Tea Party blogger and leading activist Rich Swier recently said of anti-LGBT bullying: "it is peer pressure and it is healthy." He went on to compare being gay to behaviors such as smoking, underage drinking, and drug abuse.
Swier made these ignorant, bigoted comments in response to a statement from the Florida-based Gulf Coast Gives, a group supporting civic enhancement projects in the Gulf region, which shared alarming anti-LGBT bullying statistics: "77% of all bullying victims are picked on due to sexual orientation, gender identity, or the perception of either."
There is never an excuse for hateful language that justifies the verbal and physical abuse of children. Swier has gone too far – and now HRC is partnering with Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor, asking Swier for a meeting to discuss the serious impact of bullying on the nation’s youth.
Tell Rich Swier to meet with HRC and Hudson Taylor to discuss these hateful remarks.
You have done neither.
By calling anti-LGBT bullying “healthy,” you are sending a dangerous message: you are saying that causing intentional physical or emotional distress to our nation’s youth is acceptable behavior. You are providing an excuse for – and even justifying – violent behavior that can have tragic consequences.
We see all too frequently the effects of bullying. This is a serious matter that requires serious people committed to creating safer environments for our youth. Your rhetoric proves you are incapable of rising to the task.
I’m asking you to meet with HRC to discuss your remarks about bullying and its impact on LGBT youth.