The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't mix your hatred with your free speech

This is a free country and thanks to the First Amendment we have freedom of speech.

We have freedom to hate also.

But when a person mixes their hatred with their speech problems arise.

Take Clint McCance. He's the School Board member for the Midland School District in Arkansas that earlier this week urged gay kids to commit suicide and stated that he would totally disown his own kids if they were gay.

He was responding to Spirit Day on which people wore purple in support of safe schools and in honor of LGBT young people who have committed suicide due to bullying and harassment.

He was publicly shamed and will resign from his position, after apologizing.

Anderson Cooper interviewed McCance, where he announced his resignation.

Anderson asked him about his statement that he would disown his kids if they were gay and that they would not be welcome in his home or in the vicinity. He did not deny that he still has those feelings, saying that he does not know what he would do yet, that "time will tell."

In part 2, Anderson brings and David and Amy Truong, parents of 13 year old Asher Brown, one of the recent bullying related suicides, into the conversation.

Part 2.

Or consider Texas NBC affiliate KETK which aired a segment in which their viewers were asked to weigh in on the question, "Will the acceptance of homosexuality be the fall of this country?" Radio station KTBB host Garth Maier aired the question and it was simulcast on the TV news.

After the rest of the nation heard about it and watched the clip on YouTube the radio station heard from thousands and has apologized. Here is the apology from KTBB Radio president Paul L. Gleiser.

The Talkback question that aired on KTBB Radio and was simulcast on KETK NBC 56 television in Tyler on Wednesday, October 27 was unfortunate in its wording and unfortunate in the perception that it created among a large number of thoughtful individuals. The question, “Will the acceptance of homosexuality lead to the fall of America?” is poorly worded at best and inappropriate altogether at worst. For that, we apologize.

There are many issues surrounding homosexuality that are fair game for discussion in the media and in opinion journalism. The proper role, if any, for openly gay individuals in the military, the legitimacy of same-sex marriages and the public behavior by some individuals at gay and lesbian events held outdoors in public view are among topics about which reasonable people may disagree. These and other topics surrounding homosexuality are topics that talk radio hosts and opinion journalists may legitimately pose to their respective audiences.

With that said, the way our Talkback question was posed might be seen as asking, “Do homosexuals, by their very existence, threaten to bring down America?” We believe that such a question, posed in such a manner, is likely to generate more heat than light.

I understand how those who either heard, or heard about, KTBB’s Talkback question on Wednesday might have been offended. For the offense that was taken, we sincerely apologize.

Paul L. Gleiser, President
KTBB Radio

KETK general manager Dave Tillery has also responded to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) concern and will be issuing an on-air statement confirming that such a segment has no place on programming of a reputable news organization. GLAAD has also suggested they ask Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns to do an interview with the station.

My suggestion to people who hold such hatred in their hearts is to keep it there unless you can do something about it, such as educating yourself or getting counseling to deal with whatever issues are causing you to have those feelings.

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