Minnesota Family Council

Anti-Gay Activists Warn 'Homosexual References' in School will 'Bring Many of the Kids into the Gay Lifestyle'

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality hosted Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute and Barbara Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council. Higgins railed against the “homosexual agenda” as the “greatest threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberty in America today” and later Anderson, who called anti-bullying efforts “child abuse,” said that Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district’s new guidelines regarding sexual orientation will turn kids gay:

Higgins: This is not about sound pedagogy, it will do the exact opposite; it will interfere with intellectual exploration and critical thinking. And I don’t think there is a greatest threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberty in America today than that posed by the homosexual agenda.

LaBarbera: And it just keeps going on and on and they want to go younger and younger.

Higgins: That’s right.



Anderson: They want school children to be bombarded with homosexual references in math, geography, science, English, all of this to promote the gay agenda. I think kids are going to get so sick of this, but unfortunately it’s going to brainwash many of the children with this propaganda and will bring many of the kids into the gay lifestyle as they experiment with this and are told that this is normal and a choice that they can make as well.

During the interview, LaBarbera also congratulated Anderson after she informed him that the Parents Action League was designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and LaBarbera repeated his claim that organizations working “to counter the homosexual activist movement” should strive to find a place the SPLC’s hate group list. Anderson, who has warned that “homosexual teachers” are targeting “creative” students and that gay rights advocates will “increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle,” told LaBarbera in 2010 that AFTAH’s hate group designation was a “badge of honor.”

LaBarbera: Barbara, I wouldn’t be surprised if SPLC started labeling Minnesota Family Council or your Parents Action League as a hate group.

Anderson: They already have.

LaBarbera: Oh they did? I’m behind the times. Which one?

Anderson: Parents Action League has been added to their ridiculous catalogue of haters.

LaBarbera: Congratulations, Barb! We decided that if you’re not labeled a hate group by the SPLC you’re not really doing anything to counter the homosexual activist movement.

Linda Harvey and Barb Anderson Decry School District's Decision to Try to Stop Anti-Gay Bullying

This weekend Mission America president spoke to Barb Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council about Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district where Anderson’s group had successfully lobbied the school district to stop the school from dealing with anti-gay bias and discrimination as part of its bullying-prevention policy. A number of students who were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay committed or attempted to commit suicide, and ultimately the school board reversed the policy after six students sued, saying that the district failed to tackle the continuous problem of anti-gay harassment.

Anderson bewailed the school board decision and warned about schools giving access to Gay-Straight Alliances, which she had earlier called “dangerous” and wanted them banned from schools, and seemed to suggest that they even promote pedophilia by calling it a “red flag” that LGBT students “get paired with adult mentors, adult homosexuals” through GSA clubs. Harvey said that GSA’s do not help protect LGBT students since “they’re advocating going into this lifestyle” and said gay-rights advocates “have manipulated this entire tragedy.”

Harvey: ‘Protection.’ That word ‘protection.’ They say they are protecting homosexual kids, no they’re not, if they’re advocating going into this lifestyle, that’s not protection.

Anderson: Absolutely not. In fact, when they get into the Gay-Straight Alliances many of the kids get affirmed in this sexual behavior which can lead to disease and terrible relationships in the future. Many of them are steered into gay drop-in centers where they get paired with adult mentors, adult homosexuals, I mean this should be a red flag for any parent. These Gay-Straight Alliances train these kids to be political activists. In fact at the press conference one of the comments that they made about these six plaintiffs, ‘they started off as victims but now they are going to be activists and will be out there presenting their cause,’ so they are going to use these kids in the future as well.

Harvey: And they are being manipulated. They have manipulated this entire tragedy, they saw the issue of the suicides, the tragedy of kids being self-destructive, and then they jumped on it, that’s just the long and short of it.

Anderson: Yes, that’s right.

The two also attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center, which led the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights against the school district, for trying to prevent bullying by “indoctrinating kids with homosexuality” and listing both of their organizations as anti-gay hate groups. Anderson said that the SPLC is “totally opposed to Judeo-Christian values, they really hate Christians and hate evangelicals,” and bemoaned that they listed “pro-family, pro-traditional values” as hate groups when in fact it is the SPLC “that should be considered a hate group.” Harvey later in the interview said that the only organization on their list she thinks is a hate group is Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church.

Harvey: Here we have the Southern Poverty Law Center which has named our group recently as an anti-gay group and yours, Parents Action League, as well, they were part of this and they have this whole section in their organization called Teaching Tolerance which is just, I mean I just roll my eyes because they have no tolerance. They’ve been big on tracking the Ku Klux Klan and actual racism but now they’re broadening this and trying to muddy the waters by a smack down on traditional values, isn’t that what’s really going on here?

Anderson: Yes they are just totally opposed to Judeo-Christian values, they really hate Christians and hate evangelicals. We can have anti-bullying programs that can eliminate bad behavior without indoctrinating kids with homosexuality, but that is what they want.



Anderson: The Southern Poverty Law Center is the group that should be considered a hate group. The common thread that they have of all the groups that they have listed are basically good, pro-family, pro-traditional values, decent organizations that they’ve put on their list.

Tony Perkins Defends Minnesota School District with Rampant Anti-Gay Bullying

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Tuesday defended the Parents Action League, a Minnesota group that fiercely lobbied the Anoka-Hennepin school district against implementing anti-bullying policies they believe will make the kids targets of “homosexual propaganda” and result in them being “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” The Parents Action League, a division of the Minnesota Family Council, claims the school district has an “outstanding policy” regarding sexual orientation and gloats that they helped craft it. But the group has come under fire from legal organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and even the Justice Department after a string of teen suicides, so naturally Perkins is standing by the school district’s anti-gay activists:

Perkins: Out of Minnesota where the school board had adopted a neutral policy on homosexuality, where teachers couldn’t be for it or against it and there were a few suicides that took place, which is really kind of tragically a rash, there’s been a rash of suicides, actually it’s been almost growing for a number of years in high schools across the country. Well there may be some cases where these young people are bullied, which is wrong, shouldn’t happen. The Southern Poverty Law Center, teaming up with local homosexual groups, immediately claimed that all these were related to homosexual students being bullied, as it turned out it was not but the damage had already been done. The Southern Poverty Law Center came in threatening a law suit, then brought the Justice Department in—the federal government, going into a local school district—and then in the process a parents organization kind of grew up, the Parents Action League, which was defending the neutral policy, they weren’t against homosexuality, they weren’t for it, but they didn’t want their kids taught something that countered what they were taught at home. Well the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocate in the process for homosexual special rights and special status for homosexuals, labeled the opposing group a hate group for trying to marginalize and stigmatize them in that local debate. Then the Justice Department went forward with consent decree which is onerous, we’ll get into that on Thursday, but it just shows how the other side wants to shut down the debate so they can have their way and push their radical agenda through.

However, as Rolling Stone reported, at least four of the students who committed suicide were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay:

There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied. The tragedies come at a national moment when bullying is on everyone's lips, and a devastating number of gay teens across the country are in the news for killing themselves. Suicide rates among gay and lesbian kids are frighteningly high, with attempt rates four times that of their straight counterparts; studies show that one-third of all gay youth have attempted suicide at some point (versus 13 percent of hetero kids), and that internalized homophobia contributes to suicide risk.

...

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a lawsuit on behalf of five students, alleging the school district's policies on gays are not only discriminatory, but also foster an environment of unchecked anti-gay bullying. The Department of Justice has begun a civil rights investigation as well.

Stephanie Mencimer notes that along with the nine suicides, at least seven other students “have been hospitalized for attempting or threatening suicide.” She goes on to write:

There's no sure way of knowing why any of the kids took their own lives, but gay rights activists quickly honed in on one factor they saw as contributing to an unhealthy climate for at-risk kids. Anoka-Hennepin has a policy on the books known colloquially as "no homo promo," which dates in back to the mid-1990s. Back then, after several emotional school board meetings, the district essentially wiped gay people out of the school health curriculum. There could be no discussion of homosexuality, even with regard to HIV and AIDS, and the school board adopted a formal policy that stated school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a "normal, valid lifestyle."

Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics said fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation. Both policies were put into place at the behest of conservative religious activists who have been among Bachmann's biggest supporters in the district. They include the Minnesota Family Council (MFC), and its local affiliate, the Parents Action League, which has lobbied to put discredited "reparative therapy" materials in schools.

But Perkins tells a much different story.

First, he claims that the Southern Poverty Law Center “immediately claimed that all these were related to homosexual students being bullied,” adding, “as it turned out it was not.” However, the SPLC never claimed that all of the suicides were by “homosexual students,” but did argue that anti-gay bullying was “at least in part the result of a gag policy that prevented teachers from discussing issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people.” Perkins also claimed that the Parents Action League emerged as a result of the SPLC lawsuit, which isn’t true as PAL has been active in the school district for years prior to the SPLC’s involvement. He even claimed that PAL’s members “weren’t against homosexuality,” which is difficult to believe since the organization wants schools to teach reparative therapy, warned that gays and lesbians  have “targeted” students and called homosexuality “one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into.”

But of course, no one should be surprised that Perkins twists the facts in order to promote his anti-gay views, and after misrepresenting the controversy he attacked the SPLC for advocating “special status for homosexuals” and pushing a “radical agenda.”

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