Comparing Prop. 8 judge to Emperor Nero just the latest in Wash. Times' anti-gay assault

››› ››› FAE JENCKS

The Washington Times has an extensive history of promoting anti-gay smears, falsehoods, and distortions. In the latest example, the Times compared Judge Vaughn Walker, who found California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, to "brutal" Roman Emperor Nero, writing that Nero, "like Judge Vaughn, wanted the community to embrace his unnatural way of life."

Wash. Times editorial board attacks the "homosexual agenda"

Wash. Times criticized Hillary Clinton for working "diligently to further the homosexual agenda in the State Department." In a July 15 editorial, the Times purported to illuminate what they described as the Obama administration's "homosexual-Muslim conflict," writing that "[e]ventually, the Obama administration might have to decide to which radical group it's most important to pander: homosexuals or Muslims." The Times also criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for supposedly "work[ing] diligently to further the homosexual agenda in the State Department," and claimed that "despite widespread opposition to homosexual 'marriage' here at home, the U.S. government is pressuring foreign governments to officially recognize homosexual unions abroad."

Wash. Times attacked Obama White House for "actively attacking the foundations of the traditional family to cater to a handful of extremists." A July 27 editorial attacked what the Times deemed "Obama's assault on marriage." The Times criticized a regulation that would "provide long-term care insurance to the 'domestic partners' of all federal employees as if they were partners in true wedlock." The Times suggested that if an estimateby the Congressional Budget Office that "one-third of 1 percent of federal employees would register as domestic partners" was accurate, that means that "the White House is actively attacking the foundations of the traditional family to cater to a handful of extremists."

Wash. Times claimed that "radical leftists" in the Obama administration are working to "reshape conceptions of the family." A July 1 editorial criticized what the Times called "Obama's war on the traditional family," claiming that "the administration has ramped up programs intended to reshape conceptions of the family." As evidence, the Times criticized what it called "'transgender' passports" and a grant issued by the Department of Justice that would "pay for the creation of guidelines for prison workers who might deal with 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) offenders'." The editorial board also criticized the inclusion of "homosexual 'families'" in a Father's Day proclamation issued by Obama, commenting that Obama had done so "as if they could rear our youth just as well as a traditional family consisting of a mom (female) and dad (male)." The Times concluded that "Mr. Obama's policies are undermining the foundation of the family itself."

Wash. Times warned of a possible gay "assault upon traditional norms and values." A July 25, 2001, Times editorial discussed whether there is "such a thing as the 'gay agenda' ":

Is there such a thing as the "gay agenda"? In other words, are efforts to enact various laws, such as those forbidding "discrimination" against homosexuals and allowing gay "marriage" simply the leading edge of an ever-broadening assault upon traditional norms and values, as conservatives have argued for years? Here's a test case to help you decide.

In Sacramento, Calif., state legislators are poised to pass a bill that would prohibit bias against -- and here we quote the report of this newspaper's Thomas D. Elias -- "Transsexuals, drag queens, effeminate men, 'butch' women and anyone else who doesn't manifest common sex traits and behavior." The bill has already passed the state Assembly and prospects appear good for eventual passage in the state Senate. Its chief sponsor, Democratic Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, says her measure merely "adds gender-appearance discrimination to sex discrimination in the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act." Her bill would require, among other things, that workers notify their employers of their sexual identity -- or pending "change" -- before making any claims of sex-gender-appearance discrimination.


You'll have to decide for yourself whether that comprises an "agenda" or not. [The Washington Times, 7/25/01, retrieved from the Nexis database]

Wash. Times lauded Boy Scouts of America for refusal "to bend to passing fancy, i.e. the embrace of open homosexuality." In a June 17, 2001, editorial, the Times condemned the backlash the Boy Scouts of America received due to the lawsuit that James Dale brought against the organization; Dale had been rejected for an adult leadership position and fired from his position as an assistant Scoutmaster after Boy Scouts of America learned that he was gay. The Times also praised the organization for refusing to "bend to passing fancy, i.e. the embrace of open homosexuality" and defended its decision to "refus[e] to permit an openly homosexual young man to continue in his capacity as a leader/role model for young boys":

The Boy Scouts have stubbornly refused to bend to passing fancy, i.e. the embrace of open homosexuality. For this, they have been viciously attacked by the forces of political correctness, branded as homophobes and bigots. They have been barred from the public school facilities they depend upon for venues to hold their monthly meetings. They have been forbidden from using public facilities -- or denied the use of facilities, such as campgrounds, that were formerly made available to them at no cost.

All of this because the Scout Law and Scout Oath represent the moral code and value system of a dying era -- one in which those things we might subsume under the term, "family values" have become inappropriate, in bad taste, even. And more precisely, because the organization refused to permit an openly homosexual young man to continue in his capacity as a leader/role model for young boys. Twenty years ago, such a decision would not have raised an eyebrow; today it is the emblem of hateful discrimination.


Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott summed it up best when he said, 'I don't know quite how to react to the fact that in America now, even the Boy Scouts seem to be under attack ... are motherhood and apple pie next? Is nothing sacred anymore?'"

Unfortunately, the answer to that question appears to be that no, nothing is sacred anymore -- beyond blind adherence to whatever voguish notion the radical left decides to be the order of the day. All else is to be swept away, including an organization whose old-fashioned ideas of moral certainty no longer fit the times. [The Washington Times, 6/17/01, from Nexis]

Wash. Times praised Boy Scouts as "one of the last remaining bastions of American culture that has not bowed to the gay agenda." In a June 30, 2000, editorial, the Times applauded the Boy Scouts of America for being "one of the last remaining bastions of American culture that has not bowed to the gay agenda":

Wednesday, the Supreme Court rejected the idea, which had been upheld by the New Jersey Supreme Court, that the Boy Scouts had no fundamental right to exclude would-be members who do not subscribe to or conform with the organization's most basic tenets. In this particular instance, the Boy Scouts withdrew the membership of former Assistant Scoutmaster James Dale, an adult volunteer, after learning of his homosexual lifestyle. This, of course, put the Boy Scouts in the gunsights as one of the last remaining bastions of American culture that has not bowed to the gay agenda -- which demands not merely live-and-let live tolerance, but total acceptance -- indeed, emphatic endorsement. [The Washington Times, 6/30/00, from Nexis]

Wash. Times claimed promoters of purported "gay agenda" were using military issue to force "public support of the gay lifestyle." In a March 21, 1993, editorial, the Times argued that calls to drop the ban on gay men and lesbians in the military were just a ploy to force the public to support the "gay lifestyle": "Third, military service is not the real gay agenda. The real agenda is to use the military as a steppingstone to forced public support of the gay lifestyle. Experts agree that at least some homosexual conduct is learned. U.S. tax money should not sanction that learning process." [The Washington Times, 3/21/93, from Nexis]

The Times, led by former editor-in-chief Pruden, declared war on gay men and lesbians in the military

Pruden: "There's really not very much gay about war," contrary to media's image of "endless gaiety, like Mardi Gras." In a February 5 Washington Times column headlined "Nothing gay about this mission," Wesley Pruden -- the paper's editor-in-chief from 1992 to 2008 who continues to write a column for the paper -- attacked repealing the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy by asserting that "there's really not very much gay about war" and claimed that the military is "organized for a simple ultimate mission, to kill people and break things." He also stated that in testimony, Admiral Mike Mullen "wanted to talk mostly about how he's not like the homophobes," adding: "Navies once took small boys aboard ship as cabin boys to make life pleasant for the officers, and that seemed to work out all right. So what's the big deal?" From the column:

There's really not very much gay about war, as anybody who has seen a battlefield up close and personal will tell you. The nation's Army and Navy are organized for a simple ultimate mission, to kill people and break things.

You might think war is endless gaiety, like Mardi Gras, from this week's coverage of Senate Armed Services Committee hearings about whether to repeal the law enabling homosexuals to serve in the armed forces so long as nobody asks and they don't tell.

The military services have always discriminated against a lot of people in choosing who they want for the grim tasks and brutal duties of war. Congress and the courts have always granted the services wide latitude. The old, the halt, the lame, the one-legged man and even the man with flat feet are not allowed to serve, either. It would never have occurred to the generations who won America's wars to question such common sense. Now we have pregnant sailors and routinely send mothers of small children off to do the work of men, so why not oblige men who look upon other men with lust?


Adm. Mullen wanted to talk mostly about how he's not like the homophobes who resist introducing confusion and uncertainty into the ranks. Navies once took small boys aboard ship as cabin boys to make life pleasant for the officers, and that seemed to work out all right. So what's the big deal?

While editor-in-chief, Pruden unleashed wave of anti-gay attacks after U.K. allowed gay men and lesbians to serve openly. After the United Kingdom lifted its ban on gay men and lesbians serving in the military in response to a European court ruling, Pruden used his January 14, 2000, column to unleash a barrage of anti-gay attacks, including:

  • The European Union "wants to make the barracks safe for sodomy." Pruden wrote: "The European Union, wiping away all vestiges of 'discrimination,' wants to make the barracks safe for sodomy. Britain, 'the sceptr'd isle' that has been home for centuries to a race of kings, submitted to the Europeans this week and agreed to open the barracks to men and women, gays and lesbians, known and unknown. Maybe even queens and cross-dressers, given the English taste for the royally erotic. Rule, Britannia." [The Washington Times, 1/14/00, from Nexis]
  • Banning gay men and lesbians from military prevents violence against "a randy gay caballero [who] starts making eyes at a straight." Pruden wrote: "Soldiers are by definition a bit rough, if not coarse, and not always just around the edges. An instinct for violence is refined in an army, and prized as an attribute to be shaped to positive ends. ... Only someone who has never been in a barracks is unable to imagine what will happen when a randy gay caballero starts making eyes at a straight who is making eyes at that cute little gruntess in the next bunk." [The Washington Times, 1/14/00, from Nexis]
  • Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the military would "render it unoperable for the convenience of puffs and poofs." Pruden wrote: "The feminist and homosexual advocates of dismantling the American military, eager to render it inoperable for the convenience of puffs and poofs, will no doubt cite the European rulings as needed guidance for the Pentagon. The New York Times, no friend of a rough, tough military, observes that the latest ruling 'brings Britain into line with almost all other NATO nations, including France, Canada and Germany,' and adds primly: 'The United States, with its 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, is at variance with that trend.' " [The Washington Times, 1/14/00, from Nexis]
  • "A little gay spooning after 'lights out' isn't likely to hurt troops nobody counts on." Pruden wrote: "What most of us are too diplomatic, too polite, just too darn nice to say, is that except for the English it probably doesn't matter very much. From the record in World War II, the last real test of military prowess for the Europeans, we can reasonably conclude that European women may be better fighters than European men, anyway. A little gay spooning after 'lights out' isn't likely to hurt troops nobody counts on." [The Washington Times, 1/14/00, from Nexis]

Pruden: Gay rights activist warned Clinton "if he insists on backing down on his promise to put a little gaiety in the barracks they'll hit him with their purses." In his June 25, 1993, column, Pruden commented on President Bill Clinton's attempt to repeal the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military: "One of Mr. Clinton's own best friends, David Mixner, a White House aide and a member of a group called Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality, warned the president yesterday that if he insists on backing down on his promise to put a little gaiety in the barracks they'll hit him with their purses." [The Washington Times, 6/25/93, from Nexis]

Gaffney: Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would "impose the radical homosexual agenda on the U.S. military." In a June 15 column, Frank Gaffney claimed that an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would "impose the radical homosexual agenda on the U.S. military," and suggested that "a more appropriate title for this bill would be the 'Bring Back the Draft Act.' " Gaffney also asserted that repealing the provision "would have the effect of destroying the highly successful all-volunteer force."

Gaffney claimed "American people" oppose gays in the military. From Gaffney's February 2 Times column:

When the dust settles on this battle, my bet is that the American people and their elected representatives will continue overwhelmingly to oppose conferring on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals and hermaphrodites a nonexistent "right" to serve openly in the military. We will thus avoid breaking the all-volunteer force, and it will be, instead, Mr. Obama's standing as commander in chief that will have suffered further grievous and perhaps irreparable harm. [The Washington Times, 2/2/10]

Sprigg claimed that "forced cohabitation" between straight, gay soldiers would make problems like "sexual harassment and assaults" worse. In a March 8 op-ed, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg criticized attempts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as well as claims that "sharing showers and sleeping quarters, will have no impact on people's behavior, let alone on their 'good order, morale, discipline and unit cohesion.' " He went on to suggest that "forced cohabitation" would make existing "sexual harassment and assault" problems "worse."

Wash. Times op-ed writer emphasized supposed risk of assaults, misconduct posed by allowing open military service by gay men and lesbians. In a February 2 op-ed, Richard H. Black emphasized the risks supposedly posed by "repeal[ing] the ban on homosexuals in the military." He suggested that while "[a]ctivists claim the risk of crimes from same-sex offenders is no greater than it is between servicemen and women. They are wrong. Women are not required to sleep and shower under the watchful eyes of men." Black also suggested that while "[h]omosexuals dismiss concerns regarding privacy in showers and in the barracks...the risk is high." Black cited multiple incidents to emphasize the "severity" of the problem, including one case where "two homosexual recruits" assaulted a soldier who ended up "hospitalized under psychiatric care," and another in which "[h]omosexuals had advertised a Fort Hood restroom as a gathering spot for casual sex."

Times mocks gay rights activists, minimizes AIDS epidemic, seeks to discredit gay relationships

Wash. Times falsely suggested children raised by two heterosexual parents "perform better" than those raise by gay or lesbian parents. In an October 28, 2009, editorial, the Times claimed that children "perform much better" in two-parent heterosexual homes. In fact, experts say children raised by gay or lesbian parents suffer no adverse effects in their psychosocial development.

Times used scare quotes around words "partner" and "marriage" for gay men and lesbians. The Times reportedly banned the practice of using what The Washington City Paper described as "scare quotes" around "gay marriage" in its news pages shortly after the hiring of Pruden's replacement as editor-in-chief, John Solomon. In a February 25, 2008, memo, copy desk chief Patrick Tuohy reportedly stated that "[t]he quotation marks will come off gay marriage (preferred over homosexual marriage)." Examples of the Times previously using scare quotes before the change in policy include:

  • From an August 30, 2004, news article: "Same-sex 'marriages' are recognized in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Tens of thousands of same-sex couples, including some from the United States and other countries, have been declared 'married' in those provinces. Polls show that Canadians support the legalization of same-sex 'marriage.' A survey last year by the Environics Research Group found that 56 percent supported the practice, while 42 percent were opposed and 3 percent were undecided. Support for same-sex 'marriage' in Canada tends to be strongest among women and those under 45." [The Washington Times, 8/30/04]
  • From a September 22, 2003, news article: "Republicans are prepared to oppose homosexual 'marriage' in their national platform, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said yesterday. ... Proponents say same-sex 'marriage,' rather than civil unions, is necessary to assure all the benefits, including Social Security for survivors, afforded to heterosexual married couples." [The Washington Times, 9/22/03]
  • In its October 22, 2009, editorial attacking Jennings, the Times similarly used scare quotes around the word "partner," writing: "Jeff Davis, Mr. Jennings 'partner" of 15 years, described their first meetings."

After Solomon left the paper in November 2009, scare quotes returned around the word "marriage" in reference to gays in a pair of articles. A November 25, 2009, editorial stated: "It's a dark scandal in American politics that so many Catholic politicians promote abortion and same-sex 'marriage,' " and in an November 24, 2009, op-ed, Binyamin L. Jolkovsky wrote that Carrie Prejean's "fame, or infamy, skyrocketed after she honestly answered a question about gay 'marriage' during an internationally televised beauty pageant."

Rep. Trent Franks in op-ed: "the radical gay agenda's special rights" aren't the "same civil rights" of Lincoln, King. On September 15, 2005, the Times published an op-ed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) in which Franks contrasted gay civil rights with other civil rights movements: "These liberals are also very fond of accusing [then-Supreme Court nominee] Judge [John] Roberts of opposing civil rights. When liberal extremists say 'civil rights,' they do not mean the same civil rights that Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for. What they are trying to foist upon the American people is unconstitutional racial quotas and the radical gay agenda's special rights. This is again an effort at social engineering to force their extremist agenda upon the people of America -- against their will." [The Washington Times, 9/15/05]

Wash. Times repeatedly called gay rights activists "the lavender lobby." In several editorials, the Times referred to gay rights activists as "the lavender lobby." For example:

  • Pruden: "Long before the challenge to Prop 8 was filed, Judge Walker had established a reputation for protecting lavender dreams and wishes." [The Washington Times, 8/5/10]
  • Pruden: "Gays are particularly conflicted. On the one hand, the lavender lobby works hard to persuade the public that there's nothing shameful about homosexuality." [The Washington Times, 8/31/07]
  • Pruden: "Hollywood is watching 'Brokeback Mountain,' about a couple of cowboys in hot pursuit of sodomy in Wyoming, to see whether it's the 'breakthrough' to a vast new audience that can be exploited with a rash of movies pandering to the lavender lobby." [The Washington Times, 12/29/05]
  • Samuel Francis: "The gay caballeros down South are grousing that Mr. Parrish's defense strategy makes it open season on all those of alternative lifestyles. As usual with exponents of more rights for me and fewer for you, the lavender lobby wants the federal leviathan to march in pronto." [The Washington Times, 12/13/94, from Nexis]

Pruden falsely suggested AIDS hasn't killed "millions," consistently downplays HIV/AIDS, and called the disease "the gift of the gays." In a June 17, 2008, Washington Times column, Pruden asserted of the AIDS virus: "We were all supposed to be dead now, done in by AIDS, the gift of the gays," and subsequently downplayed the number of deaths attributable to AIDS. In his Times columns stretching back at least to 1989, Pruden has repeatedly downplayed the impact of HIV/AIDS. For instance, he asserted in a 2005 column that "after all these years AIDS remains a disease almost altogether of homosexuals and drug addicts and the unfortunate women who hang out with them." Contrary to his suggestion, AIDS has in fact killed millions. [The Washington Times, 2/22/05, from Nexis]

Pruden: Federal lawyers "could argue" that "sodomy in the age of AIDS is a worldwide health hazard." In his December 10, 2002, column, Pruden wrote: "The Supreme Court's new sodomy case revists settled law that the state has a legitimate interest in prohibiting unnatural sexual relations. The government's lawyers could argue, but probably won't that sodomy is a public-health issue, as sodomy in the age of AIDS is a worldwide health hazard, like smoking [but unlike smoking, highly contagious]. ... The government might lose this time; the Supreme Court could reason that government snoops have no place in anybody's bedroom, homo- or hetero-." [The Washington Times, 12/10/02, from Nexis]

Wash. Times' attack on banning discrimination against GLBT employees: "Discrimination is necessary"

Wash. Times editorial: "Discrimination is necessary." In an April 26 editorial about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Times argued that "discrimination is necessary" and that "subjecting kids to weirdos undermines standards of decency" (the latter appears as the editorial's subheadline in the Nexis database but is not present on its online version). The editorial contends that "It is right to discriminate between honesty and dishonesty, between politeness and impoliteness, between right and wrong. And it assuredly is right to be discriminating in choosing who teaches our children. ENDA would make it impossible for a non-church-based charter school, for instance, to remove from the classroom a 'she-male' who insists on exposing her pupils to her unnatural transformation." The editorial went on to call the legislation "a direct attack on common sense."

FRC's Sprigg in Times op-ed: ENDA will "marginalize and stigmatize Americans who disapprove of homosexual conduct." In a May 11 Washington Times op-ed, Sprigg suggests that ENDA will "marginalize and stigmatize Americans who disapprove of homosexual conduct." From the op-ed:

The House of Representatives may act soon on a bill to marginalize and stigmatize Americans who disapprove of homosexual conduct. H.R. 3017, known as ENDA, seeks to give homosexuals (and the government) the right to sue employers, based on the theory that being gay is like being black (even though homosexuality is a matter of conduct, not race), female (even though homosexuals were never denied the right to vote), or religious (even though sexual preferences are not in the Constitution).


According to the advocates of ENDA, homosexuality (the desire to have sex with others of the same sex) is something present in infants at birth (although this has been disproven scientifically). But one's sex (male or female), which in truth can be determined by examination of the genitals or of the chromosomes of any cell in the body, is to their minds, merely designated at birth, like the name the parents pick out.

Special protections based on gender identity mean that employers will be forced to hire transvestites (cross-dressers, who merely wear the clothing of the opposite sex); transsexuals (people who have undergone surgery and other medical treatments to obliterate the characteristics of their birth sex and imitate the characteristics of the opposite sex); and drag queens and kings (people who dress as the opposite sex for the purpose of entertaining themselves or others).

Liberty Counsel's Barber in Times op-ed: ENDA is "government-sanctioned viewpoint discrimination." In an April 15 op-ed, Liberty Counsel director of cultural affairs J. Matt Barber criticized ENDA, calling it "government-sanctioned viewpoint discrimination," claiming that it "is no different from forcing a deeply religious business owner to hire and accommodate an 'out and proud' adulterous 'swinger.' " Barber also referred to "the postmodern concept of homosexual 'rights,' " which he suggests are in conflict with "Americans' constitutionally guaranteed right to religious liberty."

Wash. Times frequently features gay-basher Robert Knight

Knight calls "homosexual activism" the "spear point of the larger cultural blitzkrieg." In a June 3 Times op-ed, Robert Knight, senior writer and correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries, claimed that George Will's conclusion that "homosexuality will soon be a nonissue in the military" means that "[s]exual morality is over." Knight claimed that "[t]his plunge into moral relativism could mean that Sodom and Gomorrah had evolved into a more 'maturing society' than, say, Jerusalem under King David. Or America under Abraham Lincoln." He also suggests that proponents of homosexuality "ignore biology, morality, history, common sense and grim health statistics because they are smarter than anyone." Knight added that "[s]ocialists have been at war with sexual morality since the French Revolution," and claims that "[h]omosexual activism is the spear point of the larger cultural blitzkrieg." Knight's op-ed was accompanied by the following illustration:

Knight: " 'Gay rights' agenda is liberal Trojan Horse." Knight criticized Republicans for supporting "gay rights" in an July 5 op-ed subheadlined " 'Gay rights' agenda is liberal Trojan Horse." Knight suggested that "conservatives recruited to the gay cause cannot plausibly defend homosexual acts on grounds of health, biology, science, religion, individual well-being or societal benefit." Knight also equated homosexuality to "behavioral quirks," stating that "lots of young people now think it's cool to be 'gay,' " and "know some nice gay people," and are therefore more likely to accept "the left's position that any resistance to incentivizing homosexuality is evidence of hate or bigotry or ignorance." Knight then wrote that he knows "nice gay people" as well, but he "also know[s] a lot of other folks with behavioral quirks that don't rise to the level of an 'unalienable right' given us by our Creator."

Knight: "Is being black really the same as Fred sizing up Larry for 'the crime against nature' " In a July 7 op-ed, Knight attacked the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, claiming that "[w]artime is the worst time for social experimentation." Knight suggested that in trying to convince "wobbly Republicans" to vote for the repeal, opponents of the provision were unjustifiably using the "moral capital of the black civil rights movement." Knight then asked: "Is being black really the same as Fred sizing up Larry for 'the crime against nature'?" Knight also claimed that "[i]njecting homosexuality into the barracks, showers, submarines and 'diversity' training cannot possibly improve combat readiness or morale." He further wrote that "[f]orcing open homosexuality on the armed forces would destroy the volunteer military and bring back the compulsory draft."

The Times attacks Obama appointees for their positions on LGBT issues

Wash. Times claims Kagan memo on same-sex marriage puts her "to the left of legal and moral tradition." A June 9 editorial criticized Kagan for her "dubious history when it comes to forcing states to accept marriages that contradict their own laws." The Times suggested that an old memo of Kagan's puts her "to the left of legal and moral tradition" because it supposedly suggested that she supported same-sex marriage. In fact, the case with which Kagan was dealing did not involve same-sex marriage. Rather, Kagan was dealing with a case in which Robert F. Miner -- a prisoner sentenced to life in prison in New York State -- married a woman in Kansas, Laurie Marion, through a proxy. The marriage was void in New York, because prisoners sentenced to life in prison are considered "civilly dead" in that state and are not allowed to marry. Miner challenged the constitutionality of New York's decision not to recognize the Kansas marriage. New York's highest court rejected Miner's challenge, and Miner appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ultimately decided not to hear the case. Neither the lower court decisions (retrieved via Lexis) nor Kagan's memo mentioned same-sex marriage.

Kuhner criticized Kagan for opposing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In a July 2 column, Jeffrey Kuhner criticized Kagan for her opposition to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," suggesting that while Kagan "argued that it amounted to discrimination and a violation of civil rights," the true goal of repealing the policy "is about transforming our military ... to advance the radical homosexual agenda."

Knight criticized "lesbian activist" appointee to the EEOC for her role in authoring "nuclear" ENDA. In an April 6 op-ed, Knight criticized "lesbian activist" Chai R. Feldblum's appointment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Knight attacked Feldblum for saying that "she cannot think of a single instance in which religious freedom would trump 'gay rights'." He also decried Feldblum's role in writing ENDA, which Knight referred to as "another of Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank's nuclear gifts to the radical left."

The Times' anti-gay war on Kevin Jennings

The Washington Times waged an anti-gay war on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, including penning numerous editorials specifically aimed at smearing him. These editorials have used anti-gay rhetoric, falsehoods, and distortions to attack Jennings, including accusations of "promoting homosexuality in schools" and falsely suggesting he "encouraged" the "statutory rape" of a "15-year-old high school sophomore."

Wash. Times unleashed anti-gay rhetoric against Jennings. The Times' editorial board has referred to "dangerous radical" Jennings as "Obama's buggery czar." The Times has also attacked Jennings' "bizarre sexual agenda" as "indoctrination" and written that Jennings "has made extremely radical statements promoting homosexuality in schools."

Wash. Times falsely claimed Jennings "encouraged" the "statutory rape" of a "15-year-old high school sophomore." The Times' editorial board has accused Jennings of "encourag[ing]" the "statutory rape" of a "15-year-old high school sophomore." In a later editorial, the Times falsely claimed the student was 15 in an attempt to compare Jennings to Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). The editorial further stated that "the Jennings case brings a lot more: A 'safe schools czar' who failed to report a statutory rape? An education leader who encouraged a 15-year-old student to be comfortable with sexual abuse? A federal official who ignored a law requiring him to report even the possibility of a crime?" It also characterized Jennings as "an appointee who thinks sex between an adult and a 15-year-old is no big deal." In a third editorial, the Times falsely claimed that Jennings "violated Massachusetts law" over 20 years ago by "covering up" the "sexual abuse" of one of his students. In a fourth editorial, the Times falsely suggested Jennings "encourage[ed]" the student to have sex with "a much older man."

Student in question was at the age of consent at the time of the incident. In his 1994 book One Teacher in Ten, Jennings described a student, named "Brewster," as "a charming but troubled kid" who "was not very happy with himself." Jennings wrote that he "didn't have a clue as to why -- at least not at first," and went on to describe an incident in which Brewster was brought into his office and discussed his homosexuality by telling "a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston." Jennings wrote that he "listened, sympathized, and offered advice," and Brewster left his "office with a smile on his face" that Jennings "would see every time" he "saw him on the campus for the next two years, until he graduated." In a 2000 speech to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which he headed at the time, Jennings said after Brewster told him of the incident involving an older man, "I didn't know what to say, knew I should say something quickly. So I finally -- my best friend had just died of AIDS the week before -- I looked at Brewster and said, 'You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.' He said to me something I will never forget, He said 'Why should I, my life isn't worth saving anyway.' " As Media Matters for America has previously reported, the student has confirmed that he was 16 at the time of the incident, which is and was the age of consent in Massachusetts. The Washington Times previously claimed that Jennings had "encouraged" the "statutory rape" of the student.

Wash. Times: Jennings "praise[d] Harry Hay," a NAMBLA supporter. On several occasions, the Times editorial board falsely suggested that Jennings praised gay rights activist Harry Hay for his support of the North American Man Boy Love Association. A December 9 Times editorial referred to Jennings' "praise for Harry Hay, a notorious supporter of the North American Man Boy Love Association"; a December 8 editorial charged that Jennings "expressed admiration for Harry Hay, a notorious and extremely prominent supporter of the North American Man Boy Love Association"; and on October 4 the Times claimed, "The late Hay was a 'gay-rights' activist most notorious for supporting the North American Man Boy Love Association."

Wash. Times distorted Harry Hay comment to link Jennings to NAMBLA. Jennings mentioned Harry Hay in a 1997 speech to GLSEN, and the transcript was published by anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera. Jennings' praise was of Hay's work as an early gay rights activist and had nothing to do with NAMBLA, as the Times repeatedly suggested. Jennings reportedly stated: "One of the people that's always inspired me is Harry Hay, who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America. In 1948, he tried to get people to join the Mattachine Society. It took him two years to find one other person who would join. Well, [in] 1993, Harry Hay marched with a million people in Washington, who thought he had a good idea 40 years before."

Wash. Times claimed GLSEN "recommended books for" teenagers "that present sex between minors and adults in a positive light." In the December 11 editorial, the Times claimed that GLSEN "recommended books for children as young as 13 that present sex between minors and adults in a positive light." On December 8, the Times claimed Jennings promoted relationships between children and "homosexual pedophiles" through GLSEN's reading list, which tries "to make sex between children and adults seem normal and acceptable." But the Times distorted at least one of the readings it cited as evidence. The Times claimed that a passage in Queer 13, one of the books on the GLSEN reading list, describes "a 13-year old boy who has sexual encounters with older men. His experience caused him to desperately want sex." The Times quoted the author as saying "that feeling of doing it to them and them doing the same for me was just too damn good." However, contrary to the suggestion that this passage depicted a child made "happy and fulfilled" by sexual encounters with older men, the author said his encounters included "brutal and painful experiences" and described this period of his life as "the beginning of my worthlessness." From Queer 13, page 45:

This was the year I realized I was helpless, different, wholly alone and defenseless. This was the beginning of my worthlessness. It was always pointed out to me that I wasn't good enough and that there was always someone somewhere doing better, and that no matter what I did, I could still have done better.

Wash. Times falsely claimed GLSEN "allowed bar guides to be handed out to high school students." In a December 11 Washington Times editorial, headlined "Cruising gay bars with the 'safe schools czar,' " the Times falsely claimed that Jennings "founded and led an organization that allowed bar guides to be handed out to high school students." In fact, in the case the Times referenced, a community health group -- not GLSEN itself -- reportedly said that it had mistakenly "left about 10 copies" of the booklet on an informational table it rented at a 2005 GLSEN conference at Brookline High School in Massachusetts; the group reportedly apologized for doing so; GLSEN stated that if it had known the booklets had been at the conference, it would have demanded they be removed; and the Brookline school superintendent reportedly said he believed no students had actually taken the book.

Wash. Times pushes "shocking new revelations" that GLSEN conference sessions taught "children how to engage in sex." In a December 9 editorial, The Washington Times stated that there were "shocking new revelations" about Jennings, claiming that a 2000 GLSEN conference session discussed graphic sexual acts with students and that the conference itself "appear[ed] to have had less to do with promoting tolerance and more to do with teaching children how to engage in sex." In fact, Jennings reportedly criticized some of the workshop's content when the recordings were first released in 2000, and the people involved in conducting the controversial discussion were state employees and contractors, not GLSEN employees.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
The Washington Times
Wesley Pruden, Frank Gaffney, Robert Knight
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.