The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an outfit which bills itself as the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization should called on sex columnist and creator of the “It Gets Better” video project Dan Savage to come out against the kind of anti-LGBT bullying and name-calling sadly typified by his tweet two weeks ago. Willow Palin deleted her Facebook page (on which she had used the same slur Savage did) and Bristol Palin has apologized for that type of behavior, but Dan Savage has neither deleted his tweet nor apologized.
“Sarah Palin’s daughter seems to know when an apology is in order, why doesn’t she?” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “As an adult gay man,” added another gay man in the spirit of Sainz’s commentary, “Savage should know not to make such hateful remarks, particularly in this cyber age. Anti-LGBT bullying needs to stop and Dan Savage should be a part of making that happen.”
According to media accounts, a gay conservative group, GOProud, endorsed presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney even while disagreeing with him on some issues. That prompted Savage to respond by saying, “The GOP’s house faggots grab their ankles, right on cue [sic]”.
That language is unacceptable. Over the past year a number of teenagers have taken their own lives after being the victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment by other teenagers. Mr. Savage himself has drawn attention to such suicides with his “It Gets better Videos.” He thus seems aware that words hurt. And still he has spoken as he had.
Given his recent tweet, Savage now has a prime opportunity to give the nation’s children — indeed to give all Americans — a lesson in tolerance – to let them know it is wrong to use such hateful language, but has so far remained silent.
In speaking about one person’s use of the term, Sainz once said: “Don’t squander this opportunity. Apologize for the behavior and make it clear that you stand against hatred and bullying. The teenagers of this country are listening. So are we.”
Unfortunately, neither he nor anyone else at HRC has yet to direct these — or similar — words to Mr. Savage.