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Education

These religious homophobes think schools teach kids to be gay. So a school chief clapped back in the most iconic of ways

Josh Milton March 3, 2020
School chiefs claps back at homophobic religious groups in an iconic way

Gerald Lyons, a Jersey City Board of Education, winnowed anti-LGBT hecklers by draping himself in a Pride flag. (Facebook)

Roiled by rowdy religious leaders questioning why LGBT+ lives and histories should be taught in classrooms, a gay school board member in New Jersey, US, fought back in a rather iconic way.

Tension over an ongoing debate over state-mandated LGBT-inclusive curriculum was ratcheted up last Thursday during a Jersey City Board of Education meeting when religious hecklers jeered board members.

This animosity prompted trustee Gerald Lyons to drape an LGBT+ Pride flag over his shoulders and returned to the panel with, well, pride, according to Jersey Journal.

What happened?

New Jersey is the second US state to require an LGBT-inclusive curriculum be rolled out in schools, which has tested school districts as anti-LGBT groups attempt to tamper the law signed by governor Phil Murphy into law in 2019 but only implemented earlier this year.

Members of local Coptic Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox Jewish communities showed up to testify against the legislation; one pelted with opposition from spiritual leaders and parents, but one education bodies refuse to budge on.

During the meeting, Lyons wrote in a Facebook post, the meeting attendees taunted school district staff who are bound by state law to provide inclusive education. Oh, the horror.

Yet, the bloc of religious hecklers seemed unaware of this and launched into a caustic attack against the LGBT+ community. One grossly alleged that pioneering gay activist Harvey Milk as a “paedophile”.

“Basically, they are glorying him and creating an icon out of him and to be completely honest is that really who we want our kids to look up to?” they said.

Another said, “Martin Luther King is turning over in his grave that people think this is what he meant he said equality,” before claiming that schools are teaching pupils to be gay.

After all, it’s a fact that children who go through the straight education system are all straight. Yes.

‘The fight isn’t over,’ argues defiant school board member.  

As the backlash bubbled, Lyons said he went aside and “borrowed this American rainbow flag to wear until closed session in support:.

He added: “I really wish people would stop using God’s name to sow hate.

“The flag goes well with my patriotic Elks tie.

“The fight isn’t over.”

When one jeerer spotted Lyons wrapped in the flag, they stared him down, provoking Lyons.

“Do you have an issue? Do you want to sit back down?” Lyons said.

“Did I sit while you were talking spewing your hatred? I did.”

Lyons previously sparred with religious leaders during a school board meeting in July, 2019, after a resident questioned why the district was celebrating Pride, Hudson County View reported.

More: Education, Gerald Lyons, Harvey Milk, Homophobia, homophobia in religion, Martin Luther King, New Jersey

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