The recent suicide by Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University “outed” on the Internet by his roommate is extremely disturbing. While it’s easy to focus on anti-gay comments such as those recently the subject of IR articles and at divisive public hearings, let’s remember also the damaging effect of the cultural messages we send every day.
Churches deny them the ability to serve as pastors, our military says “don’t ask, don’t tell” and Montana’s Constitution states marriage is between a man and a woman. We catch ourselves giggling at hurtful jokes and remain quiet when we should be shouting in outrage. Is it any wonder young men choose to take their own lives?
I urge school trustees to remember the Tyler Clementis in our community when they consider whether to deprive gays access to quality sexual health information. The demands of folks who believe gays and lesbians are somehow “damaged goods” must be rebuffed.
Those entrusted with the education of all our children must not be bullied by intolerance, and we must recognize our responsibility to back them up with our commitment to action, now and in the months ahead.
Homosexuality is not a moral failing, not a choice; it is wired into an individual as much as heterosexuality is.
My heart is with the Clementi family. May their tragedy lead us to become the just society that we like to think we are.
If so, God will smile, saying “What took you so long!”