Conservative Group Piles On School's Gay Book Ban

FamilybookLast month, after crumbling to conservative pressure, the Erie, Illinois School Board banned The Family Book because it mentions, on only one page, that "some families have two moms and dads."

The board then removed all materials from GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

"[The board's] further move to limit the use of our materials to grades 6-12 is both puzzling and deeply counter-productive," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard at the time. "GLSEN has a stellar track record of providing educationally- and developmentally appropriate resources to thousands of districts across the country for grades K-5, and our materials for the elementary grades enjoy broad support throughout the education and youth development worlds."

Well, this week, over a month after the controversy erupted, the right wing Alliance Defense Fund decided to stir the pot a bit. Said ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco about GLSEN's materials, "Public schools should not be coerced by outside groups into indoctrinating students into homosexual behavior by exposing them to inappropriate sexual materials."

"Schools are supposed to be places of learning, not places where schools push propaganda on students. The school is right under these circumstances to prohibit access to the GLSEN materials and not cave to the ACLU’s demands," he wrote at the conservative website One News Now.

The excellent Zack Ford at ThinkProgress takes obvious issue with ADF and others' position, rightfully pointing out that "any kid who comes to school and mentions that she has two daddies is 'indoctrinating' her classmates into 'homosexual behavior.'"

"The claims are simply outlandish. Having same-sex parents is neither inappropriate nor sexual, but Tedesco’s comments reflect how conservatives insist on equating anything gay with sex," he writes.

Besides, if being gay were all about sex, wouldn't many of us being having more of it?

Today is the Day of Silence: VIDEO


Today is the national Day of Silence, in which students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.

Meet Juliann and Ikaika, your GLSEN Day of Silence 2012 organizers, and an ally, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, AFTER THE JUMP...

Visit Day of Silence on Facebook here. And on Twitter here.


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Xelle's 'Invincible': MUSIC VIDEO


Xelle, the NYC-based group made up of Mimi Imfurst, JC Cassis, Rony Goffer, has just released its new video "Invincible" which deals with the empowerment of LGBT youth, and is donating proceeds from the sale of the single to GLSEN.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Candi Cushman Decries The Gay Monopoly On The Anti-Bully Biz: VIDEO

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AFTER THE JUMP, see a portion of the speech delivered by Focus On The Family's Candi Cushman yesterday at CPAC. At first glance, she appears to be saying that GLSEN is a bunch of depraved leftists bent on mind control. But if you translate the remarks out of homophobese, what she's actually saying might be something like: Hey, bullying is a problem in our schools, and it's a shame we've ceded all responsibility to solving it to groups like GLSEN. Maybe we could try to help out, too? Is that what she's saying? I hope so.

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GLSEN Anti-Hate PSAs to Be Featured at Super Bowl: VIDEO


Back in May I posted about GLSEN's 'Think Before You Speak' campaign. Today, it was announced that the PSAs will be featured at the Super Bowl:

The videos will be strategically placed on a screen at the entrance of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.,  to be viewed by the 150,000 Super Bowl ticket holders on Feb. 5. In its newest ad, GLSEN, GLSEN,  the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, has garnered cooperation from the NBA and Phoenix Suns star Grant Hill. The NBA is the first professional sports league to address antigay language among teens.

The campaign — Think Before You Speak – was created by Grazie Media and funded by GLSEN, whose mission it is to ensure safe schools for all students. Launched in 2009, the PSAs coincide with national concern about homophobia and school bullying and have received accolades from the Ad Council.

Check out the Grant Hill PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Education Secretary Arne Duncan Marks First National Gay-Straight Alliance Day with Anti-Bullying Message: VIDEO


Obama's Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has posted a video on the White House blog marking the first annual Gay-Straight Alliance Day, which is today.

Says Duncan, in part: "When students are harassed or bullied, it directly affects their work in the classroom, their aspirations for the future, and their desire to stay in school. Gay-Straight Alliances and similar student groups play an important role in creating welcoming, affirming, and respectful schools and colleges – safe places where learning can happen and students flourish. This work is absolutely essential. GSAs are a proven tool for creating welcoming school climates and helping students stay in school."

The national GSA Day is a project of the Iowa Pride Network. Said Ryan Roemerman, IPN Executive Director: “Over the years other states were contacting us asking how they could replicate the event, so we decided to coordinate on a national level. The response from partnering state and national organizations has been extraordinary.”


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