Karen Ocamb

LAUSD Gives Middle Finger to Anti-Gay Religious Right

Filed By Karen Ocamb | June 14, 2012 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: California, FAIR Education Act, LAUPD, Los Angeles Unified School District, religious right, unanimous resolution

The Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) seems to be emerging from a very rough period with high marks for the new Superintendent John Deasy, who took over from the scandal-doused Ramone Coortines last April. "Our first responsibility is to protect the children in our care," Deasy said in a video to teachers following the abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School. Additionally, Deasy just produced an agreement with teachers unions that, if ratified, could prevent layoffs of 4,500 teachers and save some programs.

LAUSD Boardmember Nury Martinez with HONOR PAC President Javier C. Angulo (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

While "protecting" students is axiomatic, actively incorporating lessons about LGBT people into public schoolrooms is not - even though California's FAIR Act has been in effect since January. On Tuesday, June 12, the LAUSD Board of Education took steps to enforce the FAIR Act - voting unanimously "to direct the Superintendent and staff to support activities and lessons that engage students in learning about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students and families. The resolution also declared June 2012 as "Pride Month" in support of those constituencies," according to an LAUSD press release.

Copy of the full release, videos, and more below the break.

Boardmember Nury Martinez, who co-sponsored the resolution, said: "This resolution affirms the District's unshakeable commitment to making our schools safe for all students, adults, and parents, regardless of sexual orientation. It gives me a great sense of pride to be part of a District that has taken this strong stand in support of a fundamental human right."

Meanwhile, the Sacramento-based Religious Right-oriented Capitol Resource Institute (CRI) is still trying to repeal the FAIR Act - SB 48 - by putting their own initiative called "the CLASS Act" on the 2014 ballot. On Monday, they put out a plea to gather signatures before their 30-day signature-gathering period expires.

Exercise your right to share all that is wrong with SB 48 and why the CLASS Act is needed. And exercise your body by catching up with your neighbors at the store or park and asking for their signatures on a petition.

It is easy to think that somebody else will do this. The couch or an air conditioned house seem much more tempting. But we need you. Really.

The number of people who actively support an effort like this is surprisingly small. And we are trying to do what many say can not be done-gain the almost 700,00 signatures without a million dollar budget.

Of course, LGBT people and their allies have been countering the antigay Religious Right since Fairfax High School science teacher Virginia Uribe first founded Project 10 in 1984 and was forced to deal with the venom of Traditional Values Coalition head Lou Sheldon. Fortuitously, then-closeted Jackie Goldberg was president of LAUSD and continued to move the Board in Uribe’s favor. Today, to help energize their base, the CRI relies on lie-filled videos from Religious Right hack Tony Perkins of the official hate group the Family Research Council. The "facts" in this latest video have been disputed repeatedly (for instance, here and here ) since the battle over Prop 8 where they were first used against LGBT people. And while LGBT people have Models of Pride and LifeWorks, CRI has their City on the Hill lobby days.

Here's Perkins posted on Monday:

Here's the Equality California video from September 2011 when they first tried this tact.

Here’s the full press release from LAUSD:

The Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously today to direct the Superintendent and staff to support activities and lessons that engage students in learning about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students and families. The resolution also declared June 2012 as "Pride Month" in support of those constituencies.

"I'm proud to support Pride Month at LAUSD," said Board President Mónica García, author of the resolution. "It's an opportunity to celebrate learning about diversity and creating safe spaces in schools for all students and staff. During Pride Month, we commit to our daily efforts to acknowledge the rights of the LGBTQ community and bring systemic change that will lift the contributions and struggles that teach us all."

"I believe in providing a safe learning environment where all students are free to learn and express themselves without fear of harassment or stigma," said Board Member Tamar Galatzan, one of two co-sponsors of the resolution. "I want our LGBTQ students to know that we stand by and support them, not just in June, but every day of the year."

The second co-sponsor, Board Member Nury Martinez, said: "This resolution affirms the District's unshakeable commitment to making our schools safe for all students, adults, and parents, regardless of sexual orientation. It gives me a great sense of pride to be part of a District that has taken this strong stand in support of a fundamental human right."

(Middle finger graphic via Bigstock)


Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.