Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's testimony on the Opportunity Scholarship program can be found here.
[Dale Carpenter] Israeli academic shouted down in lecture at University of Minnesota: On Tuesday afternoon an ... https://t.co/k2VyV6DhHf— Volokh Conspiracy (@VolokhC) November 4, 2015
Superb article by Dale Carpenter on the latest assault on free speech and academic discourse at a public university because the speaker was Israeli. I myself am critical of Israel (I am a longstanding supporter of Israel horrified by the policies of Netanyahu), but shouting down an academic lecture in this way is wrong and inimical to the mission of a university. Such illiberal behavior in the name of justice should be punished and rebuked.
As The Hill says of this, "Passage represents a swan song for the outgoing Speaker." We are very much opposed to this program. Here's a link to the letter from D.C. Council members opposing the program. We were pleased to take part in persuading members to sign the letter.
Congressional imposition of private school vouchers on the District is not just being done by Republicans. Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Cory Booker back the program as well. Former Mayor Anthony Williams is a longtime proponent of the program. We at GLAA think it is inappropriate to spend public tax dollars to subsidize faith-based education when such schools are free to discriminate against us. There are other reasons as well, including studies that show the programs don't work, and the lack of accountability. Read the letter from D.C. Council members opposing vouchers.
I am digging way back in my closet to find something purple to wear this evening to show my support for ending bullying. Here's to all who are struggling against it.
GLAA is proud to be part of the coalition that lobbied D.C. Councilmembers on this. Thanks to Councilmembers Grosso, Bonds, Allen, Alexander, May, Nadeau, Silverman, and Evans for their signatures and their support. GLAA signed a joint letter with other organizations on the same issue in May. Notorious congressional homophobe Jason Chaffetz is planning to mark up the continuation of the program on Friday.
I was going to just say buh-bye, but the fact is that this will hurt kids and help no one. A lovely approach to religion.
It's only a partial victory, because church-affiliated chapters can still choose to discriminate. The contrast between welcoming and non-welcoming chapters will continue to be a thorn in BSA's side.
Cardozo High School's first ever LGBTQ Pride Day was a momentous occasion. http://t.co/6P8SwaIjAd— Metro Weekly (@metroweekly) June 11, 2015
This Metro Weekly story about Pride Day at Cardozo High School also features students from the GSA at School Without Walls, who indicate they were inspired to attend by their teacher, Charles Butler. Charles is GLAA's VP for Political Affairs. Way to go, Mr. Butler!
My latest Blade column looks at auspicious signs of #LGBT progress, including today's youth who are unfazed by apocalyptic prophecies by Republican politicians.
GLAA is proud to be part of a diverse coalition of DC-based organizations that wrote on Wednesday to the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee opposing congressional imposition of private school vouchers on the District of Columbia.
The letter begins:
Dear Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings:
As organizations that represent residents of the District of Columbia, we write to express our opposition to the DC private school voucher program, which was implemented by Congress as part of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act.
Our organizations represent a diverse cross section of the residents of Washington, DC, with a wide variety of interests and concerns. We are united, however, in opposing this voucher program, which was imposed upon us by a Congress in which we have no voting representation. Some of the undersigned groups oppose the DC voucher because the program is ineffective and lacks accountability; others because the program offends the notion of home rule; and still others because the program allows private schools to receive federal funds and educate our students while they maintain exemptions from federal and District of Columbia civil rights protections.
Organizations signing the letter are ACLU of the Nation's Capital; Anti-Defamation League, Washington, DC Region; DC Vote; Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.; Jews United for Justice; National Organization for Women, DC Chapter; and Washington Teachers' Union.
Excellent speech by Mrs. Clinton, appearing at Columbia University.
I am glad this measure got some Republican votes. That the rest of that caucus could not be minimally humane is very disturbing but sadly not surprising. When you say there is no difference between the political parties, and when you don't bother voting, or abandon an imperfect Democrat in favor of a third-party candidate you know cannot win, you should not be surprised when you get legislative results like this.
Think Progress reports:
An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly voted to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History class, persuaded by the argument that it only teaches students “what is bad about America.” Other lawmakers are seeking a court ruling that would effectively prohibit the teaching of all AP courses in public schools.
The reason I don't advocate nuking Oklahoma for this is that history teaches us that it would be a terrible idea.
Jack Jacobson, Ward 2 representative to the D.C. State Board of Education, has been elected by his colleagues as the body's president. A State Board news release states:
Mr. Jacobson’s focus has been on raising educational achievement in the District’s traditional public and public charter schools, constituent services, public safety, and cooperation between District agencies. Most recently, Mr. Jacobson served as the Chair of the State Board’s Implementation Committee, where he oversaw the review and subsequent adoption of the District’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver....
After taking office, Mr. Jacobson shared, “I look forward to working with all of my colleagues, as well as the community, our students, teachers, principals, and other stakeholders, to ensure that our education system is exemplary and that all students have the opportunity to receive an excellent education. I also look forward to strengthening the relationship between the State Board and the State Superintendent of Education, the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Chancellor, the Public Charter School Board, the DC Council’s Committee on Education, and all of our school leaders.”
Congrats to Jack, who is my own State Board rep and is the highest-ranking openly gay elected official in the District, following the departures of David Catania and Jim Graham from the D.C. Council. Best of luck to him in his new post.
WMC Action News in Memphis reports the latest in satanic subversion.
Wait, aren't there 50 of these devilish symbols on THE AMERICAN FLAG? I'm just trying to be helpful. Just one more comment: given that this kind of aggressive ignorance and paranoia are running rampant, anyone who is comparatively sane and reasonable, yet makes excuses for not voting, deserves to be possessed by demons.
The Christian Post reports that Voice of the Voiceless wants to sue the District of Columbia over B20-0501, the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2013. GLAA testified in support of the bill (Yvette Alexander, Chairperson; Committe on Health June 27, 2014) As the Department of Health said, being gay is not a disease and there is no legitimate reason to treat it as such. Furthermore treating it as a disease is harmful to the individual. Christopher Doyle maintains that B20-0501 violates the District's Human Rights Act as it curbs options for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction. The problem is that no licensed professional in DC who practices this widely discredited therapy has been identified nor have they found someone on whose behalf to sue.
My column looking at the year ahead appears in this week's Blade, revised a bit. Here's an excerpt:
2015 promises continued fights against right-wing aggressions that include vagina policing and other gender-based discrimination; attacks on church-state separation; xenophobia; quackery disguised as science; biased profiling and excessive force by police; and criminalization of healthcare issues.
None of these will be resolved by the likely nationwide victory for marriage equality in the U.S. Supreme Court. Thus, in the words of Ella Baker, "We who believe in freedom cannot rest." Here are some thoughts for the work ahead.
Curb the language cops. We will win the marriage fight even if some use the misleading phrase "gay marriage." If people who are not belligerent use the wrong pronouns or otherwise display their ignorance, be like my amazingly patient transgender friends and politely clue them in. Creating change requires the politics of addition; we must always seek new ways to connect with people.
When Sarah Palin spoke Friday afternoon at the Values Voter Summit, she referred to the address of the White House as 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. I suppose she could have been referring to the Commerce Department, which is on that block, though its address is 1401 Constitution Avenue. On the other hand, there is plenty of space there, and I am sure special arrangements can be made if she is determined to move to 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Of course, there is also 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, just steps from the Metro, as the realtors say. And she can see the Capitol from the roof.