Hello to you. It’s Friday….thank goodness. It’s been another very long week.
So this morning I was trying to understand why it seems like people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others like him in the GOP seem to literally hate anybody who isn’t straight, white….well them. In particular the repeated attacks being waged against people in the LGTBQ community. Attacks which predictably seem to occur every time some sort of crazy ass thing they want to do gets derailed. What have these people ever done to deserve the level of hate being levied on them by our Government?!
Well a question popped into my head. Has Jeff Sessions ever been bullied? The reason I thought that? What happens when a bully loses a fight? They go looking for the most vulnerable person they can find and beat the shit out of them to regain their feelings of self esteem. What happens to the person who is at the receiving end of the beatings? They either retaliate or do whatever they have to avoid another beating. We are seeing what the Attorney General decided to do about Donald Trump bullying him….(cue cash register sound effect.)
Could his being bullied publicly by President Trump been a factor for his overturning the 53 year old civil rights law?
What came to me is it seems like he’s trying to prove his loyalty to President Trump and a demographic in this country like those who are part of the anti-LGTBQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom. He’s doing it by bullying a community that is easy to get support in targeting….transgender people. How very Peter Pettigrew (http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Peter_Pettigrew) of him!
So I started my quest for answers this morning by going to our governments CDC web page, some sobering numbers here!
“Nearly one-third (29%) of LGB youth had attempted suicide at least once in the prior year compared to 6% of heterosexual youth”
NCHHSTP >LGBT Health
On This Page
- Experiences with Violence
- Effects on Education and Health
- What Schools Can Do
- What Parents Can Do
- Ways Parents Can Influence the Health of Their LGB Youth
Historically, YRBS and other studies have gathered data on lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth but have not included questions about transgender and questioning/queer youth. As that changes and data becomes available, this content will be updated to include information regarding transgender and questioning/queer youth.
Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, (LGB) youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years. Having a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are especially important. Positive environments can help all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health. However, some LGB youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes.
For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported. A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGB students.1
Experiences with Violence
LGBT Youth Collage
How CDC Promotes Health Safety Among Youth: LGBTQ* Youth Programs-At-A-Glance
Compared with other students, negative attitudes toward LGB persons may put these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence.2 ‘Violence’ can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, harassment, and physical assault.
According to data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), of surveyed LGB students:
- 10% were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property
- 34% were bullied on school property
- 28% were bullied electronically
- 23% of LGB students who had dated or went out with someone during the 12 months before the survey had experienced sexual dating violence in the prior year
- 18% of LGB students had experienced physical dating violence
- 18% of LGB students had been forced to have sexual intercourse at some point in their lives.3
How CDC Promotes Health Safety Among Youth – Read LGBTQ* Youth Programs-At-A-Glance
Effects on Education and Mental Health
Exposure to violence can have negative effects on the education and health of any young person and may account for some of the health-related disparities between LGB and heterosexual youth.4-6 According to the 2015 YRBS, LGB students were 140% (12% v. 5%) more likely to not go to school at least one day during the 30 days prior to the survey because of safety concerns, compared with heterosexual students.3 While not a direct measure of school performance, absenteeism has been linked to low graduation rates, which can have lifelong consequences.
A complex combination of factors can impact youth health outcomes. LGB youth are at greater risk for depression, suicide, substance use, and sexual behaviors that can place them at increased risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).3 Nearly one-third (29%) of LGB youth had attempted suicide at least once in the prior year compared to 6% of heterosexual youth.3 In 2014, young gay and bisexual men accounted for 8 out of 10 HIV diagnoses among youth.7
What Schools Can Do
Schools can implement evidence-based policies, procedures, and activities designed to promote a healthy environment for all youth, including LGB students. For example, research has shown that in schools with LGB support groups (such as gay-straight alliances), LGB students were less likely to experience threats of violence, miss school because they felt unsafe, or attempt suicide than those students in schools without LGB support groups.8 A recent study found that LGB students had fewer suicidal thoughts and attempts when schools had gay-straight alliances and policies prohibiting expression of homophobia in place for 3 or more years.9
To help promote health and safety among LGB youth, schools can implement the following policies and practices (with accompanying citations)
- Encourage respect for all students and prohibit bullying, harassment, and violence against all students.10
- Identify “safe spaces”, such as counselors’ offices or designated classrooms, where LGB youth can receive support from administrators, teachers, or other school staff.11
- Encourage student-led and student-organized school clubs that promote a safe, welcoming, and accepting school environment (e.g., gay-straight alliances or gender and sexuality alliances, which are school clubs open to youth of all sexual orientations and genders).11-13
- Ensure that health curricula or educational materials include HIV, other STD, and pregnancy prevention information that is relevant to LGB youth (such as ensuring that curricula or materials use language and terminology.11,14
- Provide trainings to school staff on how to create safe and supportive school environments for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and encourage staff to attend these trainings.11,15
- Facilitate access to community-based providers who have experience providing health services, including HIV/STD testing and counseling, social, and psychological services to LGBTQ youth.11,16
What Parents Can Do
Positive parenting practices, such as having honest and open conversations, can help reduce teen health risk behaviors. How parents engage with their LGB teen can have a tremendous impact on their adolescent’s current and future mental and physical health.17 Supportive and accepting parents can help youth cope with the challenges of being an LGB teen.18 On the other hand, unsupportive parents who react negatively to learning that their daughter or son is LGB can make it harder for their teen to thrive. Parental rejection has been linked to depression, use of drugs and alcohol, and risky sexual behavior among teens.19,20
To be supportive, parents should talk openly and supportively with their teen about any problems or concerns. It is also important for parents to watch for behaviors that might indicate their teen is a victim of bullying or violence―or that their teen may be victimizing others. If bullying, violence, or depression is suspected, parents should take immediate action, working with school personnel and other adults in the community.
More Resources for Parents to Help Them Better Understand and Respond to the Needs of LGBTQ Adolescents
Ways Parents Can Influence the Health of Their LGB Youth
More research is needed to better understand the associations between parenting and the health of LGB youth. The following are research-based steps parents can take to support the health and well-being of their LGB teen:
Talk and listen. Parents who talk with and listen to their teen in a way that invites an open discussion about sexual orientation can help their teen feel loved and supported. Parents should have honest conversations with their teens about sex and how to avoid risky behaviors and unsafe situations.
Provide support. Parents who take time to come to terms with how they feel about their teen’s sexual orientation will be more able to respond calmly and use respectful language. Parents should develop common goals with their teen, including being healthy and doing well in school.
Stay involved. Parents who make an effort to know their teen’s friends and know what their teen is doing can help their teen stay safe and feel cared about.
Be proactive. Parents can access many organizations and online information resources to learn more about how they can support their LGB teen, other family members, and their teen’s friends.
Get more information from the CDC Fact Sheet: Parents’ Influence on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens[PDF – 254 KB].
More resources for LGBTQ youth and their friends can be found on CDC’s web page
Next I found out the answer to my original question, yes, Jeff Sessions was being bullied by Donald Trump as seems customary to endure if you are a member of his staff:
Donald Trump’s public bullying of Jeff Sessions is embarrassing
Washington (CNN)At 6:12 a.m. ET, the President of the United States tweeted this:
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”
That came less than 24 hours after Trump had described Sessions as “beleagured” in another tweet and one day after he seemed to roll his eyes when asked about the attorney general in a photo-op with White House interns on Monday. It came six days after Trump told The New York Times that he would have never hired Sessions at all if he knew that the AG would recuse himself in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
It all reminds me of this scene from “The Simpsons” in which Homer beats the Krustyburglar nearly to death thinking he’s trying to steal:
“Stop, stop…he’s already dead,” cries one young onlooker as Homer continues to beat the lifeless Krustyburglar.
Jokes aside, what Trump is doing to Sessions is the worst sort of bullying. He’s attacking a subordinate — publicly and repeatedly — knowing that the subordinate has no real recourse other than to resign his post.
That appears to be, of course, exactly the outcome Trump wants. For all of his bluster, he’s not terribly fond of actually firing people — he prefers to isolate and embarrass them into quitting.
That, plus Trump’s potential fears of what it might look like if he fired the AG so soon after firing the FBI director — and with the Russia investigation still ongoing — seems to be at the root of Trump’s strategy here.
But, what Trump is doing to Sessions is more embarrassing for the former than the latter. Picking on someone who works for you is rarely a good look. And doing it via Twitter — while not being willing to speak to Sessions in person — is not the sort of stuff we have come to expect from a president.
If Trump thinks Sessions is doing such a bad job — as he clearly does — then he should fire him. That’s well within his powers as president.
What he’s doing right now is well beneath the office of president.
And, from a purely political perspective, it’s misguided. Sessions is beloved by Trump’s base as one of the original voices willing to speak out on the problems of undocumented workers in the United States. The likes of Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson have urged Trump to leave off the public bullying of Sessions.
Remember too that Sessions is a former member of the US Senate — a place where Trump badly needs some goodwill from Republicans on his health care bill among other things. Attacking one of their own is not the way to win the Senate’s heart.
Donald Trump has promised to be “modern day presidential.” It sure looks a lot like plain old bullying from here.
So what did Jeff do to prove his loyalty rather than resign?
Sessions addressed members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was designated an “anti-LGBT hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016, at the Summit on Religious Liberty at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, in Dana Point, California.
The event promised to “bring together prominent legal advocates, scholars, cultural commentators, business executives and church leaders to examine the current state of religious freedom” and “develop legal and cultural strategies to allow freedom to flourish in the United States and around the world.”
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin and the first openly gay person to be elected to the U.S. Senate, told ABC News that she was concerned by the speech.
“This sends a very troubling message that our Attorney General, America’s top law enforcement official, is not committed to standing up to anti-LGBT hate,” Baldwin said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice confirmed that Sessions addressed the Alliance Defending Freedom on Tuesday but did not respond to multiple requests to release his remarks. The Department of Justice released a transcript of remarks he delivered in Dallas earlier on Tuesday and a transcript of remarks he delivered in Las Vegas on Wednesday, but a transcript of his address to the Alliance Defending Freedom has yet to be released.
A spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom said that the group was “working through channels” to release his remarks but declined to comment on the nature of Sessions’ relationship with the group.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy group founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1994 that “specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally.”
The group is representing Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who is challenging the state’s nondiscrimination protections after he was found in violation of the law for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case in June 2017.
In a recent appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Phillips defended his actions.
“I don’t believe that Jesus would have made a cake, if he would have been the baker,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice did not respond to questions about whether the speech was a show of support for Phillips’ case or whether Sessions met with any of the group’s members before or after his speech.
In a recent blog post on its website titled “Hate-group labelers are the ones spreading hate,” the Alliance Defending Freedom called the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” designation a “lie.”
“We at ADF condemn all such manifestations of true hate,” the post reads. “They have no place in our society.”
According to David Dinielli, the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s LGBT Rights Project, however, the label is “rightfully earned,” and the speech raises questions about whether Sessions will uphold laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
“How can we trust that the nation’s top law enforcement officer will protect all Americans when he’s willing to meet behind closed doors with a group that supports criminalizing homosexuality and marginalizing LGBT people around the world?” Dinielli said in a statement. “If Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t condone such beliefs, he should immediately make his remarks to the group public and be prepared to defend them. The LGBT community — as well as all Americans — needs to know if he is capable of upholding our country’s fundamental promise of equal protection under the law.”
Richard Painter, former President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer and a vocal critic of the Trump administration, shared his criticism of Sessions’ decision to speak at the event on Twitter.
“Why is the Attorney General hanging out with these nuts instead of doing his job?” Painter wrote.
The speech also prompted a statement from Democratic National Committee spokesman Joel Kasnetz condemning the Alliance Defending Freedom and Sessions’ choice to address it.
“You can judge a person by the company they keep, and tonight Attorney General Jeff Sessions is choosing to spend his time speaking in front of one of the country’s leading anti-LGBTQ hate groups,” Kasnetz said. “The Alliance Defending Freedom actively helped draft discriminatory legislation, worked to preserve laws criminalizing same-sex relations and attacked the separation of church and state. ADF has been previously designated a hate group, and Sessions’ appearance at this event, as the top law enforcement official in the country, brings in to question whether the attorney general intends to protect all Americans.”
ABC News’ Margaret Katcher contributed to this report.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeff-sessions-secret-speech-to-the-alliance-defending-freedom-the-biggest-christian-right-group-youve-never-heard-of – article copywrited, use link to read entire article. Good additional information.
Jeff Sessions’ Secret Speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Biggest Christian-Right Group You’ve Never Heard Of
The deep-pocketed organization has led the nationwide fight to redefine ‘religious liberty’ as the right to harm others.
07.12.17 6:30 PM ET
The Justice Department has so far declined to release the transcript of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ secret speech Tuesday night to the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, but Sessions has already drawn criticism for speaking to the organization, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed an “anti-LGBT hate group.”
But the ADF is no fringe hate group—it is something much worse, a $35 million organization with a global footprint. It has enormous influence within the Trump–Pence inner circle. And together with Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, and the National Organization for Marriage, the ADF is leading the movement to redefine “religious liberty” as including the right to discriminate against other people
and to really prove to Donald Trump and the “gang” that he is loyal to the cause he did this just yesterday!
Sessions: DOJ Will Not Protect Trans People From Workplace Bias
Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to dismantle LGBT-inclusive policies enacted by the Obama administration — Sessions announced on Thursday the Justice Department would no longer construe a 53-year-old civil rights law to be inclusive of gender identity protections.
“Although federal law, including Title VII, provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se,” Sessions wrote in a memo to Justice Department officials, and reported in Buzzfeed. “This is a conclusion of law, not policy. As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress.”
Title VII was a landmark civil rights law from 1964 that banned discrimination in employment, schools, and voter registration on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex.
Obama’s first attorney general — Eric Holder — released his own memo in 2014 that stated the Justice Department viewed Title VII’s protections based on sex as inclusive of gender identity, i.e., transgender individuals. Holder’s action followed trans-inclusive court rulings, as well as the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces discrimination bans in the workplace. Holder’s directive was seen as an important advance for transgender individuals since there is no federal law banning employment discrimination against LGBT people.
Sessions has now reversed Holder’s decision, which means the Justice Department will not support transgender people arguing Title VII protects them against workplace discrimination.
“The Department of Justice memo on Title VII tries to undo established law protecting transgender employees simply by wishing it so,” Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center, wrote in a statement.
This is a vicious action intended to cause confusion where there was none, with the goal of singling out transgender people and making it harder for us to survive and thrive in this country. By methodically undermining civil rights law, the Department of Justice under Trump and Sessions has committed — and emboldened others to commit — violence and terror against immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people, Black people, and communities of color more broadly. This memo is yet another attack in that vein, with the agency charged with upholding the law now encouraging employers to illegally discriminate against transgender people.
The Attorney General does not have the power to change clearly established law, only to enforce it. Transgender Law Center’s 2012 and 2015 cases on behalf of Mia Macy and Tamara Lusardi, along with extensive case law, firmly established that transgender workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII. Unlike the Attorney General, Transgender Law Center is committed to defending this country’s civil rights laws — and we will take him and this administration to court to do it.”
This latest insult follows a steady stream of attacks against LGBT rights under the Trump administration. Within weeks of taking office, Sessions reversed Obama-era guidance on equal treatment of transgender students in schools that receive federal funding. The DOJ also wrote a brief supporting a Christian baker who refused to serve a gay person, and just last week argued in court that Title VII does not protect gay and bisexual people from workplace discrimination.
“This week, Jeff Sessions escalated the Trump administration’s war on LGBTQ people,” Democratic National Committee spokesperson Joel Kasnetz said in a statement. “By reinterpreting our employment laws to try to stop protecting transgender people from discrimination, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions have revealed their real goal — turn the clock back to a time when life was even more difficult for LGBTQ people, transgender individuals in particular.
Fortunately, the courts have rebuked this bigotry and made clear that LGBTQ Americans have the right to be free from discrimination in the workplace. It’s time for Congress to do the same, because Attorney General Sessions can’t be trusted to protect us or our civil rights. Democrats support the right of LGBTQ people to live and work without fear and demand Sessions stop using the Department of Justice to further this administration’s divisive agenda.”
My mother-in-law, who is the proud mother of a married gay son, said the following to a Texas Christian home school group before she left it because of the hate speech towards gay people: – “You straight people need to quit having gay babies!”
If you read 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 10, seems like if we shouldn’t be associating with most politicians either as many of them fall into the sexually immoral, idolators, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers category……and yet nobody has a problem with these people using public restrooms.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10New International Version (NIV)
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Matthew 23:27-28New International Version (NIV)
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.