When Does Opposition to Suicide Prevention Equal Murder?

Jim Burroway

September 1st, 2010

Three teens at a Minnesota school district have committed suicide over the past year after enduring anti-gay bullying. The Anoka-Hennepin School Board claims that they take bullying seriously, but they’ve refused to implement anti-bullying education programs aimed specifically at anti-gay bullying — which is precisely the issue that has led to three deaths this year. A group of anti-gay parents have formed a pressure group to support the board’s anti-gay stance, and they have the full backing of Focus On the Family:

Focus supports bullying prevention,[Focus On the Family education “expert”Candi] Cushman said. “But this issue is being hijacked by activists. They shouldn’t be politicizing or sexualizing the issue of bully prevention.”

Cushman founded TrueTolerance.org, which says it helps Christian parents “confront the gay agenda,” which she said includes homosexual-themed curricula, books with sexually graphic content and anti-religion stereotypes, assemblies and celebrations.

Nobody is “sexualizing” bullying prevention — there won’t be skimpy outfits or go-go dancers or suggestive poses involved with talking about anti-gay violence — and if anyone is politicizing bullying prevention, it’s people who, for some strange reason, don’t appear interested in ending anti-gay bullying which led to these three deaths.

The best way not to solve a problem is not to talk about the problem. And since Focus’ position is that we should not talk about the problem, at some point you have to wonder if, in some unspoken dark corner of their collective souls, they see these suicides as serving their purposes. Focus consistently portrays the “homosexual lifestyle” as synonymous with abject misery — rampant drug abuse, STDs, depression and suicide. And, coincidentally or not, they consistently oppose efforts to constructively address drug abuse, STDs, depression and suicide among gay youth. After all, if we really were to address drug abuse, STDs, depression and suicide among gay youth by actually talking about drug abuse, STDs, depression and suicide among gay youth with an eye toward identifying solutions to these problems instead of using those problems as a hammer, then drug abuse, ST’s, depression and suicide among gay youth might actually go down. And the “homosexual lifestyle” won’t seem so full of misery, will it?

CI

September 1st, 2010

Deleted: this commenter has been banned.

CI

September 1st, 2010

Deleted: this commenter has been banned.

gaysolomon

September 1st, 2010

Hi CI:

You write: “This will offend some people, but why should I care if a homosexual commits suicide? The incidence of same sex behavior does go down.”

Firstly, you conflate behaviour with orientation. Just because an individual identifies as gay, does not necessarily mean that they are involved in sexual behaviour.

Secondly, a community which discourages anti-gay bullying (and the suicides that may result from such behaviour) is inherently more tolerant and accepting. This may not be the kind of society that appeals to you, but for those of us who are not anti-social bigots, we think it is a worthy short term social goal.

No doubt this offends you – but I don’t really care.

Cowboy PhD

September 1st, 2010

WTF? Who the hell is CI? And how could some sorry excuse for a human being write such crap(“why should I care if a homosexual commits suicide”)?

Fun

September 1st, 2010

Deleted: this commenter has been banned.

Nathaniel

September 1st, 2010

Idiocy, complete and utter idiocy.
I’d have made it a goal in my life to hunt these people down and make them accountable for their substandard ethics, had this happened to me or one of my loved ones.
This just proves that these organizations belong in the “evil” pile along with Hitler, Stalin or any other hateful bigot.

Timothy Kincaid

September 1st, 2010

CI/fun is a troll who comes here sometimes under different names. I removed CI’s comments.

occono

September 1st, 2010

Maybe you should leave a “Post Deleted” note when you do? It can be kind of confusing otherwise.

Timothy Kincaid

September 1st, 2010

Good idea, occono

TampaZeke

September 1st, 2010

I’ve noticed a HUGE uptick in trolling on both gay and liberal websites.

It almost seems like there is a coordinated trolling effort going on.

Is this a last desperate throws of a dying homophobic movement or is it geared toward sowing confusion before the November elections?

Jason D

September 1st, 2010

so anyway, on topic.

I have a feeling some of these folks are really, perhaps unconsciously, willing to sacrifice a few gay lambs for Jesus. I mean let’s face it, we already know their solution to “drug abuse, STDs, depression and suicide” among gay people: Stop being gay already!
They don’t want reasonable, truthful solutions, they want converts.

John in the Bay Area

September 1st, 2010

I think that Focus on the Family and these anti-gay parents are truely indifferent to the suffering of these kids who are gay or percieved to be gay. We had ths fight a few years ago in our town. As always, homophobes and bigots get awfully touchy about being called homophobes or bigots. If only they were equally sensitive to the plight of these kids.

Bernie

September 1st, 2010

We should send a letter to Tony Perkins and ask him if he’s NOW a PROUD and RIGHTEOUS Christian, now that the blood of these poor children is ultimately on his hands.

Scott

September 2nd, 2010

This is an suburb of the Minneapolis/St Paul area that falls in Michele Bachmanns district. This area gets quite worked up at their schools. There was an organization that formed to remove/change comprehensive sex education. They worked out a compromise to offer a two tier plan. One with the birth control education and abstinence style sex ed. This area of the state is where a lot of hard core conservatives live. St Cloud which is a wee bit north of there still has some nasty racism that pops up from time to time. There have also been efforts to keep teachers from posting “safe” signs for LGBT students and having staff do nothing about bullying of LGBT students.

ilovecoldweatherfun

September 2nd, 2010

Deleted. This commenter (who uses various names) has been banned

Nelson Smith

September 2nd, 2010

I try to help suicidal gay youth understand their significance. Most are Christians and as young as 12. They have slit their throat, wrists, hanged themself, going to jump off a cliff…I would share these stories with fundy pastors, church members, and speak to the parents of these gay youth. One father said he could not love his daughter unconditionally, who had tried to burn herself to death, if she remained gay. He said she would go to hell and shoved his Bible towards me and said we believe this. Another pastor of a gay son told me he would call the FBI if I contacted his son. His 13 year old son wrote me and then called me and asked me not to listen to his dad. He said he was considering suicide and needed someone to talk to. So I talked to the pastor’s son [his life was more important than his dad’s threat. His dad did call the FBI. His son went from being a happy kid to one who is now on anti-depressants. But his dad and the church are determined to “save his soul”.
Another dad told me he would rather see his son in hell than be gay. Another parent told me that if it were legal he would stone me and all my gay youth to death. A mother told her 15 year old son, after he came out to her, “I hope you go to prison and get raped” before kicking him out of his home.
A friend of mine college freshman was beaten to death and the two men threw his body in a dumpster. The police caught the men and one question they asked the two men was why they threw him in the dumpster. Their reply, “That’s where trash belongs”.
Not all fundies are like this but far too many are. They have a clear conscience regarding their beliefs and actions as they firmly believe they are doing God’s will.
I am a former Baptist pastor, AG teacher, seminary and college instructor, and was considered a mentor to other pastors-until I announced I was gay [but celibate as I am married] and then I was promptly kicked out my church, but they did say my wife was welcomed to stay.
What is “odd” is that none of these concerned soul savers would never accompany me when I went into the hoods of the Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Latin Kings, Crips, Bloods…Something like the 70’s when they would not let me bring blacks into their church because it would disrupt the fellowship and harm the body of Christ-the church.
I still have some of their bigotry filled sermons which they now try to deny or erase.
Nelson blaine USAF Retired
You Are Significant Because God Doesn’t Make Mistakes or Junk

customartist

September 3rd, 2010

There has been obvious and increasing Anti-Gay Trolling on a number of Gay sites for a year or more now. This in itself is agression.

Even with the enactment of Federal laws protecting Gays against violence, it appears that getting local, state and Federal athorities to determine actions of violence to actually be “hate crimes” will fail to happen affirmatively as evidenced by several recent cases.

customartist

September 3rd, 2010

Nelson Smith,

I think it would be helpful for Blacks to be reminded of those sermons you referenced. Why not post those in black forums?

Thanks

Regan DuCasse

September 3rd, 2010

Hi Nelson,
I’ll never understand or accept parents abandoning their flesh and blood for ideology and ignorance about gay people and being gay.
Their child could be a good kid who adores their parent…
but that doesn’t matter and is all blown away by the revelation of a gay child.

This actually tests the courage and smarts and love of the parent, really.
And their failure is on THEM.
But of course, it’s easier to blame their gay child for their lack of spine as a parent.
Bibles can’t smile back, give you a hug or give you physical and material comfort where and when it most matters.

And they don’t think that they are the parent their gay child doesn’t deserve, instead of the other way around.
They should be embarrassed that an intangible belief is more important that flesh and blood.
I have as yet. EVER. To meet an accepting parent that regretted doing so.

Kate

September 5th, 2010

I think it’s unbearably sad that citizens can work their hardest to protect children from other children in schools, but can do nothing to protect those children from their own parents. Those same parents would visit their child in jail if he/she had committed murder, but will throw that child away because of who their child chooses to love?

There is something very wrong about a religion that fosters that kind of attitude.

Jim

September 5th, 2010

If anybody is still there –
I read some articles about this issue and am absolutely heartbroken. Justin – the last victim – was a cute kid, and talented musician. And a pawn in a hateful political battle that shouldn’t have involved him, but killed him. Why hasn’t the MSM picked this up? Rachel? Ellen? Oprah? Anderson? hello…hello…?

Reverend Boony

October 4th, 2010

I too say that any and all proof of bigoted sermons should be posted, not only on african american geared forums but as many other forums as well since many caucasions, myself included, would find such sermons intresting and enlightning in the sense that we would have a clearer picture of the thoughts and attitudes of many bible thumpers.

As for focus on the family and other whack job organisations…They should be listed as hate groups and shunned by all sensable, intelligent americans.

Robin Mavis

October 4th, 2010

Thank you for following and posting about the circumstances in our district. Please keep speaking out.
Robin Mavis
Anoka Hennepin Gay Equity Team

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Jubal

Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.