the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Arkansas School Board Member Resigns After Anti-Gay Facebook Posts

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Clint McCance, who came under immense fire this week for anti-gay Facebook posts, will resign from his position as vice president of the Midland School Board. He made the announcement Thursday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

He told Cooper that he regretted his inflammatory Facebook posts in which he said he wanted gay people to die and that he enjoyed the fact that gay people “give each other AIDS and die.” In the same Facebook posts, McCance, 31, used the words “queer” and “fag” and said he would disown his children if they were gay, The Advocate first reported Tuesday.
“I would never support suicide for any kids,” he said. “I don’t support bullying of any kids.”
He extended apologies to families that have lost children in suicides related to gay bullying and said suicide is not the answer. He also denied talking to any reporters before Anderson Cooper about the matter. One local blog reported Wednesday that McCance had said the matter had been “blown out of proportion.”
McCance, who lives in Pleasant Plains, Ark., 70 miles north of Little Rock, said he was unaware, like many other people in rural America, about the seriousness of teen suicides. He called his comments “over-the-top” and that he went “too far with them.”
“I brought more hurt on them . . . they don’t deserve that and I do feel genuinely bad for them,” McCance said. He added that he had hurt people on “a broad spectrum” and called his posts “ignorant.”
“I’m not a bad guy . . . not a monster,” he said.
He said he was resigning “to help my school, my community.”
McCance said that his core beliefs haven’t changed about what he reads in the Bible but that he will change the way he acts.
“I’m reaping what I’ve sown,” he said.

McCance has sent his wife and two daughters out of state for fear of their safety after receiving thousands of calls, hate mail and threats.

A group of gay activists from Little Rock traveled to Pleasant Plains Thursday morning. They carried signs that said “All Kids Matter” and “Resign.” The group planned to return to Pleasant Plains Friday morning if McCance had not resigned. A Facebook campaign — Fire Clint McCance — had gained more than 60,000 supporters since Tuesday night. Arkansas education officials condemned McCance’s actions this week but fell short of calling for his resignation.

The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBT equality, took an ad out in a local paper’s Friday edition, calling for McCance’s resignation. The group’s president, Joe Solmonese, said in a statement Thursday night after Cooper’s show that McCance’s decision to resign was a “step forward.”

“What remains troubling is that Mr. McCance focused his regret on particular word choices not the animus behind those words,” he said. “We hope he will take this time to reflect not only on the language he used but on what he can do to make the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and questioning young people better.”

Following McCance’s appearance, David and Amy Truong of Houston also appeared on Cooper’s show. Their 13-year-old son, Asher Brown, committed suicide in September after bullying at school. They said he told them he was gay the day he committed suicide.

David Truong said he would pray for McCance, but Amy Truong said that McCance has “given himself a taste of his own medicine.”

“Don’t threaten him, don’t threaten his family,” David Truong said. “Show him compassion.”

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Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm

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