Earlier this week, ThinkProgress noted that with the backdrop of a disturbing wave of gay teen suicides, Arkansas school board member Clint McCance took to his Facebook page to urge “fags” and “queers” to kill themselves. McCance’s homophobic tirade came in response to a campaign by Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for educators and others to wear purple to show support for gay teens who suffered from bullying — unfortunately, McCance just took this as an opportunity to engage in some bullying of his own. However, last night on CNN host Anderson Cooper’s program, McCance apologized for his hateful comments and said he would be resigning from the school board:
MCCANCE: It was out of control. You know and it does look like I’m a hate monger or a horrible person, and that’s not me at all. [...]
COOPER: They said they can’t fire you, but that you can resign. Are you going to resign from the school board?
MCCANCE: I am going to resign from the school board.
It is to — to help my community, to help my school. I don’t want them to receive bad press or have a distraction because of some ignorant comments that have — that I made.
If they decide later, you know, a year, five years, 10 years from now to vote me back in, if my constituents want that, then — then I will run again.
While McCance said he still believes homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God, he said he does not “have an problem with anyone’s sexuality.” Fortunately, most schools are cracking down on bullying. Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent new official guidelines on school-bullying to 15,000 school districts and 5,000 colleges and universities with the message “bullying is not acceptable” and can violate federal civil rights laws.