Mountain View Voice

News - February 15, 2013

Students' same-sex mock wedding raises hackles

by Nick Veronin

The "Sex and Relationships" special feature was not the only thing parents at Monday's Mountain View-Los Altos board meeting were upset about. A few parents expressed concerns over an event scheduled to be held on Valentine's Day at the Mountain View High School.

The Queer-Straight Alliance, an MVHS club, announced plans to hold a "Mock Wedding" on Feb. 14 out on the school's quad.

A description of the event in the high school's daily bulletin reads: "Got that special someone on your mind? Think love is love, regardless of gender? Then come out to Queer-Straight Alliance's Mock Wedding on Valentine's Day next Thursday to tie the knot with whomever you choose! Have your marriage officiated by the queer, get a wedding certificate and rings, and then celebrate with sparkling apple cider! Costumes and a photographer will be provided."

Three parents took issue with the event at the Feb. 11 board meeting.

Jody Hulse, the mother of an Mountain View high student, said she was concerned with the — primarily because of the event's planned location. While saying that she believes the Queer-Straight alliance, as a club, has the right to hold such an event, she said it was "upsetting" to learn that the event would be held in the quad during the school day. "(My son) belongs in different groups, different clubs.They don't bring it out for everybody — they don't rub it in everybody's faces," Hulse said. "That's fine if they want to have a club, they're allowed, but I also feel that they need to keep it in their group."

Hulse argued that it is her right as a parent "to instill my values in my child."

Dan Racine, the father of an MVHS student, seconded the comment, noting that it he believes the clubs his son belongs to aren't allowed to go out into the campus and hand out fliers.

Melanee Nelson read from an email she sent to MVHS Principal Keith Moody — an email she said was never responded to.

"I feel that this event, and the way that it is being promoted, goes against the structure through which high school students should have their opinions heard on issues concerning themselves and their peers."

She said the club was intended to create an "inclusive environment for students to support each other, to educate and raise public awareness about diverse issues, fight discrimination and harassment, and promote equity and unity." She read the definition of the word "mock" — "to treat with contempt and ridicule."

"To me it's pretty clear that (those two definitions) are in direct conflict with each other," Nelson said, continuing by asking whether an invitation was extended to clubs with members who hold divergent views. "What about equal time?" Nelson asked. "Was an invitation extended to any student group or organization that believes and supports that marriage should be between a man and a woman?"

Comments

Posted by MV_Community, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Melanee Nelson, I'm afraid, needs a refresher in how to use the dictionary. Indeed, the word "mock" does mean to ridicule - but only when used as a verb. In the phrase "mock weddings", the word "mock" serves as an adjective. Therefore, it means "not authentic or real.." or "of, relating to, or having the character of an imitation ". A "mock wedding" does not ridicule marriage just as the "mock trial team" does not ridicule the judicial system.

Improper use of the dictionary aside, Ms. Nelson and her bigoted ilk will not prevail in the end. They cannot overcome the fact that the youth today, including, I suspect, their own children, are more tolerant than they are, especially when it comes to marriage equality. I suspect that one day we will look back on this bigotry the same way we look back on the opposition to inter-racial marriage in this country. We will wonder how anyone tolerated it.



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