Bullying | GLSEN | Kevin Jennings | News | Steve King

53 House GOP Sign on to Anti-Gay Witch Hunt Against Kevin Jennings


Gay-hating Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has corralled in 52 House Republicans to sign on to a letter to Obama requesting that the President fire Safe Schools czar Kevin Jennings.

Jennings Writes King in the letter:

As the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Mr. Jennings has played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America's schools-an agenda that runs counter to the values that many parents desire to instill in their children. As evidence of this, Mr. Jennings wrote the foreword for a book titled Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue About Sexualities and Schooling. Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students. The totality of Mr. Jennings' career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.

Equally troubling is Mr. Jennings' self-described history of ignoring the sexual abuse of a child. In his book, One Teacher in Ten, Mr. Jennings recounts a 15-year old student confiding in him that he had a sexual relationship with a much older man. Mr. Jennings' only response was to ask if the underage boy used a condom. As a mandatory reporter, Mr. Jennings was required by law to report child abuse, including sex crimes. Mr. Jennings cannot serve as the "safe schools" czar when his record demonstrates a willingness to overlook the sexual abuse of a child.

You can read the full letter here.

King continues to repeat the thoroughly debunked claims about Jennings' counseling interaction with the student, and the student has even written a letter defending him.

Hopefully, the administration, which has so far defended Jennings against this anti-gay witch hunt, will continue to stand by him.

The Hill reports: "Openly gay senior Democratic Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.) called the effort a way for 'anti-gay' lawmakers to keep that issue at the forefront. 'This is just an effort to exploit anti-gay feeling — they have this anti-gay view that they understand is becoming less and less popular with the public,' Frank told The Hill on Thursday."

The wingnuts don't want to see any gay man in this position, much less one who has spent the better part of 20 years dedicating himself to teaching tolerance in the nation's schools. It's ironic that this is just a grown-up form of the anti-LGBT bullying Jennings has devoted his life to ending. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly apparent that certain members of the GOP will never stop acting like children.

The list of Republicans who have signed on to the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Brown, H.
Davis, Geoff
Miller, J.
Olson, P.
Rogers (AL)
Ryan, Paul
Smith, C
Smith, L.
Jones, Walter

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  1. Who cares what they think? The House Repugs are a powerless minority. All bark, no bite.

    Posted by: plinx | Oct 16, 2009 7:59:00 AM

  2. The scum are still practicing "if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it's the truth."

    Posted by: Qjersey | Oct 16, 2009 8:05:54 AM

  3. This type of representation in the House is simply unacceptable and I can only hope for their constituencies to hold them accountable, not for going after Mr. Jennings (which is bad enough) but for not doing anything constructive with their tenures.

    Now onto Representative Frank:

    "they have this anti-gay view that they understand is becoming less and less popular with the public"

    Not thanks to you Sir, in fact, in despise thereof.

    Posted by: Rafael | Oct 16, 2009 8:11:10 AM

  4. Obama alluded to the smears against Jennings in his speech to the HRC. That would indicate his job is safe.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 16, 2009 9:10:11 AM

  5. Heh, well nothing is going to be done until Congress writes a bill to fire the guy. We've already seen the white house doesn't respond to letters with signatures, now do they?

    Posted by: Darren | Oct 16, 2009 9:13:11 AM

  6. My roommate and I got into it about this - he said they were just going after him because of how poorly he handled that 15 yo boy getting molested (and he did fuck that up by not reporting it). Now I can say "I fucking told you so!"

    Posted by: Shane | Oct 16, 2009 10:24:04 AM

  7. Shane:

    The kid was sixteen, which means he was legally able to consent to the relationship in his state. No one was molested-- please stop smearing Jennings in your defense of him.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Oct 16, 2009 10:44:09 AM

  8. The young man was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings - the legal age of consent in MA.There was no molestation even if he had been 15 because it was consensual.There's a huge difference between being molested/sexually assaulted and consenting to sex .And if we're totally honest most 15 year olds are sexually active.Jennings is being smeared,pure & simple

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 16, 2009 10:46:02 AM

  9. The boy was 16 and in MA that is legal age for consensual sex, which the "boy" has made clear it was.

    And by the way even today if you are of age by your states law an authority figure of any kind can not report consensual sex to anyone.

    Posted by: Warren | Oct 16, 2009 10:47:04 AM

  10. anyone remember back from school days how to counter bullies and their attacks?

    Posted by: Brian Austin | Oct 16, 2009 10:48:57 AM

  11. Shane, your roommate is buying into right wing McCarthyism and has no clue what he's talking about.

    As others have pointed out, the student was 16 and the experience he was describing to Kevin Jennings was consensual, clearly not molestation. The student--now an openly gay adult--has confirmed that Kevin Jennings helped him not hurt him.

    The irony is that what the right wants to do--remove any discussion of anti-gay bullying from the schools and keep gay kids invisible--is to maintain the type of atmosphere in schools that once drove teenagers to seek out sexual experiences with adults because they had no peers.

    Kevin Jennings has devoted his career to making sure gay kids can be open enough to find each other and have the kind of safe dating experiences with their peers that straight kids take for granted. Yet the right rarely gets called on the direct harm their smear tactics inflicts on gay kids.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 16, 2009 11:20:44 AM

  12. This is a pointless gesture. And I'm sure they're not aware of it because nobody in Congress ever reads the constitution, but none of these people can even write up legislation to fire Jennings.

    They're members of the House. Only senators have "advice and consent" powers. Just as all measures related to appropriations and taxation must originate in the House of Representatives, all matters related to presidential appointments must originate in the Senate.

    Posted by: John | Oct 16, 2009 12:28:59 PM

  13. I bitched to my Rep about this!

    Did you?!

    Lets stand up gurls and fight.

    Posted by: Travis | Oct 16, 2009 1:42:45 PM

  14. We desperately need someone who promotes tolerance and equality however I hope he learned a lesson by how poorly he handled the 15 year-old situation.

    Posted by: Paula S | Oct 16, 2009 3:03:34 PM

  15. "The 15 year-old situation" is what's been debunked. No sexual contact of any kind took place.

    Even if it had, it still wouldn't have been illegal, because the young man in question was 16 at the time, which is the age of consent in the state.

    Posted by: Ben V | Oct 17, 2009 4:36:43 PM

  16. The comments here are correct: it was a consensual relationship between an older man (30 something) and a consenting, legal-age younger man. Actually, Jennings advice for what it was worth was correct: a sexually active young man being advised to "play safe". The guy would continue to have sex, no matter what. He might as well be counseled on safe-sex practices. That only makes sense, then and now.

    Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, Ingraham, Savage, 700 Club, et al, are running with this for all its worth. Their clamour will surely rise in the days to come. The only weapons we have are the facts and the truth. What worries me is the that Pres. Obama or his henchman, Rahm Immanuel, will punk out. Stand firm!

    Posted by: mike | Oct 18, 2009 2:29:14 PM

  17. We have to stand firm in support of Jennings, and stick it to the fucking bigots! Call your Representative, let him/her know what you think!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Oct 19, 2009 7:21:08 PM

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