It happened four years ago, and it’s happening again.  Lupe Valdez, the nation’s first and only openly gay Latina sheriff, has been accused by Republicans of promoting a “gay lifestyle.”  It’s all because of an anonymous questionnaire used to foster dialogue of sexual orientation during sensitivity training at the Dallas county sheriff’s office.

The questionnaire, distributed to 45 training participants from the sheriff’s department on Sept. 5, asked them to circle “agree” or “disagree” alongside statements including, “Homosexuality is a choice,” and, “The Bible states that homosexuality is immoral.”

The participants were told not to put their names on the questionnaires and were given the option of leaving them blank if they felt uncomfortable, according to representatives from the Resource Center of Dallas, which conducted the training. The questionnaires were then folded, collected, shuffled and redistributed before responses were used as a launching point for discussions about sexual orientation.

The questionnaire, developed by the Resource Center, has been used since at least 2002 in diversity training for other law enforcement agencies, including the Dallas Police Department. This marked the first time the questionnaire had been used at the sheriff’s department and the first time it has generated any complaints, according to representatives from the Resource Center and DPD.

Valdez never saw the questionnaire prior to the training but signed off on the Resource Center’s participation – which was also a first, said sheriff’s department spokeswoman Kim Leach.

The powers that be are beginning to align against Valdez’s reelection.The Dallas Morning News did its part by publishing a detestable hit-piece over the brouhaha.

A questionnaire given to all Dallas County Sheriff’s Department employees is raising some eyebrows.

It asks respondents to declare where they stand on sensitive sexuality issues. The people who created it say it’s simply an icebreaker to create conversations about diversity within the department.

It’s certainly doing that, but officials now worry that it may not be having the intended effect.

This questionnaire wants to know if employees agree or disagree with statements like these:

• Homosexuality is a choice

• Bisexuals are more gay than straight

• It is irrelevant if my child’s teacher is openly gay

• The Bible states that homosexuality is immoral

The term “employees” is being used rather loosely here–the Dallas Voice reports that it seems only a single individual complained to the media about the questionnaire.

[Deputy Mike] Ramirez, vice president of the Dallas chapter of the Latino Peace Officers Association, wouldn’t say whether he’d contacted the media about the questionnaire. Texas Watchdog didn’t quote any sheriff’s department employees in its coverage.

Ramirez maintained that four sheriff’s department employees voiced concerns to him about the questionnaire.

“Some of the people felt they [department officials] were trying to push the gay agenda onto them,” Ramirez told Dallas Voice. “It was not politically motivated, I assure you that.”

With the Dallas Morning News and every major policing association in Dallas county working together to derail the reelection of Sheriff Lupe Valdez, it seems that this election is only going to get worse as the weeks crawl by; gutter politics have been on parade for months already.

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