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I Love These Kids

As I’m sure you know by now, we have a marriage discrimination amendment on the ballot in Minnesota this November. As you could have guessed, the local Catholic leadership thinks enshrining discrimination in our state constitution is a nifty thing, even though we’re not all Catholic.

They think it’s such a nifty thing that they’ve been sending delegations to their private high schools to talk about marriage. Not about the marriage discrimination amendment, of course, because that would be political behavior that might not be suited to their tax-exempt status, but just, you know, marriage. Marriage-y stuff, like they always send special delegations to discuss. And it’s a complete coincidence that these delegations only wanted to talk to seniors–who will be old enough to vote come November.

Well, the kids at DeLaSalle High School in downtown Minneapolis were smart enough to see through that, and the students gave the delegation a reception they weren’t expecting.

“The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good,” said Bliss. “They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a ‘normal’ family is the best family.”

“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”

Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, “I love my moms.”

I can’t tell you how heartened I am by these students.

At one point, Bliss raised his hand and, “as politely as I could,” began to argue with the presenters. He used his knowledge of history to refute many of their points, and explained that various cultures have accepted and embraced homosexuality going back hundreds of years.

“I think they were surprised by the history I gave them and surprised that I was so calm,” said Bliss. “I don’t think they expected the response they got from the students.”

They were so upset that the priest and school officials abruptly ended the assembly. Students who were angry were allowed to stay there and talk with the archdiocese volunteers. It was more civil, for a while, but the more questions the presenters tried to answer, the worse it got.

The school and the archdiocese are minimizing the amount of dissent at the assembly, but it’s clear from the article that plenty of students weren’t going to sit by as their religious “leaders” rank-ordered human relationships and attempted to justify outright bigotry.

Young people like this are the reason Republican legislators pushed so hard to get the amendment on the ballot this year. This is one of the last chances the bigots have before the next generation stands up and tells them to sit down and shut up.

I can hardly wait.

Comments

  1. unbound says

    Awesome! Always good when kids push back against the bullies…er, Catholics. Extra points for being civil about it.

  2. dan-o says

    I would be intersted to know the number of students against the speakers versus the ones who were not. I noticed it did not mention this as my guess it was only a small few but I could be wrong.

  3. tricycle says

    This story made the rounds at my neighborhood coffee shop even before it was written up in the Minneapolis newspaper. People are pissed.

    It’s worth looking at the comments to the Star Tribune article. When I checked this morning it was about 80 to 4 in support of the students.

  4. gwen says

    Hooray for these well educated kids! I wonder how the school will spin it in the long run. I think they will think twice before having another such assembly.

  5. Crudely Wrott says

    As an older generation once looked to mine to lead the way into the future, my generation now looks to our children to carry on the worthy enterprise of bringing all people under the common umbrella of civilization.

    Looks like these youngsters have a good start. Perhaps in a generation or two these battles will have been won and such exercises will not be necessary. Perhaps not if history is any guide. At least technique will be more finely honed, I do so dearly hope.

  6. M Groesbeck says

    Wow. As a gay guy who was raised Catholic by my mother alone for several years after my father died, I guess I get to be three times as irritated as usual with the Church. How depressing.

    Good to hear the kids weren’t putting up with it, though.

  7. Interrobang says

    So let me get this straight — the Catholic Church, who, for years specialised in coercing young unmarried mothers to give up their babies for adoption, thinks that families that contain adoptees aren’t really families.

    I wish I could say I was surprised, but since we all know that opposition to abortion really isn’t about the potential babies at all, and is actually about keeping women under their heels, I’m not. As an adoptee, what I am is highly pissed off, though.

  8. says

    @Interrobang #8

    Good point. I guess in the Catholic hierarchy of unfit parents, foster mothers are slightly better than unwed single mothers?

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