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White House Budget Office Hires Anti-Gay Zealot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Breitbart.com writer Ken Klukowski has joined the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. The right-wing pundit and lawyer has a history of pushing anti-LGBTQ commentary, including telling readers there’s a “homosexual agenda” moving forward in the courts and falsely claiming that research proves that same-sex parents are bad for children.

Klukowski has worked for a variety of right-wing organizations, including Breitbart.com, the American Civil Rights Union, First Liberty Institute, Liberty University School of Law, and Family Research Council. As a lawyer, Klukowski has filed numerous briefs supporting right-wing causes. He joined the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a special counsel in late August. OMB, which is under the direction of Mick Mulvaney, “oversees the performance of federal agencies, and administers the federal budget.”

Klukowksi was previously the director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council. Family Research Council is an influential and extreme anti-LGBTQ group with high levels of access to the Trump-Pence administration. The organization has compared LGBTQ people to pedophiles and advocated for the discredited and harmful practice of conversion therapy. It also  states on its website: “Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.”

Klukowski is also an ally of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), another of the most influential anti-LGBTQ groups in the country. Sarah Posner wrote in The Nation that “Klukowski has said that he attended ADF legal trainings, and he also authored a rosy profile of the organization for Breitbart in 2012, in which he lauded its ‘massive and growing impact in courtrooms across America.’” He joins numerous other ADF-allied lawyers who have held government positions; Media Matters has identifiedmore than 100 such allies who worked in Congress, federal agencies, state and federal courts, city and state governments, and local school boards in 2018.

As a commentator, Klukowski frequently warned against LGBTQ equality, claiming, for instance, that “the entire homosexual agenda is moving forward in federal court, where judges are disregarding the will of the American people.” He’s also attacked same-sex parenting, falsely claiming that research shows that having “two parents – one man and one woman” gives children the best chance to succeed.

Klukowski: “The entire homosexual agenda is moving forward in federal court, where judges are disregarding the will of the American people.” From a September 2010 op-ed in the Washington Examiner by Klukowski, h/t GLAAD:

The Perry and Log Cabin cases, taken with the recent Massachusetts federal decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (currently on appeal), paint a picture of astounding judicial activism.

The entire homosexual agenda is moving forward in federal court, where judges are disregarding the will of the American people, as expressed through the democratic process. Agenda-driven judges are doing this by declaring brand new constitutional rights not found anywhere in the words of the Constitution, mowing down every law that stands in their way.

Klukowski: “The fundamental institution of human civilization should be preserved as it has been known through the entirety of American history and Western civilization.” In an August 2010 op-ed he wrote for FoxNews.com with Family Research Center’s Kenneth Blackwell, Klukowski warned Republicans against accepting same-sex marriage, writing:

The GOP platform could not be more explicit: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The fundamental institution of human civilization should be preserved as it has been known through the entirety of American history and Western civilization. Supporters of same-sex marriage had the full opportunity to make their case to the party. They made it, and they lost.

Klukowski falsely argued that same-sex parents won’t give “children the best chance to become happy and successful.” In a 2011 Daily Caller op-ed written with Blackwell, Klukowski claimed that research proves that same-sex parents are inferior to opposite-sex parents. In reality, Cornell University’s Public Policy Research Portal wrote that there’s “an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over three decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children.”

The data contradicts [MSNBC host Chris Matthews’] televised encyclical.

Children thrive best in a household with a father and a mother. Not just two individuals who call themselves “parents” — and if both adults are of the same gender, it is biologically impossible for them to both be the natural parents — but a father and a mother.

Men and women are equal, but not interchangeable. The research — as exemplified by our colleague Dr. Pat Fagan in his new report — show that the economics are compelling: While there are exceptions to every social norm, men and women tend to bring different strengths to raising children. Firmness and gentleness. Physical security and emotional security. Challenges and comfort. Discipline and nurturing.

Many families do not have the benefit of both parents. Often the reasons behind this reality rightly tug on our heartstrings. And millions of single parents deserve lavish praise for their magnificent work at raising wonderful children, with inspiring personal success stories.

But the ideal remains. Two parents — one man and one woman — raising their children in a loving and supportive marriage gives children the best chance to become happy and successful.

Klukowski: “The social science is clear that children thrive best not just in the two-parent home but in a home with a biological father and biological mother.” Klukowski also repeated his false claim about same-sex parenting during a February 23, 2012, appearance on Fox Business’ Stossel (via Nexis):

JOHN STOSSEL (HOST): If the state approves marriages between heterosexuals people, why not gays?

KEN KLUKOWSKI: Well, the states are softening in that regard and every chance that the states have had to speak in that regard where the voters of the states 30 of them have adopted — have adopted constitutional amendments —

STOSSEL: It’s not the tyranny of the majority just because we have majority rule. Why can’t —

KLUKOWSKI: In this regard, the states are sovereign and the social science is clear that children thrive best not just in the two-parent home but in a home with a biological father and biological mother. People fall short of that all time but government has a vested interest in promoting the ideal even if we all fall short of it to one extent or another.

Klukowski criticized the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because “in the military you are often forced into quarters so close that they’re sometimes nothing short of intimate.” Klukowski wrote in his book Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

A fantastic example of a failure of leadership is President Obama calling on Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law (DADT). Ever since the founding of the Republic, homosexuals have not been able to serve openly in the military. Setting aside religious beliefs, moral convictions, and natural law, this still makes sense, given that in the military you are often forced into quarters so close that they’re sometimes nothing short of intimate, with no privacy or personal space whatsoever in an extremely stressful, emotional, and adrenaline-filled environment. As a sop to the gay rights community, when Democrats had control of both Congress and the White House, President Bill Clinton softened this policy to say that it was still illegal for gays to serve in the military, but that no one could ask you about it so you were okay as long as you didn’t tell anyone or get caught doing anything.

The military is no place for social engineering. No doubt many homosexuals can be trusted not to make sexual advances, just as many heterosexuals can likewise be trusted in close quarters. But we don’t allow men and women to bunk together, or deploy them alone together in a forward position with no privacy, even though we trust them to remain professional and adhere to standards of conduct. Homosexuals should not get any special treatment denied to heterosexuals.

Klukowski: “The media is as much in the tank for gay marriage as it is for every other major part of President Barack Obama’s agenda.” From a July 2013 Breitbart.com column criticizing PolitiFact’s reporting:

In case you just arrived from a different planet and didn’t yet know the media is as much in the tank for gay marriage as it is for every other major part of President Barack Obama’s agenda, you need only read Politifact’s recent post on Tony Perkins, where reporter Amy Sherman claims Perkins’s recent statements on how some wedding vendors are being forced to participate in same-sex marriages “under threat or even jail” are only “half true.”

In fact, Perkins’ claims are entirely true. For an organization that supposedly investigates facts (and incidentally is part of a solidly-liberal newspaper), to say Perkins’ claims are only half true is to post a story that is half fiction.

This Week In Crazy: Thank A White Man Today

The post-campaign follies of Glenn Beck, the “imams of sexual sharia,” and the sad fact that white men just get no respect. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Roger Stone

Speaking to InfoWars host Alex Jones Tuesday, Trump’s master of darkness Roger Stone sounded off on what voters can expect from Trump’s VP pick.

Whoever it was, Stone said, they would be a “nationalist, not a globalist” and someone “who shared Donald Trump’s views on a cross-section of issues.” None of that is especially surprising, but Stone’s adamantine insistence that Trump will be making the decision without respect to the input of any experts or advisers is disconcerting in a familiar way.

As combustible and irrational as he is, Trump can be counted on to always act by fiat. Stone asserted that Trump’s campaign manager and lawyers would not be making the decision. “Only one person knows what Trump is going to do, and that’s Trump,” Stone said,

Stone might be more out of the loop than he lets on, though, as he floated New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez as a potential Veep just as Trump, ever thick-skinned and secure in his power, shot down the Republican governor for “not doing her job,” simply because — many speculated — she had not yet endorsed him.

“That’s exciting, it’s also common sense,” Jones said.

Just one week ago, Stone insisted that President Trump should pull CNN off the air, a stance that I’m sure has nothing at all to do with the fact that the news network has banned Stone from appearing on it because of his history of inflammatory, racist tweets.

It’s very nice of Jones to keep letting Stone on his show to peddle his wares: Note the background image — Stone has a new book to sell. But I think Media Matters‘ Brennan Suen has it right when he writes;

Stone is not a typical political adviser, and when the press treats him as one they miss out on a key election story: the extremism of Trump’s supporters. Stone’s decades-long history of dirty tricks includes playing a role in Watergate that later caused him to be fired from a job in the Senate. He has a record of racist and misogynistic rhetoric that caused MSNBC and CNN to ban him from their networks. Stone also regularly calls for public figures to be executed.

So maybe it is a good thing Trump doesn’t listen to his advisers.

Next: Glenn Beck

4. Glenn Beck

You kinda have to feel sorry for Glenn Beck, militant supporter of loser Ted Cruz and captain of the floundering ship TheBlaze.

It seems clear now that the incident in late April when Beck mashed his face into a bowl of Cheeto crumbs to make some kind of point should have been taken as an early indicator that all was not well in Becklandia.

This week he was caught rolling back on his own insane conspiracy theories just as soon as he said them aloud. He aired a notion on his radio show Wednesday that Obama was intentionally allowing the investigations into Clinton’s emails to proceed in an attempt to derail her because Clinton is not enough of a radical to carry out Obama’s long-term Marxist agenda.

“I think it’s wrong,” he said of the thing he was saying just then on his own show. Nevertheless, he added: “I think you could make a case, a bad case, that he’s looking for an ideologue to replace him. He’s done the work of bringing this country to the brink of Marxism and he’s not going to have it flushed away by Hillary Clinton.”

Poor Glenn doesn’t even have the conviction of his own confetti-headed notions anymore. If Beck can’t at least be relied upon to believe his grand conspiracy-laden fugues, who can?

Oh and there was the whole wondering-if-any-patriots-out-there-would-be-willing-to-step-up-to-the-plate-and-“remove”-Donald-Trump thing that arose in a discussion between Beck and his guest, author Brad Bird.

“With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President?” Bird asked. “If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that? If — if — he overstates his constitutionally-granted authority I should say as president, if he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office, because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.”

“I would agree with you on that,” Beck said.

But I’ll say this about Beck. While other conservatives all over the map are taking their principles out behind the woodshed and lining up behind The Donald, Beck has militantly held fast to his anti-Trump position. But he’s not going to sit silent. The man has grand ambitions to devise a “100 year plan” to redeem America through the magic of conservative and libertarian values. To which I say, Godspeed, Glenn. Never change.

Next: Gavin McInnes

3.  Gavin McInnes

Vice Media founder Gavin McInnes thinks white males deserve a long overdue “thank you” for ending slavery. He also said that white males had nothing to do with beginning slavery in the first place, but he may have misspoke.

During a segment on his show late last week, McInnes lamented that Curt Schilling had been fired from ESPN for posting transphobic memes (“creeps,” McInnes called transgender people). Although he could not remember Schilling’s name (“I’m not into sports”), he sympathized with the plight of the onetime baseballer and would-be video game magnate.

His conclusion: “It really is an upside-down world. You start looking at the data and you say: Wait a minute, I’m noticing a pattern here. Everything that is depraved and wrong and sick is good, and everything that is good we should be ashamed of.”

“White males, we built society,” McInnes exclaimed, “we separated church and state! We didn’t end slavery…I mean, sorry, we didn’t begin slavery, we ended it!

“How about a thank you?” he demanded.

Hat tip and video Hail to the Gynocracy

Next: Scottsdale, Arizona

2. Scottsdale, Arizona

The city of Scottsdale, Arizona is doing everything in its power to stifle religious freedom and religious expression. Ted Cruz would be just appalled.

Except that in this case the people seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights happen to be Satanists. So, you know, the Constitution doesn’t apply, and they can go straight to Hell.

Please note that Satanism does not refer to a worship of the literal Satan — it’s basically a doctrine for all who are opposed to arbitrary authority and celebrate individual sovereignty in the face of corrupt, illegitimate institutions (like, I don’t know, state religion). Accordingly, Satanism attracts a broad spectrum of atheists, agnostics, and basically anyone who wants to turn the tables against a conservative Christian establishment, by using the same legal machinery that the Moral Majority has abused for decades to advance its own religious agenda.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened in Scottsdale, which barred the Satanic Temple from leading a prayer at a council meeting in July, even though it had already been scheduled. The Temple is fighting back, calling the decision arbitrary and baseless. A city spokesman told reporters that only “representatives from institutions that have a substantial connection to the Scottsdale community” should be allowed to give the invocation, hence the ousting.

Friendly Atheist’s Hermant Mehta writes:

That’s not necessarily an unreasonable rule, as the [Satanic] Temple’s chapter is based in Tucson and not Scottsdale, but why did it only become an issue after the Satanists were given the green light? And doesn’t it count if some of the Temple’s members live in Scottsdale?

It sounds more like city officials feared what would happen and scrambled to find a reason to boot them from the list.

Indeed, back in March, Scottsdale’s mayor Jim Lane admitted that city officials were working to “find a clean path, one that is legal,” to bar the group from giving the invocation.

AZ Central reports:

“We’re not in the business of entertaining an invocation that makes a mockery,” Lane said. “I’m not an advocate of it, of course.”

Thousands of emails filled Scottsdale officials’ inboxes over the prayer issue this spring, and religious groups were preparing to organize in protest.

Lucien Greaves, the Satanist Temple’s national spokesperson, told Mehta in an email that the Temple was considering legal action, pending the city’s response to a number of questions. Namely, how did Scottsdale determine exactly wheat the Temple’s connection to the city was? And do they apply this level of scrutiny to anyone (a Christian, say) who wishes to give the invocation?

Or might this have been, you know, religious discrimination?

Next: Bryan Fischer 

1. Bryan Fischer

The spokesman for the American Family Association took aim at the “Gay Gestapo” in his latest blog post, published Tuesday on the AFA blog.

“The Gay Gestapo is on a mission from the Dark Lord,” Fischer writes, “to relentlessly harass, intimidate, punish, and silence every advocate of sexual normalcy. Now the deviancy cabal intends to send preachers who speak the truth about transgenderism and transvestitism to jail for two years.”

Fischer is responding in characteristically reactionary and spurious fashion to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement last week that the government was introducing legislation to “help ensure transgender and other gender-diverse people can live according to their gender identity, free from discrimination, and protected from hate propaganda and hate crimes.”

The bill (which you can read here) proposes to amend an anti-discrimination statute, the Canadian Human Rights Act, to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, a list which presently includes race, sexual orientation, sex, disability, and religion, among other grounds.

Or, in Fischer’s gloss, “Soon in Canada, it will be a crime to proclaim what the Bible and science teach about gender.” Fischer’s punting to “science” is particularly risible in light of his young earth creationist viewpoints.

I would not give Fischer points for credibility, since this is, after all, the same man who once likened erections to God’s radar alert system, or for originality, since his post is almost a paragraph-by-paragraph crib from this article in Christian Post.

But when he rhapsodizes about the “imams of sexual sharia” making sure that all good Christians like him are “appropriately chastened and punished,” well, it does make me chuckle.

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments! Get This Week In Crazy delivered to your inbox every Friday, by signing up for our daily email newsletter.

North Carolina Lawmaker Dismisses U.S. Deadline To Change Restroom Law

By Colleen Jenkins and Julia Edwards

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) – A top Republican lawmaker in North Carolina said the state would not be “bullied” by the U.S. Justice Department into meeting a Monday deadline to change a new law regulating which bathrooms transgender people can use.

“We will take no action by Monday,” House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters in Raleigh on Thursday, the day after the federal government told the state that the law enacted in March violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

The law requires transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. The Justice Department said North Carolina was discriminating against transgender state employees and it had until Monday to say whether it would remedy the violations.

If North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory does not say he will stand down from enforcing the law, the federal agency’s civil rights division could push for a court order. If a federal judge sides with the Justice Department, North Carolina will have to comply or face a restriction of federal funds.

A Justice Department spokeswoman would not say whether the department would take legal action against the state or what sources of funding may be restricted.

Moore said the tight deadline was unreasonable and that the federal government’s position was inappropriate.

“Obviously we don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date,” Moore said. “That’s not how this works.”

North Carolina Attorney General Refuses To Defend State From HB-2 Lawsuits

Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor, announced today that he would not defend the state against lawsuits brought on by HB-2, the recent state law which effectively repealed LGBT protections across North Carolina, specifically the city of Charlotte’s transgender-specific protections. The announcement came a day after two civil rights groups and three individuals sued the state for violating their constitutional rights.

Cooper warned of the economic consequences of enacting the law during a news conference today, saying “the threats to our economy will grow even darker the longer this law stays in effect.” The state has already faced backlash from tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Google. Meanwhile, the mayors’ offices in San Francisco and New York City, in addition to New York state, have barred public employees from non-essential travel to North Carolina, effectively enacting an official boycott until the law is repealed.

Cooper was attacked by state senator Phil Berger for refusing to defend the law. “His zeal for pandering for the extreme left’s money and agenda in his race for governor is making it impossible for him to fulfill his duties as attorney general – and he should resign immediately,” said Berger, in a statement released at the same time Cooper was making his announcement.

The attorney general made it clear that he was not taking sides, nor will he step down. He has defended laws he disagreed with in the past, he said, such as the 2013 changes to voting laws that included a voter ID provision often used to suppress minority voting rights. Nor would the state lack legal representation, according to Cooper. The governor “has not hesitated to hire his own attorneys and we would assume he would want to do that again in this case,” he said.

The day HB-2 was passed, Cooper appeared in a video address accusing North Carolina’s governor of political opportunism. “It’s a time for leadership, but Governor McCrory is now standing on the sidelines, letting the loudest, most extreme voices run the show,” he said. “We need a governor who will put our state first, not wait to see which way the political winds are blowing.”

The passing of the HB-2 and Cooper’s opposition to it could not come at a more crucial time for the state’s attorney general: Polls place him neck-in-neck with McCrory in North Carolina’s 2016 gubernatorial election.

Photo: Roy Cooper addressing North Carolinians on March 23 to comment on special session that led to signing of HB-2 this week. Roy Cooper/Youtube