By Richard Ammon
October 10, 2010

A 19-year-old gay man from Norman, Oklahoma has taken his own life, and his parents say a hate-filled recent City Council meeting he attended may have driven him over the edge. Zach Harrington was a talented musician who’d endured years of struggles due to his sexual orientation in high school in conservative Norman, Okla. On Sept. 28, Harrington attended a three-hour public hearing on a proposal to declare October gay history month in the city. Although the council ultimately approved the proposal, Harrington’s parents described the meeting as potentially “toxic” for their son, a private person who internalized his feelings.

Full story:

Murder by Speech
Toxic speeches from the mouths of ‘righteous’ people were essentially the perpetrators, the killers of this fine young man. Venom spewed out against homosexuality during a city hall meeting overwhelmed this naturally-born-gay man and poisoned his self esteem and self control. Now he is dead thanks again to the insanity of homophobes, some of whom justify crucifying gay people based on ambiguous and time-twisted misinterpreted verses from the man-made Bible (not the words of Jesus).

Bullying of gay youth by callous other young people might be understood due to their lack of maturity, but to hear alleged grown-ups spread homophobic curses against gay citizens–including gay youth–is unforgivable. It is among the worst forms of bullying since it comes from adults who are supposed to be role models and also be ‘good Christians’. It is a great sadness and and curse in our free society; it’s an abuse of liberty to condemn people who are different.

This is a country of differences. Historically minority groups have always been targeted by the majority (mostly WASP) but over time they have mostly been absorbed into the majority–Jew, Irish, Asian, Black. The Gays and Hispanics are the last big minorities to be targeted by hate speech. At least the Hispanics are ‘only’ culturally discriminated against whereas the Gays are also religiously discriminated against, so it will take longer for them to be accepted.

Meanwhile gay youth will continue to feel bad about themselves. They need all the adult approval they can get–and adults know this. A great shame on the homophobes in Norman, Oklahoma who drove this young man to despair.

But combating homophobia is not easy: