Monday, January 29, 2007


An attempt to get rid of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs is up again in the Utah legislature.

As a general rule, I think these clubs are important. More than that, I think they can save sanity and lives, and not only from immediate self destruction of so many teen suicides, but from that slow indirect self destruction of drugs and sex some gay kids come to when treating their orientation like an illness. But it looks like this bill, one would hope at least with Biskupski’s compromise, will pass.

Some choice quotes (from here and here):

The legislation is the brainchild of Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, who believes so-called gay-straight alliances are "conditioning" clubs aiming to recruit students to a gay lifestyle.

Yes, the gays are out to recruit… No, they don’t care about kids going though these tough times; just need to reach our quota, as to get those free Cher concert tickets that come from the head office for each dozen converts.

It never ceases to amaze me how those who can’t stand homosexuality think it’s so very alluring. All it takes is some weekly meetings, like some real-estate scam, and kids throw away years and years of “conditioning”? Do such political opponents think it’d be so much fun that straight life couldn’t compete? Do they not imagine the words they say, laws they pass, and ideas they promote are more than enough to stop any kid from signing up, if he had a choice about his orientation?

I shook senator Buttars’ hand once. Sometimes I think all that’s needed is to let go of some defense and animosity; he immediately went on to say things far more inflammatory than the above about our families. So sure, I’m kind of biased ;-).

Buttars’ had been the focus and so it seems he asked another senator to take the helm this time, Tilton.

Tilton's view differs from Buttars'. He says he isn't trying to eliminate gay-straight alliances but he wants parents to be aware their children are members and have a chance to review any material presented to the club.”

This certainly sounds more reasonable. The parent in me wants to know what my kids are doing; I’ve a responsibility to know. But I’m split here. I know there are parents out there who’d put their children to the streets if they were asked to sign the required permission slip in this case; I’ve known their kids.

But saying “Tilton’s view differs” doesn’t seem to mean much; the aim of the bill is the same:

Principals could reject clubs that violate the "moral well-being" of students, cross "boundaries of socially appropriate behavior" or "involve human sexuality," according to the legislation.

Which bring me to this (my emphasis):

Although he has never attended an alliance meeting, Tilton believes alliance members sometimes inappropriately discuss sexuality.”

“Committee chairman Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, hopes the bill will allow schools to request a change in the name of the gay-straight alliances, which he feels is inherently sexual in nature. "I don't know how you can have a term that describes someone's sexuality and say it is not in that realm," he said. “

Sure, the word “sex” is in the word “sexuality” and gay people are different from straight by their orientation and their sexual anatomy. But the thing these legislators may never understand, particularly if they never try to become better informed on the target of this legislation, is that you can be gay and not want sex. You can be gay and never have gay sex or talk about sex. You may just need to talk but end up marrying a woman ;-). You can be affected by gay issues, labeled as gay, and never even have any sexual orientation.

It’s legislation like this and the ideas behind it that have made being "gay" or "straight" a political realm, a social realm, a religious realm, a familial realm, and so on, with all the accompanying issues. If those issues weren’t there, I’d also not want these clubs, and if you want to get rid of other such clubs equally, fine, but all such topics are now discussed in various school clubs.

While they are ironically focused on sex, such legislators and many hostile high school kids give these groups a great deal more to talk about than any sort of sex (maybe that’s the real fear ;-)). In fact, in the stonewall center’s youth group, a private organization run by gays where any topic was game, after about two years, sex was only a topic twice and both times as a rather tame cautionary tale about avoiding STDs.

Simply, the homecoming committee and prom are far more about sexuality than any GSA, and it’s unfortunate that it will probably take a bunch of grief and hundreds of thousands of public dollars in lawsuits to realize a GSA is an organization that is there to help troubled kids and discuss human politics, family, faith, and cruelty, not sex.


-L- said...

So, my wife watched that documentary about the first time utah tried to ban the straight/gay alliance clubs, and I thought they had been unsuccessful (and therefore even tried to ban ALL clubs). I guess I'm not clear on how this issue can suddenly resurface. What's different now than was examined last time around?

Also, you said, "You can be gay and never have gay sex or talk about sex. You may just need to talk but end up marring a woman ;-)."

Marring a woman. That better be a typo, buster.

Scot said...

Boy those were bad days; death threats, protests, it was ugly. But it’s never stopped being an issue really; they just keep trying new angles, language. Last year a similar attempt was only defeated due to not being debated in time. This one will likely pass to just become another costly legal battle. They just don’t like the idea of gays getting together, even with straight kids; you know what they imagine ;-).

And buster?

Mister, the idea of you joining a GSA does seem kind of improbable, but, in seriousness, it is something to consider. Some of these kids (the male Gs as well as the female G’s and male Ss in GSA) will end up marrying women, wanting to date women. But they still are going through a rough time in High School and these clubs can be of use to them.

I don’t know, though. Could anybody ‘round here imagine doing such as a teen? I do remember, in my time, one kid wanting that and yet going to gay youth group. I wonder what happened to him.

-L- said...

Oh, I could totally see myself being the advisor for such a club.

But, Scot, I could never be in favor of marring women under any circumstances. ;-) Marrying, fine. Marring, no. I just had to make sure you weren't suggesting a gay guy like me is marring anybody.

Scot said...




I’m afraid I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe you should reread it ;-)…

Foxx said...

Free Cher tickets? I'm just three recruits away!

*big freaking winky* ;)