Principal Comes Out, Christian Right Freaks Out

A high school principal in Washington, DC came out as gay at a pride event last week and the Christian right is predictably flipping their collective lids over it. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says parents should pull their kids out of public schools.

Perkins was of course appalled, urging his Washington Watch listeners yesterday to pull their kids from public schools: “If you have your children in the public schools, unless you’re in a district where you know exactly what’s going on in some rural part of the country where values are still embraced, you really need to think about whether or not you want to expose your kids to what’s happening in our public school system. I would encourage you to look for other alternatives.”

“Eighty-three percent of the students coming out of the District of Columbia are not proficient in reading skills, but they know how to celebrate gay pride,” Perkins said. “As we drop further and further in the global ranking of math and science scores, at least our kids will understand sex-ed. Amazing.”

I hear some people criticize the use of the word “homophobia” to describe people like Perkins, arguing that they don’t fear gay people they are bigoted against them. The truth, of course, is that they’re both. These people are absolutely terrified of The Gay. They ascribe overwhelming, almost irresistible, power to being gay. That’s why they freak out over the idea that their children would even see a gay person. They really do seem to believe that the being gay is the most alluring thing imaginable, that once exposed to even a single gay person, their children will succumb to the temptation.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    Hot sweaty fear is almost as good as hot sweaty sex!

  • Mr Ed

    I remember the first gay teacher I met, he was just like every other teacher. Didn’t know he was gay until years later. If kids find out that the christian pillar that gays are an abomination is wrong they might start to question other pillars.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I don’t think they’re actually afraid of the gay. They’re just authoritarians – they want to control everyone, and the gay aren’t under their control and it rankles. So they use it as a way of dividing and controlling their own flocks; it’s a very simple strategy. It’s also really obvious.

  • brucemartin

    The high school event was not about sex ed as the FRC bleats, but was about social justice.

    Now, back 40 years ago, my high school, like most then, didn’t do much with outside concerns, from the parts of life that weren’t required for H.S. So, what caused this big change? It was the Christians who wanted to evangelize to kids captive in public schools who caused this. They demanded the right to form student clubs on non-academic issues. So now there can be and are group activities on any area people care about. (And hooray for the Secular Student Alliance.)

    So many schools in progressive areas are probably forming clubs that can be a gay-straight alliance support group. So the rally at this school is a natural outgrowth of this, which started with those evangelicals. As they sow, so shall they reap.

  • scienceavenger

    …unless you’re in a district where you know exactly what’s going on in some rural part of the country…Eighty-three percent of the students coming out of the District of Columbia are not proficient in reading skills…

    Whereas those rural school districts are renowned for their high educational standards…

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    As we drop further and further in the global ranking of math and science scores

    Please provide the logical link between this and TEH GAY.

    I bet I can provide a better link between that and fundamentalist religion and conservatism.

  • brucemartin

    After all, who would drive a Volvo or Saab engineered in a gay-friendly place such as Sweden, if they could buy one from Saudi Arabia?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I don’t criticize the use of homophobia b/c people like Perkins are not “absolutely terrified of The Gay.” Sure they are.

    But that’s not my problem. In a country with freedom of conscience, if Perkins or anyone else wants to cower in fear from images of me kissing my partner, go ahead. You don’t have to change that about yourself.

    However, in a country with a 14th amendment, you are restrained from using the majority power of heterosexual people or Christian People or theocratic people or anti-queer people (or whatever is the best name for the coalition) to create a state of less than equal protection of the law for me and mine.

    I’m opposed to heterosexism and to homophobia. But I’m not out to cure homophobia. If you can manage your fears enough not to violate others’ rights, that is just as sufficient as managing your rage enough not to assault people. Once you’ve stopped infringing others’ rights, the rest ain’t the public’s business.

    [Except as a near-post script: Homophobic people remain part of the public. If they choose to talk about their homophobia in public and ask that, as members of the public, public funds be spent on helping them, I would support their request. But getting inside a head to root out phobias should be a choice of the head-owner.]

  • Olav

    Marcus Ranum #3:

    I don’t think they’re actually afraid of the gay. They’re just authoritarians – they want to control everyone, and the gay aren’t under their control and it rankles.

    No contradiction there.

    Authoritarianism (or the desire to control others) is clearly also a manifestation of fear. Fear of the unknown, the uncommon, the nonconforming, any possible source of doubt really.

    This is why (imnsho) bigots are never bigoted against just one class of people, eg. homosexuals. They are almost always racists, sexists, nationalists, political partisans etc. at the same time as well. Anyone who does not exactly look, talk, believe, behave etc. like themselves, scares them.

    I would not be surprised if it turned out to be a multimillion year old survival instinct/strategy that is working against us in the present.

  • eric

    DC schools are poor because DC is poor (in terms of tax revenues). And DC is poor because Congress has, by explitic acts of law, prevented the DC government from taxing 60% of the poeple who work there (because they live outside the district), and by making over half the land in DC exempt from property taxes.

  • cptdoom

    DC schools are poor because DC is poor (in terms of tax revenues). And DC is poor because Congress has, by explitic acts of law, prevented the DC government from taxing 60% of the poeple who work there (because they live outside the district), and by making over half the land in DC exempt from property taxes.

    And, for the record, Wilson High has one of the best graduation rates of non-magnet schools in DC. According to this 2012 Washington Post article:

    The traditional open-enrollment public high school with the highest graduation rate is Woodrow Wilson in Northwest, where 73.7 percent of the Class of 2011 finished on time.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-dc-schools-59-percent-of-students-get-diploma-on-time/2012/04/05/gIQAMtuTyS_story.html

  • Switchhttr

    I hear some people criticize the use of

    the word “homophobia” to describe

    people like Perkins, arguing that they

    don’t fear gay people they are bigoted

    against them.

    Yes, I hear the TV Tropes site had some opposition to a “Useful Notes” page on homophobia, despite having similar pages discussing sexist double standards and racism. I don’t know if some people just don’t want their mellow harshed, or perhaps they think if they deny its existence it’ll go away. Maybe a bit of both.

  • theguy

    ““As we drop further and further in the global ranking of math and science scores, at least our kids will understand sex-ed”

    I bet Mr Friends-With-White-Supremacists Perkins and his opposition to teaching evolution have something to do with that.

    Anyway, better sex-ed would reduce the teen pregnancy rate, so it’s a plus. But it definitely sounds like Mr Shitkins is blaming student ignorance on gay people, instead on himself, where the blame really should go.

  • jeevmon

    All of a sudden, Perkins gives a shit about math and science? Perkins is a pretty prominent warrior against the well-substantiated theory of evolution and the well-supported science supporting global climate change being taught without being “balanced” by the theories of magic and willful denial.

    And Bible math says that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is 3. Not more than 3. Not 3 and some fraction. Just 3.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    …unless you’re in a district where you know exactly what’s going on in some rural part of the country where values are still embraced…

    You mean places where most live in double-wides or some run-down shack in “tha holler?”

    Yeah,those are “people” we want to revere and emulate..

  • colnago80

    Re jeevmon @ #14

    Well, that’s good to 1 significant digit.

  • dugglebogey

    At this point these people are terrified that children will figure out that gay people are just people. They have called them acid drooling monsters for so long, they are afraid the children will discover their lies. Sheer terror has ensued.

  • Synfandel

    Today (Thursday) is election day in Ontario, Canada. The current premier (think provincial prime minister), Kathleen Wynne, is an open lesbian who is married to Jane Rounthwaite. Ms Wynne is running to keep her job as premier in a very tight race.

    I’m an avid follower of political news and I have seen or heard the fact of her being a lesbian mentioned only once in the entire campaign, and that was in an article that merely remarked that it has been a total non-issue in the election. There really are places where your sexual orientation elicits no more than a shrug.