Daily Archives: October 7, 2012

Gay-Linked Group Banned From Community Parade: Petition

On July 9th, 2012, Anoka High School student Justin Aaberg committed suicide. Here in Minnesota, when a kid commits suicide we don’t talk about it; often the other kids in the school are never told. There’s just a funeral service and a yearbook page but no discussion, no action, no response. But, Justin was one of several kids who successfully took their own lives in the Anoka Hennepin School District, the largest school district in Minnesota, and they were among a much larger group who came close to doing so, because they were gay or thought to be so, and were thus bullied and shunned and treated poorly by people from across the entire community, including students, teachers, school administrators, public officials, parents, and members of the general public. Putting this a slightly different way, the Anoka-Hennepin School District, which considerably overlaps with anti-gay Congressperson Michele Bachmann’s school district, is one of the most actively homophobic geographical entities in the country. Homeless youth in this area are often, by some estimates about half the time and certainly more than 35% of the time, homeless because their parents discovered that they were gay and threw them out, or bullied them into leaving. The attempted and successful suicide rates and related problems in the Anoka County School district were reached such a severe level that the US Center for Disease Control declared the problem a serious health emergency and launched an investigation. The first response of the education community, including many teachers and administrators, was to enact a policy in which no one would be allowed to say anything about anything. Ya. Here in Minnesota, when a bunch of kids commit suicide we just don’t talk about it.

Justin Aaberg
Anoka, the city, which is in Anoka County and part of this school district, is the Halloween Capitol of the world. You probably already knew that. I’m not sure why this is the case and at the moment I’m not too interested to find out, even though it is the next town over from where I live. The thing is, Anoka has a big huge parade for Halloween, and all the usual groups march in it. Everyone is welcome and everyone has a great time.

Unless of course you are some kinda gay thing. Justin’s Gift is a non profit that formed after Justin’s death to raise money to help at risk youth and address bullying in the district. Justin’s gift and allied organizations have been organizing things like the annual Youth Gay Pride festival. And 30 Kids linked to Justin’s Gift wanted to march in the parade, but of course, they were refused. The reason given? “Too many people already marching in the parade. Can’t fit the 30 kids.”

Which, of course, is bullshit.

So, one off the moms in the district has gotten peeved and instead of being Minnesota nice and merely walking away after passing around a stern look, she has started a petition on Change.org, and we need you to sign it. Click here to sign it, and please pass it around.

Related info and sources:

  • Justin’s Gift
  • Teenager Justin Aaberg Killed Himself Over Gay Bullying. His Mom Won’t Let Anyone Forget
  • School District Rethinking Policy on Gender Orientation and Identity Issues
  • The History of Anoka Halloween
  • One town’s war on gay teens
  • This is why Republicans are scary dangerous, and separation of church and state is so important

    Watch the following video without reading any context. Listen to what the guy says. Note that he says that evolution and embryology are lies from hell. Note that he claims that these lies have one purpose: To keep us from knowing that we need a savior. Note that he claims that the earth was create in 6 literal days about 9,000 years ago (why not 6,000 is a topic of another post some time, perhaps). Note that he claims that the Bible teaches us how we run our lives, our families and our churches, but most importantly, note that this man is saying that the bible, which he takes absolutely literally, teaches us how to run our public policy and everything in society.

    Also note that this man is a member of the United States Congress. And, while you are at it, also note that this particular congressmember was appointed by the Republican leadership to be on the Science Committee.

    This is Paul Broun, from Georgia. He is a Republican running for re-election to congress. I would love to suggest a link for you to follow so that you can donate to the Democrat who is running against him, but there isn’t one.

    Are you a Christian? Fine. You can certainly be a Christian in America and still be pro-science, politically progressive, and not scary like this guy. But please do understand that this man is your kin. Every morning when you wake up and finish your prayers, it is your obligation to do something about this, other than praying, something that will work. If you don’t, you’re just one of his people. That is not cool.

    If you are one of thole Olde Timey Republicans who thinks guys like this are crazy and are sort of embarrassed by your party these days, this man is still your kin. By remaining a member of the Party of Batshit Crazy, you are endorsing him, whether you like it or not, because not only are parties parties, but the Republican Party in particular is a lockstep party, regardless of your personal opinion on the matter. The beliefs this man is professing in this video are your beliefs if you are a Republican. I might suggest that it is time for you to cut bait. You might consider balancing between the chagrin of casting your lot with guys like this vs. making the very strong statement of walking away.

    And no, it is not the case that Paul Broun is an outlier. In this video, he is giving us the party position. There is no real science in the Republican Party. It is not allowed.

    Hey, here’s a petition you can sign!