The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) issued a cease and desist letter to the Family Research Council (FRC) on Monday in response to a recent FRC video falsely claiming that GLSEN and the Massachusetts public schools provided an explicit safe-sex booklet to children in the fifth through ninth grades at a GLSEN conference in Massachusetts. The conference, held in 2005 at Brookline High School in Massachusetts, was geared toward teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and students. GLSEN works to ensure a safe school environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
GLSEN’s letter, issued via its attorneys, demands that FRC cease distribution and publication of a video clip because it contains false and defamatory statements about GLSEN.
In the FRC video, which appears on the group’s website and on YouTube as “What GLSEN wants to teach your children,” Brian Camenker, president of the anti-gay group MassResistance, says that the booklet was distributed at the 2005 conference and that it tells kids “how to safely perform a variety of homosexual sex acts.”
Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, says in the video that GLSEN’s booklet, “along with their recommended reading list for children, is without a doubt the most vile assault on teenagers ever concocted by homosexual activists.”
The booklet, called “Little Black Book – Queer in the 21st Century,” did appear at the conference, but it was not sponsored nor brought by GLSEN. Instead, a community LGBT health organization, Fenway Community Health, acknowledged that representatives had mistakenly brought 10 copies of the booklet to the conference and left them on a table. The organization issued an apology for the mistake. The booklet, published by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, is targeted at 18-and-older gay men. Sean Haley, who was the executive director of the Boston branch of GLSEN at the time, told the Boston Globe that sexually explicit material of any kind was not be allowed at the conference and that, had he seen the book, he would have asked that it be removed.
In the wake of the 2005 conference, however, right-wing sites like Gateway Pundit and Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com picked up the story and accused GLSEN of bringing the booklet to the conference in order to “indoctrinate” schoolchildren. That claim has been debunked several times since 2005, most thoroughly by Media Matters here. The SPLC considers MassResistance and FRC anti-gay hate groups because of their false and demonizing propaganda aimed at LGBT people.
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