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October 14, 2010


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Scott Crockett

I learned of Joel's speech on Facebook, while I'm not gay his courage and willingness to speak out brought tears to my eyes. I have since viewed the speech three times, and each time yields the same results...Thank you for running this story...

Orange County California


If homosexuals were not ashamed of what they were there would not be as many suicides. Kids are bullied for countless reasons, not just homosexuality. It will happen as long as kids are on this earth. The homosexual councilman needs to teach those kids how to toughen up. Our young society is becoming wussified.


No, it's not that they are ashamed, but rather what they're feeling is something they know is typically not accepted by society as a whole. You're right, kids are bullied for countless reasons. However, this is obviously a major issue that has caught nationwide attention. There's absolutely no reason at all to downplay the seriousness of this issue nor the message that Joel expressed.

M Branson

"Wussified"? Such a wide vocabulary you do have, along with about as much compassion as an ant. Why does it make any difference WHY someone is being bullied! If bullying causes any child or adolescent enough pain to want to end their life, it is wrong to do it; those who teach or are taught that bullying FOR ANY REASON is ok (and then do it) are wicked, evil, and should be punished.

Tom Schneider

God bless Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns. I am not gay and I admit to having some disagreements with the way some gays promote their lifestyle, but in this case Burns is so right. There are still those who will berate, belittle and harass people they believe to by gay. That needs to cease! Unless a gay person somehow "invades your space," you have no right to question how he or she lives! How would you feel if you thought your words and/or actions actually drove someone to suicide? It is still hard to be gay, of that I'm certain, but I hope it's better than it was some years ago and as Burns said, it will get better!



John Doe

Bullying is unacceptable. So is the platform from which Mr. Burns is speaking from. I am not sure that his speech had anything to do with the meetings agenda for that evening. This speech should have been made at a different venue. He mad no mention of the kids that are bullyed because of weight, looks, or heritage. Its not always about the homosexuals. They seem to grab every platform they can to push their agenda. What people do in there on bedroom is their on business. Why do homosexuals feel they have to tell the world they are gay??

Curtis Smith

Would Jesus Discriminate? WhyWouldWe.org Thanks Joel for baring your soul and for possibly saving the next broken-heart from taking their life into their own hands. Bless you.

Jim W

Thank you for posting this story!

Joe Carlin

"He who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know no murderer has eternal life in him." 1 John 3:15

John M

This speech was necessary because the councilman identified a spreading national epidemic of suicides related to homophobic bullying that could spread to his constituency. He recognized an opportunity to use his own experiences to make a powerful statement that could change the lives of bullied children in his community.

A previous poster points out that kids are also bullied regarding "weight, looks, or heritage" to criticize the speech. Yes, there are other bullied groups, but that does not take away from the power and importance of this particular speech. Also, children picked on for what they look like can see plainly that people who look like themselves grow up to to enjoy positions on city councils, Burn was making sure that he can also be seen for who he is so kids like he was can look towards him as an example too.


**Why do homosexuals feel they have to tell the world they are gay??**

Because study after study and poll after poll show that once people realize they know gay people and interact with them daily and understand they are just like heterosexuals except for who they love then people are far more likely to be accepting and respectful of gay people and will not tolerate rude, ignorant thugs.

And because kids who are afraid to talk to anyone about being gay can see that gay kids grow up to be doctors and software developers and sports stars and city councilmen.

Jason C.N. Smith

I am glad Councilman Burns, who represents my family on the City Council, added his voice to bring attention to and calling for an end to bullying which seems to thrive in our schools. No one should be bullied. Burns' statements will give some hope to picked on kids who are alone and confused, that gay kids can grow up to be be a full part of our society.

Disabled kids too have been targets of bullying for decades. Kids cruelly made fun of my disability which was a source of self doubt. It made me turn to God for strength and comfort. I hope all kids that are bullied remember ALL kids are loved by God unconditionally. God is there for them in tough situations like this, no matter who they are.

We should work to make our schools places where all kids will be embraced and will embrace one another as individuals of inherent worth. Bullying is also bad for the bully.

As someone who supported another candidate when Burns initially ran, I don't hold these comments against Burns at all. His comments are obviously heartfelt and on target. I'm glad he made them.

Thanks speaking out against bullying Councilman.

Tom Smith


Homosexuals are not immune to all of these, but heterosexuals who make up the majority of the 7 billion on this planet have cornered the market on every single one and you have made a mess of this world. Focus on cleaning up your own mess and leave us alone.

We are not asking for special treatment. We are demanding equal rights.

The military should end DADT and bring in SFU.

Proposition 8 is a hate crime and the Mormons should pay taxes as a political entity for pushing hatred.

Gays pay taxes that educate your children (so you can teach them how to hate us) and then do not get tax write-offs.

A pregnant illegal alien can come into this country and give birth to a baby with more rights then we have.

This world does not need more breeders, bullies, parasites, politicans, illegal aliens, religous enitities or welfare mothers.

We need more common sense and fiscal responsibility.

I pay taxes. Religous Entities do not.
The only ABOMINATION in this room are the Christians who presume to know the mind of GOD.


I am a Jewish man who, when interviewed for a job at the Dallas Public Library in the late 1970's, was shocked that the first question was what church I belonged to.

I had flown in from Chicago for the interview to which I had been invited by the head of the library search committee.

When I said I was Jewish, I was immediately told by the lady interviewing me, " Well, we are really interested in having a Southern Baptist here. I'm sure you understand."

I left and swore I would never return.

I am very proud of your city that you have such a wonderful man as Joel Burns. He brings honor and respect to Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Hate is always wrong, not matter the justification. These bullies pick it up from others, often the "Christian" parents.

How very sad.

Lyonette Sejourne

As someone who was bullied extensively throughout school for all the reasons a previous poster mentioned, and a few more besides, I applaud Councilman Burns' courageous statement, his willingness to make himself vulnerable before his own constituency, and national and international audiences, and the support and the message of hope he offered to kids who feel they've run out of options-that no place is safe, that no one loves them, that the pain will never stop.

As someone who repeatedly lost hope and sometimes thought the pain would never get better and that maybe "going away for good," as I called it then, was the answer, I am grateful for his message of hope. His willingness to reach out and let kids know they can survive, that there's someone in their corner willing to to listen and love them.

I'm not ashamed of who I am. I am ashamed of those who bullied me and those who bully others in schools and the workplace today there are those who are different from the expected "norm". These bullies are the basest example of humanity, and we should all be ashamed of their intolerance and bigotry.

I survived and moved on, 6 boys did not. Hundreds, maybe thousands more contemplate "going away for good" I want them to live, and I hope that messages like Burns' and those at the Trevor Project bolster their courage.

Living every day with people pummeling you emotionally, pscyhologically, and oftentimes physically takes more strength than a lot of people realize. Standing up for yourself and others in the face of intolerance, ignorance, and hatred is an incredible expression of fortitude. The only "wussified" ones are those that hide their own weakness and insecurity behind brutality and cruelty.

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