Graduation speaker uninvited because he is gay (superintendent’s email address included).

Graduation speaker uninvited because he is gay (superintendent’s email address included). May 4, 2013

My father sent this along to me this morning.  It seems a very successful alumni of a very small Arkansas high school was scheduled to speak at the graduation.  However, he was uninvited because he finds men more attractive than women.  He wrote a letter to one of the local news outlets that says it pretty well:

I could just sit back and let this slide, but if I did, the discrimination that has taken place here would go unnoticed like it has so many times in history.  Unless my arguments here cause them to reevaluate, nothing will change. But what must change, is the way we treat our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  (LGBT) youth because, News Flash, the world is changing and it starts in our homes, our schools and yes, even in our places of worship. The suicide rate amongst LGBT teens is staggering. As Superintendent, I hope he is aware that LGBT youth already attend classes on his campus.  They are going from class to class with a fear of being outed or being treated horribly by their classmates–so adding educators and mentors to that mix prohibits these teens from thriving.  The Board represents them too, and by silencing me, you’re telling those students that it isn’t okay to be who they are.

Upon going to the school district’s web page, it became clear they weren’t on top of things.  It appears their website and ethics on gays are both dredged from the 1980s or before.

You know what would be awesome?  If we gave the superintendent (Mitch Walton, whose email address is the attention he so richly deserves and undoubtedly wants on this issue.  Because when you make a moral stand, why make it to just a small battery of people in a tiny town in Arkansas?  Why not make it to the world!  Let him wear this around his neck like a cross, and just as proudly.

And if that pride evaporates when more eyes get on the issue, well, the Christian should learn that you need to do what’s right even when people aren’t looking.

So let’s all send them emails like, oh, this one my mom sent:

Mr. Walton,

What a major fail. I cannot think of anyone who would have been a more qualified speaker and role model to speak at graduation than Bryant Huddleston.

I am embarrassed for you. I should think your town should be embarrassed for you. Your state should be embarrassed for you. Your country should be embarrassed for you.

Carol Eberhard
Mountain Home, AR

My mother has brevity down to a science.


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