Virginia legislators have proposed a new law that would bar access to public schools to groups focused on “supporting, assisting, or justifying any lifestyle involving sexual behavior.” Homosexual activists are attempting to kill the bill, fearing it would have a detrimental effect on so-called “gay-straight alliances” (a.k.a. GSA’s) currently meeting on school campuses throughout the Old Dominion.
One legislator targeted by homosexual activists is Delegate Bob McDonnell, Chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, which will hear the bill next. Beginning in mid-February, homosexuals in Virginia and elsewhere began uniformly emailing a lengthy letter (apparently written by a very creative homosexual activist) to Chairman McDonnell, brilliantly disguising school clubs that promote acceptance of homosexual behavior as counseling sessions for victims of intolerance.
The form letter to McDonnell went as far as saying to bar groups promoting sexual behavior from accessing Virginia’s schoolchildren would somehow cause some children to “face harassment and isolation.” (FPN NOTE: We’re not making this stuff up. Read the form letter for yourself – beneath the ACTION ITEM below!)
Although the Virginia Senate killed this legislation, concerned citizens should contact legislators to express their opinions about House Bill 2868, which would have barred clubs and/or distribution of literature focused on sexual behavior in Virginia’s public schools.
– Click here to find and email your legislators in Richmond:
– Read House Bill 2868 (See paragraph D) at this link:
WARNING: The form letter below was written by a homosexual activist in order to convince House Courts of Justice Committee Chairman Bob McDonnell that “Gay-Straight Alliance” clubs in public schools have nothing to do with promoting sexual activities. Homosexuals in Virginia and elsewhere are emailing this same letter to Delegate McDonnell in an orchestrated effort to keep Virginia schools’ doors open for homosexual activism:
Dear Chairman McDonnell,
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Recently, Delegate Glenn M. Weatherholtz introduced HB 2868. The bill would prohibit local school boards from granting any school groups or clubs “focused on supporting, assisting, or justifying any lifestyles involving sexual behavior” access to school facilities or means of distributing information. I urge you not to support this bill and to prevent it from leaving your committee for consideration on the House floor. I am deeply concerned that the intent of this legislation is to ban GSAs and to prevent new GSAs from forming. In the past, Del. Weatherholtz has clearly advocated against GSAs operating in his district and now appears to be sponsoring legislation designed to prevent GSAs from existing in school settings throughout the commonwealth. More significantly, I believe that the bill violates the federal Equal Access Act, which requires that school districts provide equal access and grant equal treatment to all student clubs regardless of their focus. It is likely that if this bill were adopted and signed into law its implementation would result in litigation that might take years to resolve and significant amounts of taxpayer dollars.
While I believe that the intent of the bill is to harm GSAs, the language of the bill completely misinterprets the meaning of GSAs. GSAs are not about “supporting, assisting, or justifying any lifestyle involving sexual behavior”. Rather, they are designed to promote safe schools, address issues of bullying and harassment, create safe environments in which all students, regardless of their race, sex, gender or orientation, are allowed to learn, and to build a community that is tolerant of all students.
Regardless of the scope and constitutionality of this bill, I am concerned that, if passed, it could result in a period of extensive litigation prior to the bill being declared in violation of Federal law. The effect on GSAs could be devastating as they might be required to suspend meeting while these issues are being litigated and the students involved could face harassment and isolation.
I hope that you understand the problems that many non-conforming students face in schools, in the workplace, and elsewhere. I am hope that you also understand how courageous these students are as they work for safe schools and safe education environments that are free from hate and bullying. Their work should be applauded and supported rather than diminished and degraded through legislation of this type.
Please support the important work of these students by stopping this legislation now, and by joining with GSA members in their fight to end bullying and harassment of all students.
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN):
Richmond Org. for Sexual Minority Youth: