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Right-wing blames LGBTQ inclusion, “woke ideology” for Taliban takeover

Right-wing figures blaming LGBTQ inclusion plus spreading false claim the U.S. embassy in Kabul flew a Pride flag ahead of Taliban takeover



Graphic via Media Matters for America

By Jasmine Geonzon & Alex Patterson | WASHINGTON – Right-wing figures are attacking “woke ideology” in the U.S. military and using anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in their tirades against the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, including spreading the false claim that the U.S. embassy in Kabul flew a LGBTQ pride flag on its rooftop ahead of the Taliban’s takeover.

Conservative outlets have seized on the current media fixation on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and its fallout to attack the Biden administration and Afghan refugees, and they are also criticizing the so-called “woke agenda” in their commentary over the Taliban’s takeover of the country. (Right-wing media have co-opted the term “woke” from Black activists and now use it as a derogatory catch-all term to encompass their grievances against social justice initiatives.)

Right-wing media’s narrative of a culture war claims that American values are threatened by the rise of critical race theory (CRT), identity politics, and the LGBTQ rights movement. In the past year, right-wing actors have turned CRT into a cultural war by attacking school boardscorporations, and even the military in an effort to gin up their conservative base ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. After recently spending weeks attacking the military and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chief Gen. Mark Milley for their alleged “wokeness,” right-wing media are now roping anti-LGBTQ rhetoric into their coverage of the Afghanistan war:

  • New York Post columnist Miranda Devine published an op-ed on August 15 accusing President Joe Biden of “wokifying the military” and leading the country into a defeat that “will echo for eternity.” Devine claimed that Biden has been “busy making us less safe” by “injecting the poison of critical race theory and transgender ideology to divide the troops.”
  • Daily Wire Editor Emeritus host Ben Shapiro tweeted his disapproval of what he considered to be “priorities of our military leadership.”

Appearing on Fox & Friends, Fox Nation host Lara Logan critiqued a Biden comment that the U.S. can pressure Afghanistan to enforce rights of women by “putting economic, diplomatic, and international pressure” by referencing a false claim that the U.S. embassy had put a pride flag on its rooftop. “Why was the U.S. embassy in Kabul flying the pride flag, gay pride flag, if what you can do is through diplomatic pressure?” Logan rhetorically asked. “That is not a message that was well-received by millions of Afghans who do not see the world that way and are not really lockstep with woke ideology.” 

Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh sarcastically called the absence of rainbow flags in Afghanistan “the greatest tragedy of all.”

After thanking gold star families for their sacrifices in Afghanistan, Fox News contributor Joey Jones suggested that addressing people by their correct pronouns is “petty”, saying, “Because of your sacrifice, this world is a better place, and this country is a safe place. We get to argue about what pronoun we want rather than who has to wear something over their head or who gets to drive and who doesn’t. We get to argue about things that a lot of us would consider to be petty.”

Right-wing media figure Kyle Becker mocked the U.S. military for being “humiliated on the world stage” by sarcastically advocating for “more LGBTQ sensitivity training, free transgender surgeries, and CRT indoctrination.”

On August 16, Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized what he called the U.S. administration’s “radical gender politics” in Afghanistan. He cited a U.S. Agency for International Development classified report, saying American-funded advisers implementing gender quotas in Afghanistan “caused revolts” among “these Stone Age people they were going to educate.” 

Appearing on Steve Bannon’s War Room, New York Post columnist Miranda Devine chastised the U.S. State Department over the false claim that the embassy in Kabul flew a rainbow pride flag, which she called a “provocation.” Devine characterized the American project as “transporting the worst kind of cultural, sort of, fringe ideas,” claiming, “No one wants pregnant men and transgender ideology being taught to four year-olds.”

James Woods, actor and prominent right-wing voice, ridiculed CNN and the Biden administration in a now-deleted tweet, saying, “I’m guessing CNN anchors in Afghanistan won’t be sharing their pronoun choices anymore… #BidenDisaster”

Right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza claimed on Newsmax’s Greg Kelly Reports that the United States “have our eye off the ball” while the Taliban “have their eye on the ball.” D’Souza went on to criticize Milley, saying he was “trying to understand white rage” while the Taliban was “planning their final coordinated assault on Kabul.” D’Souza then went on to accuse Milley of “having fantasies of — I don’t know what — putting troops in high heels, maybe transgender surgeries, transgender bathrooms.” 

Anti-Muslim activist Brigitte Gabriel appeared on Newsmax’s Eric Bolling the Balance to discuss her frustration with the U.S. military and diplomatic leadership. Gabriel said, “It’s so frustrating to see Milley talk about gender and critical race theory and transgender rights and equality in the military. It’s frustrating to see our embassy in Afghanistan, just last month, instead of posting about how we’re going to win against the Taliban, … posting about LGBTQ rights as a month and how they celebrate diversity in the military.”

Speaking on the decline of U.S. power, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh criticized the U.S. for being too caught up on social issues to maintain its diplomatic power. He continued, “A government waving rainbow flags and a military indoctrinated into LGBT and critical race theory propaganda cannot be an imperial force, even if it wants to be. Most of the people defending American imperialism abroad seem to want to pretend that we’re still the country we were one hundred years ago. We’re not.”


Jasmine Geonzon is a researcher at Media Matters. She graduated from the College of William & Mary with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and sociology with a concentration in social problems, policy, and justice.

Alex Paterson is a researcher for the LGBTQ program at Media Matters, where he has worked since 2019. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Montana State University and has a background in LGBTQ advocacy, including previous work at the National LGBTQ Task Force and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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President Biden endorses Trans Virginia lawmaker for re-election

Roem, a former journalist, in 2018 became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the nation



Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday endorsed Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) for re-election. Roem, a former journalist, in 2018 became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the nation.

Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) is among the other Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates who Biden backed. Biden in his tweet also stressed his support of Terry McAuliffe, who is running against Republican Glenn Youngkin to succeed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Building back better starts in the states,” tweeted Biden. “Since flipping the legislature in 2019, Virginia Democrats have been a model of progress—including helping us vaccinate folks to beat the pandemic. To keep our progress, we must elect Terry McAuliffe and Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Biden called Roem on the night she defeated then-state Del. Bob Marshall and congratulated her. A Washington Post picture that showed Roem crying moments later went viral.

The Manassas Democrat who represents the 13th District in 2019 easily won re-election. Christopher Stone, the Republican who is running against Roem in this cycle, opposes marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

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Anti-gay Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”



Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dies at 84

Powell, leaving mixed legacy on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ was key figure once opposed gays in military, then backed review



President Barack Obama & former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Oval Office, Dec. 1, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

BETHESDA, Md. – General Colin Powell, the nation’s first Black U.S. Secretary of State, who served in the top diplomatic and military leadership roles in the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. and George W. Bush died Monday at Walter Reed National Medical Center at age 84.

“We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment,” the Powell family said in its statement. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

Secretary Powell is the first high-profile public figure to die as a result of a so-called breakthrough infection of the novel (COVID-19) coronavirus. Powell was fully vaccinated, according to Peggy Cifrino, Powell’s longtime aide, who posted the family’s statement to social media after his death. Powell reportedly suffered from multiple myeloma, a condition that hampers an individual’s ability to combat blood infections.

For the LGBTQ+ community, Powell leaves a mixed legacy. Rising to the top of the military as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell supported in 1993 Congress moving forward with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law that barred openly gay people from serving in the U.S. military.

During a key moment congressional testimony, Powell and other top military officials were asked whether or not allowing gay people in the military would be compatible with military readiness. Each official, including Powell,” responded “incompatible.” Congress would enact “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that year.

Things changed when President Barack Obama took office 15 years later and advocates for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were eager to claim Powell’s voice among their ranks. After all, Powell was highly respected as a bipartisan voice after having served as secretary of state in the administration of George W. Bush and endorsing Obama in the 2008 election.

In October 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama as he was weeks away from being elected the nation’s first African-American president. “I think he is a transformational figure,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

After the Obama administration in 2010 announced it would conduct a review of the idea of allowing gay people to serve openly in the military, Powell came out in support of that process. Advocates of repeal called that a declaration of reversal, although the statement fell short of a full support for gay people serving openly in the military.

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” Powell said in a statement issued by his office, adding, “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.” He added, “I will be closely following future hearings, the views of the Service Chiefs and the implementation work being done by the Department of Defense.”

Congress acted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the policy was lifted in 2011. At the time, Powell was widely considered a supporter of ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and publicly counted among supporters of repeal.

In 2012, Powell had similar vaguely supportive words on same-sex marriage, saying he had “no problem with it” when asked about the issue.

“As I’ve thought about gay marriage, I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is, and they raise children,” Powell said. “And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married.”

The White House released a statement from President Joe Biden reacting to the news of Powell’s death, The President also ordered the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on October 22, 2021 as a mark of respect for Powell.

Jill and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity, General Colin Powell.  
The son of immigrants, born in New York City, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, a graduate of the City College of New York, he rose to the highest ranks of the United States military and to advise four presidents. He believed in the promise of America because he lived it. And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others.
As a Senator, I worked closely with him when he served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as Secretary of State. Over our many years working together – even in disagreement – Colin was always someone who gave you his best and treated you with respect.
Colin embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat. He was committed to our nation’s strength and security above all. Having fought in wars, he understood better than anyone that military might alone was not enough to maintain our peace and prosperity. From his front-seat view of history, advising presidents and shaping our nation’s policies, Colin led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong. Time and again, he put country before self, before party, before all else—in uniform and out—and it earned him the universal respect of the American people.
Having repeatedly broken racial barriers, blazing a trail for others to follow in Federal Government service, Colin was committed throughout his life to investing in the next generation of leadership. Whether through his care for the women and men serving under his command and the diplomats he led, or through the work he shared with his wife Alma at the America’s Promise Alliance to lift up young people, or through his years leading the Eisenhower Fellowships, Colin’s leadership always included a focus on future.
Above all, Colin was my friend. Easy to share a laugh with. A trusted confidant in good and hard times. He could drive his Corvette Stingray like nobody’s business—something I learned firsthand on the race track when I was Vice President. And I am forever grateful for his support of my candidacy for president and for our shared battle for the soul of the nation. I will miss being able to call on his wisdom in the future.
Jill and I are sending all our love and strength to Alma, their children, Linda, Annemarie, and Michael, their grandchildren, and the entire Powell family.  Our nation mourns with you.
Colin Powell was a good man.
He will be remembered as one of our great Americans.

Former President Obama noted;

“General Powell was an exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot. He was at the center of some of the most consequential events of our lifetimes…. And although he’d be the first to acknowledge that he didn’t get every call right, his actions reflected what he believed was best for America and the people he served.

“Along the way, General Powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher. He never denied the role that race played in his own life and in our society more broadly. But he also refused to accept that race would limit his dreams, and through his steady and principled leadership, helped pave the way for so many who would follow.”

Former President George W. Bush in a statement said:

He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience.

He was such a favorite of presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”

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