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Gender & Sexuality

Gender & Sexuality

Tom Toles | Gay Marriage Ceremony / Slate.com

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Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

“Well, news flash: There are homosexual people all over the world. Having your kid meet a homosexual in school and possibly even having a nice conversation with one isn’t going to turn your kid into one.” --Tammy Aaberg

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Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

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Protests over alleged harassment last year. Photo: Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

The woman sobbed as she told her son’s story to the Anoka-Hennepin School Board on Monday (August 23). “Hi, I’m Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin Aaberg, who was a gay student at Anoka High School who committed suicide July 9th of this year.” The school district has become ground zero in the battle between those who want safe spaces for LGBT students and those who want any mention of homosexuality banned from high school campuses.

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According to LGBT advocates, Justin’s death is one of three suicides by gay students in the last year, and while the district says it takes bullying seriously and has beefed up discipline against harassment, it has spurned invitations by LGBT groups to do anti-bullying education. To make matters more complicated, a group of parents opposed to homosexuality has formed to put pressure on the board not to bow to LGBT interests.

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The district — the state’s largest, with around 40,000 students — made headlines last year when the Minnesota Department of Human Rights alleged that two teachers conspired to harass a student, Alex Merritt, who they thought was gay. The news led to protests at school board meetings urging the district to adopt stronger anti-bullying policies and offers by LGBT groups to provide education. The school board rebuffed those efforts.

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Suburban school district gets earful over anti-gay harassment, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
Students, teachers and concerned residents of the Anoka-Hennepin School District crowded into the district’s board meeting on Monday evening to vent their concerns after learning that the district paid out $25,000 to a student who says he was continually harassed by two district teachers because they thought he was gay.

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Mama Grizzly (and other setbacks)

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The Year of the Pink Elephant Women was enough to force our one-woman jury back to its annual task. Once more we celebrate suffrage by giving out the Equal Rites Awards to those who done their best over the past 12 months to set back the cause of women.
Before we get trampled, the envelopes please.

Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe | MA

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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And so we rise to celebrate Aug. 26, the 90th anniversary of the day American women finally won the right to vote. It took nine decades to get three women serving on the Supreme Court at the same time. But in politics, alas, we have gone from radical women chaining themselves to the White House fence to conservative women serving tea. Or at least the Tea Party.

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What would Susan B. Anthony make of Sarah Palin as the most outspoken female politician in the land, or of Palin’s menagerie of groupies? The former leader of “pit bulls with lipstick” is now a “Mama Grizzly” intent on escorting a “stampede of pink elephants” — a.k.a. ultra-conservative female Republicans — to Washington.

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The Year of the Pink Elephant Women was enough to force our one-woman jury back to its annual task. Once more we celebrate suffrage by giving out the Equal Rites Awards to those who done their best over the past 12 months to set back the cause of women.

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Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay

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"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman.

Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.

Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter's questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8.

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Playing With Teen Sex Statistics: A Lesson in Lies

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If most high school kids aren’t having sex yet, that means that it’s that much more important to get them good sex education, so when they start having sex---and statistics overwhelmingly show that they will---they know how to make healthy choices.

Amanda Marcotte,  RHRealityCheck.org

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There are many goofy aspects to this Life Site News story arguing that because a slim majority of teenagers don’t have sex, we don’t need to teach them about contraceptive methods. Perhaps the most puzzling is why they came out with the story on July 14th, since the report came out a month and a half ago. (In classic Life Site fashion, they don’t actually link the report, for fear that a stray reader may actually read it an clue into the fact that their spin is dishonest.) Did it take the American Life League (ALL) this long to craft a response? If so, you’d expect them to come up with something less transparently silly than this:

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ALL says that the CDC report, entitled “Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Child Bearing, National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG),” debunks Planned Parenthood’s constant mantra that most teens will not abstain. In particular the pro-life organization points to the words of Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullens, from a YouTube video directed toward teens: “Admit that you are a sexually active individual like most of us, and that you are going to have sex and that you need to take precautions in order to stay healthy.”

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