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

Saturday, February 16, 2013
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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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