Attention LGBT students of Los Angeles and Orange Counties: Asian Pacific Islander Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (API-PFLAG), with financial support from the PFLAG National Diversity Outreach Chapter Assistance Program, is issuing a challenge to all graduating college-bound high school seniors and returning undergraduates: write a sharp, well-argued essay in favor of same-sex marriage and win a college scholarships split between an English language category and a Chinese/Korean language category. Total prize winnings are more than $5,000!
“This is a community with a lot of talent—much of it in the math and sciences,” says Cynthia Liu, writer, former teacher and one of the contest organizers. “We’re challenging young Asian Pacific Americans to show off their ability to write well and persuade others on substantive issues of the day. We’re wondering where our community’s ‘Obama’ might be.”
API-PFLAG chair Harold Kameya [pictured right, with Ellen Kameya], devoted parent of a daughter who is lesbian, adds, “Everyone in the state of California knows about Proposition 8. Right now, my daughter is deprived of a basic civil right: to marry the person she loves. Why should she be? Every parent wants happiness, stability, and companionship for their child.”
Cynthia Liu adds, "I'm mother to a young child, a woman married to a man, and a citizen who believes in equal rights for all as guaranteed by our state and national constitutions. I believe marriage equality is one of the many human rights lesbian, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people should enjoy as they build lives, and sometimes families, together. That they are a group of people singled out for denial of the most basic human pleasures and responsibilities--to care for one another--is wrong."
The essay contest rules may also be found on the API PFLAG blog: apipflag.blogspot.com.