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Limbaugh Blames School’s Gay “Agenda” for King’s Death

Limbaugh Blames School’s Gay “Agenda” for King’s Death

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In rhetoric that goes even beyond blaming the victim, Rush Limbaugh is saying teachers and administrators at Lawrence King's school bear responsibility for his death because they encouraged him to express his sexual identity.

On his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh said E.O. Green Middle School in Oxnard, Calif., where gay student King was shot to death by classmate Brandon McInerney in 2008, was pushing an agenda. McInerney stood trial for the crime this summer, but a mistrial was declared after jurors could not agree on a verdict; Monday he agreed to a plea deal, pleading guilty to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, which will bring him a 21-year prison sentence. McInerney, now 17, was 14 at the time of the shooting, and King was 15.

After the plea deal was announced, King's mother spoke out, saying she had worried that someone would attack her son, who sometimes wore makeup and feminine clothing to school, and she relayed these concerns to administrators. "I knew, gut instinct, that something serious was going to happen," Dawn King told the Los Angeles Times. "They should have contained him, contained his behavior." The Times notes, "She said she was told that her son had a civil right to explore his sexual identity."

Whether school officials could have done more to protect King -- and perhaps constrain McInerney's behavior as well -- is a question worth asking, but Limbaugh used King's comments as a jumping-off point to criticize the school as promoting a pro-LGBT agenda.

"Is it any wonder that parents get a little worried when they send the little tykes off to school, because I'll tell you, folks, what's happening, especially in these blue states, what's happening in these public schools, the last thing going on is what we've all thought of as traditional education," Limbaugh said. "There is education taking place, and there are agendas that are being promoted, but they're not what you and I were taught in school. So now [King] is dead." Discussing the possibility that King was transgender, Limbaugh sarcastically said, "He had the right to explore whether at some point he was going to need a chopadickoffamy operation."

He further played the conservative victim card, saying, "Can you imagine if the kid were a conservative and wanted his civil right to indulge and inform himself about conservatism, whether the school would have said, 'Hey, there's nothing we can do. The kid wants to learn about conservatism and there's nothing we can do to stop it.' I hardly think so."

Bryan Fischer of the virulently antigay American Family Association posted a commentary on his blog Tuesday that makes a similar point, saying the school put King in danger by letting him express a gay or transgender identity -- but he also casts King as a predator and McInerney as a victim of "inexcusable sexual harassment."

Fischer writes, "King was a flamboyant homosexual, who not only flaunted his homosexuality but mercilessly harassed McInerney. ... Because of King's politically favored sexual preference, nothing was done to protect the victims of his harassment. And consequently, because school authorities did not do their job of protecting students from bullies, King is dead at the hands of a victim of his relentless harassment." He concludes, "Placing reasonable curbs on the public expression of homosexual behavior is not only good policy, it actually makes the world safer for homosexuals. It is the sane, humane, and compassionate thing to do."

Go here for a full transcript of Limbaugh's segment on the topic, and here to read Fischer's piece.

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