GOP lawmaker calls book fair a ‘failure’ over student’s pro-LGBT T-shirt

By David Edwards
Monday, October 21, 2013 15:27 EDT
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Kevin Elmer speaks to KPSR
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Republican Missouri state Representative Kevin Elmer has deemed a high school book fair a “failure” after he discovered one teenage student was wearing a T-shirt supportive of LGBT rights.

According to The Springfield News-Leader, Elmer tweeted a photograph of the girl wearing a Gay-Straight Alliance T-shirt that had the word “harmony” on it.

“Nixa Schools failure. HS students working elementary school book fair in gay t-shirts,” Elmer wrote. The lawmaker later deleted the tweet.

“I just think it’s inappropriate to be promoting any sexual relationship in an elementary school, whether it’s heterosexual or homosexual,” he explained to the News-Leader. “It’s not a gay rights issue, it’s a parental issue.”

Nixa High School Gay-Straight Alliance President Awreon Riley told KSPR that it was “sad” that Elmer felt the need to tweet about the book fair.

“When I looked at the shirt, it’s not really offending people they can have their opinions of the shirt, but it’s not hurting anyone’s feelings,” Riley said. “That’s really sad that a person did that. Keep it to yourself, don’t tweet about it.”

Student initiated groups at Nixa schools — such as the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — are all covered by the Equal Protection Act.

But Elmer said that the swift condemnation of his tweet proved that it had become difficult to openly discuss homosexuality.

“The homosexual, gay issue in today’s society is so hypersensitive, you can’t talk about anything without them jumping on you and being totally negative,” he observed.

Watch this video from KSPR, broadcast Oct. 18, 2013.


(h/t: The Huffington Post)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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