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The Morality War

News and information for Oklahoma City's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons!

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1998-2009

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here is Joe Quigley's statement on the School Board vote. (After teaching at Northwest Classen High School for many years, Joe was fired earlier this year. A judge reinstated Joe - agreeing that his firing was due at least in part to his advocacy on behalf of GLBT students. Unfortunately, the OKC School Board refused to allow Joe to return to NW Classen, so he is no longer able to monitor the situation regarding possible anti-GLBT repression there. Joe is currently teaching at US Grant High School.)

“Horning said the rules were waived because it was a sensitive issue with ‘nothing to profit us by extending the debate on the policy beyond tonight.’” (The Oklahoman 12/15/09)

Although it took 12 years, at least half a dozen superintendents, changes in School Board members, a bevy of reprimands, a court case prompted by actions that resulted from some opposition, multiple appearances before the Board by many people, at least one connected death, possibly two, some rather strange behavior on the part of administrators, including “Family” members, and some of the most far-fetched arguments in opposition, finally what the Board has been told has sunk in. Even though they now see they are ahead of the curve, it is a position the OKCPS District could have been in for many years now. But it has happened.

Sitting in the auditorium during the meeting and the discussion it was an odd experience listening as the district’s in-house legal counsel answered questions by repeating much of what was said over the years as if it were newly discovered, and to hear Mr. Horning reading from the GLSEN reports that had been ignored by the Board throughout the years. There were times I could remember who had made the original statements and when.

Looking forward, GLBT students no longer have to be victims with no recourse. They can now report harassment and bullying, and district personnel have to respond properly. Personal prejudices are finally to be left at the school house door. Looking back, there are some students whose lives would have been better and their school experience more welcoming if the Board had seen the importance of being ahead of the curve years ago.

There were two letters from a superintendent in 2003 and 2004 stating clearly that these students were covered by these policies; the words “sexual orientation” appeared on the Board web site in 2006, only to be removed within hours; and, there were many unanswered question over the last three years as to who directed that action and how legal was it.

Sadly, the board continually bent to “local norms” and threw these students to the wolves for political reasons and personal considerations forgetting their commitment is to all students, even ones they do not like.

But now the protections are there along with the process to address infractions. The GLBT students have received long overdue protection. Their school experiences have a better chance now to be positive.

And as Ms Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing”.

VICTORY!

FINALLY, after a twelve-year effort on the part of Oklahoma City's GLBT Community - an effort spearheaded by Joe Quigley - the OKC School Board voted 6-2 at tonight's - December 14th - public Board meeting to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the OKCPS district anti-bullying policy.

CONGRATULATIONS TO JOE AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS EFFORT!

UPDATE: and THANK YOU to school board member Phil Horning for saying "I'll die before I vote no" as quoted on NewsOK.com!

Joe Quigley has promised a statement which I hope to be able to post later today!


OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM

The Oklahoma Republican Party held its state convention on April 18th. At that time it adopted the platform recommended by the platform committee, with a few additions.

The final platform, as adopted, may be viewed on the website of the Central Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats:

Since then, I have heard a report that, before the vote, a proposal was made to adopt an alternative platform which condensed the Party positions to a brief single-page statement of around 10 sentences. This proposal was reportedly rejected because the word "God" was not present in any of the sentences.

Before the convention, I gained access to the platform committee's report and posted an entry about it on my blog, The Morality War. Here is that entry:

OK GOP platform

The Oklahoma Republican Party holds its state convention this weekend - one of the events that is scheduled to take place is a vote on the state party's platform.

I have seen an advance copy of a draft of the proposed platform - officially the "Report of the Oklahoma Republican Party Platform Committee 2009" - for the party that is supposed to stand for smaller government: it is 29 pages long! I suppose that should be considered an improvement over the inches-thick monstrosity the party adopted several years ago.

If anyone is laboring under the illusion that the OK GOP does not want to micro-manage the lives of individual Oklahomans every bit as much as - if not more than - the Democrats - this document goes a long way toward smashing that idea.

The document also makes it very clear what the motivation for that micro-management is: Religion. It should come as no surprise that the chairs of the platform committee are well-known theocrats: Randy Brogdon and Kevin Calvey.

Here are some highlights:

As Republicans we believe:
1. Our rights of life, liberty, and property are natural rights granted to us by God and protected by the Constitution.
4. God is the Author and Creator of life and that all human life, both born and unborn, should be protected.
5. In traditional marriage consisting of one man and one woman.

 

I. FAMILY
Preamble:
Traditional marriage, consisting of one man and one woman, is designed to provide for each family member’s physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and social well-being. Both parents are needed to support and encourage happiness, health, and a good education for their children, creating the next generation of citizens who are constructive members of society. Multi-generational families foster mutual respect and cooperation while providing support for extended family members and forming enduring relationships. We believe God is the Author and Creator of human life and that each individual should be treated with dignity and compassion. We insist that any candidate receiving money and/or support from the Republican Party shall affirm and promote the Pro-Life concept.

" . . . each individual should be treated with dignity and compassion." Does that include Gays and Lesbians?

2. We believe in the sanctity and value of human life from conception through natural death. We oppose abortion (including the use of RU-486 or other abortion-inducing drugs), partial-birth abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, mercy killings, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning, distribution of cloned parts, and the funding of such by the government. We believe that human embryos created by Invitro-Fertilization (IVF) are fully human and if not wanted by the genetic parents, should be preserved until adoption. We support a Constitutional Amendment protecting innocent human life.

D. Elderly and Vulnerable
1. We support the origin and sanctity of life as an inalienable right from God alone, and as being defined in the Constitution of the United States. This definition of life begins with conception and ends at natural death due to the failure of the body to survive it’s environment. We support the protection of those who cannot defend themselves including the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.

E. Religious Freedom
1. Our Founding Fathers based our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and early laws on the Bible and on traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and values. We believe these documents are the basis for law, order, and behavior, allowing individuals, including government workers and officials, the freedom to involve God in all activities according to their conscience.

Please explain to me how individualism, Capitalism and the right to pursue happiness have anything to do with "traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and values". To assert that they do is an out-and-out lie.

F. General
1. We oppose the promotion of homosexuality, the elimination of laws against sodomy, and the granting of minority protection or special status to any person based upon sexual preference or lifestyle choices.
2. We believe that homosexuality is not a genetic trait but a chosen lifestyle.

Anyone who opposes the elimination of sodomy laws cannot claim to support the principle of individual rights.

We call for individuals, families, churches, and private organizations to take responsibility in meeting the needs of the citizens of the community.

Oh my, this does sound suspiciously like Obama's "community organizing" idea. In other words, you want everyone to meddle in everyone else's lives - that is, to be their brother's keeper (now there's a traditional Judeo-Christian value).

We encourage rigorous enforcement of all anti-pornography laws.

So much for freedom of speech and press.

II. EDUCATION
Preamble:
We acknowledge our dependence upon Almighty God and ask His blessings upon our students and their parents, teachers and nation. It is the right and responsibility of parents to direct their children’s upbringing and education whether public, private, charter, or home school, without interference, regulation, or penalty from the government.

The primary goal of public schools should be to teach proficiency in the basic subjects of phonicsbased reading, written and oral communication, mathematics, sciences, traditional history, including our founding documents, the Godly heritage of our nation, and critical thinking skills.

I'd watch out for those "critical thinking skills" if I were you. They can turn around and bite you.

The traditional family unit, consisting of a (husband) man, (wife) woman and child(ren), is the foundation of our social structure. The Oklahoma Department of Education and various Boards of Regents should uphold and teach this definition of traditional family at all levels of public school and higher education.

The Ten Commandments should be posted in all public schools as a means of moral guidance along with our national motto “In God We Trust” and the Bill of Rights.

How is this going to do anything but confuse those who are developing their "critical thinking skills" when they see how much the Bill of Rights clashes with the Ten Commandments? Hmm?

Public schools shall not prohibit the Judeo-Christian worldview upon which our country was founded. Public schools shall be prohibited from promoting other worldviews such as, but not limited to, secular Humanism, New Age philosophy, deep ecology, reincarnation,psychotherapy, channeling, transcendental meditation, altered states of consciousness or any occult practice.

Oh really? I suppose that includes Objectivism and the works of Ayn Rand?

We believe that the scientific evidence supporting Intelligent Design and biblical creation should be included in the Oklahoma public school curricula, and where any evolution theory is taught, that both should receive equal funding, class time, and material. Teachers should have the freedom to cover creation science without fear of intimidation or reprimand.

Why does this not surprise me?

Any mandated sex education shall hold to the following guidelines:
a. Neither homosexual nor extramarital sexual activity shall be presented as safe, nor shall they be presented as morally or socially acceptable behaviors.
b. HIV shall be presented as incurable and fatal.
c. Abstinence or lifetime fidelity shall be presented as the only safe sexual practice.
9. We oppose the portrayal of homosexual or promiscuous behavior in a positive light in public schools.

A. Crime and Punishment
1. We believe that the final solution to all crime is a change of heart and support the utilization of Christian faith-based and privately-financed programs to reduce recidivism and for the treatment of drug offenders as an alternative to prison.

I guess prisoners don't deserve any religious freedom.

IV. FEDERAL
Preamble:
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and should be interpreted according to the original intent of the founding fathers. We call for reaffirmation of our God-given rights enumerated in the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers based the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and early laws on traditional Judeo-Christian Bible, ethics and values. We believe that these documents are the basis for law, order, and
behavior, allowing individuals, including government officials, the freedom to involve God in all activities according to their consciences.

D. Constitutional Issues
1. We affirm our right under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to exercise our freedom of speech including religious speech. We believe the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause was intended to prevent a state-sponsored or preferred religion, not to separate God from our government or to remove religion from public life.

Hmmm . . . they don't want "state-sponsored or preferred religion". But how do they feel about laws that promote the views of a specific religion?

The whole document begins with this statement:

"We believe in limited government, individual liberty, and personal moral responsibility."

This is pure hypocrisy: anyone who genuinely believed that individuals were responsible for their own moral judgement would not do everything they could to prevent individuals from exercising their own moral judgement. Yet this proposed platform does just exactly that.

And I damn them for it.

I have just one thing to say to the Republicans of Oklahoma: Marilyn Musgrave. Don't think it can't happen here.

 


My new website

www.RobAbiera.com


Celebrating GayOKC.com's 10th Anniversary!
10 years of
History

In October 1998, Matthew Shepard was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming.

In October 2008, 3 openly-Gay candidates have been elected to public office in Oklahoma.
One of those candidates, Jim Roth, was re-elected to the same office, and was then appointed by the governor to a statewide office.
AND the Democratic candidate for Vice-President, Joe Biden, addressed the annual dinner of the major national GLBT Rights group, the Human Rights Campaign.
AND President Bush visited Oklahoma City and attended a fundraiser held at the home of a Gay Republican.

The GayOKC.com
Page One Archive

pageone.gayokc.com

10 years of Oklahoma City's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered History as it was originally reported right here on the front page of GayOKC.com!

What made the headlines on the front page over the years? Want to see what GayOKC.com has looked like over the years? Now you can!

The Joe Quigley Archive

quigley.gayokc.com

Though there have been some who have thought of GayOKC.com as being NW Classen High School teacher Joe Quigley's personal website at times, that, of course, has never been true. It is true that GayOKC.com did provide Mr. Quigley with a sorely needed outlet for crucial information about Oklahoma City's GLBT students. Joe's relationship with GayOKC.com began with a 50 page manuscript about conditions in the Oklahoma City school system, which was serialized in five installments over five consecutive days in December, 2000, under the title, "Joe Quigley, teacher." I consider the posting of that series one of GayOKC.com's finest hours.

The State of Our Community

GayOKC.com's groundbreaking town hall event!

Click here to Search GayOKC.com

Virtually every page created for this site in the 10 years since its inception remains online and has been indexed for searching. And with the addition of the new Page One Archive, that means over 2000 pages of Oklahoma City's GLBT history now online and at your convenience!

THANK YOU!

To everybody who has supported GayOKC.com over the past 10 years!

Thank you to Carolyn Smith, Joe Quigley, James Nimmo, Sean Winders, the Oklahoma Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, and everyone else who provided news and information, bought advertising, helped spread the word about GayOKC.com or provided any kind of support in any way - including moral support!

Speaking of which, THANK YOU especially to all the users who visited GayOKC.com over the years looking for news, information, and the occasional conversation! You were the ones who proved to me that it could work and was worth doing! I only wish I'd had the resources to make GayOKC.com the website it really could have been.

Support GayOKC.com

If you would like to show your support for GayOKC.com, I would like to talk to you about a sponsorship. If you think that what GayOKC.com has done for our community these past 10 years is of real value, and you think that keeping these pages online as a historical document is a value to you as well as to our community, I invite you to consider a sponsorship as an expression of that value. Your investment in GayOKC.com is also an investment in our community.

Please email me - Rob Abiera, editor and publisher of GayOKC.com - at rabiera@gayokc.com.

You can also make a donation through PayPal!


 

"Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequences of freedom, justice, progress and man's happiness on earth--or the primordial morality of altruism, with its consequences of slavery, brute force, stagnant terror and sacrificial furnaces." - Ayn Rand, For The New Intellectual

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ACLU
LGBT Project

August 27, 2003
Dear Mr. Quigley,
Please know that this district does not discriminate against any student. That includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students.
Sincerely,
Bob Moore, Superintendent,
Oklahoma City
Public Schools

Click here for full text

Lawrence v Texas
text of the ruling

Oklahoma Republican Party
2007 Platform
Theocracy and homophobia
on the march!

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