Anderson Cooper | Bullying | Education | GLSEN | News

Watch: AC360 on Focus and the Family and their Homophobic Attacks on Anti-Bullying Efforts in Schools


Earlier this week I posted about Focus on the Family and their efforts to stop anti-bullying efforts in school, saying it's a back door to homosexual indoctrination.

Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family, Eliza Byard of GLSEN, and author Rosalind Wiseman discuss their claims with Anderson Cooper.


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. The fundamental question here is: What is wrong with being gay? Or more in general and more in line with the anti-bulling efforts: What is wrong with being who you are?

    Some of us expect our peers to respect us, just as we respect them. I guess demanding respect is too much to ask from the way of Christ as interpreted by the Religious Right.

    Posted by: Rafael | Sep 2, 2010 7:09:12 AM

  2. Meanwhile...three kids just killed themselves in Anoka, MN.
    As Wiseman notes, the crime needs to be named otherwise it becomes silent. Silence equals death and FOF wants to muffle teachers and councilors. In Anoka, it is against policy to talk to a kid about homosexuality. So, where is a kid to go? Parents...who may be hostile. Church...who are hostile. Peers...who are not mature enough to help. There is no where, and we see the result in Anoka.

    Posted by: Fulton | Sep 2, 2010 7:43:24 AM

  3. "focus on the family" is a misnomer. "pro focus on anti-gay hate" is much more apt. there is nothing family friendly about opposing anti-gay bullying rules. no matter how much they dissemble, they don't much care about gay children. a dead queer here, a dead queer there; it makes no never mind to them. there is something sociopathological about leaving gay kids to twist in the wind. what the fuck is wrong with these people?

    Posted by: nic | Sep 2, 2010 8:11:50 AM

  4. how Anderson can sit there and listen to the BS of that Candi Cunt....she needs a Kick in the Teeth!

    Posted by: Disgusted Gay American | Sep 2, 2010 8:12:51 AM

  5. These people are perverts. In their effort to show their unquestioned hatred for the gay, they are willing to inflict horrible suffering on children throughout our country. And their hatre is so blind that they don't even realize that they are flailing out at many non-gay youth. Overweight kids, skinny kids, nerdy kids are all victims of bullying, and they are not necessarily gay.

    But go right ahead and try to stop the torturing of young kids. The ultimate result will be that reasonable parents will arrive at the conclusion that you are crazy, and distance themselves from your repulsive view of religion.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Sep 2, 2010 8:39:55 AM

  6. It is times like these when I want to slap someone.


    I'm a follower of Jesus and I happen to love everyone, see all sin as the same (in Greek "sin" just means to miss the mark), and I think a God who created the entire universe could care less what hole someone sticks what in. It's absurd and ridiculous.

    Jesus was all about love, forgiveness, compassion, and non-judgmentalism. These people are the turd in the punchbowl that ruins him for everyone.

    Jesus would be against bullies...what jerks!

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 2, 2010 9:00:22 AM

  7. Revoke FOTF's tax-free status.

    Posted by: Tone | Sep 2, 2010 9:00:44 AM

  8. Sorry, I'm on a roll...

    As a parent and a former kid myself I am DELIGHTED that schools take bullying seriously. I think the fact that teachers used to let this stuff slide with just a verbal warning SUCKED. I think no one should be afraid to go to school and I am GLAD kids can get expelled for it.

    They should. These Focus dickwads have no clue--NONE. Kids SHOULD be afraid to bully other kids, not kids be afraid of being bullied.


    Posted by: Rin | Sep 2, 2010 9:03:47 AM

  9. Candi pings for me.

    Posted by: guest | Sep 2, 2010 9:12:06 AM

  10. Candy utterly avoided being specific. She also had the last word. She still was able to effectively paint a picture to parents out there watching tv that being gay is 'controversial' and 'sexual'. It annoys me that Right wing christian groups put the message out that kids are going to be taught to be gay somehow. It sounds like they are going to have 'gay classes'. Why didn't either of the two other women fully explain that kids are going to be taught to be tolerant of people who are different ? Focus on the family and other right wing christian groups use this tactic all the time. Parents are horrified at the thought of kids have classes about how to 'be gay'. The real answer here was to address that no one will be taught how to be gay, but kids are directed to be tolerant of other kids and not bully each other.

    Posted by: Paul | Sep 2, 2010 9:30:39 AM

  11. Why did Anderson spend so much time recounting verbally what was on the focus on the family website. He ate up a lot of time restating their (non)arguments and it pissed me off.

    Also, missing from this discussion was WHY it is important to name protected behaviors of the victims and why teachers respond if you do. Because they can get their ass sued if they allow violent behavior against a protected minority. Interesting that "our" side is keeping silent on this.

    Posted by: Christopher | Sep 2, 2010 9:35:23 AM

  12. Shouldnt he have said "hung" not "hanged"?

    Posted by: sullyosully | Sep 2, 2010 9:43:33 AM

  13. Chirstianity promotes bulling, we need to feed them to the lions like the good ol' days

    Posted by: George | Sep 2, 2010 9:47:54 AM

  14. I looked up Candi's credentials. Graduated Suma Cum Laude from Baylor...with degrees in Jornalism and English...and then a BIG skip and suddenly she's an authority on education issues. How exactly? Good question. I guess she went to a lot of PTA meetings or something. Nice credentials but when you're dealing FOF, they don't really have much in the way of credentials. That's never stopped them from yammering in the wind but fact is, none of them are educated in the field they are discussing (though James Dobson and Tony Perkins are a bit preoccupied with anal sex, so who knows where they've gotten their facts...)

    I think Anderson let Candi speak because she was saying absolutely nothing. The woman who deals with this for the public schools shot Candi's arguments down swiftly and directly, telling Candi she lives in a dream world. Candi came off shrill and under-informed, with NO data to back herself up. Anyone who isn't already a neo-Christian hater who believe Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes and was swaddle in the manager in an American flag, while Joseph stood by with a firearm, just in case, would be convinced by her arguments or the FOF website.

    There will always be ghoulish bigots like Candi. She's a sad, rather pathetic woman. But generation by generation they will become less and less. That's what is evident and that's why they are so vocal and so panicked. They cannot preach their hate...their audience is getting smaller and smarter and turning away. These groups are becoming more marginalized as we are becoming less.

    The only thing I wish Anderson would have done is said to her, "If a group of students is picking on a kid and when asked why they say, 'Because he's a fag,' how would you as a teacher, principal or counselor deal with this without bringing sexual orientation into the conversation?"

    Candi would peed all over herself.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 2, 2010 10:27:20 AM

  15. AC: [SNIP]"Focus on the Family says focus on bullying..."[SNIP]

    Quote mined for unintentional truth.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Sep 2, 2010 10:28:47 AM

  16. I was a 4.0 student when the bullying began for me. It got so bad I became literally terrified and began having panic attacks at the thought of going to school and eventually dropped out.
    23 years later I work at a low-paying, no future job and am still not good at looking people in the eye.
    I wish the evil people at Focus on the Family could understand the fact that bullying permanently alters lives.

    Posted by: Ken | Sep 2, 2010 10:47:54 AM

  17. @sullyosully: If you are talking about hanging clothing or drapes or pictures or some other inanimate object, the correct past tense is "hung." However, if you are talking about an execution or suicide that happened in the past, it is only correct to say "hanged"--NOT "hung." AC got it right; many, many others get it wrong all the time. (

    Posted by: Thomasina | Sep 2, 2010 10:51:43 AM

  18. RIN, but are you saying that being gay is sin?

    Posted by: nikko | Sep 2, 2010 11:15:08 AM

  19. Nikko, with all due respect to your thoughts and feeling, RIN in his statement of faith says nothing remotely close to equating being gay with sin. After reading RIN's statement, your question is as "absurd and ridiculous" as the "God who created the entire universe" caring what hole someone sticks what in. We are all of us sinners, missing the mark and needing to improve ourselves to become more worthy of this great gift of life that we have been granted. Peace be yours brothers and sisters...

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 2, 2010 12:56:32 PM

  20. The issue shouldn't be if homosexuality is a sin. It should be whether or not people are hanging themselves for being taunted. For FOTF, it's the former. For those of us who wish the rights of ALL (even if we disagree with their beliefs), it's the latter. What Elyza said about it not being about beliefs but about behaviour is dead on.

    Posted by: Danny | Sep 2, 2010 1:19:42 PM

  21. Hell no! Being gay is not a sin. I think gays should get married, too. I'm saying that premarital sex (which heteros and homosexuals alike do ) is technically...a sin. So, I've sinned.

    Is "that" sin worse than calling someone an asshole that doesn't deserve it? No.

    Sin is missing the mark of ideal and casual sex, to me, is not the ideal. I don't think that every two people who claim that they are having sex casually are and that sometimes feelings can get hurt because one person feels more.

    Sin to me is anytime someone does something with disregard for someone else's feelings.

    Two people in a loving, monogamous relationship aren't sinning...if that makes sense?

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 2, 2010 1:31:36 PM

  22. Adding...I apologize for not being more clear. I'm very pro monogamy and I don't think casual sex is "ideal" for humans. I find it hard to detach completely from sex.

    Gay or heterosexual...doesn't make a difference to me. I think the reason why premarital sex was considered "sinful" aka "missing the mark" is because of the lack of security.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 2, 2010 1:33:41 PM

  23. No, it IS "hanged".

    A picture is/was "hung".

    A person is/was "hanged".

    I think the pro anti-bullying law guests did a VERY poor job in this discussion and the anti bullying law FOF woman was allowed to get away with murder; perhaps literally.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 2, 2010 1:48:09 PM

  24. Anderson has done a great job of putting the word out about gay bullying in school. I have to imagine it has effected the way that people see this issue.

    "Homosexuality lessons." Candi makes it sound so dangerous as if they're showing porn. FoF just want kids to learn to hate people. disgusting.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 2, 2010 3:29:43 PM

  25. Take all your 'sin' and shove it. The real problem is religion, period. And in this country specifically christianity. It is not the source of morality. The bible is nothing but a bunch of tales with fictitious characters. It does say fags are bad, and it does say slavery is ok and marrying your sister is allowable. If people could step back from religion and start thinking critically this world would be better off.

    Posted by: Mr. E | Sep 2, 2010 3:55:26 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Watch: Hardball on Republican Support for Gay Marriage« «