Watch: Betsy DeVos Squirms, Doesn’t Actually Answer When Gay Congressman Asks if Anti-LGBT Discrimination Is OK
“We follow the law as this body has defined,” DeVos claims – despite having tossed out hundreds of discrimination complaints without investigating them.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in hot water after being grilled on Wednesday for her budget that totally eliminates funding for the Special Olympics. But there’s another issue that was yet another point of controversy for the far right wing billionaire member of President Trump’s cabinet.
“Do you think it’s all right for a school to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity?” U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) asked the Education Secretary, as The Hill and Vox’s Aaron Rupar reported. Pocan happens to be gay.
A nervous DeVos seemed to squirm as she paused, struggling to find the words to deliver an answer to the “yes” or “no” question.
“We have laws that cover discriminatory efforts and our office for civil rights has continued to be very diligent in investigating any allegation of discrimination and will continue to do so,” she claimed, falsely, with intermittent nervous smiles.
“So is that a yes or is that a no?” Rep. Pocan again asked. “I’m trying to get a yes or no, I guess, on that.”
“We follow the law as this body has defined,” DeVos replied.
In fact, under Secretary DeVos, the Dept. of Education slammed the covers shut on hundreds of anti-LGBT – especially anti-transgender – cases, without actually or fully investigating.
“The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has begun dismissing hundreds of civil rights complaints under a new protocol that allows investigators to disregard cases that are part of serial filings or that they consider burdensome to the office,” The New York Times reported last April.
Also under DeVos, the Dept. of Education has reversed, rescinded, or gutted guidance and directives that protect the civil rights of transgender students, minority students including students of color, and students with special needs. She has also changed guidance to protect students accused of rape or sexual misconduct.
.@repmarkpocan: Do you think it’s alright for a school to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity?
DeVOS: We have laws that cover discriminatory efforts.
POCAN: … is that a yes or no?
DeVOS: We follow the law. pic.twitter.com/z5ubS0zvt7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2019
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GOP Lawmaker Wants to Fine Transgender People in North Dakota $1500 if They Use ‘Wrong’ Pronouns
The North Dakota House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would strictly prohibit expanded use of pronouns outside of the gender that the person was assigned at birth.
House Bill 2199 restricts the definition of gender to the “individual’s determined sex at birth” and then requires that all pronoun use be reflective of that same gender. Any violation by anyone who works at an institution that receives state funding, including public schools would be subject to a $1,500 fine.
If gender is challenged, the bill puts the responsibility on the individual to prove their gender.
“Say, they’re a boy, but they come to school and say they’re a girl. As far as that school is concerned in this bill, that person is still a boy. If it becomes contested, the burden will be on the girl, the so-called girl, or the boy, to prove that he is a girl,” said North Dakota State Senator David Clemens while speaking in favor of the bill.
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The bill’s sponsor was the only testimony given in support of the bill, as nearly 100 separate forms of testimony was provided against the bill. Even the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to not pass the proposed bill.
“I see no way this law would pass any sort of legal challenge based on basic legal construction principles,” North Dakota Human Rights’ Christina Sambor said in an interview with KFYR-TV of Bismarck. “It is vague, fails to advance any legitimate state interests, and not only would cause impermissible, gender-based discrimination, its very purpose is gender-based discrimination.”
The bill now moves to the Senate floor.
‘I Made Juneteenth Very Famous’: Trump Raged Against ‘These People’ After Being Forced to Reschedule Tulsa Rally
Donald Trump bristled at moving his comeback rally in Tulsa due to a scheduling conflict with Juneteenth.
The former president had scheduled his first rally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for June 19, 2020, but he was notified — by a Black Secret Service agent, he says — of the date’s historical significance and the extra weight it carried in the days following the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, according to excerpts from a new book published by The Hill.
Can you imagine “changing the day of the rally in Oklahoma to accommodate these people?” Trump groused, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “Have you ever heard of such a ridiculous thing?”
Murphy and his wife had joined Trump for dinner at his golf club in Bedminster, where the former president told the couple that he was looking forward to packing the arena to show off his electoral strength, but he ultimately agreed to reschedule for a day later — and then claimed credit for popularizing the day marking the end of slavery in the U.S.
“I did something good,” Trump said. “I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”
The rally ultimately drew a much smaller crowd than had been expected, with at least a third of the seats empty at BOK Center, and a spokesman for his campaign later blamed the paltry attendance on “radical protesters.”
Meanwhile, Trump is scheduled to speak tonight at a rally at 9pm ET tonight in support of embattled Nebraska Gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster.
After Herbster, a businessman endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was accused of sexually assaulting eight women, including a state senator, Republicans throughout the state washed their hands of him, and sitting Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts told him to end his campaign and “get help.”
But according to POLITICO on Thursday, Trump himself is still all in on Herbster’s candidacy.
“Trump did not withdraw his support for Herbster, or scrap plans to hold a Friday evening rally for the candidate in Nebraska. Instead, he doubled down: The former president relayed word that Herbster wasn’t fighting back hard enough, backing plans for Herbster to hold a press conference aggressively denying the allegations and pushing back at his adversaries,” reported Alex Isenstadt.
Watch: Newsmax Host Wants to Know Why Movies ‘Have to Be About LGBTQ People?’ in Anti-Gay Rant
Newsmax propagandist Greg Kelly is jumping on the right’s rapidly growing anti-LGBTQ extremism by denouncing movies with LGBTQ people in them, while likening being LGBTQ to having a hobby – like trains – that he says no one needs to know about.
“I don’t get this be your whole self routine at work or even in art, even in products that you are creating for other people to consume,” Kelly said on Newsmax Wednesday. “For instance, take me, I love model trains. Did you know that? I actually do.”
“I love trains. I love them,” he continued. “I don’t talk about a lot on TV because it’s a pretty niche hobby and not a lot of people are into it. Alright, especially at my age. That’s my thing. I’ll do it on my time and I’m not going to bother you about it fair? You get it? I think that’s a pretty good analogy.”
It’s actually not. What Kelly is talking about is called a hobby. Being LGBTQ is not.
The Newsmax host who, coincidentally is a former Fox News correspondent and host, and the son of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, then played what appeared to be an internal Walt Disney Company video of an employee talking about including LGBTQ characters in her work.
Watch: Newsmax Hosts Warn of ‘Gender Indoctrination Centers’ in Wild Rant Attacking Trans People
The segment included her stating: “Like I was just wherever I could just basically adding queerness to like, if you see anything queer in the show [undiscernable] no one would stop me and no one was trying to stop me.”
Kelly, who, according to Vanity Fair, has a history of “very racist-seeming tweets,” jumped on that immediately.
“Just have fun with your not-so-secret gay agenda,” he said. “And queerness and putting it in movies and cartoons and where is it been so far? I watch this stuff from time to time. I guess over the years. These are movies you’ve heard of I’ve heard of is this what they’ve been up to all along?” he asked, as the camera pans over classic Disney works like “Mary Poppins.”
(LGBTQ people have been creating Disney classics for decades, or longer. )
“Is this what they will be up to from now on? I don’t think it’s going to help the plotline. You know, movies are about people. Uh, why do they have to be about LGBTQ people or anything like, is the orientation really all that?”
(Full anti-LGBTQ segment on YouTube.)
Newsmax host: “You know, movies are about people. Why do they have to be about LGBTQ people?” pic.twitter.com/y39ycxvXwM
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 31, 2022
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