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TX Lawmaker Wants To Force Schools To Out LGBT Students To Parents

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Teachers Would Face Discipline For Failing To Disclose Info About Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Texas tea party state Sen. Konni Burton (pictured with Sen. Ted Cruz) has filed legislation that would effectively require public school employees to out LGBT students to their parents. 

Under Burton’s Senate Bill 242, teachers and other school employees who fail to disclose a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity to parents could face discipline, even if the student requests that the information be withheld. 

If passed, SB 242 would place LGBT youth in the conservative state at risk for abuse, neglect or suicide if their parents aren’t accepting. It could even expose them to the dangerous, discredited practice of “reparative therapy,” which happens to be endorsed in the Texas GOP platform. 

Burton, a Republican from Fort Worth, said on her website Thursday that she drafted SB 242 in response to transgender guidelines adopted by the Fort Worth school district earlier this year. As originally written, the Fort Worth guidelines barred faculty and staff from disclosing a student’s transgender status to parents. However, following a hateful campaign by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the school district revised the guidelines, eliminating the prohibition on parental notification. 

Burton, a Patrick ally who also opposed the guidelines, said in response to the Fort Worth controversy, she decided to review state law governing parents’ access to information from public schools.

“We found these provisions in desperate need of clarity and expansion,” Burton wrote. “That is why I am planning to file a bill that rewrites these provisions to make it unequivocally clear that a parent has a right to full and total information on their child’s academic performance, physical, mental and emotional health, and more. Further, my legislation will make it expressly against state law for a district to adopt policies designed to undermine a parent’s right to know. No parent in Texas should ever have to fight for the basic right to matter in their child’s life again.” 

Burton couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment. 

Under SB 242, parents would be entitled to “any general knowledge regarding the parent’s child possessed by an employee of the district.” Parents would also have access to all written records “relating to the child’s general physical, psychological or emotional well-being.” 

Burton’s bill is among dozens of anti-LGBT measures expected to be considered by the Texas Legislature when it convenes in January. On Monday, Sen. Bob Hall filed a bill that would nullify nondiscrimination ordinances covering roughly 9 million Texans, or one-third of the state’s population. 

Image via Facebook

 

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Sinema Slammed After Spokesperson Says It’s Sexist to Discuss Her ‘Thumbs Down’ Vote Against $15 Minimum Wage

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Friday offered up a dramatic “thumbs down” vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15, which NCRM and other news outlets reported. While she was one of eight Democrats to vote against the legislation, she was the only one to mimic the late Republican Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, who famously stopped Republicans from killing ObamaCare.

Sinema was also the only one to bring cake to the Senate floor, giving her critics ample ammunition to compare her to Marie Antoinette.

But now Senator Sinema is fighting back.

According to HuffPost, Sinema’s spokesperson says it’s sexist to discuss her thumbs down act.

“Sinema’s office responded to a question about the gesture by making the absurd claim that the inquiry is sexist,” the news outlet’s Sara Boboltz reports. “‘Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,’ Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, told HuffPost.”

Related: ‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

On social media news of the “sexist” claim spread quickly, and did not go over well. Some responses:

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PLAYING WITH FIRE

‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

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Sinema arrived at the Senate with an actual cake Friday

U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in one of his final acts before passing away famously cast the deciding vote against killing ObamaCare by walking on to the Senate floor and casting his vote with a dramatic “thumbs down.”

On Friday U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, appeared to be trying for the same effect, but was not heralded as a hero. Far from it.

Senator Sinema opposes the $15 minimum wage, and made that very clear when she voted against an amendment to advance it Friday afternoon on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The $15 minimum wage has become a rallying cry of Democrats, and liberal and progressive grassroots voters have drawn a line in the sand, demanding Democratic lawmakers make it a reality – or else.

Video and GIFs of Sen. Sinema dramatically and proudly voting against increasing the minimum wage to $15 went viral, and as it did “Marie Antoinette” trended on social media. Comparisons to the French aristocrat whose reputation for indifference to the poor by supposedly saying, “let them eat cake”  is forever emblazoned in history and culture, hundreds of years after her death.

The comparison was only made worse when reporting that Sinema had actually arrived at the Senate with an actual cake:

The cake reportedly was for those who had worked late into the night, after Republican Sen. Ron Johnson forced clerks to read hundreds of pages of the COVID relief bill in an attempt to stall it.

But the damage was done.

That damage was made even worse after an old tweet of Sinema was found in which she argues in favor of raising the minimum wage:

 

 

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'THE PRESIDENT'S POSITION HASN'T CHANGED'

White House: Biden Will Advocate for the LGBTQ Equality Act but Does Not Support Ending the Filibuster to Pass It

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President Joe Biden remains committed to the passage of the LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation he has said he wants to sign into law during his first 100 days. But the President, who served in the U.S. Senate for four decades, does not want to see the filibuster be killed in order to pass the vital civil rights bill.

The LGBTQ Equality Act “is a piece of legislation the President supports as you all know, and he discusses a range of his priorities with members of Congress the House and the Senate, and I’m certain when given the opportunity he will advocate for the passing” of the bill, White House Press Secretary Psaki told Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson Friday during the daily press briefing.

But when pressed on ending the filibuster to pass the bill, something experts say is necessary for Democrats to succeed in keeping their promises – including on the $15 minimum wage, voting rights reform, and the Equality Act – Psaki re-iterated Biden’s stance: no.

“Isn’t there a reasonable expectation that if the person strongly supports this bill that he would want to welcome the end of the filibuster to see [the bill] go to his desk?” Johnson asked.

“The President’s position hasn’t changed. He looks forward to advocating for the passage of legislation that he supports and working with Democrats and Republicans to get that done,” she replied.

Psaki also reiterated Biden’s belief that “trans rights are human rights,” telling Johnson: “No one should be discriminated on the basis of sex, not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view.”

In June of 2019, nearly two years ago and well before the coronavirus pandemic, then-candidate Biden declared passing the LGBTQ Equality Act would be his top legislative priority.

“It will be the first thing I ask to be done,” he said.

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