Several anti-gay and ex-gay Christian and political groups want to prevent schools from addressing homophobic bullying by name. Day of Truth, sponsored by Exodus International, exists in deliberate opposition to Day of Silence, a day established to address the problem of anti-gay bullying and harassment in schools.
And yet the last few weeks have seen a spate of high-profile teen suicides apparently provoked by homophobic bullying. Billy Lucas, Jaheem Herrera, Seth Walsh and Asher Brown are just a few of the most recent teenagers to kill themselves after being bullied because they were–or people thought they were–gay.
Today, police have identified a body as that of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University, NJ, who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly filmed him having gay sex and broadcast it live online. Before his death, he told an internet forum he felt like Dharun Ravi, also 18, was telling the world, “Look at what a fag my roommate is.”
And religious right groups like Focus on the Family continue to deny that addressing homophobia in schools is necessary:
Do you sometimes wonder what century we’re living in that swaths of people would gladly ignore the prejudice and hatred that is leading to the death of these innocent young people?