Report: Religious Right is Blocking LGBT Anti-Bullying Efforts
A new report from a progressive advocacy group shows that members of the religious right are working hard to end anti-gay bullying programs in the nation’s school systems.
People for the American Way–or ‘People For’–released the findings on Wednesday. Peter Montgomery is a senior fellow for the group and helped conduct some of its research. He tells OutQ News that the primary goal of the report is to give tools to activists and students trying to create safe spaces at their campus. But he admits that members of the religious right are getting in the way.
MONTGOMERY: “You know, when we protect religious freedom, nobody says, ‘Oh that’s religious people out to get special rights or special treatment.’ Somehow they come up with a new standard when we’re talking about LGBT people. And it’s a double standard, and we think we need to call them on that.”
Montgomery says that after sifting through news articles and monitoring such organizations, ‘People For’ found that social conservatives are relying on four central strategies: First, the “indoctrination myth,” or the idea that LGBT students are trying to “recruit” their peers; secondly, the “special rights” smear, meaning gay kids are receiving special protections from administrators; then, there’s “playing the victim,” or saying that bullies are the ones being targeted; and finally “blaming the victim,” or insinuating that gay kids ask to be picked on.
Montgomery says he hopes these findings will motivate students and their supporters to fight back and continue with their anti-gay bullying efforts.
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