California

New documentary revisits the climate change we all should want

It was February 12, 2008. 15-year-old Lawrence “Larry” King, who had begun openly exploring a female expression of his gender identity, and 14-year-old Brandon McInerney were in a computer lab at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California. With the flash of two gunshots, Larry was off to the hospital, fighting for his life in a battle that he would soon lose; and Brandon was under arrest, later tried as an adult and sentenced to 21 years. Never would their teacher and their classmates be the same.
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Schlafly Objects To LA Schools iPad Program Because It Might Benefit Children Of Immigrants

Phyllis Schlafly is livid about the Los Angeles Unified School District's decision to launch a program last month to put iPads in the hands of every student in the school district. The Los Angeles Times explains that the effort is intended to “put a school district composed mostly of low-income, minority students on an even footing with more prosperous students, who have such devices at home, at school or both.” The program was temporarily halted this week after enterprising students at one test school promptly figured out how to hack the iPads for personal use – but that’s not what concerns Schlafly.

Instead, in her Eagle Forum radio commentary today, Schlafly frets that the “fancy electronics” might be used to educate the children of undocumented immigrants…or any student learning English as a second language:

The superintendent says his goal is to “close the technology gap” for the many low-income students in the district, but technology doesn’t seem to be the central problem. Los Angeles Unified is a very depressed school district, regardless of how much technology students do or do not have. It continually has some of California’s lowest test scores, and almost 1/3 of its students do not finish high school. (Throughout the rest of the state, only 13% of students don’t make it to graduation.) The waste of money on fancy electronics seems even more egregious when we consider what a terrible job Los Angeles Unified currently does educating its students.

To add insult to injury, many of the students who will be receiving a taxpayer-funded iPad aren’t even supposed to be in the United States. Los Angeles has one of the highest illegal alien populations in the U.S. Almost 400,000 illegal aliens live in this district. Almost a third of its students are classified as “English learners.”

You may want to keep these kinds of frivolous expenses in mind next time your own school district asks for a tax increase. In the district I live in, the school board is asking for a tax increase almost every year.

PFAW Releases New Toolkit on Getting Money Out and Voters In to Our Democracy

We believe in a democratic system where all Americans have equal access to the voting booth and can express their views on a level playing field.
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Money Out, Voters In: A Guide to Democratic Reform

Americans today face twin threats to the integrity of our democracy: unlimited spending to influence elections and voter suppression. Find out what you can do.

Group Seeks To Overturn California's Protections For LGBT Students In Case Someone Thinks They're Christie Brinkley

Religious Right activists really don’t seem to know what it means to be transgender, and we can count the California-based advocate leading the charge to repeal California’s new law protecting LGBT students among them. Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute appeared yesterday on VCY America’s flagship radio program Crosstalk where she argued that the law will have a devastating impact on children and that parents should pull their kids out of public schools.

Her group, which launched a campaign to overturn the law, calls the non-discrimination provision an attempt by LGBT rights organizations “to use school children as a weapon in waging their culture war.”

“This word, gender identity or gender expression, it means expressing your gender whatever you feel that day,” England told VCY America host Jim Schneider. “If I feel like Christie Brinkley, the law is supposed to treat me like I’m Christie Brinkley even though I’m not. That’s what they are doing.”

Jesse Lee Peterson: Pull Kids Out of California Schools to Protest Transgender Students

Jesse Lee Peterson is calling on California parents to withdraw their “normal children” from public schools to protest a new education law protecting the rights of transgender students. Peterson, a California-based Tea Party and anti-immigrant activist, says in a press release today that “decent parents” should “boycott and pull their kids out” of school so they do “not have to endure this type of confusion and psychological trauma” and “indoctrination.”

“This is an outrage and an attack on the conscience of impressionable children and their parents,” said Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND (Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny). “Parents who have the misfortune of having their kids in California public schools should boycott and pull their kids out. Normal children should not have to endure this type of confusion and psychological trauma.”



“Shame of Jerry Brown and California Democrats!” said Rev. Peterson. “AB 1266 will not stop bullying. It will subject these transgender students to more ridicule in locker rooms and bring on lawsuits. Governor Brown signed this bill on the first day of school knowing that decent parents who object to this type of indoctrination would be left with few options. It’s time to stop social experimenting on children—and it’s time to exit failing public schools!”

Jesse Lee Peterson: The Civil Rights Act Didn't Do Enough To Protect White People

African-American conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson has become a darling of the Tea Party, most recently serving as a featured speaker at an anti-immigrant rally in DC last month. Peterson offers up far-right commentary on issues from gay marriage to immigration, but his specialty is insisting to mostly-white crowds that racism against people of color no longer exists and that African Americans in general, and President Obama in particular, are the real racists.

In a long interview with the Los Angeles Times today, Peterson goes into detail about what he sees as the scourge of “black racism,” kicking off the conversation by insisting “most black Americans are suffering not because of racism but lack of moral character” and going from there.

The problem with the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Peterson tells the Times, is that it didn’t “protect white folks” against “black racism”: “If they had just changed it so the same laws that protected white folks would protect black people and left us alone, things would be much better today.”

“Not all but most black people are so racist toward white people,” he added.

Asked about racist attacks on President Obama – like images of the president growing watermelons on the White House lawn  — Peterson replied, “If they're just doing it to have some fun, I don't see anything wrong with it….It's known that — not all — but black people love watermelons. It's not a put-down. “

Growing up you worked the same land where your ancestors were once enslaved. Didn't you experience racism there?

I did — colored-only signs, white-only signs. In the movie theater, blacks had to sit in the balcony. I was fine with that because we had a better view! I saw they were wrong, but we were taught not to hate. And we knew white people who weren't doing those things.

Now, not all but most black people are so racist toward white people. And white Americans are afraid if they say the wrong thing, they'll be accused of being racist.

The founding documents of this country didn't consider you or me to be fully legal beings.

At one point there was definitely racism from white America, but that started to change over the last 40 or 50 years. White people realized, yeah, this did exist, we're sorry, we're going to [institute] stuff to help blacks get themselves together. They passed laws against white racism, but the problem is they have not had an honest dialogue about black racism.

Wasn't the Civil Rights Act the right thing to do?

If they had just changed it so the same laws that protected white folks would protect black people and left us alone, things would be much better today. Change the law, then get out of the way of people coming together.

What do you think of President Obama?

I think he's the worst thing to ever happen to this country. He doesn't care about black people. He's selling them out for Hispanic votes. He cares more about homosexuals than he does about blacks. In healthcare and education — illegals have overpopulated public schools in South Central, and blacks are feeling pushed aside. They voted for Obama thinking he would be for them, and he's not.

The Internet is full of stuff about Obama growing watermelons on the White House lawn, or Michelle Obama posing for National Geographic. Isn't that racist?

It depends on the heart of the person doing it. If they're just doing it to have some fun, I don't see anything wrong with it. They did the same thing to Bush.

They didn't make fun of him because of his race.

They aren't making fun of Barack for being black either. It's known that — not all — but black people love watermelons. It's not a put-down. [Although] I'm sure you can find racists like the KKK who hate black people and will use something like that.

Elsewhere in the interview, Peterson addresses marriage equality (“Homosexuality is not about love or family or civil rights; it's about sex”) and his efforts at reparative therapy (“If they were to forgive their parents, then God will forgive them and remove that identity from them and they will be free”).

You endorse marriage. Gays have fought for marriage.

Same-sex marriage doesn't exist; there's no such thing in God's eyes. So-called same-sex marriage would destabilize society. Homosexuality is not about love or family or civil rights; it's about sex.

What do you say to gay people you counsel?

I tell them they were not born that way, that a spirit has made a home inside of them that came from some sort of trauma — maybe they were molested at an early age or had angry parents — and that if they were to forgive their parents, then God will forgive them and remove that identity from them and they will be free.

Dacus: 'Hideous' Transgender Students Law Will Leave 'Many Casualties'

Outraged by California’s new law protecting transgender students, the Pacific Justice Institute has launched a campaign called “Gender Insanity: The Next Attack On Your Family.”

The California-based Religious Right group’s head Brad Dacus spoke to Jim Schneider of VCY America yesterday on Crosstalk, where he described their campaign against the “hideous, unbelievable [and] unthinkable” education law, which he says “turns the concept of decency, respect and privacy on its head.”

Later in the program, Dacus said there will be “many casualties,” including “mental, emotional and psychiatric casualties.” “A lot of young, very fragile, emotionally fragile boys and girls are going to be paying the price for the rest of their lives,” Dacus continued, attacking LGBT rights advocates for “putting [children’s] welfare second to their political agenda.”

Jennifer Roback Morse: Hollywood to Blame for Gay Marriage Decisions

Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage knows who to blame for yesterday’s marriage equality victories in the Supreme Court: Hollywood. Roback Morse, the campaign spokesperson for Proposition 8 in California, discussed the marriage equality decisions on today’s Sandy Rios in the Morning. She blamed Hollywood for the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying that Hollywood is “dominated by all aspects of the sexual revolution.”

Morse also blamed television for American’s “distorted view” of how many gay people there are in the country. “They’re only about 2% of the population,” she claimed. “But if you watch TV all day, you’ll think it’s 30 or 40% of the population’s gay.”

Morse urged anti-gay activists “to go down fighting” and suggested that the freedom of speech is at stake: “You need to speak out while you still can because these guys are closing in on us in all kinds of dimensions.” According to Morse, gay rights advocates believe “the sexual revolution is the highest objective and will bend the rule of law and bend the Constitution” in order to realize their goals.

PFAW Foundation Applauds Wins at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court's rulings in the marriage cases mark an important victory for all Americans who value the principle of equal justice under law.

“Fix Our America” Takes Off in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, California, a group of specialists in media, advertising and entertainment, joined by business people, lawyers, and civic activists have founded an organization that is running advertisements based solely on the need to amend the Constitution to fix our political campaign finance system.  The group, Fix Our America, has begun the process of running the following advertisement on airwaves in California, and is seeking to run more ads in other media markets across the country:

These advertisements are boosting the amendment dialogue in California, a state that has witnessed much grassroots amendment activity yet is still in need of deep reform.  Just days ago, Los Angeles voters approved Ballot Measure C, which called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, with 77% of the vote; last year, the California state legislature passed an amendment resolution “to restore constitutional rights and fair elections to the people”; and since the Citizens United decision came down in January 2010, over 75 California municipalities have called on Congress and the states to pass and ratify an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

California does not stand alone.  The amendment movement is well underway and gaining momentum in states across the country.  Fix Our America is yet another example of the American people joining together in protest of the fundamental threat that corporate and special interest campaign spending poses to our democratic institutions.  In the words of Fix Our America’s Declaration of Principles Statement, “Americans deserve the best. Instead, we have been saddled with a system that … leaves all of us at the mercy of those who buy legislation and policy to suit their narrow interests.”  The time has come to fix that.
 

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Staver Warns of Back-Alley Ex-Gay Therapy; Huckabee Wonders About Gay People Deciding To Be Straight

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver has been spearheading efforts to strike down a California law barring ex-gay therapy for minors. Today, he chatted with Mike Huckabee about Liberty Counsel’s case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Staver warned that if the law stands, minors will be forced to turn to harmful, back-alley ex-gay therapy rather than to “licensed professionals.” Huckabee compared this to having an untrained person trying to set a broken leg.

Of course, Staver and Huckabee both support personhood laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases and dramatically increase cases of unsafe, back-alley abortions.

Staver: They make the premise that this counseling is harmful, it’s harmful if it’s engaged in, they say, by licensed professionals that have training and education. Well guess what? If this law passes and it goes into effect and the court doesn’t stop it, then if it’s harmful to have this by licensed professionals, what’s the next step? It’s even more harmful to have it done by people who are not licensed or trained, but that’s where it’s going.

Huckabee: It’s almost like saying that if you set a broken leg as a medical doctor and you don’t do it a certain way, you’re in trouble. Obviously, if you’re not even a medical doctor, I think you’d clearly be clearly under a greater level of trouble, that’s the point you’re making.

Later, Staver made the case that survivors of child abuse would not be able to receive counseling under the law and described the law as “dangerous.” Huckabee, meanwhile, wondered about the plight of a young gay man who “decided” to be heterosexual.

Staver: If this client comes in and the parents say he was molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky and abused, now after that several months later he started to have these acting out behaviors and he doesn’t like it, nor do we, can you help him? The counselor would have to say, ‘I can’t, you’re going to have to just accept that, that’s who you are, that’s natural and normal, I can’t give you counsel to ultimately help you eliminate those kinds of attempts that you want to act out, the kind of behavior that you were abused by.’ This is just an absurd situation; it is politically motivated.

Huckabee: I mean this really is the courts stepping in and telling the clinical practitioner the limits of his or her practice to a level that would seem unprecedented. Mat, let me pose a question, let’s say a young person comes in and says, ‘you know I’ve always believed I’m homosexual, believed that since I was seven-years-old, but now that I’m seventeen, I’ve decided that I’m not, I’m heterosexual’ and goes to a pro-homosexual counselor. Would that person be at risk? It looks like some of those folks would be nervous that they couldn’t say, ‘oh no, no you are homosexual all right because you thought that when you were seven and therefore you have to stay that way.’

Staver: The interesting thing the way the law is essentially written is if you are trying to give them counsel, even for somebody who say for example they say they’re bisexual, they’re attracted to both sexes, if you are trying to counsel them to primarily be heterosexual as opposed to homosexual that would be a clear violation. If you are trying to move them away, however, from heterosexuality to bisexuality, transexuality, asexuality, whatever sexuality you come up with, questioning, confused, then that is personally fine as long as you affirm them in that situation. But if you move them back towards heterosexuality, nope, that’s simply not permissible. You can see really where this law is coming from, this law is a political statement; it’s dangerous.

Rallying for Marriage Equality – Day Two

What has stood out most for me from this experience is seeing the real people behind these cases. Yesterday, I waited at the Court until attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson walked down those famous steps with the Proposition 8 plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo. Today, I watched as Edie Windsor, at 83 years old, made that same walk, to loud cheers and applause and chants of “Edie! Edie!” In return, we all got a wave and a kiss blown our way.
PFAW

Equal Protection or "Social Tradition": The Supreme Court's Test in the Marriage Cases

The Supreme Court hears two cases this week that could determine the future of marriage equality in America.

Farah: 'Dangerous and Totalitarian' Gays Seek 'the Active Recruitment of Children'

Joseph Farah writes today that lawmakers in California and New Jersey who are pushing limits on ex-gay therapy are “promoting sexual anarchy” and “child abuse.” The virluently anti-gay WorldNetDaily editor warns that the “homosexual lobby” is “dangerous and totalitarian in nature” and seeks the “the active recruitment of children into aberrant sexual lifestyles.”

At the same time American society takes this anything-goes approach to sexuality, there is one new glaring taboo being constructed in some states: Counseling and therapy for minors who want to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Such legislation was passed by the California Legislature before being struck down by the courts.

But now similar legislation is being introduced in New Jersey, in what can fairly be described as the next big push by those promoting sexual anarchy in America.



This is an illustration of just how dangerous and totalitarian in nature the homosexual lobby truly is.

What’s happening in our society today is nothing short of the active recruitment of children into aberrant sexual lifestyles. We once called this child abuse. But today it’s official state policy. The next step, which may have been unimaginable a few years ago, is to ensure there’s no way out for those recruits.

Parents and children shouldn’t have an opportunity to explore their options in enjoying a heterosexual lifestyle. Change only works one way, according to these fiends.

Think about this: Children molested by same-sex adults are much more likely to adopt a same-sex attraction. Sometimes all those kids need is some counseling to overcome their victimization. That would be legally prohibited by the legislation now under consideration in New Jersey and the legislation passed in California.



The homosexual movement once claimed its supreme goal was to ensure that its constituents could do what they want in the privacy of their own bedrooms. That was a lie. Now they parade their sexual proclivities in our streets and in the “gay”-friendly media. It’s no longer an alternative lifestyle; it’s quickly becoming the preferred lifestyle, the brave new lifestyle, the hip and heroic lifestyle, the affirmative-action lifestyle.

Now the homosexual movement and its allies in the popular culture, media and politics are seeking to use the police power of the state to make sure there’s no return from a “choice” made even as a child. Once “gay,” always “gay” is their credo.

Senator Portman’s change of heart and the legacy of Harvey Milk

Why did Senator Portman’s change of heart take two years? Why has he continued to support the anti-gay policies of his party? There’s a lot of debate on both points, but one thing is certain: it was his son’s own coming out that forced the Senator to come out in support of marriage equality, and to do that interview and write that op-ed.
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PFAW is United for Marriage

Marriage equality will be before the Supreme Court on March 26 and 27. PFAW will be there with the United for Marriage coalition. You can join us in DC or attend an event near you.
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Former San Diego Mayor: Public Schools Are Anti-American, Teach 'Hatred of White People'

Roger Hedgecock is a syndicated right-wing talk show host based in San Diego. For years, he was a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, and before that he was a Republican mayor of San Diego – briefly, that is. He was convicted of campaign finance violations and thrown out of office only two years into his first term.

Speaking on his program earlier this week, Hedgecock lamented that “hatred of white people has now become an epidemic in this country” and is even “informing political decisions that are made.” The cause? President Obama and white-hating public schools.

While most Americans see Obama’s election as a landmark victory for racial equality, Hedgehock thinks it’s tearing America apart at its racial seams:

No one has ever more racially divided this country since John C. Calhoun than Barack Obama. No one in this country believes we are better off in race relations, that there is less racial tension today, because of Barack Obama's election. [...]

It was my hope, and the hope of many voters, particularly those who did not vote for Barack Obama, that the silver lining here would be, here was a man who understood the history, and would bring us together, and would get us past the racism question. And instead of that has gone exactly the other way.

Further complicating Hedgecock’s life-as-a-white-man is that public schools are teaching “hatred of white people” and “hatred of white privilege.” The curriculum, he argued, is “as anti-American, anti-West and anti-white as you could imagine.” As proof, he cited a diversity program in Portland, OR schools that dared to mention that whites have traditionally enjoyed a number of privileges.

Hedgecock said he wants everybody to get along so we can all get past racism and live up to the Republican Party’s history. If only Obama could be more like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., racial tensions wouldn’t be so high:

Racial tensions in this country are at an all-time high in my lifetime, and I lived through the 50s. I lived through Rosa Parks. I lived through Martin Luther King, Jr. The consensus was at that time among white people that those civil rights efforts were in the noblest tradition of the American republic, lived up to our values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and lived up the Republican Party's history, including why it was even formed, to get rid of slavery in the first place.

Ah, yes. The consensus among whites in the ‘50s was that King and Parks were awesome and not the least bit controversial. They just politely asked for equality, and the white people said, “okay, sorry about that.” Everybody held hands and sang. And it was going perfectly until a white-hating black man got himself elected president.

Listen to Hedgecock's full rant below, courtesy of WCWatch on Daily Kos:

PFAWF Releases Reports on Outside Election Spending in 21 States, Organizes ‘Money Out/Voters In’ Events Across the U.S.

Out of State Money Floods Contests in 2012

Washington, DC –  Today People For the American Way Foundation unveiled new state-by-state fact sheets detailing outside spending in U.S. Senate and House races in 21 states.  Each report analyzes the outside spending totals from Super PACs, dark money groups, and out-of-state spenders in the down ballot federal races from the 2012 election cycle.  The fact sheets reveal that, on average, a majority of outside election money in these states came from Super PACs.  And in every case, a vast majority came from organizations registered outside of the state.

The release of the “Outside Spending, Outsized Influence” reports coincide with the weekend marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the third anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC  to draw attention to the dual threats of voter suppression and unlimited corporate and special interest money in politics. The reports – a partnership between PFAWF and U.S. PIRG – are part of the Money Out/Voters In campaign.  As part of that campaign, People For the American Way Foundation, its affiliate People For the American Way, and other organizers across the country are hosting “Day of Action” events in more than 76 cities in 33 states this weekend. Members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council will be leading Money Out/Voters In events in Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

“Last year’s elections were far and away the most expensive in history,” said People For the American Way Foundation Executive Vice President Marge Baker.  “A major reason was the influx of outside, special interest spending in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. When big money floods our elections, it dwarfs the ability of individual Americans to have their voices heard. Just as important, when politicians push laws to suppress the vote, we turn back the clock on decades on progress to expand and improve our democracy. We need to pursue the full range of remedies to address the problem of too much money in politics, including amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, and we need to stand up against the growing threat of voter suppression.  This weekend we are joining with allies across the country to call for a democracy that gets Money Out and Voters In.”

The states featured in the reports are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

For links to each report, please visit: http://www.pfaw.org/issues/outside-spending-outsized-influence-big-and-s...

For more information about the Money Out/Voters In campaign or the Days of Action, please visit: http://www.moneyout-votersin.org

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