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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anti-Gay Group: Don’t Celebrate ’Sexual Predator’ Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk: ’Sexual Predator?’
Harvey Milk: ’Sexual Predator?’ 
By Kilian Melloy -

An anti-gay organization is telling parents in California that slain equality leader Harvey Milk was a "sexual predator of teens," according to a faith-based anti-gay online publication, and urging readers to "take action" against Harvey Milk Day, a day commemorating the civil rights advocate that was established in California in 2009.

"’Save California’ has launched a campaign to counter the celebration that often occurs the week before or after May 22, Milk’s birthday," reported on May 24.

"In a Youtube video, Save California highlights a series of accusations against Milk, including that he was a child predator and supporter of homosexual polygamy," the article’s text adds.

The video shows pictures of children while text appears reading, "Your children and grandchildren at risk. Children as young as 5 years old at risk of being forced to honor and embrace the values of notorious sexual activist and sexual predator of teens Harvey Milk."

The video goes on to claim that the "suitable commemorative exercises" to celebrate the slain equality leader, who was gunned down in 1978, are, in "other words [a celebration of] the entire homosexual, bisexual, transsexual agenda that Milk advocated and led."

A collage of pictures and text follows, with slogans such as "’Gay’ marriages," "Same-sex school proms," "public nudity," and "’LGBT’ street fair" appearing.

"There is no definition or limit to the school exercises celebrating Harvey Milk’s values," subsequent text reads.

Text at the Save California site says that teachers determine for their classes what constitutes the "suitable commemorative exercises" that the California law instituting Harvey Milk Day says schools may engage in. According to the site, parents are not required to sign off or even be notified about any Harvey Milk Day lesson content or activities.

That seemingly suggests a moral hazard to the group, which was heavily involved in promoting Proposition 8, the anti-gay ballot initiative that rescinded then-existing marriage rights for gays and lesbians in 2008. Along with making accusations that Milk was a "sexual predator" and proponent of "homosexual polygamy," Save California poses the question, "Is this what you’re sending your children to public school to admire?"

"Science has found no biological basis for homosexuality, bisexuality, or transsexuality," the video’s text continues. "Study after study has found ’LGBT’ lifestyles to be unhealthy, with the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases and higher cancer rates and earlier deaths," the text adds.

Discredited researcher Paul Cameron claimed to have determined that gays die sooner. Cameron’s work has been denounced by health experts. Scientists have not found a so-called "gay gene," but a wealth of scientific evidence suggests that homosexuality has a biological basis. Among the evidence are controversial studies indicating that there may be significant physiological differences in brain structure between heterosexuals and gays, and between those who are transgender and those who are not.

Other research seems much more clear-cut, as in the case of studies that have demonstrated that in-utero hormone levels appear to have a correlation with homosexuality.

Credible researchers recently announced that gay men have higher rates of surviving cancer than do heterosexual men. In the case of prostate cancer, gay men report greater psychological stress and poorer health after treatment.

Similar claims about the putative risks to children, including very young children being "forced" to "learn about homosexuality" were repeated time and again by anti-gay organizations during the bitterly divisive 2008 campaign to pass Proposition 8 at the ballot box. Voters were targeted with claims that allowing gay and lesbian families to enter into marriage would mean that, under state law, kindergartners and elementary school children would be given lessons relating to the so-called "homosexual lifestyle."

Education officials said that these claims were untrue, but television ads continued to make the assertion, with one commercial depicting a young girl coming home to tell her mother that she had learned about a prince marrying a prince at school that day. The girl then added that she, herself, might one day marry a princess. The message appeared to be that children might be "converted" or "recruited" into homosexuals.

Text at the Save California website pursues similar themes. "It’s time to exercise your parental rights," one headline declares, while others read, "Exposed: An Ex-Homosexual Activist Reveals How YOUR Kids are Being Targeted" and "’Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender’ Role Models for Kids?"

Other content at the site encourages parents to "Exit public schools now." One link, titled "Not Born This Way," promises to disclose "The truth about homosexuality," adding, "Facts and help available."

Another link shows an image of Milk, with accompanying text that reads, "Don’t let him influence your kids: Boycott ’Milk Gay Day.’ "

Faith-based anti-gay groups claim that gays and lesbians "choose" their sexual orientation, and claim that gays can be "cured" of homosexuality. Mental health experts reject these claims and warn that "ex-gay" or "reparative therapy" programs risk doing significant harm to GLBTs who undertake them. Even so, messages that gays "choose" their sexuality are politically potent, because the corresponding argument is that granting GLTBs full equality before the law would constitute an "endorsement" of "immoral sexual conduct."

After a rash of media stories on gay teen suicides last year, the American mainstream became more conscious of the elevated risk of suicidal behavior among GLBT youth. The teens that committed suicide had been subjected to anti-gay harassment at school, sometimes for years and years.

"On this year’s ’Harvey Milk Day,’ a call center under his name was opened for a nonprofit group that reaches out to homosexual youth," the CBN article says. "Save California includes on its website a list of ways for concerned parents to stand against Harvey Milk teachings in California schools," the text continues.
Kilian Melloy is EDGE Media Network’s Web Producer and Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes aggregate news stories and commentary for EDGE.

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