Update to White Christian Nationalist GQP State Legislators Target The LGBTQ Community In A Coordinated Nationwide Assault.

Adan Serwer’s observation of MAGAt Republicans still rings true today, The Cruelty Is the Point:

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Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, [the LGBTQ community] and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.

This describes MAGAt Republican and prolific internet troll Sen. John Kavanagh to a tee. His “only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty” to immigrants, people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. Haters gotta hate.

Howard Fischer reports, Panel OKs bill to restrict student pronouns used in Arizona schools:

State lawmakers took the first steps Wednesday to denying students the right to be referred to by a pronoun that matches their gender identity.

Senate Bill State lawmakers took the first steps Wednesday to denying students the right to be referred to by a pronoun that matches their gender identity.

Senate Bill 1001, approved by the Republican-led Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 party line vote, also would put into law that teachers and other school employees may refer to a student by only his or her given name or a nickname “commonly associated with the student’s name of record.’’

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who wrote the measure, said it would be OK to refer to someone named John as Jack.

“You just can’t call ‘John’ ‘Jane,’” he said.

The legislation does contain an exception in cases where parents first give written permission, whether for a different pronoun or a name to address the child. Kavanagh said that should take care of cases where parents are aware of and approve of a child’s gender identify.

Senate Bill 1001, approved by the Republican-led Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 party line vote, also would put into law that teachers and other school employees may refer to a student by only his or her given name or a nickname “commonly associated with the student’s name of record.’’

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who wrote the measure [wrong!], said it would be OK to refer to someone named John as Jack.

“You just can’t call ‘John’ ‘Jane,’” he said.

Kavanagh’s preferred pronouns, er adjectives, are ignorant, racist, misogynist, religious bigot, old white dude and internet troll. He is also the monkey for the White Christian Nationalist organ grinder, Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, the unelected “31st Senator of the Arizona legislature” so long as Republicans are in control of the legislature. It was a decade ago that Kavanagh sponsored the “show me your papers to pee” bill for the CAP. Now they are back with this idiotic pronouns bill. This bill is model legislation drafted by the White Christian Nationalist religious bigotry organizations. Kavanagh did not write it.

The legislation does contain an exception in cases where parents first give written permission, whether for a different pronoun or a name to address the child. Kavanagh said that should take care of cases where parents are aware of and approve of a child’s gender identify.

Kavanagh said this isn’t about discriminating against transgender children. [It’s about demonizing them and subjecting them to cruelty.] Instead, he said, it ensures that parents know when a child may have “gender dysphoria’’ where the gender they identify with differs from the gender assigned at birth.

“The parents have a right to know about serious problems their children may be having,’’ Kavanagh argued, saying such problems could lead to suicide.

That’s fine for children who have a loving relationship with their parents, said Paul Bixler, a member of Liberty School District’s board. But he said this legislation fails to understand reality.

“There continues to come before this Legislature efforts to either force a child to disclose their deepest, darkest secret to a person, maybe even a parent, whose reaction a child cannot predict, trust — or even fears,’’ Bixler said.

Erica Keppler, who testified against the bill, said SB1001 is based on another flaw.

“No one commits suicide because they are gender dysphoric,’’ she said. “They do it because family and society won’t accept them or allow them to live as their true selves. Making schools even more hostile environments for trans youth only promotes the problem the senator claims it will help.’’

Kavanagh brushed aside concerns that notifying a parent of gender identity could put the student in danger of abuse or being thrown out of the house. [Did I mention he is ignorant?]

“That’s a very cynical view of the American family,’’ Kavanagh said. [No, that’s reality, Dude.]

Still, he said, if there is such a danger, then a parent could be contacted by a school counselor or the Department of Child Safety. And if a child simply doesn’t want a parent notified, Kavanagh said, the answer is simple: He or she has to live with the pronoun and the name they were given at birth [i.e., forced identity.]

David Trujillo, a 15-year-old transgender student born and raised in Tucson, told lawmakers that sometimes it is the support of teachers and friends that helps.

“I know personally that, for me, my teachers and classmates supporting me in the classroom has positively impacted my performance in school,’’ he said.

But Heather Rooks, a member of the Peoria Unified School District board, said measures like this are important.

“Why are we so focused on the sexualization of these kids?’’ she asked [this is what this bill does]. “We need to focus on the academics right now.’’

Sen. Justine Wadsack, R-Tucson [and QAnon nut], said something is lost in the discussion of the rights of students to be addressed the way they want.

“You’re not talking about the other students who don’t, and the other students who actually are being forced in the classroom to use pronouns that they don’t understand, that they don’t feel comfortable using,’’ she said. “And then they’re getting punished for not using them.’’

One provision in Kavanagh’s bill could create problems even for supporters.

It says teachers and school employees with religious objections can’t be forced to use a student’s preferred pronoun, even in situations where the parents have given permission.

Always with the exception for religious bigotry. This is a tell from where this bill originated.

Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott, who voted for the legislation, said he believes the wishes of the parents should always win out. And he said he may not vote for the measure when it next goes to the full Senate unless that provision is removed.

Um, you could have moved to amend this bill in committee. Why didn’t you?

With all of the serious issues facing this state, why was this anti-LGBTQ bill one of the first bills introduced and heard in this legislative session? Republicans are not serious about governing, they are all about performance politics to create fodder for the fear mongering of the right-wing media. And Cathi Herrod often sets the agenda.

Kevin Reagan at 12 News adds, Arizona bill forces teachers to get parental consent before using student’s preferred pronouns:

Multiple lawsuits have been filed across the country in recent years by parents who objected to schools addressing students by the child’s preferred pronouns. Some schools in other states have begun implementing policies to prohibit teachers from using preferred pronouns without parental consent.  

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education issued a notice announcing it would enforce Title XI’s protections that prohibit discrimination against a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

A teacher in Chandler was fired in 2019 for allegedly discriminating against a transgender student and not addressing the child by their preferred pronouns.

E.J Montini of the Arizona Republic writes, Republican bill to ban preferred pronouns in schools is theater of the absurd:

Arizona lawmakers might as well hang a marquee over the entrance to the State Capitol with a list of coming attractions.

You and I may have thought we elected a Legislature in November, but it turns out that the Republicans who control the House and Senate have transformed that body into a theater company.

So what we can expect over the length of the current session is not governing, but performing. We saw clear and convincing evidence of this early on with the debate this week over Senate Bill 1001.The proposal is sponsored by Republican Sen. John Kavanagh. In short, it would ban public school employees and contractors from using a student’s preferred name or pronouns unless a parent has given permission.

‘Religious or moral convictions’? Yeah, right

And even if parents do give permission, the bill allows school employees etc. to refuse to use the student’s pronouns or chosen name because of “religious or moral convictions.”

Weird, isn’t it?

Just about every time a proposed piece of legislation has words in it like “religious or moral convictions” it is almost always there to provide protection for individuals who have neither.

The bill would make life even more difficult for younger members of the LGBTQ community and only serves to mollify the extreme bigoted wing of the GOP who seeks to do just that.

It has no chance of becoming law. None. Zilch.

We know this because, if it happened to pass through the House and Senate, it would have to be signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs and her press secretary, Josselyn Berry, said, “There is zero chance the governor would sign that pronouns bill.”

Anything that squeaks through faces a veto

Kavanagh knew this when he introduced the bill. His Republican colleagues knew this when they gave the bill a hearing.

They know it still.

As Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh put it, “All this will end up being is a press release that will not help people but very much hurts kids.”

When you have a state government split between two parties it is difficult to get things done. Anything that squeaks through the Legislature by way of the narrow Republican majority can be vetoed by Hobbs.

This particular session could be a very productive one, however, if the parties worked together on just a few of the problems that everyone recognizes and everyone wants to fix.

The water crisis, of course. Education spending.

Do Republicans want to solve problems?

Maybe start with those two and see where it gets us. And if those are the only two things that get done it wouldn’t be the worst result.

But Republicans get to determine which bills will be heard, and putting SB 1001 out there is a pretty clear indication that they’re less interested in statecraft than they are in stagecraft.

Prior to the hearing on SB 1101, Jeanne Woodbury of Equality Arizona said, “Now that there’s zero chance of any of these bills becoming law, my message to Sen. Kavanagh would just be to stop antagonizing kids, stop antagonizing the LGBT community and stop wasting everyone’s time.”And money.

But the cruelty is the point.




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