Three hours after The Advocate published a story on antigay Arkansas school board member Clint McCance's Facebook post encouraging "queers" and "fags" to kill themselves, a Facebook group urging the Midland school board to fire McCance has more than 5,000 members.
Read the full story below.
While schools across the country are taking action against bullying and suicide, a board member of an Arkansas school district is using his Facebook page to encourage "queers" and "fags" to kill themselves.
Clint McCance is a board member in the Midland school district in northern Arkansas. Responding to a call to wear purple last Wednesday to support LGBT youth, McCance wrote the following message on his Facebook page: "Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."
Initially, six people "liked" McCance's message. He also received supportive comments, though some challenged his statement. A commenter wrote, "Because hatred is always right." That led McCance to write, "No because being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it."
McCance was again challenged on his statements — and his Christianity. Wrote one commenter: "YOU NEED TO STOP AND THINK FOR A SEC GREAT YOU BIG CHRISTIAN MAN ! SO KEEP ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS TO YOUR SELF YOU DONT WANT PPL TALKIN ABOUT YOUR FAMILY SO DONT TALK BOUT OTHERS."
McCance responded with, "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone."
It's not clear if McCance has taken down the thread, since his Facebook page is private — the messages were made available to The Advocate via a forwarded screen capture. The superintendent of the Midland school district was unavailable and a phone call to the principal of the Midland High School was not returned. There was no response to e-mails to the superintendent and to the secretary of the Midland school board.
"Clint McCance has put a face on the hate that devastates our young people," says Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "McCance shouldn't be allowed near children, let alone managing their education. We call for his immediate resignation from the school board."