Education Hub




Teachers Fired from Catholic Schools for Being Gay Request Meeting with the Pope

The Human Rights Campaign has sent a letter to the Vatican requesting an audience with the Pope on behalf of nine teachers who have lost their jobs at Catholic schools for being LGBT or supporting an LGBT person.

FrancisSays the letter, in part:

We write to you today with humility to request a Papal audience. With loving eloquence you have explained that the role of the Church is to restore what is broken and unite what has been divided. In this spirit of wholeness and reconciliation, we hope you will agree to meet with us and our families to hear our stories.

“We have devoted years, some of us even decades, to serving our communities as teachers, leaders and role models. We have made a conscious choice to work within the Catholic Church because we strongly believe that a Catholic education prepares our young people to be responsible citizens, men and women for others. For each and every one of us, our employment was far more than just a job – it was a reflection of our core Catholic values.”

...All of us were fired for whom we love – whether it be for committing ourselves to one person, and one person only, for the rest of our lives, or for embracing and supporting our own children unconditionally. Love is one of the greatest gifts God bestows upon us, and we can think of nothing more sacred than loving another human being through challenges, sicknesses and times of distress. The Church celebrates this type of sacred commitment. But for some reason, it rejects that same commitment when it’s between loving LGBT people. For some reason, it rejects that love when a mother embraces her LGBT child.

Read the full letter here.


Florida Lawmaker Warns Standardized Testing Company Will Turn Kids Gay: VIDEO

Vanzant

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant, speaking at an education convention in Orlando back in March, warned that a non-profit organization hired to implement new standardized testing in the Sunshine State is out to promote an LGBT agenda and indoctrinate children into homosexuality, Think Progress reports. Said Zant:

"Please, go on their website. Click the link to what they're doing with youth and you will see what their agenda really is. They are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda and even name it 2-S, as they define as having two spirits. The Bible says a lot about being double-minded.

These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you.

The ‘these people’ Zant refers to is the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The state of Florida hired AIR to incorporate new educational standards into its standardized testing so as to keep up with the standards found in Common Core, an education initiative intended to develop educational benchmarks that has been voluntarily adopted by 44 states. 

Common Core was sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) but has been used as of late as a rallying cry for the right to accuse President Obama and liberals of trying to indoctrinate children into homosexuality. Of course the accusation that LGBT persons and their advocates are secretly looking to recruit children into becoming gay is nothing new but rather a tried and true trope used by the far right (recall the Briggs Initiative, also known as Proposition 6, that Harvey Milk fought in California in the 70s). 

Speaking of recruiting students to become gay, ThinkProgress also points out the curious conclusion fact check website PolitiFact.com reached after examining the voracity of Van Zant’s remarks: 

According to PolitiFact’s investigation, the American Institutes for Research (AIR), which has been contracted to administer Florida’s testing, does produce resources designed to support LGBT youth. However, the organization only provides these materials if they are requested, but the Florida Department of Education has only asked for English language arts and math tests. Thus, concludes PolitiFact, “We found no evidence that when AIR administers tests in Florida that the testing process will involve recruiting students to become gay.” 

This analysis seems to imply that if Florida were utilizing AIR’s LGBT youth resources, there might be some truth to the premise of Van Zant’s claim. However, there has never been any evidence collected to support the claim that there is any way to manipulate or change a person’s sexual orientation.

After ThinkProgress posted their piece calling out PolitiFact, PolitiFact posted the following update:

We should note that our previous fact-checking shows people can’t be recruited to a particular sexual orientation. In 2011, GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said scientists are “in dispute” about whether being gay is a choice, and we rated that claim False.

You can watch a video of Van Zant’s rant, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Florida Lawmaker Warns Standardized Testing Company Will Turn Kids Gay: VIDEO" »


GOP Candidate Ray Moore Warns Of 'Holocaust' From Teaching Evolution & Homosexuality: AUDIO

Ray Moore

South Carolina GOP lieutenant governor candidate Ray Moore is shoring up his conservative bona fides by claiming that schools are pushing a "silent holocaust" against churches and Christianity by teaching evolution and protecting LGBT students from abuse. While speaking with conservative talk show host Steve Deace, Moore said,

80 percent of Southern Baptists youths are leaving the church and abandoning the Christian faith, and we think all of this is pretty much attributable to government schooling. We think the main culprit is public schooling. So there’s a holocaust, a silent holocaust going on in our evangelical churches.

And thus was Godwin's Law invoked and Moore immediately lost the argument. Undeterred by the utter insanity of comparing dropping attendance rates in churches to the wholesale slaughter of almost 6 million Jews in one of the greatest ethnic cleansing movements of the 20th century, Moore continued by comparing gay marriage to a virus:

[S]o why is same-sex marriage and abortion and all of these viruses latching on to our society so readily? And we think part of it is government-sponsored education where they’re thoroughly and aggressively teaching socialism, humanism; turning their hearts away from Christ.

You can listen to Moore's interview below.


Mark Zmuda, Gay Catholic School Principal Fired for Marrying a Man, Hired by New School

Mark Zmuda, the Eastside Catholic High School vice principal who was told he must divorce his husband or be fired, has found a new job, KING5 reports:

ZmudaThe Mercer Island School District announced that Mark Zmuda will become an associate principal at Mercer Island High School, effective July 1...

...The Mercer Island Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano will recommend that Zmuda is confirmed as associate principal. According to a release from the district, Zmuda was chosen from more than 60 applicants for the position.

"Mark impressed me with his knowledge of best-instructional practices, his integrity and work ethic and his commitment to the success of all students," Dr. Plano said in a release.

Zmuda will also serve as the school's athletic director.

Zmuda's firing inspired major protests from students and faculty at Eastside Catholic and caused Sister Mary Tracy to resign.

Zmuda is now suing the school.


Thursday Speed Read: Title IX, Rea Carey, Asylum Seeking, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PROTECTION FOR NON-CONFORMING:

EducationThe U.S. Department of Education (ED) on Tuesday released guidelines to clarify for schools receiving federal aid that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against sex discrimination “extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.” The DOE’s guidance makes clear that its Office of Civil Rights “accepts such complaints for investigation.” The guidance requires school officials to “investigate and resolve allegations of sexual violence regarding LGBT students using the same procedures and standards that it uses in all complaints involving sexual violence.” National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey called it a “giant leap forward” toward “staggering rates of discrimination” against students who are transgender or non-conforming to gender role expectations.

NGLTF LEADER ARRESTED AT RALLY: Carey

NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey was one of 27 people arrested for blocking an intersection on Capitol Hill Wednesday in a protest against the refusal of the Republican-led U.S. House to take up an immigration reform bill. The Fair Immigration Reform Movement organized the protest. NGLTF estimates that more than 250,000 of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are LGBT.

FOCUS ON ASYLUM:

Immigration Equality held a press conference in front of the White House Tuesday afternoon to urge President Obama to provide relief to LGBT people seeking asylum in the United States. The group says it has more than 300 clients in need of asylum. According to the organization’s website, persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status can be a basis for the Bureau of Immigration Appeals to grant asylum.

OhioNEW OHIO LAWSUIT:

Ohio civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein has filed another lawsuit in federal court in Cincinnati seeking to strike down that state’s ban against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The lawsuit filed Wednesday, Gibson v. Himes, is being brought on behalf of six same-sex couples. Earlier this month, another Gerhardstein lawsuit won a ruling from a federal district court judge in Cincinnati to recognize the out-of-state marriages of four same-sex couples and put the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their children. That case is now on appeal to the Sixth Circuit.

ColoradoCOLORADO POLLS RISING?

A poll by Quinnipiac University of 1,298 registered voters this month found a whopping 61 percent support allowing same-sex couples to marry. Last December, Public Policy Polling surveyed 928 Colorado voters and found only 48 percent said they would support allowing same-sex couples to marry. The December poll, however, gave voters a choice of allowing gays to marry or have civil unions. Thirty-two percent were OK with civil unions. In terms of voters opposed, 18 percent said that in December there should be “no” legal recognition of same-sex relationships, 32 percent said they “oppose” allowing them to marry.

MarylandMARYLAND BALLOT BATTLE BREWING:

A Republican-led group announced Tuesday that it will seek a referendum this November on a bill passed by the Maryland legislature to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. The governor has not yet signed the bill, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, but is expected to. The group, MDPetitions.com, is referring to the measure as “The Bathroom Bill,” a moniker frequently used by opponents of gender equality to stir fears that the non-discrimination law will enable men to enter women’s restrooms to harass or attack them.” The group must first collect 55,736 signatures by June 30, including one-third of those by May 31.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Proposed Financial Punishment of South Carolina Colleges For Assigning Gay Books May Die In Senate

Early last month, South Carolina Republican lawmakers in the House voted to slash about $70,000 in funding to the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg because the schools assigned LGBT-themed books to incoming freshmen.

SmithBut it looks like the House’s proposal may die in the state Senate. The State reports:

The debate could come up in Senate Finance Committee, which will work this week to complete its budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But the subcommittee that writes the budget for public colleges didn't include the cuts in its recommendations. That panel's chairman, Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, made clear he believes the Legislature shouldn't micromanage universities' curriculum.

"I think that should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects," said Courson, R-Columbia…

"This whole issue is pretty baffling to me that we're talking about something like this in the year 2014," said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, noting the students are adults…

Rep. Garry Smith (pictured), who proposed the cuts, argues that freedom comes with responsibility, and the colleges were neither responsible nor responsive to legislators who approve their budgets. The Legislature sets policy, and the budget should be "reflective of the values and mindset of the citizens of the state," said Smith, R-Simpsonville.

Someone might want to tell Representative Smith that “the values and mindset of the citizens of the state” are gradually creeping towards acceptance of gay and lesbian citizens.


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