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Tides Foundation

A Professor’s Response to Formation of High School “Gay”-Straight Alliance

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

“I am a staunch defender of the natural rights to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
but not of encouraging or sanctioning bad habits
which impede persons in their intelligent and moral use of those rights.”

— Richard Reeb

On Feb 12, 2007, the Desert Dispatch reported that Barstow High School now has a “GSA” (“gay”-straight alliance). The article notes that initially no teacher was willing to sponsor the group until English teacher Rebekah Michelson unfortunately agreed to serve. Richard Reeb, former Barstow College professor and blogger for The Claremont Institute, penned the following response to the story…

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Excerpted from Barstow High School Needs to Think Twice About Gay Club, by Richard Reeb, published Wed Feb 14, 2007, in Desert Dispatch:

…This week we learn that advocates of homosexuality, under the guise of protecting students with real or imagined inclinations in that direction against school yard bullies and “intolerance” generally, are forming a gay club at Barstow High.

Notwithstanding the purported popularity of these groups on California’s high school campuses, it is a mistake to permit those pushing sexual perversion on our state to exploit the innocence of high school students and the misguided “tolerance” of Barstow High School teachers and administrators.

…The new club’s prospective faculty advisor made a remarkable statement that captures the ambiguity – and the dangers – of introducing young persons in the throes of raging hormones to an unnatural way of life.

“They’re unformed clay, and they’re trying to figure out who they are and how they want to live,” she said. “My goal is to provide a safe environment where kids can be social.”

Now if these Barstow teenagers are “unformed clay,” what sense does it make to encourage them to reject the example and the precepts of their parents and their society, and to experiment with ideas and (inevitably) practices which can confuse them pretty thoroughly? We are constantly told that our teenaged children are “sexually active,” whether their parents know or approve or not, so steering them toward same-sex intimacy in theory means encouraging it in practice.

Also noteworthy is the guiding hand of Carolyn Laub, founder and executive director of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, a California-based nonprofit umbrella group for GSAs around the state. This puts the lie to the claim that the students themselves were somehow the instigators of club formation. Ms. Laub says she has formed 600 clubs at more than 40 percent of California high schools. Barstow finally got “discovered.”

We know that advocates or enablers of sexual perversion, which they euphemistically refer to as “diversity,” mean for their fellow citizens not merely to “tolerate” it but to “celebrate” it. After all, from their point of view, they have nothing to apologize for. Indeed, critics of their “lifestyle” are the ones who have some explaining to do. Nothing but bigotry or religious fanaticism could possibly explain opposition to our public schools sanctioning “gayness.”

It is amazing that Laud and other professional advocates cite the federal Equal Access Act in support of their right to form gay clubs on high school campuses. But we should remind ourselves that the actual origin of that act, signed by President Clinton, was to protect the rights of religious organizations to meet on campus after gay clubs had already formed.

In plain words, gay clubs are part of a movement which is not only pushing homosexuality on vulnerable teenagers but openly hostile to Christian groups that still follow the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is an “abomination.” Their object is not to strike a blow for free speech but to eradicate from public discourse the viewpoint that homosexuality is morally wrong.

That is the “ball game.” …Today’s “uncloseted” homosexual advocates and practitioners will not rest until all of us agree that denying the distinctive sexual wellsprings of our nature is right and maintenance of traditional marriage and family is wrong.

It is too bad that Barstow Unified School District trustees have given sanction to this “gay” club. Parents should register their protests and take advantage of what moral virtue still remains in this community to stop the club in its tracks.

Dr. Richard Reeb taught political science, philosophy and journalism at Barstow College from 1970 to 2003. He is the author of “Taking Journalism Seriously: ‘Objectivity’ as a Partisan Cause” (University Press of America, 1999).


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