Jan Brewer angry over satirical report suggesting she supports mandatory "gay conversion" classes for children

The people of Arizona believed the satirical news item, probably because of Brewer's anti-LGBT record

By Katie McDonough

Published August 23, 2013 1:02PM (EDT)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer             (Reuters/Darryl Webb)
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (Reuters/Darryl Webb)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is criticizing a satirical political website for publishing an article declaring her support for a fictional K-12 public school curriculum to help “homosexual males and women become straight.” The fake news item went viral this week, leading a number of alarmed and outraged Arizona parents to contact Brewer's office with questions over the alleged program.

The satirical story cites CNN and Fox News as sources, and (falsely) quotes Brewer as saying, “I think this will be an amazing opportunity for gay children to finally learn who they truly are for once in their lives. Can you imagine how much more productive these ‘now-straight’ children will be not always being bullied or wondering why god made them defective? What we have done here today is monumental. I can only hope and pray that other states follow suit.”

Brewer's office did not see the humor in such a stunt, and denounced the suggestion that the governor would target young people with such a discriminatory program: "It’s a completely phony and vile report, and its authors should be ashamed," Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder told the Arizona Republic.

Too bad, then, that Brewer has no qualms with singling out gay adults for grossly unequal treatment. Until the United States Supreme Court rejected her appeal in June, Brewer had been working for years to deny state employees the ability to share health benefits with their same-sex partners.

In her response to the high court's decision, Brewer denied anti-gay bias was driving her actions, and called stripping employees of domestic partner benefits "a common sense step to get a grasp on Arizona’s tattered State finances.”

In June 2011, Brewer also signed a measure giving straight couples seeking to adopt a child priority over gay couples and unmarried adults.

Brewer was also not impressed by the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act. When asked if Arizona would reconsider its ban on equal marriage following the landmark ruling, Brewer remarked that, "I believe that the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman.''

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anti-gay Bias Anti-lgbt Discrimination Gay Rights Jan Brewer Lgbt Rights