In an earlier post I talked about Stand for Marriage Maine’s presentation of Mr. and Mrs. Wirthlin’s opposition to gay marriage because it will destroy the public school system. What really stood out to me in the commercial was when Mrs. Wirthlin discussed her painful ridicule for the couples strong public stand against equality for LGBTQ families in the public schools.
In the commercial, Mrs. Wirthlin makes a strong and emotional plea against the disparaging remarks and hostility she faced for opposing any kind of inclusive education that might hint at any sort of respect or ‘tolerance’ for the LGBTQ families in her community. You are meant to see how she has been harassed and harmed as a conservative Christian taking an unpopular stand.
Well, that disparaging remarks and hostility argument is still stuck in my craw since I know all to well about the daily physical and verbal abuse queer youth and families face in accessing the public school system. I can google incident after incident of students, faculty, and community members harassing, threatening, or all out attacking queer youth and families. So it is hard to even begin to buy the line that her position is ‘unpopular’ let alone ‘Christian.’
In any case, this morning while reading the news I came across this very disturbing report on the videotaped violent gay bashing of a Queens man. The attack took place this weekend in New York and was caught on a store’s surveillance cameras. It looks to me from all of the reports like a couple of young men (a 21 and a 26-year-old) took those some of those educational messages of homophobic intolerance and hate to the streets. Eye witness accounts confirm they spent the entire beating yelling homophobic slurs at their victim a man named Jack Price. The openly gay man they brutally assaulted is currently in a medically induced coma.
I can never hear anyone make this false equivalence about their victimization as a conservative without thinking of Lawrence King, Matthew Shepard, Gwen Araujo, Sakia Gunn and so many other young queer people whose lives were ended at the hands of those who took anti-gay ‘disparaging remarks and hostility’ to their final point.
My prayers are with Jack Price right now as he fights for his life.