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Teen escapes pray-away-the-gay ‘boarding school’ after relatives raise money for lawyer

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Seventeen-year-old Sarah is in the top 10 percent of her class, she runs cross-country and belongs to the National Honor Society and is on the debate team. But when she decided to take her girlfriend to her Texas prom, her parents sent her away for the next year to an East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens hoping they would “pray away the gay.”

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Sarah was taken against her will and tried to escape the facility once, “but was caught by the staff and returned to the facility,” a GoFundMe page set up by her extended family describes, according to BoingBoing.

The family acted quickly, hiring an attorney and working to ensure Sarah would be released as soon as possible. They wrote that she was not “allowed phone calls or email or any form of computer communication.” Nor was she allowed visitors. She had no way of knowing that work was being done to save her.

So far they page doesn’t include any details about the legal battle but they assure the donors they will update as soon as they speak to the attorney and to Sarah. She’s luckily she was released from the facility and the GoFundMe has turned off the donations for now as they wait for further instructions about what is needed.

If she hadn’t been released, Sarah would have been forced to spend the year “isolated in a place where the fact that she is gay is treated as a sin and an illness,” the family wrote. “Instead of preparing for college and competing in the state debate tournament, she'[d] be doing forced labor every day and enduring Bible-based ‘therapy’ for her ‘disease.'”

So-called “reparative therapy” has been labeled by the American Psychological Association as harmful to anyone forced to suffer under it, but especially to minors.

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“Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation,” the APA says.


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2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

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According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

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