Those of you who are regular readers know I tend to keep this blog pretty light hearted, but a string of recent events that fly in the face of equality have pushed me to the brink of sanity. So, as a call to arms, this is part one of what will likely be a series of more politically charged blog entries:
Earlier this week, in a 3-2 vote of the Georgia House Judiciary subcommittee, a bill that would protect state employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity was tabled thanks in large part to testimony from Cobb County teacher and state director of Concerned Women of America Tanya Ditty. She was the only voice of opposition to testify.
House Bill 630, “Safeguard(s) all individuals in public employment from discrimination in employment; and promote(s) the elimination of discrimination against all individuals in public employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age thereby to promote the protection of their interest in personal dignity and freedom from humiliation …”
The bill enjoyed 70 sponsors and co-sponsors, according to The GA Voice, including 12 Republicans and one independent. Despite strong support from both sides of the aisle, Ditty’s testimony, which equated the LGBT community with pedophiles and necrophiliacs, among other things, effectively shut down the bill.
Citing a study by Robert Knight, Ditty argued, “There are 23 sexual orientations that fit under this definition and if this bill became law then what we would be protecting for public employees is not only heterosexuality, bisexuality, pedophilia, transsexuality, transvesticism (sik) … voyeurism, exhibitionism, fetism (sik), zoophilia, necrophilia, klismaphilia, and the list goes on. I teach in the public school system and I know this would impact the public school system. We have parents who bring their kids to school everyday and expect the school to protect them and what’s going to protect our children if someone that is a pedophiliac comes in and gets a teaching job, is a bus driver, is a custodian and they could be people that just want to prey on children and they’ll be protected with this law.” She went on to discuss her horror at finding out a “cross dressing” man had been in the restroom with her to illustrate her totally justifiable concerns about this bill. You just can’t make this stuff up.
First of all you horrible bigot, the vast majority of pedophiliacs are straight, white men who self-identify as religious and have been married, according to The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Study, which included a sample of more than 5,000 admitted child molesters across 41 states.
Second, thank you Tanya Ditty for singlehandedly making me embarrassed to call Georgia my home. I found this so-called “study” online and, as you might imagine, it is not a peer reviewed, academic study. In fact, the author is a former editor and writer for the LA Times and the director of the Culture and Family Institute, which, best I can tell, is a “research arm” of Concerned Women for America. What a bunch of bullshit.
Not familiar with Concerned Women for America? According to factcheck.org, it’s a “public policy women’s organization that promotes biblical principles … launched in the late 1970s … as a counter to Betty Friedan’s National Organization for Women.” The group’s key issues include abortion, heterosexual marriage, education, pornography, religious freedom and national sovereignty. It has been cited previously for running false and misleading claims in its advertising.
Is anybody else seeing red? Tanya Ditty is an embarrassment to the educational system as a whole, as well as to the Cobb County School District (CCSD) and East Cobb Middle School (ECMS) where she teaches (thankfully we live in the next middle school district over or my own son may have been exposed to her hatred too).
While she’s down at the Gold Dome supposedly protecting our children from the LGBT community (from whom they require no protection), I’d like to know who’s protecting our kids from the likes of Tanya Ditty? This kind of bigotry has no place in our public schools, and I’m calling for her immediate dismissal from CCSD.
Who’s with me? If you agree, click through to the CCSD or ECMS web sites to contact the district’s public relations officer and the school’s principal. Tanya Ditty isn’t the only one who can make her voice heard! Let this homophobic bigot and those who employ her know that thinly veiled hate speech disguised as “in the children’s best interest” is still just hate speech.