Religious right owes Kevin Jennings an apology
crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
You are so pathetic Alvin. Hanging on a technicality. You are as corrupt as the perverted movement you serve. Spare me the preaching.
After all of the time and energy he devoted to demonizing Obama appointee Kevin Jennings, Peter LaBarbera doesn't even have the decency to apologize for his inaccurate assumption that Jennings counseled an underage child to have sex with an adult.
I won't even publish what else he said about Jennings because I know some folks would really get angry. Needless to say, however, the unposted material proves the safety of children was the last thing on LaBarbera's mind when he attacked Jennings.
Meanwhile, he has focused attention on another member of GLSEN in a pathetic attempt to salvage some degree of credibility.
And LaBarbera is not alone in his duplicity.
Via Goodasyou comes the news that the Family Research Council issued a statement unbelievable in its audacity and willingness to distort the situation.
For people like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of Fox News, this is just old hat; attacks on Jennings was politics as usual. Politics has been called the eternal sea where controversies rise and ebb on a daily basis and they were just merely “going with the flow.”
However for people like LaBarbera, Tony Perkins, and the organizations they represent whose entire credibility lies with the fact that they are fighting for Godly principles, this moment has to be an embarrassment.
And in a perfect world, those who would defend people like Perkins and LaBarbera would question whether or not they deserve these defenses.
I'm not talking about the rabid supporters; the ones who think that lgbts lurk about in every corner looking to corrupt.
I'm talking about the supporters who are really comfortable of the methodology of the religious right but agree with the notion of so-called traditional values and morality.
Since when is it moral or traditional to drag a man's reputation through the mud, to look through past writings and speeches to find something that can be manipulated and sleazed up in order to brand someone?
And since when is it moral or traditional to not own up when you have been proven wrong?
Phony traditional values groups and figures have been lying about lgbts for so long that I doubt this will be the incident which finally shows them for the morally empty entities that they are.
But it's nice to dream.
UDPATE – Media Matters gives the final word on the matter:
In addition, Media Matters interviewed the young man who Jennings counseled, Brewster. Brewster, who is now in his mid-30s, said the following:
Since I was of legal consent at the time, the fifteen-minute conversation I had with Mr. Jennings twenty-one years ago is of nobody's concern but his and mine. However, since the Republican noise machine is so concerned about my “well-being” and that of America's students, they'll be relieved to know that I was not “inducted” into homosexuality, assaulted, raped, or sold into sexual slavery.
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.
UPDATE 2 – Peter LaBarbera is re-publishing a post on his webpage by the Illinois Family Institute slamming Jennings.
The post was from September 30 and it includes the inaccuracy that the young man Jennings counseled was 15.
LaBarbera is presently running the piece unchanged even though it has been confirmed that the young man was 16 and thus of legal age in Massachusetts; a fact that he is aware of based upon his email to me.
The lgbt community needs to remember and remind people of how the right tried to destroy Kevin Jennings every chance we get.