Al Franken Grills Betsy DeVos on Support for Gay Conversion Therapy (Video)
Senator Al Franken is the best ally ever. He grilled Trump’s Secretary of Education pick Betsy DeVos on her shady anti-LGBT record during her confirmation hearing.
“Mrs. DeVos, your family has a long history of supporting anti-LGBT causes including donating millions of dollars to groups that push conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, you and your family have given over $10 million to Focus On the Family, an organization that currently states on its website that, ‘homosexual strugglers can and do change their sexual behavior and identity.’
“Mrs. DeVos, conversion therapy has been widely discredited and rejected for decades by every mainstream medical and mental health organization as neither medically nor ethically appropriate. It has been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide, particularly in LGBT youth. In fact, many of the leaders and founders of conversion therapy, including both religious ministries and mental health professionals, have not only publicly renounced it but have issued formal apologies for their work and how harmful it has been to the individuals involved. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that this be included in the record.
“Mrs. DeVos, do you still believe in conversion therapy?”
“Senator Franken, um, I’ve never believed in that.
“First of all, let me say I fully embrace equality and I believe in the innate value of every single human being and that all students, no matter their age, should be able to attend a school and feel safe and be free of discrimination. So let’s start there and let me just say that your characterization of our contributions I don’t think accurately reflects those of my family. I would hope that you wouldn’t include other family members beyond my core family.”
Her response is great and all, but it could just be smoke and mirrors. Like Franken points out, family’ has given millions of dollars to backers of ex-gay abuse camps; now she’ll be responsible for protecting the civil rights of the nation’s children. We are proud that Franken is holding her accountable in the hot seat.