In November, Jennifer Roback Morse, head of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, warned parents that they shouldn’t let their children in college have gay friends or else they’ll learn tolerance. But speaking to a group of Catholic students at Iowa State University earlier this month, she reversed on that position and encouraged the students to make gay friends so they can help save them from being “confused and lonely.” In doing so, she evoked the story of Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after his roommate violated his privacy with a webcam, and claimed that somehow Clementi’s struggle was more related to the gay relationship he had than the way he was bullied:
MORSE: What happens I think for people who have some gender confusion or some gender issues, is that they think they’re going to be lonely if they can’t get married, if they can’t be just like everyone else that they’re going to have a lonely life, they’re going to be isolated in some way, they’re going to be so different that their life is going to be terrible… I think that what you can do that would be helpful is to be friends with people. You don’t have to agree with what they’re saying they want, but you can still be a good friend to them. [...]
In friendship, as friends, you can support them and say, ‘maybe this person is trying to exploit you.’ Sometimes you hear about these things and you don’t hear the whole story in the media. That kid Tyler Clementi who killed himself, who threw himself off the George Washington Bridge? Do you know this story? Okay, then I’m not going to tell it. There was a much older man in the picture. There’s usually more to the story, right? And so I think friendship is what you have to offer. There are a lot of situations where people are doing something sexual that’s probably not the best thing for them and that would be better if they had somebody who would be friends with them without coming onto them or without judging them and that kind of stuff.
Morse went on to claim that gay activists are manipulating gay youth for “some sort of political vision.” Listen to it (via Equality Matters):
Morse refuses to acknowledge the reality that the sense of rejection LGBT youth experience is the rejection she promotes, not some sort of inherent consequence to have same-sex attractions or a different gender identity. The evidence shows that Clementi was upset because his roommate had violated his privacy, and he even requested a room change just a day before he committed suicide. For Morse to impose her own interpretation of events without any evidence is a gross distortion of events and an insult to every gay youth who has ever been bullied for his sexual orientation. Of course, she won’t even acknowledge they have a different sexual orientation.