The anti-gay campaign against Daniel Hernandez

by David Safier

Daniel
Hernandez, who came to Gabby Giffords' aid when she was shot and has
become a national figure in the campaign for sane gun registration laws,
is also a member of the Sunnyside School Board. Right now, battling
school board recalls are going on, and one of them is directed at
Daniel. That's fine. That's politics. What isn't fine is the flier
attacking Daniel, saying, "Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board." It
continues,

"Daniel Hernandez is
LGBT. We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids.
We don't need someone who hates our values. RECALL Daniel Hernandez
TODAY."

No one has claimed credit for the flier. You can see it below the fold.

The flier has gained national attention. Daniel was on MSNBC Live this morning
discussing the issue. The Pima County Democratic Party put out a media
release. Now Grijalva, who graduated from the Sunnyside School District,
has joined in.

Grijalva Calls for Joint Investigation of Attacks on Sunnyside School Board Member

Tucson,
Ariz. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva will hold a press conference at 12:30PM
Arizona time to discuss the recent aggression directed at Sunnyside
School Board Member, Daniel Hernandez. The event is at The Historic Y
located at 738 N. 5th Avenue in the conference room. In advance of the
event, the Congressman released the following statement.

“As
a proud graduate of Sunnyside School District, I find myself deeply
offended and disgusted by the malicious attacks being directed at Mr.
Hernandez. In public life, we all endure some baseless personal attacks
but the trend to malign political figures based on race, gender, or
sexual orientation is unfortunately becoming a norm of campaigning which
has no place in our democratic process.

You can find Grijalva's entire media release, the Pima County Dem media release and the anti-gay flier below the fold.

 

Grijalva Calls for Joint Investigation of Attacks on Sunnyside School Board Member

Tucson,
Ariz. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva will hold a press conference at 12:30PM
Arizona time to discuss the recent aggression directed at Sunnyside
School Board Member, Daniel Hernandez. The event is at The Historic Y
located at 738 N. 5th Avenue in the conference room. In advance of the
event, the Congressman released the following statement.

“As
a proud graduate of Sunnyside School District, I find myself deeply
offended and disgusted by the malicious attacks being directed at Mr.
Hernandez. In public life, we all endure some baseless personal attacks
but the trend to malign political figures based on race, gender, or
sexual orientation is unfortunately becoming a norm of campaigning which
has no place in our democratic process.

“This
trend is fueled by anonymous and cowardly groups and individuals who
have turned politics and campaigning into an exercise of personal
destruction. My campaigns have endured racist and personal attacks with
increasing frequency and the anonymous parties responsible are never
held accountable.

“As I saw this
situation unfolded in the Sunnyside School District, it became apparent
the abuse of Mr. Hernandez was not only politically motivated but also
driven by hate and prejudice.

“Today, my office will ask the Pima County Attorney’s office to fully investigate these recent attacks on Mr. Hernandez.

“We will also ask the Pima County School Superintendent’s office to initiate an investigation into the matter.

“Finally,
we will make an inquiry to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI to
assist the offices of the Pima County Attorney and School Superintendent
in a vigorous investigation of the attacks as a hate crime.

“Mr.
Hernandez is an openly gay man, and in this nation that is not a
crime.  The extension of rights and protections against hate crimes is
afforded to him and all Americans

“Political
differences and opposition are part of the accepted realities of
democracy but when the differences are manifested in anti-gay, vicious,
and anonymous attacks we must draw the line. That is why accountability
through a lawful investigation is not only needed but essential to the
balance of decency in our civic and political life.”

 ——————-

PCDP Urges “Zero Tolerance” for Anti- LGBT Attacks in Sunnyside

TUCSON
–  A recent anonymous effort attacking Sunnyside Unified School
District Board Member Daniel Hernandez is attracting negative and
severely embarrassing attention to Tucson.

This
effort targeting Mr. Hernandez consists of posting flyers in
neighborhoods around SUSD and distribution at community events. This
effort is an injustice to the parents and students in SUSD, and is a
blatant campaign filled with hate, fear and bigotry.

“Daniel
Hernandez is a terrific role model for Sunnyside and all of Tucson,”
said Pima County Democratic Party Chair Don Jorgensen. “He is someone of
great character who had the presence of mind to act as chaos raged all
around him. All children should aspire to emulate his example of
courage.”

The Pima
County Democratic Party denounces all efforts attacking any member of
the LGBT community, regardless of party affiliation. A direct attack on a
person’s character because of their sexual orientation disrupts our
communities and creates an environment of intolerance. All school
districts in Arizona abide by a "zero-tolerance" policy for their
students. We at the Pima County Democratic Party urge all school leaders
to abide by the same and to denounce this kind of rhetoric.

“The
Sunnyside Unified School District faces many challenges and these
unconscionable attacks distract from what should be the SUSD's focus:
its students,” said PCDP Executive Director Shasta McManus. “This kind
of bigotry has no place in our society and we cannot sit idly by and
allow it to fester in our community.”

 ——————-

Dh 6

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