Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Peter LaBarbera  * Photo By Brody Levesque

Anti-gay activists gather at HRC headquarters to denounce Pride Month

WASHINGTON -- A group of prominent anti-gay activists led by Peter LaBarbera, president of The Americans For Truth About Homosexuality,(AFTAH)  held a press conference in front of the Human Rights Campaign's national headquarters Tuesday morning to denounce LGBT Pride month.
LaBarbera was joined by Matt Barber, Vice-President of Liberty Counsel Action, Linda Harvey,conservative talk radio hostess and founder of Mission America, Diane Gramely, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, Eric Holmberg, an independent right wing film maker and Patrick Mangan, the executive Director of Citizens for Community Values of Indiana.
The event was sparse in attendance, comprised mostly of journalists and HRC staffers who wandered out of the building to observe the press conference.
The speakers chastised the HRC for its ongoing "promotion" of what they labeled a deviant sexual movement. LaBarbera called on HRC and the "gay activists" to repent and also to "end the bigotry against christians and family values."
Barber accused HRC of colluding with the Internal Revenue Service in "illegally" releasing documents related to the National Organisation for Marriage which he said is endemic to the larger problem with the "homosexual movement."
Harvey stuck to her principal theme that LGBT equality rights were terrible and harmful to America's children adding that there was no proof that people are born gay.
Gramely spoke of the need to continue to ban blood donations by gay men and also went on to point out that the gay community has the highest rate of HIV infections so that lawmakers must not consider lifting the current ban as that would constitute a major threat to the nation's welfare.
Mangan stressed that being LGBT can be "treated" saying that so-called reparative therapy was in his experience, highly effective. 
LaBarbera told LGBTQ Nation that he will be relocating his group to Washington in the next two years to continue the fight against the homosexual activists.

First Lady confronts heckler and threatens to leave fundraiser
Ellen Sturtz
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- During a Democratic Party political fundraiser at a private home in Northwest Washington late Tuesday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama was confronted by a heckler who interrupted her speech.
According to a pool press report, Ellen Sturtz, 56, a lesbian activist, demanded that President Obama sign an executive order that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the White House, Mrs. Obama “left the lectern and moved over to the protester.” The pool press report quoted Mrs. Obama as saying: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
The First Lady confronted Sturtz telling her, “One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” she said to applause from most of the guests, according to a White House transcript. “Do you understand?”
The White House told LGBTQ Nation that after Obama threatened to leave, the audience asked her to remain and Sturtz was instead escorted out of the room. In an interview with The Washington Post, Sturtz said she was stunned by Mrs. Obama’s response.
“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said. “I was taken aback.”
Sturtz told the Post she paid $500 to attend the fundraiser, part of a protest cooked up by an extremist LGBTQ rights group, GetEqual, which gained notice in Obama’s first term for heckling him during speeches, demanding more action on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
The Obama administration has come under increased scrutiny by LGBTQ equality rights activists particularly in regard to the proposed executive order which would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Efforts to have a Employment Non-Discrimination Act, (ENDA) passed through Congress have repeatedly failed since 1994 prompting LGBTQ rights groups to pin their hopes on the Obama administration to sign an executive order instead.

LGBT-inclusive education reform bill introduced in Senate
Senator Tom Harkin, (D-IA) * U. S. Senate Photo
WASHINGTON -- U. S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced LGBT-inclusive legislation Tuesday to reauthorise the Elementary & Secondary Education Act with language that includes protections for LGBT students.
Schools that don't take stern measures against bullying or discrimination against LGBT students would see their federal funding cut.
A politically polarized Congress has failed to renew No Child Left Behind, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, since it expired in 2007. Harkin's Republican counterpart, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, has supported updating No Child Left Behind but his approach has not always melded with Harkin's.
Those differences are likely to come into full view on June 11 when the education committee begins to fine tune the legislation. A vote by the full Democratic-controlled Senate has not been scheduled and Democratic aides suggested it could be autumn before one occurs.
Lawmakers in the Republican-led House, meanwhile, were reluctant to take steps that could be seen as telling local schools how to best teach their students and enrage tea party activists.
One of the principal aims of this law is to rewrite the one-sized-fits-all national requirements of the "No Child Left Behind" standards allowing states to write requirements for themselves under the proposed law. 
Harkin acknowledged criticism of "No Child Left Behind's" requirements as "setting inflexible benchmarks without considering the different needs of schools and without recognizing student progress. Instead, the bill would offer states greater flexibility to improve students' education.
The proposal "gets the federal government out of the business of micromanaging schools and instead enables states and districts to focus on turning around chronically struggling schools and those with significant achievement gaps."
While the LGBT provisions remain a small part of Senator Harkin's bill, Minnesota Democrat Al Franken reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) as a stand alone measure Tuesday.
“No child should dread going to school because they don’t feel safe,” Sen. Franken said. “Our nation’s civil rights laws protect our children from bullying due to race, sex, religion, disability, and national origin. 
My proposal extends these protections to our gay and lesbian students who shouldn't ever feel afraid of going to school. I’m also pleased my provision is now a part of the education bill that will soon be debated in the Senate Education Committee.”
SNDA was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year by Reps. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).
In a recent survey of LGBT youth, among youth who are not out at school, the most frequent obstacle they describe is that teachers or classmates will treat them differently or judge them. 64% of LGBT teens (compared to just 47% of non-LGBT teens) report that they never participate in after-school or other recreational activities out of fear of discrimination. Youth who are out to their immediate family or at school report higher levels of happiness, optimism, acceptance and support.
LGBT youth experience bullying at school more frequently than their non-LGBT peers. In fact, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience verbal harassment, exclusion and physical attack at school as their non-LGBT peers. Among LGBT youth, 51% have been verbally harassed at school, compared to 25% among non-LGBT students; 48% say they are often excluded by their peers because they are different, compared to 26% among non-LGBT students; and 17% report they have been physically attacked at school, compared to 10% among non-LGBT students.
LGBT youth also identify bullying as a primary problem in their lives. They identified family rejection (26%), school/bullying problems (21%) and fear of being out or open (18%) as the top three problems they face. In comparison, non-LGBT youth identified classes/exams/grades (25%), college/career (14%) and financial pressures (11%) as the top three problems they face. Clearly, LGBT youth spend time worrying about bullying and rejection, while their non-LGBT peers are able to focus on grades, career choices and the future.
SNDA is closely modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and provides legal recourse to redress such discrimination.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press.