Thursday, January 12, 2012

Conservatives demand that 'ex-gay' therapy, inaccurate health information be taught in schools

The Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota is in the middle of a huge issue regarding its sexual orientation curriculum policy which says that LGBT issues should not be discussed in the district's schools.

And based on the actions of some parents at a recent school district meeting, it's going to be a long slog:

A slew of conservative Christian parents — and even an orthodox rabbi — implored the Anoka-Hennepin School District to purge schools of any mention of homosexuality and demanded that teachers teach about the “ex-homosexual” movement and “gay-related immune deficiency.” One district member even assailed Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign as vulgar and accused the popular columnist of teaching children about “three-ways.” Several people testified using little more than versus from the Bible that are often used to demean and degrade the LGBT community.

The controversy in the district is over the sexual orientation curriculum policy also called the “neutrality policy” which says that LGBT issues are not to be discussed in the district’s schools. Six students are suing to eliminate the policy on the grounds that it makes for a hostile school environment and the district announced last month that they are considering scrapping the policy and replacing it with one that deals with “controversial topics” but doesn’t single out LGBT students and issues.

But the Parents Action League, a group of conservative Christians, want the policy to remain.

Brian Lindquist and Mike Skaalerud presented a resolution and list of demands that the Parents Action League wants to the school board to fulfill including incorporating “ex-gay” therapy into the school resources.

And it got uglier:

PAL also uses the term Gay Related Immune Deficiency or GRID. That was the initial name given to AIDS when it was still only a cluster of gay men. It hasn’t been used since 1984 — aside from those in the religious right who have a limited knowledge of epidemiology and biology who use it as a derogatory remark about gay men and HIV.

The Parents Action League has been behind much of the anti-LGBT activity in the district and have been advocating “ex-gay” therapy since it’s founding in 2009.

Barb Anderson has been the spokesperson for the group. She’s also a researcher for the Minnesota Family Council and has accused LGBT advocacy groups of being responsible for bullying and suicides in the district.

At Monday night’s board meeting, she accused the LGBT community of indoctrinating the students of the district.

“On Dec. 25th, on the front page of the Star Tribune, the pro-homosexual media once again held up the St. Paul school district as an example of how the districts should deal with GLBT issues. In St. Paul, the fear of the gay agenda coming into the schools is now a thing of the past. Well, that’s exactly right. There’s no reason to fear it coming in because its so entrenched in their schools that parents have given up all hope of getting it out.”

She said that the “gay agenda” was trying to force Christians into the closet.

She quoted Steve Warren who she called a leader in ACT-UP claiming that his “gay manifesto” from 1987 was the rallying cry for the community. What she didn’t note was the Warren’s article, written under the pseudonym Michael Swift, was satire.

Where do you think these folks got this stuff from? Organizations like the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, etc.

You see that's why it's important for the lgbtq community to start focusing on these groups. They are feeding gullible folks bad info which in part is being used to stymie the progress of our children.

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'Religious right can't get rid of discredited researcher' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Family Research Institute: 'Where Gays Cluster, Boys Suffer' - Once upon a time, boys and girls, Paul Cameron was the toast of the religious right. They used his discredited work to prove the case against lgbtq equality until we got savvy enough to point out his myriad of errors. Now the religious right avoid him like the plague. Only he refuses to go away, which is good for us.

Related post: Paul Cameron - why the religious right can't keep him 'in the closet'

Anti-Gay Legal Guns For Hire: How The Right Uses ‘Religious Liberty’ To Fight Discrimination Suits - An excellent piece by Talking Points Memo.

AP: Gay marriage within reach in Wash. Legislature - Sweet!

Native American lesbian elected to Minnesota House - Awesome news coming out of Minnesota.
Unmasked! Anti-LGBT Group Behind Girl Scout Cookie Boycott - And THIS, brothers and sisters, is how the religious right astroturfs a protest.

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MSNBC's possible dismissal of Pat Buchanan is hypocritical

You must forgive me for not being impressed with the news that MSNBC has allegedly finally been driven to the extremes by columnist Pat Buchanan's racist rhetoric and is seeking to get rid of him.

Don't get me wrong. It's way overdue. Buchanan has gotten away with racist dog whistling for too long and his book, Suicide of a Superpower, with its venomous attack on all of those who don't fit Buchanan's idea of proper American culture - i.e. those who aren't white - is a fitting final straw.

But as I said before, I'm not impressed.

You see, Buchanan is not the only problematic individual to be given somewhat of a home at MSNBC.

According to the site Equality Matters, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins has made 11 appearances on MSNBC news programs. Perkins is the same guy who has said vindictive things about the lgbtq community including:

  • Gay Activists Are Intolerant, Hateful, Spiteful Pawns Of The Devil. [Right Wing Watch, 5/3/11]
  • Senators Who Vote For DADT Repeal Will Have “The Blood Of Innocent Soldiers On Their Hands.” [Right Wing Watch, 12/16/10]
  • "Kids Do Worse In These Same-Sex Households. They’re More Susceptible To Violence.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 4/24/11]
  • Gays Are Trying To “Spread Fear And Intimidation So That They Can Disrupt And Destabilize” The Legal System, Like Terrorists. [Good As You, 4/29/11]
  • “Research Is Overwhelming” That Gay Men Are More Likely To Molest Children.  [MSNBC, Hardball, 11/29/11]

The stuff Perkins says is no different than the drivel Buchanan spews.

And in addition, his organization, FRC, has been known to either cherry-pick science or refer to junk science in order to smear the lgbtq community. It is for reasons like this that the organization was named as an official anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Of course  Perkins and FRC will claim that they are being victimized for their stance against marriage equality, but this is yet another lie.

SPLC puts it this way:

The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, FRC employs a number of “policy experts” whose “research” has allowed FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to “transform the culture.”

In Its Own Words
“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

“[Homosexuality] … embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.”
— Steven Schwalm, FRC senior writer and analyst, in “Desecrating Corpus Christi,” 1999

“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets of a new sexual order.’”
--1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.

But in spite of all of this, Perkins continues to be called upon by the network as a credible analysis of the GOP presidential primary even as recently as yesterday on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir.

Seems to me that if MSNBC wants to be consistent, the standards that the organization is using to dismiss Pat Buchanan should be used against Perkins and FRC.

Or is MSNBC saying that racism is a no-no but homophobia is allowable?

There is a nasty double standard here.

Related post - 16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group

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