close and back to page

Latest News

Latest News

Education Department Invites LGBT Hate Groups to Event

The National Parent Teacher Association pulled out of the event as a result.

REUTERS

The Education Department has once again sent the message that it is not inclusive of the LGBT community.


A quiet "Engaging Fathers and Families" event took place on Thursday and included speakers from Focus on the Family (FOTF) and Family Research Council (FRC). Politico was the first to report that these groups were on the agenda.

As a result, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) pulled out of the event. The organization told BuzzFeed News in a statement that Focus on the Family and FRC were "not in alignment" with the National PTA's views on LGBT youth.

According to its registration page, the event was centered around fathers "improving education, wellness, and development for all children."

"Attendees will be school administrators and representatives from community and faith-based organizations and federal agencies," the page says.

An agenda was not made public prior to the event but BuzzFeed reportedly obtained a copy and stated that DeVos did not attend the event. Notably, however, FRC thanks the DeVos family for its generous donations.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designates the Family Research Council, which is a division of Focus on the Family, as an extremist anti-LGBT hate group.

"Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed," FRC states on its website. "It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects."

In its coverage of the "Engaging Fathers and Families" event FRC wrote, "Moms can take on the roles of teachers, nurses, chauffeurs, even janitors. But one job they can't fill is dad's."

Research on the subject has not indicated this to be true. According to PolitiFact, "Research is still limited, but many reputable studies so far have concluded that children of gay parents, generally speaking, are just as well off as children of straight parents. What's more important is the number of parents a child has, experts told us." Studies have not concluded that the parents must be opposite-gendered.

FRC believes that homosexuality can be "cured," indicating its support of so-called conversion therapy, which has been widely discredited and in fact is often considered harmful.

FOTF also supports conversion therapy.

Many credible organizations have come out in rejection of the practice, including the American Counseling Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselors Association and the World Psychiatric Association.

In March 2016 the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) called conversion therapy "wholly unethical."

In 2015, ahead of the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, FOTF founder Dr. James Dobson said legalizing gay marriage would signal "the fall of Western civilization itself."

"I do not recall a time when the institutions of marriage and the family have faced such peril, or when the forces arrayed against them were more formidable or determined," he wrote. "Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself."

Today FOTF is headed by Jim Daly.

"Daly has made anti-LGBT statements in the past, including claiming that same-sex marriage endangers civilization; said that two gay parents contribute no value to parenting; that 'homosexual activists' wish to restrict the speech of anyone opposed to homosexuality and that 'it really is a form of fascism,'" SPLC reports. "He has also supported the discredited anti-LGBT study by sociologist Mark Regnerus."

Several weeks ago DeVos refused to say LGBT students would be protected from discrimination at private schools. She said several times that schools receiving federal funding must abide by federal laws. But only 14 states plus D.C. have laws in place that address discrimination against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And in regard to school anti-bullying laws, only 20 states plus D.C. have laws that address harassment and/or bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier this month President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference, at which he was labeled the "keynote speaker and guest of honor" on June 8th, according to the agenda.

Vice President Mike Pence was also listed as a "keynote speaker and guest of honor."

Pence has long been an anti-LGBT figure, notably drawing criticism while serving as Indiana governor and signing a religious freedom bill that largely discriminated against LGBT people. Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101, or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), in 2015. The law allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT people under the guise of religious freedom. After pressure from big businesses that refused to do business in Indiana due to the bill's discriminatory nature (including Eli Lilly and Co., No. 16 on the 2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list), Pence signed an amendment that said businesses cannot turn people away based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, Pence's amendment did nothing to protect LGBT people from discrimination that already existed prior to RFRA. Today, Indiana still does not protect LGBT people from discrimination when it comes to housing, employment, hate crimes, public accommodations, school anti-bullying, education and transgender healthcare, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

One 'Pocahontas' is Real, The Other Isn't

Sen. Elizabeth Warren releases a DNA test as the Republican House Majority Leader's family member is revealed as taking government set-asides fraudulently.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

In a rebuttal to President Trump's ridiculing of her as "fake Pocahontas," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released a DNA test that shows "strong evidence" she has Native-American heritage. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's family benefited from a U.S. program for minorities based on the doubtful claim his brother-in-law is Cherokee.

Read More Show Less
TWITTER

Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kalny of Shawnee sent a Facebook message about Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids, who is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep Kevin Yoder for the 3rd congressional district seat in Kansas.

"The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS tried to do to Kavanaugh in November. Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation."

Emily's List posted on Twitter in response: "This racist, homophobic language is totally unacceptable. We're proud to stand with her & to help elect her." They've since promoted her, and another Native American candidate Deb Haaland of New Mexico.

Davids responded that the message "doesn't represent Kansas values, and it doesn't represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign."

On Wednesday, Kalny resigned. "He reflected an apologetic attitude and didn't want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area," Johnson County Republican Party Chairman Mike Jones said.

No word on an official apology from Kalny to Davids yet. The hateful message was sent to Anne Pritchett, president of the Johnson County Democratic Women's north chapter, who had posted "hostile" messages on candidate Yoder's page in this fiery election race.

Davids, a LGBT lawyer and amateur mixed-martial arts fighter, could become the first ever openly gay member of the Kansas Congressional delegation, if she wins, as well as the first female Native American lawmaker in Washington.

She is a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation ("People of the Big Voice"), which had historically been forcibly separated and relocated out of Wisconsin several times by the U.S. government.

Kalny, when questioned about his message by local media, said he needed to talk to his attorney and hung up the phone.

He also resigned from his position on the board of directors for the Kansas City Barbecue Society citing "personal reasons."

C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Yoder, denounced Kalny's comments:

"Kevin (Yoder) doesn't believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It's unacceptable," Grover said. "These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop."

Davids has shown up in pre-election polls as leading Yoder by as much as 8 percent. She also faces Chris Clemmons, a libertarian candidate, on Nov. 6. Voter registration ends on Oct. 17, less than one week away.

Trump's EPA Chief is a Fan of Racist Alt-Right Social Media Posts

Andrew Wheeler also joins the club of Trump's administrators who deny being racist.

Ethics violations pushed Scott Pruit, former EPA Chief to resign last year, and President Trump replaced him with Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, who likes racist social media posts about the Obamas.

American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic political action committee, found social media posts belonging to Wheeler that spanned defending alt-right member Milo Yiannopoulos' tweet to encourage the harassment of actress Leslie Jones, to liking Infowars tweets, to Dinesh D'Souza's discrediting of Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, to an ape depiction of the Obamas.

Wheeler's response to the outing of his favorite social media posts:

"Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user, and liked, and inadvertently liked, countless social media posts," Wheeler said, in an email to The Huffington Post. "Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources."

Some racists in Trump's camp, who were outed, lost their positions. Carl Higbie of AmeriCorps stepped down after racist and sexist remarks he made on radio surfaced. Ian Smith of Homeland Security resigned after his ties to white nationalists were revealed on emails. Rev. Jamie Johnson, also of Homeland Security, resigned after his comments surfaced about Black people being lazy, and Islam being a violent religion.

For those lucky enough to stay on the White House payroll, they continue to be policy makers.

Ronald Vitiello, acting ICE director, attended an anti-immigration group's conference last month (Federation for American Immigration Reform) where an anti-Muslim group, ACT for America, honored former ICE Director Thomas Homan.

Stephen Miller, White House adviser, helped institute the Muslim travel ban, separate immigrant children and parents, and is working on plans to limit and strip citizenship of documented immigrants. He was heard saying last year in National Security Council meetings: "We must save Americans from these immigrant criminals!"

And, of course, Mike Pence lauded former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of ignoring a judge's order to stop systematic racial profiling patrols in the Phoenix area, as a "tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law." Arpaio was pardoned by Trump last year, and ran for (but lost) an US Senate seat.

Reader Question: Do you buy Wheeler's explanation of inadvertently liking posts and not remembering or being unaware of sources? Join The Conversation below.

Trump Says of Aid to Puerto Rico: 'Incredibly Successful' Storm Response

"If he thinks the death of 3,000 people is a success, God help us all," said Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan.

REUTERS

President Trump actually boasted on Tuesday about the shortcomings that killed 3,000 Puerto Ricans during, and after, Hurricane Maria last September.

He said that while the response to hurricanes in Texas and Florida got excellent grades, "I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success."

Read More Show Less

What Makes This Angry White Sportscaster Think He Can Criticize LeBron James​?

Ken Harrelson said James should keep his "nose out of politics and just play."

Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, a longtime Chicago White Sox broadcaster in his final season in the booth, attempted to slam NBA superstar LeBron James, and other athletes, who voice their opinion on politics.

Read More Show Less

Neo-Nazis Hear Ron 'Monkey This Up' DeSantis' Dog Whistle, Respond with Racist Robocalls Targeting Andrew Gillum

The call going out to Florida voters is narrated by a man using a minstrel dialect with jungle noises in the background.

REUTERS

The first Black nominee from a major party for Florida governor is now the target of racist robocalls, which come after the GOP nominee's dog whistling comment.

Read More Show Less

Chris Rock's Latest Instagram Post Calls Out Trump — Where's the Black Women?

Chris Rock highlights the lack of diversity in President Trump's White House.

Chris Rock's latest post on Instagram, hilariously, calls out the lack of diversity at The White House. There's, literally, been a "whiteout" at The White House since Omarosa's, um, "departure" from President Trump's administration.

Read More Show Less

Jesse Jackson: Use of the 'N-Word' is Far From the Only Measure of Racism

"We can't allow Trump to dumb down racism, limiting the standard to whether one utters the n-word or not," writes Rev. Jackson.

By Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

Last week, amid the continuing clamor of Trump's chaos presidency, the question of whether Trump had used the n-word became a media sensation.

Read More Show Less