Think of the children!! *clutches pearls*

So, I see (via the Dish) that the Washington Times still has it in for Kevin Jennings. Kevin Jennings, as you'll recall, is the openly gay "safe schools" czar appointed by President Obama. The Right has been making something of a target of him.
Mr. Jennings wrote the foreword to a 1998 book titled, "Queering Elementary Education." The book he endorsed was a collection of essays by different authors who supported teaching young children about homosexuality. Mr. Jennings' foreword explains why he thinks it is important to start educating children about homosexuality as early as activist-educators can get away with doing so. "Ask any elementary-school teachers you know and - if they're honest - they'll tell you they start hearing [anti-homosexual prejudice] as soon as kindergarten." And "As one third-grader put it plainly when asked by her teacher what 'gay' meant: 'I don't know. It's just a bad thing.' "


"Queering Elementary Education" argues consistently that children should be taught that same-sex-parent families are as normal and common as the traditional two-parent family or single-parent families. But it is one thing to argue certain behavior is acceptable; it is quite another to distort basic facts in an effort to change the worldview of children.
I've not read "Queering Elementary Education." (On a side note, and as I mentioned in a comment thread elsewhere, I am not in love with reclaiming "queer.") I don't know if it claims that same-sex couples are as common as traditional two-parent families. Somehow, I doubt it. However, it might well make the argument that children should be taught that same-gender parents are as normal as other families, and as worthy of our respect.

This notion makes social conservatives ill. What business is it of the schools to teach children about same-gender parents? Shouldn't it be up to parents what biases their children are allowed to hold? Shouldn't children be free to mock the different, so long as the difference is one the parents approve of mocking?

This argument has percolated its way into the fight for marriage equality here in Maine. (And isn't it a great time to make a donation?) If gays are allowed to marry, then schools will force children to learn about it! Bwahhhhhh, ha, ha, ha!! *thunderclap* (Cue opening bars of Bach's Toccata and Fugue.)

Trouble is, there is no law in Maine that would force schools to teach children anything about marriage. Turns out the attorney general of the state (who, full disclosure, favors marriage equality) went to the trouble to check:
The state's same-sex marriage law has no bearing on what can be taught in public schools, Attorney General Janet Mills said Thursday.


"I have scoured Maine laws relating to the education of its children for any references to marriage in the public school curricula," Mills wrote in her opinion. "I have found none."
Well, that's a huge load off my mind. However, as a radical proponent of the Gay Agenda, I actually side with Jennings in wanting to push the envelop.

As I mentioned earlier, the Better Half and I plan to send the Critter to school. And yes, I want the kids at his school to be told that they're not allowed to pick on him because he has two gay dads. I know that your typical social conservative ranks that as roughly on par with sacrificing a goat to Baal, right in the middle of a pot-luck supper, but us gay and lesbian folk just think it's a reasonable part of getting along in a civil society. If that somehow means we're "[teaching] that same-sex-parent families are as normal... as the traditional two-parent family or single-parent families," then I'm all in favor of it. Because we are.


  1. Dan, I'm with you on teaching children that gay people are first and foremost human beings. However, I'm reading some rather disturbing things about Mr. Jennings, such as how he describes Harry Hay as an inspiration, and that gets tied to Mr. Hay's association with NAMBLA. I understand neither was a member of NAMBLA. But. NAMBLA advocates for something that I do object to, and object quite strongly. This association troubles me, and I'd be grateful to hear your understanding of the situation. Could you address this in a future post?

  2. I can dispense with this without recourse to a future post.

    I don't know much about Harry Hay. I don't know why Kevin Jennings admires him. Hay had a lifetime of gay activism to admire, and so I will presume that it was for something other than his support for NAMBLA.

    Regarding NAMBLA, I think they have no place within the LGBT community, and they do harm to the cause for equality. Hay's support for them was, in a word, wrong. The organization itself exists for the promotion of an activity I find reprehensible.


  3. OK, I'm widja. You make sense. But. Why is it shocking that the Right might get itchy over Mr. Jennings being the "safe schools czar?" Really, couldn't the Obama Admin see this coming eighteen miles off?

    Here's a little gedankenexperiment; imagine that Mr. Bush appointed Mr. X to head up public school safety, and Mr. X had publicly praised an individual who was a proponent of Westboro Baptist Church (although not a member). Wouldn't you have more than a few questions about Mr. X and why he was involved with public schools? Wouldn't you agitate for a clear and unequivocal denunciation of WBC from Mr. X as the minimum necessary to hold his job on the public payroll? I suspect you would be quite harsh on Mr. X and the admin that appointed him.

  4. John, if I gave the Right wing more credit for their reasoned, civil response to things they find objectionable, then perhaps. Just perhaps I would understand their beef with Jennings. Ever so very maybe.

    But that is not, in fact, the way the Right reacts to anything Obama-related. They actually celebrated when an American city lost its bid for the Olympics, merely because Obama (in keeping with all heads of state in his position) had campaigned for it. So they get precisely zero credit for objecting in good faith.