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The Minnesota Child Protection League, an anti-LGBT group that opposes Minnesota’s new Safe and Supportive Schools law, is ramping up the rhetoric ahead of its fundraising event this weekend with Rep. Michele Bachmann and Matt Barber.

In an email to supporters on Wednesday, the group said that the LGBT community engages in “morally wrong and unsafe” behavior:

Before the Bullying Bill passed, Child Protection League Action repeatedly advised that the legislation is not about bullying. It is, rather, a thinly-veiled strategy to indoctrinate our children and our community into affirming and celebrating all sexual activities, no matter how morally wrong and unsafe, including activities engaged in by lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, and transgenders. OutFront MN has recently officially announced the newest addition to its list of those to be honored–queers. They continue to push the envelope on who and what we must celebrate, honor and affirm, not for their achievements, but for their choice of sexual behavior.

On Tuesday, CPL Action head Michele Lentz took to religious right radio, On the Way with Ridgeway on KKMS, to warn of the war against children, and to promote the event with Barber and Bachmann.

Lentz told host Paul Ridgeway, “This event will be life changing because these issues are a war, and the war is for our kids, and that war is at our front door right now, and they are coming after the children, you know, and it’s the reality, and it’s time for us to stand up and face it.”

At the Minnesota State Fair on August 26, Lentz also appeared on “On the Way with Ridgeway,” this time to lament the inclusion of LGBT students in the anti-bullying bill that was signed into law earlier this year. Lentz related how the organization has identified the sexual orientation and gender identity of members of a safe schools oversight council. (The MN Child Protection League released the sexual orientation and gender identity of members of that council on Tuesday, effectively outing those members – some of whom are youth that have been bullied — against their will).

Ridgeway: The gay rights community is now very involved now that it’s passed. Tell us about that.
Lentz: That’s true. First of all right after the bill passed, GLSEN sent out an email to their supporters taking credit for the bill. Part of the new law requires a climate council which is a group of about 20, 22 members mainly from state agencies and law enforcement 8 of them from the private sector. Those members are tasked with implementing the policies of the law. We did some research on that and it seems incredibly disproportionate that the 8 from the private sector, actually 6 or 7 of them represent the LGBT community
Ridgeway: Not good, not good

The conversation continued a few minutes later:

Ridgeway: This anti-bullying bill was anything but anti… it was a gay rights plan, but here’s what troubles me, people are used to gay — but tell us what the acronym GLSEN stands for
Lentz: Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network. They are an organization.. they claim to be the leader in the nation in anti-bullying initiatives and their goal is to create tolerance and understanding — all noble in and of themselves but — when you start to dig deep into this organization, you find that they are much more radical than that.
Ridgeway: Michele, it’s all subterfuge and so the reason I ask Michele that is because
their founder was Kevin Jennings, a former Obama safe schools czar. He publicly said that Harry Hay was his hero by the way, Harry Hay is considered to be the father of the homosexual movement and he publicly supported NAMBLA. Now, here’s what you are going to be driven crazy by when you all here this: NAMBLA believes adults should have sex with children — have the right to do that and vice versa with being pedophiles. Folks that’s from the pit of hell. Let me say that again: that is from the pit of hell and Kevin Jennings, a former safe schools czar, this is the kind of people Obama is selecting, this man’s, he personally honors Harry Hay who said that adults should be able to have sex with children. Pits of hell and should never ever ever happen and that’s the kind of people that Michele Lentz and their group are battling every day right?
Lentz: We’re trying to educate parents and equip them with what they need to protect their kids.

Ridgeway’s claims, that Jennings is guilty by association for praising Harry Hay as an early gay rights pioneer despite his alleged connections to NAMBLA, are a religious right smear against Jennings which was debunked 5 years ago:

Jennings reportedly said he was inspired by Harry Hay, “who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America … the Mattachine Society.” Peter LaBarbera, president of a group that seeks to “expos[e] and counter the homosexual activist agenda,” published a transcript of Jennings’ 1997 remarks at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s mid-Atlantic conference that LaBarbera said was reprinted from The Lambda Report. In that speech, Jennings reportedly said, “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.” Jennings’ remarks include no mentions of NAMBLA.
Hay broadly recognized as gay rights pioneer. Upon Hay’s death in October 2002, numerous obituaries(retrieved from Nexis) noted that Hay was a pioneer of the American gay rights movement — just as Jennings noted in his 1997 speech. The New York Times noted that Hay “founded a secret organization six decades ago that proved to be the catalyst for the American gay rights movement.” The Associated Press called Hay “a pioneering activist in the gay rights movement” who founded “the Mattachine Society.” The San Francisco Chronicle stated that Hay was “considered by many to be the founder of the modern American gay rights movement.” None of the obituaries mentioned NAMBLA.

MNCPL will be bringing its brand of anti-LGBT rhetoric to Grace Church in Eden Prairie on Saturday. The event, “The Raging War on Kids: Launching the Resistance” will be emceed by Rep. Michele Bachmann. Also speaking will be anti-LGBT figurehead Matt Barber:

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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