Focus on the Family
Think of Focus on the Family as an anti-gay Paul Revere, barreling through town screeching, “The homos are coming, the homos are coming!”
The right-wing Christian organization sees the issue of homosexuality in very black and white terms, often in the context of “Us” (good, God-fearing, heterosexual, missionary-position-only Christians) against “Them” (evil, godless, sex-crazed homos).
Focus on the Family often couches its homophobic rhetoric in “save the children” language. After all, that’s who the queers are after.
A recent anti-gay propaganda rocket was launched via FOF’s online Citizen Link on Aug. 7 titled, “What GLSEN Doesn’t What You to Know.”
GLSEN, of course, is the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.
The Aug. 7 FOF article is attributed to C. Sulley Cushman. When I Googled her name, the first link that popped up was a right-wing blog “proud to promote faith and family values.” The site did not, from what I could tell, promote irony, which is really sad considering the site’s name: Newsbull.
“Few parents send their kids to school to be force-fed pro-homosexual messages day in and day out,” writes Cushman.
True. Most parents don’t send their kids to school to be force-fed pro-Christian messages, either. Most send their kids to school hoping they’ll get a decent education. They also hope their kids will be safe from violence and harassment.
And that’s where GLSEN’s sinister agenda comes in. GLSEN advocates that addressing anti-LGBT harassment in schools creates safer and better schools for all students.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Not to FOF. GLSEN says most of the anti-gay harassment complaints come from kids who aren’t gay. Cushman’s conclusion? “[There] aren’t enough gay students to warrant the immersion of entire student bodies in pro-gay propaganda.”
Because by protecting gay kids schools would be acknowledging that gay kids, in fact, exist – something groups like FOF don’t want to see happen. An invisible minority is a lot easier to oppress.
But unchecked anti-gay bullying really does have far reaching consequences for all students.
Take 17-year-old Joshua Minks who fired a shotgun into the ceiling of his Farmington, Mo., high school last year. According to GenderPAC, Joshua “had complained of being subjected to daily taunting and homophobic slurs by classmates because of his appearance.”
Minks wasn’t gay. He was fat. The kids at his high school didn’t like the way the 400-pound boy looked.
“Research shows that school violence against boys who are seen as unmanly – public humiliation, ridicule, beatings and other attacks – is closely linked to school shootings,” said Tyrone Hanley, GenderPAC’s Youth Program Coordinator. “This incident seems to follow that pattern.”
According to GenderPAC, “Minks’ mother claimed the school promised to examine its safety and harassment guidelines to address the bullying directed at her son, but never followed through.”
Not every kid who gets called “faggot” is going to come to school with a gun. But it’s a no-brainer that all students are safer when all students are protected, and anti-bullying policies must address the reality that is anti-LGBT harassment.
But hey, at least Minks’ school didn’t look like a tool of the homosexual agenda.