Controversial conservative American political commentator Ann Coulter is under fire after she joked about children being disowned by their parents for being gay.
Coulter tweeted the offensive comment after activists and LGBT communities around the world marked National Coming Out Day last week.
“Last Thursday was national ‘coming out’ day. This Monday is national ‘disown your son’ day,” wrote Coulter on Twitter.
John M. Becker from LGBT rights group Truth Wins Out slammed Coulter for the remark, describing her as an “odious human being”.
“What does Ann Coulter do when she needs attention? Why, she pokes fun at the suffering endured by LGBT teens whose families reject them, of course,” he said on the Truth Wins Out website.
LGBT media activist group GLAAD also lashed out at the right-wing author and commentator.
“I recognise that this is a joke, and that she is not really taken seriously in any context anyway,” said Aaron McQuade, GLAAD’s director of news and field media, “but with this coming right after National Coming Out Day, at the start of Ally Week and just days before Spirit Day, I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about this idea of hers.
“There was a time in our culture’s history when, if thousands of LGBT kids were to come out on the same day, the next week genuinely would be exactly what Ann describes, all across the country. Fathers disowning their sons and kicking them out onto the street. Mothers locking up their daughters or sending them to charm school. Children forced to undergo electro-shock or even worse forms of ‘therapy’ to rid themselves of their orientation. To learn how to not be true to themselves.
And although we’ve come a long way from those ideas as a cultural collective, I have no doubt that last week, more than a few American households experienced the tragedy that Ann joked about. Approximately 50% of LGBT youth experience some degree of family rejection. There are as many as 100 thousand homeless LGBT youth on our nation’s streets, and it’s estimated that LGBT youth make up as much as 40% of our nation’s homeless youth population. LGBT youth who are completely rejected by their parents are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide. Pretty funny, right?” asked McQuade.
Coulter is known for her outrageous and offensive comments in the media, in columns and in her books. She has been accused of being homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist and has admitted that she likes to “stir up the pot.”