A school board official in Midland, Arkansas, has sparked outrage and calls for his resignation following the discovery of an anti-gay tirade on his Facebook page, where he allegedly wrote gays should kill themselves.
According to a report by the Advocate, Clint McCance, a board member in the Midland school district, responding to a call to wear purple last Wednesday to support LGBT youth, allegedly posted the following message on his Facebook page:
“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
McCance’s Facebook page has since been taken down, but not before the Advocate received a screen capture forwarded by one of its readers.
In the screen captures, commenters names were disguised, only McCance’s name visible. The capture reveals that McCance responded to comments on his original post with these two statements:
“No because being a fag doesnt give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.”
“I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”
The Midland School District has posted a notice on its website that it does not condone McCance’s comments, and that the district discourages bullying.
“The district strives to foster an environment that discourages all forms of bullying, and an environment that encourages a safe and productive educational climate of all of our students,” said Dean Stanley, superintendent of the Midland School District, in a statement. “The district is very diligent in pursuing and addressing bullying of any variety on our campuses.”
No comment yet from McCance on the posting, but the Arkansas Times reported they had reached McCance on his cell phone, and he told them the issue had been “blown out of proportion” and he planned to issue a statement later Wednesday.
McCance told the newspaper he’d received several hundred phone calls, and when asked if he regretted the comments on the Facebook page, he replied, “I can’t comment on that right now.” He promised an update after a meeting with his lawyer.
A Facebook page launched Tuesday is calling for McCance to be fired.
On Wednesday, the Arkansas Department of Education condemned the purported Facebook comment, but said that “Because Mr. McCance is an elected official, the department has no means of dealing with him directly.”
The HRC broke the story around the same time as the Advocate, and reports it was alerted to the messages by a Midland High School graduate.
“Clint McCance has put a face on the hate that devastates our young people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement. “McCance and his hate shouldn’t be allowed near children, let alone managing their education. We call for his immediate resignation from the school board.”