Two public schools in Tennessee allow students to access a wide variety of anti-LGBT websites, including sites that encourage gays and lesbians to change their sexual orientation by joining "ex-gay" ministries or submit to so-called "reparative therapy," which has been deemed harmful by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
But any information that presents the gays in a positive light, or provides educational material about problems unique to the LGBT community (such as hate crimes based on sexual orientation) or even sites of well-known national organizations like PFLAG, GLSEN, and HRC, are blocked by school computers.
The content blocking process was accidentally discovered by 17-year-old Andew Emitt, a senior at Knoxville Central High School: "When I found out about this web filtering software, I wasn't looking for anything sexual - I was looking for information about scholarships for LGBT students, and I couldn't get to it because of this software. Our schools shouldn't be keeping students in the dark about LGBT organizations and resources."
Now the ACLU of Tennessee is demanding that two Tennessee public school districts stop illegally preventing students from accessing online information about LGBT issues. Knox County Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools will face a lawsuit if they refuse to comply.
Matt Staver, founder of the right-wing Liberty Counsel, is furious, just furious: "This new threat by the ACLU against these schools in Tennessee is simply an attempt to push the homosexual agenda down the throats of every American. This in fact is blatant bullyism." (And believe me, the Liberty Council knows a thing or two about bullying.) "They're not just talking about general issues with respect to homosexuality. They're pushing a very sexualized agenda in their advertisement and in their content."
Anyone who has ever visited the PFLAG, GLSEN, or HRC websites knows that's a lie. But "pushing a sexualized agenda" sounds so
titillating frightening to fundies who view the world through sanctimonious eyes.