As the conservative right continues to attack the rights of the LGBT community, it's important to point out how rhetoric can continue, grow over time and spread across many different issues.
The debate over same-sex marriage and equality for LGBT individuals has reached a breaking point in the United States. While the majority of Americans are starting to accept LGBT equality more than in the past, the religious right has become more vocal in their opposition. During an appearance on the Michelangelo Signorile show on SiriusXM OutQ earlier this year, Republican State Senator from Tennessee, Stacey Campfield, commented on many issues, including the rise in bullying and suicides among gay teens.
"That bullying thing is the biggest lark out there....There are sexually confused children who could be pushed into a lifestyle that I don’t think is appropriate with them and it's not for the norm for society, and they don't know how they can get back from that. I think a lotof timesthese young teens and young children, they find it very hard on themselves and unfortunately some of them commit suicide."
Not only did Campfield make ignorant remarks about the statistics of bullying and suicides of young gay children, he also used false information to claim that it was "virtually impossible" to contract AIDS by heterosexual sex.
"Most people realize that AIDS came fromthe homosexualcommunity-- it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sexwith men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall. My understanding is that it is virtually, not completely, but virtually impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex."
Sen. Stacey Campfield made a name for himself last year in his attempt to pass new legislation that would have banned schools from talking about homosexuality. The language in the bill stated that "no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality." A study by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center shows that nearly 40% of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. Additional studies have shown that LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.