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Dan Savage apologizes for criticizing students who walked out of lecture

Dan Savage, the "Savage Love" sex advice columnist, has apologized for lashing out at high school students who walked out of a lecture he gave in Seattle two weeks ago, during which he said that anti-gay passages in the Bible should be ignored.

“We can learn to ignore the bullsh-- in the Bible about gay people,” Savage said, “the same way we have learned to ignore the bullsh-- about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullsh-- in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads in the Civil War and justified it.”

While many cheered, dozens of students and advisers walked out of the auditorium at the National High School Journalism Convention on April 13. Savage, co-founder of the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project, called their walk-out “pansyass.”

Savage, the editorial director of the Stranger, an alternative news weekly in Seattle, took to the paper’s blog on Sunday to apologize.  

“I wasn't calling the handful of students who left pansies (2,800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walkout itself,” he said.

“I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised,” he added. “I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying “motivated by faith”)—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong.”

Organizers from the National Scholastic Press Association, which organized the convention, issued a statement criticizing Savage's lecture: "In his attempt to denounce bullying, Mr. Savage belittled the faith of others – an action that we do not support. Ridicule of others’ faith has no place in our programs, any more than ridicule of the LGBT community would."

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