Last Saturday, an NBC Saturday Night Live skit showed presidential candidate Rick Santorum in a gay bar in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco.
On Sunday, Santorum said the sketch was bullying. Either he has no idea what the word bullying means, or he's even more callous and cruel than he has previously shown.
Here are the facts, Rick:
On July 9, 2010, Justin Aaberg, 15, hanged himself -- one of seven gay students to commit suicide in a single Minnesota district.
On Sept. 9, 2010, Billy Lucas, 15, hanged himself. He'd been taunted for years by classmates who thought he was gay.
On Sept. 19, 2010, Seth Walsh, 13, hanged himself. He'd been bullied so much by his classmates that his parents had decided to home-school him.
On Sept. 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate filmed him in a sexual encounter with another man and posted the video online.
On Sept. 23, 2010, Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head. His parents had tried unsuccessfully to get school administrators to address the constant bullying by Brown's classmates.
On Sept. 29, 2010, Raymond Chase, 19, hanged himself, becoming the fifth gay teenager to commit suicide within a period of three weeks.
On Sept. 19, 2011, Jamey Rodemeyer, 14, killed himself after a year of being tormented online by classmates who wrote things like, I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it. It would make everyone WAY more happier! Shortly after Jamey's death, when his sister went to a school dance, his classmates started chanting, You're better off dead, we're glad you're dead.
On Oct. 14, 2011, Jamie Hubley, 15, killed himself after writing in a final blog post, It's just too hard. I don't want to wait three more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know it will get better? It's not.
You may hate gay people, Rick, but you say you value life -- so think about those lives. Think about those names. Think about the anguish those boys, and so many others like them, endured before they decided they couldn't endure it anymore. And then say that an SNL sketch that mocked your political views was bullying.
SNL isn't bullying you, unless you want to call it bullying every time the show lampoons a politician. That's what SNL does.
For you to compare that to a culture of intolerance that drives gay teens to suicide is more than insensitive: it's despicable.
Watch the skit here: