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“We’re not teaching sodomy to 6th graders,” NJ candidate vows rollback

New Jersey in 2019 became the second state in the nation after California to adopt a law that requires schools to teach about LGBTQ history

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Former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli speaking to a crowd of supporters in this undated Twitter Profile picture. ( Twitter of Jack Ciattarelli)

HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Republican nominee in the gubernatorial race in New Jersey, former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, has vowed to roll back LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum in the Garden State’s primary and secondary public schools.

In a video at a campaign appearance last month, Ciattarelli is heard telling the crowd gathered at the Tactical Training Center gun store in Flemington; “I feel lucky [our kids] They’re about 20 years old and I don’t have to deal with what you’re dealing with right now. When I’m governor you won’t have to deal with it, but we don’t teach gender ID and sexual orientation to kindergartens. In the sixth grade we don’t teach sodomy. And we’re going to push back on the LGBTQ curriculum. It goes too far. ”

Ciattarelli also complained about a poster he told the crowd he had recently seen at a local bank announcing a new LGBTQ bank card. “I’m sitting there saying,” he said. “The more special we respond to each interest, the more you remind us how different we are from each other. ’No?”

NJ GOP gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli discusses NJ’s LGTBQ curriculum via Gothamist:

Christian Fuscarino, the executive director of Garden State Equality, said Ciattarelli’s use of the word “sodomy” sounded as if it were “speaking to a specific group of people in code or signaling virtues.” Fuscarino added: “He says more clearly that he wants to reverse some of the progress the LGBTQ community has made. We’ve seen enough of that at the federal level over the last four years with the Trump administration.”

New Jersey in 2019 became the second state in the nation after California to adopt a law that requires schools to teach about LGBTQ history in a move hailed by civil rights groups as a step toward inclusion and fairness.

In New Jersey, there are now laws to address sexual orientation and schooling. There are also requirements to provide information on diversity and inclusion, including gender and sexual orientation. While the law requires LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, administration and oversight is at the discretion of the individual school districts to determine how it is implemented.

The law has provisions for instruction for all of the state’s high school students that explains “the political, economic, and social contributions of people with disabilities and lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people.” This is intended to reduce the bullying suffered by LGBTQ students and those with LGBTQ parents in schools.

By teaching about lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual communities in schools, students will feel more connected, which will help their mental health and ability to learn, Kathryn Dixon, Northern New Jersey policy coordinator for GLSEN told the New Jersey Star-Ledger in an interview in 2019 after the law was signed by Democratic Governor Phil Murphy. “It fosters respect and connectivity and develops a culture and climate where everyone feels safe,” she said.

The lessons shouldn’t be confined to the history of the gay rights movement, Dixon added. Rather, schools should also include everyday examples of LGBT individuals and families across subjects. 

Political non-partisan website Insider NJ noted this past spring that “Assemblyman Ciattarelli has a history of embracing Trumpian far-right ideology, including maskless gladhanding, a featured speaking role at a “Stop the Steal” rally, and Jim Crow-era voter disenfranchisement.”

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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News

Senators to Rachel Levine: Issue guidance on mental health for trans youth

New instructions sought as more than half of trans youth contemplate suicide

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Sen. Chris Murphy (left) is leading the call on Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine to offer guidance on trans health care.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is leading a group of senators who are urging Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to win Senate confirmation as a presidential appointee, to issue new guidance on mental health care needs for trans youth.

In a letter dated Sept. 30 and obtained Tuesday by the Washington Blade, the senators make the case current standards are insufficient for trans and gender expansive, or TGE, adolescents, including exploring, non-binary, agender, genderfluid and queer youth.

“Our goal is to help mental health providers offer the best care they can to the nation’s TGE youth without a delay in treatment,” the letter says. “The focus of this request is for the pressing needs of hospital or residential care even as we recognize the need for guidance across all settings of mental health care.”

Specifically, the senators call on the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, or BHCC, and experts in the field of adolescent trans care to offer guidance on best practices for inpatient mental health care among these youth.

The senators address the letter to Levine, who in addition to being trans has a background in care for adolescent youth, and Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use.

Cited in the letter are findings from the Trevor Project, an organization that supports LGBTQ youth, which determined more than half of trans and non-binary youth seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020.

“While behavioral health and pediatric organizations have published resources regarding TGE health care, we have heard from hospital providers they are seeking guidance on best practices for serving gender diverse youth in community residential and inpatient mental health settings,” the letter says.

The seven senators who signed the letter along with Murphy are Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

An HHS spokesperson for Levine’s office, in response to the letter, told the Blade: “We have received the letter and will be reviewing it.”

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