Mat Staver

Hate group leader Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel paid for a press release on Friday. This is part of the continuing saga caused by a Pennsylvania school district’s anti-bullying program. The program has the wide support of parents, students and faculty but anti-bullying initiatives drive Mad Mat (more) unglued. Is that man ever not pissed off?

A week ago Friday, Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to the school district demanding answers to several questions by the following day, Saturday. Presumably the school district and its attorney realized that they were dealing with a crazy person. Personally, I sent each of them an email informing them that Liberty Counsel is a hate group. Whatever the reason, they chose not to respond to Liberty Counsel and that has Staver even more unhinged.

Staver doesn’t quite understand that distorting the record is counter-productive. He writes:

GLSEN is a political activist organization and the nation’s largest homosexual advocacy group focused on promoting same-sex sexual activity and gender confusion to public school students as young as kindergarten. The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is the student activism arm of GLSEN.

None of that is remotely true and I thought that pious Christians do not lie. My understanding of the mission of GLSEN is the same as the organization says it is:

At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

Furthermore, Gay-Straight Alliances are not connected to GLSEN. They are independent student-driven organizations at individual schools. And learning mutual respect is not “student activism.” Mad Mat is never short of dishonest hyperbole.

Furthermore, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the school district’s anti-bullying program. It’s like Joe McCarthy finding communist conspiracies under every desk in Washington. Staver finds queer conspiracies everywhere. And what the hell is wrong with asking students to respect their LGBT peers?

The school district denied parent requests for the video links, stating the videos “were pulled from YouTube and other online sources by the students in our GSA club and sent to the TV studio as part of their ‘Day of Silence’ project.” The district’s attorney advised “that these videos cannot be sent to [parents], because they are part of a student project,” despite the district playing the videos for all students. Parents are left to try to find the videos on their own based on descriptions of the video content provided by the school district, and descriptions of the video content as related by their children.

The Day of Silence was more than two months ago. What is the pressing concern?

  • Video 1 – Entitled “9 Questions Gay People Have About Straight People.”
  • Video 2 – A CBS News story clip promoting “gender fluidity.”
  • Video 3 – A compilation of clips promoting same-sex “marriage,” including footage of people “coming out” as homosexual to their loved ones, clips of celebrities “coming out,” clips from same-sex “weddings” and footage of legislative sessions discussing same-sex “marriage.”
  • Video 4 – Entitled “Show your pride. Share your love,” described by children to their parents as encouraging them to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.

Staver claims to have a great deal of knowledge about videos he claims not to have seen. Some poor brainwashed kid related this to a brain-washing parent who related it to the brain-dead Mat. Staver. Staver added his own spin and “voila” — videos promote a sexual orientation or gender identity that Staver does not approve of.

The first video is probably this. Staver should watch it:

It is well produced (by Buzz Feed), witty, entertaining and non-threatening.

I would not know how to find video two but it is safe to presume that it doesn’t “promote” anything. Saying otherwise is irrational. It is also probably not about gender fluidity as Staver claims (something Christians are hung-up with). It is probably about gender nonconforming students and trans students. It is information about something that is well documented by medical science. Should children fear science? These kids are out future astronauts and medical researchers.

The same goes for video three. There are probably students in the district who have same-sex parents. Marriage equality is the law of the land and that is unlikely to change. There are gay people in the world and at some point they tell others. It is a factual reality. What is so damned threatening?

Video four might be this (there are many with the same title):

Apparently Staver is either embarrassed or offended by people showing love for one another. The idea that, as he wrote, this is “encouraging them to embrace the homosexual lifestyle” is insane. Aside from the fact that sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle” (nicely handled in video one by the way), it is impossible to persuade someone to be gay, straight or anything in between. Staver defies medical science and what we know about sexual orientation.

Liberty Counsel is demanding not only the links of these videos, but all public records relating to the 2018 event. The district required the high school students to view these videos, without prior notice to their parents or an opportunity to opt-out, which is a violation of parental rights. Denying parents’ requests for the specific video links is an attempt to avoid accountability.

Big Bad Wolf

Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and … They can demand anything they want. When I originally wrote about this I wrote (referring to hate group leader Diane Gramley of AFA PA):

If she hasn’t already, it is standard operating procedure to ask for parents to have the right to opt their children out of anything to do with the videos. That defeats the whole purpose since the children of people like Gramley are most in need of some real-world exposure.

It is standard operating procedure because, in their twisted little minds, anything to do with treating LGBT students with respect is sex-ed. They don’t get to opt-out if attendance at some of this was compulsory. If they don’t like it, they can run for school board seats (which is why I stress the need to vote every year). Staver concludes:

“The East Penn School District has violated parents’ rights and must release the links to the four videos and all public records regarding ‘Unity Week’ and ‘Day of Silence’ immediately,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Parents have the right to know the exact nature of the special-interest propaganda their children have been subjected to when at school,” said Staver.

I think that the school district’s attorney has already answered this demand by not answering it. They are unlikely to yield to a madman and his hate group. Describing an anti-bullying program as “special-interest propaganda” is just more deranged hyperbole. Does Mr. Staver want LGBT kids to be bullied. If not, he sure hasn’t specified an alternative for prevention.

I have tried to empathize with Staver in order to try to understand why these things are Armageddon each and every time he becomes aware of them. I think that it is GLSEN that brings Staver closer to raving maniac.

Mat Staver is a certifiable lunatic. I expect him to sue, lose by dismissal, appeal, lose and so on. One of these days judges are going to start to sanction this fruitcake. When he has to pay the legal expenses of the other side perhaps he will be more selective. Until then the batshit will continue to splatter. All I want is what I always want which is for LGBT kids to be safe and free of ridicule. They deserve nothing less!

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.