Sex columnist Dan Savage apologizes for bullying and offending Christianity
No matter what you think of gay men and women, I think we can all agree that bullying and the teen suicide that sometimes results from harassment is never, ever a good thing. That's why I am such a huge fan of the "It Gets Better" movement, which was started by openly gay sex columnist Dan Savage. He became a hero to gay youth with his anti-bullying campaign, which has now been supported by everyone from Lady Gaga to President Barack Obama, and has even spawned a Spanish-language version called "Todo Mejora". But despite all of his support against bullying, he's now come under fire for an offensive remark he recently made about students who walked out of his talk.
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According to reports, Dan Savage was giving a talk at the National High School Journalist Conference and said that Christians ignore things in the Bible that they don't like and should "learn to ignore the b------- in the Bible about gay people", at which point some of the high schoolers stood up and left. But as they were leaving, he remarked that "it's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-a—some people react when you push back." After people immediately reacted to his bully-like comments, he apologized in a blog post, saying:
I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-a---- move. I wasn't calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that's a distinction without a difference — kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they 'love the sinner, hate the sin.' They're often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person's actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by 'love the sinner, hate the sin' because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of 'pansy-a----' was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.
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I think Dan Savage's apology only proves that he is being the bigger man in this situation. He's admitting to when he did something wrong, he's apologizing for saying something that he knows is inappropriate. But he's not apologizing for his stance on the hypocrisy—which also shows that he's still willing to stand up for what he believes in but without going too far. I appreciate his apology and I appreciate his stance on the issues. He's supporting his anti-bullying cause without becoming a bully himself and that's something to be admired.
What do you think of the comments Dan Savage made, and his subsequent apology?
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