DeLeSalle student, during anti-gay school assembly, holds up sign: "I love my moms"
Archbishop John Nienstedt's representatives were received less than enthusiastically by DeLaSalle seniors.
In today's Strib, Jon Tevlin details a recent anti-gay marriage presentation made by representatives of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to DeLaSalle seniors.
While making the case that homosexuality is wrong, a priest and Catholic volunteer couple suggested that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are "less than" kids with two parents of the opposite sex. Presenters also compared homosexuality to beastiality, according to Tevlin.
Located in Minneapolis, DeLaSalle High School is "a Catholic High school in the Lasallian tradition." But if school officials thought DeLaSalle's Catholic identity would prevent students from responding indignantly to the presenters' comments, they had another thing coming.
Said DeLaSalle senior Matt Bliss: "When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset." One student held up a sign reading, "I love my moms."
"You could look around the room and feel the anger," Bliss said. "My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom."
After presenters made the homosexuality-beastiality comparison, a student interjected, "you didn't just compare people to animals, did you?" Another student said many of her fellow seniors recognized the political impetus behind the presentation, noting that younger students weren't required to attend the assembly because they won't be able to vote this fall.
Jim Benson, DeLaSalle vice principal, said "90 percent" of the presentation "was well received." But his observation is contradicted by the way the presentation concluded -- with the priest and school officials abruptly ending the assembly as tough questions from the students rained down.
Almost all the comments on Tevlin's column applaud the students for taking the Catholics to task. Here's a taste:
DeLaSalle seniors and Star Tribune commenters aside, polling indicates Minnesotans are split evenly on the marriage amendment. In late January, Public Policy Polling found that the amendment is "headed for a close vote," with 48 percent of voters in favor of banning same-sex marriage and 44 percent opposed.
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