Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family Research Council doesn't want lgbt students protected from bullying

Count the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council as another religious right entity speaking against President Obama's anti-bullying initiative:

Tom McClusky, vice president of Government Affairs at the Christian Conservative group Family Research Council (FRC), has attacked President Barack Obama's anti-bullying campaign as an attempt to force anti-gay students “in the closet.”

. . . “It's ironic that when the President was trying to push this bullying program that he cited that he was once bullied as a child, because that's exactly what his policies are leading to, is bullying by the federal government and by a homosexual agenda that seeks to make children hide their Christianity and their religion in the closet and to silence those who would speak out against what they don't believe,” McClusky said.

In reality, the President's initiative doesn't exclude anyone but it does pay special attention to the bullying of lgbt students. And this is because:

Young LGBT people may be more at-risk for bullying. Compared to their heterosexual peers, some LGBT kids, teens and young adults are at increased risk for bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviors.

Over a ten-year period more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students (aged 13-21), were surveyed. The results were published in The 2009 National School Climate Survey. The survey found that in the preceding year, because of their sexual orientation:
  • Eight in ten LGBT students had been verbally harassed at school
  • Four in ten had been physically harassed at school
  • Six in ten felt unsafe at school
  • One in five had been the victim of a physical assault at school
Unfortunately, these types of experiences with violence also occur outside of school and may continue into young adulthood.

Young LGBT people may be more at-risk for sexual discrimination and bias. Young LGBT individuals may be bullied as a part of sexual/gender discrimination and bias by their schoolmates, ethnic or religious groups or by other societal concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

In McClusky's beleagured whinings, he didn't cite an iota of proof that "Christian students" will be ignored by Obama's initiative. Nor does he cite any statistics regarding the "bullying of Christian students" which is comparable to statistics regarding the bullying of lgbt students.

In fact, he doesn't cite any statistics at all.

So in other words, McClusky's claim is just hot air and the only problem that FRC has with the President's anti-bullying initiative is that it includes lgbt students.

It's sad enough when any students - especially lgbt students - are being bullied. It's even worse when a so-called Christian group wants us to ignore the problem.

Related posts:

Homophobic writer makes case for Obama's anti-bullying campaign

Focus on the Family's love for anti-gay bullies

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Homophobic writer makes case for Obama's anti-bullying campaign

The basic lack of integrity from some on the right who would attack President Obama's anti-bullying initiative was seen again last week.

According to Media Matters, Robert Knight, a veteran expert in smearing the lgbt community, wrote a column about Obama's initiative in which he cited the concerns of one Laurie Higgins, a member of the SPLC-declared hate group the Illinois Family Institute:

The government, under the auspices of three federal agencies, has created a website dedicated to ending bullying. Paraphrasing Mrs. Higgins, here's the site's underlying philosophy: 1) Homosexual behavior is equivalent to race, 2) any kind of sex is morally positive, and 3) expressing any conservative moral beliefs leads to bullying. What a neat formula for suppressing dissent.

Let's ignore for a brief moment the fact that nothing in the President's initiative has anything to do with sexual intercourse and let's ignore Knight's silly need to define the lgbt community in accordance to his fevered imagination regarding what exactly is "homosexual behavior."

It's that third point which catches my eye - "expressing any conservative moral beliefs leads to bullying."

One has to wonder what exactly does Knight feel is an "expression of any conservative moral beliefs."

Are they something like this:

"Homosexuals say they don't want the children, but boy they put a lot of energy into going after them."

Or this:

“If you look at the footage from Operation Rescue, um, vigils outside abortion clinics, you will see that the anti Operation Rescue demonstrators invariably have a pink triangle on and they are usually pretty big heavy set women who look like they’ve been over working October Fest for the last six years . . .”

Or this:

"You can’t fool nature. The rectum was not made for sexual activity.” Then, impishly, he adds, “it is an exit ramp, not an entry ramp.”

These are past comments by Robert Knight and they illustrate a point I've made before. If you look at the past statements and comments of the vast majority of those raising "concerns" about the President's anti-bullying initiatives, you would find that they've said things about the lgbt community in the past which goes well beyond that of "expressing a moral belief" In fact, these statements sound as if they are voiced by grade school and high school bullies.

We saw an example of this last week with Focus on the Family interviewing the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber about Obama's anti-bullying initiative in spite of the fact that Barber's past actions and comments against the lgbt community totally wrecks his credibility to speak on the issue - particularly the tasteless tweets he made about gays and lesbians serving openly in the military

So the big question here is not whether President Obama's anti-bullying initiative is unfair to those who have a moral objection to homosexuality.

The question - which should be put to Knight and those like him - is are they trying to protect the bullies?

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