Main | Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MINNESOTA: Gay Teen Commits Suicide

Openly gay Minnesota high school student Lance Lundsten, 18, committed suicide this weekend. Friends are blaming bullying.
Around 10 p.m. Saturday the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to an emergency call at the Lundsten's residence in Miltona. When officers arrived, they discovered 18-year-old Lance Lundsten needing emergency medical care. Lundsten was transported to the Douglas County Hospital where he later died. The Sheriff's Office confirmed to KSAX that they believed Lundsten's death was a suicide. The Sheriff would not confirm the nature of the medical emergency. According to his Facebook page, Lundsten was openly gay. On a Facebook memorial page in Lundsten's honor, friends said that Lundsten had been bullied at school for his sexual orientation. Some students who knew Lundsten believed the bullying may have led to his suicide.
Lundsten's classmates have launched an anti-bullying Facebook page. Sen. Al Franken sent his condolences to the family, saying, "My heart goes out to Lance's family, and friends and loved ones. It's a tragic event, not only for them, but for the school, and the Alexandria community and really for all of us. LGBT kids really do need more protection." Franken is the cosponsor of a federal anti-bullying bill called the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would forbid schools from ignoring anti-gay bullying. Christianist groups are vehemently opposing the bill.

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