Gay Parents | Religion | Wisconsin

Student Newspaper Calls For Death of Gays

Picture 28Pro-and-con editorial pages have a long if not particularly storied history in student newspapers, though they're not quite an exercise in journalism. They're actually kissing cousins of the forensics club. One student is directed to pen an article arguing for the existence of anthropogenic global warning or for the benefits of cow-cloning, another is told to argue the contra. Minds are sharpened, debating skills are honed, and nobody much reads the things anyway.

It's a fine tradition -- until, apparently, an editorial calls for the death of a classmate's parents.

In a pro-and-con editorial package in a recent edition of Shawano High School's Hawk's Post, in Shawano County, Wisconsin, students debated the merits of gay adoptions. According to The Green Bay Press Gazette, the "con" writer contributed these words:

... if one is a practicing Christian, Jesus states in the Bible that homosexuality is (a) detestable act and sin which makes adopting wrong for homosexuals because you would be raising the child in a sin-filled environment. Leviticus 20:13 states "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woan, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them."

The author went on to cite Leviticus three more times. (You can read the whole screed via a PDF downloadable at the Gazette.)

The article wound up in the hands of a 13-year-old in the Shawano school system named Tanner, who's being raised by his dad, Nick Uttecht, and Uttecht's partner, Michael McNeilly. Tanner showed his dads the story. They were not pleased.

Uttecht, who has three other children in the Shawano school system, contacted school administrators and obtained a swift apology from the district superintendent, Todd Carlson, who promised to review the paper's editorial procedures. "Offensive articles cultivating a negative environment of disrespect are not appropriate or condoned by the Shawano School District," Carlson said.

The Gazette story has attracted more than a few unfriendly comments, which has led young Tanner to enter the discussion. He's a smart kid. In the face of really shocking condescension -- such as that issuing from the keyboard of a Ms. Judy Hurta, who wrote:

Good thinking Tanner. But you are a rare child. An understanding boy. But the rest of us don't see homo people as being normal and take offense to the realization that they are amongst us. Sodomy is an sex act that is not love but sex. Your dad loves you but so did that coach at Penn state love the boys he violated. To normal heterosexuals it is an abomination that you children are allowed to be raised in a home of love and sexual preferences that regular people don't indulge in. Where are the mothers in this picture? How did the dad's get the children and not the mothers? I am sorry to feel as I do but I do think sodomy is wrong and parents should be a man AND a woman.

-- Tanner has maintained grace and good cheer, writing:

I understand that this article can get a lot of hate. My father and my mother had told me that when we decided to send it in as a story. I cannot belive that my school newspaper would post such a story, saying gay people can't raise kids, it just makes me laugh. There is nothing wrong with me,even though one of my parents is gay, i am not emotionally disturbed, nor do i underachive. My parents teach me real values, to love everyone as they are.

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  1. My mom is gay and just adopted a baby girl this is the fifth child she will be raising in a loving christian home. I love my baby sister whom was ABANDONED by her STRAIGHT parents. Put that in a damn article.

    Posted by: st8 against h8 | Jan 16, 2012 1:03:55 AM

  2. Ah, news flash. Jesus didn't write Leviticus...He came around about a thousand + years afterwards. In fact, those who did write it, and their followers/descendants, still don't believe in him today. Jesus never said anything about gays. Not once. Ever. So exhausting.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Jan 16, 2012 9:55:55 AM

  3. If nothing else, their is a glaring editorial error in this article. One thing a journalism student should learn is to get his facts straight. Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality. The quoted passage is from Leviticus, which is Old Testament, which was written thousands of years before Jesus.

    As has been said numerous times, Leviticus also contains such gems as don't eat seafood, women are unclean during their periods, and sacrifice a dove as a burnt offering to god if you screw up a bit.

    Posted by: MattS | Jan 16, 2012 12:20:42 PM

  4. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and he used the one "abomination" only once. He said "the love of money" is an abomination. OMG! The Republicans are not going to like that one!

    Posted by: Ninong | Jan 16, 2012 10:15:08 PM

  5. "As Jesus states in the Bible ----" Jesus NEVER stated anything in any Bible. Historically, the first known written document that mentions Jesus dates from about 92 years after his death. So everyone that lived in Jesus's time was long dead. So, obviously, everything that Jesus "said" OR DID is pure "bologna". Non kosher "Bologna"

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Jan 16, 2012 10:17:44 PM

  6. Hey, Skwerl: You said "Now I usually here complaints that these verses are taken out-of-context, that they applied only to the ancient Israelites or to Jews (not Christians), 'twas a cultural thing back then not applicable to today's society, etc." and you're so right.

    Well, give them Matthew 5:18 (you'll notice: a New Testament quote from the man himself) "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." Those who pick and choose which of God's laws are still relevant are denying the very words of the man they say they worship.

    Posted by: fritzrth | Jan 17, 2012 2:41:17 PM


    Uhhh.. No it didn't.

    Posted by: lookyloo | Jan 17, 2012 11:29:34 PM

  8. If the attorney's allegations are true, the horrific human being in the room is the school superindentant. A lawsuit and dismissal may wise this and other bigots up against bullying a child in his or her public charge.

    Posted by: Steve not Eve | Jan 24, 2012 3:53:12 PM

  9. The headline to this article, and Dan Savage's, is completely irresponsible. The student newspaper did not call for the death of gays. One student wrote a column about adoption and lazily cited Leviticus as evidence of sinfulness and then linked that to his argument. It isn't helpful to have leading gay bloggers write misleading headlines whilst complaining about bad journalism.

    Posted by: ns | Jan 27, 2012 7:15:09 PM

  10. Listen up; the more you attempt to equate your homosexual lifestyle as "normal", and shove it the faces of everyone, you can expect those who you have pushed, to SHOVE back. This is NOT a case of bullying, but telling you sinners the truth. Take THAT to the bank Bruce.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 29, 2012 1:22:45 PM

  11. HAHAHA! Oh poor sad wimpy Mark, LOL!

    Right. We live openly without apology and somehow that's us "pushing something" onto you. riiiiight.

    We get it - your family misses Segregation.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 29, 2012 1:31:53 PM

  12. I agree with the tenor of all the comments here; however, I think we accomplish nothing (at least nothing related to the progress of human rights) by captioning a story like this. One student was assigned to write a "con" opinion on same-sex adoption—whether or not his arguments are based on his own views, which in this sort of rhetorical exercise is not clear—and quoted the Tanakh/Old Testament. That is NOT by any stretch of the imagination a "Student Newspaper Call[ing] for Death of Gays". People are understandably angry about the lingering prevalence of such opinions in society; but the way to change things is (and has always been) through enlightened dialog, not censorship and NOT mischaracterizing facts to sell papers (or a blog). This is textbook scare-tactic red journalism.

    Posted by: Gordon | Jan 30, 2012 11:49:38 AM

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