Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Sponsor Doubles Down on Outing LGBTQ Children to Parents With New Amendment
The sponsor of Florida’s highly controversial and dangerous “Don’t Say Gay” bill is doubling down on the “outing” provision of his legislation, which is expected to get a vote by the full House Tuesday.
GOP State Rep Joe Harding has added a proposed amendment to his own bill, Florida Politics reports. Harding is a freshman lawmaker who has no background in education, child development, or LGBTQ issues.
Currently, HB 1557 says teachers, administrators, and other staff must contact parents about a student’s “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being, or a change in related services or monitoring.” Meaning schools must tell parents if their child comes out as LGBTQ at school.
If they don’t, the bill says, parents can sue.
There is currently one provision to protect at-risk children, schools can opt to not inform parents, “if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”
Of those who seek help, 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ, often as a direct result of coming out or being outed to their parents.
Rep. Harding would like to ensure that either parents are told their child has come out as LGBTQ, or – according to his new amendment – if the school has determined they should not be told because “a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect,” the parents within six weeks of not being told must be notified that the school has withheld information from them.
Not only will that put some children at great risk, but it will also put school officials at risk.
The amendment says school officials must devise a “plan” to tell parents while protecting the child’s well-being, but does not give them any indication of what that would look like, or how to avoid likely hostility to the official and likely harm to the child.
Imagine this phone call:
“Hello, Mr. Jones, this is Principal Smith. We have information related to your child’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being but have decided to not disclose that information to you. However, by law, we’re required to inform you we are withholding this information. Have a nice day.”
Image by Krissy Venosdale via Flickr and a CC license
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Fort Lauderdale to Honor Pastor Whose Ministry Appears on Southern Poverty Law Center’s Anti-LGBT Hate Group List
Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s City Commissioners Tuesday evening will honor Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Westminster Academy. Included in those proclamations is the church’s founder, Dr. D. James Kennedy, whose D. James Kennedy Ministries appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
Fort Lauderdale’s mayor, who is also its first gay mayor, Dean Trantalis, will sign the proclamations making March 21, 2021 Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Day and Westminster Academy Day, as South Florida Gay News reports.
Florida LGBTQ activist Michael Rajner posted the proclamations:
The late Mayor Justin Flippen would be turning in his grave. A few years ago he spoke w/ @wsvn of his traumatic experience to undergo #conversiontherapy at Coral Ridge. I hope Dean Trantalis reflects on Justin tomorrow night while he signs the proclamation. @browardpolitics pic.twitter.com/x1Q5CuQ7xj
— Michael Rajner (@MichaelRajner) March 15, 2021
A search of the D. James Kennedy Ministries website shows hundreds of articles on homosexuality. Some of them include “Freedom from Homosexuality through the Gospel,” “Brazen Attacks on Marriage,” and “Sexual Anarchy Puts Religious Liberty at Risk.”
Truth Wins Out, an LGBT equality non-profit, calls the proclamations “no different than honoring the KKK.”
“It’s outrageous to honor Coral Ridge. It is no different than honoring the KKK. This church lied about LGBT people, produced hate propaganda and perpetuated the “ex-gay” hoax. They have NEVER apologized for ruining lives. Stop this madness!”
Tell Fort Lauderdale mayor @DeanTrantalis and FTL commissioners TODAY that “no apology, no proclamation” honoring Coral Ridge Ministries. This church is divisive and pioneered “ex-gay” programs. It led the Truth in Love “pray away the gay” ad campaign. https://t.co/0nr8nlrMwN
— Truth Wins Out (@truthwinsout) March 16, 2021
TWO offers some background into Kennedy and Coral Ridge in a press release:
In 1998, the Truth in Love Campaign was hatched at Coral Ridge, led by Janet Folger Porter. The $600,000 effort placed full-page ads in newspapers with “ex-gays” claiming that gay and trans people who prayed and went to conversion therapy could “change”. This resulted in an avalanche of media coverage, including a Newsweek cover story headlined, “Gay for Life?” During that campaign, Folger Porter said on Nightline that she supported sodomy laws that would lead to the arrest and imprisonment of LGBTQ people. As part of Truth in Love, Coral Ridge flew an airplane over Gay Days at Disney with large banner that had an “ex-gay” message.
Researcher Alvin McEwen points out that Kennedy also endorsed a horrifying anti-LGBTQ cartoon book, Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternative Deathstyle. The book libels LGBTQ people with fake statistics, such as “41% more gays than heterosexuals admitted to shoplifting!”
GOP Congressional Candidate Pardoned by Trump Tweets Homophobic Meme Suggesting LGBT People Are Violent Pedophiles
After President Donald Trump pardoned former reality show star and convicted felon Angela Stanton-King she announced her run for Congress, challenging civil rights leader and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis for his Georgia seat.
Stanton-King announced her candidacy on Friday, running on a so-called “ProLIFE” platform.
That same day she posted a violent anti-LGBTQ meme depicting a rainbow-colored graphic of an arm with a hand pointing a gun, finger on the trigger, not just at someone’s head but shoved into the back of it, assassination or “execution-style.” The apparent intended victim also happens to be wearing a Christian cross.
Presumably, the message is LGBTQ people are violent murderers.
The graphic, identified by “Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters” author and blogger Alvin McEwen, reads:
1995: We want tolerance.
2005: We want equality.
2015: Bake the f##### cake, bigot.
2016: Say my pronouns or go to jail.
2020: Let me f### your 8 yo kid, pedophobe.
Any suggestion LGBTQ people are by and large pedophiles who are demanding the right to rape children is not only false, but disgusting.
(Trigger warning, NCRM suggests caution.)
Here is a screenshot of the tweet, which currently can be found here. Her tweet reads: “Enough is Enough,” with an #LGBTQ hashtag.
Stanton-King posted the disgusting tweet at 8:59 AM Friday. Less than one hour later, at 10:48 AM, she announced her candidacy for the U.S. Congress:
Thanks for your prayers ?? it’s official. I’m running for U.S. Representative for the 5th District of Georgia. This isn’t about replacing John Lewis, this is about picking up the torch and continuing the fight for Justice. ?? pic.twitter.com/tsbTrUtVGN
— Angela Stanton-King (@theangiestanton) March 6, 2020
Trump Administration is Attempting to Dismantle Hard-Won Protections for LGBTQ People, Report
In a series of increasingly hostile attacks, the Trump Administration has targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, attempting to dismantle hard-won protections secured over the last decade.
The 2018 National Movement Report, published annually by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), analyzes the first full year under the Trump Administration (Fiscal Year 2017), as well as budget projections for 2018.
The report finds that, at the end of Fiscal Year 2017, the participating organizations remain efficient, focused on providing vital programs and services, and are supported by a diverse range of revenue sources. Cumulative in-kind contributions increased by 52%, with multiple organizations reporting that the bulk of these increases were due to donated legal services to advance equality and counter the harmful and discriminatory policies of the Trump presidency.
The 2018 National Movement Report provides a comprehensive and standardized look at the LGBT movement’s finances for Fiscal Year 2017 across 40 major LGBT advocacy organizations. The total combined 2017 revenue (including in-kind) for the participating organizations was $269.7 million—up 13% from 2016. This is the largest year-to-year increase in the past five years. The majority of 2017 expenses (81%) was spent on programs and services, demonstrating that the largest LGBT social justice organizations operate efficiently.
“We have seen continued attacks on the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including the LGBT community,” said Ineke Mushovic, MAP executive director. “It is encouraging to see the rise in support of LGBT movement organizations; however, these resources are sorely needed. As the administration rolls back important nondiscrimination protections for transgender Americans, as states advance efforts to expand religious exemption laws that allow discrimination, and with the shift in the Supreme Court, LGBT people are increasingly vulnerable, and the work of LGBT organizations is critical.”
Among the key findings for organizations participating in the report:
REVENUE AND EXPENSES ARE GROWING:
- Excluding in-kind revenue, organizations reported an aggregate 5% revenue increase from 2016 to 2017. Aggregate revenue including in-kind revenue was up 13% for the same period. Over the past five years, total revenue has increased 34% from 2013 to 2017.
- Total combined 2017 expenses (including in-kind) across all participating organizations were $250.2 million–up 11% from 2016. This is also the largest year-to-year increase in the past five years, reflecting increased advocacy to combat the policies of the Trump Administration. Over the past five years, total expenses have increased 28%.
- Looking just at in-kind revenue and expenses, these increased 52% from 2016 to 2017, largely reflecting an increase in donated legal services.
One such group to benefit from an increase in in-kind contributions is GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which works to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.
“In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, GLAD received unusually high donated legal services, given the new challenges from the new federal administration and a reinvigorated conservative opposition,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLAD. “We are grateful to those law firms that have stepped up to protect against the roll-back of LGBTQ rights, such as our co-counsel in our two challenges to the transgender military ban, and our partners in our New England-wide transgender ID clinic.”
MORE DONORS ACROSS THE BOARD, BUT ESPECIALLY LARGE DONORS:
- Individual donor contributions remain the most significant source of revenue among participating LGBT organizations, comprising 36% of their total 2017 revenue.
- In 2017, participating organizations saw a 14% increase in the number of individual donor contributions from 2016.
- Over the last five years, large donors ($25,000+ per year) increased by 91%. Medium donors ($1,000-$24,999) increased by 12%, and small donors ($35-$999) increased by 3%.
- From 2016 to 2017, large donors increased by 43%, and small donors increased by 15%. Medium donors, however, slightly decreased by 2.4%.
STAFF BETTER REFLECT BROADER POPULATION DIVERSITY; BOARDS ARE SOMEWHAT LESS REFLECTIVE:
- Participating organizations employed a total of 964 full-time and 127 part-time staff.
- Organizations that reported staff demographics have diverse staff that reflects the overall population. Fifty-six percent of staff are Caucasian, while 15% identify as Black, 13% as Latinx, 8% Asian or Pacific Islander, less than 1% as Native American, 5% as multiracial, and 3% as some other race or ethnicity.
- Among senior staff and board members of LGBT organizations, roughly two-thirds are Caucasian (65% of senior staff, and 67% of board members).
- Slightly less than half of all staff identifies as men (47%), and 46% identify as women, while 4% identify as non-binary and 3% as genderqueer or some other identity. One in ten (10%) staff identify as transgender. The majority (60%) of staff are between the ages of 30 and 54.
- Among board members, 51% identify as men, 45% as female, 2% as non-binary, and 2% as genderqueer or some other identity. Six percent of board members identify as transgender.
- Of organizations providing data on the sexual orientation of their staff, 54% of staff identified as gay or lesbian, 7% as bisexual, 16% as queer, 15% as another orientation, and 8% as straight.
FEW LGBT PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE TO THESE CRITICAL ORGANIZATIONS:
While there has been a cumulative increase in revenue from individual contributions, the data continue to reiterate findings from previous years that very few LGBT people contribute to these major legal, advocacy, and public education LGBT organizations. Based on the number of donors to participating organizations (assuming that all donors are LGBT and there are no duplicates), only 2.8% of LGBT people contributed $35 or more in 2017 to participating organizations.
As the political landscapes change for LGBT equality, tracking these trends moving forward will be crucial for understanding the financial health and stability of the movement.
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