Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Phillip Parker and the Tennessee Legislation

The more I read about Phillip Parker, the 14-year-old LGBT youth who commited suicide in Tennessee Friday, the angrier I get.  According to several different stories, the bullying had been going on for a long period of time.  His family was overwhelmed with information about the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse he endured over the weekend when it was, sadly, too late.  However, the report is that several of his friends did, in fact, go to teachers at Gordonsville High School to tell what was happening to him, and no one did anything.  No interventions.  No calls to the family.  Nothing.  No one did anything!!!!  Heads need to roll.  Teachers, the principle, the whole school system needs to be held accountable.  This is criminal neglect if nothing else.  The ones responsible for the abuse also need to be sought out and punished severely.  There are people there who know exactly who's responsible for it.  They have already gone forward with it to the school staff.  They need to go public with it, as in to the police.  Of course, none of it will help the Parker family or Phillips friends at this point.  But, it could go a long way to preventing another family in Tennessee from having to go through this.

Or, will it?

It seems that Tennessee, and more specifically it's legislatures, have a problem with the LGBT community.  Tennessee has a "Don't Say Gay" statute in place that prohibits teachers, basically, from acknowledging that gays and lesbians even exist.  Does that mean, then, that they can't intervene if a LGBT student is being bullied, like Phillip was.  Like Jacob Rogers was?  Do they, by law, have to pretend that it's not happening, look the other way when it involves an LGBT student?

In Tennessee, same-sex marriages are illegal.

In Tennessee, LGBT people are not protected from housing and employment discrimination.

In Tennessee, they are trying to pass that bill where bullying against members of the LGBT community will be sanctioned as long as it's done for political, philosophical, or religious beliefs.  That's a free pass to emotionally, psychologically, and physically abuse LGBT teens!  All they have to do is claim it was done because of their beliefs, and they get a get-out-of-jail-free card. 

There needs to be outrage.  There needs to be petition after petition after petition.  Concerned parents need to be voicing their concerns.  Loudly!  It is mind-boggling that the citizens of Tennessee are allowing this to happen in their state. 

Tennessee is apparently the nation's hotbed for homophobia.  Comedian Tracy Morgan went on a homophobic rant at a Nashville comedy club, going as far as to say that he'd stab his son to death if said son was to come out as gay.  The significance of this is that it was met with a "thunderous applause".    He said he'd kill his son if he turned out gay, and people applauded!?  How is this being allowed to happen in this country in 2012!?

Meanwhile, family and friends of Phillip Parker are searching for answers.  And, justice.  Unfortunately, they won't find much justice in a state that passed a law that forbids teachers to even say the word "gay" in their classes.  They won't find justice in a state that, just recently!, made it ok to discriminate against LGBT people in the housing and job markets.  They won't find justice in a state that wants to sanction the bullying of LGBT teens.  Is there any wonder why teens like Phillip, and Jacob, felt such a sense of hopelessness that they ended their lives? 

There's a girl named Alissa.  She was Phillip's best friend..."like brother and sister".  Like his family, she's in an awful lot of pain right now.  Another friend started a facebook page to honor the memory of Phillip.  Alissa has made painful posts there.  Please go and offer her words of encouragement.  She, along with the Parker family, needs to be surrounded by love right now.  Do it for Phillip.


  1. Last year our household gave the Government a $106,800.00 boost to the Social security Administration fund because our Registered Domestic partnership was not enough in their eyes...I asked the person answering the phone "Could you at least make sure my partner's money goes to his aunt who is 92 and crippled in a wheelchair so she gets to use his money from his account. They flatly refused to recognize that I existed or that the money should be used by a family member....They asked back "Were you married?" " I clearly told them I had a community property agreement and we were registered Domestic partners".... Their response was"Then that does not make you eligible for any survivor benefits from your partners social security account...At that time last year I was also rudely treated by the bank who had control of both of our accounts saying I was not on any of the accounts as a co signer...even though I showed them the legal papers that I had from our joint community property agreement...I nearly lost ownership of our home that we shared for over 19 years because GMAC would not recognize me as the survivor and heir to the estate....I received better sympathy and great customer service at the Funeral home than what I did at the Credit union to solve our debts and remaining accounts that were made jointly responsible by the community property agreement and carried a total dollar amount of over 100K in monetary value. The credit union also opened and voided the safety Deposit box that was a part of the estate without me being there to physically witness it being opened, They were claiming there was no contents of value and it was empty...Then they started harassing me in my work place and sent flyers for life insurance in Davids' name after I had shown them his death certificate when he passed away. Then they had the audacity to say David had another social security # and address and was listed as married when questioned by my attorney....I want this measure for gay marriage to pass so no else will be treated as rudely or without respect as I had to endure this entire past year. I view the banks behavior as criminal and discriminatory in nature. We had 19 years of common domestic partnership with only one year as registered domestic partners...This gave our community in the Tri-Cities an excuse to act illegally and without regard to WA state RCW s and the actual rights that I have as sole heir to a very sizable estate. This is just one story among many you will hear from people within our state that demonstrates why gay marriage should be legal and witnessed in the eyes of the law and our state legislature. The disparity that exists is basic human regard and legal respect and also has bearing on financial and real property holdings and proper management of all estate matters when some one passes away suddenly. It should not give financial institutions / or public entities the right to behave like thieves or self serving principles of an estate that they are a part of at some one's demise/ sudden death/ or being the heir to the estate.
    Gregoire to introduce gay marriage bill
    The bill could be introduced next week. It would allow same sex couples to receive a marriage license, but would not require religious institutions to perform ceremonies.

  2. This is sad. I hate what the world has come to. Especially in my own state. Wow. I can't believe anyone thinks like this. None of this is even reasonable. How could our state even consider passing a bill like that??

  3. Damned hillbillies (although Tennessee Jack Daniels is lovely) WHY are they so Ignorant? Is it because the traditional Christian values are, like, if it exists and it shouldn't, and you cannot do anything about it... Suppress it, ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.

    People make me cranky... Poor Alissa :\
    (BTW First paragraph, *Principal)

  4. Hey, thanks for putting this up and letting us know about this. its horrific that those who we place in power, our law makers included, cannot see the bigger picture and protect their own people. The homophobia has got to stop. Across the world these are things we are facing. India is no better, if not worse. But we need to make people aware. just like you are doing. so thanks.

  5. wow i almost cried. the world today is horrible. its a wonder more people dont commit suicide. i mean who can blame them? all because the world refuses to accept, acknowledge, or support diversity. its bad enough we have problems accepting others religions and beliefs or even color. now we cant even live our lives the way we wish? what happened to freedom? what happened to equality? are we really going to take a step back in man kind? in history? are we going to go back to being so closed minded because someone loves someone of the same sex? thats ridiculous. Now. im not christian. but i do believe that the christian god wants his followers to be accepting of others. be kind to thy neighbor. do not judge lest you be judged. so i really dont see how this behavior is expressing their beliefs. people should just get over themselves. stop being so hateful to those around you. it not only hurts the ones you're being hateful to but those who are close to them. dont be the cause of bloodshed. i dont think anyone, of any race, gender, religion, etc want that. especially the bloodshed of youth.


  7. i live in carthage right next to gordonsville i am ashamed to say that those kids did that i graduated last year. but i am not a hillbilly homophobic one of my best friends is very very gay hes actually hilarious. everyone in this place judges its sad to say but i really wish phillip hadnt of killed himself i didnt know the kid but wat ive heard is hes a really kid.