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Gay-oriented Campus Pride reacts to Tyler Clementi suicide: 'A terrible, unfathomable tragedy'

News release from Campus Pride:

Campus Pride cites suicide as sobering example of findings in the "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" released last week at a U.S. congressional briefing on Capitol Hill

Tyler Clementi(New Brunswick, NJ, Thurs, Sept 30, 2010) Campus Pride, the nation’s largest non-profit organization working with LGBT and ally college and university students, offers its condolences and support to the family of Tyler Clementi and the campus community of Rutgers University.  

“Every college student should have the right to a safe campus climate -- void of intimidation and harassment -- for campus learning and living,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride.  “The suicide of this gay young man is a terrible, unfathomable tragedy. We send our condolences to the family of Tyler Clementi and to the campus community of Rutgers University. We ask that all campuses across the country remember what happened at Rutgers and act decisively to curb anti-LGBT bias incidents, harassment and acts of violence.”

Through its Q Research Institute for Higher Education, Campus Pride released last week its "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People." The in-depth research study is the most comprehensive national LGBT higher education study of its kind. Campus Pride surveyed more than 5,000 LGBT students,faculty and staff for the report. Findings demonstrate that this suicide and incidents of harassment are neither rare nor fleeting-- they are REAL.

Among the findings in the report:

- One quarter (23%) of LGBQ staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with your ability to work or learn). Almost all identified sexual identity as the basis of the harassment (83%). An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, & staff reported experiencing harassment (39%) with 87% identifying their gender identity/expression as the basis for the harassment. The form of the harassment experiences by transgender people was more overt and blatant.

- One-third of LGBQ (33%) and transgender (38%) students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to thec hallenging climate.

- More than half of all faculty, students, & staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation.

- More than a third of all transgender students, faculty, &staff(43%) and 13% of LGBQ respondents feared for their physical safety.This finding was more salient for LGBQ students and for LGBQ and/or Transgender People of Color.

For more information about Campus Pride's "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" report, visit www.campuspride.org/research.


Believe In -- Campus Pride. Campus Pride is the leading national nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) for student leaders and campus organizations working to create safer, more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to give "voice and action" in building future LGBT and ally leaders. More info online at www.campuspride.org.


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Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei ARE guilty of a hate crime, no matter how you look at it. But they probably won't be charged with one:


Congratulations, lawmakers. Once again, you've made a tragic situation even worse...


Hate crime? Hardly.

What they did was invade another person's privacy, and in-so-doing commit a felony. That's what they are guilty of.

If one man stabs another man to death, are to withhold judgment until it can be determined if he had "hate" in his heart, and then charge him with a higher crime?

Ravi and Wei should be charged with the crime they committed, and nothing more.

Would they have done the same thing had he been with a girl? Who's to say. Would his reaction have been the same? Who's to say. Was the crime committed by Ravi and Wei the only catalyst that led to his suicide? Who's to say. For all we know this was a young man tortured by more than just teenage bullying.

Tragic as it is, let's not jump to conclusions, start pulling the "hate crime" card and as a result weaken the strength of our vocabulary. Beating a man to death and tying him to fence to die -- just because he's gay -- is a hate crime. Tying a man to a truck and dragging him down a Texas road -- just because he's black -- is a hate crime. Being 18, naive, and pulling a prank on your roommate, which may or may not have been THE reason for his suicide, is NOT a hate crime.

I disagree with you Kyle. Would they have taped & posted Tyler having sex if it was with a woman? Probably not. That makes it a hate crime.

To Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei:

May each of you remember Tyler Clementi at each high point in your lives, at a Saturday night party, on warm Sunday mornings, at your graduation, at a concert of the music you love, perhaps the birth of your first child, on the summer days of your youth, at your advancement through every stage of your life, and on the day you find yourself in prison for this contemptible prank, and on the day you leave that prison. May you each remember that these moments are a privilege that you have been given at the expense of Tyler Clementi, whom you left behind. May everyone you meet in your lives remember what you have done. And may you each stand upon the same bridge where Tyler Clementi spent his last moments and may each of you experience that same agony and despair.

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