Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tucker's thoughtful insights

Found this one through a friend, again.

Gay-friendly posters put up in California school

The new sign teachers at a California high school are being forced to post in their classrooms a sign that says, “This is a safe place to be who you are. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,” whether they agree with that sign or not.

You know, I try to be patient with people. I really do. And I try to understand where they are coming from. And I understand that lots of people in the world have problems with homosexuality.

But it pisses me off that Carlson is attacking this school's attempt to give all students a place free of discrimination. His argument is:

Is that right? It‘s not a safe place for students whose belief systems specify that homosexuality is wrong. If I‘m an observant Muslim or a Mormon or an evangelical Christian and I think homosexuality is a sin, your classrooms aren‘t a safe place for me to express my beliefs, are they?

And I understand what he is saying, but it's incomprehensible to me that some student's opinions about homosexuality should be more important than the gay kid who wants to come to school and not be beat up or emotionally abused.

It's just mind-blowing to me.

CARLSON: OK. You‘ve said if I‘m a student who believes that homosexuality is wrong, and a lot of people believe do believe that. I‘m not anti-gay myself. A lot of people believe it‘s a sin. Are they allowed to say that in class or are they going to get slapped down for harassment? Can a student get up and say, “You know what? I think homosexuality is a sin. God frowns upon it. And I think it‘s totally wrong and ought to be banned in this country?” What‘s going to happen to that student? Is the classroom safe for him?

Why doesn't the man just say what he means? He means, "Fuck you, Queer!"

Although the superintendent of the San Leandro Unified School District, Christine Lim, did handle herself beautifully, so we can take thanks in that.

CARLSON: OK. But why wait now? I mean, if your point is that all students are protected, then why limit it to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? I mean, you‘re putting the signs up because you‘ve received pressure from a political interest group, the gay and lesbian, transgender and bisexual lobby. I mean, why not take those words out and say anybody is free to express him or herself?

LIM: We have. We have posters that say that there‘s no harassment in our schools. However, we do have a sexual minority that is not allowed to express their opinions. We know that the teenage suicide is the highest among gay and lesbian students, and so we, under AB 537, including sexual orientation and gender equity in our fight for antidiscrimination.

Well done, lady.


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