Michelle Bachmann has been absolutely silent on this issue…
Two years. Nine suicides. Why critics blame the congresswoman’s anti-gay allies for contributing to a mental health crisis.
The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.
Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.
Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an “earthquake issue,” and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the “homosexual agenda.” They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle.
But in 2008, when Michele Johnson and her daughter, Samantha, moved from rural North Dakota into the 38,000-student Anoka-Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota, they had no idea they were landing on ground zero of that culture war. Coming from a rural small town, Samantha barely knew what the word gay meant when she arrived at Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts) as a seventh-grader. But by the fall of 2009, the 13-year-old was at the epicenter of the public school fight over gay rights.
- Michele Bachmann is a hateful bitch (atlmalcontent.wordpress.com)
- Michele Bachmann Has No Comment On the Teen Suicide Epidemic in Her Own Backyard [Horrible] (gawker.com)
- O’Donnell & Burns on MN School Suicides (bilerico.com)
- Ex-Gay Minister Blames Homosexuality For Teen Suicide (bilerico.com)
- The kind of people who elect Michele Bachmann (scienceblogs.com)
- What Does Michele Bachmann Have to Say About the Nine LGBT-Related Teen Suicides in Her District? (slog.thestranger.com)
- Michele Bachmann Would Like You To Please STFU About Her Husband’s Ex-Gay Clinic (queerty.com)