The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) delivered a cease and desist order to the Family Research Council (FRC) on Monday over a so-called documentary the religious conservative group has been selling that GLSEN says contains bogus and defamatory allegations that could result in a lawsuit.
A statement from GLSEN reads:
The false statements in the FRC video can do real and lasting harm to our work. FRC has made those false and defamatory statements in an obvious effort to raise money, undermine GLSEN’s work and maintain the status quo: school systems where LGBT students face unacceptable levels of harassment and violence and where anti-LGBT bias is a weapon of choice for bullies. We must respond forcefully and aggressively to defend our ability to fulfill our mission, and to protect ourselves and our partners in this critical work – the countless people in school communities across the country who work with GLSEN and our chapters to ensure safe and affirming schools for all students, utilizing our resources, attending our trainings, advocating with us for urgently needed change to make a positive difference in schools.
An affront against GLSEN, such as the false and defamatory statements by FRC, is an affront against every educator who places a Safe Space Sticker outside their door to encourage a student who may face despair; every Gay-Straight Alliance member who takes part in the Day of Silence to raise awareness about anti-LGBT bullying; every person who intervenes when a student calls another an anti-LGBT name; and so many dedicated education professionals – teachers, administrators and other school staff – who do their best to bring positive change to our schools and our future every day.
The FRC implies in its documentary “The Problem With Same-Sex Marriage” that GLSEN has been distributing inappropriate material to kids in fifth through ninth grades.
Here’s a clip from the documentary the FRC posted on its YouTube page (that you will notice appears under the banner “What GLSEN Wants to Teach Your Children”):
Notice how Brian Camenker of MassResistance starts reeling off the fact that the “Little Black Book” got public money — and then quickly moved on. It’s probably because he realized first of all that the book doesn’t list GLSEN anywhere in those credits that he was showing to the camera. Red flag. Secondly, if the book is published by the group AIDS Action Committee and received public money could it in fact be that it was published to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and was not even aimed at school kids but rather 18-year-olds and over? That’s right, the book is in fact a frank resource for adult gay men that was unfortunately left behind at a venue also hosting a GLSEN event, something which the Fenway Community Health authority took responsibility for at the time. You can read more about that here.
What’s more, this isn’t even a fresh story. The incident occurred in 2005 and was brought up by the FRC almost two years ago and though summarily debunked the FRC is still pushing this line and alleging GLSEN is corrupting children through its “vile” reading list.
The FRC and MassResistance have both been designated hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their anti-LGBT rhetoric and defamatory attacks on equality proponents.