In one of the saddest stories I've read in a long time, two Minnesota girls, Haley Fentress and Paige Moravetz, hanged themselves in an apparent suicide pact due to the bullying they received in school.
They were only 14.
They were so close that their families described them as "one," and in fact had hyphenated each other's names on Facebook to reflect their bond. While there was speculation as to the nature of their relationship, it is not confirmed whether or not they had a romance. Regardless, the family of one girl had strong words about the reasons of their daughter's death.
The Fentress family released a statement saying, "We need to stop pretending this isn’t happening or that is just a cry for attention because obviously it is not. It shouldn’t take more tragedies to realize this."
And how many tragedies will it take? How many deaths? With conservatives blocking ant-bullying efforts nationwide and removing the support in the classroom that gay kids need to survive-- how many people are going to die?
This isn't the first time that religious right has disregarded the death of gay people for their political ends. I just hoped they had learned from the Reagan years. But now...
Haley and Paige should be alive, and they should be loved, and they should not have felt that the only escape was death. If I could say one thing to every conservative who is "protecting families" or "safeguarding children" it would be this: your efforts are killing 14 year old girls who just want to be accepted. You are hounding them to an early death by their own hands.
But it's not their hands that will end up bloody. You, ladies and gentlemen of the right wing, with your moral high ground and faith-based initiatives, your war on women and your campaign against gay youth, you killed these girls.
How many of us have to die?