Some School Anti-Bullying Programs Push Gay Agenda, Christian Group Says

Focus on the Family says anti-bully curriculum "promotes homosexuality to kids."

ByABC News
August 31, 2010, 6:44 PM

Sept. 1, 2010— -- Gay-rights groups' push for anti-bullying legislation and school programs is an effort to "promote homosexuality to kids," according to a conservative Christian activist organization.

The accusation has underscored the conflicting attitudes among some politicians and parents who have lent their support to these policies after a string of deadly bullying episodes across the country.

Focus on the Family has accused gay-rights groups of using tolerance and anti-bullying programs to introduce curricula and books into schools that promote political aims such as same-sex marriage. The same groups, it says, lobby for gays and other minority groups to be specifically mentioned in anti-bullying legislation and try to depict Christians opposed to such treatment as bigots.

"What parents need to be aware of is there are activist groups who want to promote homosexuality to kids because they realize if they can capture hearts and minds of our children at the earliest ages they will have for all practical purposes won the clash of values that we are currently experiencing," Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said on recently launched website

"They've started introducing homosexuality lessons, sometimes even sexually graphic information under the cover of tolerance or so-called safe school initiatives or even anti-bullying programs," she said.

Gay rights organizations say they have sought anti-bullying legislation and worked to craft school-based programs and curricula to protect students, especially gay students who are disproportionately singled out for bullying.

Gay epithets and taunts are a routine part of school-aged bullying, said Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, and to ignore a prime cause of bullying would be a disservice to all students, gay and straight.

"The fact is that for many years, efforts to curb bullying didn't address LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] students," Byard said. "Nine out of 10 LGBT students report harassment at school. Enumerated anti-bullying policies make a difference and reduce victimization."