After a few months of silence, the right is back to attacking Kevin Jennings. While Fox News is even labeling the attacks "fresh" to make people think that there's something to look at here (if you have to call your story "fresh," it probably isn't, just like if you have to call your network "fair and balanced"), they're anything but. They're still going after GLSEN, saying that they recommended some books for seventh graders that aren't appropriate (maybe that's why this is coming back a few months later: they finally had the time required to read the seventh grade reading list?).
Apparently, so they're just going make "Obama tries to indoctrinate your children into the homosexual lifestyle" a rightwing legend that just won't die, much like "the Clintons killed Vince Foster." GLSEN's been around for years and the big players on the right's noise machine (not just the homosexual peanut gallery folks like Matt Barber, etc.) never really cared about it. Suddenly, though, their former director gets nominated to a position of power and there's an issue.
Part of the attack also has to do with the fact that Jennings is a "czar," and Fox News has been going after them (because "czar" is Russian, and if you have only a vague understanding of world history, that means "Communist").
It's all necessary for not just the conspiracy theorist's mind, but also people who just get worn down hearing attacks on someone, hearing innuendo and scandalous accusations thrown someone's way, that they eventually settle in people's heads and become their initial reaction to that person. Whether they're trying to make Obama look a little worse here or gay men, since we all know gay men can't interact with children without molesting them, their goal isn't to make a brilliant argument. It's to make us think that where there's smoke, there's fire, even if the smoke is just the rightwing noise machine burning the trash they just went through and found nothing in.
All of which means this isn't going to stop. The attacks will keep on coming against Kevin Jennings, and, by extension, any LGBT person who works with children, throughout the time he works there. And there's nothing Jennings can do to stop it, so I hope he just keeps on doing his job and showing people actually paying attention to what he's doing that children actually benefit when anyone qualified wants to help them, regardless of gender or sexual identity.
Everything related to children is an issue and will continue to be for a while. As Paige Schilt pointed out last week, even more progressive Americans, who might be A-OK with the queer people they know, really don't like the idea of their children being gay.
Out here in Europe, especially in France, the gay debate is on adoption, not marriage. Every few years someone will propose a constitutional amendment to guarantee a child's right to a mother and a father, which, for some reason, they think will only affect LGBT households.
And I think this is why it's a perennial attack when it comes to those marriage referendums - the debate in Maine focused on the kids being indoctrinated because people. California's rightwing brought up religious freedom as well, but kids were an important part of the Prop 8 campaign.
This stuff runs deep, and even people who you think are fine with you might be thinking something else when it comes to teh gayz and teh kidz being anywhere near each other. And I don't know how we get people over that other than just trudging forward as well.