August 21, 2008
It’s okay if you’re a homophobe… ?
(Title is a variation on the classic IOKIYAR: it’s okay if you’re a Republican.)
Via Pam’s House Blend I came across this MSNBC article that discusses some of the fallout from the homophobic actions of David Davis, erstwhile Principal of Ponce de Leon High School, and the ensuing ACLU lawsuit. In the article I found an interesting contrast. First, the incident that got the ball rolling:
When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents and ordered her to stay away from children.
Because all gay people have designs on children. Um, not. (Where does this idea that gay=pedophile even come from? Isn’t it safe to assume that the average straight person doesn’t lust after children of the opposite sex? Why, then, do so many people assume that the average gay person lusts after children of the same sex? Or, I guess, children in general. I know, I know, it’s bigotry, it’s illogical by its very nature — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t piss me the fuck off.)
After that initial incident, other students spoke and acted out in support of the original student, and Davis took it upon himself to crack down on them, because, you know, “a student with a rainbow flag on his or her notebook may be an indication that the particular student is in a ‘secret/illegal organization.'” Or something. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak stated that Davis “went so far as to lift the shirts of female students to insure the letters ‘GP’ or the words ‘Gay Pride’ were not written on their bodies.”
Hold up, now. These are high school students, so the majority of them are minors, right? Children, technically? And those who are 18 or over, did they consent to having their shirts lifted? As a general rule, a teacher or administrator lifting a student’s shirt is a pretty big no-no, isn’t it?
But he was on a quest, so that makes it okay, apparently. Under other circumstances, Davis would have had the book thrown at him, but in this case, “Davis was demoted, and school employees must now go through sensitivity training.”
So, in short, if you’re gay, you should stay away from children, but if you’re straight, you can go around lifting up girls’ shirts and get away with just a demotion. FanTAStic.