New Hospital Visitation Rules? Day of Silence? “It’s Raining Boogeymen,” says Social Right.

colorful crowd with a banner

It comes right on the heels of Obama’s hospital visitation memorandum yesterday that banned hospitals that receive federal funding from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners.  Today marked the annual national Day of Silence, organized by The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.   Students across the nation were encouraged to remain mute during class to protest the bullying of gay students.   The day is wildly popular and, according to Yahoo News, “has become the largest student-led action addressing school safety for all students, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race.” Obviously, opponents of gay rights have found something to fear in this fight for civil rights and equality.  Socially conservative family values organizations are convinced that Obama’s memorandum and the growing support for events like the Day of Silence are shaping up to cause societal damage of Icelandic volcanic magnitude

“I think that we shouldn’t be exploiting public education for this,” says Illinois Family Institute’s Laurie Higgins about the Day of Silence, “There are better ways to use taxpayer money. We send our kids there to learn the subject matter, not … to be unwillingly exposed to political protest during instructional time.”  For dinosaurs like this, America’s defenses against the gay hordes are disappearing faster than Horatio Sanz’s waistline.  Rhetoric critiquing an anti-bullying protest as political protest in schools is particularly ironic coming from an organization that deliberately works to influence curricula and, on its Web site, warns that “there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the (American College of Pediatricians (ACP)) College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.”

Some conservative groups are encouraging boycotting schools on the Day of Silence.  “Most schools get reimbursed on the basis of average daily attendance. In other words, they don’t get taxpayer dollars for teaching students anything — they get taxpayer dollars for having fannies in the seats,” said Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. “So if you have fewer fannies in the seats that’s less dollars for school administrators and that’s an incentive for them to do the right thing here.”

As strong as opinions are on the right regarding gay rights and how best to restrict them, the left is both irate and fragmented about the perceived lack of progress on this civil rights issue. Obama’s tax day memorandum is seen as long-overdue to the LGBT community that supported him in the 2008 election.  Yes, he insisted that he would repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and yes, “our gay brothers and sisters” got frequent mentions in his campaign speeches, but not much of substance had happened before yesterday’s memorandum.  And the gay community is divided on how significant the memorandum really was.

Leading gay news site, The Advocate, has comments across the board in reaction to the memorandum news.  Mike from Chicago says, “So we can die together but we cannot live together? This is not equality. It’s crap-and Obama’s full of it.”  CJ from LA says, “This is BIG. So, before we inevitably start complaining that this isn’t marriage equality or a repeal of DADT, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that this will have a very real, very large, and very personal positive impact on the lives of many members of our community.”

In today’s society, discrimination against the LGBT community as though it were composed of registered sex offenders, is ridiculous and simply offensive to basic common sense.  Conservative jabbering about homosexuality being forced on the young is bankrupt.  If anything the reverse is opposite and homophobic tendencies in society force denial and deceit on upcoming generations in their sexual journeys.  This is the generation and this is the president that is enlightened enough to make society more compassionate and honest.  Good policy, as it pertains to issues of sexual orientation, does not have to be so straight and so narrow.

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Bjorn Karlman

6 thoughts on “New Hospital Visitation Rules? Day of Silence? “It’s Raining Boogeymen,” says Social Right.”

  1. This happens all the time. If there was some Christian thing going on in school, all the liberals would be up in arms about what a waste of time the whole thing was or how it infringed on their secular sensibilities…blablabla. The Day of Silence thing is lame in my opinion. Most kids who get picked on are not gay. No one cares about gays. The idea that they have it so bad is just absurd and frankly, I think overplaying the victim card has backfired on their cause for gay marriage. There isn’t any evidence that I am aware of that suggests that people are any more mean to gays or that there are more crimes committed against them than other groups. Another boogie man as far as I am concerned.

    This is the classic scenario where, if the government weren’t involved (or maybe just less involved), no one would care. School vouchers would instantly solve this problem.

  2. Likewise, I think that making sexual orientation protest as a worthy cause to skip school over is just another reason to skip school for those kids. These are 10 year 8-3 prison sentences anyway. That’s what we turned out schools into.

    As far as gay rights and gay cause and parading… I think it’s a waste of time matter. Gays are already a widely accepted in the mainstream media. Anywhere you look on TV today, you have a sophisticated, well-educated gay man that everyone runs for advice to. Kids today pay more attention to TV than in school anyway :).

    Frankly, I don’t quite understand why gay people are complaining about nowadays. I understand if they are living in places like Iran or passed Soviet Union, where you can and could go to jail for being openly gay.

    Yet, when you make victims out of people, then they feel that everything that is done to them is because they are different. It’s ridiculous! Gay people are generally well treated in the US. Sure, there are bigots, but those bigots and bullies treat tall and fat people with the same level disdain. They don’t just pick on gays. Heck, if there were no gays, there would find something else to pick on… that’s what bullies do!

    So, instead of educating our kids about sexual “normality” of homosexuality… which is not normal by any means, no matter how you try to twist it, be it biologically, sociologically, or psychologically. We should educate our kids on how to treat each other with respect no matter of race, social status… or sexual orientation.

    To me, protesting does quite the opposite of what was intended in this case.

  3. I dug around a bit on bullying stats and found the following that seem to suggest that LGBT students are singled out for abuse in schools. http://www.zimbio.com/LGBT+Pride/articles/52/LGBT+Bullying+Statistics To be fair, it may be a perception “victim” mentality thing but I don’t think that is an entirely satisfactory answer.

    The following makes the link between homosexuality and increased bullying more strongly.. (and I was not expecting this: bi girls are more likely to be bullies) http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/gay-teens-young-adults-more-likely-to-be-bullied_100312125.html

  4. On the skipping school point, were you talking about in-school Day of Silence observance or the conservative walk-outs?
    I agree that there has been a lot of progress for gay rights. But I DO understand why there is a long way to go… DADT, marriage, etc. You are right that we can’t judge society solely on the behavior of irrational bigots. And agreed on the need to stress respect and compassion in schools.

  5. I don’t know how it works with girls. They have a totally different way of doing things. However with guys, they rag on each other all the time. I think much of it is perception. I was technically made fun of for just about everything in elementary school. If I had thinner skin, I guess I could have reported that I was bullied because of my race, religion, disability (eye glasses and braces), as well as sexual orientation (everyone I knew in middle school got made fun of for being gay whether they were or weren’t). That being said, I would never have considered myself to have been bullied, and pretty much just dished it out as bad as I got it.

  6. Yes, elementary school is a harsh place! But would you agree that the stats in the link above make a case for the link between homosexuality and increased bulling?

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