Linda Harvey, the conservative Christian radio host who previously warned families about letting children visit gay doctors, has recently released a guide for talking to kids about homosexuality.
In it, the Mission: America founder and Truth Wins Out's "Most Homophobic Woman in America" in 2011, compares homosexuality to obesity.
Kids who are overweight are sometimes bullied, too. And we might want to make that person feel better. But it would be a mistake to say that overeating is a good thing, right? So tell your friends, in a nice way, that no one needs to be "gay" or pretend to be the other gender. It's not the right thing to do.
In general, the guide, which is targeted toward kids, is light on factual evidence but clear in its conviction that homosexuality is just not a thing.
"Most cultures long ago decided this was very wrong. And they made rules against it, for a lot of good reasons (more grown-up stuff)," the guide explains. "And two men kissing— well, it just doesn't seem right. That's because it isn't!"
Harvey also throws in some biblical citations in case the "because it isn't" line of reasoning isn't convincing enough.
"After some time passed, sin came into the world, and people started doing things they shouldn't. Some of those things involved having homosexual feelings. This sin is described in the Bible, and it's always wrong."
The guide refutes any notion of being "born" gay as "there is no well-accepted science that backs up that idea." Even heathens agree on this one, Garvey writes. "From Asia to India to Africa to Latin America, most people now and throughout history agree that being homosexual or 'gay' is wrong."
On the subject of bullying, Harvey walks a fine line between condoning bullying (it's "always wrong") and making "gay" kids feel accepted ("never try to make him or her feel better by saying 'gay' is okay").
Some find the analogy Harvey tries to draw between bullying someone because of their sexual orientation, and bullying him because of their weight, problematic.
Last month, Paul Campos touched on the connection between American attitudes toward obesity and attitudes toward homosexuality in a Salon article, which stated that "telling fat people they ought to be thin is about as helpful as telling gay people they should be straight."
However, it is certainly true that both overweight and gay students are bullied in high percentages.
In it's most recent survey, the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network reports that 81.9 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 38.3 percent reported being physically harassed, and 18.3 percent reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
Similarly, a Canadian survey concluded that overweight teens are more likely to be both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying.
Mission: America is not the first conservative group to counsel parents and teachers on how to address bullying (again, considered to be wrong) when the students being bullies are gay (also wrong).
Focus on the Family, a group with a mission statement similar to Harvey's, issued an "Anti-Bullying Policy Yardstick" that ThinkProgress decried as "an elaborate scheme to ensure religious bullying is protected in schools while students most likely to be targeted for harassment are made more vulnerable."
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