Thanks to Josh Israel for the following, excellent report from last night’s Fairfax County Public School Board meeting.
While there were likely 100+ opponents of LGBT equality at last night’s Fairfax County School Board meeting, led by Andrea Lafferty of the SPLC-designated hate group the Traditional Values Coalition and far-right former Fairfax School Board Member Mychele Brickner (R), wearing “Respect Parental Choice” stickers, this meeting was significantly calmer than the one a couple of weeks ago. Many of the opponents seemed confused about the fact that, under the proposed curriculum changes, parents will still be able to opt-out their kids from the portions of Family Life Education and that the topics being moved from the Family Life Education curriculum to the health curriculum are topics unrelated to sexual orientation and gender identity.
There were about 25 of us supporters of equality there to show our support and Robert Rigby Jr., Alexandra Dixon, Metro DC PFLAG dad Phil Hicks, and (via video) a current out FCPS high school student each gave eloquently and heartfelt testimony about why this curriculum is a matter of life and death for LGBT and questioning kids.
Most of the speeches given during the “Citizen Participation” section by those on the other side were over the top and representing the most extreme arguments possible. Several outright rejected idea that homosexuality is normal, claimed that God created only two genders (not four!), claimed to rely on medical science to say that there is no such thing as being transgender. One woman explained that people think they are transgender either because they a chemical imbalance in the womb (like, she suggested, Bruce Jenner), or because their parents treat them as if they wish for a child of the opposite gender. The most comical moment was when a speaker suggested that homosexuality is a new concept from the past 15 years and should be rejected, because it was never considered by Aristotle. Given what we know about Athenian-era Greece, several of us cracked up at that.
Because the board was not voting on these policies — that will happen in a month — and because the audience was smaller, there were no angry outbursts from audience members this time. Still, it is absolutely vital that everyone who believes that our teenagers need to learn that being LGBT or questioning is normal and okay needs to contact the school board between now and June 25th and, if possible, to be there on June 25 to make sure these hate groups don’t get a “heckler’s veto.”