Earlier this month, sadly, the Grossmont Union High School district became the first school district in California to support Proposition 8, which would enshrine marriage discrimination into a state that currently enjoys equality.
Following up on this story, today the Los Angeles Times ran an article about other school district boards electing to take sides, either for or against equality. One school board member interviewed was pro-equality:
"Katz-Lacabe, a computer security consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of San Leandro, strongly disagreed [with an opponent]. 'This amendment would essentially enshrine discrimination into the Constitution . . . a perfect example of state-sponsored discrimination,' he said."
Unfortunately there are several school board members out there who don't share these views, and want to encourage their communities to vote away marriage equality. And one has to ask, what kind of message does that send to students in the community?
When school members presume to speak for their communities in saying that LGBT people don't deserve the same privileges, it sends a clear message to young people: LGBT students are not equal, and bullying, harassment and unequal treatment are "O.K."
It's sad that in such a progressive state as California there are still people on school boards who are more concerned with giving people second-class citizenship than with doing what ought to be focused on: protecting and educating young people. It's time to stop sending anti-gay messages to young people, and start talking about what schools are doing to ensure they are safe learning environments for everybody.
Also, if you haven't seen it yet, here is a television ad from Let California Ring, a pro-marriage equality group. This funny, yet powerful, commercial that just might give people pause for thought on what marriage discrimination might feel like. "What if you couldn't marry the person you love?"