Cindy McCain's Tweet Causes Confusion After Her Anti-Bullying PSA
By Elizabeth Townsend Posted Nov 23rd 2010 04:00PM
McCain began appearing in an anti-bullying PSA for the NOH8 Campaign on Nov. 10, saying, "Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future ... They can't serve our country openly ... Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens, why shouldn't [the bullies]?"
In NOH8's new video (posted below), celebrities including McCain, Gene Simmons, Denise Richards, Dave Navarro, Dr. Drew and Slash, speak out against anti-gay bullying and give sobering statistics about how anti-gay bullying has led to an epidemic of LGBT teen suicides.
But despite her strong words in the PSA, on Nov. 12 McCain tweeted: "I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it. But I stand by my husband's stance on DADT."
Her husband, senator John McCain of Arizona, led the GOP filibuster that prevented Congress from voting on a repeal of DADT, which prevents LGBT enlistees from serving openly.
In a statement released Saturday, NOH8 said, "Ms. McCain spoke out through our campaign earlier this year in support of marriage equality, and willingly volunteered her time and effort to participate in our latest anti-bullying PSA. She has expressed her unwavering support of the NOH8 Campaign, and has played an important role in helping to bring our message to arenas in which it hadn't yet been introduced. We do not have any explanations for her tweet subsequent to the release of the PSA, and refer any inquiries on that topic to Ms. McCain herself.
"We are aware of the controversy that her tweet has created, and thank those who have taken the time to share their thoughtful, and oftentimes, thought-provoking comments. Participation is vital to our objective of promoting dialogue and the exchange of ideas. That having been said, we've also been shocked by the amount of bullying and vitriolic name-calling that has ironically taken place in response to this situation."
"We would encourage people to take a moment to realize the effect that their words and actions have on others. Regardless of the reason, it's never okay to bully somebody for being different; and that includes those who might not agree with you. Calling people names and vilifying them is not going to help anybody, anywhere; and we hope that from this point on, people will take that into consideration before they tweet, post, or say anything hateful and hurtful."
"The most important goal at the end of the day is to focus on the message of our anti-bullying PSA. It is clear that we have a long way to go. However, together we can and must put an end to bullying and discrimination. It's about saving lives, and making things better -- for everyone."
Celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley founded NOH8 in response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which amended the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic protest featuring subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest.
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