From left, Rebecca Arellano and Haileigh Adams, homecoming king and queen
Bravo to students at Patrick Henry High in San Diego for electing a young lesbian couple as the school’s homecoming king and queen.
Sour grapes to the angry and upset bigots who have bombarded the school and the San Diego Unified district with homophobic outbursts and hateful messages — and to the so-called journalists who are outraged by the election.
Rebecca Arellano, named homecoming king, and Haileigh Adams, picked as homecoming queen, made history as the first lesbian couple chosen as the school’s homecoming royalty. It is a moment for celebrate Pride and the gift of diversity on the part of the student body.
The joyful moment reminded me of a time long ago when my senior class bucked tradition and elected a beautiful young African-American classmate as our class president, the first black student to ever hold that office. It was an occasion that stunned the community, a mostly rural and white suburban area northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. My classmates took great pride in showing our ability to look beyond race as a factor in the election, but trust me the issue of race was a big deal in those days even after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, the election of an African-American student as class president would hardly cause eyebrows to raise, so perhaps some day the trail blazed by the students at Patrick Henry High will simply be regarded as a watershed moment in LGBT, and indeed, American history.
San Diego may be known for the diversity of its residents, but it remains a place where hate and intolerance refuse to fade away quickly enough. Although the school district boldly approved a strict anti-gay bullying policy in the past year to protect LGBT students in a friendly and nuturing environment, this incident shows how far we as a community have to go.
Bill Kowba, San Diego school superintendent, told the media that adults criticizing the selection of Rebecca Arellano and Haileigh Adams are “demonstrating such a lack of tolerance and are presenting such a negative role model for children with their hateful comments.”
Amen to that!
Kowba said the calls and emails “are also disrupting the work of the school to focus on the education of students … if these calls and emails were from students, they would face disciplinary measures.” He said he supports and congratulates the homecoming king and queen “and wishes them and the school well…. I look forward to the day when all students can come to school, free of harassment and bullying.”
Double amen to that!
School district school board member Kevin Beiser, who is openly gay, also issued a statement:
“Hate and bullying have no place in public education. Our schools must offer all students with a safe environment for learning and we will ignore and reject these adult bullies who preach hate and intolerance.”
Meanwhile, a so-called journalist for the local Examiner online bashed the trail-blazing students at Patrick Henry. Matthew Hulet, the “San Diego Christianity & Culture Examiner,” wrote a homophobic story about the homecoming selections. It’s amazing to see that a writer with a degree in construction management who “has seen first hand Christianity and the culture we are in and the effects of it” is qualified to write about anything to do with religion, ethics, culture or LGBT issues.
“No doubt that these are HUGE wins in the gay rights movement,” Hulet writes. “The problem lies in the morality and standards that are being violated with these decisions and this community in general.”
Oh really? Are we talking exclusively about your morality and your standards?
Hulet keeps ranting:
“Problem is few want to stand up against this two-headed monster of acceptance and tolerance that is the LGBT community; as they constantly throw lawsuits at much of their opposition for not being tolerant, suppressing them, etc.
“No wonder society has no back bone anymore. The LGBT community and it’s liberal backers are breaking the back of society as we know it by pushing lawsuit after lawsuit and hate accusation after hate accusation.
“Gay marriage legalized across the country; state by state. Gay history being taught in schools. Churches forced to marry gay couples. Gay nominated and crowned as Queen, and lesbian nominated and crowned King at Homecomings. Society suppressed and forced into tolerance. Churches threatened and sued. What is next? Where will this end? Does it even have an end?”
Wow, there are so many problems with his comments, not to mention the misspellings and grammar problems.
Hulet seems to think that hatred and bigotry are justified and that acceptance and tolerance are bad words! If he were a good Christian, he would ask himself: “What would Jesus do?” Jesus certainly wasn’t a hater or a bigot, so how can Hulet be coming from a Christian point of view?
Another examiner named Dave Thomas also raged against the prom election.
“This is not about denying gays and lesbians their opportunities,” he wrote, “it is about keeping some sanity in our values and traditions.”
Ugh, I’m doubting Thomas too. Your values and traditions are not shared by the majority, my friend. And you are untruthful when you say it is not about denying gays and lesbians their opportunities, because it you truly believed that, then you would have no issue with the election of a lesbian couple as homecoming king and queen.