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Student With Two Moms Banned From Writing Paper ‘Taking a Stand’ in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

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A family in Michigan is speaking out after their daughter, a high school junior, was banned from writing a paper in favor of same-sex marriage for an honors English class where the assignment was to “take a stand” on an issue of great cultural importance.

The teacher, whose name the school district will not release, first said the topic was too controversial and might offend some students. She then confessed she did not want to read or hear about marriage equality, according to MLive and The Advocate.

17-year-old Destiny McDermitt said she wanted to write her paper, which would also be read as a speech, on same-sex marriage because her mothers are married. Angela McDermitt-Jackson and Chris Jackson married in 2015 just months before the U.S. Supreme Court found same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities to marriage as their different-sex peers.

The assignment sounds bold, but the teacher made sure it could not be.

“For every generation in every country, every day, there are issues upon which an individual can take a stand,” the assignment description reportedly reads. “This assignment asks you to think about what concerns you in your community, your state, your country, or the world.”

Students were not allowed to choose “anything that is awkward or inappropriate for a school audience.” The topic of abortion was banned, but the school district’s guidance says controversial subjects can have a legitimate place in learning.

Several students wrote letters to school administrators to support their classmate, destiny, and to complain that the teacher said she did not want to read or grade a paper on same-sex marriage.

Destiny has opted to move to a different class with a different teacher.

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SCOTUS Turns Down Kim Davis but Clarence Thomas Pens Scathing Attack Suggesting Same-Sex Marriage Must Be Overturned

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Former Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis won’t get a hearing from the U.S. Supreme Court. A case against her, brought by several same-sex couples she refused to grant marriage licenses to, was rejected Monday by the country’s top court.

But ultra-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas took the opportunity to attack the court’s landmark Obergefell case, which found the Constitution allows same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities of marriage as their different-sex peers.

Thomas, who has a direct line into the White House via his activist and lobbyist wife Ginni Thomas, slammed the decision, suggesting the case should be overturned, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reports.

Why?

“Religious liberty.”

Thomas claims Kim Davis “may have been one of the first victims of this Court’s cavalier treatment of religion in its Obergefell decision, but she will not be the last.”

His words are scathing, and a direct assault on equality.

“Due to Obergefell, those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul of Obergefell and its effect on other antidiscrimination laws,” claims Thomas, five years after the decision.

“It would be one thing if recognition for same-sex marriage had been debated and adopted through the democratic process, with the people deciding not to provide statutory protections for religious liberty under state law,” he adds. “But it is quite another when the Court forces that choice upon society through its creation of atextual constitutional rights and its ungenerous interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause, leaving those with religious objections in the lurch.”

At the time of the Obergefell decision, same-sex marriage was supported by six out of 10 Americans.

In the 2015 Obergefell case, Justice Thomas writes, “the Court read a right to same-sex marriage into the Fourteenth Amendment, even though that right is found nowhere in the text.”

Thomas is a textualist, or originalist, adhering to conservatves’ pseudo-theory created in the 1980’s that claims the Constitution is not a living document, written broadly to stand the test of time. Rather, they believe it must be interpreted as the Founders conceived, with the words being interpreted exactly as the document’s authors intended.

(Textualism, or originalism, has been called “a scam” and Thomas has been blasted for “his hypocrisy” surrounding it.)

“Several Members of the Court noted that the Court’s decision would threaten the religious liberty of the many Americans who believe that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman. If the States had been allowed to resolve this question through legislation, they could have included accommodations for those who hold these religious beliefs,” Thomas writes.

“The Court, however, bypassed that democratic process. Worse still, though it briefly acknowledged that those with sincerely held religious objections to same-sex marriage are often ‘decent and honorable,'” he continues, “the Court went on to suggest that those beliefs espoused a bigoted worldview.”

Believing that LGBTQ people are not equal to non-LGBTQ people is the very definition of bigotry.

Justice Thomas uses the word “bigot” four times in his dissent, which was joined by Justice Samuel Alito.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is attempting to force through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, giving the Court a 6-3 conservative super-majority.

Image by Thomas Cizauskas via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Administration to Allow Taxpayer-Funded Shelter Providers to Ban Homeless Transgender People, Because Jesus

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The Trump Dept. of Housing and Urban Development late on Wednesday moved to roll back an Obama-era regulation that bans discrimination by taxpayer-funded shelter providers against transgender people. HUD Secretary Ben Carson wants to allow anti-transgender discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

A statement on the HUD website filled with coded language says the proposed new rule “Returns Decision Making to Local Shelter Providers,” to allow them to “establish an admissions policy that best serves their unique communities,” and “better accommodate [the] religious beliefs of shelter providers.”

In reality, the new rule would allow taxpayers to fund anti-transgender discrimination fueled by religious-based bigotry, with the federal government’s stamp of approval.

The move comes during an out of control pandemic, amid an unstable economy, and worse-than Great Depression-era unemployment.

“This important update will empower shelter providers to set policies that align with their missions, like safeguarding victims of domestic violence or human trafficking,” Secretary Carson said in the statement.

In reality, the new rule would remove protections for one of the most vulnerable populations in America, the transgender community. At some point in their lives one in five transgender people experience homelessness.

“Transgender and gender non-binary adults are more likely than cisgender adults to experience unsheltered homelessness,” CBS News notes, adding that “according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and transgender youth ‘make up a significant portion’ of homeless youth in the U.S.”

The move is yet another example of the Trump administration’s never-ending attacks on transgender Americans.

This month marks the third anniversary of President Trump’s infamous decision to ban transgender service members from the U.S. Military, which he did without consultation with the heads of the military services, and via tweet.

Last month Trump’s Dept. of Health and Human Services rolled back Obama-era protections for transgender patients, calling them “unnecessary.”

Last year Trump’s Dept. of Justice asked the Supreme Court to rule it is legal to fire transgender workers just because they are transgender. The Court last month decided it is illegal to do so.

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A Defeated Donald Trump Declares ‘We Live’ After Historic SCOTUS Ruling on LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination (Video)

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President Donald Trump, whose administration lobbied the Supreme Court to deny LGBTQ people civil rights, on Monday lamented the high court’s landmark ruling that finds workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans is illegal.

“They’ve ruled and we live with the decision,” Trump said, defeated and somewhat sad. “We live with the decision of the Supreme Court.”

This is the first time Trump has weighed in on the historic ruling. It took him more than six hours to say anything, and he only did after being asked about it by a reporter.

The President also claimed he had read the 170+ pages decision handed down just after 10 AM Monday.

“Very powerful decision, actually,” he added. “They have so ruled.”

In 2017 Trump’s DOJ told a federal appeals court the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect “homosexuals” from discrimination.

Last year Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the Supreme 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 or transgender.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled it does.

Trump, who is the most anti-LGBTQ president in American history – at least modern American history, has repeatedly refused to sign the Equality Act, which the House has already passed.

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