A Full Copy of April 7th Thursday Thoughts Can Be Found HERE
April 7, 2022
Sunday evening, over 150 people gathered on the front steps of our church for the Say Gay Rally. The rally was organized by our friends with the Frederick Center who mission is, “to support and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people and our families so we thrive, accepted and affirmed, in the broader Frederick community. The rally was planned in response to the law recently passed in Florida that bans public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity. The “Parental Rights in Education” bill, has been called by opponents the Don’t Say Gay law.
A large number of those gathered on the steps that evening were young people who see and hear what is happening to LGBTQIA youth and fear it could happen in our own community. Those young people clapped and cheered as speakers reminded them to look around and see all these people who cared about and for them. The speakers – clergy, elected officials, and a school principal – promised to stand with them and act on any attempts to silence them or any conversation about their families.
In his remarks on Sunday, Kris Fair, Executive Director of the Frederick Center encouraged and challenged those gathered to look at who was running for elected office in Frederick and beyond as well as the school board. That was Sunday. Tuesday evening as board and community members gathered to share potential updates to Frederick County Public Schools’ health curriculum, a crowd of parents and community members shouted and yelled at board members and community members serving on the Family Life Advisory Committee. The Maryland State Board of Education issued new guidelines for elementary and secondary health education in 2019, writing into law that “Maryland family life and human sexuality instruction shall represent all students regardless of ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Then, a group of experts from across the state wrote a new health education “framework” — a 51-page document that lays out the broad concepts students should address at each grade level. It says students need to learn about different types of families, including those with same-gender parents.” (Frederick News Post, Wednesday, April 6, page A1)
The shouting and vitriol were so great, that Kris Fair was unable to speak, and the meeting was adjourned.
As I read the account in the Frederick News Post, I thought of those young people who gathered on our steps Sunday evening and their fear that the variety of ways people identify and express their gender would be not only silenced but erased.
I encourage all of us to write to the FCPS School Board and express, that as people of faith, we believe that all people of all gender identities must be treated with dignity and respect. That we, as people of faith, do not share the opinion that a loving family is to be kept a secret. Our community needs to know that there are other voices and other faith traditions that embrace all people as beloved children of God.
For the sake of those young people who sat on our steps Sunday night and for the sake of all our children and their families, stand up and speak up for inclusion.
Statement by the FCPS Board of Education: https://www.fcps.org/about/news/1737557/statement-by-the-frederick-county-board-of-education The Board of Education receives email through Board@fcps.org.