Little Rock Diocese Adopts Horrific Policy Affecting 6,700 Students
Catholic schools in Arkansas are attempting to erase the identities of LGBT students by threatening them with expulsion should they dare to express their true selves.Â
The Catholic Dioceses of Little Rock, which covers 27 elementary and secondary Catholic schools in the state with a total enrollment of more than 6,700 students, recently distributedÂ a horrific anti-LGBT addendum to its “Manual of Polices and Regulations.”
The Little Rock diocese is led by Bishop Anthony Taylor (pictured), who once compared homosexuality to incest in a brief opposing same-sex marriage. Taylor later called Obergefell v. Hodges one of the two worst Supreme Court decisions in modern history, along with Roe v. Wade, claiming same-sex marriage wouldn’t do anything to improve the lives of gay couples.Â
The anti-LGBT addendum bars students from advocating, celebrating or expressing same-sex attraction “in such a way as to cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events.” It also states that students “are expected to conduct themselves at school in a manner consistent with their biological sex,” including when it comes to how they dress, which restrooms and pronouns they use, and how they are referred to in official school documents. Â
“If the student’s expression of gender, sexual identity, or sexuality should mislead others, or cause scandal, or have the potential to cause scandal, then the matter will first be discussed with the student and his/her parents,” the addendum states. “If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the school, whose primary goal must always be to uphold Catholic truths and principles, then the student may be dismissed.”Â
ChurchMilitant.com, a conservative Christian news site, celebrated the addendum under a headline that reads, “Arkansas Catholic Schools Quash LGBT Agenda.” Â
Not surprisingly, local LGBT advocates and allies are outraged, according to the above report from Little Rock’s KHTV.Â
“If you don’t want to bring scandal against your school, then don’t do things that discriminate against children,” saidÂ Tippi McCullough, a member of Arkansas Stonewall Democrats who is also a former Catholic school teacher.
Tyler Gibbons, a graduate of Louisville’s Catholic High who last year was part of the first gay couple to attend the school’s prom, noted that for many LGBT students, school is the only place they feel safe.
“And now, there are so many kids that just don’t feel like they can be there,” Gibbons said.
One parent of a non-LGBT student said the addendum “does not convey the message I want my son to learn,” while a current student at Catholic High who identifies as LGBT called it “non-Christ-like.”Â
KHTV reports that while Taylor is believed to be responsible for the addendum, the diocese is refusing to answer specific questions about it. Â
“The mission of our Catholic schools includes reflecting the fundamental truths as revealed by God in both natural law and divine revelation, and it is the adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church that makes our schools ‘Catholic’ and distinct from other schools,” the diocese said in a statement.Â
Coincidentally, news of the anti-LGBT addendum broke the same week Bishop Taylor released a letter acknowledging sexual abuse by a former priest.
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‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report
A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
Josh Duggar Dealt Another Blow as Judge Refuses to Suppress Video Evidence in His Child Porn Case
Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys’ request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.
Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.
“In Mr. Duggar’s case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys’ requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. “And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment.”
In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.
Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar’s attorneys’ requests, including dismissal of all charges.
His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native’s hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully” appointed.
Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.
Glenn Youngkin Brags About Support From Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Just Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election
Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.
In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.
FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”
A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”
Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposingreauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”
Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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