Betsy DeVos was just confirmed to lead the Department of Education, with Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. That’s bad news for all of us who value children, but it could be particularly bad for the LGBTQ community. DeVos comes from a family with a history of anti-LGBTQ activism.
The DeVos family has a long history of supporting anti-gay causes — including donating hundreds of thousands to groups that push “conversion therapy” — raising questions about how, if at all, she would address discrimination against gay and transgender students.
“The DeVos family has a long, well-documented history of funding organizations dedicated to undermining and restricting the rights of LGBTQ people,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a group that advocates for LGBT rights.
This comes at a time when LGBTQ students are particularly vulnerable. There’s been an increase in bullying against queer kids since the election.
But that’s not the only reason to worry about DeVos. For one thing, she’s totally unqualified to lead the Department of Education. Her appointment seems to have been motivated not by her knowledge but by her wallet—she donated generously to many of the GOP legislators who voted to confirm her.
Even more worrying, DeVos served as a board member of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, a right/libertarian organization that argued in favor of bringing back child labor.
See you in the mines, children!
(Header image via Flickr user Zak)