“In the end this reminds me of Holocaust deniers.”
Erick Kaardal
Minnesota lawyer and Defender of the Faith, Erick Kaardal. If one of those stressed-out suit buttons pops, a spectator could be seriously injured.
via Star Tribune

The Thomas More Society is all bent out of shape because a middle school in Minnesota has an LGBTQ rainbow flag hung somewhere in its cafeteria. Named after a guy whose favorite hobby was setting Protestants on fire, the Thomas More Society is about as irrational as any group obsessed with LGBTQ people.

According to those Catholic fanatics, gay people are “objectively disordered” and transgender people are adherents of a dangerous and evil ideology. Those characterizations beg the question of whether or not these folks own any mirrors.

TMS (which might have something to do with PMS) has posted a tirade at their outlet of choice, LifeSiteNews. Middle school hangs LGBT flag in cafeteria, bans flag of traditional family. I wonder if they have ever pondered the fact that schools find it necessary to support their LGBTQ youth because of douchebags like them. Probably not.

They will get to the bottom of this tragedy

Thomas More Society attorneys have requested an array of formal documents from school officials to investigate how policies may have been violated in this scenario.

At some distance from reality

Marshall Middle School in Marshall, Minnesota, serves 679 students in grades 5 to 8. The rainbow pride flag, which is used to represent people who have chosen a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender lifestyle, hangs in the school’s cafeteria alongside the United States flag and a variety of international flags.

I have become increasingly convinced that the most likely candidate for someone muttering gibberish about LGBTQ people having chosen a lifestyle is a repressed gay man.

He is probably in a miserable marriage and has the sex life of a castrato. Sexuality is involuntary. Being a religious extremist is a chosen lifestyle.

Always the victim

A student-circulated petition opposing the LGBT flag and requests to display other flags offered by the school population were not welcomed by the administration.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal, who has been retained to represent a group of Marshall residents, commented on the situation. “At the very least, it’s divisive and insensitive. It makes it appear that the school supports one group’s beliefs at the expense of others.” Kaardal added that when students expressed their concern to teachers and administrators over the lifestyle that the flag promotes, they were bullied.

Why, exactly, would a group (probably small in number) oppose the display of a symbol promoting inclusiveness and tolerance? The only answer I can come up with is: Ignorant bigotry based on religious doctrine. Someone should inform these immature brats that the doctrine they adhere to is far from universal.

Mr. Kaardal is a virus. LGBTQ kids do not subscribe to a set of beliefs. The argument is idiotic. The idea that promoting tolerance of a minority group is at “the expense of others” is spectacularly stupid. The very notion that some kids would feel diminished by the school’s promotion of kindness serves as an indication of how necessary it is for LGBTQ children to be supported.

And, yes, when “students expressed their concern,” they were likely to be ridiculed. They were essentially expressing concern about LGBTQ students who are their peers. It is raw prejudice and bigotry. “Bullied?” I doubt it.

Who are more likely to be bullies? LGBTQ kids and their allies or the intolerant kids?

You might recall that Erick Kaardal represented Annmarie Calgaro. Calgaro wanted to regain control of her transgender daughter. She was suing her daughters doctors for not obtaining parental consent. Although the girl was a minor at the time, under Minnesota law she met the criteria for being an emancipated minor.

Kaardal is obnoxious. Throughout the complaint he dead-named the girl and referred to her with male pronouns.

Kaardal lost that case in US District Court and again on appeal at the Eighth Circuit. Of the three-judge panel at the Eighth Circuit, two were appointed by G.W. Bush, the third by Reagan. In their ruling they managed to use correct pronouns.

It’s an ideology I tell you

“Whether this was an inappropriate decision by a staff member or a deliberate violation of students’ rights, this is a serious matter,” Kaardal remarked. “It is incumbent upon school officials to write and enforce rules that prevent the public school from being turned into a forum for the display of a single ideology. As members of the academic community, these administrators should understand that you cannot trample on the right to free speech.”

False choice: Inappropriate or deliberate violation of students’ rights? Supporting a vulnerable minority is perfectly appropriate. Freedom of speech in public schools is not absolute. Students have a right to free speech as long as they are not disruptive, encouraging violence, promoting illegal activities or lewd. But what is Kaardal talking about? Whose rights were interfered with?

It’s not an “idea,” stupid!

“Ironically, of course, the rainbow flag is most famous for being involved in protest, but now those advocating that symbol of protest will not tolerate the expression of opposing ideas,” Kaardal observed.

Like racism, homophobia and transphobia are not “expressions of opposing ideas.” For starters being gay or transgender is not an idea, doctrine, dogma, philosophy or ideology. Our sexual orientation and gender identity represent part of who we are as human beings and were formed by about two-years-of-age. Transphobia and homophobia are expressions of ignorance and bigotry.

Imagine, if you will, the school posting information about Black History Month. They probably did. Further suppose that a group of students were opposed to Black History Month, for whatever reason. Would the school be obliged to cater to a group of obnoxious little KlanKids?

 If the school does not yield to Kaardal’s lengthy demands, he will likely sue. Taxpayers should resent the time and expense involved in this excursion into intolerance.

I am quite certain that the school district has referred Kaardal’s laundry list to its lawyers.

In the end this reminds me of Holocaust deniers. Like those fools Kaardal wants people to think that he and a few students have a legitimate point of view; that a respectable controversy exists with two sides deserving equal expression. This is predicated on Kaardal’s ridiculous assertion that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices which constitute a lifestyle.

This all has the look of a red herring. Free speech or equal access or freedom of expression by a group of supposed dissenters who are subjected to opprobrium for being politically incorrect are distractions.

Kaardal wants to avoid the real issue which is tolerance for a minority group and what role a school plays in eradicating prejudice. Kaardal wants his bigoted views perceived as mainstream and legitimate. They are neither.

Tolerance for minority views is not the same thing as tolerance for a minority. As a society we do not have to be tolerant of intolerance.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.