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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

ALA: Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQ+ persons

Nearly 1,600 books in more than 700 libraries/systems across the nation involving race, gender & the LGBTQ community, were targeted

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Several books which have been challenged by parents based on their content are pictured at Left Bank Books in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood last November. (Photo: Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio)

CHICAGO – A new report released by the American Library Association (ALA), covering its annual assessment of books being challenged or banned in the United States showed a dramatic increase in just a three month period of time in 2021 versus all of the previous year.

According to the ALA, nearly 1,600 books in more than 700 libraries and library systems across the nation involving race, gender and the LGBTQ community, were targeted by conservative groups in many cases led by anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the Florida-based ‘Moms for Liberty.’

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals.

In 2021, libraries found themselves at the center of a culture war as conservative groups led a historic effort to ban and challenge materials that address racism, gender, politics, and sexual identity. These groups sought to pull books from school and public library shelves that share the stories of people who are gay, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrants, and refugees.

“Libraries represent values that are core to democracy. Trained and certified librarians and library workers provide services and collections that inform, engage, illuminate and help people of all ages learn more about the world around them.
“Libraries across the country are addressing the effects of historical inequality and systemic racism on library users, especially people of color and those who belong to historically marginalized and minority communities. Library professionals are dedicated to developing collections that allow every person to see themselves in library resources and provide a means to build understanding among all users,” said Patricia “Patty” Wong, American Library Association President.

The ALA report noted that although many bans and challenges originated from
parents, in some cases law enforcement and state legislators got involved.
In Wyoming, a group of residents led by a local pastor filed criminal complaints with local prosecutors, requiring the appointment of a special prosecutor who weighed the possibility of prosecuting public library officials for shelving books some said were obscene in sections
intended for children and young adults.

The books claimed to be in violation of the law included This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, How Do You Make a Baby by Anna Fiske, Doing It by Hannah Witton, Sex is a Funny Word by Corey Silverberg, and Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy by Andrew P. Smiler.

In November, the Associated Press reported that no charges would be filed.

The special prosecutor, Weston County Attorney Michael Stulken, wrote to Campbell County Sheriff Scot Matheny that “[he] cannot ethically bring criminal charges if the facts surrounding a certain matter are not supported by probable cause.” He concluded that the books in question were not obscene and that there was no basis in law for the criminal prosecution of the library staff who had presented the books to the public.

Those concerned about censorship have reason to worry. “Book challenges and removals are significantly up this school year from last year,” said Nora Pelizzari, director of communications, National Coalition Against Censorship. “The most frequently challenged books are by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ people. All of the intersections apply.”

St. Louis Public Radio analysis of the books being challenged in the area in November found two-thirds were written by authors of color or authors who identify as LGBTQ. “The Bluest Eye,” was the book with the most official requests for removal from libraries. It was the first book by Toni Morrison, who would go on to win a Nobel Prize in Literature and a Pulitzer Prize.

Graphic via ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

Top Ten most challenged books:

Graphic via ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom
Graphic via ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

Read the full report:

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Hate group: Mattel is destroying gender lines with Laverne Cox Trans doll

“It is outrageous that a toy company is marketing and normalizing gender dysphoria to young children” AFA’s Monica Cole said

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Screenshot/YouTube Laverne Cox

TUPELO, Ms. –  A leading national anti-LGBTQ+ group,  The American Family Association, (AFA) listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a ‘Hate’ group for its lies and propaganda about LGBTQ+ rights and expression, pornography, and abortion is attacking Mattel toy company over its Laverne Cox Barbie Doll.

One ‘division’ of the AFA is the notorious One Million Moms headed by AFA’s Monica Cole who this past week sent out a newsletter attacking Mattel claiming that the toy company is hoping to have this doll placed in playrooms solely to “indoctrinate children into transgenderism and homosexuality.”

In the newsletter Cole also writes that “Mattel is purposely confusing our innocent children by attempting to destroy very definitive gender lines. Why can’t the toy manufacturer let kids be who God created them to be instead of glamorizing a sinful lifestyle?”

Full Text of the One Million Moms’ newsletter:

Mattel recently announced its launch of the first transgender Barbie doll as part of its #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL Tribute Collection, modeled after the Orange Is the New Black actor and LGBTQ activist Laverne Cox.

Mattel created a Barbie in his likeness, wearing a red, sheer evening gown with a faux leather strapless top, a tulle skirt, and a sparkly silver bodysuit underneath.

The Laverne Cox doll promotes cross-dressing and glorifies the transgender lifestyle. Mattel has created a toy glorifying gender inclusivity while ignoring one’s biological sex.

Barbie is also donating in Cox’s name to TransFamilySOS, an organization that describes its mission as a service “that saves lives by shaping a gender affirming and accepting community.”

It is outrageous that a toy company is marketing and normalizing gender dysphoria to young children.

Parents who are not already aware of the company’s agenda, please be forewarned: Children are being “groomed” by Mattel trans Barbie dolls under the disguise of playtime.

Now, parents will have to deal with the confusion experienced by their children when these inappropriate dolls are seen on store shelves such as Walmart, Target, and other stores that sell Barbie dolls.

This new product makes it clear that Mattel has an LGBTQ agenda that it is forcing on extremely young audiences.

Obviously, Mattel is attempting to “groom” the next generation. This company should be enhancing learning during play, but instead, Mattel is brainwashing our preschoolers and elementary-age children.

Mattel is hoping to have this doll placed in playrooms solely to indoctrinate children into transgenderism and homosexuality.

The company’s goal is to have everyone, even toddlers, accept the LGBTQ lifestyle, but a toy company should never even consider taking part in this abomination.

Mattel is purposely confusing our innocent children by attempting to destroy very definitive gender lines. Why can’t the toy manufacturer let kids be who God created them to be instead of glamorizing a sinful lifestyle?

Mattel is choosing to push an agenda of sexual confusion instead of promoting its actual product.

This PC-inclusive toy blurs the biological distinctions between males and females. Introducing children to this lifestyle choice is contrary to what conservative, Christian parents are teaching their children about God’s design.

Take Action now and demand that Mattel remove the controversial doll from shelves immediately!

TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition urging Mattel to discontinue production and sales of its trans Barbie doll immediately. Be sure to share this campaign with your friends and family!

BTS with Barbie!| Laverne Cox:

Editor’s Note: Order your Laverne Cox Barbie here!

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Right-wing extremist provocateur threatens to ‘hunt’ LGBT supporters

He has a history of right-wing extremist short videos including a harassment campaign against an Arizona wig shop that serves cancer patients

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Ethan Schmidt (Screenshot/Twitter)

PHOENIX – A twenty-four year old right-wing extremist based in the metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona area, Ethan Schmidt, posted a short video of himself accompanied by Kyle Clifton who describes himself as “authoritarian Christian nationalist,” driving in an undisclosed area announcing that he and Clifton will be “hunting ‘LGBT supporters” and people in area Target retail stores.

The video captured by Twitter account Patriot Takes, which describes itself as a group of dedicated researchers monitoring and exposing right-wing extremism and other threats to democracy, first posted the video clip Saturday.

Schmidt has a history of making right-wing extremist short videos including a harassment campaign against an Arizona wig shop that serves cancer patients.

Sunny’s Hair and Wigs, specialize in making wigs for women who have lost hair while getting treated for cancer and the store had implemented coronavirus pandemic protections including strict mask guidelines to ensure safety of their clients who are particularly vulnerable to infection.

Lisa Memberr, the owner of the shop had explained to local media outlets: “My customer base is very diverse,” and she added, “Not only do I have Caucasians, I have Afro-Americans, I have Asians, I have Latin Americans.”

Schmidt, who has ban banned by nearly all social media platforms including Twitter for spreading false and misleading COVID-19 pandemic information had been visiting numerous retail stores in the Phoenix area including Sunny’s Hair and Wigs targeting those businesses that still require customers to wear mask. He invariably creates videos of his encounters which he uploads to right-wing social media and web sites that he hasn’t been banned from.

In addition to his anti-mask campaign he has made videos with extremist conservative lawmakers including one with Arizona U.S. Republican Representative Paul Gosar telling antivaxxers “to stay the course.”

He also filmed a short with Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers who has established herself firmly as an anti-vax, anti-LGBTQ, right wing extremist.

Clifton is a leader of the America First Union, an openly white nationalist, antisemitic, “conservative youth” organization. He also promotes former President Donald Trump’s big lie about the 2020 Presidential election being stolen by Democrats and President Joe Biden. Clifton also participated in the Arizona audit of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County, which state Sen. Rogers, had raised the visibility of her own political profile by insisting that Arizona’s vote was stolen.

Last Fall Schmidt posed with Trump endorsed Republican candidate for Arizona Governor Kari Lake as he burned a LGBTQ+ Pride flag.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Ben Shapiro: “If we had a Supreme Court […] they’d overturn Obergefell”

Ben Shapiro on the May 4, 2022, edition of The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show, attacked same-sex marriage, Trans rights, and Democrats

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Be Shapiro (Screenshot/DW YouTube)

By Media Matters | WASHINGTON – Right-wing conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro on the May 4, 2022, edition of The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show, attacked same-sex marriage, Trans rights, and Democrats.

Transcript:

BEN SHAPIRO (HOST): Meanwhile, the Democrats are really trying to push hard, particularly the Democrats in the media. So you’ve got ABC’s Terry Moran saying, you never know what they might do next. What are they going to do next? My God, the Supreme Court – they might actually go back and overrule Loving v. Virginia and allow states to ban interracial marriage. Oh really? That wasn’t even based on the right to privacy, you idiots. That’s based on the equal protection clause. Wrong constitutional clause, you morons. 

And then they try to claim, well, they might overturn Obergefell. First of all, Obergefell is a bad Supreme Court decision and if we had a Supreme Court worth its salt, they would overturn Obergefell. But they’re not going to. They explicitly say — Alito says, I think three separate times in that decision that I read in nearly its totality on the air yesterday,  that this has no impact on other cases of different lines. Which is a clear reference to Obergefell, repeatedly.

But Democrats know deep in the cockles of their tiny little Grinch-like hearts on abortion, they know that the abortion issue is not a winner. So they’re trying to expand it out – well, you never know. The Supreme Court, they might go after gay rights, they might go after — sure, you’re right. The same Supreme Court in which Neil Gorsuch idiotically ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers transgender people is now going to overrule Obergefell.

********************

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

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