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One Colorado addresses veiled bullying of Focus’ “Day of Dialogue”

Daniel Gonzales

April 17th, 2011

In 2004 on the annual pro-gay Day Of Silence, Poway High School sophomore Tyler Chase Harper modified his tee shirt to read “Be Ashamed” and “Homosexuality is Shameful.”  School officials asked Harper to remove the message, he refused, and was pulled from classes from the remainder of the day.  Harper immediately became a celebrity in the anti-gay movement, filed a lawsuit against the school  (which he would eventually lose) and became the poster-twink for the following year’s anti-gay “Day Of Truth.”  Since that time the Day Of Truth has been run by Harper’s lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund, Exodus International, and this year Focus On The Family which has renamed the event “Day Of Dialogue.”

But no matter what form this day takes, the message to gay youth remains the same; your sexuality is shameful and you must pray yourself straight.

In the current climate of bullying-awareness Colorado’s equality org, One Colorado has chosen to frame the anti-gay Day Of Dialogue as a form of bullying gay youth will be subjected to.  One Colorado’s executive director Brad Clark has penned an open letter to Focus On The Family in today’s Denver Post:

I hope that the Day of Dialogue is about having a real dialogue—one that appreciates a diversity of viewpoints, including those of the American Medical Society, an esteemed organization which has concluded that being LGBT is not a disease or defect. Or the position of the American Psychological Association, which opposes any attempt to try to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

If the Day of Dialogue is not truly a dialogue but a day when Focus followers will be empowered and encouraged to say hurtful things to vulnerable LGBT students—it is simply a new form of bullying. One that doesn’t punch or shove—but that takes a psychological toll on youth who deserve the same respect and dignity as any other student.

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enough already
April 18th, 2011 | LINK

It would be a good thing for parents of all children to be especially aware of the risks facing their children during weeks like this.
Especially parents who are among those who oppose us – and, sadly, they are the last who really care two cents that about 10% of their own offspring are among the queer community in their own nature. They are also the first who throw those kids out on the streets. If not deliver them into torture centers run by those who oppose us. Anybody who thinks electro-shock, ice-baths and other forms of torture aren’t used by those who oppose usthose who oppose us against our queer community any more is dreaming.

At the same time, we need to get out the message to queer kids that they aren’t alone and there are places where they can talk to people in safety. Here, the internet has opened enormous safe places for these kids to talk which, even 15 years ago, were all but inaccessible outside of big cities in areas of the country where those who oppose us had been unable to secure their reigns of terror.

On a practical note, it may be true that not all of those youth leaders who oppose us may be caught out at doing things which their “faith” nominally forbids.
That said, after decades of work within the academic community, my experience tells me that an enterprising group of students should have no trouble finding legal means of exposing a large number those who oppose us in positions to persecute them for the hypocrites they are. This is an area in which I find “zero-tolerance” a very good rule to be applied.

esurience
April 18th, 2011 | LINK

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/what-leads-gay-straight-teens-to-attempt-suicide-research-suggests-similar-social-influences/2011/04/17/AFxqXPvD_story.html

Hatzenbuehler said the results show that “environments that are good for gay youth are also healthy for heterosexual youth.”

——

So it turns out that being against anti-bullying creates a more hostile and dangerous atmosphere for *everyone* — who would have thought!

Reed Boyer
April 18th, 2011 | LINK

I’ll hazard a guess that FOTF will either not address this Clark’s letter at all, or will take it as yet another opportunity to trot out their “saving America’s children from the homosexual indoctrination agenda” act – with the usual chorus of “we are the real victims.”

Theo
April 18th, 2011 | LINK

A bit of unreported news on the Day of Dialogue:

FOF held a contest for students to promote the Day of Dialogue. Students were to make a DoD promotional video and upload it to Youtube, Vimeo or a few other named sites. The winner would get gift certificates redeemable on iTunes.

After the submission deadline, I checked all of the sites to see what this new generation of Christians would come up with. To my delight, the contest submissions totaled precisely 1. And even this lone entry was done at the last minute – the day of the deadline. It surely is not what FoF had in mind. It makes no mention of gays, homosexuality or even the DoD ( except for the DoD logo at the very end, which was a mandatory component of submissions).

http://www.dayofdialogue.com/

Needless to say given the absence of any competition, the sole contestant won. DoD posted the “winner” w/o any congratulations or any discussion of the video or other (nonexistent) entries. As a final irony, the winner’s pro-dialogue video on Youtube has comments disabled.

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