Earlier today we received an email calling our attention to a website called GayStraightAlliance.org, specifically to the verbiage at the bottom of the main page:
WITHOUT GSA ACCESS, STUDENTS ARE FORCED TO SIMPLY KILL CLASSMATES WHO TAUNT & BULLY – SHOOTING, STABBING AND POISONING ARE THE COMMON FORMS OF RETRIBUTION. FAR TOO MANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS LIKE BULLYING CHILDREN TO THE POINT WHERE RETRIBUTION AGAINST CLASSMATES AND FACULTY IS ONLY OPTION TO REDRESS RELENTLESS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN MANY REGIONS. SPECIOUSLY-NAMED “PRO-FAMILY” LEADERS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS WHO MAKE MONEY STIGMATIZING HOMOSEXUALITY TO SILENCE GAY VICTIMS.
These comments seem to imply that murder is a justifiable reaction to bullying and that so called “pro-family” organizations are led by child molesters. Obviously, we hope everyone will agree that these statements are absurdly hateful rhetoric and we condemn them. However, what follows is also hateful rhetoric, from people who really should know better.
First we should note that this has nothing to do with the official GLSEN Gay-Straight Alliance website, or in fact any GSAs at all. It belongs to a company called Event Horizon Publications and we’ve been unable to find anyone who has ever heard of them or this website. Their major claim to fame seems to be a role playing book from the 1990s. An email sent to them earlier today has not been returned. From the badly written copy, it’s a good guess this is an amateur operation but the only thing of which we can be reasonably sure is that it is not connected to GLSEN, or any other reputable organization known by the authors we have contacted. Web searches have also revealed little.
That didn’t stop Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, from posting as though these words were official comments from GLSEN themselves:
The Gay Straight Alliance* has put out an astounding new tid bit of info.
So essentially the GSA powers that be are saying two things: 1) Put in a GSA at your school and we guarantee that you’ll be safe from school massacres. 2) If you don’t have a GSA then taunted gay kids only option is murdering those who tease/bully them.
We did notify them that this wasn’t an official site, and to Chambers’ credit he added the asterisk and the notation at the bottom of his post now reflects this. However the body of the post remains the same, implying that these awful words came from “The” Gay Straight Alliance, and “the GSA powers that be.”
Dr. Warren Throckmorton was also taken in as he posted on his blog today:
If you would like to write the Gay Straight Alliance and suggest a less volatile message, here is the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was no notation distinguishing the offending site from the real one. Subsequent comments under the post did bring this fact to light. Perhaps he will consider updating his post.
The comments on this website are offensive and inexcusable, but it’s obvious that just about anyone can place a site on the web. We expect more of PhDs and the president of the largest ex-gay referral and lobbying organization. It took us less than 5 minutes to verify this site was not connected to GLSEN. Perhaps if they had not been so anxious to give GSAs a black eye, they would have found out as well.