Alex Blaze

Gays, kids, and recruiting: It's ain't over yet

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 30, 2009 1:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Barack Obama, child care, Department of Education, education policy, gay marriage, jonathan zimmerman, kdis, Kevin Jennings, LGBT, Maine, Prop. 8, Question 1, same-sex marriage, san francisco hronicle

Jonathan Zimmerman in the SF Chronicle asks the $64,000 question:

Let's suppose, for a moment, that conservative critics are correct: Gay educators want to "promote homosexuality" in American schools.

So what?[...]

Jennings acknowledged the contradiction in a 1997 interview about GLSEN. "We were busy putting out press releases, and saying, 'We're not promoting homosexuality, that's not what our program's about,' " he said.

But none of this should matter, he quickly added. One day, Jennings said, "most straight people, when they would hear that someone was promoting homosexuality, would say, 'Yeah, who cares?' because they wouldn't necessarily equate homosexuality with something bad that you would not want to promote."

Clearly, we're not there yet.

Clearly. Consider this lesbian woman who was beaten in an elementary school last year because she talked with a kid:

OSHAWA, Ont. -- A lesbian woman told an Ontario court Wednesday that a man yelling gay slurs punched her partner until her face "burst open."

Mark Scott of Oshawa, Ont., is facing two counts of assault causing bodily harm after the couple was attacked outside of their children's elementary school.

The 44-year-old has pleaded not guilty in the November 2008 beating.

Anji Dimitriou said Scott called her and Jane Currie "dyke bitches" and asked, "Which one of you f---- 'men' talked to my kid?"

Dimitriou, 31, said he spat on her face and punched her twice, once near her left eye and again on the left side of her head.

He also punched Currie so hard her face "burst open" and she started bleeding, Dimitriou said.

Dimitriou and Currie admitted to swearing at Scott but denied ever physically attacking him.

And then there's the most recent ad from the groups opposing same-sex marriage in Maine, after the link between marriage and "indoctrination" has been thoroughly debunked:

It's all about the kids, and these folks know it. being OK with gay people is one thing, but there's an entire population out there who does not want their own kids to turn out queer.

So, against all logic, they say they don't want us near their kids. There's a reason education and child care is on of the most homophobic industries, and it's not because it's such a macho world that pansies aren't welcome. It's because some people's brains break when they hear "children" and "gay" in the same sentence, in much the same way as some people's brains break when they hear "Black" and "in a position of power" together.

It isn't logical, and we're not at a point where parents are generally OK with their kids knowing queer people. And the Maine strategy makes sense in that context. It's better, anyway, than the No on Prop 8 campaign's insistence (several weeks too late) that kids won't learn about same-sex marriage. At least the Maine folks are framing the question as one of shame, that kids can't possibly be turned gay just by reading King and King.

It's a step up. We'll see how it works out.

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When you've got nothing in your bag but bigotry and dirty tricks, it's time to break out the fearmongering...

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 1, 2009 11:50 AM

some people's brains break when they hear "children" and "gay" in the same sentence...

It still amazes me how far ahead of the US Ireland is on this issue. Check out the group BeLonGTo. They and the kids they work with are amazing, as is the support and respect they receive from many in the Irish government.