Thomas Vandergrift is speaking out against Facebook postings made by a member of the Pennsauken Board of Education, which he views as homophobic and transphobic.
Vandergrift is embroiled in protracted litigation against the Pennsauken School District, alleging that district officials wrongfully accused him of child molestation after he advocated for a proper education for his autistic nephew.
As part of his scrutiny of the district, Vandergrift preserved Facebook postings made by Leona Moss, a member of the Pennsauken Board of Education.
Vandergrift claims the posts — which recently were removed from Moss’ Facebook page — contributed to an anti-LGBT environment within the school district.
He said one of the posts suggested the rainbow symbol belongs to God, not the LGBT community.
Interspersed in the post’s rainbow were references to “the blood of Jesus, “the purifying fire of God,” “Salvation” and “Holy Devotion.”
Vandergrift also blasted a post depicting a Bible shaped as a gun. He said the depiction, and related comments, indicated to him: “If you believe in the Bible, then you need to lock and load your weapon and open fire when necessary. The Bible is on your side.”
Multiple posts contained dismissive remarks about Caitlin Jenner, a transgender woman who appears in the new reality show “I Am Cait.”
In one post, next to a photograph of Jenner, Moss wrote: “Is this not a man that they applaud for being a woman. WTH.”
Another post featured Jenner in a bustier.
Vandergrift spoke in support of Jenner.
“We’re all human and we all deserve love and respect and the right to live our own lives,” he said. “I believe Ms. Moss needs to be educated on LGBT rights, particularly as they encompass gender-identity issues.”
As for Jenner’s new reality show, “I Am Cait,” Moss wrote: “Who cares, no.”
Another post joked about a man who’s “transfinancial,” a rich man trapped in a poor man’s body. “Give me your money so I can fix my identity issue,” the man jests.
“For somebody going through gender-identity issues, it’s not a laughing matter,” Vandergrift said. “It’s a very difficult and challenging experience. To make light of it with such a joke is outrageous.”
He added: “I also know from my own experience that anti-LGBT bullying is pervasive throughout the Pennsauken School District. These posts certainly don’t alleviate my concerns.”
Additionally, Vandergrift expressed concern about a post that criticized a school district in Virginia for planning to teach sexual-fluidity and gender-spectrum issues.
The post was headed, “Schools to teach kids there’s no such thing as boys or girls.”
“In my opinion, [Moss] doesn’t seem to be the open-minded representative that one would hope to be on a school board,” Vandergrift continued. “To say she doesn’t appear to embrace diversity would be an understatement.”
In her defense, Moss posted this comment on her Facebook page on July 24:
“On my wall are Christian[s] and people of all faiths and of all occupations, yes, even police. I do not discriminate against anyone when I voice my opinion. As a black woman, I know what it is like to be discriminated against. And I recognize it straight up. So don’t try to pull that card. I will be (DAM) [sic] or darn [sic] for my Christian folks, if I will allow anyone to try to shut me up or shut me down because of my beliefs. I believe what the Bible says. So if you have a problem with me responding to sexual sin, that’s your problem. If you don’t like what I or my friends put on this wall, de-friend me or stop trying to access my wall for your own purposes. In the strongest language I can put this in, ‘Screw you!’ Yeah, yeah, you told me to behave. It ain’t in my nature.”
Moss didn’t reply to emails seeking additional comment.