by Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation
What a happy and successful Pride Month the last 30 days have been! The U.S. Supreme Court issued a resounding victory for love on Friday, which was celebrated this weekend with record turnouts to New York's and San Francisco’s LGBT Pride parades. And more than 26 million Facebook users around the world celebrated by applying rainbow flags over their Facebook profile photos. These actions will undoubtedly lead to greater tolerance, respect, and ultimately, full equality.
But while our LGBT brothers and sisters took a step forward to full equality, it is important to note that this is just that – a step. The fight for equal protection under the law is far from over. In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that state employees can refuse to issue marriage licenses if same-sex marriage is contrary to their religious beliefs. And in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he will support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one women, citing concerns over religious liberty.
Let’s be clear: There is nothing Christlike about this type of rhetoric. God loved my son Tyler just as He created Tyler: a beautiful, caring, thoughtful, smart, gay child of God. God does not make mistakes. We should try to live as close as humanly possible to God's perfect example of love and goodness. We must stop using God as an excuse to inspire bullying, cruelty and hate, which is a far cry from the Golden Rule: to do to others as you would have them do to you.
As LGBT Pride Month draws to a close, the Tyler Clementi Foundation promises to you that we will spend not only the month of June but every month working towards an end to state-sanctioned bullying, bigotry, and violence toward our LGBT friends. Click here to pitch in what you can to help us propel this month’s victory at the Supreme Court forward to full equality. Let’s heal old wounds, love our neighbors, and build an America that values everyone.
(New York, NY – June 26) -- Celebrating today's Supreme Court decision, Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, issued the following statement:
"Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a victory for love. It will no doubt lead to greater tolerance, acceptance, respect, and full equality. Despite the joy and excitement of today’s decision, we must be reminded that our country is not free from bullying, cruelty, or hate. I, for one, will never have the opportunity to see my beloved son Tyler marry the man he loves, because his life was cut short due to bullying, shame, and public humiliation.
Today, The Tyler Clementi Foundation proudly joins the chorus of voices calling for an end to state-sanctioned bullying, bigotry, and violence. Specifically, we are calling on all government entities and private companies to end the use of the Confederate Flag for profit or for 'pride.' Symbols and rhetoric rooted in group supremacy demean others and creates a culture that makes violence and discrimination justifiable for some.
We are shocked and saddened by the reports of police abuse and overreaction across the nation, as well as senseless hate crimes like the recent Church shooting in South Carolina. But we must not stop there. Flags are symbols, and only represent a minor change. What we need now are genuine acts of policy and practice that will end racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes, including true workplace discrimination protections and an end to gun violence in this country.
Today’s victory at the Supreme Court should propel us forward. Let’s heal old wounds, love our neighbors, and build an America that values everyone."
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was honored by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, when they presented us with the Inspiration Award at the 2015 GMCLA Voice Awards. Stars George Takei (Star Trek) and Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk) presented the award, and our friends Steven Guy (board member of TCF) and Sierra Down and Justin Haulbrook (founders of "Be More Heroic") spoke graciously about our work. This was a magical night that we never imagined could happen. Share the experience with us and hear our acceptance speech in the video above. Many, many thanks to the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, whose beautiful rendition of Tyler's Suite was enough of an award. Thank you for giving us a voice and platform on the west coast to share Tyler's story and help heal the pain of bullying known by too many. Thank you so much to George, Michelle, Steven, Justin and Sierra for your friendship and support. We are so grateful and humbled.
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