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Audio: On Jennings, far-right shows nation's crippling need for listening comprehension classes

by Jeremy Hooper

In a 2000 speech, Kevin Jennings, the anti-bullying hero that the far-right is demonizing simply because it's gay people to whom Kevin has directed his anti-bullying efforts, said the following about LGBT people, the need to respect ALL people, and the absurdity of the idea that any particular curriculum could "turn one gay":

*Source: Media Matters

So what does the rabidly anti-gay, clinically fallacious-filled Family Research Council (among others) say of this very same speech? Well, this:

What's the real problem in American schools? According to the President's safe schools czar, it's heterosexuality. In a speech that Kevin Jennings gave to a group in Iowa, he said, "Every time kids read Romeo & Juliet or they're urged to go to the prom or whatever it is, kids are aggressively recruited to be heterosexual in this country." Recruited to be heterosexuals? Does Kevin Jennings actually believe that a child's sexual orientation is the product of some educational conspiracy? The only conspiracy I'm aware of is Jennings's attempt to indoctrinate kids with a pro-homosexual agenda.
King Calls for Jennings's Head [FRC]

At this point, it would be generous to say that groups like FRC are deliberately missing the point on Jennings. In truth, it runs much deeper. In truth, they very much see the point of this man who has dedicated his life to making schools safer for ALL kids, yet are allowing the socially conservative politics that define their careers to lead them towards this angry, hurtful, unscrupulous campaign of misinformation. It would be comical, if it wasn't so deadly serious.

If a school lunchroom, Kevin would be the cool dude who shuns the status quo and instead looks out for the oft-teased, frequently ass-kicked kid. Tony Perkins and his Family Research Council would be the kids who stand on the lunch line grasping at straws, and who then spend the rest of the class periods convincing others that this time-wasting endeavor held even a modicum of worth. Isn't it time for this latter clique to graduate?

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Your thoughts

"Does Kevin Jennings actually believe that a child's sexual orientation is the product of some educational conspiracy?"

Isn't that exactly what the far right believes when it comes to gays?

Posted by: ---- | Oct 9, 2009 12:28:06 AM

"Does Kevin Jennings actually believe that a child's sexual orientation is the product of some educational conspiracy?"

My irony meter just exploded.

Posted by: Dale | Oct 9, 2009 7:43:17 AM

Ditto ----, Ditto Dale / My head nearly exploded at that stupid faux pas by FRC - - again, it just seems to prove my thinking right - THEY DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY - thank God they're running scared - maybe some of their own lemmings will begin to see them grasping at straws and jump ship.

Posted by: tom | Oct 9, 2009 9:29:44 AM

That same quote screamed at me as well. Time and time again, they say that they fight us BECAUSE we'll indoctrinate children and change their sexual orientation from straight to gay. For the first time I've ever seen, they actually admit that such a thing cannot happen. Can we get this put up on a billboard somewhere????

Posted by: Ken | Oct 9, 2009 11:10:36 AM

"Does Kevin Jennings actually believe that a child's sexual orientation is the product of some educational conspiracy?"

May those 17 words be used against them time and time and time and time and time again.

Posted by: PINGAS | Oct 9, 2009 1:12:21 PM

Dudes, I am SO proud to be an Iowan, because not only rhat's where this speech was given, but because we have marriage equality for the foreseeable future!

Posted by: Wade MacMorrighan | Oct 9, 2009 3:00:49 PM

I saw that quote and thought, d'OH!

The FRC could SO easily be hoisted on their own pitard. Somebody give this to K. Jennings!

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Oct 9, 2009 4:04:10 PM

See, this is why cooments are so important. I *didn't* so much catch that one quote, instead just focusing on FRC's refusal to actually listen to what Kevin has to say.

But that one quote really is quite telling. And yes, we should keep throwing it back at 'em!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2009 4:24:29 PM

Of course they'll probably just deny they ever said it?

Posted by: Bill S | Oct 9, 2009 5:11:02 PM

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