Mitt Romney called on to speak out against anti-gay bullying

Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network says Romney's apology for prep school bullying is inadequate, starts letter-writing campaign

Mitt Romney called on to speak out against anti-gay bullying
12 May 2012

As President Barack Obama basked in the glow of supporters thrilled with his endorsement of gay marriage this week, his presumed opponent in next fall’s presidential election has been dealing with reports that he was an anti-gay prep school bully.

Mitt Romney apologized for pranks he played while in school and said he didn’t remember on described in the Washington Post in which his former classmates recalled him pinning down and cutting off the long blond hair of a boy presumed to be gay.

‘The people involved didn’t come out of the closet until years later, Romney said Thursday. ‘The idea that this is something that was known by me … is obviously absurd. I had no idea that this person might have been gay.’

‘I don’t remember that incident and I’ll tell you I certainly don’t believe that I, I can’t speak for other people of course, thought the fellow was homosexual,’ he also said in the interview. ‘That was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case. But as to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days, if I did stupid things, why I’m afraid I got to say sorry for it.’

But to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the leading national education organization in the US focused on ensuring safe schools for all students, Romney’s apology is inadequate.

GLSEN wants Romney to spell out what he would do as president to combat bullying and has launched a letter-writing campaign aimed at the candidate.

The letter states in part: ‘… Tell us what you would do as President to help end the public health crisis that is bullying in this country, and in particular bullying targeted at people who are different. People like your gay classmate who dyed his hair and suffered for it. Nearly 9 out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are harassed at school each year because of their sexual orientation. This has to stop.’

It has also surfaced that when he was governor of Massachusetts, GLSEN’s Massachusetts chapter was consistently frustrated with Romney’s cuts to funding for programs that assisted LGBT youth.

‘It’s very clear that Mr. Romney doesn’t get it,’ GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard told The Huffington Post. ‘Bullying, harassment and assault in schools are serious issues. His own behavior was deeply troubling when he was a student, and his actions as governor of Massachusetts were also an assault on the LGBT students that the state had set out to protect.’



No thumbnail available

LGBT military organization stands against the Defense of Marriage Act

OutServe-SLDN and Freedom to Marry create online video that takes on the Defense of Marriage Act
No thumbnail available

Video made by Chelsea Clinton in support of gay marriage bills was blocked by NBC

Former First Daughter is a special correspondent for the network's news division
Man pleads guilty to anti-gay hate crime in Seattle

Man pleads guilty to anti-gay hate crime in Seattle

A 38-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime for yelling homophobic slurs and threatening three gay men with a knife on Seattle's Capitol Hill in January
No thumbnail available

Claims Pope resigned over ‘gay influence within the Vatican’

La Repubblica claim in an internal report, commissioned by Benedict XVI, the pope is leaving his post over the 'gay lobby'
No thumbnail available

‘It’s Raining Men’ set to storm UK charts after gay floods campaign

Hallelujah! Weather Girls gay anthem could be topping the charts to fight against bigotry and celebrate England and Wales' gay marriage law
No thumbnail available

Uganda PM: ‘Homosexuals should not be killed’

While Amama Mbabazi believes homosexuals are still 'abnormal', he says they should not face life imprisonment or the death penalty
No thumbnail available

India elects first trans mayor

Independent candidate is both transgender and an 'untouchable'
No thumbnail available

Police investigate London restaurant after gay porn is accidentally shown to kids

Distraught mother: 'The kids were standing there laughing their heads off. I don't think they understood what was going on.'
No thumbnail available

Illinois Bishop: Catholics backing gay marriage are destroying the family

The Bishop of Springfield Illinois said being gay is a 'condition' needing celibacy and Catholics who support marriage equality are destroying the family
No thumbnail available

Bulgarian Parliament rejects gay propaganda ban law

Bulgarian lawmakers have thrown out a law which would have ended LGBTI people’s freedom of expression and freedom to assembly with even more severe punishments than Russia’s ban on so-called homosexual propaganda