Tennessee couple, Laura and Carol Ann Stutte, whose home was burned to the ground and whose garage was spray-painted with the word "QUEERS."

Photo: Bob Fowler / News Sentinel

I usually write my own original content in this blog and don’t simply repost other people’s words. I try to add my perspective to what’s being said about LGBT issues. But this email I just received from GetEqual was so shocking and upsetting and really said it all, so I am just going to repost it here:

Dear friends,

Sadly, even with each step we make towards progress, we can’t forget the discrimination LGBT folks face across the country…

We’re working with an extraordinarily brave Tennessee couple, Laura and Carol Ann Stutte, whose home was burned to the ground and whose garage was spray-painted with the word “QUEERS.” Returning from an anniversary celebration weekend six months ago to the ashes of their former life, they have been fighting with their insurance company (American National Property and Casualty) simply to honor their homeowners policy and allow their family to move forward.

The Stuttes’ neighbor had threatened them before, pledging to kill their dog (found poisoned shortly thereafter) and to burn down their home (done). They’re now living in another part of Tennessee, fearful that their neighbor will find them and kill them, since she announced to them that, “The only thing better than one dead queer is two dead queers.”

We’re committed to doing everything we can to make sure that this family sees justice, and have partnered with Change.org to mobilize as many justice-minded folks as possible to petition the insurance company, ANPAC, to make good on the Stuttes’ policy.

Sign the petition here!

Please help the Stuttes family in this small way to at least let them recuperate from the damages done to their home. This will in no way make up for the trauma and violence enacted upon them, but will allow them some stability to move forward and rebuild.

My wishes go out to them and to all survivors of vicious hate crimes.

A state legislator in Tennessee has just introduced a bill that would ban any discussion of homosexuality from the state’s public elementary and middle school classrooms:

TEP – HB 821: Prohibits the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.

Rep. Stacey Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill aims to prevent teachers from talking about the topic. Luckily, the education committee in the Tennessee state house has decided to wait to vote on the bill for a year while they “study the issue.” Currently, individual school boards decide whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity will be discussed within the sex-ed curriculum.

First off, Rep. Campfield has one of those awesome names that used to be for men only, and now is popular for women, too. So that alone is pretty gay.

Second of all, he’s using the argument that he’s not anti-gay–the topic is just too heavy and “confusing” for youngsters to have to face. That’s bullshit. This article quotes Chris Sanders from the Tennessee Equality Project, pointing out Campfield’s homophobia:

“If you can’t mention something, that sends a signal that there is something wrong with it,” Sanders said.

Third, this is the same state rep who apparently introduced a bill to require death certificates for aborted fetuses, and who recently signed onto a lawsuit questioning Obama’s nationality.

Loony!