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Public funds for traumatizing gay teens

Rolling Stone has a heartbreaking article that looks at private religious schools that tramautize gay teens.

Young LGBTQs, struggling with the sexuality or knowing full well that they're gay and sent to strict religious schools by extremist religious parents, face abuse and harrassment.

Many Christian schools in Georgia and across the nation have similar policies, sometimes explicitly written into a pledge that students or their parents must sign when they enroll. At certain schools, a student need not even engage in acts of sexual "impurity"; simply identifying as gay or acting in support of a gay friend can lead to dismissal.

And state tax dollars pay for it.

Buncombe Register of Deeds wants to issue gay marriage licenses

The Register of Deeds will "accepting and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state's legal advisor, Attorney General Roy Cooper". (Announcement at Official Buncombe County Register of Deeds site)

“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval," Reisinger said. "I have concerns about whether we are violating people's civil rights based on this summer's Supreme Court decision.

NC legislature's agenda for higher ed reform

Since the NC legislature seems to be taking its marching orders from Art Pope's various and sundry foundations and "think" tanks, it always pays to keep an eye on what they're up to.

NC Policy Watch has a post containing a presentation that the Pope Center for Higher Education made at the annual gathering of the State Policy Network.

Expect these themes to emerge in the next legislative session or in discussions in the McCrory administration in coming months.

Notable among Shaw’s remarks include “there’s a lot of fat in higher ed budgets,” and that good policies are “frustrated by leftwing faculty.”

Meanwhile, an investigation into Koch political money laundering

Some of you might know that our McCrory appointed budget director (and "behind the scenes" actual Governor) Art Pope is one of the big donors for the Koch Brothers's group of political action groups, including Americans for Prosperity. Pope is so embedded with the Koch's that he's been called the "third Koch brother".

Seems all is not happy in Koch-land these days. Sean Noble, one of the chief fundraisers for the Koch political empire, has been let go by the Scrooge Brothers. He's under investigation for money laundering political contributions according to the Huffington Post:

Randolph school board to reconsider Ellison book ban

It appears the public shaming over the Randolph County school board's ban of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" is having an impact - they've called a meeting to reconsider. Via PBS:

But the board's ban upset local residents and gained national attention -- even some international attention. The Courier-Tribune reported that the story appeared on Russian TV.

It is unclear whether the outcry caused the board to schedule a special session as no reason was given for the reconsideration, but the board will meet again Wednesday, Sept. 25 to discuss the ban.

More at the local Asheboro paper.

Randolph School board bans seminal work of African-American fiction

After a complaint from the parent of an 11th grader, complaining the book was "filth", the Randolph County school board voted to ban Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man".

It was one of three books from which rising Randleman High School juniors could choose for summer reading for the 2013-14 school year. The others on the list were “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin and “Passing” by Nella Larsen; honors students had to choose two books. ...

Mason said, “I didn’t find any literary value.” He also objected to the language in the book. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.”

Art Pope's Civitas criticizes McCrory ... then doesn't

NC Policy Watch is reporting that Art Pope's Civitas posted two pieces strongly critical of Gov. Pat McCrory, but has pulled them.

One criticized McCrory on his veto of the drug testing for those receiving public assistance.

Then last Tuesday, Pope-Civitas director Francis DeLuca authored a lengthy article in which he attacked McCrory for speaking at an event that also featured speakers from the Institute for Minority Economic Development (a group DeLuca derided for having worked with Rev. William Barber’s Historic Thousands of Jones Street Coalition). The article even highlighted the fact that Yolanda Stith, wife of McCrory chief of staff Thomas Stith, is a lobbyist on behalf of one of the conveners of the event.

Today, both articles appear to have all but vanished from the Pope-Civitas websites.

Policy Watch asks:

NC National Guard to recognize same-sex marriages

In case you missed it, here's a September 9th story about the NC National Guard announcing that they will recognize same sex marriages:

The North Carolina National Guard announced Monday that it will begin recognizing same-sex marriages, a policy shift that could have substantial financial help for families not previously eligible for the same federal military benefits awarded to heterosexual couples.

Spokesman Lt. Col. Maury A. Williams said the Guard will abide by U.S. Department of Defense orders extending benefits to the same-sex spouses of uniformed service members. Williams said couples who wed in states where same-sex marriage is legal can begin applying for benefits immediately.

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