Focus On The Family Bullying ‘Expert’: GLAAD’s ‘Blacklist’ Is The Real ‘Hate’

Candi Cushman (left) debating GLSEN's Eliza Byard (right) on CNN (September, 2010)

Candi Cushman is Focus on the Family’s so-called “expert” on education and bullying, which made her a prime candidate for GLAAD’s new Commentator Accountability Project (CAP). She regularly promotes ex-gay therapy in schools, opposes anti-bullying initiatives, and claims that the LGBT movement is trying to indoctrinate students by “sexualizingschools. But she’s not happy about CAP, which she mistakenly calls a “blacklist,” because she think it promotes hate against Christians:

“Hate” is wrong. So let’s talk about “hate,” “extreme rhetoric” and “animus.”  I submit for your review just a few of the comments we’ve received from those who disagree with our stance on marriage and sexuality. Normally, we wouldn’t subject our audience to this sort of language, and please consider this a warning, but I think it’s necessary to expose the irony here.

  • “You *expletive* tyrannical theocRAT heterosupremacist gay bashers. Take your gay-bashing, kill-the-Jews Bible, stick it down your Jesus koolaid drinking throat and choke on it.”
  • “YOUR *expletive* BIBLE IS ALL …HEARSAY”
  • the bulk of bullying comes from what kids learn in Church about hating others…
  • “You are murderers… You are evil, murderous sons and daughters of *expletive*”
  • “Expect retribution on a biblical scale”

It’s worth noting that the first three comments listed were posted to the Day of Dialogue® Facebook page—which, keep in mind, has an audience comprised mostly of students, ages 13-17. What exactly was the purpose of those comments? To intimidate teens from sharing about Jesus with their friends? It’s also interesting to note that the only comments that ever mentioned “hate” on that student-oriented page appear to have come from adult, gay activists.

She is trying to compare a few inappropriate reactionary Facebook comments to a spokesperson spreading harmful misinformation on national television. And of course, she doesn’t bother to mention why the Day of Dialogue encourages teens to “share Jesus with their friends.” Its whole premise is to respond to the Day of Silence, the GLSEN-organized protest against anti-gay bullying, by motivating children to be vocal in their Biblical condemnations of homosexuality as “sickly and weak” and something gay students “struggle” with. Though Cushman claims to oppose bullying, all of her actions and rhetoric serve to reinforce a dangerous climate for gay students.

GLAAD’s project is not an “intolerant” call for “censorship,” but an attempt to hold harmful rhetoric like Cushman’s accountable. In schools, bullies can sometimes get away with their actions by claiming their victims started the fight, but in the age of accountability, the real bullies’ actions are well documented.