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!”

John Ilgenfritz

Helena

(2) comments

billhaslip

Better read The Book, there will be a test later!

Bojangles
Bojangles

Ah yes.. the pseudo Christians. More haters than Christ-like.

I can pass that test - it says Love thy Neighbor. Anyone for the golden rule? I guess you missed that part. What cracks me about the Christian-Haters is that you think God has put you in charge of judging and punishing the rest of us. As I remember - your teachings tell you to leave that to god - obviously that's not what you are about - serving your lord. Obviously you wave your god-flag merely as a means to try and rationalize your own fear and anger to feel better about yourself. Seems most Christians spend their time judging others - but very little time actually evaluating and improving themselves.

Poor Christ - he'd be so bummed if he knew how you all hi-jacked his legacy and learned Nothing from his teachings.

Funniest of all - The Pew Research center just completed a survey and found agnostics and athiests to be the most well educated on basic religious tenants. Not very surprising...

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.