Allied on Issue 2
My hometown of Elyria, Ohio is making the news of late. Apparently the school district is up for a tax levy renewal. Some citizens are working to defeat the tax renewal, not because the school is performing poorly or the administration displaying poor stewardship of the funds, but because high school students have formed a student organization, Allies is the name, whose mission is to foster an "accepting and open environment intentionally designed to discuss topics directly related to both the gay and straight communities". Those damn kids, always up to no good with their vandalism, truancy, and discussion groups.
One of the leading opponents of the student's discussion group is a local parent and Little League board member named Chris Sito. Just in case anybody thinks homophobia isn't alive and well, check out a few of his choice quotes on the matter:
"I have supported everything for this school, this district, but I will not vote for a system that supports having a sex club in the school. As long as the district supports this, I will make it known how I feel, will vote accordingly and will let others know they should do the same.”
Brilliant logic from one of Elyria's finest: If I don't get what I want, I will sink this whole damn ship! Listen up kiddies, this man has some serious wisdom to share.
"Elyria High has now defined itself. It is now a system that has chosen to side with a very belligerent group of people who want their behavior “accepted” as “normal”.”
Belligerent.... interesting choice of words. Belligerence means behaving in an aggressive, hostile or warlike manner. Students at Elyria High School created an organization to discuss their differences as it relates to human sexuality and how we, as a society, treat each other. Chris Sito and his cohorts vow to defund the school if the students aren't stopped. Who exactly is being belligerent again?
"They have stepped way over the line with this one. I 100 percent want it to go away so I can continue to support our district."
Here's the reality Chris. The Jeannie's out of the bottle when it comes to gay rights and she isn't going back inside, not even for a Lady Gaga concert. Even if you somehow manage to sabotage the school levy and cut education funding for everyone, this issue is never going away. The majority of Americans now support gay marriage. And gay marriage is now legal in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, and Uruguay. Whew that's a lot of countries that are Ok with gay! But you can rest assured that kindred spirits who want to "make the gay issue go away" exist for you elsewhere in the world. You can find them in Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uganda. And probably Kansas.
"You people in Elyria need to start paying attention to what is being promoted in your school system."
You people? Maybe you and "your" people should start recognizing and accepting that not everyone shares your narrowly defined "values" and that that is part of what makes America great, that one slice of America that clings to some ill-defined vision of religious and moral superiority is not able to dictate their rules to everyone else when it comes to "who gets to talk to whom when and about what".
I don't know Chris Sito. He may well be a nice family man who loves his country and community and has found himself in way, Way, WAY over his head as a self-appointed authority on human sexuality and individual liberty. Or maybe he is just an ignorant man with repressed homosexual tendencies. I really don't know. If I had to bet, I'd put my money on the former over the latter. But like I said, I don't know the guy.
But I do know this. When you threaten to defund the schools because you despise the idea of gay and straight people sitting in a room together, discussing their similarities and differences in a civil manner, and trying to find mutual understanding and acceptance, aren't you really just a picket sign and a funeral from becoming Fred Phelps?
One more thing.... the best way to disapprove of Chris Sito & Co. or support the students of Elyria High School is to vote Yes on Issue 2 on May 6. You can register to vote by contacting the Lorain County Board of Elections.