A district school board member in Arkansas will resign after making comments on Facebook saying that gays should commit suicide.
“I am going to resign from the school board,” Clint McCance told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday.
McCance is vice-president of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas.
The Advocate first reported Tuesday that McCance had posted a screed on Facebook wishing that gays would “commit suicide” and “give each other AIDS and die.” He also used words like “queer” and “fag.”
Thursday McCance said he was quitting “to help my community, to help my school.”
“I don’t want them to receive bad press or have a distraction because of some ignorant comments that have — that I made.”
“I’m sorry I’ve hurt people with my comments,” he said. “I’m sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum.”
“I would never support suicide for any kids,” McCant said. “I don’t support bullying of any kids.”
“I’d like to extend apologies to those families that have lost children, for all those children who feel that suicide is the only way out, especially for the five families who have already lost children,” he continued, referring to a rash of recent suicides by gay teens. “I brought more hurt on them… they didn’t deserve that and I do feel genuinely bad for them.”
McCance said that he had received “thousands of phone calls, hate mails, people threatening to kill my family and me.”
In a statement, Arkansas commissioner of education Tom Kimbrell said, “I strongly condemn the statements that appeared on Mr. Clint McCance’s Facebook page.”
“The statements attributed to Mr. McCance constitute a significant departure from statements we expect from our school leaders. The divisiveness and disruption of these comments cause me to seriously question the ability of Mr. McCance to remain as an effective member of the Midland School Board.”
McCance’s posts to Facebook were made in response to a campaign by The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The “Spirit” campaign sought to raise awareness of anti-gay bullying by encouraging people to wear purple.
This video is from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, broadcast Oct 28, 2010.