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Watch: Betsy DeVos Squirms, Doesn’t Actually Answer When Gay Congressman Asks if Anti-LGBT Discrimination Is OK

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“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 of Education has reversed, rescinded, or gutted guidance and directives that protect the civil rights of transgender students, minority students including students of color, and students with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.

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BIGOTRY

Lawsuit: Judge Refusing to Marry Same-Sex Couples Claims Her Religious Freedom Was Violated When Commission Warned Her

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A  judge who regularly refuses to perform marriages for same-sex couples is suing a Texas commission that issued a warning to her over her decision to not treat all couples equally. McLennan County Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley is now suing he State Commission on Judicial Conduct, claiming her religious freedom rights have been violated.

The warning, while public, did not come with any fine nor any severe sanctions or censure, yet Judge Hensley has retained the far right wing anti-LGBTQ Christian activist group with ties to Trump, First Liberty Institute, to represent her in her $10,000 lawsuit for damages. Metro Weekly reports the lawsuit claims a violation of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act “by punishing her for actions that were taken in accordance with her faith.”

The Texas judge isn’t just asking for $10,000. She wants all other judges to have the “right” to discriminate.

“Hensley is also demanding a declaratory judgment that the commission violated her rights, as well as a class-action guarantee that all other justices of the peace will be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in the same way,” The American Independent reports.

First Liberty has represented Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which also refused same-sex couples.

Video via ABC 25:

 

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County Commissioner Uses Anti-Gay Slur and Racism to Attack Democratic Presidential Candidate – Audience Applauds

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A Tennessee county commissioner during a public meeting on Monday used an anti-gay slur and racism to attack a Democratic presidential candidate, then insisted, as he put it, that he’s “not prejudice.”

Commissioner Warren Hurst, while advocating for a proposal to make Sevier County a “gun sanctuary city” launched into a homophobic and racist diatribe that’s caught national attention.

“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Commissioner Hurst said, according to WVLT. “Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to Hoss’s jail [Sevier County Sheriff] and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic to be President of the United States.”

After his homophobic outburst Hurst was not yet finished.

“I’m not prejudice [sic], a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” Hurst claimed, which is false.

When he was done some in the audience laughed and applauded. One woman stood up, denounced Hurst’s comments, and left.

Although he did not mention which candidate he was referring to, Commissioner Hurst likely was speaking about twice-elected South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg is a Harvard graduate who went on to earn a a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. He also served in Iraq as an intelligence officer with the rank of lieutenant, in the United States Navy Reserve.

The Tennessee Holler posted video of Hurst’s remarks:

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Franklin Graham Promotes Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A and Attacks College Group as ‘The Ones Fostering Hate and Bigotry’

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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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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