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Jackson wants GOP to focus on marriage

CPAC panel emphasizes opposition to same-sex nuptials



Bishop Harry Jackson (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two black conservatives are urging the Republican Party to emphasize social issues — such as opposition to same-sex marriage — to build appeal for the GOP among racial minority groups.

Bishop Harry Jackson of the Hope Christian Church, known for leading efforts against legalizing same-sex marriage in D.C., and Rev. Michael Faulkner, author of “Restoring the American Dream,” called for greater attention to social issues at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C.

During a panel titled “Traditional Marriage and Society,” Jackson said the conservative movement has “an opportunity to engage a multi-racial, multi-cultural group of people,” but only if the Republican Party doesn’t throw social issues “under the bus.”

“Whether I like the GOP or not, whether I like Republicans or not, there is no other party now that really is advocating any of the social issues that are consistent with my faith,” Jackson said.

Faulkner, who campaigned against Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), said conservatives need to develop their message to racial minorities because they are ready to support the conservative movement.

“As I campaigned, especially in Latino churches, I was required before the pastor would allow me to speak to give my position on same-sex marriage and on abortion,” Faulkner said. “So they are staunch conservatives, probably more conservative than we are.”

Jackson spoke out against the advancement of marriage rights for gay couples and said it would interfere with parents’ rights in children’s education.

“If you change marriage, you redefine the family; if you redefine the family, you redefine parenting; if you redefine parenting, you must of necessity, redefine education, and in that redefinition, that’s where we get ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ and a generation of kids as young as five-years-old are told that they are to be gay allies in the State of California,” Jackson said.

Faulker also railed against the advancement of gay nuptials and said pressure to be politically correct can’t change marriage.

“We need to stand for traditional marriage,” Faulkner said. “Not just stand against anyone else, but to stand for our society, stand for our culture, stand for our nation, stand for the children and the families in our nation. If we do not, we will indeed destroy ourselves.”

One LGBT rights group, on the other hand, says that Republicans must continue emphasizing fiscal issues as opposed to social issues to win support among the American public.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, said the focus of most conservatives is the economy as some within the movement continue to rail against same-sex marriage.

“There are going to be members of the conservative movement who are still going to hold social issues as their No. 1 focus, but what we saw at CPAC this last year was that was not the primary focus,” Cooper said.

Cooper pointed to the results of CPAC straw poll, which showed that same-sex marriage wasn’t a major concern among attendees.

Support for “protecting tradional marriage” was a priority for 3 percent of straw poll responders. Meanwhile, 53 percent of attendees said reducing the size of the federal government was a priority and 38 percent said reducing government spending was a priority.

Also during the panel discussion, Tom Minnery, senior president of government and public policy for CitizenLink, offered statistics that he said demonstrate countries with same-sex marriage are worse off than places that deny marriage rights to gay couples. LGBT advocates have long disputed the statistical accuracy of Minnery’s work.

Minnery said responders to a survey were asked whether married people were happier in countries with varying levels of relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

According to Minnery, in countries with same-sex marriage, 21 percent of responders said married people were happier; in countries with civil unions; 36 percent say married people are happier; in countries with only regional recognition, 42 percent of people said married people were happier; and in countries with no same-sex marriage, the respect for marriage “goes high.”

For another question on whether children need both a mother and a father to be happy, Minnery said 76 percent of responders said “yes” in countries with same-sex marriage; 80 percent of responders said “yes” in nations with regional recognition; and 93.8 percent of responders said “yes” in countries with no same-sex marriage.

“As the marriage culture in a country declines, the respect for marriage and the belief in its power also declines,” Minnery said. “That’s why our organization continues to believe if this country loses our marriage culture, we’re headed for a lot of trouble.”

In response, Gary Gates, a scholar at the Williams Institute, a think tank on sexual orientation law at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that in the United States, divorce rates are lower in places where same-sex marriage is legal.

“That doesn’t directly say people are quote, happier, but heterosexual relationships are more stable in places where same-sex couples can get married,” Gates said.

According to data last year from U.S. Census Bureau, in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2003, the divorce rate is 1.8 percent — the lowest in the nation.

With regard to statistics on having a mother and father being important for children, Gates said just because people have that belief doesn’t make it true.

“I just saw a report today: 50 percent of Republicans believe that Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen,” Gates said. “Because people believe it, doesn’t make it true.”

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  1. Doctor Whom

    February 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that in countries where more people agree with Tom Minnery, people are more likely to agree with Tom Minnery? Gosh oh golly, who’d ha’ thunk that?

  2. Bill

    February 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    To witness a black man participating in this kind of discrimination is a humiliation to us all.

    • stevemd2

      February 18, 2011 at 12:54 am

      Thats religion for you. Black had nothing but the church, so they are very conservative theologically. And poor people often are desperate to keep what little they have

      the antis know this and have targetted blacks for decades. And to an extent suceeded. Some of the real extremists blacks are members of Mass Resistance, a hate group.

      Dr. King and Corretta Scott King must be turning over in their graves. Coretta supported full marriage etc equality for gay people. Dr. King in his battles never really got to be involved in what had yet to become another justice movement, thank to some nutcase evangelical – who murdered him. And its the White Evangelicals for the most part who are the worst of the worst re hating gay people.

      Amazing how you put out the fires of hatred and they re-ignite with a new victim.

  3. Oscar

    February 16, 2011 at 2:09 am

    this is news? i remember reading this same article… four years ago.

  4. Blake

    February 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Stupid people. Essentially they’re saying in order to rally support of minorities they need to discriminate against a minority.

  5. customartist

    February 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It is not the Government’s Job to Defend Religious Institutions (DOMA).

    It is not the Government’s Job to create Special recognitions for some Citizens, and not Others.

  6. Frank

    February 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Completely, totally fed-up with the religious right and their irrational boogey-
    man arguments against LGBT rights. Any intelligent discerning person can
    see this can of intolerance and hate is longer going to be tolerated in American

  7. Frank

    February 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    The religious right and the Republican Party deserve each other.

  8. ray

    February 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Even if all the statistics quoted were valid, nothing resembling cause and effect can be interpreted unless you also know what the statistics were before the country legalized same-sex marriages.

  9. Dan

    February 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Study after study after study show children who grow up in a home with their biological parents-one man, one woman, have the best chance & are best raised in this natural environment. Even the Doctor who got homosexuality off the list of mental diseases found in 2003 that people who underwent sexual reorientation therapy had great success. Lastly, if Darwinism is true, how can people who only sleep with the same sex be able to survive hundreds of years? It is a choice, period. Funny how the left lectures every one on facts but ignore these.

    • Doctor Whom

      February 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      If Darwinism is true? Sorry, but you’ve tipped your hand there.

  10. Skeeter Sanders

    February 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Bishop Harry Jackson STILL doesn’t get it: By pushing for a ban on gay and lesbian couples getting married, he’s trying to get the Republican Party to enshrine into law a religious doctrine that condemns homosexuality as a sin.

    Sorry, Harry, but Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution strictly forbids this. “No religious Test shall ever be used as a qualification for any public office or trust in the United States.” Period, end of story.

    Civil marriage is a public trust. To restrict marriage to opposite-gender couples only is to render into public law an anti-gay religious doctrine that violates the religious-test clause of Article VI — not to mention violate the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Give it up, Harry. You have neither a legal nor constitutional leg to stand on.

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Activists demand ICE release transgender, HIV-positive detainees

Protest took place outside agency’s D.C. headquarters on Wednesday



Jessycka Ckatallea Letona, an indigenous transgender woman from Guatemala who spent nearly two years in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, participated in a protest in front of ICE's headquarters in Southwest D.C. on Oct. 27, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Jessycka Ckatallea Letona is an indigenous transgender woman from Guatemala who fled persecution in her homeland because of her gender identity.

She asked for asylum in the U.S. in 2016 when she entered the country in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Ckatallea on Wednesday told the Washington Blade that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials placed her in a pod with 70 men at a privately-run detention center in Florence, Ariz. She also said personnel at another ICE detention center in Santa Ana, Calif., ridiculed her because of her gender identity and forced her to strip naked before she attended hearings in her asylum case.

Ckatallea spent a year and eight months in ICE custody before her release. She won her asylum case and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“It was a very traumatic experience,” said Ckatallea as she spoke with the Blade in front of ICE’s headquarters in Southwest D.C. “I came to a country thinking that it would take care of me, that it would protect me because of my gender identity.”

Ckatallea is one of the more than a dozen immigrant rights activists who participated in a protest in front of ICE’s headquarters that Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Immigration Equality and the End Trans Detention campaign organized. Ckatallea, Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron Morris and other protest participants demanded ICE immediately release trans people and people with HIV/AIDS from their custody.

The groups placed on the sidewalk in front of the building a Day of the Dead “ofrenda” to honor three trans women—Victoria Orellano, Roxsana Hernández and Johana “Joa” Medina León—who died in ICE custody or immediately after their release. The “ofrenda” also paid tribute to Pablo Sánchez Gotopo, a Venezuelan man with AIDS who died in ICE custody on Oct. 1.

Immigrant rights activists on Oct. 27, 2021, placed a Day of the Dead “ofrenda” outside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Southwest D.C. that honored three transgender women and a man with AIDS who died while in ICE custody or immediately upon their release. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Ckatallea, Morris and the other protesters approached the building’s entrance and presented security personnel with a petition that calls upon President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to “immediately release all transgender people, people living with HIV, and people with medical conditions from ICE custody.”

ICE has repeatedly defended its treatment of trans people and people with HIV/AIDS who are in their custody.

The Blade in July 2020 interviewed a person with HIV who was in ICE custody at the Adams County Detention Center, the same privately-run facility in which Gotopo was held until his hospitalization. The person with whom the Blade spoke described conditions inside the detention center as “not safe” because personnel were not doing enough to protect them and other detainees from COVID-19.

Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is among the dozens of lawmakers who have called for the release of all trans people and people with HIV/AIDS from ICE custody. The Illinois Democrat on Tuesday reiterated this call during a virtual briefing that Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Immigration Equality and the End Trans Detention Campaign organized.

“ICE’s clear inability to do better leads me to seek to end of ICE’s detention of all trans migrants,” said Quigley. “During both the Trump and Biden administration I led dozens of my colleagues to demand that ICE release transgender detainees and end its practice of holding trans migrants in custody. We had hoped that things would change with the new administration, so far I’m disappointed.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) also participated in the briefing alongside Immigration Equality Legal Director Bridget Crawford and Sharita Gruberg of the Center for American Progress and others.

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Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott signs anti-Trans youth sports bill

“Despite the powerful testimony of trans kids & adults- the emails to the Governor to veto this harmful piece of legislation it is now law”



Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott (Blade file screenshot)

AUSTIN – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Monday H.B. 25, an anti-Transgender youth sports bill banning Trans K-12 student-athletes from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. 

H.B. 25 is the 9th statewide bill signed into law this year banning transgender youth from participating in school sports and the 10th in the country. This bill also comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state.

“We are devastated at the passage of this bill. Despite the powerful testimony of trans kids and adults, families and advocates, and the many emails and calls our community placed to the Governor’s office to veto this harmful piece of legislation it is now law,” Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, said.

“Most immediately, our focus is our community and integrating concepts of healing justice to provide advocates who have already been harmed by this bill with spaces to refill their cup and unpack the acute trauma caused by these legislative sessions. Our organizations will also begin to shift focus to electing pro-equality lawmakers who understand our issues and prioritize representing the vast majority of Texans who firmly believe that discrimination against trans and LGB+ people is wrong,” he added.

Earlier this month, the Texas state government was criticized for removing web pages with resources for LGBTQ youth, including information about The Trevor Project’s crisis services. The Trevor Project the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people.

“Transgender and nonbinary youth are already at higher risk for poor mental health and suicide because of bullying, discrimination, and rejection. This misguided legislation will only make matters worse,” Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project said in a statement released Monday afternoon.

To every trans Texan who may be feeling hurt and attacked by this legislation and months of ugly political debate — please know that you are valid, and you are deserving of equal opportunity, dignity and respect. The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7 if you ever need support, and we will continue fighting alongside a broad coalition of advocates to challenge this law,” Paley said.


Additional resources:

Research consistently demonstrates that transgender and nonbinary youth face unique mental health challenges and an elevated risk for bullying and suicide risk compared to their peers.  

  • The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempted suicide. 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. 
  • A newly published research brief on “Bullying and Suicide Risk among LGBTQ Youth,” found that 61% of transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) students reported being bullied either in-person or electronically in the past year, compared to 45% of cisgender LGBQ students. TGNB students who were bullied in the past year reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who were not. And TGNB students who said their school was LGBTQ-affirming reported significantly lower rates of being bullied (55%) compared to those in schools that weren’t LGBTQ-affirming (65%).
  • A 2020 peer-reviewed study found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience discrimination based on their gender identity.
  • Trevor’s research has also found that a majority of LGBTQ young people (68%) had never participated in sports for a school or community league or club — with many citing fear of bullying and discrimination as a key factor for not participating.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at, or by texting START to 678678.

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Ohio high school cancels play with Gay character after Pastor complains

The School’s fall production of “She Kills Monsters” was scheduled to open in less than one month until the play was canceled



Hillsboro High School (Screenshot via Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO-TV)

HILLSBORO, Oh. — A Southwest Ohio high school’s play was abruptly canceled after Jeff Lyle, a local pastor from Good News Gathering, complained of a gay character. 

Hillsboro High School’s fall production of “She Kills Monsters” was scheduled to open in less than one month, until students learned the play would be canceled last week, reports Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate WCPO

The story follows a high school senior as she learns about her late sister’s life. It is implied throughout the play that her sister is gay, according to the news station.

The play’s cancellation comes a week after Lyle, a long-time voice of the anti-LGBTQ+ religious-right in Ohio, and a group of parents confronted the production’s directors at a meeting, according to Cincinnati CBS affiliate Local 12. Lyle denies pressuring school officials, but tells WCPO he supports the decision.

“From a Biblical worldview this play is inappropriate for a number of reasons, e.g. sexual innuendo, implied sexual activity between unmarried persons, repeated use of foul language including taking the Lord’s name in vain,” Lyle said. 

Some families say they believe Lyle did influence the school’s decision. 

“I think that’s wrong,” Jon Polstra, a father of one of the actors, told WCPO. “All they would have had to do if they objected to something in the play was not go to the play.”

In a statement to Local 12, Hillsboro City Schools Superintendent Tim Davis said the play was canceled because it “was not appropriate for our K-12 audience.”

The Lexington Herald Leader reports that the school planned to perform a version intended for audiences as young as 11 years old. 

Students were “devastated” and “blindsided” by the news, according to WCPO. 

“It felt like we had just been told, ‘Screw off and your lives don’t matter,'” Christopher Cronan, a Hillsboro High student, said. “I am openly bisexual in that school and I have faced a lot of homophobia there, but I never expected them to cancel a play for a fictional character.”

Cronan’s father, Ryan, also voiced his frustration. 

“They want to say the town is just not ready, but how are you not ready? It’s 2021,” Ryan Cronan said.

Students have started a GoFundMe in hopes of putting on the production at a community theater in 2022.

“If we do raise enough money, I am going to be genuinely happy for a very long time, because that means people do care,” Cronan told WCPO.

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