Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Smears against Jennings. Have they no shame?

The smears against Department of Education’s Kevin Jennings continue. Rep. Steve Smith has gathered 52 other Republican House representatives to sign a letter to President Obama, demanding he fire Jennings. The charge “of ignoring the sexual abuse of a child” by Jennings has been proven false, but that does not deter the letter’s signers. Their real motivation is their assertion that Jennings is “promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America’s schools…” They continue to lie that young people are recruited into being gay. It is the same lie directed to Governor Schwarzenegger ,  demanding he veto a bill honoring Harvey Milk as a civil rights pioneer. Somehow, teaching school children about the life of Milk will turn them gay. Conversely, we are asked to assume, if homosexuality is barred from the classroom, all children will grow up heterosexual. Having spent my school years in the fifties and sixties, I know that homosexuality doesn’t go away if people stay silent about it. I grew up with Dick and Jane books, where all parents were heterosexual, and, I might add, white.

When I first read about the campaign against Jennings, I sent the following e-mail to Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

Opponents of Kevin Jennings have sunk to a new low by falsely linking him to NAMBLA, a pedophilia advocacy group. In doing so they also smear Harry Hay by falsely stating Hay was a founder of NANBLA. Hay was correctly praised by Jennings as one of the pioneers of the modern gay rights movement. Hay founded the Mattachine Society and co-founded the Radical Faeries. Hay’s only connection to NAMBLA was in his support for their right to march in gay rights parades.

All of the charges thrown at Mr. Jennings have turned out to be distortions or complete lies. It is clear what is the intent of these organizations. They want to turn back the clock to a time when it was not safe to be a gay, lesbian, or transgender youth. I know from experience, growing up gay in a homophobic society. I wish I had leaders like Kevin Jennings when I was in high school. I thought of suicide in those days and am thankful I never acted on those thoughts. Sadly, too many young people have died, lacking the support of their families, schools, and communities.  Our LGBT youth need organizations like GLSEN.

I support Kevin Jennings in his position in the Department of Education’ Safe and Drug-free Schools Program. We must not let anti-gay bullies smear the reputations of well-qualified teachers and administrators.

Thank you.

Governor Schwarzenegger  rejected the lies and signed the Harvey Milk bill. President Obama said in his speech to the HRC that he would defend his appointees. Let us hope he stands by his word. The smear campaigns against our gay and lesbian public servants remind me of Joseph Nye Welch’s revulsion to Joe McCarthy’s smear tactics. “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

October 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Great Article , I thought it was phenomenal

    I look ahead to more interesting postings like this one. Does This Site have a subscription I can subscribe to for new postings?

    Comment by lesemorma | November 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for your kind words. There is an RSS feed for Google Homepage and Google Reader. Try that. I hope that helps. New posts link to Twitter. Same user name.

      Comment by tomyamaguchi | November 24, 2009 | Reply

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