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Being LGBT in Arkansas Catholic Schools is Now Punishable by Expulsion

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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. 

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 distributed 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. 

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.  

“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.” 

ChurchMilitant.com, a conservative Christian news site, celebrated the addendum under a headline that reads, “Arkansas Catholic Schools Quash LGBT Agenda.”  

Not surprisingly, local LGBT advocates and allies are outraged, according to the above report from Little Rock’s KHTV. 

“If you don’t want to bring scandal against your school, then don’t do things that discriminate against children,” said 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.” 

KHTV reports that while Taylor is believed to be responsible for the addendum, the diocese is refusing to answer specific questions about it.  

“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. 

Coincidentally, news of the anti-LGBT addendum broke the same week Bishop Taylor released a letter acknowledging sexual abuse by a former priest.

 

Images: Little Rock Diocese, Bishop Taylor, via Facebook 

 

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Ocasio-Cortez Takes Victory Lap After Amazon Goes to NYC — Even After She Helped Block $3 Billion in Subsidies

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the progressive leaders in New York City credited with blocking $3 billion in public subsidies for Amazon to open an additional headquarters.

But Amazon is moving into NYC despite the lack of subsidies.

“The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city’s west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Amazon is taking the space without any of the special tax credits and other inducements the company had been offered to build a new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the company said.”

“The new lease represents Amazon’s largest expansion in New York since it stunned the city by abandoning those earlier plans. Amazon pulled back after facing a backlash from some politicians and activists over the roughly $3 billion in financial incentives the city and state had extended to woo the company and the 25,000 new jobs it had pledged to create,” The Journal explained.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, took a victory lap after her argument that the subsidies were unnecessary was vindicated.

“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, and corporate giveaways,” she tweeted.

Here are some of her previous thoughts on the company:

 

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RACISM IS RACISM

Nikki Haley Tries to Stop National Outrage: It Was Other People Who Saw Confederate Flag as ‘Service, Sacrifice, Heritage’

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Former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is trying hard to stop the national outrage over an interview she gave in which she suggested the Confederate flag stood for “service, and sacrifice, and heritage” until white supremacist Dylann Roof slaughtered nine Black church-goers attending a Bible study class.

Haley’s exact words were: “Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always going to be there, but, you know, people saw it [the Confederate flag] as service, and sacrifice, and heritage, and, but once he did that there was no way to overcome it.”

Haley took to Twitter and pushed back by posting the text of a speech she gave when she called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds.

Rather than say directly what she apparently wanted to say, Haley retweeted tweets like these that deliver the message that she didn’t call the Confederate flag an icon of service, sacrifice, and heritage – other people did.

But given that the flag represents an actual attack on the United States of America – the Civil War – and has been used by white supremacists, including the KKK, and others to subordinate, discriminate against, and attack Black people and other minorities, it’s hard to see how splitting hairs makes the former South Carolina governor any better.

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THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

READ: White House Attacks Impeachment as ‘Completely Baseless’ in Letter to Congress Suggesting It Will Not Participate

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The White House has just sent Congress a letter attacking the impeachment inquiry as “completely baseless” while suggesting to the Judiciary Committee that neither the president nor his attorneys will participate in any manner. Chairman Jerry Nadler had set a deadline of Friday 6 PM for a response.

Claiming Congress has “violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness,” which is false, White House Counsel Pat Cipillone also falsely claimed the Committee has not “heard a single shred of evidence” against the president.

The tone of the letter is highly-partisan, calling the impeachment a “charade,” claiming congressional Democrats have “wasted” Americans’ time, and saying if Democrats adopt Articles of Impeachment it will constitute an “abuse of power.”

None of those statements are true.

Read the full letter below:

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