[There was a video here]
It’s depressing and telling that the man in the video above carries an ideology that has serious heft in the ongoing struggle over the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee. But the world we live in is one in which someone can babble, “You know, when you have clubs, usually it’s a science club, uh, uh, different clubs, health club or Rotary Club or different clubs, but their schools have their clubs, uh, but a club that’s just to decide about sex that falls out of the realm of the education,” earnestly, without forfeiting his standing in an issue that has precisely nothing to do with him.
Since January, a debate over the GSA has been raging. The footage above was shot outside of FCHS yesterday before a school board meeting on the club. When the GSA formed earlier this year, some parents compared it to ISIS and at least one official said the school board was considering Kim Davis-ing the club as a solution: eliminating all clubs so that the school didn’t have to host this one.
There’s much more extensive coverage in this video, from which the clip above is excerpted:
The New Civil Rights Movement, whose coverage of this firestorm has been thorough and terrific, reports that the school’s new extra-curricular club regulations are to be voted on in April—last night’s meeting was held merely to discuss options. Writes John Wright:
In addition to parental consent before joining clubs, the proposed new rules would require all student organizations to keep membership rolls, attendance logs and minutes of their meetings. In addition, non-curricular clubs would be barred from “solicitation for membership,” an apparent response to fears that the GSA will be used to recruit children, and required to obtain approval from the administration before having visitors.
Only one board member, Adam Tucker, objected to some of the requirements, saying he believes they’re designed to target the GSA, which first met in January.
“Prior to January, there was never any discussion by this board, or to my knowledge, discussion among any administrative employees, about seeking approval from parents before children participate in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or P7,” Tucker said, referring to two non-curricular clubs for Christian students. “It’s a double standard.”
When supporters of the GSA cheered Tucker’s statements, board Chair Kevin Caroland threatened to remove them.
And, of course, requiring parental permission subverts part of the club’s point—to support LGBT students who face bigotry from their parents in addition to the willfully ignorant world at large.
It’s horrifying that a club whose egalitarian and pacifist mission is in its very name is inspiring such furor in people who have zero grasp on gay lives to the extent that they don’t even understand the concept of gay culture or how their bigotry contributes to it.
Equally horrifying is this Fox17 report on the controversy by Adrian Mojica which devotes several paragraphs up top to the caustic rhetoric of Brian Camenker without ever revealing that his organization, MassResistance, has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
He says he believes GSA clubs are all about making people feel good about being gay and “it’s the worst thing that could happen to them.” Cameker says “They tend to attract kids that are troubled for other reasons. It doesn’t solve any problems, it makes them worse. These groups coming here (Franklin) is not about the kids here, it’s about hatred for Christian values.”
This is demonstrably untrue and there are still so many people in this country who wait with their mouths open, eagerly waiting to be spoon-fed this bullshit. But hey, gotta hear both sides while kids fight to meet with people who won’t display open disdain for their humanity.