Welcome to Virginia

Republicans seek a political advantage
on the backs of LGBTQ kids.

Heritage Foundation does its part as we get closer to election day.

Only two states have gubernatorial races in 2021. New Jersey and Virginia. Religious fundamentalists are unlikely to affect the New Jersey contest but they feel that they have a shot at influencing the result in Virginia.

Polls are pretty consistent in that Democratic candidate McAuliffe has a slight edge over Republican challenger Youngkin. FiveThirtyEight shows a 3 point lead for McAuliffe. Fox News has it at 5 points by likely voters; 11 points by registered voters. CBS/YouGov has McAuliffe up by 3 points among likely voters.

Of course if polls were always accurate then Trump would have continued ripping off contractors for four years instead of ripping off American citizens.

I mentioned yesterday just how obvious it is that Republicans are promoting transphobia specifically in Virginia to influence the outcome of the governor’s race. The moron I was dealing with admitted it.

And wouldn’t you know? Virtually every controversy that involves accommodating LGBTQ youth seems to be in Virginia. One could easily conclude that these squabbles are manufactured by Republican operatives for political purposes.

Enter Mary Margaret Olohan, professional Catholic and Heritage Foundation staffer: ‘Are You Transgender?’: Virginia School Survey Asks Students About Gender, Sex, Intimate Family Details.

This constitutes evidence that politics offers no limits on stupidity. Indeed, the inanity is clear from Olohan’s first paragraph:

A Fairfax County Public Schools system survey will ask children as young as 13 years old to anonymously answer questions about their sex lives, drug and alcohol consumption, and intimate details of their family life.

It is in the future and it is anonymous. The intended inference is that, by asking these questions “children as young as 13” are being corrupted. Olohan is insane. The organizational culture of Heritage Foundation is irrationality.

“Deliberate misinformation is propaganda. Propaganda creates bigotry.”

The objective, of course, is to have people vote for the GOP candidate who will, it is assumed, put the brakes on this, … This what, exactly? Olohan cannot give voice to a real problem. For Mary Margaret Olohan, the existence of transgender persons in a profound problem. That discussion is for another day I think.

The should have consulted the map displaying all of the states and metropolitan area that participate in the same survey. It includes almost the entire country. The only bitching concerns Virginia. That is not a coincidence. In fact they never mention that this is part of a national effort.

Speaking of professional Catholics:

“The whole survey is dark and twisted, but frankly, I’m not surprised,” Ethics and Public Policy scholar Mary Rice Hasson told [Heritage Foundation]. “Parents need to say ‘no’ to the survey. Better yet, they need to get their kids out of the public schools now, before it’s too late.”

Indeed, children are in peril. Just not the kids that these two morons are talking about. In point of fact, the Vatican is responsible for much of the misinformation about LGBTQ persons that we are forced to deal with.

Deliberate misinformation is propaganda. Propaganda creates bigotry.

The Fairfax survey, as I wrote, is part of a national effort. It’s part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Most states and a number of metropolitan areas are participants. Kids in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, for example, are asked the same questions as kids in Fairfax, VA (with some local variances).

Oh but it is pernicious:

The 2021 Fairfax County Youth Survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th Grade Students almost immediately launches into questions about gender, asking students, “Some people describe themselves as transgender when their sex at birth does not match the way they think or feel about their gender. Are you transgender?”

The typical age of an eighth grader is about 13 years old.

“Are they suggesting that, by asking the question, kids will choose to be transgender?”

This previously created a controversy with the CDC because it was not clear to many people that “transgender is an umbrella term. What they are really asking is: “Do you experience any discomfort due to gender dysphoria?”

Again, the two religious misfits are emphasizing the lowest age of participants. Presumably people are supposed to be shocked that the county is asking 13-year-olds if they are gender incongruent to some degree.

Are Olohan (and by reference Ms. Hassan) suggesting that, by asking the question, kids will choose to be transgender?

Incidentally, the transgender question is not on the national survey. Heritage does not link to the source of the questions. In 2017 the transgender question was limited to 10 states and nine metropolitan areas. Neither Virginia nor Fairfax were among those.

After discussing questions related to race and family composition, Ms. Olohan goes to the really “shocking” content. Olohan cites a totally unrelated post at the Heritage Foundation blog which is based on content from the Daily Caller.

The full 2021 questionnaire is here.

Questions 57 through 65 (nine in all) are about sexual activity. Olohan gets it mostly right. Then, for some reason, she adds a question of her own design that is not included in the survey:

“Have you ever had oral sex?”

Again, it is nowhere to be found. I guess that Mary Margaret was vicariously fantasizing.

Olohan then accurately describes the parental opt-out mechanism which only says — yet again — that this is all one big “so fucking what?”

Time to introduce a third professional Catholic:

“… how on earth does asking questions lead to a ‘dark sewer?’ How does that work?”

Terry Schilling, president of the conservative pro-family think tank the American Principles Project, expressed strong concerns to [Heritage Foundation] about the survey, warning that it is “problematic” to allow the schools to “pry” into children’s lives in this way.

“If an 11-year-old in school says that they are transgender and had their first sexual experience at 11, does anyone notify the parents?” Schilling asked. “Because the vast majority of parents love and support their children and would want to know. Instead, these schools have adopted policies that ban school officials from notifying parents about these matters.”

Schilling is another moron. First of all, No 11-year-old will be a participant in the high school survey. An 11-year-old is usually in the 6th grade.

Secondly, even if they wanted to, there is no way to inform parents of anything. This is an anonymous online survey. Even if they could the potential for doing so would thoroughly corrupt the result.

The YRBS is vitally important. It allows us to address problems regarding an entire age group. It’s not designed to nanny individual students who have the bad luck to have parents like Mr. Schilling whose kids are most assuredly non-functioning neurotics.

After a series of imbecilic quotes from Mr. Schilling:

Though the survey is meant for students between 8th and 12th grade, the age options indicate that a child as young as 10 could take the survey, Hasson told [Heritage Foundation]. About a third of the questions are inoffensive, she said, but the rest lead “students down a dark sewer.”

First of all, the survey is specifically a “high school survey.” Secondly, unless things have changed over the decades my understanding is that high school is grades 9 through 12. A 10 year old is likely to be in 5th grade. What the fuck is Hasson talking about?

Furthermore, how on earth does asking questions lead to a “dark sewer?” How does that work? My condo board asked me if I had ever been arrested. That did not cause me to commit crimes. If Ms. Hasson has children then they too must be paranoid and thoroughly incapable of functioning in the real world.

“There is nothing new or unexpected in this stupidity. However, the timing and locale strongly suggest that Heritage Foundation is trying to influence the Virginia governor’s race.”

And we go back to “normalizing” bullshit:

“There is nothing new or unexpected in this stupidity. However, the timing and locale strongly suggest that Heritage Foundation is trying to influence the Virginia governor’s race.”

The Ethics and Public Policy scholar particularly took issue with the way in which the survey raises issues that normalize dangerous and illegal behaviors, citing the question on how old students were when they first had sex.

What this group is likely really worried about is turning kids gay or transgender. The survey also asks “During your life, how many times have you used methamphetamines?” Is that going to turn kids into crankcases?

Furthermore, the first question regarding sexual activity is: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse?” A “no” answer makes the next eight questions moot.

Before these idiots out themselves as idiots, they should review the CDC’s rationale for each question. Relative to sexual activity, it reads — in very small part:

These questions measure the prevalence of sexual activity, number of sexual partners, age at first intercourse, alcohol and other drug use related to sexual activity, condom use, and contraceptive use. Early initiation of sexual intercourse is associated with having a greater number of lifetime sexual partners. In addition, adolescents who initiate sexual intercourse early are less likely to use contraception and are at higher risk for STDs and pregnancy. …

This is followed by 11 references. Peer reviewed scholarly research.

This is followed by a lengthy dissertation of equally inane nonsense including banned books (books that should be banned).

There is nothing new or unexpected in this stupidity. However, the timing and locale strongly suggest that Heritage Foundation is trying to influence the Virginia governor’s race.

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.