Texas AG: School District’s Pride Week Is ‘Breaking State Laws’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (screen capture)

For at least 14 years now, the Austin Independent School District has held its own Pride Week which includes lessons on diversity, inclusion and acceptance amid some Pride flags and pronoun buttons.

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) dispatched a letter on Tuesday to the school district declaring the weeklong celebration constitutes “sex education” and holding the event without the consent of parents would be “breaking state law.” Continue reading “Texas AG: School District’s Pride Week Is ‘Breaking State Laws’”

Iowa: Racist/Homophobe Rep. Steve King Loses Primary Bid

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

After nine terms in the U.S. House, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) fell short in Tuesday’s Republican primary to state Sen. Randy Feenstra.

According to the New York Times, Feenstra garnered 45.7 percent of the vote while King lagged nearly ten points behind with 36 percent. The remaining candidates were in single digits.

Long-known for his anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant statements, King found himself rebuked via a House resolution after he made comments suggesting he supported white nationalism. As a result, he was stripped of all his committee assignments.

No friend to the LGBTQ community, over his years in office he virulently opposed marriage equality.

He railed against the Iowa Supreme Court when same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa in 2009. So much so that he spent $80,000 in campaign advertising against three of those justices when they were up for retention in 2010. None of the justices retained their seats.

King called the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made marriage equality the law of the land, “perverted.” He then called for a House resolution to defy the ruling.

King also introduced an amendment in 2012 seeking to ban same-sex weddings on military bases, even though the GOP-controlled House had approved of the weddings.

The 17-year veteran of Congress also argued in support of Donald Trump’s ban of transgender military service members.

But, to be clear, Mr. Feenstra is not much better on LGBTQ issues.

In 2011, he introduced a state constitutional amendment that would wipe out the 2009 state supreme court decision that legalized marriage equality in Iowa.

Feenstra also voted in favor of an appropriations measure that would prohibit the use of Iowa Medicaid dollars to pay for transgender surgeries.

Feenstra will face J.D. Scholten in November’s general election. In 2018, Scholten came close to beating King (47% – 50%) in the 2018 race for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District

Judge Sues State Commission After Reprimand For Turning Away Same-Sex Weddings

Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley (screen capture)

A judge in Texas is suing the state agency that oversees judicial misconduct after she was reprimanded for refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley, of McLennan County, has filed a lawsuit against the State Commission on Judicial Conduct saying the disciplinary action constituted a violation of her rights under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

On Monday, December 2, the Commission issued a warning to Hensley saying her refusal to perform same-sex marriages cast “doubt on her capacity to act impartially to persons appearing before her as a judge due to the person’s sexual orientation.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, such warnings are the second-highest order of discipline the committee can take against a judge. Continuing to turn away same-sex couples could result in impeachment by the Commission, removing her from her judicial post.

In 2017, Hensley told the Waco Tribune-Herald that her “Bible-believing” Christian conscience keeps her from performing same-sex weddings and she feels she’s entitled to a “religious exemption.”

The Tribune-Herald reports Hensley is seeking $10,000 in damages as well as a declaratory judgment that the commission violated her religious rights. Additionally, she asks for class-action relief to allow any justice of the peace to turn away same-sex couples who want to get married.

After the historic June 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which made marriage equality the law of the land, some judges and justices of the peace who did not approve of same-sex marriages stopped performing wedding ceremonies altogether to avoid discriminating against LGBTQs.

The court filing notes that Hensley has officiated 328 wedding ceremonies since August 2016, all of them were for heterosexual couples.

In the clip below, Hensley tells the local news station KXXV, “I have no desire to offend anybody, but the last person I want to offend is God.”

A local LGBTQ activist, Carmen Saenz, told the news station Hensley is “free to believe however she wants.” Saenz added, “But you can’t discriminate against people as an elected official.”

Hensley issued a statement to KXXV saying, “I sought a solution so that anyone in McLennan County who wants to get married can do so. I have, do, and always will follow the law.”

Appeals Court Rules Kim Davis Can Be Sued By Gay Couples

Bad news for homophobic former Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis (above).

Cue the sad trombone sound…womp womp womp

An appeals court has ruled that Davis can be sued as an individual for refusing to issue marriage licenses to two same-sex couples after the historic U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell ruling in 2015.

Reuters reports:

The Kentucky county clerk who in 2015 gained widespread attention for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples may be sued for damages by two of those couples, a federal appeals court ruled late on Friday.

In a 3-0 decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said Kim Davis can be sued in her individual capacity, though sovereign immunity shielded her from being sued in her former role as Rowan County Clerk.

Davis claimed that Obergefell v Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, did not apply to her because she stopped issuing licenses to everyone regardless of sexual orientation, and the plaintiffs could have obtained licenses elsewhere.

Davis lost her reelection bid last year.

She was represented by the virulently anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel law firm. Mat Staver, the organization’s founder told the press, “She had no hostility to anyone, given that she stopped issuing all marriage licenses.”

Liar.

In related news, the 6th Circuit Court also ruled that the state of Kentucky is on the hook for $224,000 in legal fees incurred by the couples who sued Davis when she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

According to the Lexington Courier-Journal, Gov. Matt Bevin fought the judgment saying Davis should be responsible for the fees, not the state of Kentucky. He lost.

Hate doesn’t pay, kids.

‘Bachelorette’ Alum: Teaching LGBTQ History To Kids Is ‘Waste’ Of Tax Dollars

James McCoy Taylor (screen captures via Twitter)

A former reality-TV personality took to Twitter recently to explain why he opposes teaching the accomplishments of LGBTQ people in schools.

James McCoy Taylor, who apparently came in 5th in the 12th season of The Bachelorette (2016), recently told his Twitter followers that he finds the idea to be a “waste” of tax dollars.

This was apparently sparked by a new law in Illinois that will require public schools to include the accomplishments of LGBTQ people in history classes beginning with the 2020-21 school year. The legislation was supported by over 40 education and civil rights groups in the state.

Illinois joins California, New Jersey, and Colorado in adding LGBTQ accomplishments to U.S. history studies in public schools.

Contrast that with the six states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas – which have laws prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality.” Often known as “no pro homo” laws, they prohibit schools from teaching LGBTQ topics in a positive light, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Taylor began with a tweet saying instead of history classes being taught about LGBTQ contributions, instructions in stock market investments would be a better use of tax-payer dollars.

And, of course, he prefaced it all by saying his comment wasn’t “from any kind of hate standpoint.”

I’m sure he has black friends, too…

Taylor clapped back at openly gay Walking Dead actor Daniel Newman trying to laugh off the whole thing saying the ‘love is love’ crowd turns into haters when they have a different viewpoint.

What’s funny here is, after saying teaching students about the contributions of LGBTQ people is a “waste of tax dollars” and getting push back, he posted an ‘aw shucks’ video saying, “Twitter, you cannot take my smile…”

Is this where I should mention Taylor is a big Trump supporter? Quel surprise…

Mr. Taylor – if you’re going to put your opinions out in the public square, man up and be open to possibly learning something. Disagreement doesn’t make someone a ‘troll.’

But, Taylor wasn’t done with the stupid just yet. He had to come back a few days later with this:

By this flawed logic, with the Jewish population of the U.S. being estimated at between 1.4-1.8%, does that mean we shouldn’t teach kids about the Holocaust?

But put that aside.

As TONS of people pointed on on Twitter, the LGBTQ community intersects with all these demographics: women, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans. Race and sex are not sexual orientation. #duh

Also – Taylor says he’s ‘in Texas.’ I don’t know if he lives there or visiting…but here’s the thing.

I was born and raised in Texas. I graduated from the public school system there in 1981.

In high school, I learned about the fight for women’s rights, suffragettes, Seneca Falls, and the 19th Amendment.

I learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil War, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Jim Crow laws.

I learned how Latinos helped Texas win independence, who Sylvia Mendez was, and how Puerto Rico became part of the U.S.

I learned about Japanese internment camps during WWII.

So, when Taylor talks about “waiting in line,” does he not know this history has been a part of public schools for decades? I wasn’t only taught about what men contributed to society.

And what exactly is this “line” he talks about? Can we not teach about women’s, African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and LGBTQ American contributions at the same time?

In Illinois, there are 176 days in a given school year. Even if you went by Taylor’s ill-thought ‘5 percent’ math of the LGBTQ population, is it unthinkable to imagine spending less than 9 history classes out of 176 on LGBTQ history?

As a nascent gay growing up in Texas, I’ll tell you what I did NOT learn about in school: how a brave group of LGBTQ people stood up for themselves at the Stonewall riots.

I did not learn that an openly gay man named Harvey Milk was elected to public office in 1977.

Nor did I learn about the persecution of gays by the Nazis during World War II.

There’s a LOT that could have been included in my history curriculum back then.

In any case, I’m not the only one who found Taylor to be out of his depth.

I’ll note that, until these recent LGBTQ-themed tweets, a quick scan of Taylor’s posts on Twitter (when not chiming in on ‘Bachelor/Bachelorette’ episodes) have averaged about 5-10 responses. These tweets received thousands of comments.

I think the hashtag #DeleteYourAccount was created for just this kind of moment.

Just a sample from the Twitterverse:

And then there’s my favorite response:

Teen Homophobe Threatens YouTube After Being Booted From Video Site

Soph (screen capture)

A 14-year-old California girl who goes by the name “Soph” had her YouTube account terminated after posting an anti-LGBTQ video on July 31.

The high school freshman had amassed a following of over 800,000 subscribers via anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ commentaries before YouTube removed her account.

In the video that finally got her booted from the streaming video site, titled “Pride and Prejudice,” she mocked LGBTQ people for celebrating Pride Month.

“Unfortunately, as you know, last month was Pride, which meant we all had to endure 30-days of AIDS-carrying pedophile victims patting themselves on their backs for their lifestyles,” said Soph in the video. “I had an especially hard time considering that I live in California where there was a puddle of diseased load waiting for me whenever I dared to step out of my house.”

She went on to tell her audience that LGBTQ people criticize her and call her homophobic as a way to “detract attention away from the rates of STDs and pederasty involving homosexuals.”

The teen apparently laughs all of this off as ‘edgy internet humor.’

Soph also calls Pride a “fudge-packing fest” and tells followers to “make sure to blame me in your manifestos.” The word ‘manifesto’ refers to a kind of document left behind on far-right websites by people like the shooter behind the deadly Christchurch attack in March and the shooter accused of the recent El Paso shooting.

The account was canceled after the teen racked up three Community Guideline violations within 90 days. The Pride-bashing video violated YouTube’s hate speech guidelines.

After YouTube removed the channel, Soph tweeted a photo holding what appeared to be an assault rifle captioned, “YouTube headquarters here I come.”

The tweet was quickly removed. Then the teen wrote, “Gun tweet obviously a joke,” and seemed to ask for payments to her Bitcoin accounts.

This wasn’t Soph’s first ‘joke’ regarding violence and YouTube. In May, she threatened to murder YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki after her account was temporarily suspended and demonetized.

In a video directly addressing the YouTube executive, Soph said, “Susan, I’ve known your address since last summer. I’ve got a Luger and mitochondrial disease. I don’t care if I live. Why should I care if you live or your children? I just called an Uber. You’ve got about seven minutes to draft up a will. … I’m coming for you, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.”

Folks, this is YouTube in 2019.

(source)

Minister Stiffs Waiter ("If He Wasn't Gay") Then Arrested For Assaulting Female Manager

Frederic Sterry Smith, 62, of St. Augustine, Florida, was arrested and charged with simple battery after ripping up his restaurant bill and shoving it down the female manager's blouse.
Mug shot of Frederic Sterry Smith (St. Johns County Sheriff Office)

Frederic Sterry Smith, 62, of St. Augustine, Florida, was arrested and charged with simple battery after ripping up his restaurant bill and shoving it down the female manager’s blouse.

According to the Naples Daily News, Smith and his female companion had finished eating at the restaurant when he wrote on the receipt “if he wasn’t gay,” with a zero-dollar tip.

Upon seeing the homophobic message the male server took it to the manager on duty, who went outside to confront Smith.

When asked if he had written the message on his check, Smith said yes. He then grabbed the bill, and ripped it up. He grabbed the manager’s shirt collar, pulled it open and shoved “the torn check down her shirt, touching her breast with his hand,” according to the police report.

Police quickly tracked the man down, and when questioned about the incident Smith reportedly became “verbally abusive and angry,” denying the stunt.

“I can say whatever I want, to whoever I want!” he told the officers. 

His female companion told the police, “We didn’t touch her.”
Apparently, the couple’s denials were not convincing.
Smith was booked into the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office jail on a charge of simple battery, and released on $500 bail.

Fox News reports that Smith “works as a minister and president at Servant’s Heart Disaster Relief, a St. Augustine-based nonprofit and evangelical ministry ‘devoted to helping hurricane victims in North America and the Caribbean.'”

This is a “man of God?”

Video: Pride Flag Vandalized In DC Neighborhood

A man in Washington D.C. was caught on video walking into a resident’s front yard and ripping down a rainbow Pride flag, all while yelling homophobic slurs.

A man in Washington D.C. was caught on video walking into a resident’s front yard and ripping down a rainbow Pride flag, all while yelling homophobic slurs.

The 30-second security camera video shows the man walking down the sidewalk, seemingly talking to himself. In the clip’s audio, he can be heard shouting, “F*gg*t motherf**ker, you f*gg*t flag-flying motherf**ker.”

Clear as day, the man enters the yard, striding right up to the flag and snatching it from its mount.

Continuing to rant, the man attempts to destroy the flag slamming it on the ground before exiting the scene.

Twitter user @mjasonrhoades posted the clip to his account as well as the local D.C. community blog, Popville.

“This happened in broad daylight at our house on Independence at 17th St SE this morning while my wife was walking our dog,” wrote the Twitter user. “People like this should not be on our streets.”

The Washington Blade reports that D.C. police have seen the video but haven’t been able to contact the resident.

“We saw the Popville post as well and have attempted to make contact with and have the property owner make a report,” said D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit. “They were encouraged to contact the LGBT Liaison Unit Duty Phone or call 911.”

“We stand ready to respond, investigate, and provide support,” added Parson.

Watch the report from the Washington NBC News affiliate below.

Extremist-Right Christian Group Launches New Crowd-Funding Campaign For Homophobic Rugby Player

Enter the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), a Christian extremist political lobbying group, who have now set up a new fundraiser on its website with the same goal of $3 million on Folau’s behalf, kicking in the first $100,000 themselves.
Homophobic rugby player Israel Folau

Yesterday, I reported on homophobic Australian rugby player Israel Folau, whose hateful, anti-LGBTQ social media posts resulted in his being stripped of his multi-million dollar contract with Rugby Australia.

Looking to sue the sports organization, Folau launched a crowd-funding campaign via GoFundMe hoping to raise AUS$3 million.

But GoFundMe shut down the campaign citing terms of service violations and writing in a statement that, “We do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

Enter the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), a Christian extremist political lobbying group, who have now set up a new fundraiser on its website with the same goal of $3 million on Folau’s behalf, kicking in the first $100,000 themselves.

Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on Apr 10, 2019 at 1:18am PDT

As of this writing, ACL has banked over $1.5 million in just a day.

“There is an outpouring of support for Israel Folau from the Australian community, who see Israel’s case as their case,” said ACL managing director, Martyn Iles. “They feel the pinch of political correctness, and the erosion of their basic freedoms.”

“Folau’s supporters will only be emboldened in their commitment by what has happened,” adds Iles. “They were concerned about their freedoms, and GoFundMe has yet again reminded them that their concerns are real.”

“Israel’s case is our case if we want to live free and embrace our beliefs without fear of being marginalized or discriminated against.”

According to ACL, the new funds will be deposited in a trust for Folau to use only for legal expenses.

As I previously reported, TheAustralian.com says the 30-year-old rugby player is nowhere near the poor house as he owns seven homes located in and around Sydney reported to be worth over $5 million, and drives a $500,000 Lamborghini.

Why does he need his fans to pay his legal fees?
#suckers

“No Dough For You” – Crowdfunding Campaign For Homophobic Rugby Player Shut Down

Israel Folau (cropped image via Flickr/DavidMalloyCC License)

Crowdfunding company GoFundMe has said, “No dough for you!” to sacked homophobic rugby star Israel Folau.

Over the weekend, GoFundMe shut down the crowdfunding campaign launched by Folau to pay for his legal defense citing violations in their terms of service.

“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” said GoFundMe spokesperson Nicola Britton in a statement. “While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

Britton noted that GoFundMe would be refunding all donations made to Folau’s campaign.

The campaign had raised AUS$700,000 before being terminated.

The former full-back had set a goal of AUS$3 million as he prepares to sue Rugby Australia for stripping him of his four-year contract reported to be worth AUS$5 million.

The action was a result of homophobic social media posts. Folau is a fundamentalist Christian, and on April 10 he posted a graphic on his Instagram telling homosexuals (among other people) “Hell Awaits You.”

Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on Apr 10, 2019 at 1:18am PDT

After his contract was terminated, he challenged the decision and asked for a ‘code of conduct’ panel to decide.

“Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation,” said Rugby Australia at the time.

“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport,” the statement continued. “We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the former rugby star has filed a complaint with Australia’s Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and Waratahs Rugby Pty Ltd. saying “his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religion.”

He is reportedly looking for AUS$10 million in damages.

Rugby Australia responded saying, “He was bound by a code of conduct for all professional player in Australia that spells out clear guidelines and obligations regarding player behavior, including respectful use of social media.”

After the crowdfunding campaign was shut down, Folau’s former teammate Drew Mitchell tweeted, “YOU are in fight that YOU chose to be in after YOU broke the terms of YOUR contract, the kids below are in a fight they NEVER wanted to be in & yet YOU think YOU deserve donations more than they do???!!”

Mitchell added, “It’s not longer about religion, it’s about YOU and YOUR greed.”

According to TheAustralian.com, Folau owns 8 homes worth over $5 million.

He also apparently owns a $500k Lamborghini. So, why can’t he pay his own legal bills.

Mitchell may be right on that point – “greed.”