“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 of Education has reversed, rescinded, or gutted guidance and directives that protect the civil rights of transgender students, minority students including students of color, and students with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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Franklin Graham Promotes Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A and Attacks College Group as ‘The Ones Fostering Hate and Bigotry’
Franklin Graham has turned his Facebook-based ministry into one that frequently attacks the LGBTQ community, and Wednesday proved to be no different. The Evangelical leader with strong ties to President Donald Trump took to Facebook to promote Chick-fil-A, the $10 billion privately-owned faith-based fast food restaurant chain. And he blasted a college faculty group trying to keep the divisive restaurant from their campus.
“Guess where I ate lunch yesterday? Yes, at Chick-fil-A,” Graham bragged on Facebook. “They are always packed for a reason. Their restaurants are clean, and not only do they have a great chicken sandwich, but they have one of my favorite iced teas!”
Graham went on to claim that “at Kansas University, some progressive staff and administrators—are accusing Chick-fil-A of being a ‘bastion of bigotry’ and they don’t want them on campus. The Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council says Chick-fil-A ‘fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels.’ That’s just simply not true.”
It is, in fact, true.
Through its charitable foundation Chick-fil-A’s owners have donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including to an anti-gay hate group.
“This council and group of faculty are the ones fostering hate and bigotry, not Chick-fil-A!” Graham insisted, twisting the truth.
“All of this is because the founder Truett Cathy and his son Dan Cathy stood for traditional marriage and the business has donated to support some Christian charities,” Graham said.
Again, not true.
The Cathy family didn’t just stand for “traditional marriage.” They made offensive remarks about same-sex marriage, and again, they didn’t just donate to “some Christian charities.” They donated those millions of dollars to some very actively anti-gay organizations.
Some of those groups not only tried to block same-sex marriage from becoming legal, but at least one wanted to make “gay behavior” illegal, and even said gay people should be “exported” out of America.
Dan Cathy, now the chairman, president, and CEO of Chick-fil-A, has attacked marriage equality, saying, if you support same-sex marriage, you “are inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” and that we “shake our fist at Him” when we do.
That’s not just standing up for Christian beliefs.
Cathy also said same-sex marriage is the result of a “deprived” mind and called it “twisted up kind of stuff.”
Trump Administration Urges US Supreme Court to Declare Firing a Worker for Being Gay Is Legal
The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.
The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.
“The question here is not whether Title VII should forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation, but whether it already does,” the brief says. “The statute’s plain text makes clear that it does not; discrimination because of ‘sex’ forbids treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other — and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not result in such treatment.”
President Trump has also stated he will not sign the Equality Act, which would specify that the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 does protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.
The Supreme Court will hear three cases related to anti-LGBTQ discrimination on October 8.
The move is consistent with the entirety of the Trump administration’s policies and actions.
Just ten days ago the Dept. of Justice tried to strong-arm the Equal Employment opportunity Commission to set aside up to eight years of findings and rulings and support the DOJ’s position firing LGBTQ workers is legal.
One week ago the DOJ in similar fashion urged the Supreme Court to rule that firing transgender workers is legal.
And on August 14 the Trump Dept. of Labor moved to prioritize the rights of so-called “religion-exercising organizations” over those of LGBTQ workers. The DOL offered a new proposal that appears to be a roadmap which faith-based organizations claiming to have religious beliefs or moral convictions can use to protect themselves from charges of discrimination.
As NCRM has reported previously, the Trump administration is the most anti-LGBT administration in modern U.S. history.
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.
Baptists Unanimously Vote Out Lesbian Couple Over Same-Sex Marriage: ‘It Was More Out of Spite’
A lesbian couple from Mississippi says they were asked to leave their Baptist church over their relationship.
Mary Catherine Trollinger and her partner Olivia Jennings were notified by letter that they were no longer welcome at Gracewood Baptist Church in Southaven, where they met last year, reported WATN-TV.
Their pastor, Barry Baker, signed the letter, which stated he had warned them against pursuing an “unbiblical” and “degrading” same-sex relationship, and told the couple they had been unanimously — and “sadly” — voted out during a special business meeting at the church.
“I told you that the church could not allow you to live in unrepentant disobedience without addressing it,” Baker wrote. “We love you too much to neglect you.”
The pastor noted that the couple’s recent wedding — “on Father’s Day, no less,” Baker added — had prompted the banishment, which Trollinger’s mother supported.
“Not only did my mom say you can’t live here,” Trollinger said, “but my church said you can’t go here and it was in the same day, so I was pretty heartbroken was in a deep depression for a few months there.”
The couple met at Gracewood while Trollinger was serving as college director there, and they were asked to leave the church months ago, which they did, before they were officially voted out as members.
“It’s one thing if you send out a letter that’s generic, just a template, but it’s another thing to personalize the letter,” Trollinger said. “In that sense, all the things that were said it wasn’t out of love, it was more out of spite.”
The church declined to comment on the letter or the couple’s membership.
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