Lambda Legal condemns appointment of Valerie Huber
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