A week before senators voted in favor
of expanding hate crimes legislation to include sexual orientation
and gender identity, Christian-based Focus on the Family devoted its
entire broadcast to gay issues, including the current controversy
surrounding Kevin Jennings.
The group's founder, James Dobson, was
joined by Tom Minnery, the group's vice president of government and
public policy, Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of issue analysis
for government and public policy, and Candi Cushman, education
analyst for Focus.
The program chased after openly gay
safe schools czar Kevin Jennings, who Cushman described as
Jennings, 45, is the former executive
director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN),
a group he founded to address discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity in the public school system.
Jennings serves as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of
Safe and Drug Free Schools.
Criticism of Jennings by social
conservatives began soon after the administration announced his
nomination. Most of that criticism has circled around Jennings'
sexual orientation and his ongoing crusade to keep gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender children safe in the public schools.
In a June 2 press release, Peter
LaBarbera, president of the anti-gay group Americans for Truth About
Homosexuality (AFTAH), called Jennings “radical” and “the
antithesis of 'safety'.” And 53 House Republicans have called for
Jennings' ouster because he's pushed “a pro-homosexual agenda.”
Dobson said Jennings symbolizes his
"I have been fighting for family
values, and marriage, and family, and for schools that honor the
values and principles that parents believe in for 25 years. And it's
coming apart," Dobson said. "It's unbelievable what's
taking place. And Kevin Jennings is the quintessential expression of
that far left agenda."
The Obama administration, however,
continues to support Jennings.
“Kevin Jennings has dedicated his
professional career to promoting school safety. He is uniquely
qualified for his job and I'm honored to have him on our team,”
Secretary of the Department of Education Ann Duncan said in