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Indiana groups set up video project to reassure gay teens they ‘have a purpose’

Saturday, February 16, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS — A coalition of gay rights organizations is trying to bolster the confidence of gay teens in response to an Indiana teacher’s assertion that gays have no purpose in life.

Diana Medley (via WTWO-TV)

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) state coordinator Annette Gross said Saturday the “You Have a Purpose” Facebook page will collect only videos submitted to encourage gay youth.

Gross compared the project to syndicated columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project aimed at deterring bullied gay kids from committing suicide.

Diana Medley, a teacher at North Central Junior/Senior High School, recently set off an internet storm with her remarks supporting plans for a “traditional” dance that would ban gay students as an alternative to the official prom in Sullivan, Ind.

In the interview with a local television station, Medley said that gays served no purpose in life, and equated LGBT teens to students with developmental disabilities.

“It’s the same thing with my special-needs kids,” she said. “I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.”

Medley also said that the idea of LGBT teens attending a prom was “offensive,” adding that she believes homosexuality is a choice, and that no one is born gay.

Organizers of the “You Have a Purpose” campaign said that while the project is in response to Medley’s remarks, they don’t want the effort to get bogged down in the Internet storm of criticism aimed at her.

“This is about the kids. This isn’t about her,” Gross said. “We just want to focus on the positive, letting them (gay teens) know that they do have a purpose and there are people out there that care about them.”

The “You Have a Purpose” page was set up by the Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination, Indiana PFLAG and FairTalk.

A Facebook page supporting Diana Medley had 67 likes as of Saturday afternoon, but a significant number of commenters appeared to be using the page to criticize her remarks, instead of support them.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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23 more reader comments:

  1. Thank goodness…. that is something that really needed to be reiterated and acknowledged; the LAST thing we need is for more self-esteem issues amongst teens- much less LGBTQ teens! I’m glad to see that this was addressed by someone; and I hope everyone affected by that bigots comment(s) is reassured by this project <3

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 12:39pm
  2. Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 12:44pm
  3. This is good :)

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:06pm
  4. Sigh. Gay people aren’t the only people in the LGBT.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:34pm
  5. Of course gay teens and people have a purpose – to go out and be polite, loving people to others. If I had not known so many wonderful gay menand lesbian women, prior to my family members coming out, it might have been very different for all of us. But because I knew people are people,no matter who they love – no problem. Since that time I have met many more LGBTQIA persons who have enriched my life. Thank you all for being you.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1:35pm
  6. So hey does this mean I’ll be allowed to use the bathroom or no? Oh, right, the LGB is hogging everything, I forgot.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:01pm
  7. I’m not a gay teen, but I am a gay adult. And if I didn’t have morals I purpose would be to kick the SHIT out of this stupid bitch. She should be fired. And yes she has a right to her opinion, but gay teens have the RIGHT to their own opinion to have a life without being judged!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:13pm
  8. Yeah!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:30pm
  9. I don’t have any morals that would stop me from slapping the bitch but I can’t go to jail because I’m raising children.

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:32pm
  10. Piece of :poop: stick your fairy tale book up you ass!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:39pm
  11. Look! I found a new picture to tack on the dart board! Thanks Internet!

    Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 10:35pm
  12. Self Loathing Tyranical Theocratic fucking Bigot!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:26pm
  13. More like you blond bimbo Piece of crap Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope her children come out one day as gay!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:27pm
  14. Bigots and religious fanatics HAVE NO PURPOSE IN LIFE!

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:28pm
  15. No then when those young souls.need their mother to be

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:36pm
  16. There, they’d have her. Ew.*

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:37pm
  17. Gooooooo Indiana people group things bout time we do something good for mo’s! For once proud of my little state well certain people in it.

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:41pm
  18. Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:43pm
  19. A nice, dumb way to cover their asses for a big mistake that was made. I still think they need to fire that teacher.

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:52pm
  20. I don’t need to remind people how sickening it is to witness people say/do the most disguting things all for the sake of religious intolerance and hate!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:53pm
  21. Wow How can people be so hateful !

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 8:12pm
  22. She’s a bigot cunt, stop talking about her & giving her attention!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 8:17pm
  23. I bet she hates what she said. :)

    Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 8:21pm