NEW YORK — The parents of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old gay teen who committed suicide last week, said Tuesday that the taunts and bullying directed at their son continued after his death.
Appearing on the “Today Show,” Tim and Tracy Rodemeyer told NBC’s Ann Curry that their daughter had attended a homecoming dance after her brother’s wake as a means to reconnect with friends, but when song by Lady Gaga was played, further taunts erupted.
“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,” said Tracy Rodemeyer. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.”
Curry asked Jamey’s father, Tim, if he thought that the message of intolerance preached by certain politicians and religious leaders has contributed to the toxic climate that can result in harassment of gay teens.
“People have different views on things,” replied Tim Rodemeyer. “If you believe in homosexuality is right or wrong, that’s your right as an American, but it’s no reason to bully someone and hate them.”
“It’s all the same story, and it’s just got to stop,” Tracy Rodemeyer interjected.
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Jamey’s parents now hope to spread their message across the world, and are looking for help in getting the word out.
“(Jamey) will forever be in our hearts,’’ Tracy said. “We can’t do this on our own, but we are going to carry on Jamey’s mission. Everyone across America, across the world, whatever anybody can to do to stand up for everybody else.”
Jamey was laid to rest on Saturday.