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03/04/2009

3 certified hate groups and their allies: Gays are the true haters -- just trust us

by Jeremy Hooper
Abiding Truth Ministries; AFA Michigan; AFA Pennsylvania; AFA National; Americans for Truth; Association of Maryland Families; Called2Action; Campaign for Children and Families; Citizens for Community Values of Ohio; Coalition of Conscience; Community Issues Council; Concerned Women for America National; Concerned Women for America Washington; Culture Campaign; Faith2Action; Faith, Family & Freedom Alliance; Illinois Family Institute; Indiana Voice; Liberty Alliance Action; Liberty Counsel; Maine Family Policy Council; MassResistance; Mission America; Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)

Three of the above groups are SPLC-certified hate groups (the ones in bold). Others don't have that official title, but do dedicate their days to making life harder for certain kinds of people. Yet for some bizarre reason that defies logic, this consortium feels that they are the authorities when it comes to what does and does not constitute discrimination and/or harassment. And they also feel that they should be trusted to accurately represent a day that's solely designed to combat the sort of harmful, hurtful rhetoric that they foster:

TINLEY PARK, Ill., Mar. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- A national coalition of pro-family organizations is urging parents to call their children out of school on April 17. This is the day designated for this year's Day of Silence when students and/or teachers will purposely remain silent during instructional time to protest so-called discrimination and gain sympathy for students who identify as homosexual or transgender.
...
Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute explains that "While in the public school setting, it is legitimate to teach students that there exist diverse opinions on this issue, it is not legitimate to imply that one of those opinions is preferable to another. While it is appropriate to teach students that tolerance requires that society should treat all with civility, it is not appropriate to teach that tolerance requires students to accept the view that homosexual conduct is moral."

Higgins further emphasizes that "The worthy end of eliminating harassment does not justify the means of exploiting instructional time." The First Amendment already allows DOS participants to wear t-shirts or put up posters, but according to a document co-written by the ACLU and Lambda Legal, a "school can regulate what students say. . . and it can also insist that students respond to questions, make presentations, etc." Students and teachers should not be allowed to exploit instructional time to advance their socio-political goals.

Parents are encouraged to call their children's middle schools and high schools to ask whether the administration and/or teachers will permit students to remain silent during class on the Day of Silence. If so, parents can express their opposition by calling their children out of school on that day and sending letters of explanation to their administrators, their children's teachers, and all school board members.
Parents: Keep Students Home -- Schools: Stop Politicizing Our Classrooms [Christian Newswire]

In a related story: The bully who steals lunch money will soon issue a press release blaming the smaller kids for wanting to eat in the first place.

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Your thoughts

How does one go about getting a group on the SPLC's list of hate groups? There aren't nearly enough bolded names on your list.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Mar 4, 2009 11:57:39 AM

RP: I've raised this very issue with the SPLC in regards to the AFA:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/01/splcs-hate-bubble-whats-the-tipping-point.html

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 4, 2009 12:01:29 PM

Wait, this doesn't make sense to me (unsurprisingly). Isn't the ACLU/LL quote saying that students might have to talk/make presentations about *school* stuff? The release seems to construe—wrongly, I think—that they'd be making presentations about the gay (to channel Rachel Maddow).

Posted by: michael | Mar 4, 2009 12:19:01 PM

How appropriate that this entry should appear today. I work for a newspaper and had to fill in today for the woman who usually deals with press releases and other public announcements. I was absolutely shocked by the number of press releases we receive from the Illinois Family Institute, the American Family Institute and other organizations like that. When I e-mailed my coworker about this, she told me that she usually has to delete about a dozen anti-gay press releases every day.

EVERY. DAY.

Posted by: Katelyn | Mar 4, 2009 7:15:15 PM

Oh yea, Katelyn. One of the first things you learn when doing a site like this is how prolific the anti-gay side. You can literally see the chain of how certain ideas go from press release, to a meme that's picked up by conservative news outlets, to something repeated in the churches, to an accepted talking point that finds its way into the national conversation. Big Anti-Queer is a machine.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 4, 2009 7:26:56 PM

Who's dictating morality? This guy has the cognitive abilities of a cactus. The Day of Silence is precisely about confronting the inhumanity he almost seemed like he was about to denounce (can't have that now, can we?). Does this fossil really believe teachers are instilling orthodoxy when they subscribe to the idea that gee, maybe people shouldn't be terrorized for being queer (or different, in general)?

Instilling "morality" is for churches. Correct me if I'm wrong, but religious factions have not exactly been shining beacons of altruism for the past two millenia.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 5, 2009 5:25:54 PM

One note, Chris: Laurie is a female :-)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 5, 2009 5:30:39 PM

d'oh!

Posted by: Chris | Mar 5, 2009 7:56:01 PM

I habe to admit Chris.
And i also think, as long as gay is seen as "different" ppl won`t realy change their mind. In skool or at home they tell the childrens thinks like: "Hey the are different but ya know...but when u meed one of them, act like its ok."
I think it is completely wrong way. As long as ppl get taught this way nothing will change.
Tough my english is horrobil i hope u got my point =)
Greets

Posted by: Pauschalreisen | Jun 13, 2009 3:38:18 AM

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