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Breaking: Trump Administration Officially Revokes Obama Guidance to Protect Civil Rights of Transgender Students

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Trump White House Ignores Federal Civil Rights Rulings

The Trump administration has just revoked Obama-era guidance on ensuring the rights of transgender public school students are protected in accordance with federal law. The White House this week repeatedly has stated President Trump believes protections for transgender students should be administered at the state and not at the federal level. Despite the president’s beliefs, civil rights are a federal, not state issue.  

In a letter signed by officials from the Departments of Education and Justice, a new “Dear Colleague” letter states the Obama guidance is being withdrawn and rescinded “in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.”

Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner posted the new letter to Twitter:

Last year Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Education Secretary John King, Jr., sent a “Dear Colleague” letter explaining how schools can protect transgender students, including allowing them to use restrooms and other public accommodation areas that correspond with their gender identity. 

Republicans were outraged and some states sued. The guidance was sidelined by a Texas judge friendly to the religious right.

A draft of the “Dear Colleague” letter rescinding the Obama guidance wrongly relies on the Texas ruling, rather than numerous court rulings that make clear Title IX protects transgender students on the baisis of sex. In a move courts are certain to view as discriminatory, the Trump administration says it is rescinding the Obama guidance in part because schools, parents, and students “have struggled to understand” the guidance. Federal civil rights laws are not flexible based on the ability to comprehend them.

Title IX, the 1972 federal civil rights law states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The Trump administration will need to file arguments Thursday to defend its position in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia high school student who is suing the Gloucester County School Board for refusing to allow him access to the boys’ room. The board has forced Grimm to use a converted janitor’s closet as a restroom.

In an addition reportedly demanded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the draft letter states that the withdrawl of the Obama guidance “does not diminish the protections from bullying and harassment that are available to all students. Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment.” 

The final version states “All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”

Earlier reports claimed Secretary DeVos had not wanted to revoke the Obama guidance but White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday she does “100%.” 

It’s important to note that regardless of the White House’s position, Title IX does not change and it still protects transgender students. The law does not change based on who occupies the White House, and the courts will likely rule against the Trump administration’s interpretation.

UPDATE I:
Trump administration notifies Supreme Court:

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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'VERY FINE PEOPLE'

‘Cows Are Female’: Todd Starnes Mocked for Claiming ‘It Won’t Be Long Before You Will See a Chick-fil-A Cow in Drag’

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Todd Starnes is one of several far right wing religious conservatives who are furious that the privately-held Christian chicken chain Chick-fil-A has announced they will no longer donate to two non-profits that have a long history of anti-LGBTQ policies.

Chick-fil-A recently tried to open a restaurant in the UK but protests over the company’s reputation were so strong they were forced to announce they will close at the end of their six-month lease. The company is also facing several local governments and colleges who are refusing to allow them to open a restaurant based on Chick-fil-A’s long history of donating millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ causes, including funds to at least one anti-gay hate group.

Starnes, who was ousted from Fox News after he agreed that Democrats worship the Pagan god Moloch, had once anointed Chick-fil-A “the official chicken of Jesus.”

On Monday, following Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it will be focusing its charitable giving on organizations that work to improve education, and fight hunger and homelessness – while ending its donations to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Starnes offered up this homophobic response:

He was quickly mocked:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY

Mike Huckabee: It’s ‘Tragic’ Chick-fil-A Will Focus Its Charitable Giving on Causes That Aren’t Anti-LGBTQ – Like Hunger

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Mike Huckabee is lashing out at the privately-held Christian chicken fast-food chain he repeatedly has defended for its anti-LGBTQ charitable giving policies. Chick-fil-A announced Monday it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, two non-profits that have histories of actively working against LGBTQ people and causes like marriage equality.

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will focus “exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger,” the company says according to Business Insider.

For Huckabee. that’s “sad” and “tragic.”

The former Arkansas governor and failed GOP presidential candidate took to Twitter to express his anger.

“The sad message of @ChickfilA is quite clear- they surrendered to anti- Christian hate groups. Tragic,” he tweeted.

Huckabee also bragged about his efforts to politicize the Christian chicken chain when he created a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

Huckabee is getting called out for his right wing reigious hypocrisy.

“Huckabee is lashing out at the company for focusing on — I repeat — education, homelessness, and hunger,” writes Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist. “He’s angry that they’re helping the poor instead of sticking it to LGBTQ people. Chick-fil-A, of course, has vehemently denied that they were ever anti-LGBTQ, so Huckabee’s rant merely confirms what critics have always said about them.”

“It’s also ironic because you could easily make the argument that Chick-fil-A is sticking to its Christian values with the change,” Mehta continues. “They’re going all in on imitating Jesus! It wouldn’t even be hard to make that argument. But Huckabee, always in Christian Persecution mode, can’t bring himself to do that. Even he seems to believe Christianity is all about hating LGBTQ people, and a company that avoids that is somehow anti-Christian.”

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‘This Is Fascism’: Internet Blasts ‘Openly Racist AF’ Mike Huckabee for Posting Racist Tweet

Mike Huckabee Forced to Resign From CMA Charity Board After Outrage Over His Anti-Gay Views

Mike Huckabee Insists He Never Supported Or Defended Josh Duggar. His Facebook Page Says Otherwise.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Conservative Campus Organizations Struggling With Swarms of White Nationalists

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Since early October, members and supporters of the white nationalist movement in the United States have organized and swarmed events hosted by GOP-aligned institutions that seek to engage young people on college campuses, including Young America’s Foundation, The Daily Wire, and Turning Point USA. Organizers of the disruptions have a handful of additional stunts planned for the next few weeks.

Leading the action is anti-Semitic and racist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who frequently denies being a white nationalist, a term he admits may be “descriptive,” but is widely unpopular. Fuentes attended the 2017 Unite the Right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist drove a vehicle into a crowd and murdered a counterdemonstrator. His supporters have dubbed themselves the “Groyper Army,” referring to a two-year-old meme meant to depict a more racist version of the “Pepe the Frog” character hijacked by the alt-right a few years ago.

Fuentes has long antagonized Turning Point USA—he notably threw a tantrum after attempting to speak to a Turning Point USA chapter at Iowa State University earlier this year—and tensions flared after Right Wing Watch first reported that Turning Point USA severed ties with a brand ambassador who had posed for photographs with Fuentes and other far-right political entertainers.

The current wave of real-life disruptions began, according to the blog Angry White Men, on Oct. 27 at the Politicon conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where event staff blocked Fuentes from entering an event where Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk was scheduled to deliver a speech. Assisting in the propaganda push since then has been disgraced former Daily Caller editor Scott Greer, YouTube entertainer Vincent James Foxx, Identity Evropa leader Patrick Casey, and Infowars employee Jacob Lloyd. Racist blogs including The Daily Stormer, Occidental Dissent, and American Renaissance have also published articles supportive of Fuentes supporters’ antics. The string of stunts has been defended by national-level pundits including far-right columnists Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, who was fired as a YAF speaker after she publicly backed the far-right disruptors.

White nationalists have historically targeted what they perceive to be fertile recruiting ground in campus youth organizations, and the current responses from institutional Republican groups are a reminder of why that is. For years, the GOP’s willingness to associate with bigots and racists has been noticed and seized upon by white nationalist groups, including Identity Evropa (rebranded as American Identity Movement), and by white nationalist propagandists, including James Allsup. Members of Identity Evropa have planned to recruit from Turning Point USA chapters since at least 2018, according to leaked chat logs published by Unicorn Riot.

As Vox’s Jane Coaston reported, the white nationalists targeting the campus organizations believe groups like YAF and TPUSA “need to be confronted because they are shutting down ‘socially conservative Christians and supporters of President Trumps agenda’ and promoting ‘degeneracy’ by having gay speakers.” Their strategy has been to overwhelm lines for the question-and-answer portions of college talks by more establishment figures such as Kirk and Shapiro with far-right supporters who use the opportunity to deploy far-right talking points and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in the form of questions to the speakers.

The strategy exploits two long-established accusations hurled by self-described campus conservatives: that the political left wants to silence those who advance ideas that speak too much truth to power, and that the prevalence of white nationalism in America is an overblown myth. When speakers at events hosted by groups like Turning Point USA have rejected questions posed by the far-right event crashers, the questioner uses the first talking point to establish themselves as a “truer” conservative. If the establishment speaker denounces white supremacism and anti-Semitism in answer to a far-right questioner, the disruptors claim the speakers are taking cues from the political left in order to dodge legitimate questions. Under this pressure, the conservative establishment falls to the very game it designed, and white nationalist organizers can siphon impressionable young people out of more establishment-aligned groups and into the hate movement.

At the peak of the push to confront campus conservative groups, the president’s adult son Donald Trump Jr. was heckled off stage at a Turning Point USA event at the University of California, Los Angeles, by white nationalists who were told the event would not include a question-and-answer session. Kimberly Guilfoyle, attending as Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, shouted at the disruptors that they probably needed online dating to meet people “because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.” Kirk was targeted on multiple occasions and at the University of Houston he unveiled a television from beneath a cloth and played a video of Fuentes that he apparently believed would cause Fuentes’ fans to distance themselves from him. Instead, Kirk was chased off campus by the chanting crowd.

Online, conservative personalities have surfaced clips of Fuentes’ podcast, including moments where Fuentes appears to promote Holocaust denial, voice support for Jim Crow laws, and explode in an anti-Semitic rant against The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh. Sebastian Gorka, who served as deputy assistant to the president for seven months in the Trump administration, spent part of a radio show in late October railing against Fuentes and his supporters, and he questioned how Fuentes was able to maintain a verified Twitter account. The rant was delivered without a hint of irony, despite the fact that Gorka was pushed from his White House post in a controversy over his membership in a far-right Hungarian group with World War II links to the Nazis.

Although Fuentes’ online viewership numbers are up for the time being, there is little indication that Fuentes’ campaign had garnered him the seat at the table he craved beyond pockets of the right that already supported him, or among conservatives who have been disgraced in the movement. Fuentes and his allies have succeeded in making noise and embarrassing major conservative youth organizations, but the end result seems counter-productive to Fuentes’ long-sought desire for credibility in the broader right-wing movement.

But even if through such disruption Fuentes only managed to further isolate himself in the broader right, the white nationalist movement availed itself an opportunity to scrape impressionable youth into its ranks, despite being unable to fully rehab its public image after the 2017 melee in Charlottesville. With blood on its hands, the “alt-right” was denounced by prominent Republicans, the media personalities affiliated with the movement were cast out, and the foot soldiers of the movement were identified, named, and shamed. The white nationalist movement splintered after Unite the Right, and ever since then, movement leaders have been throwing ideas at the wall and hoping something stuck.

It remains to be seen if this idea will stick.

Photo: TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk interviews President Donald Trump

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

 

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