The Latest (Kamala) Harris Poll
When Joe Biden announced that Kamala Harris would be his choice for vice-president on the Democratic Party ticket, history was made. Harris is the first woman of color to be on a major party ticket for the White House. Knowing how Joe Biden advocates on behalf of the LGBTQ community, it was a reasonable response to ask “What is Kamala Harris's track record on LGBTQ issues?”
Prior to becoming a senator in 2017, Harris served as San Francisco district attorney from 2004 to 2011, and subsequently as California state attorney general from 2012 to 2016. While Harris was credited for her firm opposition to the death penalty, even in light of a fatal shooting of a police officer, she established a Hate Crimes Unit there. Harris focused the efforts of this group on crimes whose victims were LGBTQ children and youth. One well-covered case involved the murder of a transgender teenage girl. The accused parties used the “gay panic defense.” They were convicted of second-degree murder. Harris then led efforts to educate prosecutors on this new defense.
As state attorney general, Harris provided solid legal representation for marriage equality, as she opposed Propositions 22 and 8, passed by California voters in 2000 and 2008 respectively. Those Prop votes affirmed that marriage in that state would be legal only between a man and woman. Both were struck down during Harris's tenure as state attorney general. In fact, this action was cited by the US Supreme Court in its ruling in June, 2013 declaring that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Two days later, as marriage equality became a reality in California, Kamala Harris herself officiated its first same-sex wedding.
The day Kamala Harris was announced as the VP pick for the Democratic ticket, Sarah Palin sent a congratulatory note to her on Instagram. In part, Palin wrote, “Congrats to the Democrat VP pick! Climb upon Geraldine Ferraro's and my shoulders, and from the most amazing view in your life consider what lessons we learned.” There is no question in the mind of this writer that Ms. Harris does not need to ride anyone’s shoulders, as Kamala stands firmly on her own two feet.
One Jerry is out, another Jerry is in. Jerry Falwell, Jr., formerly the sitting president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is out. Jerry Prevo is in. Falwell has taken an indefinite leave of absence. This action comes in the wake of a yacht ride with cronies and staff in which Jerry F had a photo taken of him with his shorts unzipped (holding a glass with an unidentified beverage) and with his arm around his wife’s assistant, who was similarly unzipped.
This does not play well in evangelical circles unless you are running for President. Jerry F will undergo routine counseling and “leadership re-orientation,” and will likely return to his duties a more humble—and obedient—man.
But what of Jerry P? Mr. Prevo hails from Tennessee. Until his appointment as interim president of Liberty U, he was chairman of the institution’s Board of Trustees. His career path includes a nearly half-century tenure as pastor of Anchorage Baptist Temple in Alaska. In January 1980, Jerry P chartered the Alaskan chapter of the Moral Majority. Thus began his foray into politics and advancing a strict anti-LGBTQ agenda.
These credentials brought him to Liberty University where he rose to the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Never fear, Liberty U evangelicals! Jerry P will preserve its anti-LGBTQ status with his bold vision for a safe Virginia campus. While the Board and students pray for the repentance and restoration of Jerry F, which will come in due course, Liberty University carries on its mission and education during his absence.
There is little doubt that Jerry F will return as president of Liberty University. Taking over the reins after his father’s death in 2007, Jerry Jr. has greatly increased the endowment funds held by Liberty. Seeking to become the evangelical equivalent to the University of Notre Dame, current enrollment stands at 110,000. It must be noted, however, that 15,000 students are on-campus while 95,000 are enrolled in online courses.
Jerry Jr. has his detractors. He has been roundly criticized for publicly (and shamelessly) endorsing Donald Trump for president in January 2016. His campus hosted Trump for an address at which he referenced a Bible verse from “Two Corinthians.” The student audience audibly chuckled, as anyone familiar with the New Testament knows it is “Second Corinthians.” Jerry F has intense prayer and self-reflection ahead of him. Let’s add our prayers that he may finally see the light.##