an education

California School District Bullies Christian Parents Into Accepting Gay Tolerance Program

Congratulations to Vallejo, California, parents, who just cast themselves as the new stars of Intolerant American Communities, the reality show playing out across the country. There was that one episode in Norman, Oklahoma, where local community members spent hours in front of the city council arguing against recognizing October as LGBT History Month, which had 19-year-old Zach Harrington so devastated he killed himself. And now some parents of the Vallejo School District, north of San Francisco, are trying to end a two-year-old tolerance program — instituted after a high school girl was endlessly tormented — that has even kindergartners watching films about Those Gays. A whole slew of them showed up for the school board’s meeting this week, saying the mandatory program makes them the victims. Even students grabbed the mic for a chance to sound off: “This lifestyle shouldn’t be put upon me, or anybody,” said one. Too bad, voted the board: the program stays, and your intolerant households are welcome to as well.

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  • Andrew

    Oh my GOD. I am SOOOO sick of hearing Christians talk about how they are so persecuted. Every time I hear them whine about Christian bashing and how the country is out to get them I want to slap them silly and tell them to SHUT THE FUCK UP. They most certainly are not persecuted they are the PERSECUTORS. I’d like to ask that girl is she was stigmatized, beaten or abandoned by her family and the community for being Christian. PLEASE.

  • Tallskin

    Fucking christians are evil

    I cannot understand how these wicked sky pixie believers are so horrible when they profess to be full of love.

    But hey, I’m an atheist so their bizarre morality makes no sense to me.

  • John (CA)

    What these idiots – and they are idiots – don’t understand is that the school board’s hands are tied.

    This tolerance program is part of a legal settlement.

    The school district is operating under court supervision because they ignored anti-gay bullying in the past. And if the literally bankrupted Vallejo Unified wants to waste a couple million dollars on a legal grudge match with the ACLU, they are welcome to do so. All I can say is they will almost certainly lose because state law is crystal clear here.

  • Steve

    “This lifestyle shouldn’t be put upon me, or anybody.”

    >_> Yeah. This is exactly what I want to say to them religious folks who vote for discrimination.

  • cls

    If anyone were truly picking on them they would be lined up demanding the program. Like so many they are just hypocrites, wanting protection for themselves while denying it to others.

    As for Vallejo, it is north of San Francisco but also east. It is a trashy town that was driven into bankruptcy by their fire departments excessive pension plans. It isn’t quite trailer park level, more like one step above that. So don’t expect the town to attract people with an evolved mentality.

  • Wyatt

    This is why i advocate open violence and intolerance of belligerent Christians.

  • Ian

    @Tallskin: I’ve found over the years and decades that those Xtians who say they are full of the love of Christ are almost invariably actually filled with the bile of hate, for themselves mostly and they extend that hate outward to feel better about themselves, as no one really likes them or their close minded attitudes all that much.

  • Cassandra

    Another day, another load of hate speech from tallskin and company.

    “Oh my GOD. I am SOOOO sick of hearing Christians talk about how they are so persecuted.”

    If I had a dollar for every time some homophobe has said this about gays and lesbians, I could buy a fully loaded 2011 Mustang convertible, a year’s worth of gas, and insure it with enough left over to pay a gym bunny to wash for me while wearing see through speedo’s.

    “Fucking christians are evil”

    Homophobia is entirely about characterizing all GLBTQ people as evil. Tallskin is simply doing exactly what homophobes do, and that means he/she is exactly as bad, as malevolent and abusive, as any homophobe.

    “But hey, I’m an atheist so their bizarre morality makes no sense to me.”

    How terrible that the “bizarre morality” that condemns injustice, stealing, deception, abuse, murder makes no sense to tallskin. How bizarre that he/she condemns Christianity by a standard he/she does not have, much less practice. Atheism has no moral foundation, no ethical code. It’s only belief is predicated on the assumption that 99% of humanity is inferior to atheists, wrong about their own experiences, and worthy of contempt.

    Tallskin makes it very clear every time he/she posts – atheism is only a prejudice, and is as ugly a prejudice as homophobia or racism.

    “They most certainly are not persecuted they are the PERSECUTORS.”

    Given the hate speech from Andrew and Tallskin, the above is simply a very ironic lie. I guess that when one believes something, like atheism, that condemns people rather than destructive behaviors, there is no impediment to lies and hate and promises of violence.

    “This is why i advocate open violence and intolerance of belligerent Christians.”

    Homophobes routinely make comparable statements about ‘activists gays’. Like Wyatt, they couch their hate speech under a pretense of reason by using modifiers like ‘belligerent’ or ‘activist’ – though it is always clear that to them, these modifiers apply universally – all gays are activists to the homophobes, all Christians are belligerent to the atheist.

    “I’ve found over the years and decades that those Xtians who say they are full of the love of Christ are almost invariably actually filled with the bile of hate, for themselves mostly and they extend that hate outward to feel better about themselves, as no one really likes them or their close minded attitudes all that much.”

    Homophobes use this exact same argument about GLBTQ people. According to them, every defense of our lives, whether misguided or brilliant, is proof of our self-hate. Anything we do is proof that we hate society, hate Christians (thanks for being poster kids for that stereotype, tallskin and company). Just as Ian has done to Christians, the truth of the lives of GLBTQ people is twisted and inverted into poison and malice.

    I know that the fundamentalist anti-religionist bigots here will not see their behavior for what it is – identical to that of homophobes and racists and other bigots. But the rest of us should at least be concerned about the fact that atheism is consistently expressed in the exact same ways, goals, terms and lies that homophobia is expressed. It means something about atheism that it sounds exactly like homophobia, only with a different target for all the hate and venom.

    Hate speech, such as that shared here by tallskin and his/her peers/sockpuppets, is either always wrong, or it never is. The acceptance of anti-religious hate speech here on Queerty makes all complaints here about anti-gay hate speech appear to be about personal ego, rather than principle.

    How lucky for tallskin and company that their belief system has no principles or ethics to impede their malice. And Ian needed worry, atheism doesn’t teach love, so no will expect him to even attempt it, nor recognize how his own words describe his own behavior.

  • Pip

    most black kids drop out of school anyway so they shouldn’t really be dictating our curriculum.

  • greenmanTN


    Haven’t you heard? There’s a “War on Christmas” and to listen to Christians the poor dears are ALWAYS being persecuted, so long as you define “persecution” as “being prevented from imposing our religion on others.” What’s their response to any opposition? “We’re being bullied! Persecuted!” Maybe one of these days the poor dears will be able to have a Christian President represent them. Oh, wait a minute. EVERY single Presendent AND Vice President and the vast majority of elected officials from dog catcher to Senator have been at least nominally Christian and they sure as hell have a voice in government far larger than those they oppose! So spare me the pity party.

    Now I don’t hate or even dislike all Christians or religious people. Religion CAN be a positive force in individual lives and the very rare congregation. But as a general rule though, one of the defining characteristics of organized religions is that they have discovered THE answer to everything. How the entire universe came about, the truth about history, the bedrock moral and ethical, and even political truth. But they’re not FORCING it on you. Heavens no, perish the thought! They’re SHARING timeless divine wisdom with you, except you’re too big a sinner to get it. That boot on your neck is LOVE! Regressive, hateful, oppressive “love.” If the liberal or progressive congregations spoke out HALF as forcefully as the the conservative, oppressive religions maybe the stereotype would change, but they don’t.

    Having grown up in a congregation ruled over by a screaming, sweating, hateful windbag who ranted far more about ‘sin’ than love of fellow man, particularly about homosexuality which only rates a few mentions in a LARGE book, I can totally understand the hostility of many people, especially gay people, toward religion and religious people. I try to be more discerning than that, but it’s hard not to hate the groups that consistently oppose your rights, your happiness, even your very visibility. And don’t try to say it’s exactly the SAME thing. All you have to do is look at the relative power and influence of the two groups to know that’s pure, unfettered BS!

  • thedarkchariot

    Ugh…One word. “Lifestyle”. I’m out.

  • Mad Hominem

    Hey Cassandra, you’re doing a great job of beating up on that atheist strawman. Let’s start with the basics — atheism is the lack of belief in god(s). Atheism is not a belief. Atheism has no moral code, because you can’t base a moral code on not believing something.

    This is not to say that atheists don’t have moral codes, because we do judge the right/wrongness of things, just like anyone else. Some atheists, for example, cluster together under a particular code called secular humanism, which has many different varieties just like Christianity.

    The superiority of atheists is “atheism’s only belief”? Atheism has no ideology, move on.

    You also argue that homophobes and atheists are alike. So homophobes — who are a large portion of the population, and enjoy few repercussions for their outspokenness, even from the people who disagree with them — are the same as a minority that gets accused of attacking believers for putting up billboards saying “If you don’t believe in god you are not alone.” Not “THERE IS NO GOD, THEISTS ARE DUMB,” but “hey, you’re just like me, you’re not alone!”

    Imagine the reaction if PFLAG put up a billboard saying “it’s okay to be gay.” Fox News would freak out about recruiting and childhood indoctrination, and at this season, the war on Christmas, too.

    Violence against intolerant Christians? Some idiots might say that, and there’s no excuse for that. Nor is there any excuse for lumping the rest of us non-believers with him, because we are NOT adhering to a particular belief system. Guess what? Tim McVeigh was Christian. Am I calling all Christians suicide bombers? No.

    Let me modify some of your own text and see if it still works. “Christians use this exact same argument about atheist people. According to them, every defense of our lives, whether misguided or brilliant, is proof of our self-hate.”

    Finally, religion =/= morality. If you are good, it’s not because you do or do not believe in god. It’s because you recognize the consequences of your actions. The end.

  • Heather

    AND…everyone’s so pissed about GOD they fail to notice Pip’s nasty racism!

  • AdamA

    Love how acknowledging that LGBT *exist* and also existed a while ago, and also existed a while before that, and you know, did some stuff, is “putting a lifestyle” on people.

  • Nathan

    @Cassandra: Sorry you can’t tell right from wrong without reading it in a book, most people don’t have that problem.

  • SteveAtlanta

    And now you tell me black homophobia does NOT exist.

    The problem is, when you even infer it does, gay men in the black community (which I AM a part of) are too busy calling everyone a racist instead of doing our job…educating, informing and enlightening our own backyard. Yes, I have more expectation from my black brothers and sisters to rise above ignorance. More expectation from them than from other races who weren’t as opressed as we were and yet to have black folk standing up to speak AGAINST gay tolerance, speak against respect, and essentially promote the segregation of gays tells me we as black gays are failing our own people.

    To all my fellow black brothers screaming racist at everyone, do you ever come up for breath to go and educate your family, church, family friends, and local community what it really means to be gay? Cuz I can tell you I have. It ain’t easy, but damn worth it when I see disappointing clips like above.

  • Tallskin

    Cassandra and her friends could perhaps join this man or at least take note.

    A Christian writer plans to go on a three-week pilgrimage to “repent” of his past homophobia.

    Symon Hill, the associate director of the pro-gay Ekklesia thinktank, says he will walk from Birmingham to London and speak at churches along the way to encourage Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality.

    Mr Hill, who is “not exclusively heterosexual”, admits he once campaigned against gay ministers and Christian acceptance of LGBT people.

    He told “I was fine with homosexuality and bisexuality before I became a Christian in my late teens. But after my conversion, I thought that opposition to same-sex relationships was ‘part of the deal’, even though my own sexual feelings had not been exclusively heterosexual (and still aren’t).

    “This was partly out of a desire to fit in at the church I had joined. That church was very good in many ways, and had a very positive effect on me in other areas of my life, but I think they were severely mistaken about sexuality.

    “Having adopted that view, I then campaigned against the ordination of ministers in same-sex relationships and spoke out strongly against Christian acceptance of homosexuality.

    “As you’ll realise, I have become convinced that I was wrong.”

    Mr Hill, who has written extensively in support of gay rights, will walk around 150-200 miles after setting off in early June 2011. He plans to arrive in London on the day before the Pride march on July 2nd.

    He intends to stop off at a number of places he used to live, including Coventry, Daventry and Oxford and is hoping for offers of accommodation and invitations from churches to speak.

    Mr Hill added: “I have struggled for years with issues of sexuality – through prayer, reflection, personal experience and reading the Bible. These struggles have led me to the conclusion that it is not homosexuality, but homophobia, that is sinful and contrary to the message of Christ.

    “Many churches continue to reject loving same-sex relationships and to oppose equality. Others have failed to speak out due to a misplaced desire for unity. Given the hurt and abuse involved, minor changes are not enough. As Christians, we are called to take a stand against injustice.”

    Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell praised his pilgrimage, saying: “Symon Hill is bearing witness and setting an inspiring example of Christian repentance for 2,000 years of church homophobia. I hope Pope Benedict and Archbishops Rowan Williams and John Sentamu will join him.”

    The walk has been endorsed by Ekklesia, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Courage UK and Inclusive Church.

  • IonMusic

    It’s crazy to see the opressed yesterday turn to be the opresers today. Some how African American culture has made it acceptable to adopt outlandish homophobic mindsets and it’s completely excused, in a community which ironically prides itself for fighting for civil rights, yet clearly from the above video some see no problem with the alarming rate of young gay children shooting their brains out because of hate. This video is sadly not an isolated incident. My good friend became a school teacher in the inner city of our area and even did after school volunteer work. In a nutshell, it was revealed he was gay and the area’s parents and community (78% minority, most all of which were black) basically went on a witch hunt to get him terminated for it. When a group of 10 black parents formed to start a petition to get him fired strictly due to his sexual orientation, and the escelated tension it caused, my amazing, kind, devoted friend simply packed and relocated within a year to Virginia. Perhaps not the most welcoming of places toward gays you’d imagine, but he has been treated with nothing but respect and kindness, and the fact remains his new residents in Central Virginia is one that is very conservative, very religious, but heavily populated by non minorities (caucasians)
    I and he happen to be two of the most liberal card carrying individuals you could find, both of whom always held a preconcieved notion that homophobia= white trailer park, Southern hick disease and boy did reality bite the past few years. My friend was basically chased out of our very large city by a community prominent with black members and leaders only to essentially seek refuge in a small, hick town where he’s been met with indifference and respect. I agree with the poster above who said unless people reverse black cultures mentality toward homosexuality, no change will ever be made by pretending the tension does not exist. Speaking of it and airing our issues is what creates change. Not biting our tongue to be politically correct when no one seems to care to be PC when it comes to our rights.

  • jacknasty82

    Homophobia in the black community is such a difficult problem to work on because so many black advocacy organizations themselves have ingrained homophobia. I used to be president of my college’s GLBT advocacy group and tried more than ones to co-sponsor events with the black student alliance but they wouldn’t even agree to have a meeting to discuss/plan such an event. The GLBT club still did an event on GLBT people in the African American community but it was poorly attended and it was disheartening that the black student alliance didn’t want to be a part of it. That was not the case with other groups, we did a co-sponsored events about GLBT issues with the Asian and Pacific Islander’s group, the Latina group, college democrats, the women’s resource center, and even the Methodist student’s club. I was mostly disappointed that the faculty advisor of the black student alliance who was a diversity coordinator on campus and gay refused to even try to persuade the group to work with us(though he also wasn’t out on campus which is ridiculous for somebody in a diversity coordinator position especially if he goes out to gay bars on weekends where students also go).

  • Cislia

    @jacknasty82: Isn’t that something and so true. For every person who likes to use cliche “ignorant white man” scapegoat to blame all gay rights issues on, you’d be alarmed to know just how deep rooted black homophobia runs. I know and saw it first hand myself in my experiences and this is my opinion (which I am entitled to under the first amendement) whereas homophobia exists in every single race and culture, in the black culture it’s a passionate one that does not even try to reason or rationalize it’s way of thinking. I was around black people for a good part of my teenage years and the hate I experienced those years far exceeded the hate I recieved from any other demographic times 2. It really opened my eyes and made me realize some groups fought simply for their own civil rights and couldn’t give two craps about the equality of others. Interesting to note, many black people I knew growing up also had venemous hate for Latinos. It’s like, for some black people unless there’s groups struggling below them, they’re not pleased. Crazy.

  • SteveAtlanta

    The moral and reoccuring theme to your and this story is the fact that black gay men usually stay in the damn closet and when do come out, they don’t even fully come out. It’s like a damn dance around the closet, reserved for those who it don’t make a difference on anyway. If black gay men had the courage to just be, and do you, and come out and speak on it, than maybe we could tackle black homophobia. Until then, it ain’t happening because of fear, stigma and cowards. Simple as that.

  • Jeffree

    In my experience, homophobia is more directly related to “religiosity” than to race. The closer someone’s church believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, the more homophobic they are — whether they’re Black, Asian, white, Hispanic etc.

    I think the accussation that “Blacks are homophobic” is misguided, because white, Latin, Asian and African Americans who are fundamentalists seem to me to be equally homophobic.

  • Daez

    I absolutely detest mandatory sexual education of all kinds. There should most definitely be an opt out. You guys are all kidding yourself if you don’t think our lifestyle is so controversial that FORCING anyone to view it isn’t going to hurt our cause more than it helps it. If someone truly hates gays, being forced to watch a video about it is going to piss them off not make them all lovey dovey.

    Also, stop blaming the Christians. There are people that use Christianity as an excuse for every evil including homophobia. The amount of evil that has been perpetrated by evil men in the name of Christ is just disgusting. However, that doesn’t mean that all Christians or Christianity itself is evil.


    Funny those vile scumbags would be the first ones to pull out the race card and cry “bigot” if someone spewed hate upon them or their community…………

    We had as much choice in being Gay as they did in being Black……They do however have a choice in chosing to become vile, hatefull, disgusting, scumbag bigots……….


    @Jeffree: Hello stranger…….I think the reason why so many Gays get more offended by Blacks spewing hatred towards us (me included) is that they went thru the exact same shit we are facing not so very long ago. They couldn’t marry whom they wanted and faced discrimination in housing and employment.

    I am not saying everyting is all peachy for them now, but at least there are laws on the books giving them the same protections so many of them so vigoursly oppose for us………..

  • Marlene

    The minute there are gangs of LGBT kids going out to breeder-bash and the cops refuse to file a report; the minute there are employers refusing to hire straights because they don’t want them; the minute these so-called “Christians” are *truly* oppressed, then they should shut up and sit down, cause they’re no different than the so-called “Christian” parents bleating because their kids were going to have to go to school with black kids!

  • Rob

    To Cassandra—I am atheist and I don’t need to be taught love, morals, or ethics from an ancient book. I also don’t have to abide by morals and values just out of the fear of going to hell. I have morals and values just because I want to not because I have to be told every fucking Sunday to be nice to other people. All christians do is hide behind their religion….so keep hiding Cassandra

  • Dr. Dick

    @Cislia: OK OK let’s just stop there. I get the feeling that you, and many other posters here lack a fundamental connection to / knowledge of any Black community, so you really should shutup.
    As a queer black man I understand that the Black community is largely very homophobic, but that mentality is the direct result of years of oppression: Machismo holds more weight to an inner city/lower income black man than ANYone else, because weakness (as all queerness is perceived to be) is intolerable. So when I walk by a group of thugs in SF or the surrounding cities, and they call me a faggot, I understand that the vitriol is the function of generations-old prejudices which were born from a real need to survive in a world where the white people make us worth 3/5 of a person.

    SO, is it right? FUCK NO,
    but can we (and by we I mean YOU non-blacks) start makin too many broad generalizations? FUCK NO
    nothing pisses me off more than people thinking beyond their own capabilities (except maybe people whining about who’s more oppressed, GROW UP)

  • ForeverGay

    If the program said gay people are abominations none of these haterosexual parents would show up because they would be fine with it. It’s about hate, it’s about maintaining haterosexual supremacy.

  • Merlyn

    I am so tired of the Xtians whining that they are being persecuted. They are not being persecuted, they are being called on their hatred and bigotry.

    It is sad to see members of a group that have been historically hated and oppressed turning around and doing the exact same thing to others.

  • SteveAtlanta

    @Dr. Dick:
    “nothing pisses me off more than people thinking beyond their own capabilities”

    So then black homophobia should REALLY piss you off, if your statement above is accurate. As I said, I’m black, gay and I do not and will not give justifiable reasoning as to how or why someone is hateful. Your mentality of excusing it due to it being an engrained cultural thing is not only feeding in the hands of homophobia, but doing nothing productive in return. Just as you walk right by those thugs calling you hateful remarks, it’s my understanding you’d advocate we all just walk on by black homophobia and not address. And if we do address it, your way of acknowledging it is to simply mustering it up as “cultural” and giving it the green light. There is nothing long embedded in being an insensitive, venemous, ignorant, hateful human being and no one should ever be excused of that due to their upbringing. To say otherwise is to essentially mandate homophobia and not combat it.

    Stop hiding behind the pretenses that the black community can not see a role reversal in it’s homophobia, just as so many brothers carelessly do. That’s lazy and inaccurate and not effective. I’ve seen the change that needs to be made around my surroundings, the damn problem is, many brothers don’t want to get uncomfortable and make the change (eliminating homophobia) happen around their family, circle of friends, community. They walk right on by just as you do in San Francisco and say “well, can’t change it, might as well deal with it or not even face it and stay in the closet” THAT mentality is what heightens and sustains black homophobia in our community my friend, even more so than your emotionally charged theory. Do your job. I’m doing mine, not for me, but for the next generation of *black* gay/lesbian/trans/bi folk I don’t want to see get the cold shoulder from the one community who should know what that feels like better than any other.

  • Tallskin

    I think gays who subscribe to worship of the death cult christinity should take a long hard look at what they’re doing.

    If I may use a metaphor stolen from the drugs situation, where the argument is given that by buying drugs you encourage exploitation, murder, destabilisation of entire countries – well, by using christianity, you’re giving money to, encouraging homophobia to continue by giving credence to a murderous religious cult. A cult that is responsible for starting homophobia in western culture and continues to be the fountainhead for homophobia.

    If a homophobe sees that some idiot gay is also following the same bizarre belief system it only encourages him/her to think that bizarre belief system is valid, that he must be right in his beliefs.

  • Tallskin

    @Dr. Dick – steve atlanta is correct. A problem has to be solved by changing the culture, not meekly accepting it as a given. Nothing in human culture is a given, most things are changeable.

  • Jorge

    It seems pretty obvious that one or two churches packed the meeting and are trying to create the impression of a huge parent revolt. You can see two black pastors speaking and the one girl who refers to a “lifestyle being put upon me” isn’t talking like a normal teenager, but is ticking off talking points from her Rev.

  • AugustLA

    @Jorge: Makes no difference to me. People who should know what it’s like to be segregated based on their histories past should not be advocating segregation for gay youth. The irony in this clip is just shocking!

  • Marlene

    The one thing that pisses me off more than anything else is when conservative black leaders think *they* have the patent on being victims of bigotry!!

    I’d love to ask these a this: “Excuse me, pastor, could you *please* tell me the difference between a ni**er and a fa**ot? What about a dyke and a k*ke? When was the last time you were told ‘We don’t hire (or rent or serve) your kind and had NO ability to sue for discrimination?” I could go on, but I hope you catch my drift.

    Another thing which pisses me off is the fact that these so-called “leaders” have forgotten the fact they have a GAY black man to thank for *everything* they have today! If it wasn’t for Bayard Rustin, who helped MLK organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1962 March on Washington, AND teach King the Gandhian philosophy of non-violent confrontation, you’d still have areas in the south enforcing Jim Crow!

  • Dr. Dick

    @SteveAtlanta: Ya know, I completely agree with you. I was really more directing that comment at people whose declamations of Black homophobia were turning into something uglier (though i won’t use the term rascist). I’m not making excuses for hatred, I’d just like indignant white gays to maybe not compare the 2 struggles so much. One can pretend not to be gay, nobody can hide bein black. But neither is a choice and neither is entitled to anymore rights than the other. plain and simple

  • Marlene

    @Dr. Dick: *Wrong*, darling! People *can* hide being black, and have been all during the Jim Crow era!

    I guess you’ve never heard of the word “passing”. It’s what black people did if they were lucky enough to have light skin and more European features. Some also were able to pass as Cuban, and with the Cold War raging, was not questioned.

    There are millions of LGBT folks who can pass as straight, Dick — it doesn’t mean they don’t *act* straight!

    There are thousands of women whom living in the US you may not think twice of in their relative beauty, but would be shocked if you knew they were born *male*!

    This “argument” you spew regarding race and sexual orientation is about as valid as claiming Pluto’s the closest object in the Solar System! Once again, assumed privilege rears it’s ugly head.

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