The mainstream media is sure to spend time this next week on the subject of homosexuality and youth, precipitated by the observance in hundreds of high schools of the so-called “Day of Silence” on Wednesday, April 26. This is the day that students who are “GLBT” – that’s “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered” – pledge to remain silent all day to draw attention to what they believe is discrimination.
On Thursday, April 27, some schools will be blessed with a Christian response, the “Day of Truth,” started several years ago by the Alliance Defense Fund. “Day of Truth” participants will explain the reality of homosexuality along with the light of Christ’s truth and the hope therein.
The “Day of Silence” in most schools is organized by the homosexual club or “gay-straight alliance” as it is often called. Both GSAs and the Day of Silence are projects of a group called GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. But GSAs are too often disruptive activism – training groups that prop up the homosexual identities of vulnerable kids by fomenting bias against traditional morality, while concealing the grave risks of homosexuality.
Yet many times when a school tries to prevent a “GSA” from starting on campus, the American Civil Liberties Union or a similar legal group steps in. They will claim that students who prefer homosexuality have the right to this “viewpoint.” Misapplying the federal “Equal Access Act,” they will maintain that if other non-curricular clubs exist, then this type of club should exist, too. This, of course, ignores the prerogative of all schools to ban any activities that are per se harmful to kids and homosexuality is exactly that. But through framing it as a “viewpoint” and not a behavior, the ACLU manages to suppress the health risks – or get the school officials to do so. And in most cases, the schools and their boards will concede and cave.
After all, the ACLU usually contends, these clubs don’t discuss or encourage “sex,” but only talk about prejudice and “homophobia.” Officials who might be tempted to eliminate them based on keeping students safe from HIV and the other fruits of high-risk homosexual behaviors are in a bind, because it’s hard to prove these clubs do encourage homosexual activity.
But there’s one connection surfacing that schools and communities should watch: the strong link between the school “GSAs” and community-based “GLBT” youth groups. With little accountability except to the adult “gay” community, there’s no doubt that these offsite youth groups do offer students opportunities to learn about graphic sex and socialize with peers and adults who are active participants in the homosexual lifestyle. And the target age starts as early as middle school.
At most of these off-campus clubs, your sixth grader would be welcomed by adult homosexual volunteers and staff, and allowed to socialize with high school and college age “queer” or gender variant youth, without your permission or knowledge. All he or she has to do is show up, and many are located conveniently on bus lines to accommodate kids under driving age.
“No parents” plus homosexual approval is the reason these centers call themselves “safe” places. There is a homosexual youth center now in virtually every medium or large city in the United States. Many are funded by private foundations or connected to a local adult center for “GLBT” people. Some are even funded by United Way. And the kids who attend are given graphic “safe-sex” lectures, the option of free HIV testing without parental permission, group “counseling” and other serious, adult-level situations that few schools would allow on site.
Some of these groups target youth by an upper and lower age limit, like 13 to 24. Others have an even lower age limit of 11 or 12. Some simply say they are for youth “age 22 and under.” How far under? And who checks? Thirteen-year-olds don’t have driver’s licenses or usually any form of legal ID.
The activities at these centers range from help with homework, to games, playing pool, cookouts, parties, proms and lots of “hanging out.” More training in “gay” activism may be a focus, infusing impressionable youth with hardcore attitudes. The kids also get recruited for local demonstrations, and are often encouraged to attend the citywide “gay” pride parade, as well as accompanying adult social events.
Some of the repeat visitors are likely neglected kids with not much to go home to. However, homosexuality is not the answer for what may be amiss in their lives. And kids at these centers will be exposed to frequent misleading “safer sex” messages and encouragement to use condoms, rather than a realistic and compassionate recommendation to employ the one sure method: abstinence.
Staff and adult volunteers sometimes teach workshops with dangerous enticements. BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, features ongoing courses called “Queer College.” One of these courses is called “HIV.” Conducted by a male staff member and “peer leaders,” the course content is described on the BAGLY website as follows:
SEX! Yeah, we know you’re doing it. But how safe are you? We could all use info on sexy new ways to use condoms and barriers. We’ll have open, honest, judgment-free conversations about sex toys, oral sex, bare-backing, mixing sex and drugs, how to keep it safe and advocate for yourself during group sex, anonymous sex, and sex on the go! We’ll have something for everyone.
This course was held early in April at the BAGLY meeting site, which is St. John the Evangelist Church in Boston.
Most of these youth centers extend open arms to area GSAs. The non-school locale provides a venue for activities that might not be allowed at school. Frequently, all area GSA members will be invited to youth center events, where no parents, no school boards, no teachers are there to supervise what might take place.
The Cleveland, Ohio, “GLBT” Center youth program hosts numerous area GSA meetings and conducts “activism training” for high-school GSA’s. At Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, Ohio, a “GSA Summit” was held on April 1. A news release announced it was open to all “LGBTQ youth and their allies, age 20 and under.” (LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning.) The summit was to “provide assistance to all youth who are working as advocates in their schools, whether they have a formal GSA or not.” According to Lindsay, a volunteer I spoke with at the center, the summit had participation by 13 Columbus-area high-school GSAs.
The GSA Network in California is a network of several hundred GSAs and has ongoing interaction with groups such as the San Francisco Bay area LYRIC, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center. A LYRIC event for girls was publicized in 2003 by the GSA Network to encourage attendance by school “gay” club members. The event, “Make Your Own Sex Toy Night,” encouraged girls to “Let your imagination go wild and create a sex toy you can be proud of!”
Some of the youth centers in more liberal areas of the country have been around a long time. BAGLY was established in 1980, and for years has sponsored the annual Boston Youth “Gay” Pride parade. Many area GSA’s marching proudly in the parade have been captured on film by numerous observers.
The Columbus, Ohio, youth center, Kaleidoscope, advertises that it is a center for kids from ages 12 to 20. It’s in a rundown storefront across the street from a new shopping center. It’s also a few steps from a bus stop, and two blocks from the campus of Ohio State University, which makes it convenient for college-age “gay” youth. The center offers support groups with peer-mentoring and no parental knowledge or permission is needed.
On March 15, representatives from the Ohio AIDS Coalition, the Columbus AIDS Task Force and Planned Parenthood spoke on STDs and HIV and “positive decision-making,” to the Kaleidoscope youth in a program called K.I.S.S., Keep It Smart and Safe. Local AIDS groups have ongoing relationships with these youth centers which brings up potentially compromising dilemmas regarding interaction with minors.
For instance, on April 25, the second annual “Hope’s Voice” tour is planning a stop at Kaleidoscope in Columbus on its cross-country tour. “Hope’s Voice” features HIV-positive young adults who give speeches in what is termed “peer-to-peer education,” even though few adults would see a 12- or 14-year-old as the “peer” of a 22-year-old.
The stop is co-sponsored by the Ohio AIDS Coalition and the program includes free confidential HIV testing for youth, using oral swabs which provide a response in around 20 minutes with over 90 percent accuracy.
The misleading, risky messages are subtle, but powerful. The young adults involved in Hope’s Voice are articulate and healthy-looking. Some talk openly about being homosexual. How would a naive teen digest the Hope’s Voice message? The adolescent takeaway may well be, “These cool older kids look all right and seem OK, so HIV isn’t all that big a deal, as long as I use a condom.” Few high schools are sponsoring stops by Hope’s Voice, but the GSA members are sure to be invited to the presentation and free testing at the local “gay” youth center.
The Cleveland, Ohio, “GLBT ” Center program offers ongoing “safe schools” and HIV-prevention education for youth including the GSA members who frequent its gatherings. On the center website, a quote is featured from a “gay” youth:
Most information about HIV isn’t written for us. We’re afraid to talk to our family doctor – he may tell our parents. So where can you go for help if you’re young and gay?
– 16-year-old “gay” male
The Cleveland center website also states, regarding Ohio law:
A minor can consent to – or refuse – an HIV test for AIDS without parental permission.
Well, this may be the law, but it needs to be changed. Is it better to offer anonymous testing for minors – or to encourage better child-parent relationships? Which do we think has the longer-range potential of helping more kids, more of the time? The HIV rates aren’t going down and kids are clearly being encouraged, even seduced into having high-risk sex. Something is clearly not working.
What in the world are we doing exposing kids to opportunities to get involved in practices that are spreading an epidemic disease? How can we let kids make such huge health-care decisions, interact with health professionals, receive “counseling” and figure out what all this means, without the guidance of a parent or guardian?
For instance, what if a young teen does get involved in a homosexual relationship, then is tested for HIV, and the test is positive? And his parents have no idea of any of this, but this young person has to evaluate all this, cope with what he will probably think is a death sentence, and have entered this world of corruption in secret, because of incessant, inaccurate propaganda convincing him he was born “gay”?
Even though this consent by minors is becoming very common and is even upheld by law, there’s no excuse for putting kids in this position. It’s certainly feeding the problem of sexually transmitted diseases and sexual activity among America’s youth. Parents are, by and large, not a problem for kids, but the primary people in the world who care most about a kid’s welfare, and the ones who can talk him/her out of foolish impulses. Don’t we have public service ads now that urge parents to talk with teens about sex, about drugs? Don’t we know that this works? But these clubs, and the assumptions they make about all parents, undermine the child’s first, best hope. We are offering kids a way to act on misinformation, and opportunities to be exploited, by excluding parental knowledge. This is a recipe for an insane, unstable and disease-ridden culture.
Wait – we’ve already got that, don’t we?
And we haven’t even addressed one more big question: the potential for molestation.
What happens if one of these HIV testing sessions uncovers a 12-, 13- or 14-year-old who is having a relationship with a 25- or 30-year-old? Why isn’t there required reporting of such relationships? If we are going to empower taxpayer-funded groups to act as health professionals, we have to require that they not corrupt, or aid and abet corruption of children – period. The reality is that adult-teen liaisons are not uncommon in the “gay” community, so some oversight and legal parameters are needed.
We have once thrown kids to the beasts of tolerance and acceptance. Well, few of us want to tolerate and accept increased homosexual activity, as well as limited and shortened lives of our precious children – all because of a 100 percent preventable problem.
Linda Harvey is president of Mission America, a pro-family organization which monitors homosexual activism, the occult and New Age influences on American youth.