HRC Blog

Anoka-Hennepin School District Appoints Member of Anti-Gay Hate Group to Youth Bullying Commission

Call It OutPost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Anoka-Hennepin school district, known for severe cases of bullying against students who either were or were perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, has appointed a member of a hate group to its new anti-bullying commission.

According to Truth Wins Out, the new commission member also is involved with the Parents Action League (PAL) – identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. PAL has said LGBT people are “promiscuous, dysfunctional, unhealthy and harmful to public health.” PAL also insists that there is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality, that being gay is a choice, and that LGBT people were likely abused as children.

The new commission member himself has racked up quite a track record of dangerous anti-LGBT lies, including:

  •  Wanting discredited “ex-gay” organizations to train district staff,
  • Insisting that homosexuality is a “sexual disorder,”
  • Referring to HIV/AIDS as ‘GRID’ – Gay-Related Immune Deficiency, and
  • Implying that LGBT people are at an elevated risk for various health problems.

Earlier this year, the district was forced to abandon its policy requiring staff members to remain “neutral” on LGBT issues in school – a policy that essentially left youth to fend for themselves without any type of support. At the same time, the district created the anti-bullying commission.

It is appalling that a man who espouses the same rhetoric that created such toxic conditions in the school district is now being appointed to serve as a leader on a commission created to remedy the very problem he helped create.

This isn’t the only example of the ongoing anti-LGBT animus in the area – just last week, we told you that a gay youth group in the same community was denied participation in the annual Halloween parade. Organizers told the gay group that the parade was already full, but Minnesota Public Radio reported that, at the time, organizers had yet to even file paperwork specifying how many participants would be marching.

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