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.