Today’s lesson: Don’t reveal you want to get married to a man if you are a high-school boy who wants to win the Mr. Fullerton pageant at Fullerton Union High School in Orange County, California.
This week, an unnamed student in the competition was asked where he saw himself in ten years, and answered he wanted to be legally wed to the man of his dream—which opened the door for administrative censoring. According to the Orange County Register:
A student was removed by an administrator from the Mr. Fullerton competition Tuesday night after a pro-gay remark. The student said he hoped to find the love of his life, marry him and hoped gay marriage would be legal…
In a statement, Fullerton Joint Union High School District Superintendent George Giokaris said the student’s answer did not violate any school rules.
“The district has concluded that the matter was not handled appropriately by the assistant principal,” Giokaris said. “The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal.”
Giokaris said the administrator apologized privately to the student and publicly over the school’s public-address system Wednesday morning.
Bravo to this high-school senior, who was brave enough to admit he’s gay and furthermore unashamed to want to be in a loving, healthy relationship.
UPDATE: The student’s name is Kearian Giertz, and he spoke with NBS Local Los Angeles:
Bloody crazy people in schools. Why do they get to make the decision of what he can say?
let him back in the competition then if a public apology was issued
“…[S]hould have been handled privately…”?! What the hell does that mean? What is a school administrator required to “handle” about the fact that a student old enough to be signing up for ROTC says he wants to get married—as he could legally do in half a dozen states now?
Responses to the OC Register article allege that the justification for his removal from competition was that contestants weren’t supposed to say anything political. But wanting to get married is only political in this Orwellian world because those who want to “take America back” to something more like a theocracy have turned love and marriage into a political issue. There is no reason within the law that gays should not marry, except for laws passed within the last couple of decades for political electoral purposes by the party that has the greatest affinity for a fundamentalist theocracy.
I would like a straight person to answer me this: was it political when you first fell in love? Was it political when you fell in love with your spouse? And specifically, was it political when you got married? Is straight marriage political? Or is straight marriage personal, social, spiritual, religious? And to the degree to which it is religious, then isn’t it theocratic to maintain to people who do not share your religion that straight relationships can consummate in marriage but gay relationships cannot?
Of course straight marriage is both a legal construct and a religious construct, and always was. For thousands of years it was more about property and lineage and class structure and power arranged by local leaders or family elders than about two straight people falling in love or making their own choice. However, that was in the days when most governments were both somewhat tyrannical and rather theocratic; nations had official religions and took orders from religious leadership, most notably in the past 1500 years from the Vatican.
For the past 235 years or so, however, we have had a democratic republic where we are supposed to have freedom of religion, meaning that nobody is supposed to be required to live by a particular religion’s laws and that no religion is supposed to be able to impose their specific theological legalisms onto the state or any individual therein. The founding fathers conceived this nation under the principles that laws are supposed to be of, by, and for the people—hence the democracy part—and that the rights of the minority are supposed to be protected from the tyranny of the majority—hence the republic part. And the federal government was conceived precisely for just this sort of issue, where religious traditions and selfish majorities or those who can leverage them for power and profit are seeking to limit the liberties of reasonable and equal action by a minority. The people making this a political issue are those whose religious and social conservatism has driven them into political conservatism and social activism to foist their religious and social preferences on their fellow (gay) citizens, disenfranchising them. Without the political efforts by selfish homophobes, “gay marriage” wouldn’t be any more of a political issue than “straight marriage”, and in fact would just be termed “marriage”, in just the same way that we no longer see political reasons to specify that a marriage is interracial or between two different religions, as forbidden as those were not too long ago.
And that’s unreasonable and un-American, to turn something that is not a political issue for you into a political issue for me.
Schools are supposed to educate students to make the most of themselves, to be aware of and able to take advantage of the possibilities that life holds for them. Love and marriage is one of those possibilities. Imagine the situation turned around: a straight young adult, think a Miss America contestant, is asked the question, “where do you see yourself in 10 years,” and they answer “I’d like to find the love of my life and get married.” From a straight person that would be considered such a bland cop-out to the presumed intention of the question, which is to find some depth, some yearning for something beyond the ordinary, or at least “what kind of a career do you see yourself in, and how will you be giving back to the community”. It’s a travesty that what would be so inoffensive as to be bland from a straight person is shockingly political and obscene from a gay person.
Look at how the legal and educational system in this supposed equal representative democratic republic is failing gay youth, by making the simple joy of falling in love and getting married seem like an extraordinary dream, and then banishing them for that dream. This thing that would be considered shallow and trite for a straight person is too deep for a gay person to be allowed to wade into.
I was a teenage boy with the dream to fall in love and get married. My ex—a non-practicing Catholic—though he bought us matching Tiffany rings and vowed monogamy, and who was completely out for some time to his wonderfully accepting and very close family who embraced me wholeheartedly, refused the idea that he could ever get married. Because of the way he was raised, it was so deeply ingrained in him that this dream really was impossible, really was too political, really was not his place. It broke my heart. And it eroded our relationship to the breaking point. His upbringing, family, religion and government were not enough to make him straight, not for a minute. But they were enough to make him hopeless, for his whole life, and to in some measure diminish my own.
Perhaps he is happy in a new third-class relationship. I am unhappily unattached. Most people have only themselves to blame for the failures of their relationships. He and I were not perfect, but one thing is clear: our country is most to blame. My desire to get married was anything but political; but it was politics above all else which kept me from being so. Gay marriage is not political; straight-only marriage is.
I agree with the No.2 post by Tom-the school needs to allow the student back into the competition, now that the apology has beed publicly issued,
Fullerton is my hometown. That being said, with Fullerton being a self-proclaimed “education” community it has lots of issues with its education (look into the Giokaris scandal of the early 90s for some fun). This isn’t the first and this won’t be the last. The kid kicked some ass in his television interview, though. He should unequivocally be let back into the competition, regardless.
@Brand: Brilliantly stated! You should send a copy of that to the White House and Supreme Court. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
“The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal.””
And “Handled PRivately”? Does that just mean that the only thing that upset them was that this administrator publiclly showed their bigotry when it should have been hidden?
It’s like we live in the dark ages :/
They don’t want us to be in stable healthy relationships. They want to destroy us. If they keep breeding at the rate that they are, they will destroy us all.
It’s an interesting topic that needs more discussion. I’d like to hear the full story.
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