Media Help Activists in Aggressive Push to Embrace Homosexuality

April 17 marked the 13th annual “Day of Silence,” a gay rights protest event sponsored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) that takes place in schools across the nation. Of course, gay groups can afford to be silent for a day, because they have the mainstream news media to speak for them.

“Day of Silence” is, according to the event's Web site, “a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools …the event is designed to illustrate the silencing effect of this bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.”

Predictably, the media covered this year's event in a positive manner, leaving little room for discussions of it as an indoctrination tool pushed on students by gay activists. And they certainly didn't report that the LGBT community and its allies don't have a problem with “name calling, bullying and harassment” when it's directed against people who disagree with them.

“Intrinsically Evil, Objectively Disordered”

This year's “Day of Silence” coincided with the birthday of Carl Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old boy who committed suicide on April 6 after his schoolmates repeatedly called him “gay” and labeled him “feminine.” Walker-Hoover's mother, Sirdeaner Walker, has stated her son was not gay. 

Predictably, LGBT groups and the media used the tragedy as a symbol for the harassment of gay teens in school. But there's also an unreported story about harassment of anyone who refuses to embrace the gay agenda.

For instance, no mainstream media outlets covered the story of gay activists directing nasty voicemails and emails toward Karen England, executive director of the California-based Capitol Resource Institute. England encouraged students to counter-protest the “Day of Silence” by walking out of their schools.

For her efforts, she received vitriolic emails that said, ““It's too late for your mother to abort…what a pity for the rest of decent society. In Support of God striking all of you down…” Another person wrote, ““You will return to your next life as a flea on the scrotum of a cockroach.”

England also received voicemails that held her personally responsible for the suicide of Walker-Hoover, ““I just wanted to ask you a quick question about uhhh what you stand for and… little 11 year old boys by the name of Carl Walker Hoover killing themselves because of people like you, Karen.” Another caller said, “You're a disgrace to the American woman. You're a disgrace to public – And I wish you would just go kill yourself.”

Yet in media coverage of the “Day of Silence,” it appears bullying only comes from people who disagree with the gay lifestyle.

CNN and ABC both featured segments about LGBT bullying on April 17. Anderson Cooper, host of CNN's “Anderson Cooper 360” included interviews with officials from Walker-Hoover's school and a discussion about bullying with Sirdeaner Walker and activist Mel White, president and co-founder of the gay rights organization, Soulforce.

Cooper teased the segment by asking, “Racial taunts are no longer accepted in schools in America, but why are taunts based on perceived sexual orientation?” which is ironic coming from a news anchor who only three days before felt it proper to speak disparagingly of protesters because of their conservative beliefs..

Walker focused her comments on what parents can do to stop a tragedy such as her son's from happening in their own family. White used the opportunity to blame religion for anti-gay bullying in schools:

Well, one of the things, we have to realize why the hostile climate for people who are perceived as gay or for people who are, that it's just not those kids who are bashing.

When you think about what religion is teaching now about homosexuality, when you hear the Pope say these gross things, intrinsically evil, objectively disordered, when you see Protestant leaders not ordaining and marrying, the word trickles down. It becomes fag when they get into school.

But what has to happen is the church needs to change and say God created you gay or God created you as a human being and loves you exactly as you are.

That message needs to come down from the church so that it'll filter down through congregations and the churches and to individual teachers and finally to the kids.

White also took the opportunity to remind viewers, “young gay guys…are seven times more likely to commit suicide or attempt it. And kids who are in non-accepting homes are nine – nine percent more, could kill themselves.”

Earlier in the day CNN's “Newsroom” anchor Heidi Collins interviewed Georgia high school student Cory Phelps, who is also a national student leader for the “Day of Silence,” about the event's aim to stop bullying and harassment of students based on sexual orientation.

Phelps told Collins, “what today is really all about is it all comes down to bullying and harassment and name-calling. Students go to school every day and they're bullied and harassed and we really want to be sure that by taking this vow of silence that we are bringing attention to anti-bullying, name calling and things and trying to end it.”

While it's hard to blame Collins for not putting a high school student on the hot seat during a live interview on national television, she could have made the point that kids are bullied and harassed for all different reasons. She could have asked Phelps why not expand the “Day of Silence” mission to include any sorts of harassment, whether it be for weight, looks, religious beliefs or sexual slurs.

ABC's “World News with Charles Gibson” featured a segment about bullying that focused on the Walker-Hoover tragedy. Anchor Charles Gibson introduced the segment, “We're going to turn next to a troubling trend in America's schools. It's a form of bullying that can have especially tragic circumstances. Even children in middle schools now are taunting each other with anti-gay epithets. But critics say some schools are reluctant to do anything about it.”

Correspondent Dan Harris reported that Walker's “mother says his case illustrates how anti-gay harassment has become a huge part of the overall bullying problem, whether the targets are gay or not.”

The report then jumped to a clip of Eliza Byard of GLSEN saying, “The anti-gay content of bullying issue is the one that teachers and administrators are least likely to deal with. Mostly because they are afraid of controversy.”

As an example of the controversy, Harris reported, “some Christian groups are organizing school walkouts, arguing this day [Day of Silence] forces acceptance of immoral behavior.”

LeAnn Shaw, mother of a student, provided the only counterpoint to Byard's claim. She stated in her brief soundbite, “I don't think that we need the thought police on one day of the school year. And this is what this is.” 

Beauty Bashing

Gay activists don't limit their bullying to pro-family organizations. In fact, Perez Hilton, a gay celebrity blogger and a judge at the April 19 Miss USA pageant, turned his sights on Miss California Carrie Prejean. During a question and answer segment of the pageant, Hilton asked Prejean's opinion on gay marriage. She stated her belief that “a marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

He posted this response to Prejean's statement on his blog:

Hello, okay. So Miss USA literally just finished and I have to make a video blog. Everyone's going to be talking about it. I was the YouTube moment of the show, the pageant, when I asked Miss California her question and when she gave the worst answer in pageant history. She got booed. I think that was the first time in Miss USA ever that a contestant has been booed.

Now, let me explain to you. She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage. Miss California lost because she's a dumb b----. Okay? This is how a person with half a brain answers the question I posed her, which is, Vermont recently legalized same-sex marriages. Do you think other states should follow suit, why or why not?  

Well, if I was Miss California, with half a brain, I would have said, hm, Perez, that's a great question. That's a very hot topic in our country right now and I think that that is a question that each state should decide for themselves because that's how our forefathers designed our government, you know, the states rule themselves and then there's certain laws which are federal. She could have said something along those lines but she didn't. She gave an awful, awful answer which alienated so many people.

And Miss California, Miss USA, she doesn't alienate. She unites. She inspires. I am so disappointed in Miss California representing my country, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage but because she doesn't inspire and she doesn't unite. And that is what a Miss California and a Miss USA should.

And I could not believe when she became first-runner up. If that girl would have won Miss USA, California, I would've gone up on stage, I s--- you not, I would've gone up on stage, snatched that tiara off her head and run out the door. And then I probably would've been arrested. But you know what? So be it. Ugh. Thank goodness Miss South Carolina won, or North Carolina whichever one won, because she deserved it so much more. Ugh. Okay, I need a cocktail now.

The media failed to cry foul over Hilton's attack on Prejean and instead allowed Hilton to portray himself as a victim.

Hilton told MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell on April 20 that he “was absolutely shocked and incredibly frustrated and hurt and disappointed, because that is not the kind of woman I want to be Miss USA.” He continued, “A beauty pageant queen, Miss USA should represent all Americans and with her answer, she instantly was divisive and alienated millions of gays and lesbians, their family, their friends and supporters.”

O'Donnell also asked Hilton about the name-calling in his blog rant and affirmed that he “apologized” for it. In response, Hilton took back the apology and confided, “I called her the b word and hey, I was thinking the c word and I didn't say it.”

At no point in the interview did O'Donnell question whether Hilton's attack took the political to the personal level or if Prejean should be able to express an honest opinion on a controversial topic.

Later that evening, CNN's Larry King followed the same pattern as O'Donnell and simply gave Hilton time to insist again that Miss USA must be politically correct. He told King:

Do we want a Miss USA that's politically insensitive, that's politically offensive? No. So I didn't disagree with her not believing in the right for gays and lesbians to good evening equal under the law. I disagree with how she answered the question because Miss USA should be all inclusive. She should be my Miss USA and when she answered that question that way, it was instantly divisive and alienating to gays and lesbians and friends and supporters.

King failed to mention the irony of Hilton speaking about inclusion as he was the person who labeled Prejean “a dumb b----.” 

Hilton said there were boos from the pageant audience following Prejean's response, and there may have been. But there were also cheers. Neither O'Donnell nor King reported that.

And for the left and the media, it's open season on Prejean. “E! News” anchor Giuliana Rancic tweeted on April 21 that Miss California made her “sick to my stomach” and called her a “disgrace.”

The Price of  Prop 8

Nothing spurred gay activists to the depths of vitriol more than the passage of California's Prop 8. As CMI previously reported, media failed to show any outrage over LBGT harassment of Christians, including an unprovoked altercation in San Francisco's Castro district and a separate  protest in which gay activists stormed a Michigan church service and declared, “Jesus is a homo!” while tossing condoms at the congregation.

Maureen Mullarkey detailed her bullying experience at the hands of the LBGT community in her March 16 Weekly Standard article, “The New Blacklist.” Mullarkey, an artist who created a series of painted based in the 1990s inspired by the gay pride parade in New York found herself the victim of hate mail and press intimidation after the San Francisco Chronicle published a list of names and addresses of people who financially supported California's Prop 8.

She wrote,

One night in early February, I drove home to find two cars, two men, waiting for me, unannounced, in the dark. Reporters for the Daily News, they were publishing a story on me and Prop 8 the next day and wanted a live quotation. Serious interviews are arranged ahead of time. Besides, I had filed enough newspaper pieces on deadline to know that copy is well into the can at 7 P.M. This was intimidation, not fact-gathering.

After the Daily News story broke, Mullarkey found her “home address and email were repeated in comment sections in which readers egged each other on to 'make the b---- pay.”

Mullarkey's account also cites emails and letters she received from irate gays. One letter said, “Your career is over, you nasty piece of s---. F--- off! WHORE!” Another spewed:

Eat shit and die, c--.
Eat c-- and die, bitch.
You right-wing, heterosupremacist t--.
You are the moral equivalent of a Jewish Nazi. Roast in hell, you filthy c--.

The media's refusal to even consider that bullies might reside in the LGBT community and that harassment is a two-way street offers an incredible disservice to society. We're told we must embrace the gay lifestyle or be subjected to the type of bullying the LGBT community desperately wants to eradicate.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.