All posts edited by Madeline Ricchiuto.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

NOM Spokesperson on being friends with LGBT people and Tyler Clementi

Maybe some of you remember this; just before thanksgiving NOM spokes person, Jennifer Roback Morse, released a video on NOM's Ruth Institute warning those in college settings to avoid being friends with LGBT youth.

Now Morse has apparently reversed her position on the issue. Apparently earlier this month Morse spoke to students at Iowa State University and encouraged them to be friends with those who are 'confused' (she doesn't recognize that there is a different sexual orientation from heterosexual) so as to save them from being lonely and confused.

Her words seem to be implying that the death rate of sexual and gender minorities is due to loneliness because they can't marry, and that the solution to this is to have a friend. I think LGBTQ people need more than just a friend. Morse says, "There are a lot of situations where people are doing something sexual that’s probably not the best thing for them and that would be better if they had somebody who would be friends with them without coming onto them or without judging them and that kind of stuff." It seems to me that already in that statement there is judgement as if by having friends who are also part of the minority or are 'confused' that they can't be as good a friend as someone who is heterosexual/takes her position. Imply that homosexuals as friends will inherently be coming onto each other? Is that not being judgmental?

On top of all of this Morse brings up the situation of Tyler Clementi. In case you didn't know Tyler Clementi was a student at Rutgers University who was outed and spied on by his roommate and proceded to commit suicide. Morse had this to say on that situation, "Sometimes you hear about these things and you don’t hear the whole story in the media. That kid Tyler Clementi who killed himself, who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge? Do you know this story? Okay, then I’m not going to tell it. There was a much older man in the picture. There’s usually more to the story, right? And so I think friendship is what you have to offer."

This in particular angers and upsets me. I was a student at Rutgers when all of this happened. More than that I lived on the same campus that Clementi did, and grew up in the town next to his hometown. Morse, seems to have a complete disregard for the facts of the case, and in doing so is being quite insulting to Tyler's memory. She completely disregards the fact that all evidence points to there being a problem with being outed and a breach of privacy. To imply that it was something else contrary to there being posts online about roommate problems and records of room change requests and the blatant privacy breach is completely disrespectful and infuriating to me.

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