08 Mar Day 5: Are You Homophobic?
“Homophobia and Transphobia” was the title of the side event and Helen Kennedy, the Executive Director of International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) of Canada was a main speaker. She is a lesbian and is well-known in her circles for her passion on “queer issues.” She talked of how pastors are refusing to marry same sex couples and that gay advocates are working to force them by law to do so. She is upset that “gays or queers” as she called them, are not allowed to donate blood or organs if they have had sex at least once in the last 30 years. She said that lesbians are bullied by other girls and not so much by straight boys. Kids of queer parents are being harassed, she claimed.
Helen told a story of her son who is six years old who went to a birthday party. A lady at the party asked where his father was. The boy said “I don’t have a dad”. “Everyone has a dad, where is your dad”. “I don’t have a dad”. The woman persisted and the boy finally said, “I don’t have a dad, I have a donor”. This story sent some kind of electric shock up my spine; the young boy had a “donor, not a dad.” Helen said that we have to make the schools a place where these kinds of kids from families of donors are accepted and understood.
ILGA is working on curriculum to put in all the schools with major emphasis on training teachers to promote their gay rights ideology. Helen reported that they are having great success. One of their main pushes is to stop parents from having the right to remove their children from classes at school when gay and lesbian material is presented. They were appalled that any school would even think of allowing the parents the right to remove a child. They want to pass laws that any school that gets government money has to teach gay and lesbian information.
They have been successful at forming at least 70 gay/straight alliances in schools to discuss “queer” issues. They feel that their efforts to join straight kids with gay kids in alliances will be a very successful strategy for pushing LGBT rights in the public schools.
They are attempting to permeate popular culture by having a “rainbow house” or “pride house” at the Olympics for LGBT athletes and straight supporters. They mentioned this as a great accomplishment. Their work to saturate contemporary culture with gay-affirming messages and materials continues.
Gay rights advocates have shared with us some of their strategies. Parents, are you listening?
I realize now that I am considered homophobic because I am not a believer that the gay life style is healthy and should be promoted in society—and there’s plenty of data and research to support my position. In the minds of ILGA, however, you either completely embrace “gayness” or you’re homophobic. There is no middle ground.