Pete Buttigieg brilliantly destroys Tucker Carlson after the Fox host’s homophobic hit job

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg responded to Fox News host Tucker Carlson's vile, homophobic attack from Thursday night, by defending the right of every new parent to take paternity or maternity leave and spend time building bonds that will last a lifetime.

Buttigieg, known for being able to incisively carve up conservative hate, had no problem correcting Carlson's claims.

Carlson, who regularly spreads white nationalistic, white supremacist, and fascistic rhetoric that clearly is supported by Fox News chiefs Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, on Thursday berated Buttigieg for taking paternity leave as he and his husband, Chasten welcome two newborn twins into their family.

"Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child," Carlson had told Fox news viewers. "Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed – no word on how that went."

Buttigieg struck back on Friday, telling MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Carlson's "attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk."

Carlson, in his college yearbook, reportedly wrote that he was a member of the "Dan White Society." There is no Dan White Society, but Dan White is the man who assassinated Harvey Milk, one of America's first openly-gay elected officials. At the same time, in 1978, he also assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.

"So, you know, obviously we know that there's some dark places where some of these attitudes come from," Buttigieg continued.

"But I also note that that doesn't speak for the country," he said of Carlson's homophobic and anti-family remark.

"I don't think that even speaks for most people, on the other side of the aisle from the party that I belong to. This is largely a consensus issue, not just the support for families like mine to have a right to marry and right to be treated equally, but also that families in general. Moms and dads have to be able to support their children including with paid leave."

Buttigieg, as NCRM reported Thursday night, is correct: 86% of Americans support paid paternity leave. And seven out of 10 Americans support same-sex marriage. Sadly, U.S. federal law does not require companies to offer it, but as Wallace noted, Tucker Carlson's employer does.


Tucker Carlson widely panned as homophobic for remark about Pete Buttigieg's parental leave

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday mocked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for taking paternity leave after adopting twins.

Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, announced in August that they had adopted newborn twins. Buttigieg's office told Politico this week that he has been on paid paternal leave since mid-August to spend time with his family.

During a rant about inflation and supply chain shortages in his Thursday broadcast, Carlson mocked Buttigieg over the news.

"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," he said, arguing that it shows that the White House "does not seem concerned" about rising costs.

A spokesman for Buttigieg told Politico that Buttigieg has been "mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated" for the first four weeks but has been "ramping up activities since then" while continuing to "support his husband and take care of his new children."

Fox News also offers paternity leave to its employees. In fact, Fox host Todd Piro announced that he would take an extended leave after the birth of his child in August.

"Fox is amazing, it's a great organization, they really are a family-friendly organization. They give us six weeks as dads for paternity and I'm taking that six weeks. I can't wait to bond with my little one," Piro said. "I cannot thank Fox enough for providing all fathers who work here with such a generous paternity leave. This experience has changed me in a profound way and in ways I won't fully comprehend until my daughter is older," he added.

Fox host Jesse Watters said that his own experience after the birth of his third child changed his mind about paternity leave.

"Now I am pro-paternity. I used to mock people for taking paternity, I used to think it was a big ruse, but now, you know, I wish I could take six weeks," he said.

Carlson, who has been criticized in the past for various anti-LGBTQ statements, came under fire earlier this year after a journalist unearthed his 1991 college yearbook, in which the Swanson frozen dinner heir labeled himself as a member of the "Dan White society," an apparent reference to the man who killed Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected in California, and the "Jesse Helms Foundation," named after the notorious segregationist senator with a history of homophobic comments.

Carlson's remark about Buttigieg was widely panned as homophobic on Thursday.

"Tucker Carlson has a pathological obsession with homosexuality," tweeted Sirius XM host Michelangelo Signorile.

"Tucker belittles a Navy vet for being a good dad, throwing not-so-thinly veiled homophobic jabs, and lying through his teeth about current affairs," the veterans' group VoteVets said on Twitter, calling the taunt "pathetic."

Despite Carlson's claim that Buttigieg's brief absence was a sign of the White House's lack of interest in inflation, the administration's point man on infrastructure since Oct. 7 has already attended a meeting with President Joe Biden to address supply chain issues, held virtual events to promote the infrastructure bill with groups from Chicago and New York, and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and NPR to discuss supply chain issues.

The administration is pushing to include legislation to guarantee 12 weeks of family leave to all workers with newborns or newly-adopted children.

Though it has become more common for women and men serving in top federal positions to take family leave, many have come back sooner because Cabinet officials are not covered under the leave system for federal workers, a White House spokesperson told Politico.

"They do not earn leave and serve at the pleasure of the President," the spokesperson said. "The President can choose to allow him to take time off."

It's unclear whether Biden has personally approved Buttigieg's leave.

"Pete's been a key member of the team since Day One, and has been critical as we shepherd the President's agenda across the finish line," a White House official told the outlet. "We're overjoyed for him and Chasten, and believe every American should have access to paid family leave."

'We're going to get some backlash': Writer is defiant after right-wing outrage about bisexual Superman

A DC and Marvel comic book writer says that having a new Superman, who is bisexual, to many people will be "more powerful than a locomotive."

"We're going to get some backlash," the award-winning comic book writer Tom Taylor told CNN's John Berman Tuesday, "but the key for me isn't the people that are upset, it is for the people welcomed in by this that say today, this is more powerful than a locomotive."

On Monday, coinciding with National Coming Out Day, DC Comics revealed the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Jonathan Kent, has taken over the franchise, and that he is bisexual. He "will soon begin a romantic relationship with a male friend," The New York Times reported.

"I promise he will punch a robot, that's just a guarantee," Taylor, who is Australian, said of the new Superman. "He will come up against Lex Luthor," he added, noting that being bisexual "is just something extra that that very important symbol can now represent."

Taylor also said that he's seen "so many messages from all over the world, so many different languages, people saying they saw this news and burst into tears. People saying that they never thought that they would be able to see themselves in Superman."

Berman noted it's "wonderful" that many people are responding positively, but noted that here in the U.S. some have not reacted positively, pointing to one Arizona Republican state Senator who was clearly furious.

Wendy Rogers angrily tweeted, "Superman loves Louis Lane. Period. Hollywood is trying to make Superman gay and he is not," ironically spelling Lois as "Louis."

"I cannot stress the level of ignorance in this tweet," Berman said, mocking the MAGA and "America First" far right-wing lawmaker.

"I mean, Lois Lane's his mom – how depraved," Berman added.

"I just hope," Taylor said, laughing, "whoever Louis is I hope he's a wonderful man and they're very happy together."

Taking a more serious tack, Taylor concluded, "this is literally the most powerful superhero in comics – and one of the best-known all around the world is now bisexual. And I think that's a really big and really strong statement."


‘They hate doing it’: Pastor goes on extremist rant about the ‘homosexual community’

Far right wing Christian extremist pastor Kent Christmas says gay people die by suicide at a high rate because they feel guilty about being gay. Christmas sees homosexuality as an act, not as a state of a person's being, and declares "they hate doing it," meaning, being gay.

"Hallelujah!" Pastor Christmas declared. "When we see God begin to do some powerful things in the Spirit, God begins to set men and women free by the power of the Holy Ghost."

"I cannot tell you how my heart goes out to the homosexual community because there are so many of them," Christmas said in video published by Right Wing Watch (below.) "Suicide amongst the homosexual community is one of the highest rates of suicide of anything in the earth. And part of it is because of the guilt, they know that it's not right but they, they're bound, and they hate doing it."

Christmas recently attributed the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ to a "demonic spirit that comes after our seed."

Pastor Christmas is right that the rate of suicidal thoughts and suicidal behavior is higher among the LGBTQ community, especially youth and teens, but he is entirely wrong as to the cause.

"Research shows that anti-LGBT discrimination and victimization contribute to an increase in the risk of suicidality and that LGBT people are at disproportionate risk of suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts," UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute reports.

One study of LGBQ youth published just this week reveals that these children are "less satisfied in their family and tend to experience more bullying at school and in social media," which can lead to "high rates of suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts."

Conversion therapy, which LGBTQ people have compared to torture, is also a cause. Pastor Christian has said his own son "was" gay, and suggested he went through some type of religious conversion therapy.

"I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free," Christmas said.

The Williams Institute also reports that "LGB people who have undergone conversion therapy almost twice as likely to attempt suicide."

And a Trevor Project study last year revealed 48% of "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other gender nonconforming young Americans…said that in the last 12 months, they engaged in self-harm; that number rose to 60% for trans and nonbinary youth."


‘Apostle of hate’: Internet celebrates as anti-LGBTQ televangelist Pat Robertson retires

Conspiracy theorist, anti-LGBTQ activist, religious extremist, right wing media mogul, and conservative televangelist Pat Robertson announced on Friday he is stepping down from his role as host of "The 700 Club." And while his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is calling it "60 Years of History-Making TV Ministry," many others are applauding the decision.

For more half a century Robertson, a former ordained minister, waged what he saw as a religious war against the LGBTQ community. Just two days after 9/11, while the nation was still crippled and devastated, Robertson joined with Jerry Falwell, infamously blaming gay people and others his opposed for the terror attacks.

"The ACLU. The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this," Falwell declared.

"Oh yes," Robertson agreed.

Falwell went on to blame "the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle," along with the "People for the American Way, all of them."

"Well, I totally concur," Robertson declared.

Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson Blame 9/11 on Organizations Like People For the American Way

He never apologized.

In 2005 Robertson "accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg of being a communist," Americans United reported.

He never learned his lesson.

Just last year Robertson blamed the coronavirus pandemic on "wicked" same-sex marriage and on abortion:

TV Evangelist Pat Robertson Blames COVID-19 On Same-Sex Marriage & Abortion

Many are rejoicing upon learning Robertson will no longer helm his long-running TV show.

Far-right pastor says there are more gays than ever thanks to a ‘demonic spirit’

A right wing mega-church pastor who falsely claims Donald Trump won re-election "by about 80 million votes" says more Christian children than ever before identify as LGBTQ, making clear he believes that is bad.

Pastor Kent Christmas, who shares his ministry with his wife Candy, appeared on stage before thousands of his followers and declared, "never have Christians' children been more taken over by homosexuality, than they are right now," as Right Wing Watch reports (video below).

The vast majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and equal rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ people.

Christmas blamed a "demonic spirit that comes after our seed" for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.

"If I asked each and every one of you to stand that has a son, daughter, or a niece or a nephew, or a brother or sister, that is gay, half of you would stand up in this building, because it is a demonic spirit that's come after our seed and the church that God has raised it up in this hour is going to have authority over that."

In 2018 Christmas acknowledged his son is gay, and said, "I know that he wasn't born that way."

He claims his son is no longer gay, and is now married with a wife and children.

"I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free," Christmas said.

Last year a study published by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that "non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn't experienced conversion therapy."

It goes on to reveal that more than eight out of ten Americans who were subjected to dangerous conversion therapy "received it from a religious leader."


Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Biden admin over LGBTQ policies

Teas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, running for re-election, on Monday sued the Biden administration in litigation falsely attacking LGBTQ people.

Paxton filed a lawsuit in a federal court seen as a friendly pipeline to the Supreme Court, over LGBTQ-related Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and even used the litigation to prop up a far right wing conspiracy theorist, who is also running for re-election. EEOC Commissioner Charlotte Burrows and Attorney General Merrick Garland are named as defendants.

The EEOC "guidance misstates the law, increasing the scope of liability for the State in its capacity as an employer," Paxton claims in the lawsuit, as Bloomberg Law reports.

But as Courthouse News' David Lee reports, the Paxton lawsuit also relies on old, false, and bigoted tropes about transgender people, saying allowing them to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, "puts many women and children at risk."

A June 2020 landmark Supreme Court found that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination is sex discrimination. The Biden Equal Employment Opportunity Commission used that ruling to form policy that mandates workplace guidance, including on who can use which restrooms.

Curiously, and for no discernible reason, Paxton's lawsuit also promotes the Texas Dept. of Agriculture (TDA), which is headed by conspiracy theorist Sid Miller.

"TDA has both unisex single-occupancy bathrooms and bathrooms that are designated by sex. It interprets 'sex' as referring to biological sex rather than gender identity," the lawsuit says. "If any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex, TDA would reject such a request."

Paxton has a long and ugly history of attacking transgender people.

Newsweek adds that Paxton's lawsuit "says that the TDA interprets sex to mean biological sex, rather than gender identity. The complaint says, 'If any employee dressed as a member of the opposite sex, TDA would consider such conduct to be a violation of its standards.'"

It also says the TDA would reject requests for "any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex" or any employee who "wanted TDA to require other employees to use pronouns based on gender identity."

The architect of the Texas abortion ban also criticized ‘rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage’

The architect of what is now Texas law, Governor Greg Abbott's "heartbeat" legislation that bans all abortion after six weeks, attacked the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marriage, and sex between persons of the same sex, in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this past summer. In that brief he also called same-sex marriage a "judicial concoction," and argued that women should merely abstain from sexual intercourse as a method to "control their reproductive lives."

Former Texas solicitor general and Federalist Society member Jonathan Mitchell, The Guardian reports, "who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state's near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to 'wealthy pro-abortion' states like California and New York with the help of 'taxpayer subsidies.'"

"Women can 'control their reproductive lives' without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse," Mitchell wrote in the brief. "One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court's decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy."

"In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned," The Guardian adds, "Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other 'lawless' rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage."

In their July, 2021 Supreme Court amicus brief, Mitchell and Mortara also call "interracial marriage" one of several "supposed constitutional 'rights' that have no basis in constitutional text or historical practice." Among them, "court-imposed 'substantive due process' rights whose textual and historical provenance are equally dubious."

On same-sex marriage and sex their opinion was devastatingly ruthless.

"The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage," the amicus brief reads. "These 'rights,' like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence."

Log Cabin Republicans go full MAGA with Melania and a Mar-a-Lago event

Melania Trump will attend the Log Cabin Republicans' annual Spirit of Lincoln Dinner in November, where the gay GOP group will give the former First Lady an award. The move is being seen by some as a further attempt by Mrs. Trump to appear pro-LGBTQ, despite her husband being the most anti-LGBTQ president in modern history.

The event will be held at the Trumps' Mar-a-Lago resort, which the disgraced former and one-term president officially calls home. Mrs. Trump is also expected to deliver a speech at the event, The Washington Blade reports.

"Melania Trump's work as First Lady, from helping children reach their full potential to championing a more inclusive Republican Party, has been historic," Log Cabin Republicans managing director Charles Moran said, according to the Blade. "Her vocal support of Log Cabin Republicans has been a signal to Republicans everywhere that it is possible to simultaneously be conservative and support equality under the law for all Americans."

One year ago in October Mrs. Trump also teamed up with the Log Cabin Republicans in an attempt to whitewash her husband's anti-LGBTQ policies. In a video produced with Log Cabin Republicans which CNN said "misleads," the then-First Lady declared, "I was shocked to discover that some of these powerful people have tried to paint my husband as anti-gay or against equality. Nothing could be further from the truth."

In fact, earlier that year HRC released a list of more than 30 examples proving just how anti-LGBTQ then-President Trump is. GLAAD has a list of well-over 100 examples, that begins with his first day in office: "Minutes after Donald Trump was sworn into office, any mention of the LGBTQ community was erased from White House, Department of State, and Department of Labor websites."

Mrs. Trump has never spoken out against her husband's anti-LGBTQ policies, which include banning all transgender service members from the U.S. Armed Forces,

Federal judge rules that a gay teacher’s firing by a Catholic school is sex discrimination

A federal judge has ruled a Charlotte, North Carolina, Catholic high school and a Roman Catholic Diocese's firing of a gay teacher is sex discrimination.

The teacher, a gay man, posted about his marriage to a man and his upcoming wedding on Facebook, and was fired after the church declared the post was tantamount to advocating for same-sex marriage. But U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn ruled that had a woman posted about her marriage to a man and her wedding on Facebook, she would not have been fired for advocacy, CBS News reports. Therefore, the court ruled, it the church violated "Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination."

The court also ruled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does "not shield Defendants from liability," and said "the Court holds that Defendants are liable for sex discrimination under Title VII. This case will now proceed to trial to determine the appropriate relief that should be granted."

Lonnie Billard was a substitute English and Drama teacher at the school for 13 years. He was named Teacher of the Year in 2012, and made his Facebook post in 2014, according to the ACLU.

"After all this time, I have a sense of relief and a sense of vindication. I wish I could have remained teaching all this time," Billard said in a statement released by the ACLU. "Today's decision validates that I did nothing wrong by being a gay man."

Earlier, Billard said, "I know that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage, but I don't think my commitment to my husband has any bearing on my work in the classroom."

"I have never hidden the fact that I'm gay and my relationship with my partner was no secret at school. But whether or not the school previously knew that I am gay is not the point. People should be able to fall in love and get married without risking their jobs."

The case is Billard v. Charlotte Catholic High School, and the ruling is here.

Teacher removed from classroom after video joking about pledging allegiance to Pride flag went viral

If one thing doesn't change, it's the ability of conservatives to become enraged at the slightest bit of LGBTQ+ pride or acceptance. Sure, it's a global pandemic and we're facing climate-related disasters on what feels like on a regular basis, but the really concerning issue is how many young people connect with the Pride flag and dare show the slightest bit of skepticism or questioning when it comes to the patriotism drilled into most of us from the time we enter the public school system.

A teacher in California has been removed from her classroom after she shared in a now-viral TikTok video that she jokingly suggested her students could pledge allegiance to the Pride flag instead of the American flag. The high school teacher, identified as Kristen Pitzen, has been placed on administrative leave while the Newport-Mesa Unified School District investigates. What's the big deal? According to the district's statement as shared on Facebook, "Showing respect for our nation's flag is an important value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees." The fact that the deleted video made major circles in the world of conservative hysteria probably helped that along, too.

"Okay, so during third period, we have announcements and they do the pledge of allegiance. I always tell my class, stand if you feel like it, don't stand if you feel like it, say the words if you want, you don't have to say the words….My class decided to stand but not say the words," Pitzen said in the original video, which spanned about one minute. "Totally fine, except for the fact that my room does not have a flag. It used to be there, but I took it down during COVID because it made me uncomfortable. I packed it away... and I don't know where, and I haven't found it yet."

The high school English teacher added that a student pointed out that it's a little weird for them to stand and pledge to… nothing. So she told viewers she promised to find the flag she'd packed away but jokingly told the student there was in fact a flag they could use. The student reportedly pointed to the Pride flag, and the video wraps up with the teacher laughing and revealing it hanging on the wall.

A spokesperson for the district talked to NBC News about the district's policy regarding flags. The district requires each school to hold daily "patriotic exercises," which may include reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as lessons about concepts related to the pledge—like the word republic or patriotism—and pride in the United States. The policy allows people not to participate in the flag salute for "personal reasons" and does not explicitly mention the flag needing to be displayed in each teacher's individual classroom.

As reported by Newsweek, Pitzen once shared a video of her classroom decorated for Pride Month with a number of flags, in which she said she pledges "allegiance to the queers." She added that she loves people who are out, who aren't out, and appreciates and supports them. "I got you," she said in the now-deleted video.

The pandemic has changed life for everyone, including young people. Whether families are sending students to the in-person classroom, remaining virtual, homeschooling, or attempting a hybrid model, teachers and staff are under an intense amount of pressure. That's even before we consider COVID-19 and the various debates—and actual violence—that's already broken out when it comes to mask-wearing. Students deserve and need a safe space, and we could all use a little more intellectual and emotional generosity with one another.

You can watch a clip of local coverage below, which includes several community members, including a self-described "military mom," angry at the teacher's video who came to the school's campus to put American flags by the entrance.

Orange County, California, teacher investigated for joking students should pledge to pride flag

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