kevin jennings

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Concerned Women for America is not happy with the marriage equality coming to Washington, DC.
  • Neither is Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel.
  • And Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will lead the fight in Congress to stop it.
  • Janice Shaw Crouse says it is time for Kevin Jennings to go.
  • Finally, Operation Rescue has named slain anti-choice activist James Pouillon its 2009 'Person of the Year.'

FRC Rehashes Smears Against Kevin Jennings In New "Exposé"

Earlier today, Media Matters posted a piece entitled "Unraveling the Right's false attacks on Kevin Jennings" that went through and debunked a bevy of right-wing smears aimed at the founder of GLSEN and current Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Kevin Jennings.

Media Matters chronicled seventeen separate Jennings-related attacks ...and seemingly every single one of them has now shown up in this new Family Research Council "exposé":

UPDATE: Media Matters debunks this video, calling it "devoid of facts and full of homophobic smears."

An Experiment in Character Assassination

Alvin McEwen has been doing heroic work combating the relentless stream of lies about Kevin Jennings, especially the allegations that Jennings' taught "fisting" to a group of children, as Rush Limbaugh claimed yesterday, and that GLSEN was distributing copies of "The Little Black Book," a directory of gay bars.  

McEwen has repeatedly debunked these claims, in all their forms, pointing out time and again that the incidents underlying the claims involved are being completely misrepresented and that Jennings was never personally involved in any of them.

For instance, the "fisting" allegation stems from a dental dam kit distributed by Planned Parenthood at a GLSEN conference, while the "Black Book" allegation stems from a community health group which accidentally left a few copies on its table at a GLSEN conference, and which no students ever received.

And, from that, the Right has declared Jennings "a raging pervert who taught fisting ... to grade school and junior high school students."

Now let's try an experiment:

Remember last year when a vendor was selling Obama Waffles at the Values Voter Summit?

Obama Waffles

The Waffle Booth

The Family Research Council quickly issued a statement saying it "strongly condemned the tone and content of the materials" and Focus on the Family pledged to "do everything in its power to prevent another such unacceptable situation in the future."

Now imagine if we wrote about this incident by claiming "Family Research Council president Tony Perkins peddles racist paraphernalia" or "Focus on the Family's James Dobson traffics in crude racial stereotypes. " How do you think FRC, FOF, and others on the Religious Right would react?  

Do you think they'd accuse us of flagrant misrepresentation and baseless character assassination?  If so, they'd be right ... and that is exactly what they are doing to Kevin Jennings.   

LaBarbera on Jennings: "This Is All About Homosexuality"

Recently we released a report entitled "Rise of the New McCarthyism: How Right Wing Extremists Try to Paralyze Government Through Ideological Smears and Baseless Attacks" that examined how "Joseph McCarthy’s ideological heirs in the Republican Party and right-wing media are using the language and tactics of McCarthy to stir fears that the nation is being destroyed by enemies from within."

Among the features of this new McCarthyism is "an obsessive hunt for homosexuals" and one of their primary targets has been Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

And, as if to prove our point, just yesterday the Washington Times ran this editorial entitled "Obama's buggery czar" that was based largely on this recent Breitbart.tv "exposé" of GLSEN 's recommended reading list, which the times says proves Jennings is unfit for his position:

The readings try to make sex between children and adults seem normal and acceptable. Being exploited by homosexual pedophiles is portrayed as something that can make children happy and fulfilled. Perhaps Mr. Jennings will claim he was too busy to check what his organization was recommending children read. Either way, this is not a man who should have been appointed by the White House to make schools safe.

Media Matters already debunked the editorial's claims, so I just want to highlight this post from Peter LaBarbera, who loved the Times' editorial:

Folks, as one who has worked for more than 15 years with other pro-family groups to expose the insidious and child-corrupting agenda of Kevin Jennings and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), I’m overjoyed that conservatives and right-leaning media are finally helping to expose this organization’s truly radical and evil agenda to millions of outraged Americans.

LaBarbera also wants it known that, contrary to the claims from the various other conservatives who are attacking Jennings while claiming that this is not about homosexuality, the attacks are entirely about homosexuality:

One more point: it is now common for conservatives — especially non-religiously-affiliated media leaders like Sean Hannity (who should be applauded for his yeoman’s work exposing Jennings) — to make the odd disclaimer that the GLSEN/Jennings controversy (or whatever “gay”-related culture-war story they are discussing) “is not about homosexuality.” Baloney. This is all about homosexuality and the “gay” activist agenda whose singular goal is to normalize homosexuality as a “civil right.”

Jennings’ role in the wider GLBT movement is to promote homosexuality and gender confusion (transgenderism: cross-dressing, etc.) to impressionable youth through the schools (public and private). It is absurd and intellectually dishonest to claim that this highly organized and well-funded campaign is somehow not about … homosexuality! (Which is not to deny that some or even many homosexuals agree with us that Jennings’ “gay-youth” agenda is reckless.)

Only a Homosexual Movement unified by a morality- and normality-rejecting ideology that aims to mainstream sinful, deviant, and once-taboo behaviors could produce such perverse ‘Recommended Readings’ for students as GLSEN — complete with fictional, “non-judgmental” accounts of man-boy sex. Only a movement that defiantly calls itself “queer” could produce “Fistgate” — a GLSEN-sponsored youth conference at Tufts University in 2000, at which underage children were verbally guided by homosexual adults on how to engage in the vile, sadomasochistic act of ‘fisting’ — hand-anal penetration (yes, truth is stranger than fiction).

The politically correct “not-about-gays” caveat is about illogical as claiming that the effort to expose systematic human rights abuses in China and North Korea “has nothing to with Communism.” Anyone who calls himself “conservative” should know better. Besides, true conservatives should not be ashamed of enthusiastically conserving the age-old Judeo-Christian sexual/marriage ethic — which has served mankind well and which rejects all efforts to approve of unnatural and destructive sexual behaviors condemned by God.

This Is What Happens When You Seek FRC's Participation

Apparently, a few weeks back Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was invited to participate in a discussion on the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Perkins declined and decided instead to use the opportunity to demand the firing of Kevin Jennings:

Earlier this month, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins received an invitation to participate in a discussion of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) scheduled to take place today. Perkins declined the invitation and instead sent a letter which includes detailed recommendations and specific concerns about the office, its programs, and its leadership.

Perkins made the following comments in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

"The drug prevention program you now administer was created by Congress to combat the illegal use of drugs. Since this was its original purpose, it should remain the principal one. Unfortunately, the life and writings of Kevin Jennings, whom you appointed as Assistant Deputy Secretary to direct OSDFS, have contradicted this Congressionally mandated message. In his memoir, Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son, he wrote several times about his own use of alcohol and marijuana as a high school and college student...

"While many people may experiment with drugs and alcohol in their youth and later come to regret it when they have reached a higher level of maturity, the light-hearted tone of these excerpts--written only three years ago--does not suggest any regret whatsoever...

"Surely we can agree that all students deserve to attend 'safe schools' that are free of violence. Therefore, I urge you to reject initiatives such as the model legislation proposed under Mr. Jennings' leadership at GLSEN--namely, to create special categories of protection...We should extend protection to all students based on the nature of the victimizing conduct, rather than the characteristics of the victim.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Jennings' own behavior in an incident when he was a teacher, which he has recounted on a number of occasions, draws into sharp question his willingness and ability to fulfill [these] recommendations. By his own (conflicting) accounts, it appears that when he met with a male student (aged 15 or 16) who admitted to finding a same-sex sexual partner in the bus station in Boston, Mr. Jennings' only advice to him was, 'I hope you knew to use a condom.'

"...However, for America to have confidence in his commitment to the 'safety' of our children, it is vital for him to enumerate in greater detail what he should have done...

"Unless Mr. Jennings is willing to admit that he should have taken most or all of the steps listed...I would submit that he is unfit to protect the 'safety' of American school children, and he should resign or you should remove him from office."

You can read Perkins' 8-page letter here [PDF].

Right Wing Round-Up

Dobson: Kevin Jennings Is My Greatest Nightmare

Over the last two days, James Dobson has dedicated his radio program to discussing current political issues, with yesterday's program focusing on healthcare reform, while today's program focused on things like ENDA, but primarily on Kevin Jennings. 

If you need a reason to support Jennings, just listen to Tom Minnery explain that Jennings and GLSEN are "anathema to everything that Focus on the Family stands for" while Dobson says that what is happening in Washington right now is his "greatest nightmare" as everything he has worked for over the last twenty-five years is coming undone and "Kevin Jennings is the quintessential expression of that far-left agenda":

50+ Republicans Join Rep King's Anti-Jennings Crusade

It looks like Rep. Steve King is starting to find significant GOP support for his anti-gay crusade to fire Kevin Jennings:

Fifty-three House Republicans have written President Barack Obama asking him to remove "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings from that position.

The lawmakers accused Jennings of "pushing a pro-homosexual agenda" and said that Jennings's past writings exhibit a record that makes him unfit for the position.

"We respectfully request that you remove Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, from your Administration," the Republicans wrote. "It is clear that Mr. Jennings lacks the appropriate qualifications and ethical standards to serve in this capacity."

...

The letter was primarily assembled by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and was joined by 53 Republican colleagues, including two members of leadership: House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

As Greg Sargent points out, King continues to recklessly and unapologetically spread allegations that he knows to be false:

Rep Steve King, who’s been leading the charge against top Obama education adviser Kevin Jennings, today called for Jennings to be fired for allegedly “ignoring the sex abuse of a child” when he was a young schoolteacher.

But guess what: King’s office was informed at least a week ago that even Fox News, a lead tormentor of Jennings, corrected these allegations and acknowledged that the “child” was actually of legal consent age. I know, because I informed his office of this, in the course of seeking comment on an earlier story I was doing about the whole mess.

...

At least a week ago, after Rep. King attacked Jennings over the incident, I emailed his spokesman, letting him know that Fox had corrected the record. The spokesman replied, but I ended up not writing ... [The new letter] states as outright fact that this was “child abuse” and the “sexual abuse of a child.” King’s office knows this is false, and yet is repeating it, anyway.

UPDATE: FRC weighs in to praise those members of Congress who signed on to this letter:

Today, Family Research Council praised fifty-three House Republicans for calling on President Obama to fire Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist who heads the Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

...

"We applaud these fifty-three House members for seeking to uphold basic ethical standards within the Department of Education. We urge President Obama to heed the growing calls from Congress and the American people that he immediately remove Kevin Jennings as 'safe schools' czar. No Administration official is more deserving of removal than Kevin Jennings.

"Kevin Jennings has shown a disregard for parental rights and for our children's well being. The record shows that Kevin Jennings has neither the temperament nor the ethical standards needed for public service. "

Right Wing Leftovers

Flashback: Bill O'Reilly Hearts Kevin Jennings' GLSEN and ‘Patriot’ Hilary Duff [video]

Fox News was against anti-gay bullying before it was for it. Or so it would seem.

Anyone who’s been watching Fox lately knows that GLSEN – which promotes tolerance and safety in schools and was founded by Obama school safety “czar” Kevin Jennings – is supposedly engaged in a secret plot to turn straight kids gay. That’s why right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin was so surprised when she saw a GLSEN ad on Fox yesterday:

Interesting. (Un)safe schools czar Kevin Jennings's GLSEN is running public service ad on...Fox News.

But she shouldn’t have been surprised. Just a year ago Fox News headliner Bill O’Reilly lavished praise on the group’s anti-bullying ad campaign and ‘patriot’ Hilary Duff:

But now that Kevin Jennings has a political target painted on his back, Fox is making GLSEN out to be public enemy #1. That’s just hypocritical nonsense.

GLSEN’s work is crucial and straightforward. It promotes tolerance and safety for all children, regardless of sexual orientation. Nothing more, nothing less. Even Fox has recognized the value of the group’s work.

Meanwhile the bashing of Kevin Jennings goes on, with Fox, the Washington Times, Limbaugh, and right-wing blogs taking turns. But the Obama Administration has given Jennings its full support. And the only way to defeat bullies is to refuse to give in to them.

[Jason Linkins at Huffington Post also reported on this story]

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Another right-wing smear against Kevin Jennings is debunked.
  • What exactly does the National Republican Congressional Committee mean when it says that Nancy Pelosi needs to be put "in her place"?
  • Glenn Beck continues to lose advertisers.
  • David Weigel is not impressed with the Washington Post's profile of Orly Taitz.
  • Good As You: Last week we told you all about Donald Mendell, the guidance counselor who has a history of opposing gays in the Pine Tree State, claiming that gays "ridicule tradition and belief in natural law" and that their marriages constitute "a change that strikes to the heart of the Sacraments." So with "charming" rhetoric like that, it was of course only a matter of time before "Yes on 1" tapped him to be their latest spokesperson.
  • American Prospect: The Second Coming of Sarah Palin.
  • Finally, Joe The Stand Up Comedian.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • David Weigel: National Organization for Marriage Chairman Takes On Kevin Jennings.
  • The New Republic: The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.
  • Why do right-wingers hate America?
  • Texas Freedom Network: Could the Republican Party of Texas move even farther to the extreme right? Apparently, yes.
  • Why is Stand For Marriage Maine linking marriage equality to an increase in AIDS infections?
  • Why is Mike Huckabee using his position with Fox News to bolster his PAC?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., Founder and President of S.T.A.N.D, has sent a letter to President Obama demanding the firing of Kevin Jennings: "As American citizens we demand that he be dismissed because his behavior and his bigotry make him unfit to serve."
  • The Christian Defense Coalition and Operation Rescue have launched the "I AM 71" Project, which claims to represent the "71% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in the proposed health care reform package."
  • The Lodi City Council unanimously supported changing its invocation policy to allow religious leaders to give uncensored prayers before its meetings despite a threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
  • Karl Rove has donate $1000 to Marco Rubio's Senate campaign.
  • Finally, it looks like they took credit a little too soon.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam's House Blend: Washington Times publishes ugly hit piece on Kevin Jennings.
  • Truth Wins Out: Focus on the Family Seeks to Exempt Alabama Gays from Antibullying Protection.
  • Rob Boston: At the Values Voter Summit, Wing-Nut Christian Right Plots Its Comeback.
  • Texas Freedom Network: David Barton Promotes Oklahoma Extremist Sally Kern.
  • Amanda Hess: Ex-Gay Group Calls Hate Crime Laws “Anti-Ex-Gay.”
  • Wow, Hitler and Obama really do have a lot in common.
  • Finally, I'll be out for the rest of the week.  See you Monday.

Right Wing Round-Up

The Right Wing Campaign Against Kevin Jennings Hits Fox News

Here we go again.

The right-wing campaign against Kevin Jennings is now getting picked up by the "mainstream media" ... if one can consider Fox News to be a part of the MSM.  Either way, Fox has now posted this long article on Jennings that is basically a collection of the greatest hits of right-wing attacks against him and features quotes from the likes of Peter LaBarbera and Peter Sprigg:

Social conservatives are up in arms about yet another White House czar. This time it's Kevin Jennings, President Obama's director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS).

Jennings was appointed to the position largely because of his longtime record of working to end bullying and discrimination in schools. In 1990, as a teacher in Massachusetts, he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which now has over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education, including one that describes his own experiences as a closeted gay student.

But critics say Jennings is too radical for the job, citing what they say is his promotion of homosexuality in schools, his writings about his past drug abuse, his onetime contempt for religion and an incident in 1998 in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

...

"Jennings was obviously chosen for this job because of the safe schools aspect... defining 'safe schools' narrowly in terms of 'safe for homosexuality'," Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told FOXNews.com.

"But at least half of the job involves creating drug-free schools, and we've not been offered any evidence about what qualifications Jennings has for promoting drug-free schools."

...

Sprigg countered that nobody has adequately answered the questions that are being raised about Jennings.

Speaking of Jennings' job, he said: "I think it's unfortunate that [it] is a position that did not require any sort of confirmation process, because there are a lot of serious questions about Jennings and there has not been any forum in which Jennings has been required to answer the questions."

"Obama Is After Our Children"

A quick round-up of some right-wing efforts to capitalize on the absurd "controversy" over President Obama's planned speech to the nation's students today.

Public Advocate announces that they will be protesting the venue:

Public Advocate volunteers will protest President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning September 8 prior to his speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia starting at 10:15 a.m.

Public Advocate volunteers will hold banners that state "Mr. President, Stay Away from our kids" at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

Earlier, on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Public Advocate volunteers posted signs protesting the visit of President Barack Obama at Wakefield High School where the president will be Tuesday morning.

Signs that stated "Mr. President, Stay Away From Our Kids" were posted along Leesburg Pike, Route 50 Arlington Boulevard, and several area schools in Northern Virginia.

The Family Research Council uses the issue to further its own campaign against Kevin Jennings:

In his inaugural speech in 1961 President John F. Kennedy delivered this memorable line

["Ask not..." clip]

Fast forward nearly 50 years and President Barack Obama was poised to ask the nations elementary school students not what they could do for their country but what they could do for their President.

The White House announced that the President would be speaking live to the nations k-6th graders. The Department of Education had prepared a work sheet to accompany the speech in which the children were instructed to engage in several exercises including writing a letter about how they could help the president.

After a fire storm of opposition erupted the White House changed lesson plans and now the youngsters will be asked to consider how they can help themselves achieve their educational goals. Certainly a more appropriate question, but one that is probably more suited for middle and high school students.

However, parents remain considered. Some are keeping their kids home from school on the day of the speech. Over 95% of parents who responded to an FRC survey said the President should not be speaking to children during classroom hours.

Some in the media have decried the parental opposition as partisan. But it is really?

Consider that this speech is being made during one of the most controversial public policy debates in years in which the president has been steadily losing public support for his health care plan.

But even if the speech does not interject policy into the class room of 6 & 7 year old children, when parents consider the agenda of this administration as represented by the presidents appointments to the education department parents have a right to be concerned.

The Secretary of the department, Arne Duncan, has promoted some pretty controversial ideas, like special schools for homosexual students when he was head of the Chicago school system. Even more concerning is Kevin Jennings who is supposedly in charge of the Safe and Drug Free School Program for the Department of Education.

Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network, an organization that promotes homosexuality in the public schools, he also wrote the forward to a book entitled Queering Elementary Education.

This Administration has given parents plenty of reason to be concern over what is piped into the classroom. For more visit FRC.org

And the Liberty Counsel likewise throws in an attack on Jennings while calling the speech an "illegal political move" and warning that "Obama is after our children":

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Obama has pushed his political agenda to the extreme by forcing himself on America's children. Obama's political agenda on healthcare and his expansive vision for government is being rejected by the American people. Now Obama is after our children, who, like some socialist members of Congress, have not read the healthcare bill. Americans do not appreciate the President's attempt to use our children as political pawns in his game of chess. Mr. President, you must abide by the rule of law and stop this illegal activity. Our children do not belong to you."

Hate Crimes Deja Vu

With hate crimes legislation scheduled to be voted on in the Senate next week, the Religious Right seems somewhat resigned to the fact that they do not have to votes to stop it or even slow it down, but that doesn't mean that they aren't trying.

Yesterday was apparently "National 'Stop S. 909' Day" during which "the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and other conservative activist groups [urged] their supporters to call, e-mail, fax, or visit their senators today to express their disapproval of S. 909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Senate Bill 909)."

James Dobson and Tony Perkins discussed it on Dobson's radio program yesterday, with Dobson proclaiming that its passage would be used to silence pastors and Focus on the Family is calling on its activists to contact their senators and ""ask them to oppose S.909 or 'hate-crimes' legislation in any form."

Of course, as we've pointed out before, the Religious Right doesn't really oppose "hate crimes legislation in any form," they just oppose protection for gays.

But since it looks like they'll be unable to stop the legislation's passage, they appear to be turning their attention toward stopping efforts to amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying and harassment prevention program because it also provides protection based on sexual orientation ... and so they are trotting out the exact same bogus claims they used in opposing hate crimes legislation:

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a so-called bullying bill that would require public schools to spell out special categories in their discipline policies, including "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

Family advocates say it will pave the way for a pro-homosexual, adult-driven agenda in public schools.

The name of the bill is Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Focus on the Family's Education Analyst Candi Cushman explained that there is a way to deal with the issue in a fair and objective way, without sexualizing and politicizing the school environment.

"We recognize that bullying and the harm it causes in the lives of kids is tragic and shouldn't be allowed to happen," Cushman said. "We agree schools should be encouraged to have strong policies prohibiting bullying—applied equally and across the board, against any child for any reason."

She said parents need to keep a close watch on the progress of the bill, because if it passes, it could be used to undermine parental rights and local control.

"People need to realize that gay activists will use this federal mandate as the leverage they need to get promotion of homosexuality into public schools," Cushman cautioned.

Jeremiah Dys, president of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the bill's language is taking the focus off of the real problem.

"A bully is a bully because he's a bully, not because of who he bullies," Dys said. "The rules ought to be enforced against the bullies regardless of who they're bullying or what actions he takes."

The Traditional Values Coalition has also come out against it by tying it into the Religious Right's crusade against Kevin Jennings, claiming it turn the nation's public schools into bastions of homosexuality:

If this legislation is passed, it will permit Jennings to spend millions of our tax dollars to push the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda in schools under the guise of fighting “bullying” and allegedly promoting “school safety.”

...

Jennings will use millions of our tax dollars to push the promotion of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender behaviors upon hundreds of thousands of school districts throughout our nation.

Make no mistake: The Safe Schools Improvement Act is an ATM machine for the LGBT agenda. Issues about school safety and bullying are simply smokescreens to hide the real agenda.

Note the definitions of bullying and harassment. Under this bill, any gay or cross-dressing teen who is “bullied” or “harassed,” can claim protection. It includes a teen’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity (code for cross-dressers or transsexuals).

If a straight teen criticizes the sexual behavior of a gay or cross-dressing teen, he is guilty of bullying or harassment. This is a direct attack upon free speech.

Let's take a look at the definitions of bullying and harrassment, as TVC suggests, shall we:

(12) BULLYING- The term `bullying' means conduct that--

`(A) adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities by placing the student (or students) in reasonable fear of physical harm; and

`(B) includes conduct that is based on--

`(i) a student's actual or perceived--

`(I) race;

`(II) color;

`(III) national origin;

`(IV) sex;

`(V) disability;

`(VI) sexual orientation;

`(VII) gender identity; or

`(VIII) religion;

`(ii) any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by a State or local educational agency; or

`(iii) association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics listed in clause (i) or (ii).

`(13) HARASSMENT- The term `harassment' means conduct that--

`(A) adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities because the conduct, as reasonably perceived by the student (or students), is so severe, persistent, or pervasive; and

`(B) includes conduct that is based on--

`(i) a student's actual or perceived--

`(I) race;

`(II) color;

`(III) national origin;

`(IV) sex;

`(V) disability;

`(VI) sexual orientation;

`(VII) gender identity; or

`(VIII) religion;

`(ii) any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by a State or local educational agency; or

`(iii) association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics listed in clause (i) or (ii).

Bullying entails "reasonable fear of physical harm" and harassment must be "severe, persistent, or pervasive" but, just as they did with hate crimes, the Right is completely misrepresenting this legislation.

And notice also that they are not complaining about the protections included for religion or race - they are simply opposed to protections for gays.

It's becoming pretty clear that even after the hate crimes legislation is passed by Congress and signed into law, we can look forward to having the same exact fight over anti-bullying legislation, complete with the same exact right-wing scare-tactics and false claims.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress fact checks the Right's smear campaign against Kevin Jennings and GLSEN is seeking signatures on its letter to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in support of his appointment.
  • Jim Burroway reports that Paul Cameron makes an appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming "Bruno" movie.
  • Pam Spaulding highlights Ken Hutcherson claiming that Barack Obama has no "black experience."
  • Good As You catches Maggie Gallagher twittering that her National Organization for Marriage will be opening a DC office.
  • Karen Tumulty notes that Sarah Palin seems to have a history of quitting things (and does so with a cleverly titled post.)
  • Finally, the new issue of AU's Church and State contains a good cover story on David Barton written by Rob Boston.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam Spaulding reports that Family Research Council has launched a campaign against Kevin Jennings' nomination to serve in the Department of Education.
  • TPM notes that, in it's rush to get out a statement using the Ricci decision against Sonia Sotomayor, the Judicial Confirmation Network couldn't even bother to spell her name correctly.
  • Steve Benen reports that we just might be approaching the end of the on-going saga regarding Minnesota's senate race.
  • Timothy Kincaid points out that John Hagee, of all people, met with Soulforce and Atticus Circle over the weekend.
  • According to Dump Bachmann, Rep. Michelle Bachmann is scheduled to appear on Alex Jones' program later this week.
  • As David Weigel says, there is a difference between being humored by Secret Service agent and being taken seriously, but the Birthers don’t seem to know the difference.
  • And speaking of the Birthers, Think Progress reports that WorldNetDaily's latest efforts are being stymied by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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kevin jennings Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/18/2011, 10:32am
On today's episode of Faith and Freedom Radio, the Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber railed against a live-sex demonstration that occured at Northwestern University, with Barber inexplicably blaming it on the National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, and GLSEN, whom he claimed were out to "poison the minds of these young children" by "taking a sledgehammer to the cornerstone institutions of marriage and family" in an effort to "obliterate them" and institute "sexual anarchy," which will ultimately destroy society. And, of course,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 11:21am
Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/28/2011, 11:21am
Conservative activist Alan Caruba usually works as a shill for corporations and is the former communications director of the American Policy Committee, which staunchly opposes environmental protections and the United Nations. Instead of criticizing regulations on businesses, Caruba yesterday launched a tirade against the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, calling marriage equality “an act of societal suicide” and the administration’s decision “a stealth attack on the nation.” He also derided the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/23/2010, 3:38pm
Last year, a new Religious Right organization was formed to fight the "satanic wickedness" that was engulfing America. Calling itself the Faith and Freedom Institute, the group held a sparsely-attended press conference/prayer rally and then ... who knows ... we stopped paying attention to them. But now they are back, picking up on the Religious Right's latest bogus crusade against President Obama for supposedly using the phrase "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion."  And just because it's entirely false, the Faith and Freedom Institute isn't... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/12/2010, 12:08pm
When it was first reported that Dale Mcalpine, a Christian street preacher in Britain, was arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin, you know it was only a matter of time before the Religious Right in the US started using this incident to work up fears about how this is exactly what gays want to do to Christians here in America. Case in point: Liberty Counsel Cultural Affairs Analyst Matt Barber raised the warning that such cases will be seen more and more in America, too. "We know that what's happening in Europe and what's happening in Canada offers us a window into the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/04/2010, 5:37pm
The Eagle Forum is no longer calling judges "judicial activists": they are now "judicial reconstructionists." Former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode has reportedly joined the Constitution Party. The AFA's Bryan Fischer claims that the fact that the White House didn't use the phrase "year of our Lord" in a proclamation declaring Jewish Heritage Month proves that the US is a Christian nation. The Susan B. Anthony List launched a $30,000 radio ad campaign targeting Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) "on his retreat from his pro-life... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/05/2010, 6:18pm
Randall Terry is heading to the Vatican. I had no idea that incompetence could be so lucrative. Harry Jackson says that even though the Supreme Court refused to stop marriage equality in DC, he sees a "silver lining" in the decision. This just might be one of the most poorly written ads I have ever seen. Quote of the Day I from the Family Research Council about Kevin Jennings: "Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of 53 Congressmen to call for an investigation, spoke on the House floor about the hypocrisy of giving more taxpayer dollars to a drug... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/27/2010, 3:47pm
Today, the Liberty Counsel released a "72-page report today detailing information on each of the nominations and appointments of President Barack Obama" with the aim of exposing just how "radical" this administration has been:     This report documents the beliefs, words, and actions of the radical group Obama has hand-picked to “change” our nation. The document provides information on more than 100 of Obama’s appointments and nominations. It includes more than 850 citations to articles, websites, and cases regarding these individuals and... MORE >