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Like most thoughtful individuals with hearts that actually beat, we spent a good portion of the past couple of weeks under a pink pall of doom.

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Will we be graded on this?: UCF cancels class so students can get their tailgate on

Like most thoughtful 
individuals with hearts that actually beat, we spent a good portion of the past couple of weeks under a pink pall of doom. We doused our melancholia with the requisite six mimosas and a Red Bull to bounce our happy asses around Lake Eola for the Come Out With Pride parade on Sunday, but beneath our self-effacing layers of rhinestoned quippery was a cavernous void rattled with bolts of angry lightning. The recent rash of gay-teen suicides has served as a tipping point for many (including us). We’re past the point of reasoned discussion on this topic. We’re disgusted.

It’s not OK for Ann Coulter to froth at a cheering gay audience that gay marriage is not a civil right “because you’re not black”; or for the conservative pundits to whimper at the notion of gays in the military; or for the state of Florida to consider challenging a court order that overturned the state’s Anita Bryant-fueled ban on gay adoption. Why? Because these are not talking points. They are part of the white noise that seeps into the heads of kids and makes them want to die. 

But this isn’t news, really. Every April since 1996 the national Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network has sponsored a National Day of Silence during which kids spend a whole day shutting up at school rather than saying “that’s so gay” or “pick up your books, faggot.” In 2005, the hateful Alliance Defense Fund thought it would be funny to counteract the queer silence with its own Day of Truth initiative, “encouraging conservatively minded teenagers to respectfully engage fellow students in conversations about homosexuality.” Orlando’s own anti-gay brainwashing concentration camp, Exodus International, jumped right on board, even taking the reins from ADF this April to run the event. Boy, we bet they feel really great right about now. 

“Even though we have reached a fair number of students,” former boy-liker and president of Exodus International Alan Chambers told CNN last week, “we believe that due to the timing of the event, Day of Truth was always perceived in an adversarial manner and became more about policy than people. That is in conflict with the mission we have chosen to embrace as 
an organization.”

Nope, your people policy is to fleece folks when they’re at their most vulnerable, Alan. Chambers went on to say that his particularly toxic blend of “compassion, grace and truth” isn’t something suited to just one day, anyway, but rather an exercise that should be practiced every day. So, in other words, it’s not that Exodus regrets encouraging jocks to push fledgling gays back into the closet, he just doesn’t want the group’s name attached to a public event that does this. That way they come up smelling like nice guys – nice guys bathed in 
lying perfume. 

Still, the move that could effectively shut down the event altogether (ADF has yet to say if it’ll keep the hate ball rolling) prompted mild praise from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which told CNN, “I thank Exodus for making this very important step. The Day of Truth was an effort to push a very specific set of opinions about homosexuality into schools in a way that was inappropriate and divisive.”

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