Education Hub




Catholic High School Stands Behind Openly Gay Coach

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As we have reported many times before, Catholic schools do not have a good track record with gay teachers. As such, one would be forgiven for thinking that a story about a gay coach for a Catholic school, in South Dakota no less, would be one that ended in tragedy. Unbelievably, this is not the case; quite the opposite in fact.

Last week the volleyball and baseball coach for St. Mary High School, a Catholic school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Nate Alfson came out in an email to Outsports. Said Alfson of his follow-up meeting with the school:

The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!

It's almost as if Alfson's orientation has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to be a leader, teacher, and role model. Congratulations to St. Mary for acknowledging and supporting Alfson's worth as a teacher and a person rather than dragging everyone down with archaic dogma, and here's hoping that more Catholic schools will follow their lead.

Check out a KSFY report on the original story HERE.


Delaware School Board Cancels Summer Reading List Rather Than Include LGBT Novel

The Miseducation of Cameron Post coverThe Miseducation of Cameron Post is a coming-of-age novel about a young lesbian  sent to live with her conservative aunt after her parents die in a car crash. She is subsequently sent to a "de-gaying" camp where she develops a relationship with another girl who becomes her best friend.

The Cape Henlopen School Board in Delaware removed the book from its summer reading list after complaints from parents, allegedly about profanity within the book, but the book's author emily m. danforth (who spells her name in lowercase) and others believe it was due to the subject matter of homosexuality.

When danforth and an AfterEllen campaign protested the school board's decision - a decision they reached by violating their own rules and deciding without proper investigation - the school board took the logical and completely not-crazy next step by canceling the reading list program altogether.

danforth responded with an open letter to the school board, stating in part:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was included on a librarian-developed list that was part of a summer reading program for incoming freshman. You took the drastic action of removing the book from that list, thereby eliminating it as one of the books students participating in that program might choose to complete their assignment. Yes, my book is (apparently) still available in the school library--which is wonderful--but it is no longer a part of this important summer reading program because of a direct action taken by this school board. Period. That's the very definition of censorship, Mr. Brittingham. But surely you know this. (It does seem that this board rather likes to hide behind its rhetoric.)

The book, as she mentions above, is still available in the school libraries.

[via New Civil Rights Movement]


Anti-Gay Christian Radio Host John Balyo Admits To Second Child Rape: VIDEO

John baylo

Cornerstone University radio host John Balyo, who was arrested in June in connection with the rape of an 11-year-old boy, confessed late last month to the rape of a second boy.

Detroit Free Press reports:

“Balyo and Ronald Lee Moser paid the boy for his involvement in the April 19th assault. His hands and feet were handcuffed and he was tied to the bed, according to courtroom statements today. While bound, Balyo took nine photos of the boy, first in his underwear and then naked. The boy's family wept in the back of the sixth floor courtroom as details of the assault were told to Magistrate Ellen Carmody during today's plea hearing.”

Baylo’s courtroom confession reads in part:

“I did take images of a child and they were sexually explicit involving bondage and nudity. I performed sex acts as described. I knew it was wrong.''

Cornerstone University, a "Christ-centered" college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, requires students to sign a "lifestyle pledge" prohibiting "every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating."

Concerns have been raised that Balyo may have had many more victims.

Balyo faces life in prison on the first case and up to 50 years for the second.

Watch a Wood TV 8 report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Christian Radio Host John Balyo Admits To Second Child Rape: VIDEO" »


Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO

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On Wednesday we reported the decision by the City of Salem, Massachusetts, to kill a contract with anti-gay Gordon College.

Under the contract, the college operated the city’s Old Town Hall.  College president Michael Lindsay was one of more than 140 signees of a letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions from a pending executive order which aims to prevent work discrimination by federally funded organizations. Letter by Kimberly Driscoll

Speaking to The Christian Post, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said that Gordon College's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior," "is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year.”

Driscoll has since published an awesome letter defending Salem’s inclusive policies and calling out attacks made by right wing blogs and websites.  Specifically citing wingnut Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Driscoll writes that “this has resulted in a number of phones calls being place to my office from people outside of Massachusetts who have expressed some patently offensive views regarding LGBT individuals.”

In response to the barrage of phone calls, Driscoll goes on to say “we are keeping a tally of these phone calls and for each one we receive I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth], in support of your good work to create, sustain, and advocate for the policies and services that support youth here on the North Shore.”

Driscoll also asks that individuals make contributions to nAGLy as a response to “the persistence of those who would deny LGBT citizens their equal rights.” 

Watch a video introducing nAGLY, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO" »


Transgender Students Face Discrimination By Religious Colleges

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A July 14th Inside Higher Ed article highlights two cases of discrimination against transgender students that are representative of the broader ability of institutions to ignore federal laws that interfere with their faith.

The article comes following last month’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, which upheld the right of some businesses owned by religious individuals not to finance contraception coverage for employees; and a letter by more than 140 religious organizations and individuals petitioning for an exemption from President Barack Obama’s pending executive order which aims to protect LGBT federal employees.

The article discusses in detail an exemption granted to George Fox University, Oregon, that allows it to discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students; and The California Baptist University case in which a scholarship student was expelled by the university on the basis of “fraud” after she appeared on a reality television program to discuss her transgender identity.

The article goes on to consider the case of Gordon College in Massachusetts. College president Michael Lindsay signed the letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions. Citing Gordon’s anti-gay policies, the City of Salem, Massachusetts, has since killed a contract under which Gordon has operated the city's Old Town Hall. Additionally, the college’s accreditor is now reviewing whether Gordon’s policies violate NEASC’s anti-bias rules.


Oklahoma Lesbian Student Expelled For Marrying Her Girlfriend

Minard

Southwestern Christian University student Christian Minard has been expelled from the Oklahoma college for marrying her girlfriend, reports Religion News Service.

The university is affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, which has consistently opposed homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

ASouthwestern christian university oklahomas part of her admission requirements, 22-year-old Minard, who is one semester from completing her sports management degree, signed a lifestyle covenant that prohibits “homosexual behavior,” harassment, sexual misconduct, pornography, alcohol, tobacco and other “sins.”

Minard and Kadyn Parks were married on March 17. On July 9, a letter from the university’s vice president Brad Davis, arrived at Minard’s parents’ home, telling her she was being expelled.

The letter read in part:

“I was informed that you recently married someone of the same sex and saw a few pictures from Facebook. Of course, this is opposing to our view as an International Pentecostal Holiness denominational university as well as the Lifestyle Covenant that all students must agree and sign.”

Speaking to The Washington Post, Minard said “other students violate parts of the covenant all the time, but they don’t get expelled.”

Although university provost Connie Sjoberg declined to comment, she cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which prohibits colleges from disclosing information about students, even to parents.

(image facebook)


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