In a country that doesn't (officially) recognize state-sponsored religion, whose Constitution says "all men are created equal," where bigotry and bias are abhorred — why do otherwise intelligent and sensitive people feel they can engage in hate speech against gay people?

Despite tenets such as [More...]



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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

These Concerned Women Should Be Concerned About Lawsuits And Liabilities

Well, well, well — It looks as though a conservative Christian group has a plan to make gay students across the nation rich even before they even enter college.

According to Raw Story, this is what the veritable brain trust is up to:

Conservative Women's Group Launches Grassroots Effort Targeting Schools That Accept Homosexuality

May 16, 2006 — The largest conservative Christian organization targeted at women has quietly introduced a grassroots "risk audit" program aimed at rolling back gay, lesbian and HIV programs in American schools, Raw Story has found.

Concerned Women for America, a $10 million-a-year nonprofit and lobbying group, announced their "risk audit plan" in late April. The plan seeks to engage parents in a broad national effort to target schools which "promote" gay and lesbian activity by embracing non-discrimination policies and safe-sex curricula or harbor "objectionable" gay and lesbian novels aimed at children.

"Every school district in America has an absolute responsibility to protect children while they are at school," the group writes in their 24-page audit plan. "There is no legitimate rationale for giving or implying endorsement of homosexual, bisexual or gender-variant behaviors among children of any age."

"It is not a viewpoint," they write, "but a high-risk and often lethal behavior."

… Perhaps most striking about the audit plan is a detailed survey which allows parents to rate their children's school based on how tolerant it is to homosexual themes. The 100-point audit questionnaire singles out topics such as "anti-harassment or anti-bullying" policies, "objectionable books" in libraries, "diversity days" and curricula that include "tolerance programs" or "families headed by homosexuals." Schools are penalized most for including HIV/safe-sex curricula, "homosexual clubs," or required teacher sensitivity training.

"It's a good way to determine quickly if your school has knowingly or unknowingly let homosexual activists and materials in the door under the radar of 'diversity' or 'anti-bullying' or 'AIDS education,'" CWA's Virginia State Director Patricia Phillips said in a release. (More)

It has only been 10 years, but apparently these "concerned" (yet totally misguided) women have forgotten what happens to school districts who turn a blind eye to behavior that harasses and intimidates gay students. To refresh their memory:

Jamie Nabozny Wins Landmark Decision For Gay Students' Rights

On November 20, 1996, Jamie Nabozny, the student who sued his former Ashland, Wisconsin school district, won a $900,000 out-of-court settlement in Eau Claire, Wis. This settlement was agreed in a lawsuit claiming school officials violated a gay student’s rights by not protecting him from years of harassment by other students. The agreement came a day after a federal court jury found that three school administrators violated his rights, although it found the district as a whole was not guilty of discrimination. The same jury had been scheduled to begin considering damages before the settlement was announced by Peg Byron, public education director for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and Timothy Yanacheck, an attorney who defended the district on behalf of Wausau Insurance.

…"I was just happy to get out alive," Jamie said of leaving school. He said that it took him several years to work up the courage to file his suit, but he did so after hearing from friends in Ashland that harassment of others continued and that students -- including Native Americans -- were being treated differently. "I feel like I have justice and that this means justice for all the others kids out there who aren’t sure if they should stay in school or stay alive. School is a place for learning. All kids need to be treated alike," Jamie said in a statement.

Homosexuals have paid a high price in abuse, said Lambda attorney Patricia Logue. "Now the tables have turned, and it is prejudice that has proved so costly," she said. … Lambda legal experts say the case is the first to extend to homosexuals the same right against sexual harassment as others have. They also say the case warns school authorities that they must make sure those rights are enforced. — by Joe Ridky, National Association of School Psychologists

So, by all means, encourage school districts to be intolerant. Those of us who are more tolerant will be right there advising school-age kids to endure, persist and perservere — and then sue, sue, sue!

The most remarkable facet to all this righteousness and evil insensitivity? Mike Rogers at blogactive.com reports that the Chief Financial Officer over at Concerned Women of America, Lee LaHaye, is an openly gay man.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: One of the main "Concerned" "Women" of America is an openly gay man. In the fine tradition of Mary Cheney, LaHaye the Younger works for $12 million a year for the hateful organization his folks helm, working to turn back progress and equality for folks who are just like him.

If that's not the height of hypocrisy and self-loathing, I don't know what is. If Ma and Pa LaHaye think being gay is so incendiary, why don't they do something about the fag they raised who keeps showing up for family picnics?

I can't believe any decent and/or responsible school district would pay any attention to the bad advice CWA is hawking — and if you're concerned about your local district's budget (and the local taxes you pay), you'd do well to make sure it doesn't.

But, if your best efforts are ignored and your school district is encouraged to act only in the interests of some students and not all — and eventually gets sued by a gay student who is harmed by measures the Concerned Women of America would like to see — might I suggest a certain family's nest egg you could go after to recoup your community's losses?


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