Lambda Le­gal con­demns ap­point­ment of Va­lerie Hu­ber

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At­lanta may­oral can­di­date and City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ceasar Mitchell sup­ports the move­ment to in­stall per­ma­nent rain­bow cross­walks at 10th and Pied­mont in Mid­town.

Mitchell added his name to the list of more than 20,600 in­di­vid­u­als who signed a Care2 pe­ti­tion on May 23, the At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported.

The pe­ti­tion was started in April by Sarah Rose, an At­lanta-based mu­si­cian who also serves as Care2’s so­cial me­dia co­or­di­na­tor and LGBT is­sues ad­vo­cate. The de­sired cross­walks, im­ple­mented in time for Pride, will in­clude both the pink, white and blue of the trans­gen­der pride flag as well as the iconic rain­bow.

In Oc­to­ber 2015, At­lanta was home to tem­po­rary such fix­tures. Mayor Kasim Reed cited safety con­cerns and state reg­u­la­tions as rea­sons for not al­low­ing the cross­walks to be per­ma­nent. Ear­lier moves to have the cross­walks painted each year for Pride demon­strated it would be more cost-ef­fec­tive to have the rain­bows be per­ma­nent, ac­cord­ing to a Face­book post by the group re­spon­si­ble for the 2015 dec­o­ra­tions.

Rose re­acted to Mitchell’s sig­na­ture by say­ing it shows he and the At­lanta city Coun­cil are lis­ten­ing to the LGBT com­mu­nity. As peo­ple add their sig­na­tures on­line, they’re asked to share why this cause is im­por­tant to them. Though full names are not dis­played — only first name and last ini­tial, un­less a signer chooses anonymity — it ap­pears as though sev­eral other metro-area lead­ers may have added their sup­port.

“It is time for the city of At­lanta to sig­nal to res­i­dents and vis­i­tors that we sup­port and em­brace the LGBTQ com­mu­nity,” a pe­ti­tioner listed as Lock W. said, and a sup­porter named Rafer J. said, “As an LGBTQ leader, I want res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to feel wel­come and equal. This goes a long way to rec­og­nize the large lo­cal LGBTQ com­mu­nity.”

Sev­eral At­lanta may­oral can­di­dates, when asked by a CBS re­porter, re­sponded to the news on Twit­ter.

“I sup­port rain­bow cross­walks or some com­mem­o­ra­tion at 10th/Pied­mont. A great way to ac­knowl­edge an area im­por­tant to the ATL LGBT com­mu­nity,” out can­di­date Cathy Woolard tweeted.

Can­di­dates Alex Bar­rella and Keisha Lance Bot­toms also in­di­cated their sup­port.

On June 6, Va­lerie Hu­ber, a leader in the move­ment against sci­ence-based sex ed­u­ca­tion in schools, was ap­pointed as chief of staff to the as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for health in the US De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices.

Sharon McGowan, di­rec­tor of strat­egy for Lambda Le­gal, calls the ap­point­ment a “dan­ger­ous choice.”

“Her his­tory of push­ing anti-LGBTQ pro­pa­ganda in schools is de­spi­ca­ble and dis­qual­i­fy­ing,” McGowan said in a news re­lease. “As­cend, the or­ga­ni­za­tion of which Hu­ber is at the helm, pushes in­ac­cu­rate, dan­ger­ous and ir­re­spon­si­ble in­for­ma­tion about LGBT stu­dents. Ac­cord­ing to one doc­u­ment pro­duced by As­cend, ed­u­ca­tors are dis­cour­aged from af­firm­ing a trans­gen­der stu­dent’s gen­der iden­tity.”

That’s some­thing that var­i­ous stud­ies show can lead to iso­la­tion, ha­rass­ment, vi­o­lence and even sui­cide, she said.

“As demon­strated by her record, Hu­ber is just the lat­est ad­di­tion to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ros­ter of sci­ence-de­nial­ists. By con­tin­u­ing to pro­mote moral­is­tic ab­sti­nence-only ap­proaches to sex­ual health, Hu­ber cares more about pro­mot­ing her own re­li­gious views rather than ad­vanc­ing pub­lic health,” McGowan con­tin­ued. “Study af­ter study shows us that hon­est sex ed­u­ca­tion that is rooted in sci­ence and free of stigma cre­ates the best out­come for young peo­ple and pub­lic health.”

City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ceasar Mitchell

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