former GOP legislative candidate. 

As for Patrick, his opposition to trans rights is nothing new. He spent more than $50,000 on a TV ad opposing Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance — in which he railed against “Men in Women’s Bathrooms” — and he recently called for a statewide anti-trans “bathroom” bill.

Also Monday, GOP Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who last week sent a threatening letter to Target over the retailer’s support for trans rights, applauded GOP North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice in defense of the anti-LGBT House Bill 2.

Equality Texas issued the following statement responding to Patrick and Paxton:

“The Lt. Governor and Attorney General demonstrated today that they are blinded by transphobia. Federal education guidelines define the rights of every public school student, including transgender students, and we commend the Fort Worth School District and its superintendent for issuing guidelines which are consistent with federal law. By fueling hysteria and creating panic where none need exist, the Lt. Governor appeals to the worst chapters of our history, in which discrimination runs rampant and understanding and compassion are absent. Transgender students, like transgender adults, don’t want to cause any problems;   they simply want to use the bathroom when the need arises. Ignoring federal law, as the Lt. Governor urges the Fort Worth school district to do, would put at risk significant federal educational funds on which our state depends and would ultimately cause for our state the significant economic chaos now faced by North Carolina. The demands by the Lt. Governor and the Attorney General that we should ignore federal law are not only dangerous and economically risky, but also demonize transgender students, many of whom are forced to drop out of school because of the constant bullying and aggression they face. Equality Texas calls upon our state leaders to expend our state’s resources on improving public schools, rather than putting their funding at risk in a cruel and futile attempt to deny equality to all.” 

I’ll be live-tweeting from Tuesday’s Fort Worth school board meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Central time. Follow me @LSQnews. 

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Mike Pence Chooses Right Wing Religious Org Tied to Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group to Host His First Post-VP Speech

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Former vice president Mike Pence has chosen a Christian organization dedicated to “persuasively present biblical principles” and preserve religious freedom to host his first speech since leaving the White House. Palmetto Family, a group with ties to anti-LGBTQ organizations, including a hate group, is based in South Carolina, the state that led to President Joe Biden winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

The group opposes same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose. It also opposes sex education, pornography, and lists among its “accomplishments” that “11-year-olds will not be required to be vaccinated for sexual diseases.”

“Pence, who since leaving the administration has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America’s Foundation, has not indicated if he plans a future run for office, but his choice of making his post-administration debut in South Carolina helps set down a marker for a potential 2024 presidential bid,” The Associated Press reports. “The state holds the first presidential primaries in the South, and candidates of both major parties typically spend more than a year in the state ahead of those votes, introducing themselves and trying to secure support.”

Palmetto Family, formerly Palmetto Family Council, says it is tied to both the anti-LGBTQ organization Focus on the Family and the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council.

Between 450 and 600 people are expected to attend Pence’s speech and dinner.

Palmetto Family also lists among its accomplishments that the “Ten Commandments may be displayed in public buildings,” “Schools must follow state abstinence laws in sex education or lose funding,” “Students may receive graduation credit for off-campus Bible study,” “The Bible may be taught as history and literature in public schools,” and “Biology standards must allow critique of evolution.”

Pence, Palmetto Family president Dave Wilson told the AP, “is very reflective of the ideas, policies and direction that we at Palmetto Family want to see in South Carolina: bringing faith to the forefront and growing the next generation of conservative leaders for our state.”

 

 

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BYE

Sen. Roy Blunt, Member of GOP Leadership, Will Not Seek Re-Election

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A top Senate Republican and member of the Republican leadership team has just announced he will not seek re-election next year. Missouri’s Roy Blunt, who has served in Congress since 1997, even serving as Acting House Majority Leader, will leave a solid record of anti-LGBTQ and anti-women votes.

“After 14 General Election victories — three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections — I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year,” Blunt said in a video, as Politico reports.

Blunt becomes the fifth Republican Senator to announce he is retiring.

In 2019 Sen. Blunt signed onto an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to rule against LGBTQ people, and declare the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. The court ruled for LGBTQ civil rights.

In December Blunt served on the six-member joint, bipartisan House and Senate Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) that killed a resolution naming Joe Biden President-elect.

During President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, when never-before seen graphic video of the attack on the U.S. Capitol was played, Blunt falsely told reporters “similar kinds of tragedies” took place in Seattle when people took to the streets to protest the police killings of unarmed Black men, sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

Blunt has voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, voted to amend the Constitution to make marriage only between a man and a woman, against renewing the Violence Against Women Act, voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and voted against allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

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'HOW VERY WHITE'

‘White Privilege Power Hour’: Fox & Friends ‘Tone Deaf’ Hosts Scorched for Ignoring Racism in Meghan and Harry Story

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The hosts on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning discussed Oprah’s bombshell interview with the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, by ignoring the heart-wrenching accusations of racism, revelation of mental health issues, and deep emotional pain the couple say they have experienced because of the British Monarchy.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade attacked the couple, saying “it’s kind of interesting they want to be out of the spotlight, they want their lives back, yet they do James Corden’s show, they do Oprah, and they’ve got this big podcast deal and Netflix deal.”

But it was co-host Ainsley Earhardt who managed to boil everything down to money.

“I’ll just say if I got a castle, and I got the jewels and a crown, I wouldn’t be leaving! I would not leave!”

On social media many were furious at the “tone deaf” attitude and “white privilege” the co-hosts displayed.

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