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Guilty by Association by Association

Timothy Kincaid

October 12th, 2009

harry hayFor weeks those who oppose any appointments of gay people (or, perhaps, any appointments of anyone by President Obama) have been obsessing on Kevin Jennings. Jennings is a particularly appealing target because, as founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), any attack on him is also an attack on the credibility of the organization that most strongly serves as advocate and ally for gay youth.

First they focused on the story of “Brewster“, an allegorical tale that Jennings used to explain his motivation for becoming a youth advocate. Anti-gay activists were “outraged” that Jennings did not adequately respond to the tale of an underage kid having sex with adult men.

And then “Brewster” himself reported that he was not underage (he was 16, of legal age in Massachusetts) and he was not having sex with adult men. Some chose to believe that this was “highly suspect” and not really the youth in question, but it did take the wind out of their sails.

So now they’ve changed tactics. Now they question Jennings’ qualifications to serve as a safe youth advocate because he admires an early gay activist who – in addition to his contributions – had some unsavory views. The argument goes like this:

  • Jennings has expressed admiration for Harry Hay, who in 1950 co-founded the Mattachine Society, an extremely influential early gay rights organization.
  • Three decades later, Harry Hay defended and supported the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) when the rest of the community repudiated this group and refused to allow them participation in community events.
  • Therefore, Jennings is tarred by association with NAMBLA and should be disqualified from his position.

And while such reaching arguments are expected from extremists and haters, even the usually-reasonable Dr. Warren Throckmorton is “asking questions”.

Should gay leaders speak out about this now, especially during gay history month? When conservatives refer to someone like Paul Cameron or Scott Lively, they are criticized (and rightly so, to my way of thinking). Should those who laud Hay be questioned about their support for someone who walked with NAMBLA?

I don’t defend Harry Hay. He was a kook and his dedication to anti-establishment activism and non-conformity above all sometimes led to very poor choices (like his defense of NAMBLA) and ultimately enmity with the newly arising community activists. By his death he was an anachronism and an embarrassment.

But I respect and appreciate the work that Hay did on behalf of me and my community when there were very few willing. While he devolved into a bit of a joke, I think it would be appalling, callous, and astonishingly crass to dismiss his contributions and paint the man as nothing but a curmudgeous old fool tied to pedophiles, as anti-gay activists would selfishly have us do.

Throckmorton also notes that Jennings edited a book which praised Hay as an early activist, but left out reference to his support for NAMBLA.

Jennings has spoken positively about Hay and wrote about him in a book titled Becoming Visible, which is a gay history book for teens and college aged adults. In this book, Jennings referenced a biography of Hay (The Trouble with Harry Hay, by Stuart Timmons) which mentioned Hay’s support of NAMBLA but Jennings did not disclose this to his readers.

But the book in question which Jennings edited was not about The Life of Harry Hay. Indeed, the chapter which is so “objectionable” was titled Harry Hay and the Beginnings of the Homophile Movement. In it is some 19 or so pages about the origins and activities of the Mattachine Society from about 1950 to 1953 and how this group was instrumental in organizing gay men in their own defense.

There was one paragraph on Hay’s life after 1953 and the book did not, in that one paragraph, disclose Hay’s defense of NAMBLA. Nor, in his intro to the chapter, did Jennings. The much larger and more extensive book from which the material was selected, Stuart Timmins’ The Trouble with Harry Hay does discuss the NAMBLA controversy which occurred in the late 1980’s – the story takes up one page.

I think it is reasonable to assume that most books for teens which contain limited excerpts of larger biographies do not dwell extensively on the character flaws of those whose accomplishments they seek to extol. Nor does NAMBLA appear to be a large part of Hay’s life – or certainly not to the extent where it would be biographically relevant in a short article. Hay was very involved in other organizations – some rather peculiar ones – and those involvements were briefly mentioned in the book.

But let us not suppose that Jennings’ critics are applying a standard that is consistent, logical, or meaningful. While I suspect that Throckmorton’s involvement with this story relates more to his long-running resentment over anti-bullying program wars, the chorus he joins is motivated by a deep dislike of anyone or anything gay – especially those gay persons or groups that seek to shelter, protect, and support gay kids.

They know that Kevin Jennings does not support NAMBLA. Since Harry Hay passed on, virtually no one in the gay community does. But that doesn’t matter – truth is irrelevant to those who seek the destruction of gay men and women.

Take for example, Throckmorton’s chief example of critic, Scott Baker, who in a video claims:

It is important to note that this is not a small episode in the book. It is, in fact, the dramatic conclusion to the book.

It is not either the dramatic conclusion nor a large episode. It’s one page. Out of 300.

So why does Baker claim it is central to Timmons book? Because it is all that Baker cares about in Hay’s life. He finds the previous 295 pages to be irrelevant and inconsequential; he only cares about what can be used to discredit Hay and Jennings.

And Baker knows – as all anti-gays know – that NAMBLA is despised and feared by parents – or really anyone, gay or straight – and their very existence is a thorn in the side of the gay community. So if they can get the name “Kevin Jennings” and the name “NAMBLA” on the same page, it doesn’t matter how weak the link.

Make no mistake. This is a smear tactic conducted by those who are dedicated to anti-gay activism. The “concern” has nothing to do with safe schools or children. This is an effort – now that the first smear campaign has backfired – to find something, anything, to use as an attack on Kevin Jennings.

And if they can’t actually tie Kevin Jennings to NAMBLA, then they are perfectly content in implying guilt by association by association.

Comments

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Thomas Kraemer
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

The FOX News Christian-Republicans have always ferociously defended their own First Amendment right to free speech, but they are ironically condemning Harry Hay for defending freedom of speech.

Harry Hay was a big believer in freedom of speech, especially because he was as a former Communist Party member who had been accused by Sen. Joe McCarthy of being un-American.

Harry Hay courageously defended the First Amendment freedom-of-speech rights of NAMBLA members to advocate for lowering the legal age of consent to sex. Harry Hay never defended breaking any age-of-consent laws, although he confessed to having had an affair with an older man when he was a teenager.

The moral panics over pedophilia and homosexuality have obscured the important political discussion surrounding age-of-consent laws, which are vastly different from state to state. For example, when sodomy was legalized in Oregon, the age-of-consent was simultaneously raised to age 18 as a political compromise to “protect children from homosexual men.” Other state laws have set a much lower age-of-consent for heterosexuals than for homosexuals.

The definitive biography by Stuart Timmons, “The trouble with Harry Hay: founder of the modern gay movement,” Alyson, 1990 on p. 296 explains Harry Hay’s principled position.

For a scholarly analysis of pedophilia vs. ephebophilia, see the 1991 academic book edited by Theo Sandfort, Edward Brongersma, A. X. van Naerssen, “Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical, Socio-Psychological, and Legal Perspectives,” Haworth Press, 1991

My previous blog post Vern Bullough, NAMBLA, and Paidike (8/15/07) discusses how the distinguished heterosexual researcher Vern Bullough also defended NAMBLA. In another post I discuss how NAMBLA killed Gay Liberation (2/14/09) because mainstream gay rights groups moved from advocating for sexual freedom to things such as gay marriage and adoption in response to rightwing attacks.

Penguinsaur
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

I see people praise George Washington all the time, a man who owned over a hundred slaves. Lincoln is practically a saint and yet he saw nothing wrong with women being denied the vote. Its almost like its perfectly normal to praise the good things someone did even if they were a complete douche in every other way. Its almost like the only time anyone would ever resort to something as pathetic as saying someone is a racist for admiring Washington or a sexist for defending Lincoln is if they had absolutely nothing else to back up their argument.

David Blakeslee
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Let’s see, poor gullible Warren. He is only useful when he is focusing his intellect on your opponents.

All leaders have feet of clay, there is no “agenda” in seeing who the hero’s are of any movement, and what their limitations were: from Martin Luther, to Martin Luther King Jr., to Kevin Jennings and Harry Hay.

Recommending an energetic bright man like Jennings for a position of power close to the president is reasonable…and it is reasonable to scrutinize him.

If Brewster was hypothetical, and yet real, was Jennings denial that he was aware of Brewster’s sexual activity hypothetical, until he stated later (and quite recently) that he should have handled the situation differently and recommended more training for teachers?

If Harry Hay, at age 14, felt that his sexual behavior with an adult was consensual, did that also affect his attitudes toward NAMBLA?

Did that effect Jennings attitudes when he had his hypothetical conversation with hypothetical “Brewster?” Is the adolescent mind capable of being coached beyond “use a condom?” If Jennings believed that adolescent sex with adults is normal and that the primary risks are in terms of STD’s such simple advice makes sense. But if he is to be Obama’s advisor, a much more accurate and sophisticated understanding about human development should guide his advice giving.

Your right, Hay was wrong about a lot of things…let’s make sure that only what he got right becomes public policy in the hands of Jennings.

David Roberts
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Well said, Timothy. I support your stand here fully.

David
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Throckmorton has simply proven that he has not changed in the slightest. Warren hadn’t evolved toward being reasonable about homosexuality, he’d simply started to pick his battles – avoiding those where science and hard data refuting his bias.

He was not trustworthy before, he has shown that he is not trustworthy now; Throckmorton is still a self-appointed enemy of GLBTQ people.

David Roberts
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Let’s see, poor gullible Warren. He is only useful when he is focusing his intellect on your opponents.

I don’t think that was really called for, David B.  I disagree with Warren’s thinking on this, but not for such a shallow reason as that.  I didn’t detect such an attitude in what Timothy said, either. 

Lynn David
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

One can fairly well compare Harry Hay with the equality movement for gays with John Brown and the equality movement for black slaves in America. And Hay didn’t kill anyone like John Brown. And yet they sing a patriotic, almost ‘godly’ song extolling Brown’s actions.

Christopher Waldrop
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Dr. Throckmorton was once an advocate of changing one’s sexual orientation. He’s moved away from that position now, but I don’t believe the fact that he once associated with people with questionable credentials and even more questionable ideas regarding the “treatment” of homosexuality should necessarily be held against him. I realize it is a little different in that Hay defended NAMBLA close to the end of his life, but the comparisons to John Brown, Washington, and Lincoln all seem apt. In fact I think you could look at the life of almost any prominent individual and find they’d made some really bad decisions or associated with people they shouldn’t have.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Correct me if I am wrong…about the following comment:

The Mattachine Society was energize by is radicalized beginnings…and made great strides because of that energy and outlook and willingness to take risks.

It was weakened, internally, by its own wish to be less confrontational (1953) and to seek assimilation.

If radicalism creates the energy for constructive change…and Harry Hay proved it…then it is reasonable to bring all of Harry Hay’s ideas to the front…especially as some of them may be passively accepted by Jennings (adolescent sex with adults as consensual).

Emily K
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

<blockquote…especially as some of them may be passively accepted by Jennings (adolescent sex with adults as consensual).

Prove he does. He has an entire body of work behind him. Prove he “passively accepts” this. I suggest you start by looking at GLSEN’s official positions.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Adult sex with consensual adolescents seems endorsed here, Emily.

Jennings lack of overt action in this incident…a story he repeatedly told as an indication of the necessity for action on behalf of the GLBT community…suggests passivity in regards to adult, adolescent consensual sex.

Why would he tell this story over and over and never refer to the emotional, intellectual and financial advantage that adults have in these relationships?

It is not neglectful oversight…it is indicative of a passively held opinion.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Harry Hay, at age 14, believed his sex with an adult was consensual.

Research suggests that as such minors age, in later life they see things differently, viewing such relationships as exploitative by the adult.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

I think you are inaccurately viewing Harry Hay:

“While he devolved into a bit of a joke, I think it would be appalling, callous, and astonishingly crass to dismiss his contributions and paint the man as nothing but a curmudgeous old fool tied to pedophiles, as anti-gay activists would selfishly have us do.”

I think it is more likely that Harry Hay did not “devolve” but that he always was an ardent supporter of freedom of expression…and enjoyed tweaking the noses of anyone who would seek to restrict the conversation.

That is the more likely view…and you attempting to marginalize him by creating an artificial “devolution” is a distortion of the record.

mark barnes
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

I resent you calling Harry a kook. No I was not a Radical Faerie. Yes I was a member of the Gay Liberation Front in Berkeley in 1970. You probably consider that a kook group also.

Mark Barnes
San Francisco

Timothy Kincaid
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Dr. Blakeslee,

I think you’ll find the rules of discourse here are quite different from those to which you have become accustomed. For example, we do not allow false claims and baseless accusations. (And don’t even consider falsely putting words in my mouth and claiming that I said them – like you have done at Warren’s site – that will get you banned.)

…then it is reasonable to bring all of Harry Hay’s ideas to the front…especially as some of them may be passively accepted by Jennings (adolescent sex with adults as consensual).

Please provide evidence – other than your own imagination – to support your assertion that Jennings passively accepts adolescent sex with adults. This is an egregious claim, one that this site does not allow to be stated without evidence.

To pretend that his Brewster story, now clearly allegorical in nature, is evidence of passive acceptance of adult-adolescent sex is both false and foolish. You are making bold claims, they need clear support.

This site does not operate by means of smears, innuendo, and insinuation. You will need other tactics here.

Adult sex with consensual adolescents seems endorsed here, Emily.

Please provide evidence for this claim. If unsupported, it is a flat out lie, evil in its intent and evil in its presentation.

That is the more likely view…and you attempting to marginalize him by creating an artificial “devolution” is a distortion of the record.

You are mistaken in your assumptions about the gay community and my attempts.

In the early 1950’s Harry Hay was influential within the burgeoning gay community. By the end of his life he was shunned and shuffled out of sight. He had devolved into an embarrassment.

I pity your need to try and paint Jennings, and the community at large, with the Harry Hay brush. No doubt this wins you points in the echo chamber, but our readers are more informed and more aware of the positions and beliefs of our community and cannot fall prey to your false images. We know that Harry Hay does not represent the ideals of our community.

And yet, I continue to think it would be appalling, callous, and astonishingly crass to dismiss his contributions and paint the man as nothing but a curmudgeous old fool tied to pedophiles, as you would selfishly have us do.

Burr
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

With that type of argument anyone who enjoys Michael Jackson’s music is a passive supporter of pedophilia.

This is total weaksauce.

Timothy Kincaid
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Burr,

Actually it is further away than that. Hay was not a pedophile. A better description would be:

With that type of argument anyone who enjoys the music of an artist who defended Michael Jackson is a passive supporter of pedophilia.

It is beyond ridiculous.

But such arguments aren’t based in logic. Blakeslee does not oppose Jennings because of Harry Hay – he opposed Jennings LONG before Blakeslee had ever even heard the name Harry Hay.

Hay is just the excuse to attack Jennings.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

Good to hear from you again. Your gift with emotionally charged language in full form.

“To pretend that his Brewster story, now clearly allegorical in nature, is evidence of passive acceptance of adult-adolescent sex is both false and foolish.”

Brewster exists, or is an allegory? Jennings did not know his allegorical figure was having sex? Brewster writes in after the fact and says he wasn’t having sex? Jennings warns him to use a condom?

C’mon Timothy, you cannot put this story together in any way that makes sense.

Michael Jackson will not be making public policy anytime soon…or in the past. What a foolish analogy…no matter how it is improved by Timothy.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

“Blakeslee does not oppose Jennings because of Harry Hay – he opposed Jennings LONG before Blakeslee had ever even heard the name Harry Hay.”

You speak falsely here too.

Hay has been around a much longer time, he is a potent historical figure and was well known by me before Jennings came along.

Jennings, I only discovered recently, admired his pioneering work in gay rights.

David Roberts
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Hay is just the excuse to attack Jennings.

Bingo.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ David Roberts,

Repeating a conclusion based upon a false assumption distracts from the facts.

Emily K
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Jennings has been running a youth-focused LGBT education organization and the only “proof” Blakeslee can find that Jennings supports adolescent-adult sex is the disputed “Brewster” story. in other words, absolutely nothing in GLSEN, Jennings’ life work, has supported this claim. No proof.

Timothy Kincaid
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Dr. Blakeslee,

You speak falsely here too.

Hay has been around a much longer time, he is a potent historical figure and was well known by me before Jennings came along.

Jennings, I only discovered recently, admired his pioneering work in gay rights.

I will allow that perhaps you had heard of Harry Hay.

But are you telling us that you were unaware of Kevin Jennings or GLSEN during your efforts to block anti-bullying programs in Montgomery County several years ago?

That takes quite a leap of faith, one I am not willing to take considering that your evaluation references GLSEN more than once, including in the second paragraph of your introduction.

Let’s not play deceptive games, Dr. Blakeslee.

Your objection to Jennings is not based on Hay. Nor were you “admiring Jennings pioneering work”.

You oppose GLSEN and Jennings because they believe in “a theoretical orientation” and that school should “discuss sexual variations.” In short, you don’t like that GLSEN tells kids that it is OK to be gay.

Harry Hay is just the excuse to attack Jennings. Pity you can’t be more honest about it.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy Kincaid,

“Let’s not play deceptive games, Dr. Blakeslee.”

You project, my friend.

I have learned a great deal from our interactions over the last year and respect a great many of your positions on a variety of matters.

You cannot know a man’s mind, yet you assume this throughout your postings…it is a repeated error in your debating skills…

It needlessly complicates our dialogue, because one has to defend false assumptions.

I do admire Jennings and Hay’s pioneering work…they were strong and resolute in very difficult circumstances…some would say dangerous circumstances.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Now back to the matter at hand…should Jennings publicly distance himself, now and clearly, from some of the positions Hay took?

Should Jennings make clear that sex between adolescents and adults (although legal and consensual) is inappropriate and places the adolescent at risk?

Does Hay’s idea that he had consensual sex at 14 with an adult influence at all Jennings advice to adolescents who are engaged in legal, consensual sex with adults.

I am not talking about gays or lesbians…I am talking about people.

Timothy Kincaid
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

This, dear readers, is an excellent example of argument by innuendo:

Does Hay’s idea that he had consensual sex at 14 with an adult influence at all Jennings advice to adolescents who are engaged in legal, consensual sex with adults.

You’ll note that Dr. Blakeslee seems rather fond of this particular innuendo. It no doubt works well at those sites who start with the premise that Jennings must be discredited and work backwards to find arguments to do so.

It works less well here.

Emily K
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

It’s like the Fox News sites that go “Is Obama Linked to Terrorism?”

And then naturally, people who want the answer to be “yes” will answer “yes” in their brains as they read the headline. And then they will look in the article about “evidence” to support what they want the answer to be.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Dear Readers,

Timothy is rather fond of ignoring areas that we agree on:

“I do admire Jennings and Hay’s pioneering work…they were strong and resolute in very difficult circumstances…some would say dangerous circumstances.”

And persisting in hypothesizing about my agenda by using a new word: innuendo.

Are you conceding, Timothy, that Jennings story of “Brewster” does not hold together…in any way?

Penguinsaur
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

“Should Jennings make clear that sex between adolescents and adults (although legal and consensual) is inappropriate and places the adolescent at risk?”

Why? You would just be in the comments on that story saying: “Why is he making such a big deal out of this? he must be covering for something”

Because its OBVIOUS your just desperate for any reason to attack jennings. you’ve provided not one piece of evidence for this claim:

“may be passively accepted by Jennings (adolescent sex with adults as consensual).”

EVIDENCE. We want EVIDENCE that Jennings aqccpets this, not just you implying crap about brewster *who its been proven was at the age of consent*

Burr
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Michael Jackson will not be making public policy anytime soon…or in the past. What a foolish analogy…no matter how it is improved by Timothy.

And an equally dead Harry Hay will or has? Nobody has taken his ball and ran with it despite your desperate wishing it were so..

What a foolish deflection.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Burr,

Are you suggesting that prior to his death Michael Jackson was trying to change social norms?

Harry Hay, by virtue of him being honored in Jenning’s book, has effected social policy. In a way that protects the GLBT community (rightly so).

An equally dead Harry Hay has effected social policy…no fooling!

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

“But are you telling us that you were unaware of Kevin Jennings or GLSEN during your efforts to block anti-bullying programs in Montgomery County several years ago?”

I certainly was aware of GLSEN (Jennings…I don’t think so specifically) and believed that what they were doing was unscientific.

Is this really a fair description Timothy..”blocking anti-bullying programs.”?

Putting words in my mouth now (see, projection is at work).

The MC program was filled with advocacy assertions and flawed science; something you have often decried in our discussions elsewhere. It is something we both agree on…or I thought we did. Trying to keep science in the schools, rather than advocacy spun facts, is part of a good education.

“blocking anti-bullying programs”–sheesh.

Burr
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Well there was the whole Ryan White HIV thing..

So anyone who admired Michael Jackson for calling attention to discrimination against HIV+ children is passively accepting his pedophilia.

There now my analogy is fixed?

Crazy thought I know, but you can admire some actions/stances by a person without “passively accepting” everything else that person brought to the table. Since Jennings only brought him up in a GLBT context it’s pretty safe to say he’s not referring to NAMBLA.

I admire many of Ron Paul’s principled stances on freedom and liberty but that doesn’t mean I like his pro-life or anti-immigration values, let alone his position on gay marriage and adoption.

Timothy Kincaid
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

If anyone is curious about the Blakeslee exchange regarding “putting words in my mouth”, at another site he posted a fictional conversation between me and another person.

He used my name, followed by a colon, and then statements which I had not made and which did not reflect my views. This was the most literal example I have ever seen of someone putting words in my mouth. Incidentally, the other person had not made the statements which Blakeslee attributed to him either.

That level of dishonesty is not allowed at Box Turtle Bulletin. Should any of you try that here at BTB, you will be banned from commenting.

It is possible that “blocking anti-bullying programs” is not the best description. A better description might be “seeking to overturn a comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex-education program and replace it with one that advocated for ex-gay therapy”. ExGayWatch followed that story closely.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Burr,

“Well, there was the whole Ryan White HIV thing…”

Much better than, “With that type of argument anyone who enjoys Michael Jackson’s music is a passive supporter of pedophilia.”

If Jennings decides to draw inspiration from Michael Jackson…I am sure everyone already knows what other things Michael also engaged in…although he never politically advocated for these behaviors, unlike Harry Hay (your analogy still breaks down).

I am not sure that many know of Hay’s other values (which Timothy rightly repudiates)…so bringing them into the light is the right thing.

Emily K
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

I can greatly admire Rabbi Tovia Singer’s extensive research and ground-breaking programs regarding missionary action taken against Jews, as well as remember fondly a moment at one of his programs that changed my life, but that doesn’t mean I “passively agree” with his stances regarding the conflict in the Middle East.

Emily K
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Can someone enjoy a Wagner opera, and study it with admiration for its musical complexity, without “passively agreeing” with his views about Jews?

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Here are the money quotes that Timothy refers to:

Timothy Kincaid has decided what anti-gay is and peppers the term throughout his most recent blog.

He doesn’t address any of the reasonable criticisms of Jennings or Hay. They are attributed to “anti-gay” rhetoric.

Ad Hominem attacks are made easier with labels such as “anti-gay” it appear to mean something specific, when in fact, it is meant to avoid a specific argument and create polarities.

It appears we are to be harsh and rigidly denunciating of every error of the ex-gay movement;

But Jennings and Harry Hay…

[Timothy: while these false statements were made by Blakeslee, they are not the example of him literally putting words in my mouth]

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Comment removed due to violation of our Comments Policy

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

And when the misunderstanding (quite reasonably so) was brought to my attention:

Regarding the above conversation: IT IS AN ALLEGORICAL TOOL in the spirit of Jennings…

“Anti-gay”…if you criticize Jenning’s judgment and his uncritical support, yes, idealization of Harry Hay.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

“It is possible that “blocking anti-bullying programs” is not the best description.”

Thanks for the correction, Timothy.

I cleared up my error at the other site as soon as I realized it had occurred (the very next morning).

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

Although…I don’t recognize this description either:

“seeking to overturn a comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex-education program and replace it with one that advocated for ex-gay therapy”

Hopefully, what the district is implementing now is an improvement of what was suggested and rightly criticized by Warren and others…

Hopefully it includes many of the protections for the weak and the vulnerable that include the GLBT community based upon factual presentation of material.

Penguinsaur
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

YOU STILL HAVE NOT PROVIDED ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE FOR YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM DAVID.

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Penguinsaur,

I think I provided my evidence in the initial post…

It appears that such evidence can be discarded by referring to the “Brewster” account as allegorical…
a convenient solution, but not one that Jennings has taken.

If that is the case, Jennings can clear that up by saying what Burroway has concluded: that the story of Brewster is an allegory, created to represent some facts (how lonely and frightening and vulnerable gay youth were, and are, in public schools). According to Burroway, and this is quite plausible, Jennings created a story that roughly reflected the facts, but sought to cover certain details to protect the anonymity of the person involved.

Again, I would strongly encourage Jennings to do this if this is indeed the fact.

But, instead, the story he created, modified and repeated is fraught with problems…one of the chief of which is that in it’s several tellings there is never a mention of adolescents disadvantage in consensual sexual relationships with adults (not gays, not lebians…ADULTS–heterosexual teachers are the greatest offenders).

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

your repeated use of the term “anti-gay” seems to violate your comments policy:

“Excessive reliance on labels and broad assumptions as a substitute for informed discussion”

David Blakeslee
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

“seeking to overturn a comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex-education program and replace it with one that advocated for ex-gay therapy”

Have you discussed your opinions about Dr. Throckmorton’s work on this project with him? Do you really think this is what he was trying to do or that it is a fair way to characterize his work?

Is that slanderous…or just snarkiness?

grantdale
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Did anyone not notice that Dr. Warren Throckmorton actually used NAMBLA’s preferred terminology, and not in any ironic sense?

Warren — they are not “boy lovers”. They are, or advocate for, paedophiles.

Perhaps you could ask Jennings to make a joint statement:

1) him making clear that simply by recognising Hay’s gay liberation work from over 50 years ago he in no way makes apology for either Hay’s latter-day support of NAMBLA or for the penning of ‘Howl’. Or for that beard.

2) you making clear that even though you have adopted NAMBLA’s preferred terminology you don’t agree with them or support them.

——————-

And Timothy, I’ll take issue with only one part of your post; if only for clarity. The “usually-reasonable Dr. Warren Throckmorton” has in fact long been highly un-reasonable with regard to Jennings and GLSEN.

Dating back years, he has provided deceptive public commentary on those two subjects; almost always worded to present them as guilty ‘by association by association’. To give but one of a long-list over the years as example.

What was Fistgate? … GLSEN presented a workshop for teachers and students that resulted in the dismissal of three DOE employees and the removal of GLSEN as the state authorised contractor. Mr. Jennings was the keynote speaker at the event. The reason for the dismissal involved graphic descriptions, before students as young as 14, of how to perform certain homosexual acts. … Most people don’t know that this event occurred but it is a good reminder why parents should check into what is going on in schools, especially at special events relating to diversity or tolerance. Children in Massachusetts were exposed to pornographic speech in the name of tolerance…”

Quite apart from offering a thoroughly misleading characterisation of the “Teach-Out” conference and that particular workshop — or that these ‘children’ were in attendance with the expressed approval of their parents — one would think from Throckmorton’s slippery positioning of the reference to Jennings that Jennings was present at that workshop. He was not.

Of course, it would help Warren if he didn’t (appear to) rely on Brian Camenker for his information at such times.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

From the site Thomas Kraemer (OSU professor?) referred us to above.

“It is clear that NAMBLA killed Gay Liberation because gay leaders wanted to avoid being accused of preying on children. Instead, gay rights activists have tried to ape heterosexuals with marriage, etc. Intergenerational love should not be anymore taboo than gay love.”

Timothy, do you realize that Harry Hay, if he were alive, would derogate you as an assimilationist?

Intergenerational sex, regardless on one’s orientation (I have made this point numerous times) is exploitative of the adolescent. Jennings either knows this and says nothing during the multiple time he told his Brewster story, or he does not know this and his ignorance compromises his competence.

All leaders have feet of clay…no agenda except making sure we know what their faults are as they recommend public policy.

Warren Throckmorton
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy: Why do you refer to Brewster as an allegorical tale? Jennings said he should have handled the situation differently.

When you wrote:

A better description might be “seeking to overturn a comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex-education program and replace it with one that advocated for ex-gay therapy”.

Were you referring to the work of the parent’s coalition against the health curriculum or the white paper I did with Blakeslee?

RE: Hay – I disagree with your characterization of him as an anachronism. October 8 was Harry Hay day as a part of the GLBT History Month. He is considered an icon. What you do with him is up to you (dismiss him or not) but it seems clear that his support for the aims of NAMBLA were lifelong and tied to his life story. NAMBLA did not come along until 1978 and was ostracized by the gay establishment in the 1980s. Harry Hay spoke at their meetings in 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1994. He said this at a 1983 meeting:

I also would like to say at this point that it seems to me that in the gay community the people who should be running interference for NAMBLA are the parents and friends of gays. Because if the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world. And they would be welcoming this, and welcoming the opportunity for young gay kids to have the kind of experience that they would need.

There is no evidence that Hay himself was a pederast but he did nothing I can locate to discourage those who see themselves that way.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Addition, my question mark after “OSU professor,” is justified…I cannot quite figure out Thomas’ professional identity.

He seems, at least, a thorough lay historian however, and many of his articles are very well documented.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

@ Warren,

My only involvement in the MC matter was helping write the white paper…not “work of the parent’s coalition.”

Timothy makes the charge about me…you can’t “make nice” by giving him an out that it was about something else…

His “correction” is only another distortion. As I said, a violation of his own Comments Policy.

Penguinsaur
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

your repeated use of the term “anti-gay” seems to violate your comments policy

Do you support full equal rights for homosexuals, like not being fired for being gay, removing DADT and giving them the marriages they deserve?

If you don’t he is 100% justified in calling you ‘anti-gay’. and your constant attempts to smear someone for being gay aren’t helping.
“HE ADMIRED THIS GUY SO HE AGREES WITH HIM ON EVERYTHING! JUST LIKE PEOPLE WHO ADMIRE LINCOLN OPPOSE WOMEN VOTING!”
^your argument

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Penguinsaur,

I don’t think I said this:
““HE ADMIRED THIS GUY SO HE AGREES WITH HIM ON EVERYTHING! JUST LIKE PEOPLE WHO ADMIRE LINCOLN OPPOSE WOMEN VOTING!”
^your argument”

I think, Timothy, you need to apply your Comments policy as he is putting words in my mouth.

I don’t mind…I think he is actually trying to make a point, which is a worthy one…he is just not actually quoting me…I think people can figure that out from the postings.

I’ve made the same mistake…

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Being anti-gay…who gets to define this?

Is being pro-gay about tolerance, endorsement and/or ridicule of religious and traditional beliefs?

“Anti-gay” is an attempt to create and apply a slur…it is a categorization that truncates curiosity and seeks to intimidate people into a conformist position…by calling names.

The wounded become the wounders.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Kraemer apparently played some role in Oregon State University’s GLBT month in 2006

http://calendar.oregonstate.edu/event/8187/

Priya Lynn
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

David, stop with the special pleading. If you don’t support equal marriage and gays right to not be fired or evicted for being gay then you are anti-gay – case closed.

Timothy Kincaid
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Dr. Blakeslee:

1. “Anti-gay” is a term used at Box Turtle Bulletin and, indeed, it is in common usage both in shared cultural vocabulary, gay media, religious media, and mainstream media. When you tried to run with this distraction at another site, I gave you half a dozen examples from that day alone.

“Anti-gay” is an accurate and descriptive term. It is akin to “anti-Semetic”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-war”. To the extent that any of these descriptive terms are “a slur”, it is only in that those who are so accurately described wish to pretend that their actions, attitudes, or behaviors are other than what they really are.

That you choose to declare it a slur has absolutely no relevance to whether we will continue to accurately apply this term whenever we see policies, attitudes, or individuals who are expressly acting in opposition to equality under law for gay people or in the interests of oppression or exclusion of gay people.

Rather than decide that the rest of the world is “wounding” you, it may benefit you to ask yourself why you dislike the term “anti-gay”. Perhaps it is because you do not like terms that accurately describe your policies, attitudes, and behavior.

2. Penguinsaur did not put words in your mouth. You chose to act abominably at another site and your attempts to equate your behavior with those who challenge your assertions here only shows that – regardless of your pretenses otherwise – you have no remorse or regret for your behavior but only seek to excuse and justify it.

Timothy Kincaid
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Warren:

Why do you refer to Brewster as an allegorical tale?

Because that is what it appears to be to me.

Clearly it started as an actual event. But the telling of the Brewster story has nothing to do with sharing the details of a historical event; indeed, such details have evolved over time. Rather, it is a tale told to lead the listener to a point, a greater truth about which the story is only a representation.

I am perplexed about the need on the part of many of those who criticize Jennings to see this as a literal report of factual events in microscopic detail like some police report or investigative news item. Much emphasis is given to “what he said” or “what he didn’t say” without even the slightest notice that the tale is decades old and that the point of the story is part of the telling.

I will remind you that we see this quite often in church. I’ve hear many a tale that was used for illustrative purposes in the midst of a sermon which I knew did not have accurate detail. Nor was such detail relevant. No one expects such allegorical tales to be presented like history tomes; it distracts from the message. And if it weren’t for the message, they wouldn’t be told in the first place. Should we start holding preachers to the same standard to which you want to hold Jennings?

Were you referring to the work of the parent’s coalition against the health curriculum or the white paper I did with Blakeslee?

I was referring to yours and Dr. Blakeslee’s efforts to provide professional support to opposing the curriculum that you thought “does not represent a singular consensus of opinion in the social sciences and research community concerning sexual orientation” and because it expressed “that individuals have the right to accept, acknowledge, and live in accordance with their sexual orientation, be they heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian”.

You argued that “Many people believe that sexual orientation is a concept well understood by science. However, this is not the case.” and that “there is currently no means of objectively determining one’s sexual orientation”. You were particularly concerned that the essentialist view of sexual orientation did not allow for the idea that “Change is Possible.

I also refer to the support provided to PFOX’s at that time in their efforts to include ex-gay materials in the curriculum.

RE: Hay – I disagree with your characterization of him as an anachronism. October 8 was Harry Hay day as a part of the GLBT History Month. He is considered an icon.

With all due respect, Warren, I think that I am better qualified to know who is and who is not held in high regard in my own community. And as I was quite active in my community in Hay’s waning years, I am uniquely qualified to know whether he was considered an anachronism or an icon.

I know that you rely on Hay’s inclusion among the 124 other individuals over the last four years by Equality Forum as an indication that he is iconic. That is, perhaps, a natural consequence of having little familiarity with the gay community.

Harry Hay did, indeed, defend NAMBLA. But if you look, Warren, you’ll see that no gay group, no gay site, no gay leaders extol that action as a virtue. Rather, they praise the actions of Harry Hay in the very early 1950’s, and not what he did in the 80’s.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Harry Hay was not in a position of leadership in our community. His worldview had been rejected. He was an outsider and he was the first the lament it saying that most gay people just want to assimilate.

To tar Jennings – or any other gay group – with Hay’s 80’s-90’s positions is dishonest.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

There are those here at this site who have disagreed bluntly with your characterization of Hay (not Warren or myself) and I presume they are just as qualified as you are:

Mr. Kraemer posts seem to disagree with you…

Mark Barnes seems to disagree with you.

Are there credentials weaker or stronger than yours?

You seem to want to have a conversation here about comments at another site…you have called it an “echo chamber.” It hardly was or is as it was frequented by lots of folks with all sorts of views.

Ben in Oakland
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Warren Throckmorton, as quoted by Timothy ““Many people believe that sexual orientation is a concept well understood by science. However, this is not the case.” and that “there is currently no means of objectively determining one’s sexual orientation”

Oh, honey, denying reality is hardly objective or scientific.

Ben’s gay, his orientation is gay, and always has been since, oh, three years old when he was pulling down a neighbor boys pants to check him out.

Proof: see above. See Ben’s husband, legally married. See Ben be totally uninterested in the opposite sex. See Ben not give a male rat’s ass about what an alleged translation of a misrepresentation of a bad translation of a 2500 year old book may have to say about Ben’s life 2500 years later.

I’ll tell what science has a difficult time determining objectively. Why some people are so obsessed with other people’s sex lives that they will twist and pervert evedrything they can in service to the idea that it is actually important to anyone other than the two people involved?

Now here is a question you two clowns should answer, and one I’ve asked both of you before.

What part of look-not-for-the-speck//judge not//without sin mantra of your lord and founder does NOT apply to ones such as yourselves?

And why?

Emily K
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

These people obviously believe gays are a monolithic community of “leftists.” Please. Harry Hay (whomever he is/was) has as much to do with the fact that I fall in love with women (and not men) as Abraham Lincoln does.

…In other words, nothing. He’s completely irrelevant to my life.

I don’t know who Kraemer and Barnes are and I don’t care to know who they are. Their opinions don’t matter to me and have no effect on my attraction to women.

Emily K
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

“Timothy, do you realize that Harry Hay, if he were alive, would derogate you as an assimilationist?”

Wow, who GIVES a damn?? I don’t need anyone to justify my life and beliefs for me, and neither does Timothy. Oh no, Harry Hay would call me an assimilationist! What next, “fascist??”

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

as I said:

“I don’t mind…I think he is actually trying to make a point, which is a worthy one…he is just not actually quoting me…I think people can figure that out from the postings.

I’ve made the same mistake…”

I am sorry I wasn’t clearer in my post at the other site…I hope it is clear that the post was hypothetical, not factual.

Perhaps a repair is possible.

Blessings.

David Blakeslee
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

@ Emily K

“anti-gay” is next.

Is Harry Hay an icon? — Warren Throckmorton
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Month and October 8th was Harry Hay day. In addition to appreciating Hay’s contributions, Timothy Kincaid over at BTB calls Hay “a kook” and “an anachronism and an embarrassment” suggesting that […]

David Blakeslee
October 15th, 2009 | LINK

So Harry Hay is an Icon…not a kook.

There are some in the gay community who still support his view about intergenerational sex…and some of them post here. And speak at state universities on GLBT issues and history.

Jennings knew the whole story of Hay, but has only idealized the sanitized version and unlike Kincaid, never condemned his advocacy for intergenerational sex…as a form of mentoring.

Jennings, GLSEN and nearly everyone else does not believe the story of Brewster or Fleming is Allegorical.

Timothy, you’ve been wrong in so many of your assertions at this post…have you considered an update making the necessary corrections?

You ask us to be critical thinkers, but your otherwise commendable skills in this area have completely broken down on this topic.

We haven’t even gotten to the numerous wrong assumptions you have made about my motivations or the distortions you have deliberately made.

David Blakeslee
October 16th, 2009 | LINK

An example of a negative outcome due to intergenerational consensual heterosexual sex:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-abortion-memoir13-2009oct13,0,6943535,full.story

David Blakeslee
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

More Jennings trouble:

http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/breaking-obamas-safe-schools-czar-is-promoting-porn-in-the-classroom-kevin-jennings-and-the-glsen-reading-list/

werdna
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

Just more right-wing BS, actually.

Timothy Kincaid
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

No, David,

That’s the same old boring nonsense repackaged again and again like a Christmas gift that no one wants.

David Blakeslee
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

More Kevin Jennings,

http://www.breitbart.tv/fistgate-massachusetts-teacher-speaks-out-about-infamous-glsen-conference/

Apparently a teacher who attended is asserting that Jennings knew the content of the presentations and publications at the workshop.

Priya Lynn
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

David no one cares about your tedious crusade against Jennings and no one believes your lurid fantasies about him.

werdna
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

Huh, that’s weird, it’s more of the same goofy right-wing BS.

Also, as a friendly note, David: it’s bad form to post the same comment in response to two posts. Especially when that comment just links to more of the same pathetic smears that you’ve been trying to sell all along. You’ve already made a fool of yourself, what more do you hope to achieve?

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

David Blakeslee,

You lose credibility when you link to “anonymous” vague claims that on the face of them appear to be false.

At some point it ceases to appear that you have any credible concern and begins to appear that you are so motivated by your negative emotional position on the appointment of Kevin Jennings that you will believe and repeat anything negative said about him.

For the sake of your own reputation, you may wish to cease linking your name to nutjob attacks on Jennings.

David Blakeslee
December 16th, 2009 | LINK

Just tracking the facts as they develop. Wanted you to keep up…in case you thought your distortions about Jennings and Brewster; or Harry Hay were the last authoritative word.

They cannot be.

Timothy Kincaid
December 16th, 2009 | LINK

Please explain what you mean by “distortions about Jennings and Brewster; or Harry Hay”.

That is a serious accusation. I know that you have become accustomed to slinging personal slurs against me at other sites, but that will not be allowed at BTB.

David Blakeslee
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

I think I noted the distortion regarding Jennings, and therefore Brewster, above (see October 15 post)

I think you’ll find the distortion of Hay as a kook and “not an icon,” there also.

Your perceptions of both people and events is inaccurate…perhaps purposely distorted.

To repeat…you have gotten so many things wrong in this post have you considered corrections?

Timothy Kincaid
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

Blakeslee,

I’m heading out and will address your accusations of distortion later.

Your perceptions of both people and events is inaccurate…perhaps purposely distorted.

Insinuate that I’m a liar here at this site one more time and you will be blocked permanently.

Emily K
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

gee, Tim, guess since one homo-obsessed right-wing guy says you’re wrong, that means you have to post an apology and a redaction! oh noes!

David Blakeslee
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

“homo-obsessed right-wing guy” See comments policy. :).

David Blakeslee
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

At Timothy,

you are persisting in distorting Jennings story about Brewster…he has never said it was allegorical.

You are attempting to portray Hay as a civil rights leader who deteriorated in his later years to a “kook.” Such a deterioration is not supported by the facts, he always had some unusual beliefs. Asserting a deterioration when there is a pattern of unusual beliefs throughout the lifespan is a distortion.

You have distorted the work by Warren with the Montgomery County Public Schools.

You assumed I knew of Jennings long before I knew of Hay, and impugned my motives based upon this wrong assumption.

There is more above…

Distortions may not be intentional lies; Sometimes we distort to protect a cherished belief or to allay anxiety…

Timothy Kincaid
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Emily,

David Blakeslee and I have a long history. Experience suggests that if he is given much freedom he will use it to start fights, debate minutia, disrupt conversations, and engage in Culture War. I do not take his comments lightly, I know where they lead.

I suspect his purpose here is to create an environment that is hostile and combatant and shut down conversation. I’ve seen that occur at another site and I am determined that it will not happen at BTB.

Timothy Kincaid
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

David,

Oh, I see the tactic. Claim “distortions” in order to re-engage in a debate about old dead topics. Sorry, I’m not going to play your game here.

I’ve addressed your accusations above and will not reopen that nonsense. You will not be successful in hijacking the conversation.

This site does not welcome your Culture War.

David Blakeslee
December 20th, 2009 | LINK

@ Timothy,

The echo chamber is here.

The person trying to “shut down” conversations is the person that applies a comments policy uni directionally.

The person engaging in the culture war is the one who wishes to use such simplistic phrases as “anti-gay.”

David Blakeslee
December 20th, 2009 | LINK

To quote from others on this link,

“Timothy,

I resent you calling Harry a kook. No I was not a Radical Faerie. Yes I was a member of the Gay Liberation Front in Berkeley in 1970. You probably consider that a kook group also.

Mark Barnes
San Francisco”

There is no “tactic” here, Timothy, only tracking facts which my have been distorted.

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