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Clint McCance: Ark. School Board Member to Resign After Anti-Gay Facebook Comments

Midland High School (http://midland.k12.ar.us)
Midland High School (http://midland.k12.ar.us)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CBS/AP/KTHV) Clint McCance, a member of a school board in Arkansas who made harsh anti-gay postings on Facebook, announced Thursday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that he would quit, hours after protesters rallied outside of a high school to call for his resignation.

In the appearance, McCance said he would resign from his school board seat "to help my school, my community," though he said he might run again for the board in the future.

"The only thing I can do is extend my apologies for my poor speech," he said. "I don't wish death on anyone."

McCance also said he had been made aware that the way he expressed his beliefs about homosexuals was hurtful. He said the language he had used in his Facebook posts was "too harsh ... too emotional" and apologized if his remarks approving gays committing suicide had hurt anybody.

According to CBS affiliate KTHV, more than 30 protesters from around the state came to Midland before the announcement to call for McCance's resignation.

Counter-demonstrators also showed up outside the school waiving Bibles and flags in support of McCance.

"They can go around kissing and holding hands and have their rights and Christians aren't allowed to say anything anymore," said Shannon Longcoy.

In a Facebook posting, McCance scoffed at a campaign asking supporters to wear purple Oct. 20 to show solidarity after several gay and lesbian youths killed themselves, reportedly because of bullying.

"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves," McCance wrote. "The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin."

In a follow-up response to Facebook users who criticized his comments, McCance wrote that he liked that gay people "can't procreate [and] I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die."

McCance told CNN he and his family had received "thousands of phone calls and hate mail" and that he had sent his family out of the state to protect them.

The Midland district disavowed McCance's sentiments in a statement Wednesday, and Superintendent Dean Stanley echoed that in a letter Thursday to 1998 Midland graduate R. Anthony Turner, who wrote the school board a letter calling attention to McCance's Facebook posting.

Stanley's letter to Turner said McCance "does not represent the board or speak for the board when he posts on his Facebook page."

"Every student life is equally valuable without regard to race, sex, or sexual orientation, religious belief or affiliation," Stanley wrote. "Everyone really is someone special and deserves to be treated with care and respect."

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
October 28, 2010 - Clint McCance: Midland School District Does Not "Support or Condone" Anti-Gay Facebook Comments
October 27, 2010 - Clint McCance: Anti-Gay Facebook Comments Allegedly Made by Ark. School Board Member