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Ex-gays and the Anoka-Hennepin School District

Doesn’t it sound like the world’s most awkward band name?

I found this article very interesting. I’ve written about Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District before, and probably will again. It’s nice to see the school district standing up to the Parents Action League, gives me hope that maybe there really will be a better future for the children in those schools.

The Parents Action League is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a title they wear with pride. That probably tells you just about everything you need to know about them, really.

Something the PAL was pushing for pretty hard in their list of demands was including “ex-gay” material in the school libraries and counseling offices, and generally providing access and credibility to ex-gay organizations. Frankly you start to wonder if someone has a money interest, there. Read the rest of this entry

One small battle won.

Here’s a Rolling Stone article from a month ago about the Anoka-Hennepin school district and its war on gay kids, which I have written about before. It’s painful to read, it tells the stories of a handful of victims of that school district in a very personal way. I won’t blame you if you can’t read it in detail. There will not be a test.

I bring this up because there’s been a tiny victory. A lawsuit settled out of court, some concessions to new policies, a cash payment. You can read the details of the settlement here. One member of the school board, Kathy Tingelstad, resigned. She said the settlement was going to cost too much.

Cost too much. Read the rest of this entry

LGBT advocacy groups to blame for bullying & suicides

Sounds like a headline from the Onion, doesn’t it? Yeah, sorry, except for maybe a little gallows humor, there’s nothing funny here. It’s a paraphrase of Barb Anderson, spokes-person for the Parents Action League, which is apparently a group of conservative Christians who want to use the law to force public school students to be just like them.

Here’s the story. The short of it is that Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, an area with many recent teen suicides, is being presented with a list of demands by this PAL group. The demands are presented in this ridiculous “whereas, whereas, whereas, therefore be it resolved” format, something I’ve only ever seen in bullshit resolutions that generally seem to do nothing but waste time. (Are there any legitimate uses of that? In this century, I mean?) Anyways, the demands seem to boil down to putting Jesus in schools, adding “ex-gay”… I’m not going to call it “therapy”, let’s go with “harmful Pavlovian conditioning” to the schools’ staff training, and outright lying about various health issues, in particular AIDS, calling it “gay-related immune deficiencies” a name that hasn’t been used since the early 80s when the only known patients were a handful of gay men.

It’s difficult for me to write about this, because it makes me so angry it’s hard to think straight. “Hypocrisy” is too mild a word for this, this is like punching someone repeatedly in the face until a cop stops you, then telling the cop to arrest them for battery because your knuckles are bruised, and when your victim complains that their nose is broken and their face swollen you insist that those injuries are the cop’s fault. Except there aren’t any actual cops in this story, and the general behavior of the PAL is less overtly violent but far more asinine and dishonest. Read the rest of this entry

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