Dancing around the Federal Equal Access Act
In Minnesota, some folks are all upset because while a school district brought in gay groups for voluntary staff workshops, it said no when they wanted to bring a conservative organization, the Minnesota Family Institute, to present "the other point of view."
The school district claimed that it said no on the grounds that the presentation is based "on religious beliefs and that schools avoid religion."
But based on what Abby Ludvigson, coordinator of the Institute's seminar program, is quoted as saying, the school district should base its opinion on the fact that the Minnesota Family Institute is going to tell lies:
"They're putting our children at risk by affirming a lifestyle that is dangerous and unhealthy."
The issue of gay student safety in schools is one that I am very point blank on. Students should be allowed to form gay/straight support groups and legislation that would keep gay students from being bullied should be passed with the utmost fervor. Also school staff should be educated on their gay students.
I personally believe that for the most part, gay children are our responsibility. We older gays and lesbians have a responsibility to make sure they are not only proud of their orientation, but that they also make the right decisions in their lives. We should be at the forefront of pushing for these things.
So I get angry when I hear people like Abby Ludvigson turn the tolerance argument on its head.
This is yet another tactic of the anti-gay industry. In court battles regarding gay/straight clubs in high schools and the like, they have been on the losing end thanks to the Federal Equal Access Act. This act guarantees the right of students to form clubs, including gay/straight alliances. With these alliances come the knowledge that schools have to be educated on the needs of gay pupils.
Seeing that they cannot use the courts to block students from forming these groups, the anti-gay industry has engineered a new tactic. They claim that students should have the "right" to hear the other side of "homosexual argument." They claim that school districts should show "tolerance" for the supposed "ex-gay" side.
They have also banded together and started the "Day of Truth" to combat GLSEN's "Day of Silence."
The "Day of Silence" speaks to the problems that gay students face on a daily basis in schools.
The "Day of Truth" is yet another way for the anti-gay industry to spread their Paul Cameroneque lies, which serves to villify gay youth and make them at risk.
Now I believe in tolerance for people who think that homosexuality is a sin. However, I do not believe in allowing people to come into schools and, in the name of tolerance, spread the lie that homosexuality is some sort of death sentence.
This argument for tolerance has created a stalemate between us and the anti-gay industry. What we need to do is to combat it with truth.
First of all, no study has ever said that homosexuality in itself is a "dangerous lifestyle." No study has ever said that being openly gay will guarantee a short lifespan or disease.
Studies do say that negative outside influences can lead to gay youth making bad choices. These negative outside influences include being bullied by classmates or not having access to proper information regarding one's sexual orientation. Or maybe being told by a well-meaning but ignorant wannabe authority figure that being gay is some sort of death sentence.
When gay children are given proper support, they grow up to be contributing members of society. However, what the Minnesota Family Institute wants to give are lies.
What's next? Saying that gay children need a lobotomy?
Who cares if its dangerous. After all, shouldn't one show tolerance for all opinions, even if some opinions are lies?
In case you couldn' t tell, that was sarcasm.