Americans Are Tired of the Politics of Personal Destruction, Says TWO
Truth Wins Out criticized the on-going smear campaign that anti-gay organizations and politicians are orchestrating against Kevin Jennings, who is serving as the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
"We are witnessing a disgraceful political hit job filled with baseless allegations, ugly innuendo and outright homophobia," said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. "Kevin Jennings is a hero that has saved the lives of many students and is eminently qualified for his position. Thanks to his work, countless gay youth were able to concentrate on scholastic success instead of basic survival or even suicide."
The groundless attacks intensified after fifty-three House Republicans signed a letter to the Obama administration asking for the dismissal of Jennings. "As the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Mr. Jennings has played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America's schools -- an agenda that runs counter to the values that many parents desire to instill in their children," the lawmakers write.
"Jennings 'real agenda' was promoting tolerance and stopping children from essentially getting mugged in schools because of their real or perceived sexual orientation," said Besen. "These attempts to slime Jennings have nothing to do with his exemplary record or qualifications. Instead, extremists are trying to use Jennings as a proxy to further their culture war.
"When America elected Barack Obama," Besen continued, "they wanted to end the politics of personal destruction and transcend politics as usual. People are tired of the lies, distortions and roaring rhetoric and it is time that anti-gay activists retire such tactics."
The smears began when right wing media outlets irresponsibly reported that Jennings counseled a fifteen-year-old student who was allegedly having a relationship with a twenty-four year old man. They claimed he instructed the young man to use a condom, while he should have reported the illegal relationship to the authorities.
However, the truth is, the young man was actually 16, the legal age of consent, and no sexual relations actually occurred. The suggestion of condom use, if the young man had chosen to be sexually active, was appropriate, given the alternative was that he may have contracted HIV if he was ignorant on how to protect himself.
Media Matters tracked down the young man in question, Brewster, who said:
"In 1988, I had taken a bus home for the weekend, and on the return trip met someone who was also gay. The next day, I had a conversation with Mr. Jennings about it. I had no sexual contact with anybody at the time, though I was entirely legally free to do so. I was a sixteen year-old going through something most of us have experienced: adolescence.
"I find it regrettable that the people who have the compassion and integrity to protect our nation's students are themselves in need of protection from homophobic smear attacks. Were it not for Mr. Jennings' courage and concern for my well-being at that time in my life, I doubt I'd be the proud gay man that I am today."
"It is beyond ridiculous that Jennings is being criticized for giving advice on a legal relationship that never even occurred," said TWO's Wayne Besen. "These abusive attacks are immoral and despicable and show that the modern Republican Party must resort to below the belt politics to hold onto its dwindling support.
"It is surreal that the GOP is once again posing as the party of family values," continued Besen "One would think they were too busy walking the Appalachian Trail or applauding the 'family values' of Sens. David Vitter and John Ensign to even notice Jennings. Why is a party that is a billboard for bad behavior still preaching to America? Jennings is an outstanding educator and upstanding citizen. He should be left alone to do his job and educate America's children."
Fundamentalist Christians are the biggest liars in the country. There is no level to which they will not steep in order to accomplish their unholy goals. They don't hesitate to bear false witness against people if it serves their political purposes. Disgusting.
posted by Chris L., at
10/16/2009 7:04 PM
The interesting thing about JayJay's post is that, as the story gets repeated in the extreme right noise machine, it becomes less accurate and more sensationalized. It reminds me of the game where a bunch of people sit in a circle. The first one tells the second one something. Then, everyone tries to repeat it to the next person. By the time it gets all the way around, it's completely different.
TWO deserves a lot of credit for doing this. I hope other queer organizations follow this example.
posted by libhom, at
10/16/2009 9:35 PM
Thank you, TWO! I second what Chris said heartily. These people can lie like no other (and feel perfectly justified).
JayJay, what are you, the "heterosexual" doing on a gay board AGAIN? Can't you come up with anything better to do than parrot the lies the right wing drags out in one version or another against GLBTQ people? Isn't this a FRIDAY evening? WHY weren't you out at the movies or something with your WIFE (or GIRLFRIEND)? Loser.
posted by Merlyn, at
10/17/2009 3:46 AM
Didn't you read the post, JayJay. The young man was above the age of consent and he says nothing sexual happened. What's so hard to figure out. Oh, I know, since Kevin Jennings is gay, he just HAS to have got into the young man's knickers. Get your mind out of the gutter!
posted by Merlyn, at
10/17/2009 1:33 PM
JayJay,I don't care what you think of me. If you had read the article the young man involved said there was no sex or inappropriate touching. You can read, yes? Or is it that you just don't like the real-world version of the story? All you want to do is come here and stir shit. You come over here and challenge every damn political thing you can. If you are heterosexual, fine, you are...whatever.
As for me being left-wing, I am and proud of it. I guess, though, a heterosexual such as yourself has nothing better to do than to come to this site and add your unwelcome homophobic two cents. If you are so damned concerned about us, worry about Jack Price in New York who was beaten within an inch of his life by a couple of thugs.
You have no concern for LGBTQ people. If shit is being said by twits like Bill O'Reilly I never hear any input but to put down Wayne, never an ignorant homophobe like O'Reilly. You come over here to make trouble and all of us know it. So JayJay, I don't care what you think of Wayne, supportive GLBTQ and straight posters, or myself. Wouldn't your energy be put to better use at Free Republic. They'll all be more than willing to carry on with you about "teh gay."
Libhom, of course as the right spins this thing it is going to get more and more sensational. They don't want a gay in any post, especially not one where he can be an inspiration to gay youth. We're all supposed to repent and report to our nearest "ex-gay" ministry, like, yesterday.
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10/17/2009 11:29 PM
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11/10/2009 10:16 PM