Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin
Aaberg, a gay teen who committed suicide last year, met Thursday with
Michele Bachmann staffers to urge the congresswoman to publicly
denounce anti-gay bullying in her district.
Justin, a former student at Anoka High
School, which is in Bachmann's congressional district, took his own
life to escape the daily harassment he suffered. He was 15.
The Anoka-Hennepin district has been
criticized for its “neutrality policy” on issues of sexual
orientation and gender identity. The policy, critics say, foments a
hostile environment for gay youth or teens perceived to be gay.
Tammy and five others delivered a
petition signed by more than 130,000 people from around the country
urging Bachmann to denounce anti-gay bullying in her district.
“I think Congresswoman Bachmann is in
a leadership role to speak out against bullying,” Tammy told gay
Advocate. “I'm not asking her to change her beliefs. But
all kids should be protected in school.”
Becky Rogness, a Bachmann spokeswoman,
said in a statement that Bachmann will respond to the petition after
she has had an opportunity to review it.