At least two antifamily, pro-harassment organizations — Mission: America and the American “Family” Association — continued to lobby antigay parents today to shield their teen-agers from anti-bullying messages by keeping them home from school on April 25, which has been designated an annual Day of Silence by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.
The Day of Silence commemorates GLBT youths who were victims of school violence and murder, by reminding classmates that violence and harassment silence GLBT youths and their families.
The boycott against freedom of speech and nonviolence in schools is co-sponsored by the ex-gay Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, Americans for Truth, Concerned Women for America, Exodus Mandate, Illinois Family Institute, Indiana Voice for the Family, Liberty Counsel, Mass Resistance, Mission: America, Parents’ Rights Coalition, the ex-gay Stephen Bennett Ministries, and Exodus conference speaker Ken Hutcherson’s pro-violence group Watchmen on the Walls.
In inland California, anti-tolerance organizations hope the boycott will prove financially costly to public schools and taxpayers, as school funding is said to be determined in part by attendance. A pro-discrimination group, Capitol Research Institute, has organized a counter-event euphemistically called a “Day of Learning” for antigay parents and students that participate in the pro-harassment boycott. What exactly will participants “learn”? According to The Press-Enterprise, they will learn how to gather signatures “to repeal a state law that prevents discrimination in schools based on sexual orientation.” Meanwhile, the antigay Alliance Defense Fund has declared April 28 to be an annual day when antigay students verbally harangue gay classmates with defamatory, egotistical, and hypocritical religious messages.
GLSEN has released the following ad featuring Lance Bass to counter pro-harassment, pro-silence propaganda that is being fed to students by antigay political organizations:
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Meanwhile, pro-exgay pundit Warren Throckmorton continues his campaign against the anti-bullying day. Throckmorton’s proposal creates an artificial division between the Golden Rule and explicit opposition to antigay violence and harassment. Throckmorton may view his own campaign to supply students with misinformation as a lesser evil than that of the boycotters. But, in pandering to the worst elements of the pseudo-Christian religious right, Throckmorton trivializes both Christian values and the growing problem of antigay violence and harassment in schools.