Donald Trump has announced his choice for Secretary of Education and it’s anti-gay marriage, Amway billionaire Betsy DeVos of Michigan.
In addition to the Amway fortune, the DeVos family also owns the Orlando Magic.
She becomes the second woman to join Donald Trump’s cabinet.
DeVos, a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, is well known for her support for charter schools and vouchers.
She and her husband, Dick DeVos, are mega-donors to the Michigan Republican party and well-known for their generous donations to GOP officials and candidates.
In 2012, ABC News ran a story on the DeVos which included the fact that they donated $500,000 to the virulently anti-LGBT organization, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
Additionally, DeVos and her husband donated $200,000 to Michigan’s ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.
In other words, they REALLY don’t like the gays.
In response to that donation, LGBT activists called for a boycott of health and beauty company Amway, which is owned by DeVos’ father.
GLSEN issued this statement regarding the news:
“We are deeply concerned by the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education. GLSEN is committed to the principle that all students have a right to high-quality public education free from discrimination. DeVos’s record of advocacy for vouchers and tuition tax credits represents a rejection of that principle. We have seen time and time again that so-called “school choice” undercuts civil-rights enforcement and drains public education systems of desperately needed funds. True educational equity requires schools that serve the most at-risk students, including students of color; students with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) students; and English-language learners. Vouchers and tuition tax credits do not advance this cause.
“As we have seen over the past eight years, federal civil rights oversight of education is essential to ensure that all students in this country have real access to opportunity. There is so much to be celebrated in the civil rights gains made during the Obama Administration. As a nation, we must build on that legacy. Over the years, people of good will across the political spectrum have been able to come together to promote the success of all students, and we call upon DeVos to join us in moving forward.”
And this from the National Education Association, the country’s largest education labor union with 3 million members:
Every day, educators use their voice to advocate for every student to reach his or her full potential. We believe that the chance for the success of a child should not depend on winning a charter lottery, being accepted by a private school, or living in the right ZIP code. We have, and will continue, to fight for all students to have a great public school in their community and the opportunity to succeed no matter their backgrounds or circumstances.
Betsy DeVos has consistently worked against these values, and her efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education. By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.
But remember, Trump is going to be a “good friend” to the LGBT community.