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03/12/2010

Only the far-right could turn 'respect for all' into a quarrel

by Jeremy Hooper

NYC-RespectNYC has an out City Council Speaker. That's pretty inspiring for local LGBT kids, letting them know that they can be whatever they want to be, and that nobody's biases against them are allowed to stop their dreams. Especially since virtually nobody in the five boroughs has ever turned Christine Quinn's seat into a controversy simply because of her sexual orientation. That's just not the spirit of New York City.

But leave it to the self-appointed moral authoritarians on the religious right to take what the vast majority of Big Apple residents have come to know as benign, easy, peace, and turn it into a contention. This from Focus on the Family:

New York City schools are hosting a Respect for All week. It's billed as an anti-bullying push, but the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) partnered with the city to develop the event.
...
GLSEN has helped trained school staff for the program, and its resources are recommended to teachers for use in the classroom.

Joseph Mattera, presiding bishop of the Christ Covenant Coalition, said that gives GLSEN a permanent foothold in New York City classrooms.

"The whole idea is just to soften up the students so that there will be a receptivity in the future to same-sex marriage or other gay-friendly curriculum," Mattera said.
Gay Agenda in New York Classrooms [CitizenLink]

Yes. YES! We want "receptivity" to respect for all. We're not hiding that fact -- we're priding ourselves on it. We unbashedly want people to support marriage and gay-friendliness in general. In New York City, the majority already does!

Of all of the far-right's campaigns, the ones that target basic messages of respect in public schooling just might be the most offensive. Because all we are talking about are simple messages of non-discrimination in the public sector. Nobody is asking the religious right to stop shunning gays in their personal lives. We'd love that -- but we're not demanding it. All we are demanding is that the faith-based denunciations be disconnected from our civil lives. For us. For our city. For LGBT students who just might grow up to be the city's second-highest ranking elected official.

(*photo credit: William Alatriste)

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Your thoughts

Hey Materra!
What, pray tell, brilliant ideas do YOU have that would reduce bullying, suicide among vulnerable teens and homelessness among gay teens?

What about practical coexistence among both gay AND hetero kids so that they can be their best selves with each other rather than resentful, distrustful or violent?

Hmmm...?

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Mar 12, 2010 5:03:41 PM

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