Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A transcript from a 1997 speech shows Office of Safe Schools chief Kevin Jennings in the U.S. Department of Education expressed his admiration for Harry Hay, one of the nation’s first homosexual activists who launched the Mattachine Society in 1948, founded the Radical Faeries and was a longtime advocate for the North American Man-Boy Love Association, NAMBLA.
“One of the people that’s always inspired me is Harry Hay,” the transcript shows Jennings saying, “who started the first ongoing gay rights group in America. In 1948, he tried to get people to join the Mattachine Society. It took him two years to find one other person who would join.
“Well, [in] 1993,” Jennings continued, “Harry Hay marched with a million people in Washington, who thought he had a good idea 40 years before.”
Most recently, he admitted that he now knows he should have reacted differently two decades ago when he was a teacher and he was approached by a 15-year-old student who admitted he had a sexual relationship with an older man.
Jennings’ response was to suggest using a condom, although the student’s statement probably revealed, at a minimum, statutory rape.
His perspectives and activities have come under scrutiny because of his office, where he now is responsible for creating and implementing programs that make public school classrooms across America “safe.”
The comments about Hay are significant because of Hay’s extreme positions regarding homosexuality.
For example, according to the website for the North American Man-Boy Love Association, Hay told the organization in a 1983 speech: “I also would like to say at this point that it seems to me that in the gay community the people who should be running interference for NAMBLA are the parents and friends of gays. Because if the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world. And they would be welcoming this, and welcoming the opportunity for young gay kids to have the kind of experience that they would need.”
Americans for Truth chief Peter LaBarbera told WND the statements were transcribed from a tape of Jennings’ address before a “Looking to the Future” panel at GLSEN’s Mid-Atlantic conference Oct. 25, 1997, at Grace Church School in New York.
Jennings describes how “being finished” with his work might “some day mean that most straight people, when they would hear that someone was promoting homosexuality, would say, ‘Yeah, who cares?’”
“Close your eyes for a second and think, ‘What would the world look like if we were through with our work? If we were done. If we could close the doors on 27th street [GLSEN's New York City headquarters], and shut down the chapters, and disband the board. What would be happening?’” he questioned.
“This is the only thing that can stop us, is if we believe that our dreams cannot come true,” he continued.
Then he praised Hay.
“Everybody thought Harry Hay was crazy in 1948, and they knew something about him which he apparently did not – they were right, he was crazy. You are all crazy. We are all crazy. All of us who are thinking this way are crazy, because you know what? Sane people keep the world the same [blank] old way it is now. It’s the people who think, ‘No, I can envision a day when straight people say, ‘So what if you’re promoting homosexuality?” Or straight kids say, ‘Hey, why don’t you and your boyfriend come over before you go to the prom and try on your tuxes on at my house?’”
He suggested conference participants “think how much can change in one lifetime if in Harry Hay’s one very short life, he saw change from not even one person willing to join him to a million people willing to travel to Washington to join him.”
A spokeswoman in Jennings’ division at the U.S. Department of Education declined to respond to WND’s request for comment today. A spokesman at the federal agency’s office of public information said he would have to check before responding. No subsequent call or e-mail was received.
Besides Hay’s endorsement of a “relationship” between teens and adult homosexuals, in 1994 he gave another NAMBLA address that cited the “growth and change” in the previous years.
“By far, gays’ and lesbians’ greatest strides were in the dimensions of gay consciousness and in our breathtaking discoveries in the richness and diversity of gay spirit. It is in the realm of gay spirit where all the groups comprising the gay and lesbian community currently are being challenged to take great leaps, to expand their self-visions and potential horizons,” he said. “In this period, my beloved Radical Faeries moved to perceive that our lovely and beautiful sexuality is the gateway to spirit. Perhaps NAMBLA might consider expanding its parameters also.”
According to the archives of Concerned Women for America, when Hay died in 2002, no mainstream media outlets reported his advocacy for the pedophile activities of NAMBLA.
Hay also urged that NAMBLA, which advocates for the elimination of any “age of consent” restrictions, be considered mainstream in America.
“NAMBLA’s record as a responsible gay organization is well known. NAMBLA was spawned by the gay community and has been in every major gay and lesbian march. … NAMBLA’s call for the abolition of age of consent is not the issue. NAMBLA is a bona fide participant in the gay and lesbian movement. NAMBLA deserves strong support in its rights of free speech and association and its members’ protection from discrimination and bashing,” he said.
According to the Americans for Truth website, the incident involving the 15-year-old was just one among a series of egregious behaviors by Jennings.
Another was the “fistgate” scandal in which his organization led discussions at a seminar where “young teens were guided on how to perform dangerous homosexual perversions, including ‘fisting,’” the website said.
Yet another was Jennings’ address in a New York City church on March 20, 2000.
He said: “Twenty percent of people are hard-core fair-minded [pro-homosexual] people. Twenty percent are hard-core [anti-homosexual] bigots. We need to ignore the hard-core bigots, get more of the hard-core fair-minded people to speak up, and we’ll pull that 60 percent [of people in the middle] over to our side. That’s really what I think our strategy has to be. We have to quit being afraid of the religious right. We also have to quit — I’m trying to find a way to say this. I’m trying not to say, ‘[F—] ‘em!’ which is what I want to say, because I don’t care what they think! [audience laughter] Drop dead!”
Jennings is among a number of Obama “czars” who have become controversial, including Van Jones, the ex–Green Jobs Czar who quit in the middle of the night after being found to have called Republicans an obscenity and being linked to the idea that the U.S. government was behind or at least allowed 9/11.
Harvard professor Cass Sunstein, confirmed by the Senate as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Budget and Management, was exposed for his belief that animals should be given legal rights like humans.
Technically, Jennings is not one of Obama’s “czars,” who are special advisers accountable to no one but the president. Jennings was named to a post in the Department of Education. However, his hiring did not require legislative oversight, such as the Senate vetting process required for other appointees.
WND previously reported on a speech Jennings gave in 1995 outlining his manipulation of words to obtain his aims.
Excerpts have been posted on the website of MassResistance, where chief Brian Camenker has worked to oppose the demands of homosexual activists.
In the speech, Jennings described how he was concerned about being described as promoting homosexuality, so he chose to campaign on the idea of “safety” instead.
“If the radical right can succeed in portraying us as preying on children, we will lose. Their language – ‘promoting homosexuality’ is one example – is laced with subtle and not-so-subtle innuendo that we are ‘after their kids,’” he told the conference.
He continued, “In Massachusetts the effective reframing of this issue was the key to the success of the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. We immediately seized upon the opponent’s calling card – safety – and explained how homophobia represents a threat to students’ safety by creating a climate where violence, name-calling, health problems, and suicide are common. Titling our report ‘Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth,’ we automatically threw our opponents onto the defensive and stole their best line of attack. This framing short-circuited their arguments and left them back-pedaling from day one.”