Friday, May 12, 2006

Mitt Romney Doesn't Care About Gay Youth

So much so that he's fine with threatening to cut the program that William Weld founded in 1992 to keep gay and transgendered kids from suffering harassment and preventing them from committing suicide.

Angered that his name appeared on a press release touting a gay pride parade, Governor Mitt Romney moved yesterday to curtail the activities of a 14-year-old advisory commission on gay and lesbian youth.

...The commission was created by Governor William Weld in 1992 to help gay and lesbian youths in school, where they face increased risk of victimization, harassment, and discrimination. The commission's work focuses primarily on violence and suicide prevention. A youth committee also organizes an annual youth pride parade. The 12th annual parade will take place tomorrow.

...The commission pays to train administrators, teachers, and student leaders to create a safe environment for gay and lesbian students. It supports community drop-in centers, and works with the Department of Education to train teachers to comply with antidiscrimination laws, she said.

Just, wow. When I let my guard down and think, hey, maybe Mitt Romney has the capability to feel for people who have different lifestyles than him, he pulls something so audacious and cruel that it actually physically sickens me. This is a programs that helps kids feel like suicide is not the only way out for them. This is a program that keeps gay kids from having the shit kicked out of them at school. I don't care what your political beliefs are, you don't disband an agency that keeps kids safe. Can you imagine if a kid got pummeled for being openly religious at school? Mitt would have every agency in the state on that case. But the queers? Fuck them.

Conservative activists apparently showed Mitt images that "physically sickened" him, thus making him upset that the parade would happen with his blessing.

Conservative activist Brian Camenker said he met with Romney aides last week, showing them photos from last year's parade, and urged them to abolish the panel.

''Last year [at the parade] they had boys in fishnet stockings and high heels parading down Boylston Street," Camenker said. ''They had boys dressed as women embracing. We presented stuff, and they were visibly sickened by what they saw. I said, basically, this group has to go. It's so manifestly destructive to kids that you have to get rid of it. They said they'd do something."

Oh my God! The queers! They're ruining Boston! Men dressed as women?! Horrific! Listen, Mr. Camenker, here is a news flash: men dress as women. Sometimes, it's used for comedy. Other times, it's how someone identifies themselves. It's not like people become transgender or gay for fun. The hatred of homosexuals and transgendered people in this country is open and nasty, and people just don't say, "Hey, being gay and wondering on a daily basis if I'm going to be beaten to death sounds great! Sign me up!" Just this week, a study showed that lesbian's brains respond like men's brains, thus lending more credence to the theory that homosexuality has a physiological basis.

People are gay and transgendered. End of story. This group strives to make them feel accepted at best, and at least keeps the open hostility and harassment at bay. Having a parade, once a year, that the state does not fund, that gives gay kids a time to hang out with each other and feel accepted is good. It's one thing if you don't want your name attached to it, Mitt. It's completely another to overreact and threaten to shut the commission down, ending the good work they do in schools to prevent harassment.

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