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Kevin Jennings: Not a Public Figure who Promotes a Favorable Image of Gay People

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:00 pm - October 1, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America

At the end of my post yesterday on Kevin Jennings the openly Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, I indicated that I would reconsider my call for his resignation should evidence emerge that he had previously acknowledged his “wrongdoing,” by which I meant his failure to report a teenager’s sexual relationship with an adult.  There is no evidence to suggest he ever even discouraged the boy from continuing his sexual relationship with the older man. 

Even in a piece at left-leaning (but even-handed) Queerty critical of how conservative media has treated Jennings, they are concerned by the Obama appointee’s silence:

 If Jennings “technically” had a legal obligation to report the incident, he should have. His CV is impressive, and sounds like it qualifies him for the “safe school czar” job under Obama. But it’s an insufficient answer to why, as a teacher to young people, he did not attempt to intervene to stop an underage boy from continuing an unhealthy sexual relationship — and keep that boy from becoming a victim.

While I do believe Jennings acted inappropriately in 1988 when the student approached him, I did want to cut the guy some slack for something he did early in his career.  Had he expressed some regret long before he became politically active, it would add a different dimension to his past conduct.  It would show this action as an aberration in an otherwise distinguished career.

But, now information has come forward suggesting that Jennings’s conduct was not an aberration, but part of a career suggesting a greater concern for the sexual liberation ideology of one segment of the gay movement than for the welfare of students.  That ideology has led to reluctance of many gay activists, apparently including Jennings, to never discourage any form of sexual expression, even that involving minors.

It is a very good — and indeed essential thing–to teach children to develop a healthy attitude toward sexuality.   And to that end, I favor responsible sex education courses in middle and high schools, including abstinence education (but not “abstinence only”)* provided parents are aware of the content of that curriculum.  Yet, it seems Mr. Jennings advocates bypassing that parental approval.

Not just that, he has spoken warmly (on multiple occasions) of Harry Hay, a pioneering gay activist who happened to be an active member “of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.”  Now, his praise of Hay does mean that he agreed with everything Hay had done or said.  But, coupled with his silence on the student who reported his liaison with an adult, it does indicate a relatively blasé action toward sexual relationships between children and adults.

There are simply too many unanswered questions about his attitudes toward sex education and sexual relationships between adults and children.  With most gay people opposing sex with minors, shouldn’t we want to see gay people in positions of leadership on education, showing the same attitude to such relationships as would a straight adult?  Do we want to provide further ammunition to social conservatives, as eager as left-wing bloggers are with conservatives, to define us by our most extreme elements?

Most gay people do not condone the type of relationship Jennings appeared to countenance when he did nothing to discourage that student from having sex with an older man.

That’s not the kind of person we want in the Department of Education, least of all in an office responsible for safe schools.  Nor the kind of gay man gay people should want to hold a prominent role in government.

*If readers would like me to elaborate on the difference between abstinence education and abstinence only education, I would be delighted to do so.

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58 Comments

  1. “And most gay people do not condone the type of relationship Jennings appeared to countenance when he did nothing to discourage that student from having sex with an older man.”

    Where do you get that statistic? I would say that most of the gay community supports sexual liberation, not gay rights. Until the last few years, I never, ever met a gay who believed in monogamy. Not one single gay man. I also never met a gay man who had sexual boundaries–except, of course, for wealth and attractiveness. All the gays I knew when I was in high school were having sex with older men.

    The fact that there is currently a tiny minority of gay men who have faith, morality, and values doesn’t mean you can say “most.” You want to believe that, but it just isn’t true. Most gays are into lots ‘o sex and lots ‘o drugs and they are contemptuous of anyone who wants a lifelong, drug-free, sexually exclusive relationship.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 1, 2009 @ 2:16 pm - October 1, 2009

  2. With most gay people opposing sex with minors…
    …most gay people do not condone the type of relationship Jennings appeared to countenance…

    Dan, thanks for highlighting that. I would tend to agree, and I would also say the same for “most straight people”… even though, in a nation of 300 million, one could certainly come up with 37 or 1,092 counter-examples among gays and/or straights who, sadly, favor sex with minors.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 1, 2009 @ 2:24 pm - October 1, 2009

  3. *Most gays* are into…
    I would say that *most* of the gay community supports…

    Emphasis added. Ash, to quote you: “Where do you get that statistic?”

    Until the last few years, I never, ever met a gay who believed in monogamy…

    Then get out more.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 1, 2009 @ 2:27 pm - October 1, 2009

  4. P.S. Ash, I do thank you for not trying to claim, as in the other thread, “We can’t talk about the older gays who exploit the young…”… a claim disproven by this very discussion.

    I continue to think that, as a bare and absolute minimum, Jennings should have told the kid, “This older guy is a creep. What *he* is doing is just wrong. And if *you* want out, or ever to go to the police or whatever, I will be there to help you.” Which, apparently, Jennings didn’t.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 1, 2009 @ 2:33 pm - October 1, 2009

  5. very interesting article. . .http://mediamatters.org/research/200910010024

    Fox News’ Bill Hemmer continued his network’s attacks on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings by claiming that Jennings knew of a “statutory rape” case involving a student but “never reported it.” However, Hemmer ignored that Jennings’ attorney wrote in a 2004 letter that the student was 16 years old, which Jennings’ book appears to support, and that 16 is — and was at the time — the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

    Comment by rusty — October 1, 2009 @ 4:13 pm - October 1, 2009

  6. rusty, mediamatters is far from a reliable source.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — October 1, 2009 @ 4:15 pm - October 1, 2009

  7. In his 1994 book, One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories, Jennings writes of “Brewster, a sophomore boy who I came to know in 1987, my first year of teaching at Concord Academy, in Concord, Massachusetts.” Jennings writes that “during the spring of 1988,” Brewster told Jennings “a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston.” Jennings writes that he “listened, sympathized, and offered advice.” Later in the book, Jennings writes that on April 3, 1993, he “caught up” with Brewster at “the annual awards dinner of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights.” Jennings writes that Brewster was then “twenty-two, taking time off from college, and living with his boyfriend.” If Brewster was 22 in April of 1993, then Brewster would have been either 16 or 17 in the “spring of 1988,” when, according to Jennings’ book, Brewster told Jennings of the “older man.”

    Comment by rusty — October 1, 2009 @ 4:17 pm - October 1, 2009

  8. this is such a gray issue. anyone who, without equivocation, demands jennings’ resignation, is making a hasty decision.

    Comment by Chad — October 1, 2009 @ 4:22 pm - October 1, 2009

  9. Michelle Malkin links to a Media Matters post that essentially says criticizing people who promote statutory rape is anti-gay.

    Dan, you might consider sending her your thoughts on that.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 1, 2009 @ 4:40 pm - October 1, 2009

  10. more from the Jennings book:

    I remember April 3, 1993, when I went to Club Café, a gay restaurant in Boston, for the annual awards dinner of the Coalition of Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights. An organization I had helped found, GLSTN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teachers Network), was being honored that night, and I had come to accept the award on our behalf. I sat with some friends, my back to the center of the room, and soon got engaged in conversation. From behind me, I heard a familiar voice. “Care for a drink, sir?”

    I turned and it was Brewster. Shocked, we were both speechless for a moment, before we hugged each other and caught up. He was now twenty-two, taking time off from college, and living with his boyfriend. His smile showed that he had found his way to a happy adulthood. In that moment, I remembered why I had gone into teaching in the first place. [One Teacher in Ten, page 27]

    Comment by rusty — October 1, 2009 @ 4:45 pm - October 1, 2009

  11. I really question your ability to take such a strong stand on something you have very little intimate knowledge of.

    Growing up gay in Montana, I had a good many mentors who were considerably older than myself. While I didn’t have sexual relationships with them, I would have questioned any adult telling me what was “healthy” and “right” at the time. If this youngster was so scarred by the incident, why hasn’t he come forward? It sounds like all the parties involved turned out fine, if not better off. Just the visibility and counsel of another gay person at the time I’m sure was very helpful in his life.

    Your analysis of statuatory rape, predatory sexuality and implied child molestation is really disgusting. Again, using the almost meaningless age of 18 to judge someone’s ability to judge sexual relationships is very shallow in terms of the broad range of humanity sexuality, emotions and maturity.

    We now live in an age where the average age of “sexual predators” is just above 14. Zealous prosecutors and justice hungry people as yourself who won’t acknowledge kids more mature and becoming sexual at a younger age are turning this generation into people who can make one mistake with a cell phone camera and spend their whole lives having to register as “sex offenders” in their neighborhoods.
    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2009/09/there-is-fury-and-and-sadness-inside.html

    If you want to be so self-righteous as to think you can make the correct moral, ethical and legal judgment in other people’s lives over 20 years ago, in an atmosphere of much less gay acceptance, tolerance, under an a president who wouldn’t even acknowledge gays or AIDS, not knowing any of the parties involved, go ahead. But don’t wonder why the rest of the world isn’t so quick to jump on the bandwagon and throw the first stone along with you.

    Comment by Tim — October 1, 2009 @ 5:18 pm - October 1, 2009

  12. I really question your ability to take such a strong stand on something you have very little intimate knowledge of. Growing up gay in Montana,

    Yeah. None of us here know anything about growing up gay.

    I would have questioned any adult telling me what was “healthy” and “right” at the time.

    So in other words, you didn’t want anybody telling you what you didn’t want to hear?

    And by your screed, I take it that it’s perfectly acceptable to pick and choose which laws and rules we follow. If everything turns out alright in the end, so much the better. When everything dosen’t, well that’s just life’s little annoyances, eh?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 5:31 pm - October 1, 2009

  13. under an a president who wouldn’t even acknowledge gays or AIDS,

    Oh no wonder, you’re full of shit. That explains it.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 5:32 pm - October 1, 2009

  14. And by your screed, I take it that it’s perfectly acceptable to pick and choose which laws and rules we follow. If everything turns out alright in the end, so much the better. When everything dosen’t, well that’s just life’s little annoyances, eh?
    You dealt with nothing that I said, bud. There are still laws on the books here that declare sodomy and homosexual sex illegal. Those laws weren’t overturned by the Supreme Court until the last 10 years or so. Maybe you can go back and turn in all those slave masters who didn’t report their slaves missing since there were laws on the books about black people being 3/5 property.

    If the best argument you have is somebody 20 years ago who wasn’t a lawyer who had personal experience contrary to the law didn’t follow the law because he knew in his heart it was more helpful to a person to take a different route, then good job, Matlock. Maybe you can go back and prosecute Rosa Parks and all those women marching for women’s suffrage. The climate for gays was much different and your continued chattering about “child predators” and “statuatory rape” takes nothing of the actual situation into account.

    Gene and others are right, you don’t know the situation, stop trying to be judge, jury and executioner just for your own selfish political interests.

    Comment by Tim — October 1, 2009 @ 5:53 pm - October 1, 2009

  15. And I said, “Brewster, what are you doing in there asleep?” And he said, “Well, I’m tired.” And I said, “Well we all are tired and we all got to school today.” And he said, “Well I was out late last night.” And I said, “What were you doing out late on a school night.” And he said, “Well, I was in Boston…” Boston was about 45 minutes from Concord. So I said, “What were you doing in Boston on a school night Brewster?” He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, “Well I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.” High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say. Knew I should say something quickly so I finally said, “My best friend had just died of AIDS the week before.” I looked at Brewster and said, “You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.” He said to me something I will never forget, He said “Why should I, my life isn’t worth saving anyway.”

    -Kevin Jennings

    (Emphasis mine)

    Tim, you’re still a blithering idiot. Sit down before you fall down.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 5:59 pm - October 1, 2009

  16. Evidently, in a speech in Iowa (2000) which I’m trying to track down, he said that he tried to get the kid to come out as gay. So it doesn’t seem to me that he was particularly worried about the kid being “outed”.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 6:10 pm - October 1, 2009

  17. Incidentally, this sort of exploitative behavior on behalf of older gays towards younger gays and the heartless lack of concern for young gays’ well being is why I chose reparative therapy over the gay community. I still think I made the best choice out of the two options. I’m glad there are other, healthier options now, but I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with the Kevin Jennings of the world.

    I still question that “most.” I’m not even sure you can say “some.” I think that gays with values and accountability and faith is pretty much down to “several.”

    I grew up gay in South Dakota, BTW.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 1, 2009 @ 6:22 pm - October 1, 2009

  18. “Well I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.” High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say.

    “Whoa, dude, bad idea” apparently didn’t occur to Jennings.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 1, 2009 @ 6:48 pm - October 1, 2009

  19. heartless lack of concern for young gays’ well being is why I chose reparative therapy

    So… your choice was other people’s fault?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 1, 2009 @ 6:51 pm - October 1, 2009

  20. Ash, your self-loathing comments and choices may help you justify your own existence, but couldn’t have worked too well if you’re still coming to gay blogs.

    This reminds me of a personal matter I had last year. I had a friend who unfortunately got knocked up by a guy who had no interest in helping her or being there for the baby. She ultimately ended the pregnancy. As a staunch pro life person I had to get soft on that issue. While I didn’t like the choice or the decision, I didn’t cut the person out of my life, didn’t hate them, just felt sorrow and pity for the shitty consequences she faced.

    You’re a first/second year teacher, in the middle of the 80s. You can still be fired if outed at your job. You are dealing with kids not that much younger than yourself. The whole reason you guys even know about this story is because he recounted it in a book trying to HELP people. Being this kid’s friend was helping him. Acting like a 15 year old has no notion of consequences and is some victim of rape or child molestation is a gross over simplification of the issues.

    What would you rather he do? Hold his hand to the police station and tell the cops they need to stake out the bus station bathroom until they find the perp? Cops in these days (if not now) would have laughed in his face. It was only a couple years prior cops were escorting Dahmer’s victims back to his house and laughing about “queers”. Not even 4 years ago cops in my locale were making a joke out of my partner being involved in a fight. You want some 22 yr old teacher to take a 15 yr old kid to the cops and out him to his parents about him fucking guys in bus station bathrooms? So it can be on TV, the teacher can be implicated, etc etc?

    WHAT KIND OF SICK SELF SATISFYING “JUSTICE” ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HERE?

    Comment by Tim — October 1, 2009 @ 7:20 pm - October 1, 2009

  21. By your logic, Tim if I shot you because you were terminally ill, I would be doing you a favor and shouldn’t be held accountable for murder. Because, after all, you were going to die anyway and I helped prevent your pain.

    Comment by Duffy - Native Intelligence — October 1, 2009 @ 7:29 pm - October 1, 2009

  22. So is this the gay communities equivalent to the Catholic Church scandal?

    I blogged about that on one of my blogs (the Exodus one) yesterday (the Catholic statement … not Jennings) and some in the gay community have blasted the Catholic church for not doing enough and for cover ups.

    Queerty acted very defensively to the Catholic statement that what they experienced was homosexual ephebophilia.

    Why are liberal gay activists afraid to admit that ephebophilia (sexual predators of pubescent teenagers) exists within the gay identified community?

    Is Jennings a pro-gay mirror of the Catholic Bishops in action and deed?

    And while everyone is looking for a scalp to hang on the wall … who is protecting these kids?

    Comment by Randy — October 1, 2009 @ 7:58 pm - October 1, 2009

  23. let me amend my above comment to, “Queerty acted very defensively to the Catholic statement that what they (the Catholics) experienced in the sex scandals was predominantly homosexual ephebophilia.”

    Comment by Randy — October 1, 2009 @ 8:00 pm - October 1, 2009

  24. I see that while I was at work, even more useless idiots declared themselves to be categorically on the wrong side of this issue.

    #11: “I really question your ability to take such a strong stand on something you have very little intimate knowledge of… If this youngster was so scarred by the incident, why hasn’t he come forward? It sounds like all the parties involved turned out fine, if not better off. Just the visibility and counsel of another gay person at the time I’m sure was very helpful in his life.”

    So, Tim, basically your position is that we’re out of line to take “such a strong stand” on this issue because we have “very little intimate knowledge” of it, but apparently you know enough to conclude that “all the parties turned out fine, if not better off” and you’re sure that Jenning’s “visibility and counsel” was “very helpful” in this kid’s life? Where on Earth did you acquire such “intimate knowledge” of this incident that the rest of us apparently don’t have?

    “Growing up gay in Montana, I had a good many mentors who were considerably older than myself.”

    Where did you meet them? Bus station bathrooms?

    “Your analysis of statuatory rape, predatory sexuality and implied child molestation is really disgusting. Again, using the almost meaningless age of 18 to judge someone’s ability to judge sexual relationships is very shallow in terms of the broad range of humanity sexuality, emotions and maturity.”

    Ummmmmmmm. Yuck. By “almost meaningless” I assume you mean, “meaningless to me and sexual predators,” right? You’re placing yourself in excellent company.

    “We now live in an age where the average age of “sexual predators” is just above 14.”

    Yeah, in your dreams. This is exactly the kind of attitude that legitimizes the “that 10 year old came onto ME” defense. Double yuck.

    If you want to be so self-righteous as to think you can make the correct moral, ethical and legal judgment in other people’s lives over 20 years ago, in an atmosphere of much less gay acceptance, tolerance, under an a president who wouldn’t even acknowledge gays or AIDS, not knowing any of the parties involved, go ahead.

    Okay, I will. Thanks, Tim. And by the way, how exactly is defending Jenning’s actions going to encourage greater “gay acceptance” and “tolerance”? It’s people like YOU, who says things like “the average age of sexual predators is 14″ that ENSURES continuing (and legitimate) marginalization of “the gay community.” Good job, loser.

    Comment by Sean A — October 1, 2009 @ 8:51 pm - October 1, 2009

  25. “We now live in an age where the average age of “sexual predators” is just above 14.”

    Is that out of the NAMBLA handbook?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 9:29 pm - October 1, 2009

  26. If this youngster was so scarred by the incident, why hasn’t he come forward?

    If not, does that mean it never happened? Out of sight, out of mind?

    Further, why on earf did Jennings say that he regrets not doing more? Why not, based on your logic, did he not say that “there was nothing I could do and besides, I can pick and choose which puritanical laws and rules I wish to follow. Now I’m going to write another book and score some more lunch money off the story.“?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 1, 2009 @ 9:34 pm - October 1, 2009

  27. Technically, my decision was Jesus’ fault since He was the One who thought I would be better off in reparative therapy than the bar scene. Now, He has been able to show me that His real goal is a lifelong, monogamous, publicly accountable relationship (to use the terms of the ELCA document on sexuality which was just passed). Or maybe singleness–but open, transparent singleness supported by a community who affirms my sexuality.

    Much better than the Jennings model I could have been trapped in. Thanks, Jesus.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 1, 2009 @ 9:44 pm - October 1, 2009

  28. You are trying to equate a young teacher counseling a 15 yr old gay man with advocating pedophilia? You still have no basis on what he was even supposed to do with the information. Are you still under the illusion there was any possibility the police would have cared or intervened?

    What planet do you live on where people only date people of their own equal age? I know lots of people in the gay community who prefer to date extremely older or younger. I’m not advocating pedofilia, but asking you at least acknowledge you didn’t magically become a reasoned sexual being on your 18th birthday and failed to exist as anything such before hand. I lost my virginity at 16. If it was with a 17 yr old it would have been legal, but it if were with an 18 yr old then he would have gone to jail as a predator. This is the world you defend so vehemently where one day you are a minor incoherant of reasoned thought or action and the next day you are accountable to go to prison and be labeled a predator.

    I posted the link with the supporting evidence concerning 14 yr olds. If any of you cared to read it, you would see it. If you would prefer to just make jokes, fine, but don’t pretend it’s a reasoned argument you’re making.

    Jennings says he regrets doing more because now he’s being persecuted for it. Since all of you think I have the burden of proof in showing how scarred this kid was, I’m not the one advocating a witch hunt for this man’s head to reinforce my own skewed views of gays. Before calling for his head on a platter, why don’t you provide some proof any harm was done before throwing around accusations of child molestation.

    You’d think on a gay political blog there’d at least be someone defending gays, instead of self loathing dog pile of stereotypes and slurs. Apparently not.

    I can tell the level of intellectual discussion I’m going to get here, when all your comments are followed by personal attacks. Is that the kind of blog this is now? If you don’t agree with the poster, you are a loser and idiot? I’m trying to make reasoned arguments, but instead I feel like I’m on a liberal blog with all the ad hoc on this thread.

    Ash. It’s nice you need to stereotype all the gay people you look down upon to justify your believe in 2000 year old imaginery figures, but some of us lead very productive lives without the need for sky friends and condescension towards others. As long as you view all gays as drunks and sluts, you’ll be the one missing out on recognizing what it’s like to live as an authentic person honest with the way they were made.

    Comment by Tim — October 1, 2009 @ 10:21 pm - October 1, 2009

  29. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, teachers have been required by law to pass this type of information on to the delegated school authority since the late 1960′s.

    Forget the gay aspect of this sob story. Suppose Brewsterette had met a man at the bus station and who lured her home for sex. Suppose the closeted gay teacher just listened and commented on the importance of using a condom. Suppose Brewsterette went on to tell another legally bound adult and mentioned she had also told the gay closeted teacher and what his response had been.

    Said teacher would find his closeted gay rear over a very hot fire. And well he should.

    Somehow this whole tale seems to be more about a conflicted, closeted gay young teacher and his troubled psyche than clear ethics.

    (This in no way is an attempt to imply that “straights” are more reliable in the common sense department when it comes to children and sex.)

    Comment by heliotrope — October 1, 2009 @ 10:43 pm - October 1, 2009

  30. We’re still back to square one where the Republican machine has trumped up specious allegations against an Obama appointee, simply because he’s an Obama appointee, or maybe because he’s gay. The details don’t seem to matter these days. I somehow doubt that an incident 21 years ago, while ethically ambivalent but perfectly legal, really has bearing in the here and now. Again, I say if this is the standard by which you deem people are eligible for public service, there’s a lot on the Republican side of the aisle that should be kicked out on their asses, for far serious charges, that none of you will ever do anything about because they’re Republicans. Your morals are as slippery as wet jello

    Comment by Countervail — October 1, 2009 @ 11:20 pm - October 1, 2009

  31. You are trying to equate a young teacher counseling a 15 yr old gay man with advocating pedophilia?

    Hardly. What we are doing is equating a young teacher counseling a 15-year-old teenager that it is normal for him because he’s gay to have promiscuous sex with much older men with advocating pedophilia.

    Which, in fact, it is equivalent to doing.

    Are you still under the illusion there was any possibility the police would have cared or intervened?

    I believe, Tim, that you yourself stated that the police would have cared and intervened.

    There are still laws on the books here that declare sodomy and homosexual sex illegal.

    Weren’t you the one trying to argue that the reason NOT to say anything was that the police would have intervened?

    As long as you view all gays as drunks and sluts, you’ll be the one missing out on recognizing what it’s like to live as an authentic person honest with the way they were made.

    Sorry, but if being an “authentic gay” means you have to support sex with underage children, I choose to be quite inauthentic.

    You’d think on a gay political blog there’d at least be someone defending gays, instead of self loathing dog pile of stereotypes and slurs. Apparently not.

    Tim, please do the gay movement a favor and publicize the fact that being gay requires you to support having sex with underage children and ignoring the age of consent.

    Think of it as our Cloward-Piven strategy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 2, 2009 @ 12:44 am - October 2, 2009

  32. Again, I say if this is the standard by which you deem people are eligible for public service, there’s a lot on the Republican side of the aisle that should be kicked out on their asses, for far serious charges, that none of you will ever do anything about because they’re Republicans. Your morals are as slippery as wet jello

    Counterveil, you lost on that charge last night.

    Twice.

    Now, keep on promoting the fact that gay-sex liberals like yourself and Jennings support sex with underage children and refuse to report those who have sex with underage children to the police.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 2, 2009 @ 12:50 am - October 2, 2009

  33. You’d think on a gay political blog there’d at least be someone defending gays, instead of self loathing dog pile of stereotypes and slurs. Apparently not.

    Gays in general, yeah. Sick SOBs who like to have sex with children, no.

    I’m not advocating pedofilia, but

    Thanks for the operative conjunction there.

    If you don’t agree with the poster, you are a loser and idiot?

    If you don’t agree with the poster that allowing a child to go out and have sex with adults is negligent at best, despicable at worst, yes.

    It’s nice you need to stereotype all the gay people you look down upon to justify your believe in 2000 year old imaginery figures, but some of us lead very productive lives without the need for sky friends and condescension towards others.

    It’s utterly pathetic that you need to stereotype all the religious people you look down upon to justify your arrogance. Most of us lead very productive lives without the need for pompous assholes mocking their beliefs.

    there’s a lot on the Republican side of the aisle that should be kicked out on their asses, for far serious charges, that none of you will ever do anything about because they’re Republicans. Your morals are as slippery as wet jello

    Actually, they have been kicked out. However, William Jefferson got to keep his job as long as possible, Ted Kennedy kept getting reelected, Alcee Hastings was sent to DC, Charlie Rangel still has his job, Barney Frank still has his job, Murtha still has his job, Baghdad Jim McDermot kept his, shall I go on?

    I’ll take Republican morals over the left’s lack of, and open hostility toward, morals anyday. And you’re about as slick as whale shit on an iceberg.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 2, 2009 @ 2:12 am - October 2, 2009

  34. #28: “You are trying to equate a young teacher counseling a 15 yr old gay man with advocating pedophilia?”

    No, just calling you on the carpet for equating a mandatory “reporter” of suspected child abuse under state law instructing a 15-year-old student to “use a condom” when having sex with the adult male he met at a bus station with “counseling.”

    “You still have no basis on what he was even supposed to do with the information.”

    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 119, Section 51A (1973).

    “Are you still under the illusion there was any possibility the police would have cared or intervened?”

    Thanks to Jennings ignoring the law in favor of the politically correct, bumper-sticker advice still being promoted by the AIDS lobby today, I guess we’ll never know, will we?

    “What planet do you live on where people only date people of their own equal age?”

    The planet where people don’t “date” children at a bus station.

    “I know lots of people in the gay community who prefer to date extremely older or younger.”

    Well, you be sure and tell the whole gang in Cell Block 13 I said “hi!”

    “I’m not advocating pedofilia,…”

    Or, correct spelling, obviously.

    “…asking you at least acknowledge you didn’t magically become a reasoned sexual being on your 18th birthday”

    Well, according to Chester (Greyhound Depot, bathroom stall #3), I’m sure I didn’t.

    “I lost my virginity at 16.”

    Wear a condom!

    “I posted the link with the supporting evidence concerning 14 yr olds. If any of you cared to read it, you would see it.”

    Oh, believe me, I don’t have to read it. If I had a dollar for every smooth-talking 14-year-old that tried to pick me up, I could BUY that bus station.

    “If you would prefer to just make jokes, fine, but don’t pretend it’s a reasoned argument you’re making.”

    Yeah, I’ll stick with the jokes. You guys who advocate and defend gay sex between children and old men in one breath and then complain about “gay acceptance,” “intolerance,” and Ronald Reagan in the next leave me with no choice.

    “Jennings says he regrets doing more because now he’s being persecuted for it.”

    Ah, the sign of true remorse from a law-breaker.

    “Since all of you think I have the burden of proof in showing how scarred this kid was, I’m not the one advocating a witch hunt for this man’s head to reinforce my own skewed views of gays.”

    No, you’re advocating IMMUNITY for the skewed behavior of gays.

    “Before calling for his head on a platter, why don’t you provide some proof any harm was done before throwing around accusations of child molestation.”

    And the Archdiocese of Boston rests its case.

    “You’d think on a gay political blog there’d at least be someone defending gays, instead of self loathing dog pile of stereotypes and slurs. Apparently not.”

    As opposed to you, defending the gay “stereotype” of gay men picking up teenagers in bus station bathrooms.

    “If you don’t agree with the poster, you are a loser and idiot?”

    No, it’s your passionate defense of illegal and immoral conduct that makes you a loser and an idiot.

    “I’m trying to make reasoned arguments, but instead I feel like I’m on a liberal blog with all the ad hoc on this thread.”

    If you’re looking for praise for advocating gay sex between minors and adult men, then a liberal blog is exactly where you should be. There, or the White House.

    “Ash. It’s nice you need to stereotype all the gay people you look down upon to justify your believe in 2000 year old imaginery figures, but some of us lead very productive lives without the need for sky friends and condescension towards others.”

    Speaking of “intolerance”…

    “As long as you view all gays as drunks and sluts, you’ll be the one missing out on recognizing what it’s like to live as an authentic person honest with the way they were made.”

    That’s the difference, Tim. I expect more from gays than being “drunks and sluts” picking up kids in bathrooms. You, on the other hand, excuse and defend sexual predators as “authentic” and “honest with the way they were made.”

    Comment by Sean A — October 2, 2009 @ 2:28 am - October 2, 2009

  35. Holy cow, no wonder this country is so divided when half the country cant even see that f*cking 13 and 15 year kids is heinous and evil.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 2, 2009 @ 7:11 am - October 2, 2009

  36. That’s the difference, Tim. I expect more from gays than being “drunks and sluts” picking up kids in bathrooms. You, on the other hand, excuse and defend sexual predators as “authentic” and “honest with the way they were made.”

    Please don’t call me a straight voyeur in this issue, but Sean A’s well spoken points with #28 Tim’s protestations are dead on. The “straight” world is very edgy with the “gay culture” as Tim argues it coming into the schools, the military, the workplace and society in general. Tim is a walking billboard for keeping gays from using schools, the barracks, the stockroom, etc. as places to meet “mentors.”

    Obviously, I do not know the pressure of being 15 and gay. I do know the pressure of being 15, straight and stupid horny. In the straight world, horny 15 year olds who act on their drives with willing adults are indeed sluts.

    The Hollywood crowd backing Roman Polanski are seeing the 13 year old as a reticent starlet who was just lucky enough to have been picked for a good career move. I equate that type of logic with adults “mentoring” young gays.

    If being 15 and gay is a burden (and I don’t doubt that it is) that needs mentoring, perhaps someone can devise a program for coping that does not involve trolling for willing adults.

    Back to the quote above: Sean A is dead right. I can not imagine culling out the 15 year old gays from the herd of horny 15 year olds and promoting condoms when they go out looking for gratification with adults in the bus station bathroom. If a straight teacher were to imply that consensual sex with an adult was business as usual, a world of hurt would come crashing down on him.

    Comment by heliotrope — October 2, 2009 @ 7:24 am - October 2, 2009

  37. I’m somewhere in the middle here. First of all, I agree with those who say that Jennings was wrong for his actions 21 years ago. I agree with Jennings now that he should have done more. As ILC said, at the very least, he should have told Brewster that it was a terrible idea for him to have sex with a 50-year-old. And further, the actions of the 50-year-old was not only bad, but predatory and criminal. As far as we know, that did not happen. I would assume that it would have been in the book, and Jennings would have specifically pointed that out.

    Tim, I understand that you are not advocating pedophilia, but I believe that having sex under 18 is a terrible idea no matter whether the other person is about the same age or older. Yes, there is nothing magical about the number 18, except that it is the age of legal adulthood. If a child at 15, 16, or 17 is really mature enough at that age to begin having sex, then that child is old enough to realize that he or she should still wait until 18 before having sex. What’s even more mindboggling is that many states still allow children as young as 14 to get married. It’s even creepier when parents give consent to it. Why on earth is children having sex okay simply because they are married?

    On the other hand, I don’t understand the outright condemnation of Jennings here. He obviously made a mistake, and he admitted to it. I think we all made mistakes at 24, although perhaps not as bad as his. I don’t see how this is in anyway compares to the Catholic Church’s mistake. If they let one incident happen, and then admitted the mistake and didn’t allow it to happen again, no one would be condemning the Catholic Church. But they allowed this to go on thouands of times.

    Further, I wonder how many politicians (Democats or Republicans) we elect or are appointed have excoriated their children for being gay, or at least otherwise, don’t support their children for their sexual orientation. Or even knowingly let this happen with parents they know or are even friends with. Maybe this isn’t as bad as knowing that a kid is having sex with a 50-year-old. Except that this all too many times, parents don’t stop this behavior at age 24, and continue this behavior into their 40s and beyond. And I don’t see how this can be condoned because of religious dogma and/or because the parents are doing this out of some twisted notion of love for their children. Heck, for all we know, the 50-year-old, in his twisted mind, may have loved Brewster.

    In summary, Jennings was wrong for what he did, and didn’t do, 21 years ago. But I think some perspective is in order here. I think Gene provides some.

    Patrick J. Sime

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 7:30 am - October 2, 2009

  38. One other point. I am usually loathe to hypocrisy. But I don’t think it is hypocritical for a person who had sex before they were an adult, to now advocate that teens should not have sex. They probably realize their actions were wrong then, and heck, they weren’t adults then when they made that wrong choice, and don’t want kids today to make the wrong choices and suffer the consequences that come with it. So it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to excuse myself, I’ll disclose that I did not have sex until well after 18.

    Also, that Brewster apparently came out well despite the predator, doesn’t excuse the predator’s actions, and doesn’t mitigate Jennings’ inaction.

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 7:49 am - October 2, 2009

  39. Agree with you Pat on the post above mine.

    Am I angry that he broke a law to protect a child? Yes. Am I angry at people trying to justify it? Oh hells yes. People I respect, I’m disagreeing with. To say “Well it was a horrible time to be gay” I’m sorry, that’s like saying “ACORN did such a bad thing, but hey, if they’d reported those (fictional) 15 year old prostitutes, they’d have been deported and that would have been horrible!”

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 8:18 am - October 2, 2009

  40. My godson will soon be 15. He’s a normal, probably straight kid. If he turns out to be gay, fine. If any of you try to pick him up in a public bathroom, I’ll kill you.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 2, 2009 @ 9:54 am - October 2, 2009

  41. Hells Ash, the same thing goes for my 13 year old goddaugther.

    To focus on that Kevin Jennings is gay is missing the forest for the tree. Straight, Gay, Bi, doesn’t matter here.

    What matters is this guy decided to let a 15(or 16, again, it’s a distraction) year old go have relations with a 50+ year old guy. His only advice was ‘use a condom’. It was a violation of judgement, but it was a violation of law and the trust this kid put in him.

    Putting him in as anything regarding with ‘Safe and Drug free Schools’ is like putting Roman Polanski in as the day care czar.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 10:27 am - October 2, 2009

  42. Am I angry that he broke a law to protect a child? Yes. Am I angry at people trying to justify it? Oh hells yes.

    Livewire, like I said, I’m in the middle here, so I somewhat agree with your point. Perhaps your first sentence above didn’t come out as you intended, but suppose that he broke a law because he thought that he was protecting the child? That if he followed the law the child would have been harmed even more? That puts quite a dilemma on Jennings. Yes, I do believe he was wrong. But I don’t believe this necessarily disqualifies him from his current position. I think Gene and others have provided some good context on his actions and inactions.

    As I mentioned above, we are relatively silent to parents who treat their gay children inferior, or worse, than they would their gay children. Some of them either continue this and/or have no remorse for their actions. Frankly, I find these actions even worse than Jennings. But we don’t demand they step down from their positions.

    Ashpenaz, I have a 15-year-old nephew, and I would feel the same way if a predator tries to pick him up. However, I recommend calling the police.

    All the gays I knew when I was in high school were having sex with older men… Most gays are into lots ‘o sex and lots ‘o drugs and they are contemptuous of anyone who wants a lifelong, drug-free, sexually exclusive relationship.

    I wonder where you meet all these gay men. Maybe I don’t go out enough, but I just don’t see it. Even forgetting about the morality and legal issues for the moment. I don’t no anyone my age or older that would want to have sex with an underage person to begin with.

    Most gays are into lots ‘o sex and lots ‘o drugs and they are contemptuous of anyone who wants a lifelong, drug-free, sexually exclusive relationship.

    Again, I don’t know where you find these people. While I know of people who have cheated on their partner, or even have open relationships, I think I met only one person who was contemptuous of anyone who wanted to be monogamous. And I don’t know of anyone gay person who is into “lots o’ drugs.” At least they’ve never flaunted it. Is this a Nebraska and/or South Dakota thing?

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 10:50 am - October 2, 2009

  43. To focus on that Kevin Jennings is gay is missing the forest for the tree. Straight, Gay, Bi, doesn’t matter here.

    Livewire, I agree with you on this point. The problem is that the consequences would have been a whole lot different if it was a girl with a 50-year-old male creature.

    What matters is this guy decided to let a 15(or 16, again, it’s a distraction) year old go have relations with a 50+ year old guy. His only advice was ‘use a condom’. It was a violation of judgement, but it was a violation of law and the trust this kid put in him.

    Maybe I missed something. I thought Jennings commented, after the fact, that he hoped that Brewster used a condom. So that in addition to being molested, he at least wasn’t also subjected to a greater chance of acquiring HIV and/or other diseases.

    As for your main point, maybe so. But I think we can agree what the Catholic Church did was thousands of times worse than what Jennings did. Talking about breaking the law and violation of judgment. And yet we still allow the Catholic Church to be in a position of trust over children.

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 10:58 am - October 2, 2009

  44. Hey Tim:

    Are you channeling Whoopi Goldberg here now? You know “rape-rape” justifications?

    You liberals really make me shake my head in wonder.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — October 2, 2009 @ 10:58 am - October 2, 2009

  45. Pat I don’t trust ‘em, I’m a Lutheran Heritic ;-)

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘the consequences would be different’ if it had been a girl. The law would still have been broken. a 15 year old would still have been molested. I infer that you mean that it would be a non-issue as he’d be booted out w/o a second thought. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re implying.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 11:03 am - October 2, 2009

  46. Livewire, what I mean is that if everything else was the same, except that it was a 15-year-old girl, and Jennings reported the incident, the girl would, in almost all likelihold, would have received the support that she needed from her family and peers. There’s a good chance that wouldn’t have been the case with Brewster.

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 11:15 am - October 2, 2009

  47. New morning, and I must say, it has been a pleasure to read people’s refutations of Tim.

    Jennings betrayed the kid. I see no other word for it. He threw him to a 50 year old predator, giving the kid no clue that there might be another way and Jennings would be there to help him. It’s sickening to think about.

    I don’t understand the outright condemnation of Jennings here. He obviously made a mistake, and he admitted to it.

    I believe in proportion and accuracy. On that basis, I admit Jennings isn’t as bad as the actual predator in the story. Having said that: To all appearances, Jennings is only sorry now (and only a little) because his great mistake – a mistake of which he has repeatedly boasted – means he is “being persecuted” in Tim’s words. Not because he has acquired any real morality since then, or even common sense.

    Tim’s attitude ices the cake:

    Before calling for his head on a platter, why don’t you provide some proof any harm was done

    In other words: If the abused kid *buys into* his or her abuse, then it’s OK; there is no objective right or wrong. Reprehensible!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 2, 2009 @ 11:20 am - October 2, 2009

  48. I wonder where you meet all these gay men… that would want to have sex with an underage person to begin with.

    Pat, I wondered the same thing. I’ve met a few creepy gay men who would. No doubt. And I’ve met rather more who wouldn’t. With every bit of due condemnation against the world’s sexual predators, it is not the case that “gay equals predator”, and there are moments when Ashpenaz’s comments (to the effect that gay does equal predator) read like excerpts from the Salem Witch trials.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 2, 2009 @ 11:32 am - October 2, 2009

  49. Thanks for the clarification, Pat. Now I understand where you’re coming from.

    I do know that I’m this guy’s age, +/-3 years. My dad said that if I brought home a guy, he’d try to be supportive but wasn’t sure if it could.

    My only issue with the ‘he could have committed suicide’ argument is that it’s speculative. He could have found out that his parents supported him. He could have used it as a catalyst to been something great.

    Or the bus stop predator could have strangled him, or he could have caught HIV or something. Too many variables.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 11:41 am - October 2, 2009

  50. Or he could have become the next Andrew Sullivan.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 11:42 am - October 2, 2009

  51. Maybe I missed something. I thought Jennings commented, after the fact, that he hoped that Brewster used a condom. So that in addition to being molested, he at least wasn’t also subjected to a greater chance of acquiring HIV and/or other diseases.

    Yes, you missed something. To the liberal there is only the physical body and health is the only God. They have completely obliterated the soul.
    As long as Jennings mentioned a condom, really what more is needed?

    Comment by Leah — October 2, 2009 @ 11:43 am - October 2, 2009

  52. FACT None of the information you have on this “molestaton” or “child abuse” come from anything other than Jennings own account. You have no proof that the “victim” in this “child molestation” was underage, Jennings later maintains he was 16 and therefore able to consent.

    Again, all anyone in this page or others is able to contend is a vague narrative to feed into their own biased views of gays as advocates of child molestors and pedophiles. Beyond Jennings own account, you have no proof of child molestation, laws being broken or the like. You have no proof of this kid’s age. You have no proof of the age of the other consenting party. You have no proof Jennings was even aware of the law, or that teachers were made aware of their legal responsibilities to report what he didn’t even know at the time was a crime or not. Yet, you have no qualms about throwing around accusations of child molestation, NAMBLA associations and stereotypes of pedophilia of gays.

    Nevermind the fat of the HUGE gray area in this case which so many of you completely dismiss in favor of the witch hunting of this man, it’s all black and white apparently when it’s someone you don’t agree with politically. I would love to see some of you defend your jobs against charges of laws you probably didn’t even know existed 21 years ago. I would also LOVE to see some of you even try to prosecute a court case based upon the “evidence” presented, which most have taken to extrapolate an extreme scenario of NAMBLA proportions when you have no evidence of the ages of the participants involved, the actions, the circumstances or motivations.

    Comment by Tim — October 2, 2009 @ 1:00 pm - October 2, 2009

  53. Yes, you missed something. To the liberal there is only the physical body and health is the only God. They have completely obliterated the soul.
    As long as Jennings mentioned a condom, really what more is needed?

    Leah, I may have missed something. I’m just have no idea what your statement, while fine, and another opportunity to slap liberals, had anything to do with my point.

    My only issue with the ‘he could have committed suicide’ argument is that it’s speculative. He could have found out that his parents supported him. He could have used it as a catalyst to been something great.

    Agreed, Livewire. It is speculative, just as Ashpenaz’s scenario was as well.

    Comment by Pat — October 2, 2009 @ 1:36 pm - October 2, 2009

  54. It was about 20 years ago, I had a friend whose 15 year old brother was the victim of an attempted sexual assault in a public park by an older male, but he fought off his attacker and informed the police.

    Ironically, if something like that happened today, my friends brother would probably be charged with a “Hate Crime.”

    Comment by V the K — October 2, 2009 @ 2:47 pm - October 2, 2009

  55. Beyond Jennings own account

    That’s the point, Tim. We aren’t making sh*t up; we are going by Jennings’ own accounts, the most favorable possible accounts.

    You have no proof of this kid’s age.

    On the contrary. By Jennings’ own accounts, he was 15 or certainly no older than 16. Either age makes him still – yes – A KID. (You have said it.)

    You have no proof Jennings was even aware of the law or that teachers were made aware of their legal responsibilities to report

    Ignorance of the law is not accepted or recognized, by the law, as an excuse for breaking it. As for teachers, one of the most highly trained professions there is, being unaware of their most basic legal responsbilities? GET. REAL. If it were true that Jennings were unaware, in 1988, of his responsibilities under a 1973 law in his State: then Jennings should be disqualified from his “Czar” post for that alone. I.e., for proof of his inherent incompetence.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 2, 2009 @ 3:03 pm - October 2, 2009

  56. Ok, I have to say it, Tim disgusts me. His attempts to excuse and justify the assault of the older man on the kid is just repulsive. I can understand (if not agree) with arguements put forth by Pat and others, but Tim’s defense not only of Jenning’s inaction but the actions of the predator disgust me.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 2, 2009 @ 9:31 pm - October 2, 2009

  57. [...] I may or may not blog again on the case of Kevin Jennings.  I do have another post in my mind, but it’s basically just an expansion on a point I made in my last post on the topic. [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » On the “gray” areas of sexual expression and marriage — October 4, 2009 @ 7:18 pm - October 4, 2009

  58. Thanks for the clarification, Pat. Now I understand where you’re coming from.
    I do know that I’m this guy’s age, +/-3 years. My dad said that if I brought home a guy, he’d try to be supportive but wasn’t sure if it could.
    My only issue with the ‘he could have committed suicide’ argument is that it’s speculative. He could have found out that his parents supported him. He could have used it as a catalyst to been something great.
    Or the bus stop predator could have strangled him, or he could have caught HIV or something. Too many variables.

    Comment by CL — October 5, 2009 @ 2:53 am - October 5, 2009

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