Autumn Leva

Autumn Leva has some rather strange ideas about what the Equality Act would do and what Brown v. Board of education did.

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We begin Tuesday with a review of a piece of prose at Heritage Foundation’s blog. The title of the essay is: Pelosi Is Hijacking the Civil Rights Movement to Force LGBT Ideology on Kids. Are you suitably impressed? The author of the subject piece is Autumn Leva. According to her Twitter page: “VP Strategy, Family Policy Alliance // His grace is sufficient.” In other words she is a warrior for the faith and professional Christian.

We have seen it all before (ad nauseum). A white person is once again trying to create discord between the African-American and LGBT communities. Also unoriginal is the notion that a person’s sexuality comprises an “ideology” — a philosophy or doctrine. The logical fallacy is called begging the question.

I understand how these people become so easily confused. They lead their lives according to an ideology formed by one’s religious choices.

I find it amusing that Ms. Leva and her ilk are so unimpressed with medical science. Oh, they have a thousand excuses and whatabouts but their faith-based belief system is preferenced over evidence-based medical science. Amazing. But I digress.

The egregious conduct that Leva is accusing Speaker Pelosi of is advancing the Equality Act, HR5. Leva’s contribution is the fourth posting on HR5 this month at Heritage.

Following a mediocre dissertation on Brown v. Board of Education, Leva arrives at:

Hijacking the Civil Rights Legacy

Flash forward several decades to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Top 5 priority bill, H.R. 5—the so-called Equality Act. Now, the left, with Pelosi at the helm in the House, wants to use the blueprint that helped our nation desegregate schools to manipulate schoolchildren to carry water for the LGBT political agenda—whether their parents like it or not.

Their argument is that just as black children were literally and forcefully segregated from white children, so are LGBT children segregated from all other children in schools—creating an oppressed, unequal class of American children.

The Equality Act has nothing to do with public schools. It would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The effect is to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

In 1954 (14 years prior to the Civil Rights Act) the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools are unconstitutional. The Court also ruled that separate is unequal per se. It is an important ruling, a landmark decision for sure, but it has limited applicability to the Equality Act.

Having compared LGBT equality to the Civil Rights Movement, Leva is obliged to indulge in this bit of sophistry:

First, they claim to be advancing civil rights for LGBT-identifying individuals—who constantly change their own personal identities, with new categories constantly being added to the group as a whole. This makes it extremely difficult to advance civil rights, as the public can’t accurately identify the group that is receiving protection, and what type of protection is needed on a given day.

The above is a sophomoric attempt to make sexuality amorphous. She is also claiming that we change our sexuality which is a bit of Christian fiction designed to support the religious process of conversion therapy. The simple fact is that sexual orientation and gender identity are clearly understood, well defined concepts. Thus it is not “extremely difficult” to prohibit discrimination on their bases.

As an aside, if one wants an nebulous protected class that would be religion. There are countless flavors divided into countless sects and individuals change their religious beliefs quite frequently.

Leva follows with this intellectual accomplishment:

Second, unlike the days of racial segregation, LGBT-identifying children are not in fact being forced by the government to attend segregated schools or sit in separate sections of class.

Has anyone claimed otherwise? What does any of that have to do with HR5?

There is a far greater problem with this polemic:

Ms. Leva has the intellectual curiosity of a ham sandwich at an AIPAC luncheon. If she explored a bit and thought this through she would know that every prominent Civil Rights Movement leader supports or (in the case of those who are deceased) supported LGBT equality.

This includes giants like the late Julian Bond up to Congressman John Lewis who was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963 to 1966. Lewis is the last surviving member of the “Big Six.” Rep. Lewis is also an observant Baptist. I should mention that, in 1983, Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, urged Congress to add sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act. I ran out of fingers and toes but that was about 36 years ago. I would bet that every member of the Congressional Black Caucus supports HR5.

No one in the LGBT community claims that our experience is comparable to the Black experience. We clearly realize that we were not brought here as slaves. The history is markedly different but the issues are the same: Equal protection and due process.

I have quoted very little of Ms. Leva’s piece which is verbose and meandering. Her final paragraph reads:

If “all men are created equal” now means ensuring young children are informed that “little boys can become little girls,” then the centuries of power contained in those words ends with H.R. 5.

It requires extraordinary skill to translate adult concepts into something that is age-appropriate for children. It is a skill that I do not have and I shall not try to do so.

Teaching children to be nice should be welcomed by religious conservatives.

In point of fact there is a rare condition which is well described in the medical literature going back nearly a century. It is now called gender dysphoria. That describes an incongruity of natal sex and gender and when that occurs gender prevails. So it is unlikely, but possible, that a child will have a transgender classmate. A medical condition should not be the object of prejudice or ridicule. Nor should it be a religious issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

A child with gender dysphoria is already fragile. He or she requires protection from additional stress. That is only necessary because some of those good Christians are not very Christ-like after all.

If a parent is a religious zealot and limited thinker then he or she can make their own child suffer if they are one of the rare few who have gender dysphoria. However, they have no right to impose their beliefs on others, to cause other children to suffer or to cause other children to be cruelly ridiculed in public school. If that’s a problem then they are free to dumb-down their kid with a Christian education.

Who knows? Their kid could be the next person to claim that the Civil Rights Act is the same thing as the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.


About the title: Nearly ten years ago Brian S. Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage, famously wrote in a bullet-point presentation to supporters that NOM would strive to drive a wedge between the gay and African-American Communities.

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