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Calif. school board member faces recall after bizarre homophobic anti-vaxxer rant

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Residents in Chino, California are pushing to recall a Christian conservative school board member after railing for nearly 10 minutes against school vaccinations, undocumented immigrants, and adoption rights for same-sex couples during a meeting earlier this month.

“Children are not commodities that can be severed from their natural parents and traded between unrelated adults,” Andrew Cruz said during the Chino Valley Unified School District board meeting on July 16. “Parenting will be defined, erasing and replacing with gender-neutral legal parent, erasing biological natural parenthood [so] that states would ignore childrens’ foremost right: their immutable, intrinsic yearning to know and be raised by their own biological parents. Gender of parents matter for the health and developments of children.”

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According to Champion Newspapers, have organized online in an effort to oust Cruz for his comments.

“The comments he made were ridiculous and outrageous,” said Nicole Henrikson Gockel, who created a closed Facebook group page dedicated to recalling Cruz which had 317 members listed as of Monday afternoon. “It’s inappropriate, it promotes a very divisive environment. We want someone to put aside personal beliefs for our children”

The Friendly Atheist reported that Cruz also downplayed race as a factor in last month’s terrorist attack against the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last month because South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley “is a woman from India, Indian descent.” Haley, an Indian-American, was born in South Carolina.

“One of two senators is black,” Cruz said, referring to Sen. Tim Scott. “You know, we’re no longer a racist country, but they still talk about it.”

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Cruz, who was elected in 2012, then turned his attention to a state law passed last month eliminating religious examptions against school vaccines, calling it “un-American.”

He also cited a report by the conservative site Judicial Watch blaming “tens of thousands of Central Americans” who carried infectious diseases into the US, a reference to the “unaccompanied minors” who entered the country fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador last summer. In reality, medical professionals said at the time that the majority of those children were better-vaccinated than their American counterparts.

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“It is bizarre how our government harm our citizens by allowing infectious diseases to infect our country and blaming mothers who don’t vaccinate their children,” Cruz said.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the district late last year calling for a ban on prayer and Bible readings during board meetings.

“Until the end of the year, we’ve had a new complaint every day,” foundation president Annie Laurie Gaylor told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in January. “This is unprecedented. Obviously something is very wrong with this district’s understanding of separation of church and state and its role in promoting religion or not promoting it to a captive audience of small schoolchildren.”

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Cruz, along with board members Sylvia Orozco and James Na, voted in favor of asking a local attorney to represent the district at no cost in the matter. Reveal reported in April that all three attend the same megachurch, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.

Watch Cruz’s remarks, as posted online, below.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

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President Donald Trump was blasted on MSNBC on Saturday by a former Republican congressman for being an "unfit conman."

Rev. Al Sharpton interviewed former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) about a recent New York Times op-ed he wrote calling for Trump to face a primary challenge from the right.

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2020 Election

Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution

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CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

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Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.

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