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The Gay Agenda

Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice

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Edited By Gerald Walton

The «gay agenda» is a rhetorical strategy deployed by the religious right and other social conservatives to magnify fear and hostility of queers. Queers are accused, among other things, of strategizing to recruit children into sexually deviant lifestyles; dismantling family and marriage as cornerstones of civilization; and forcing the entertainment industry and court systems to do their bidding. Queers certainly do have an agenda but it is not the one that the religious right claims it is. It is to assert their presence in the public space; claim and name their identities; and strategize for social justice in law, schools, and workplaces. The Gay Agenda: Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice claims and reclaims the language of «agenda» and turns the rhetoric of the religious right on its ear. The contributors provide insightful and sharp commentary on gay agendas for human rights, marriage and family, cultural influences, schooling and education, and politics and law.

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SECTION FIVE: Seizing Control of Politics and the Law

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SECTION FIVE Seizing Control of Politics and the Law CHAPTER SEVENTEEN My "Gay Agenda": A Response to Focus on the Family Warren]. Blumenfeld We live in a paradoxical society in which loving sameness makes one differ- ent while loving difference makes one the same. -(Blumenfeld, 2013) Focus on the Family (FOF), a conservative theocratic1 mega-media Christian ministry, asserted in published accounts (Draper,, 2010) that gay rights advocates are forcing their viewpoints (their so-called gay agenda) onto schools in the guise of bullying prevention. In Draper's Denver Post article, FOF spokesperson Candi Cushman asserted that gay activists are the real schoolyard bullies while conservative Christians are the victims. According to Cushman, "We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled." In this chapter, I argue that advancing a positive social and aca- demic climate in schools for students, faculty, staff, and administra- tors of all social identities, including sexual and gender identities, should be major priorities ("agenda" items) for all (including people at Focus on the Family) if they are truly interested in ensuring safer and more welcoming school environments. Background On its official website, FOF promotes itself as "a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles." FOF...

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