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Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer Side with Bryan Fischer on Romney's Openly Gay Staffer

While some columnists like to believe that it is only people on the “far fringes of the evangelical right” who oppose the Romney campaign’s hiring of an openly gay staffer, now two major Religious Right figures have joined the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer in denouncing openly gay foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell’s employment in the Romney campaign.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in his Washington Update stated that “there is strong evidence that Grenell would lobby” in favor of the pro-LGBT rights stance of President Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Romney himself is an opponent of LGBT equality, Perkins said that Grenell’s hiring is troubling for conservatives:

Most conservatives have been anxious to see how the Romney campaign would react now that the strongest social conservative, Sen. Rick Santorum, is out of the race. Would the Governor try to fill the void left on values issues or would he stick to his more moderate approach? Some people believe that question was answered last week with the selection of Richard Grenell as Mitt Romney's foreign policy spokesman. Grenell, who served in President Bush's administration, specialized in the U.N., but the areas where he disagreed with his old boss are what concern conservatives most.

Grenell, who has been very open about his homosexual lifestyle, publicly condemned the Bush administration (shortly after leaving it) for opposing a U.N. resolution urging the full acceptance of homosexuality. While Bush (like nearly two thirds of the U.N. member states) refused to endorse the measure endorsing homosexuality, President Obama signed it shortly after taking office. Since then, his State Department, under the direction of Hillary Clinton, has tossed aside the cultural and religious beliefs of other countries to promote homosexuality as a basic human right, while downgrading the importance of religious liberty. Clearly, the strategy is for the State Department to force these policies (which most U.S. states reject) on the international stage and then build pressure on the U.S. to adopt measures like Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and same-sex "marriage."

In a recent column for the Washington Blade, Grenell hinted at where he falls on the marriage issue when he criticized gay and lesbian Democrats for supporting President Obama despite the fact that he hasn't done enough to redefine marriage. Still others point to Grenell's long-time partner and his desire to tie the knot, "It's not an option for us... but hopefully someday soon it will be." While past performance is not a guarantee of future results, there is strong evidence that Grenell would lobby for foreign policy more in line with the current administration than the last Republican one.

Gary Bauer, in his daily email to Campaign for Working Families members, called the hire an “unforced error” and a “disappointment.” Bauer said he is not upset that Grenell is gay but is angry that he wants to marry his longtime partner, claiming that it would only be acceptable if Grenell would oppose his own right to marry:

Unforced Error, Governor

While Governor Mitt Romney is clearly enjoying a bounce in the polls and a boost in momentum, his campaign still has some work to do when it comes to reassuring the conservative base and values voters. That's why his appointment of Richard Grenell, who worked in the Bush Administration, to be his spokesman on national security issues was a disappointment to many conservatives.

I share their disappointment not because Grenell is gay. He is not weak on defense. In fact, former Ambassador John Bolton is defending Grenell today. Conservative pro-family leaders are disappointed because Grenell has been an outspoken advocate of redefining normal marriage. For the overwhelmingly majority of folks who support Governor Romney that issue is starkly clear -- marriage is the union of one and one woman. But Grenell once caused a controversy by trying to have his partner listed as his spouse when he worked at the U.N.

Thankfully, Grenell is not going to be making policy on domestic issues. But his appointment was disappointing because it comes at a time when the Romney campaign should be reaching out to the conservative base. Instead, this appointment seems like a slap at the base.

Moreover, Grenell is known for having an acerbic personality, and critics have described his comments in social media as being "catty." He may be competent, but he is creating controversies on multiple fronts where the Romney campaign can least afford them.

That said, we should not exaggerate this. Homosexuals were part of the Reagan Administration and the Bush Administrations. Our concern is policy. One of the ways Governor Romney can reassure values voters is to make more statements in his speeches that speak to their concerns about the sanctity of life, the meaning of marriage and the importance of faith and family.

Pointing this out does not hurt Mitt Romney. I am making this observation precisely because it is so important that he defeat Barack Obama. There is no path to victory for a Republican presidential candidate that does not involve massive turnout by pro-family voters. The only way Mitt Romney will end up with a majority on Election Day -- and I will do everything I can to make sure that happens -- is to unite economic, defense and social conservatives behind his candidacy.

Dolores Huerta: My Message to the National Organization for Marriage

 

By Dolores Huerta

I am a proud Latina and a proud supporter of LGBT rights.

The National Organization for Marriage seems to think I can’t be both.
In a 2009 strategy document that was made public last month, NOM outlines a “wedge” strategy to drive black and Latino Americans away from supporting gay rights. About Latinos, NOM writes, “Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We can interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity.”

There are many great values that can be put forward as “key badges of Latino identity.” Opposition to gay rights should not be one of them. In fact, if NOM wants to keep Latinos from embracing LGBT equality, they’re already falling behind. A poll late last year found that a majority of Latinos – like a majority of all Americans – support legal recognition of same-sex unions. Opposition to LGBT rights is no more a hallmark of Latino culture than it is of American culture as a whole.

This is the deep cynicism of NOM and other groups that devote themselves to stopping equality for gay and lesbian Americans. They will attempt to exploit and inflame existing prejudices and fears in order to reach the ends they desire. They forget that the people they attempt to exploit have our own thoughts, opinions and experiences. We have our own relationships with God. We have gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and family members. And we know when we’re being used. Nom should learn what Latinos live by, the words of the great Mexican President Benito Juarez, “Respecting the rights of others is Peace.”

NOM’s attempt to stir up mutual resentment between African Americans, Latinos and the gay community echoes some of the most destructive politics of our past. That they are resorting to this kind of dangerous and divisive tactic shows just how desperate the anti-gay movement has become.

NOM’s mistake is to think that our cultural identity is a definition of who we are not and whom we are against. But of course, our identities are definitions of who we are and what we love. Latinos across America are embracing equal rights for our gay and lesbian friends and family. Those of us who support LGBT equality haven’t abandoned our Latino identity. We’re embracing the values that define who we are as individuals, as Latinos and as Americans.

Dolores Huerta is a member of the board of People For the American Way.

PFAW

PFAW Supports the U.S. Justice Department in Arizona v. United States

This morning, the Supreme Court heard the oral arguments of Arizona v. United States, a case that will examine key provisions of Arizona’s infamous and draconian immigration law, SB 1070. If implemented, the law, colloquially known as the ‘show me your papers bill,’ would lead to the unjust targeting of Arizonans through racial profiling and increased jail sentencing.

Because of SB 1070’s blatant assault on civil liberties, much of the nation was shocked by its passage. The United States challenged it in court, arguing that the state was unconstitutionally encroaching on the federal government’s responsibility for immigration law. Four sections of the bill were blocked by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of Phoenix on July 28, 2010. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld Bolton’s ruling, and after Arizona appealed that decision, the case arrived at the Supreme Court, which has chosen to address yet another politically polarizing issue in this critical election year. Although the threat to the basic rights of people – both citizens and immigrants – is the subject of significant concern, the legal issue before the Supreme Court today addresses whether Arizona’s effort to make life so miserable for immigrants that they leave the state is preempted by federal law.

Below is an analysis of the legislation that People For the American Way published when participating in a statewide boycott of Arizona following the passage of the legislation nearly two years ago.

Question: How does the Arizona law, S.B. 1070, expand racial profiling? Isn't it focused only on migrant workers?

Answer: Under current law, state-local police are authorized to enforce federal immigration laws only in limited circumstances. Even so, law enforcement in Arizona and across the country already is challenged by substantial evidence of wrongful arrests, racial profiling, and discrimination. The new law would dramatically expand the problem. Specifically, the new law:

• Increases the scope of those enforcing immigration laws from a few police departments, or units within departments, to every single law enforcement officer in the entire state.

• Expands the population at risk of being stopped, arrested, and detained from a limited number – those targeted by bona fide immigration enforcement operations, or those already in police custody – to everyone who comes into contact with a law enforcement officer who has a "reasonable suspicion" someone may be undocumented.

• Virtually guarantees that Latinos and other minorities will be asked to provide proof of legal residency, and be subject to arrest and detention if they cannot do so, at far higher rates than non-minorities. Research on racial profiling shows that, not only do minority drivers experience more traffic stops than non-minority drivers, once stopped, minorities are subject to higher rates of searches, arrests, and formal charges than similarly-situated non-minority drivers.

• Provides powerful incentives for wrongful arrests, racial profiling, and other abuse by creating a private right of action against any agency that fails to uphold the new law's provisions, while at the same time indemnifying police officers from litigation brought by those who are wrongfully detained or racially profiled.

Demonstrations in support of the U.S. Justice Department took place this morning, and PFAW staff were able to attend in solidarity.

End Note: Another controversial aspect of SB 1070 is the role that ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, played in adopting the bill as model legislation and pushing it in states across the country. For an analysis of the ALEC connection and SB 1070, please read our report on ALEC in Arizona released in November 2011, “ALEC IN ARIZONA: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona's Legislature” and the Center for Media and Democracy’s blog post on the issue.

PFAW

John Hagee Claims Saudis are 'Poisoning the Minds of America's Young People' by financing 'Secular Universities'

Televangelist John Hagee stopped by WallBuilders Live today where the preacher and conservative activist told hosts David Barton and Rick Green that universities are “poisoning the minds of America’s young people” as a result of Saudi financing of “anti-American” professors. He went on to claim that the US is facing decline because of prohibitions on public school-organized prayer and legal abortion as America “in the ’60s turned our back on the very foundations of spiritual and moral greatness that established this nation and we have been going downhill ever since”:

Hagee: The American people simply do not realize that whenever they pull up to the gas pump and pay, what they’re paying, that much of their money is going straight to Saudi Arabia who’s sending it back to our universities and to interests here who are building mosques and who are sponsoring professors at America’s universities who are anti-American and anti-Israel and who are poisoning the minds of America’s young people at secular universities about the exceptionalism of America, about our destiny as a great people and about our future.



All people need to do is sit down and consider how far we have fallen in the last forty or fifty years. For instance, in 1948 the first initiatives were made called separation of church and state and then in 1960 came the edict that you cannot pray in school, and we thought that would never happen, but it has happened. We now have federal judges threatening to send children who pray at graduations to jail and then came the abortion issue, oh that will not happen, but it did happen, now we have the systematic state supported murder of 4,000 children every day in America’s abortion mills. We in the ’60s turned our back on the very foundations of spiritual and moral greatness that established this nation and we have been going downhill ever since. Now we are opening our society to the concept that Jehovah God is one of many Gods and I assure you the word of God says ‘if you deny me before men I will deny you before my Father.’ ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’ there is one God, he’s Jehovah God, the God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob, and there is no other.

Victim of James O’Keefe’s Voter Fraud Isn’t Buying It

In early April, after she went to cast her ballot in Washington, DC, NBC Latino contributor Alicia Menendez found out that someone else had also tried to cast a ballot in her name. The perpetrator was an ally of right-wing activist James O’Keefe, who has been traveling the country trying to trick Americans into thinking widespread voter identity fraud exists by committing it himself.
Menendez writes that the attempted fraud felt like a personal “violation.” But she’s not buying O’Keefe’s scare tactics:

So why are O’Keefe & company pushing a solution in search of a problem? In 2008, a wave of inspired first-time voters flocked to the polls. That level of participation and infusion of enthusiasm is good for our democracy, regardless of how those Americans vote. But some people couldn’t abide the candidates the voters chose, and so they are trying desperately to keep a similar surge of new voters from voting this year.

O’Keefe and the people who fund groups like his want to stop people who traditionally vote against their candidates, almost all Republicans, from voting at all. To do that, they are trying to re-raise the barriers to voting that we tore down in the civil rights era. They are trying to scare us into believing that there is a massive wave of “voter fraud” sweeping the country. I will not be scared into believing their myths and neither should you.

There is something honest here though: they honestly do not understand why more people don’t try to commit voter fraud. That’s because voter suppression fraud — the kind where you keep people who don’t vote your way from voting at all — has been a standard part of their playbook for years.

For more on the “voter fraud” fraud, see People For the American Way’s report, The Right to Vote Under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box.
 

PFAW

Judicial Emergencies Skyrocket

We won't solve the nation's judicial vacancy crisis unless Republicans stop slow-walking qualified nominees.
PFAW

In CNN Appearance, Bryan Fischer Rails Against the 'Homosexual Lobby'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer went on CNN today to debate R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans over the Romney campaigns’ hiring of Richard Grenell, who is openly gay. Fischer, who believes that gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office,” repeated his claims that Grenell’s hiring is an attack on the “pro-family community” because “the homosexual agenda represents the single greatest threat to religious liberty in America today” and is a “big gain for the homosexual lobby.” Later, Fischer and Cooper debated whether sexual orientation is a choice, and Cooper compared Fischer to segregationist George Wallace who will be “left in the dustbin of history”:

Romney is campaigning on a firmly anti-gay agenda, but Fischer won’t be happy until Romney adopts a “straights only” policy for his presidential campaign and eventually the federal government.

Glenn Beck Exposes the 'Scary Left'

Glenn Beck appeared alongside James Robison, Jay Richards and Jim Garlow at Garlow’s Skyline Church in San Diego, California, where he warned that America is like a “child being choked to death” because the “scary left” has been “uncorked” and given “free rein.” While holding up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, he said the left seeks to burn America “down to the ground.” Later in the talk, Beck said that the left wants to eliminate sexual mores to turn people into slaves and have government “rule over us.”

Watch highlights from the panel here:

Lou Engle Prays for 'New Generation' of Religious Right Activists, Rewrites the Lord's Prayer

One of the main concerns addressed during Awakening 2012 was how to outreach to young people and the Hispanic community since the Religious Right’s leadership is largely white and aging. After the passing of Chuck Colson on Saturday, Lou Engle asked God to release “hundreds with the mantle of Chuck Colson” as part of a “new generation” of activists who will be like Elijah in fighting “Jezebel’s death culture” through a “cultural revolution” while praying over a group of young people, mostly homeschoolers, who attended the conference. Towards the end, Engle started reciting the Lord ’s Prayer but changed the last word from “heaven” to “America,” praying: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in America.”

Watch:

Anti-Gay Leaders Call for Prayer Movement to stop 'Homosexual Tornado' coming to 'Destroy America'

At the Awakening 2012’s panel on the “LGBT Agenda,” Lou Engle, who was not a panelist but an audience member, called for Religious Right leaders to launch a “massive concerted prayer movement” to counter the demonic “principalities and powers” behind gay rights activism. Panelists including Rena Lindevaldsen and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, Greg Quinlan of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and former Texas board of education member Cynthia Dunbar jumped over each other in expressing their hope that Engle or another conservative would lead such a movement to stop the “two tornadoes coming to destroy America,” which he said are “the homosexual and abortion tornadoes.”

Engle, who brought The Call prayer rally to Uganda to help rally support for the country’s proposed “kill the gays bill,” lamented that he gets “blasted” over his anti-gay work and is “haunted that God has not opened the door for me to go after this thing.” Lindevaldsen agreed that “we need a prayer movement because a spiritual battle is at the root of this.”

It seems that Engle’s first prayer initiative, StoneWall Now, a “nation wide prayer movement” to “stand in the gap crying to God to restrain the homosexual ideology” isn’t going so well as its website is offline.

Watch:

Engle: I think we need a massive, concerted prayer movement to deal with principalities and powers and pray that God would release laborers into the harvest field.

Barber: If there is anybody in the room who is adept that leading that ...

Dunbar: You’ve got that in your heart, with your spirit, and we’re with you.

Quinlan: We need that.

Barber: Did you volunteer yourself, Lou?

Engle: In 2006, we did 50 days and 50 nights of intercession of seven young people, we were given a dream of two tornadoes coming to destroy America and they were the homosexual and abortion tornadoes. In the dream I was given a sight to raise up intercession to confront those tornadoes.

Quinlan: Please.

Engle: And Bound4Life was raised up but I'm haunted that God has not opened the door for me to go after this thing, I’ve tried, I’ve gotten blasted.

Barber: It’s time.

Engle: I don’t know how to do it but I am crying out to God for an answer.

Lindevaldsen: Meet with us afterwards ... we need a prayer movement because a spiritual battle is at the root of this.

Concerned Women for America Urges Congress to Block the Violence Against Women Act

The far-right group Concerned Women for America has continued its campaign against the Violence Against Women Act, calling it “a boondoggle for feminists” and alleging that it supports the “homosexual agenda” by ensuring that LGBT victims aren’t turned away from shelters. Republicans in Congress have been working to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, even though the law has been a success in helping spouses report domestic abuse and incidences of domestic violence have been on the decline since it was signed into law. The group said in an email:

It is astounding that the left's "war on woman" has some senators afraid to oppose a bad bill simply because it's titled, "The Violence Against Women Act."

This legislation, which is normally a boondoggle for feminists groups, has become even more political this Congress. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), S. 1925, creates new protections for homosexuals. In order to receive federal grants, domestic violence organizations have to agree to embrace the homosexual agenda. It also expands categories of who is eligible to receive services.

These broad definitions actually squander the resources for victims of actual violence by failing to properly prioritize and assess victims. According to Dr. Janice Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, VAWA currently does not address the 30 items on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of risk factors for intimate partner violence. Further broadening programs dilutes precious help and resources even more.

The Violence Against Women Act spends over $400 million each year. According to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), VAWA fails to ensure that the money being spent is not wasted on ineffective programs. He said that random audits by the Inspector General found repeated irregularities and misconduct, including unauthorized and unallowable expenses in 21 of 22 grants.

Klingenschmitt Says 'Sick and Perverse' Student Non-Discrimination Act will Legalize 'Sexual Assault'

After President Obama announced his support for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, Gordon Klingenschmitt went back on the attack against the anti-bullying bill, in an email message warning that the “sick and perverse” legislation will “give homosexuals and perverts protected status,” “mandate pro-homosexual recruiting of kids in public schools,” promote “child abuse” as “homosexuals will have full control of classrooms” and even allow for harassment and “sexual assault”:

If we lose this fight, then public, private and even religious schools will be forced to accept and teach a pro-homosexual agenda, or face lawsuits. One agenda even encourages students to 'experiment' with homosexuality. Pro-homosexual students will soon harass Christian students, making sexual assault protected as 'freedom of self-expression.'



As sick and perverse as it is to "re-educate" six to twelve year olds to reject their parents' faith, and encourage them to embrace homosexual sin as normal, this is only the beginning of child abuse promoted by Obama's cronies at the Homosexual Rights Campaign.

Not only is Sen. Franken's perverse child-recruiting legislation dangerously close to passage, it now has official public support from President Obama. The White House told the Washington Blade "the president supports the goals of the Student Non-Discrimination Act" [aka Homosexual Classrooms Act] and Mr. Obama boasted: "I hosted the first White House conference on bullying prevention and many in my Administration, including myself and Vice President Biden, participated in the It Gets Better Project that [recruits] young people who are [confused about] their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity."



If we lose the battle to stop S. 555 or H.R. 998, we will lose our kids in all 50 states. Homosexuals will have full control of classrooms, and kids. Let's demand Congress stop Sen. Al Franken in his tracks, right now.

The controversial Senator is also the driving force behind S. 555 and H.R. 998 which would "re-educate" elementary school children in all 50 states to accept homosexual sin as normal, against the teaching of their parents' faith. Both these bills are an attempt to give homosexuals and perverts protected status, and mandate pro-homosexual recruiting of kids in public schools (or else the school loses funding).



This is also true in DC, where Homosexuals are trying to push pro-gay bills on elementary children very quietly and without spotlight or attention. Your petitions to Congress expose their evil, and deny them any stealth ability. YOU shine the light on their dark sinful deeds.

Mat Staver says Day of Silence is a Tool of the 'Radical Homosexual Agenda' to push 'Deviant Lifestyles'

Three days after the Day of Silence, held on Friday, April 20, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel on Freedom’s Call railed against the “radical homosexual agenda” for promoting “homosexuality and other deviant lifestyles” in schools. As we found in our updated report, Big Bullies: The Right-Wing’s Anti-Anti-Bullying Strategies, Liberty Counsel has been at the forefront of opposing efforts to combat bullying and suicide among youth, and Staver today said that the Day of Silence, a day where students remain silent to show solidarity to students facing anti-LGBT bullying and discrimination, is a “dishonest” and “radical” project by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to “use American students as pawns in their attempt to transform our society”:

Staver: The radical Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network staged a so-called Day of Silence in schools across America. The goal was to disrupt the classroom learning environment in order to send a message in favor of the radical homosexual agenda. It is unfortunate that GLSEN would seek to use American students as pawns in their attempt to transform our society. We need to understand that the Day of Silence campaign is not about securing equal rights for anyone, but rather it is a concerted effort to force society to accept the practice of homosexuality and other deviant lifestyles. The facts are homosexual behavior raises some very serious public health concerns, as reported by numerous organizations including the Center for Disease Control. Not only is GLSEN being dishonest concerning the negative effects of homosexuality, they are also attempting to remove any voices that would suggest otherwise. America’s students deserve better.

Tony Perkins Laments that 'Mike and Ike' Are Gay and 'Sexualizing Candy'

As part of a new advertising campaign for the candy, ‘Mike and Ike’ have announced that they are divorcing so Ike can pursue a career in the arts and Mike can fulfill his dream of becoming a “music legend.” Advertisers hope that the “fight” between Mike and Ike can win the candy more attention among consumers, and it already grabbed the attention of Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who is upset that Mike and Ike are a gay couple. Perkins said today on his radio bulletin:

These days, you can't get a sugar high without experiencing a cultural low. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. There's trouble in candy land. After more than 70 years together, Mike & Ike are calling it quits. The duo is staging a gay divorce as part of a new ad campaign to draw in younger customers. In this society, even candy has an agenda! From Facebook to Tumblr, the fruity pair says, "The rumors are true. We just couldn't agree on stuff anymore." Starting this summer, the company will spend $15 million on billboards and TV commercials that poke fun at the breakup. It's just another subtle example of society chipping away at the value of marriage. And I don't know what's more disturbing--that advertisers think divorce appeals to kids or that sexualizing candy will make people buy more. After a year-long build-up, the company will reveal if the couple reconciles. Until then, look for Mike & Ike to have a distinctly liberal flavor.

PFAW Report: The Anti-Gay Lobby’s Pro-Bullying Agenda

As students around the country participated Friday’s “Day of Silence” to show solidarity with bullied LGBT children and teens, anti-gay activists continued to step up their efforts to prevent schools from protecting bullied students.

A new report from People For the American Way details the efforts of right-wing activists and organizations to prevent school districts from implementing strong anti-bullying policies that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived students.

The full report can be found online at: http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/updated-big-bullies-right-wings-anti-anti-bullying-strategies

“It’s no secret that anti-gay bullying is a growing problem in our schools,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Yet anti-gay activists are determined to keep parents, teachers and administrators from confronting the problem.

“It's almost unbelievable that there are organizations dedicated to opposing anti-bullying programs, but they're out there and stronger than ever. These groups are so determined to fight every step of progress for LGBT rights that they’re willing to hurt children and teens in the process. That’s just shameful.”

The new report supplements a PFAW investigation released last year, updating it with the latest activities of the anti-anti-bullying movement, including:

  • The Tennessee legislature moved forward on a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality.
  • Anti-gay groups fought anti-bullying measures in states across the country, including Arizona, Minnesota and West Virginia.
  • Prominent Religious Right groups rallied against the Day of Silence: the Family Research Council called it “a cover for the promotion of homosexuality,” the American Family Association accused it of “hijacking of the classroom for political purposes,” and Focus on the Family said it was all about “indoctrination.”
  • Several anti-gay activists blamed the gay rights movement for the suicides of LGBT teens.
  • Anti-gay groups attacked positive portrayals of LGBT teens in the show “Glee,” accusing the show of “radical homosexual promotion,” “deviant sexuality” and “demonic manipulation.”

Click here to read the full report.

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UPDATED! Big Bullies: The Right Wing's Anti- Anti-Bullying Strategies

An update to last year's report detailing the Religious Right’s anti-anti-bullying efforts. After the Religious Right's obstinate resistance to common-sense measures against bullying stunned even some conservatives, many of these groups are now proposing their own "remedies" — remedies that would ultimately weaken endeavors to prevent bullying.

The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

Recent polling indicates the vast majority of Americans believe that corporations and special interests have too much sway in our elections – a whopping 85 % of voters said that corporations have too much influence over the political system, and 93% said that average citizens have too little. Across all parties, a full 62% specifically oppose Citizens United, the deeply flawed 2010 Supreme Court Decision that opened the floodgates to massive corporate and special interest spending in our elections.

This deep disapproval is manifest in the growing grassroots movement taking hold across the country fighting for a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision. While there’s a long way to go, the people represented in these polls are making their voice heard, and our elected officials are taking action.

The 89 members of Congress who have endorsed one of the 13 federal resolutions to overturn Citizens United introduced thus far during the 112th Congress are acting on this sentiment. These proposed amendments are diverse, and are reflective of the robust and serious debate Americans are having across the country on what constitutional approach would best solve the problem. In addition, as significant is the groundswell of support at the local and state level that far transcends this total. To name just a few, the City Councils of New York City, NY, Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Albany, NY, Missoula, MT, and Boulder, CO have all adopted their own resolutions, as have the legislatures of states like Hawaii, New Mexico and Vermont (and in Maryland, where the state Constitution does not permit the passage of non-binding resolutions, a majority of legislators in both houses have signed a letter calling for a constitutional amendment). When given the chance to vote directly, the citizens of 64 towns across the state of Vermont have passed ballot measures supporting a constitutional amendment.

So far, 91 million Americans are represented by public officials who have declared their support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. 24 Senators, representing 75 million constituents, have sponsored or cosponsored a version of an amendment. Across the Capitol, 65 members of the House of Representatives, representing an additional 16 million people.

Progress is being made, but there’s still more work to do to fill these maps with dark shades of yellow and green. But this is a “movement moment” – and with the ever-increasing support of public officials, advocacy organizations and citizen activists, it can be done.

PFAW

Sessions Objects to Judicial Nominee Who Called Kagan ‘Qualified’

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Maine attorney William Kayatta Jr. to sit on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Only two committee members voted against allowing Kayatta a vote from the full Senate: Utah’s Mike Lee, who is still protesting all Obama nominees, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who gave the following reason, according to the Portland Press Herald:

In a statement on his opposition to Kayatta's nomination, Sessions cited Kayatta's role as lead evaluator for the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary during the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

Sessions said Kayatta saw fit to give Kagen the highest rating despite her lack of substantial courtroom and trial experience, as a lawyer or trial judge. Sessions said the rating was "not only unsupported by the record, but, in my opinion, the product of political bias."

Yes, that’s right. Kayatta was involved in the American Bar Association’s nonpartisan rating process, which dared to call the solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean “well qualified” for the job of Supreme Court Justice.

Sessions, one of the most outspoken opponents of Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination frequently slammed her lack of judicial experience in her confirmation hearings two years ago. He seemed to conveniently forget that the late conservative icon Chief Justice William Rehnquist also came to the High Court without having previously served as a judge – as have over one third of all Justices in U.S. history. The American Bar Association similarly found Rehnquist qualified for the job and called him “one of the best persons available for appointment to the Supreme Court [pdf].

It would be funny if it weren’t so appalling: Sessions’ grudge against Kagan runs so deep that he not only objected to her nomination, he’s objecting to anyone who who’s dared to call her qualified for her job.

PFAW
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