Call for meeting follows Tea Party activist’s dangerous remarks that bullying is “healthy.”
Washington– The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is calling on Tea Party activist Rich Swier to sit down with straight supporter and Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor to discuss the serious impact of bullying on the nation’s youth. Supporters can tweet Swier asking him to meet with Taylor. The invitation comes following remarks in which Swier called anti-LGBT youth bullying “healthy.” Swier made his comments after the group Gulf Coast Gives, which supports civic enhancement projects in the Gulf region, announced its intention to raise funds to bring Hudson Taylor to Florida for an event.
“Rich Swier has yet to take responsibility for his dangerous remarks,” said HRC’s Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “Saying that bullying is peer pressure and healthy sends a deplorable message to those who seek to demean their peers, and to youth suffering from bullying in their daily lives. Hopefully by speaking with Hudson Taylor – who works tirelessly as a straight ally to improve conditions for LGBT Americans– Swier will get a sense of just how misguided his remarks were.”
Taylor originally invited Swier to meet and discuss the issue on July 1. Swier has ignored Taylor’s outreach, but has tweeted blog entries that include “MAN UP! America’s Gay White House,” “MAN UP! The Progressive Gay Agenda: An Analysis,” and “MAN UP! UK terrorists told: pretend to be gay so you don’t get caught.”
"Anti-LGBT bullying affects young people in so many ways and can have a huge impact on their emotional and physical well-being," said Taylor. "I welcome the opportunity to sit down with Swier to discuss with him why bullying is so much more serious than a mere milestone of youth, and to address the dangers in misconstruing anti-LGBT bullying as healthy or normal."
HRC also is calling on its supporters to send a message to Swier that this type of rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible. It’s part of HRC’s Call it Out campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about incidents of homophobia and transphobia as they occur around the country. Send your tweets to Swier and take action at www.hrc.org/callitout.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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