First, Kanye demanded that straights “take back the rainbow” from the gays and now this. Is there no end to the Rainbow Wars? David Svornic, a school principal in Peoria, Arizona has a letter waiting on his desk when he gets back from Spring Break next week. After calling Natali Quintanilla and telling her that her 14-year-old son couldn’t wear a rainbow wristband with the phrase “Rainbows are Gay”, or at the very least, he had to turn it inside out, because her son was, he allegedly said “putting his sexuality out there.”
Svornic, who called the wristbands “offensive” an a “disruption” is the target of an ACLU complaint, which points out that students were allowed to wear black armbands in opposition to the Vietnam War, based on a Supreme Court ruling 40 years ago. The letter concludes, ““It is our hope that the district will now allow Chris and other students to wear or otherwise display messages or symbols expressing their support of LGBT rights.”
From the ACLU press release:
“The Supreme Court has held that students have a right to free speech at school, and that includes gay students. The ACLU has won dozens of cases over the years where schools have tried to get away with illegal censorship,” said Elizabeth Gill, staff attorney for the ACLU national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. “A handful of teachers supposedly working themselves into a tizzy over one little wristband is hardly an excuse for violating Chris Quintanilla’s right to free speech.”
You can read the letter they sent to Svornic here (pdf).
The only thing we can think to add to this discussion is that the wristband is pretty clever, since the phrase sort of fucks with the whole “gay means weak” meme so popular with the middle school set.