Dan Savage, an avowed homosexual who writes on sexual matters, gave one of two keynote addresses at the April 13 National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. An activist against bullying, especially of homosexuals, he is the founder of the 'It Gets Better' movement to address the bullying of homosexuals. Students and others walked out as he said that Christians ignore things in the Bible that they don't like, while they should "learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people."
In response to the walk-out, Savage called the high school journalists "pansy-assed" for refusing to listen to his anti-Christian remarks. Speaking in Seattle WA, Savage said of the students “It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-a---- some people react when you push back,” he said as students left in protest.
The National Scholastic Press Association defended Savage's remarks, commending him for his “level of thoughtfulness,” and declared that is it important for student journalists to “listen to speech that offends you.” However, the NSPA, and the Journalism Education Association, now say that Savage’s speech does not meet the standard for civil discourse and have since apologized.
The leader of the Catholic League Bill Donohue commented on the controversy, "The first mistake was inviting a man who has a long history of making the most vile, disgusting and bigoted remarks. What did these people think he would do? Act civilly? The second mistake was the initial defense of Savage’s hate-filled rant by the organizations that invited him. If what he said rises to the level of 'thoughtfulness,' then toilet speech has been sanctified. The third mistake was made by Savage himself: he tried to weasel out of this by saying that his vicious comments on the Bible are 'being spun as an attack on Christianity.' Next time he ought to trash the Koran and then explain to Muslims that it has nothing to do with attacking Islam."
The voluble Donohue, who frequently appears on television in defense of the civil rights of Catholics and other Christians, added "The only ones who acted admirably were the students who walked out in protest. They showed a lot more 'thoughtfulness' than the adults who ran the conference. Ironically, Savage’s bullying of Christian students was done in the name of protesting the bullying of homosexuals. When it comes to bullying, Savage has no peer. We hope the Obama administration, which has welcomed him to the White House, takes note."