Amateur “GSA Site” Mistaken For the Real Thing
August 9th, 2007
Update: I’ve rescinded the LaBarbera Award for the so-called “Gay Straight Alliance”. Click here to see why.
When I instituted the LaBarbera Award, I anticipated that I’d end up giving it to an ostensibly pro-gay site. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. But if this amateurish web site for the Gay Straight Alliance is a pro-gay “resource,” then you can count me out:
WITHOUT GSA ACCESS, STUDENTS ARE FORCED TO SIMPLY KILL CLASSMATES WHO TAUNT & BULLY – SHOOTING, STABBING AND POISONING ARE THE COMMON FORMS OF RETRIBUTION. FAR TOO MANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS LIKE BULLYING CHILDREN TO THE POINT WHERE RETRIBUTION AGAINST CLASSMATES AND FACULTY IS ONLY OPTION TO REDRESS RELENTLESS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN MANY REGIONS. SPECIOUSLY-NAMED “PRO-FAMILY” LEADERS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS WHO MAKE MONEY STIGMATIZING HOMOSEXUALITY TO SILENCE GAY VICTIMS.
So let’s dispense with the obvious and the obligatory. This is bunk. While there is some evidence that high-profile school shooters experienced marginalization among their peers, it is the height of irresponsibility to conclude that anyone is “forced” to kill classmates. Let’s be clear: Retribution is NEVER the only option, nor is it EVER a reasonable one. Furthermore, equating “pro-family” leaders with child molesters irresponsibly trivializes the very real pain of those who experienced child sexual abuse, and it diminishes the horrible crimes of their abusers. So let’s just be clear about that.
Whoever is behind this web site is peddling hate, pure and simple. It is about as legitimate as Peter LaBarbera’s or Mission America’s.
Anti-gay web sites are just beginning to pass this “portal” around as if this were the work of a legitimate gay rights organization. This amateurish web site, which is kind of slick-ish in that outmoded “frames and popups are cool!” sort of way, carries just the kind of hyperbolic rhetoric that makes anti-gay activists’ day.
GrasstopsUSA’s Don Feder appears to have been the first to notice the site. Linda Harvey of Mission America sent Feder’s article out in an E-mail Alert. Exodus’s Mike Ensley then made the appropriate condemnation while noting the site is not an official site connected with GLSEN. He nevertheless sought to make a link anyway with his call to effectively hold GLSEN responsible for any offensive site that may appear on the whole World Wide Web. Exodus president Alan Chambers then picked up on Ensley’s post and described the site as representing “the GSA powers that be.” And so it spreads.
Even Warren Throckmorton has picked up on it, and the comments on his site are interesting. Commenters who generally take anti-gay stances were generally somewhat more prepared to accept the site at face value as a legitimate site. Gay commenters however were quick to see through it. (Update: Warren has added an update apologizing for leaving the impression that the web site is connected with GLSEN or the similarly named GSANetwork.)
I invite you to look the site over carefully and notice a few things:
- GayStraightAlliance.org is not associated with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the national organization which is dedicated to fostering GSA’s in the school. The only link GayStraightAlliance.org has to GLSEN is a single, solitary link buried in one of it’s popups. There are no reciprocal links from GLSEN, which is a large, national, well-known organization.
- GayStraightAlliance.org is not an organization. There doesn’t appear to be any “about” page describing who they are or what they do. There’s no mention of officers, chapters, offices, or contact info other than an anonymous email. There isn’t even a donation page.
- GayStraightAlliance.org is largely bereft of original content, which probably explains its description as a “portal” at the bottom of the center frame.
Ex-Gay Watch’s David Roberts did a little digging and found that it belongs to a company called Event Horizon Publications, but little else is know about them. But the fact is, anybody with a couple of bucks and web authoring software can throw up a decent looking web site and call themselves a “resource for student support groups.” It doesn’t mean they’re legitimate, but it does mean that they can be grist for the anti-gay mill.
But worse, it also means that they can give a deeply disturbed student the justification he needs to act out on his violent impulses. And for that, they deserve every condemnation that comes their way, no matter where it comes from.