June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013
Bullied Gay Youth Stands Up to Anti-Gay Legislator

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Amazing news! In less than a week, 11-year old Marcel Neergaard and his family just won a huge victory to stop LGBT youth bullying.

Marcel, who has come out as gay, was severely bullied in the fifth grade. But his state representative, John Ragan, pushed legislation known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill that would make LGBT youth bullying even worse.

After learning that Michelle Rhee's group StudentsFirst had celebrated Ragan as its "Reformer of the Year," the Neergaards started a petition on MoveOn's petition website calling on Rhee to rescind the award.

Working with many allies, the Neergaards got the campaign covered in state and national press. Over 53,000 MoveOn members signed the Neergaard family's petition—and together, we just won!

Here's a full update from the Neergaard family:

I thank all fifty-three thousand of you for helping me change StudentsFirst's mind on all of this. Michelle Rhee announced that "I stand with Marcel" and that "Marcel has a lot of courage." She has rescinded her award, and announced that she would support a number of pieces of anti-bullying legislation. I owe this victory to you. It took every and each one of your signatures to get to this point. You got me from a nobody to being on Facebook, Huffington Post, YouTube, 50,000 signatures on a petition, and blogs everywhere. Thank you, all of you.

Thank you so much from all the Neergaards, especially Marcel

Thanks for all you do.

–Steven, Stefanie, Stephen, Justin, and the rest of the team

It just goes to show that you can stand up to the wrong in this world!

Hope you have a beary safe and great Tuesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab