Friday, October 1, 2010

End of Day News: Ellen on Teen Suicide, Daniel Burke on Catholic "Mutiny" vs. Anti-Gay Teaching, and Update on Senator Chambliss Story

In my end-of-day news sweep, I'm seeing some noteworthy statements online that I'd like to bring to readers' attention:

First, as a follow-up to my posting earlier today about resources available to those who want to assist teens struggling with their sexuality hope and encouragement: Ellen Degeneres has placed a video clip online, noting that she is devastated by the epidemic of suicides of gay youths in the U.S. in recent days.  She notes that she is devastated by the death of 18-year old Tyler Clementi, and then lists the other teens who have committed suicide recently due to bullying--Seth Walsh in Tehachapi, California, Asher Brown, in Cypress, Texas, and Billy Lucas in Greensberg, Indiana.

Ellen tells teens seeking to deal with issues of sexual orientation and gender,"Things will get easier, people's minds will change, and you should be alive to see it."  And the posting at her website that includes this clip links to various other online sources of use to anyone concerned about the challenges facing gay teens.

Second, Daniel Burke of Religion News Service has written an overview of the vocal "mutiny" of many Catholics against the hierarchy's current stand on gay rights and gay marriage.  Huffington Post has posted the article.

Burke notes the launch this month of two groups in the U.S., Catholics for Equality and Equally Blessed, both of them calling for a reassessment of how the Catholic church, at an official level, treats gay and lesbian human beings.  He also notes the push-back that is occurring among Minnesota Catholics as the bishops of that state issue an anti-gay marriage video on the eve of a tightly contested gubernatorial election in which the Republican candidate opposes gay marriage while the Democratic and Independence Party candidates support it.

And Andrew Sullivan has an informative analysis of precisely what has happened with the staff member who posted an anti-gay slur on the Joe.My.God website from Senator Saxby Chambliss's office.  This updates my posting last night on the topic.

It now appears that the staff member was not in Chambliss's Georgia office, but in D.C., and there are some indications he's a Pentagon employee.  And the Senate sergeant at arms characterizes his comment--all faggots must die--as "ignorant free speech," not bigotry or hate speech.  And it's not even clear that the staff member who posted this statement on a blog has actually been fired.

Stay tuned.  I think we'll be hearing more of this story.

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