October 28th, 2010
08:13 PM ET

DeGeneres to straight community: 'We need your help now'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Ellen DeGeneres is making a rare plea for help in the wake of Facebook postings by an elected Arkansas school board official laced with the terms “queer” and “fag” and celebrating the deaths of gay people.

Related: Arkansas schools chief condemns anti-gay posts by school board member

The openly lesbian daytime talk show host calls on heterosexuals to condemn such hatred and bigotry in much the same way that some whites stood in solidarity with African-Americans during the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century.

“It would not be acceptable if someone used the n-word,” DeGeneres says in an interview that airs Thursday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “When the civil rights movement happened, it took not just the community of blacks to make a change, but white people needed to step in and say this is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this and treat any citizen with lesser value. And, I think, as a gay person, I would like to personally ask every heterosexual person out there who is appalled by this to – we need your help now. This is absurd and he should resign.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

In the interview, DeGeneres also tells Cooper she does not think McCance’s views are justified by his Christian faith, which he referenced in his controversial Facebook postings.

“It gives religion a bad name,” says DeGeneres. “And I think Jesus is – Jesus is the one who taught not to judge and to love everyone. So I don’t know what kind of religion he follows, but that is not [being] a good Christian.”

Asked by Cooper what her initial reaction was to hearing about McCance’s comments, DeGeneres says she was taken aback.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she tells Cooper.

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Audrey

    For the so-called "Christian" Clint McCance in Midland Arkansas school district:

    If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

    From a straight, Catholic, American...with you all the way Ellen!

    October 29, 2010 at 2:15 am |
  2. Mardie henry

    There is no one sin greater than another. We as christians (children of god) are not to judge one another but rather accept each other for who we are inside and out.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  3. Jo-ann

    I can't believed all this people who proclaimed their Christianity but act against the teaching of Christ. Where in the Bible did Jesus say we can judged other people for who they are. Ellen's call for all civil and sane heterosexuals to come forward to support the gays and lesbian community is right on the spot.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:43 am |
  4. Kim

    If you're going to worry what everybody thinks and says about you...you'll miss all the fun in life.Ignor it as ignorance and it's their loss and be you.Let it dribble off your back like a duck.Bullying is out and understanding,acceptance of apology with forgiveness is in.The man's comments were hurtful and horrible but he did apologize sincerely.YoNoBullyBro ! Springsteen sings Wooly Bully now !

    October 29, 2010 at 12:40 am |
  5. Robert B

    I am completely amazed and speechless that someone who is supposed to represent the board of education for the school would be so thoughtless as to post something like that on facebook. As a memeber of the board, they represent the people of the community and the well being of the children. If this is how he feels then it scares me to think that he has the children or the school districts best interest at heart. His resignation is the only thing that he could do in this situation. His use of religion is very far fetched, as I recall the bibile says "judge not lest ye be judged". This is something he should think about. I

    October 29, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  6. irene

    You have my support Ellen. The bigotry against homosexuals needs to stop now and the only way it can stop is if everybody (gay and straight) stands up to these pathetic homophobes.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  7. Patty Yammers

    Count me in!!! I'm straight, married 26 years to the same guy, 52 years old, 3 grown kids (all straight as of right now),and a Christian. I think lesbians and gays should be able to marry, raise kids, share in each other's benefits, and have all the same rights that I have. Oh, I'm willing to stand up and tell that to anyone. So lets keep fighting the good fight!! Together.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  8. Jessica

    I am a heterosexual female from Greenville NC. I find it disturbing that anti gay rants like this are still occuring, especially in a school setting from a school official. People, especially children, should not have to be exposed to such negativity. We should be more accepting of others because we are a diverse nation of many races, classes, and sexual orientations. It is comments like these that keep our society divided.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  9. Heather

    I totally agree. We all have a responsibility to stop the hate. I am a hate-free zone!

    October 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  10. greg

    I am from Memphis, which is very close to where this guy lives. Everyone here, gay or hetro, cannot believe this guy. At least he resigned his post this evening. Doesn't help in trying to convence the rest of the country that people from the south have progressed.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  11. william j mcnelis

    I am a heterosexual white male living in the deep south. I have been married for 38 years and have 3 wonderful children. That being said, I think it is time for the whole country to stop basing our opinions of others based on their sexual preferences. Maybe it is somewhat akin to integration, accepting the Irish on their own merits rather than on cultural bias, the women's rights acts, etc. All of the above have gone to hell and back to become accepted members of our society. People are scared of what they don't understand, and gays have certainly had a bad rap during the twentieth century. However, we are now in the twenty first century, and perhaps need to grow up a bit. Let us show some compassion for all citizens of our society, and not be so quick to sit in the judgment seat. Thank you.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  12. Cherie

    This school official is a disgrace to society. He is not sorry. He spoke what he meant. He spoke his true feelings. He needs to be dismissed from his job. He is a poor example of a leader and should not be in a position that is responsible for the future of our children. He needs to resign. He needs God. This man needs help. What is our society coming to. This bully situation is out of control. We ALL need to rally and do something about this. Blessings

    October 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  13. Marenson Eperiam

    i feel sorry for his children.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
  14. Rodger Smith

    Whether you agree with their lifestyle or not using slurs against anyone creates an atmoshere of hate that should not be tolerated. As a Christian and an African American I will use compassion for I'm too imperfect to judge or attack anybody

    October 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
  15. AngliaC

    It is very unfortunate that someone would suggest suicide to anyone. However, I do not agree with Anderson comparing beingthe treatment of blacks during the civil rights movement to choosing to be homosexual. There is no comparison. I am an African American, and I was indeed born this way. No one is born homosexual. This choice is the result of an unclean spirit which can be completely gone by much fasting and much prayer. God doesn't make mistakes. He can help all people with these evil spirits. Jesus can help.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  16. J.Quinlan

    The problem with social media and the ability to post whatever stupid thing comes to mind is amply demonstrated by the remarks this school board member posted. Besides the breathtaking bigotry shown by his remarks, he's also shown the depth of his stupidity...bad grammar, spelling, all the marks of an uneducated person – and he's on the school board. What does this say about the district? He brings shame to wherever he received his "education".

    October 28, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  17. Tyler

    People like Ellen give me hope that it will get better.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  18. sonyari

    I was so sickened to hear about this. I am always disturbed to hear someone say that they feel that way, but someone in his position makes it all the more shocking. I have many gay and lesbian friends, and a family member. It is so easy to forget in my circle of the diverse and wonderful people in my life that there are actually people out there who feel this way. People who judge others, and have the audacity to do it in the name of religon are the true sinners.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  19. Sara Welborn

    Ellen is asking for heterosexual support. How can we help her rigth now on this issue? I want to respond to this particular school official issue now in a way that is meaningful. What can I do?

    October 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  20. CJ

    Believe me, some of us are trying – doing all we know how to do. I am so glad to see that this particular person (McCance) has already resigned.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
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