Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days. We'll be providing a retrospective on the most heinous, crazy-making bits of anti-LGBT news that came across our radar last week. Our hope in doing this isn't only to darken the skies, but also to sound the alarm about the kind of idiocy that passes for "legitimate commentary" these days. Expect a healthy dose of snark in the following paragraphs — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.
5. Fired Lesbian Teacher Sues Calif. School District
Sadly, it's a story we're all too familiar with: an openly lesbian teacher is drummed out of her school for being gay, or, in this case, for standing up for her gay students. Julia Frost was a probationary English teacher at Sultana High School in Hesperia, Calif. from 2011-2013, at which point her contract was not renewed. She says she was subjected to homophobic harassment and antigay attitudes throughout the duration of her employment, but when the harassment rose to professional retaliation against the out teacher for supporting her students, Frost had had enough.
After repeated obstruction from school officials, Frost helped students who were trying to establish a Gay/Straight Alliance on campus by filing a formal complaint. Frost says she was spurred to action not only as a cosponsor of the school's fledgling GSA, but after she saw repeated instances of homophobic and transphobic hostility directed at LGBT students in the hallways and classrooms. But after
On November 19, Lambda Legal filed suit against the Hesperia Unified School District, contending that Southern California school district violated state antidiscrimination laws regarding unlawful termination and retaliation for helping her LGBT students exercise their right to free speech. Among the numerous instances of homophobic language documented in the complaint, is the allegation that Frost was penalized after helping a student file a formal complaint after a teacher told the student to "take that gay headband off," and used the phrase "That's so gay" in a disparaging manner.
While it's beyond shitty that Frost had to endure this professional bullying, we commend her for holding the school district's feet to the fire and letting them know she will not go quietly into the night.
"I love teaching and working with young people, and it breaks my heart to see some of them facing hostility and rejection just for being who they are," said Frost. "That’s why I agreed to be a faculty co-sponsor of the GSA. These students need and deserve a supportive, positive role model, just like all students do. I can’t regret having been there for them, and shouldn’t be punished for having done so."
4. Cheney Family Feud Drags on Between Liz and Mary, the 'Intolerant Lesbian Bigot'
As I mentioned in last week's roundup of outrageous news, Thanksgiving at the Cheney compound is sure to be, well, painfully awkward. After right-wingers accused Wyoming Senate hopeful Liz Cheney of not being antigay enough, since she has a sister — Mary — who is married to a woman and the couple has children, Liz went on record as definitely "not pro-gay marriage."
Unsurprisingly, that didn't sit too well with her sister, who not only shot back on Facebook, calling her sister's outdated views "just plain wrong," but also didn't sugarcoat the situation when she told Politico she is "not working, not contributing, and not voting for" her sister in Wyoming. "I'm not supporting Liz's candidacy," she told the website via email.
While some might think this is a relatively tame response to a family member directly disavowing your spouse and children, right-wingers like Bryan Fischer claimed that it revealed Mary's underlying bigotry.
Fischer, the certified wingnut who leads the antigay American Family Association and helms the association's weekly radio show, asked his listeners, "Who is the one who is being intolerant here?"
"Who is the one that's being a bigot?" he continued. "Who is the one who that's saying you've got to agree with me or I'm going to disown you? Who is the one that's saying you've got to agree with me or I'm not going to be in relationship with you? It's not the Christian. It's not the heterosexual. It's not the one who believes in man-woman marriage. It is the intolerant lesbian bigot that is doing that."
And just in case his ever-so-bright listeners weren't clear who he was talking about when he said "not the Christian, not the heterosexual, and not the one who believes in man-woman marriage," Fischer clarified. "It's very clear here that Liz Cheney is not the intolerant bigot," he said in the video posted by Right Wing Watch. "It is Liz Cheney's sister who is, in fact, the intolerant bigot."
Watch Fischer's rant below, if you feel you've got the stomach for it.
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