The long Fourth of July weekend was a wonderful opportunity – amidst the cookouts and fireworks – to pause and remember our nation’s heritage, and to remind our children about those old-fashioned virtues of mom, apple pie … and “gay” sex.
You remember – when we all decided that among those American values we hold near and dear – the one that tells our children to fully embrace homosexuality, and that anyone who disapproves is guilty of a hate crime?
You don’t remember that? Well, neither do a lot of other people, but it must have happened. Why else would the Department of Education and Department of Justice print so much taxpayer-funded material that says so?
An enduring legacy of the Clinton-Reno-Riley years, most of this propaganda is the product of a big slush fund called the “Safe and Drug-Free Schools” program, a social-engineering spree with a virtual blank check for politically correct indoctrination of our children. Trouble is, it’s been re-authorized under the Bush administration without dismantling its rotten foundation.
With over $746 million to spend for fiscal 2002, it’s no wonder homosexual activists have learned how to work the system. And work it they do. Under subpart 4, section 4151 of the No Child Left Behind Act are provisions for hate-crime education for our little children and even our local police. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. The definition used for a hate crime cites the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, which authorized counting such crimes based on sexual orientation. But the departments of Education and Justice have raced way past counting incidents to advocating homosexual behavior.
Do most parents and grandparents in this country know this? Support for homosexuality and absence of traditional taboos dominate the tone of federal agencies’ hate-crimes manuals and programs. If they really implemented what is written, any devout Christian or Jew would be in trouble with the authorities for speaking out in even the tamest way against homosexuality. And the typical kid who says “Yuck!” regarding “gay” sex could find himself hauled before some politically correct tribunal for a “bias incident.”
For instance, the brochure describing the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program says, “School districts are encouraged to take a firm position against all injurious manifestations of hate, from ethnic slurs, racial epithets and taunts, to graffiti, vandalism, discrimination, intimidation and violence.” Surely no sensible person could disagree, until one learns that among the “ethnic groups” to be protected from “slurs” are homosexuals and cross-dressers. The brochure then continues with a thinly-veiled pitch for the passage of a national hate-crimes law that includes sexual orientation.
The resources listed at the end of this brochure are a “who’s who” of left-wing groups including Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a radical outfit calling for support for homosexual behavior among “children.” Cross-dressing and bisexuality are pivotal to PFLAG’s agenda, along with about any sexual activity imaginable, except heterosexuality. And PFLAG literature is obsessed with religious faith, tolerating only those holding that homosexuality is a “gift.” Traditional viewpoints need not apply.
The Department of Education apparently agrees. Not one organization is listed that would qualify as conventional. It’s as if they don’t exist in this revisionist, pink-hued Amerika. The party-line rationale may be that some states and communities do have hate-crime statutes with criminal penalties that now cover sexual orientation. However, fewer than 20 states and few local communities have such laws, and they don’t apply to federal crimes. The Department of Education is, last time we checked, a federal agency.
The same baffling absence of a pro-family voice exists in a Department of Education manual for local schools, “Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime.” Also produced with support from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education, and something called the Bias Crime Task Force of the National Association of Attorneys General, this 157-page tome has slickly navigated around the fact that applicable federal laws don’t yet include sexual orientation. Local schools should adopt anti-harassment language that “Define[s] all the types of harassment covered by the policy, which may include harassment based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, sexual orientation and religion.” There is no federal law and few local laws to back this up, however.
The support for this recommendation is a court case – Nabozny vs. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446 (7th Cir. 1996) – where it was found that a school failed to protect a homosexual student from consistent harassment. This is mined for all it’s worth, and then some, so that all instances of disagreement with homosexuality become suspect, including speech. These nebulous, non-criminal “bias incidents” need to be reported and investigated by local police. They might all lead to “violence” – and that may include religious faith expressions. Isn’t this a clear conflict with the also-protected category of religion? Or – will we soon see definitions for only certain acceptable religions, as well?
The manual attempts further to set policy that doesn’t exist by including in the appendix several local “model” codes from states like Vermont and New Jersey, which – surprise – include sexual orientation. A checklist in Appendix B also lists sexual orientation as one of the possible categories. And the resources section lists those all-American groups PFLAG (again), Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Lambda Legal Defense Fund and National Youth Advocacy Coalition. Look in vain for any groups that don’t promote homosexuality – they are missing in action.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the advocacy. The Safe and Drug-Free Schools program has been funding “tolerance-” and “diversity-” education programs that include sexual orientation since 1994. So curricula that promote homosexuality and paint disapproval as “hate” leading to violence, have been unleashed on U.S. public-school students. Among the most famous funded by SDFS are “Healing the Hate” from the National Hate Crime Prevention Project in Newton, Mass. and “A World of Difference” from the Anti-Defamation League.
But the Department of Education isn’t alone in its reformatting of American standards and laws. The Department of Justice has several similar manuals on hate crimes. “A Policymaker’s Guide to Hate Crimes” published by the Bureau of Justice Assistance doesn’t waste any time. On the third page, it thanks the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for contributions. The text frets over the plight of homosexuals, and even goes after another Department of Justice department, contending that hate-crimes data collected by the FBI isn’t accounting for all hate crimes against homosexuals. And indeed, if one consults the FBI annual hate crimes stats, the “climate of hate” posturing falls apart.
In the year 2000, the FBI reported approximately 1,300 “bias” or hate crimes in the whole U.S. involving sexual orientation. Compare this to the 11.6 million total U.S. crimes for that year. And roughly one third of these fall in the category of speech (threats or intimidation). There is simply no crisis – yet these activist- bureaucrats are determined to invent one anyway.
At the end of this manual, both the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign are listed as resources – and, again, no family organizations.
The Department of Justice brochure “Hate Crimes on Campus” wails against the “widespread use of degrading language and slurs … directed toward people of color, women, homosexuals, Jews.” Yet there is no clear definition of what would be interpreted as a slur against a homosexual. Nonetheless, this manual recommends that police be trained to handle hate crimes and “bias incidents,” and that prevention efforts need to be initiated. What would “prevention” entail?
The spin continues: “The resolution of the debate over whether gays and lesbians are genetically predisposed or choose their sexual orientation is not relevant under the law. No person should be subject to violence, threats or property damage because of his or her status …” (p.20). Yes, but it’s not status – it’s time-proven harmful physical behavior. And, laws exist now that protect all Americans from crime. These manuals clearly seek to elevate the status of homosexuals and protect them even from disapproval.
The campus piece was authored by two people. One of them, Steven Wessler, has played a key role in these interagency advocacy efforts. He was a member of the Bias Crime Task Force of the National Association of Attorneys General, which advised the writing of the Department of Education “Harassment” manual. He is also a principal in a group called the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence, which receives funds from the Safe and Drug Free Schools program and under whose aegis he co-produced the campus brochure. He also advised the writing of Department of Justice’s “National Bias Crime Training Manual,” used for local police, also replete with pro-homosexual ideology and resources. At that time, Wessler was an assistant attorney general with the state of Maine. Such overlapping roles don’t present conflicts, I guess, for the recyclable federal bureaucracy.
Perhaps the most disturbing propaganda piece produced is the FBI’s “Training Guide for Hate Crime Data Collection,” available online and used to train local law enforcement. It, too, favors acceptance of homosexual practices. The definition of prejudice given is “… an unreasonable and unjustifiable negative attitude (p.10).” As the manual continues, there is no allowance for principled opposition to homosexuality, but disapproval can only be “prejudice.” At the end, resources include the sole pro-family group listed in any of these materials – the Catholic League – but then also includes National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a New York “gay” advocacy group, and a host of left-wing supporters of homosexuality.
Have we awakened to a different planet? Does the new secretary of education, Rod Paige, know how serious this is? Does John Ashcroft? Or do all Americans now agree that homosexuality is just like heterosexuality? Are critics of homosexuality all criminals? If so, no one told me. When and if they do, they also better be prepared to explain why Hell just froze over.
Linda Harvey is president of Mission America, a pro-family organization. They publish a quarterly newsletter reporting on the homosexual agenda in our schools.