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Tyler Clementi’s family unveiling new anti-bullying initiative


JUNE 7, 2015, 3:40 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2015, 9:39 PM


Tyler Clementi’s family is still shattered and struggling with his 2010 suicide. In his memory, Tyler’s heartbroken parents are stepping up their battle against bullying, trying to prevent it before it even starts.

In an emotional interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Ridgewood residents Joseph and Jane Clementi discussed how hard life has been since the death of their youngest son, who was an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman when he jumped off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, 2010. Tyler took his life days after learning that his college roommate had used a webcam to secretly live-stream his romantic encounter with a man in a dorm room. His death drew national attention to the issue of online bullying.

Soon after their son’s death, the Clementis formed the anti-bullying Tyler Clementi Foundation, which describes its mission as promoting “safe and inclusive spaces for LGBT and vulnerable youth and families.” This week the foundation is rolling out “Day One,” an initiative to get authorities in workplaces, schools, universities and athletic programs to immediately demand tolerance for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, appearance, dress or religion.

23 thoughts on “Tyler Clementi’s family unveiling new anti-bullying initiative

  1. As admirable as this initiative is, I believe these parents would better honor the memory of their son’s name by educating parents about the need to accept and support children who come out as LGBT. They can tell of their own failure.

  2. As admirable as this initiative is, I believe these parents would better honor the memory of their son’s name by educating parents about the need to attend carefully and diligently to the needs of their children when they confess the disorder of same-sex attraction, including making great efforts to keep them under their own roof and work with them in a loving and supportive way to persuade them to turn strongly away from the grave sin of sodomy. They can tell of their own failure.

  3. 8:04/10:18–how dare you judge these parents and your perception of their “failure”. Predictably, you can only view this tragedy through the political lens that reduces everything to a nice simple formula. One lectures about tolerance and the other about morality–neither appears to have the slightest compassion for the immeasurable loss these parents have endured.

  4. 12:03pm: Where on earth did you find anything “political” in either my comment, or in the one made by 10:18am (which appears to have been written by someone from The Taliban)?

    If you actually spent some time researching this event and what led up to it, you will understand that Tyler’s state of mind leading up to his suicide was certainly affected by his humiliation at College, but he was also deeply affected by the lack of support by his parents, who appear to have been conflicted by their religious and social pressures. Yes, the parents deserve some respect for having lost a son, but Tyler deserves respect, too.

  5. Perhaps you are not a parent. If you were, you would understand that sometimes parents feel initial dismay when they perceive that their beloved child might not have an easy path in life. You have absolutely no compassion. Jane admitted to initial unhappiness about Tyler’s revelation, but she came around quickly. She did not stop loving her son, and if you read the accounts from this tragic time you will see that she and Tyler had returned to a good relationship prior to his death. Many adults remember telling their parents one thing or another that dismayed or upset them, whether it was that they are gay, that they were going to marry someone not to their liking, going to move to timbuktoo, etc. Angry and hurtful words might have been exchanged. But then life went on and parents came to accept and love remained and the parent-adult child relationship flourished. One of the very sad legacies for the Clementis is that they never had the gift of time, time to grow into their son’s adult life, time to heal and forget any initial unpleasant words. That had begun to happen, and would have happened, if Tyler had not been subjected to the unbelievable humiliation suffered at the hands of Dharun Ravi. This hateful and hurtful young man made life unbearable for Tyler. I have no idea how anyone can defend him

  6. The best policy for a story like this is to not comment at all….

  7. @10:18.. disorder? grave sin? keep your religious dogma to yourself… this poor kid went thru hell and the parents are still trying to come to grips with this tragedy

  8. I guess 10:18 has an autographed picture of Pat Robertson in his room. Disorder? Grave sin? you forgot to sign your letter as “homophobic nut job”.

  9. 12:03pm, giving parents space to grieve is critical. However we are all adults here and ultimately we need to address the near future and the fate and urgent needs of those of our children who are entering adolescence and young adulthood. To the extent they are treading a similar life path to the one Tyler Clementi chose, or are experiencing similar personal struggles with human sexuality or peer relationships, they should not be made to wait until Clementi’s parents finally nod their heads, giving the rest of us the go-ahead. Has it not been nearly five years since Clementi’s death by suicide? While it may seem harsh, the Clementis should no longer be seen as trying to shield themselves or their feelings from open public debate or even pointed criticism of their parenting choices. Moving forward as they are with a public campaign of issue advocacy, they should be prepared to contend with contrary opinions formed, held and articulated by others in good faith. If they find they are not so prepared, then they should reconsider the wisdom of developing such a notorious (meaning widely-known) stance on the matter.

  10. 1.42pm: I think you must be referring to me. I am a parent of a LGBT child. I’m not sure where you are sourcing your information from, but Tyler himself announced three weeks before his suicide that his mother had rejected him. What you are perceiving as lack of compassion on my part is odd. It’s all too easy to grant a parent the compassion card when they lose a child. I tend to think that the Clementes are playing victims here. I still firmly stand by my original position of believing the parents could achieve a much better objective here by urging other parents of the dangers of being guided by the pressures of organized religion and so-called social appearances. The anti-bullying movement is already well established throughout our culture. Their experiences should be channeled differently.

  11. Sodomy consists of sexual intercourse that is not the union of the genital organs of a man and a woman. If thousands of years of religious teachings about how to live a holy life, taken in conjunction with related western traditions of monogamy and the nuclear family, are worthy to be upheld and defended, we should not be cowed by practitioners or purveyors of sodomy into failing to publicly condemn it as a grave sin against God. Children in particular, if they are to chart a course toward happy lives as adults, need to receive this message often, or at least at the right times as they mature, and in as pure a form as possible. Otherwise, millions of souls stand to be lost and eternally denied the beatific vision. This is the very definition of hell–nothing is a worse punishment for a man than to bear the crushing realization that their failure to turn away from sin during life on earth has produced an unalterable separation from God. And do not make the crucial mistake of thinking your soul is snuffed out at the same time your earthly body exhales its last some have suggested. Your unique soul, and consequently your perpetual cosciousness of either separation from or communion with God, survives forever.

  12. D.H., one can’t help but take from your commentary that public professions of faith and Christian (for example) morality constitute bullying when conveyed to a peer, charge, or loved one in an exhortation to cease sinful behavior. How can this be? If you are correct, then bullying prohibitions are the perfect tool of the devil, because they will effectively trap people in soul-destroying behavior. You’ll agree, won’t you, that bad habits are generally hard to break without some kind of beneficent outside influence?

    The wages of sin is death, meaning, eternal separation from God. That is the truth, and the rule you and other anti-bullying activists are (unwittingly?) setting up unnaturally deprives sinners of the benefit of timely interventions from friends, mentors and loved ones. We’re talking normal human interaction, arising from religious and moral tenets designed to maximize the chances of a long, happy life. How can it be good for this to be criminalized?

  13. Did they hire White Horse?

  14. So 5:09pm, MSN publishes an article about a protestant sodomite traveling the country trying to persuade other protestants that the Bible doesn’t really condemn sodomy. What does this have to do with the price of rice in China? For the past 100 years, protestants in America have consistently been about testing what direction the wind is blowing and changing their minds and teachings accordingly. Does 3:18pm sound like a protestant to you, 5:09pm? You might want to dig up some reliable sources discussing Catholic doctrine on sins of the flesh and see whether 3:18pm is out of line with any of them. And BTW, why the name calling? Where’s that going to get you?

  15. protestant sodomite… okay that just says it all…

  16. 1 Cor 6:9-10 – Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were.

    Gal 5:19-2:1 – The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Eph 5:3-6 – But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No sexually immoral, impure, or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

    Rev. 22:12-16 – Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.

  17. Physician Expelled From Staff for Telling the Truth about Homosexual Behavior

    “Gay Pride” events.Hospital says physician’s statements on homosexual behavior constitute “discrimination,” ”harassment,” and “unprofessional conduct.”

    POSTED: June 21, 2015

    On March 30, a major Harvard-affiliated hospital in Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), expelled a well-respected urologist from its medical staff because he voiced concerns about the unhealthy nature of homosexual behavior and objected to the hospital’s aggressive promotion of “gay pride” activities.

    Dr. Paul Church has been a urologist on the BIDMC staff in Boston for nearly 30 years. He is a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty. He has done research on diagnosing prostate and bladder cancer, and has been a frequent volunteer for medical mission projects in Mexico and Africa. He has also spoken before educational and civic groups on the subject of high-risk sexual behaviors.

    Over a decade ago, Dr. Church became concerned about the hospital’s aggressive promotion of and involvement in LGBT activities — including Boston’s annual “Gay Pride Week” – and its emphatic push for staff participation in them. He felt compelled to speak out.

    Through emails to hospital officials and later posting on the hospital’s Intranet system, Dr. Church cited irrefutable medical evidence that high-risk sexual practices common to the LGBT community lead to (among other things) a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, STD’s, hepatitis, parasitic infections, anal cancers, and psychiatric disorders.

    Promoting such behavior, he said, is contrary to the higher mission of the healthcare facility to protect the public welfare and encourage healthy lifestyles. Dr. Church also reminded the administration that its staff and employees represent a diversity of moral and religious views, and many believe that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral.

    The hospital did not at any time dispute the truth of his medical statements, nor did they address his other concerns.

    They did not claim that Dr. Church ever discussed this with patients, or treated patients any differently if they were involved with these behaviors.

    Instead Dr. Church was met with increasingly harsh efforts by the hospital administration to silence and censor him. They told him that his admonitions about homosexual behavior constituted “discrimination and harassment,” were “offensive to BIDMC staff,” and could not be tolerated.

    In July 2011, he was called into the Chief of Surgery’s office and told he should consider resigning or else he would face an investigation. He refused to resign. So a few months later a formal “Peer Review Committee” of BIDMC staff physicians was called together to “assess” his “conduct.” He again presented them with the medical facts, which they did not dispute, but ignored. The committee instead sent him a “letter of reprimand” ordering, “You shall have no communications [in any manner, to anyone in the hospital] concerning your opinion about sexual orientation, homosexuality, or other protected status.”

    It was an unusual order – that a physician be banned from discussing critical medical facts relating to his expertise, that could affect the health of people the hospital serves.

    Dr. Church subsequently requested that the hospital not send any more promotions about LGBT activities to his email or hospital web connection. The hospital refused that request and continued sending them to him. (They rejected the idea that these communications constituted a religious-based harassment of Dr. Church, or the possibility that such a “gag order” was illegal.)

    As the emails and postings sent to Dr. Church by the hospital grew more frequent — as BIDMC’s LGBT activities expanded — he again voiced his concerns via a brief posted comment on one occasion in 2013 and twice in 2014.

    The hospital reacted with vehemence. In September 2014 a special “Investigating Committee” was assembled to investigate him. “Charges” were brought against him.

    But also, over the next few months the Investigating Committee and BIDMC’s president received an outpouring of letters from colleagues, ethicists, public health experts, and others supporting Dr. Church and his advocacy for healthy behaviors. But the committee was not moved by the concerns of Dr. Church or those who wrote letters on his behalf.

    In January 2015 the Investigating Committee submitted its findings to the hospital’s highest body and most prominent group, the 25-member Medical Executive Committee, which then met in February to decide on Dr. Church’s fate. At the meeting they allowed Dr. Church to read a statement defending himself.

    On March 30, 2015, the Medical Executive Committee announced its decision. Dr. Church was informed that because of his “unsolicited views about homosexuality that were offensive to BIDMC Staff,” he was being terminated from the hospital staff. Further, he was told that that his statements on the subject of homosexuality were “inconsistent with the established standards of professional conduct” and constituted a violation of the hospital’s “Discrimination and Harassment Policy.” It was beyond belief.

    According to the hospital’s bylaws, Dr. Church can ask for an appeal hearing, which he has done. It has been scheduled for the end of July. However, it is not a “legal” process per se, but completely run by hospital rules. Dr. Church can at least be accompanied by an attorney, which was not allowed in any of the previous hearings.

    Given the way the hospital has handled this so far, the odds of a successful appeal are not good.

    Dr. Church has essentially done what virtually no one in the pro-family establishment has been willing to do for at least a decade: unflinchingly tell the medical and moral truth about homosexual behavior. In our opinion, that failure is the main reason why we have lost so much ground in the courts, the public forum, and just about everywhere else.

    And this is what it’s come to. The insanity of this decision by a major hospital against a respected physician is staggering. It is one thing for the education system, big business, or even government to succumb to the lunacy of “political correctness.” But when the medical profession do so – especially such an irrational and oppressive manner – it is time for all of us to be fearful. Is this the future?

    If you do nothing else, make sure that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center hears from you – and as many others as you can get — on this. Dr. Church has put his career on the line for all of us. It’s time for us to step up for him.

    Contact the president of BIDMC right now. Tell him this is an unacceptable way for a hospital to act. Dr. Church must be reinstated to his position immediately!

    Kevin Tabb, MD President and CEO, BIDMC Feldberg 230 Boston, MA 02215 Phone: 617-667-4607 Fax: 617-667-3626

  18. July 27, 2015
    ‘Anti-bullying classes’ a cover for Gay Advocacy
    By Newsmachete

    The gay rights movement has been very subversive in our schools. They claim they want kids to be taught tolerance towards gay kids, so they won’t be bullied. But that’s not what these tolerance and “anti-bullying” classes are really teaching. They are actually advocacy classes aimed at teaching a physically unhealthy lifestyle.

    The latest example of this can be seen at a middle school classroom in Iowa:

    The Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth claims to be the largest homosexual youth conference in the nation, but contrary to popular opinion, its purpose is not fostering understanding in the schools or preventing bullying.

    “Get that idea out of your head right now,” one attendee of the April 3 event told The FAMILY LEADER. “There were only two sessions [among more than 20] that had anything to do with bullying. It’s a conference teaching kids how to: how to be confidently homosexual, how to pleasure their gay partners — one session even taught transsexual girls how to sew fake testicles into their underwear in order to pass themselves off as boys.”

    (This one confuses me — you can’t see the outlines of men’s testicles in pants, can you?)

    One session taught how to properly use “binders” to reduce the visibility of a girl’s breasts and discussed hormone treatments for delaying puberty, assuring kids the drugs were safe.

    Our observer also reported on the day’s final speaker, a drag performer named Coco Peru, who delivered an expletive-laden presentation filled with song and a startling piece of advice for the hundreds of high school students bused in from around the state.

    Peru’s performance included a song with the lyrics, “People suck. They don’t give a f— about you. People thrive on smashing our pride to the ground. People that suck, f— you.”

    One presenter told students who asked whether anal sex hurt that, as a lesbian, it really depended on how big the device is that their partner straps on.

    “My daughter went to listen to the comedian, Sam Killermann, thinking it would at least be funny… But instead, Killermann explained how pleasurable it is for gay couples to eat each other’s behinds and how to use different flavors of [oils] to make it taste better.

    Who sponsors this awful workshop? Well, it’s the “Governor’s conference”, and the governor of Iowa is Terry Bransted, a Republican. Other sponsors were OfficeDepot, the owners of T.J. Max and Marshalls & Homegoods, the University of Iowa, and the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, among others.

    These Republicans and big companies don’t seem uncomfortable promoting this because it’s under the radar. But just as Planned Parenthood’s gruesome selling of baby body parts is getting some corporate sponsors to disassociate from them, I think the same could be done here. Please feel free to link to this article on your blogs, and contact these companies directly (as well as the Iowa governor’s office, if you’re in Iowa), and ask if this reflects the values they’re trying to sponsor.

    Read more:

  19. I see Iowa… end of of ethanol subsidies and hatred… how about this…. … and I’m not afraid to post my name unlike homophobes… the flock must hate the Pope of the People with a passion… a REAL FRANCISCAN… I’m proud to be a black catholic (not racial, the way “real” catholics refer to those who question the church)….

  20. Oh yeah… the Clementi’s cause is very noble and personal… religious nuts hiding in anonymity can rest comfortably and hide while wallowing in their bigotry… I guess Michelle Bachmann’s hubby’s school will make all things bad right…

  21. Archdiocese of Chicago parish promotes anti-Catholic group that blames the Catechism for “gay” teen suicides

    A Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago is promoting a “workshop” in “queer” theory organized by activists who vehemently disagree with the Church’s teachings on homosexuality; in addition, they advocate for the ordination of women, and blame the suicide of LGBT teens on “The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

    On the Old St. Patrick’s Church website is an advertisement for an event taking place at The 8th Day Center for Justice; the topic of the discussion: LGBTQ+ Justice in Faith- Based Communities: Understanding the Evolving Story of Gender. In the Old St. Patrick’s Church description for the event, it states that the various speakers “were all raised Catholic and will discuss how their LGBTQ+ identities relate to their faith lives.”

    The 8th Day Center is a far-left advocacy group that, according to their Mission Statement, comprises “a coalition founded by Catholic religious congregations, acts as a critical alternative voice to oppressive systems and works to change those systems.”

    They have openly supported the ordination of women through their signing of a statement: “A Church For Our Daughters.” Other signatories include such dissident groups as: Call To Action, DignityUSA, and the Women’s Ordination Conference.

    The 8th Day Center also publicly disagrees with the Church’s teachings on homosexuality:
    “The 8th Day Center for Justice does not believe the official teachings on homosexuality reflect the Catholic values and beliefs that call each of us “to promote justice, equality and human dignity among all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class.” Each person’s sexuality is a gift. Any structure that allows contrary opinion to exist let alone impact the physical or emotional safety of any person needs transformation.”

    In addition, the 8th Day Center blames the suicide of LGBT teens on the Catholic Church:
    “We believe the teachings of the Church and the behavior of some members of the Church hierarchy have added to [the] atmosphere of bullying and intimidation.”

    As examples, they cite “The Catechism of the Catholic Church,” and the bishops of Minnesota for mailing out DVDs to Catholics throughout the state “in order to prevent the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex partnerships.” In conclusion, The 8th Day Center believes that:
    “…these examples of discrimination clearly show that people of differing sexual orientations are not welcome in the Church. Moreover, such discrimination contributes to an atmosphere in society which promotes bigotry and violence toward the LGBT community.”

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