LETTER: Orientation policy good

SD51 sexual orientation policy a good initiative for the district


Re: SD51 considers sexual orientation policy (Jan. 4 issue of The Gazette)

We applaud trustee Vicki Gee and others for initiating an SD51 sexual orientation policy and commend The Gazette for the supportive editorial.

Of those who’ve witnessed the suffering a child from a sexual minority can appreciate how long overdue this is.

It’s only a century or two since most people realized that human rights should not depend on skin colour.

For most of history, half the human race was “chattel” (property) rather than a person – Canadian women only began to get to vote in 1918.

With decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada in 1969, people’s understanding has progressed and life for those with a minority sexual identity has improved.

But there’s still a long way to go. For one thing, it is an identity, not a ”preference” (letter to Gazette, Nov. 30/11), nor an “ambiguity” (article in Jan. 4 issue).

Some in the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) minorities may have issues and questions about their sexuality (as do those in the sexual majority) but their sexual identity turns out to be about as ambiguous as yours or mine, who are quite sure we’re heterosexuals.

LGBT: Lesbians are women who are attracted to and can function only with other women.

Gays are men who are attracted to and can function only with other men.

Bisexuals are those who are attracted to and can function with both sexes.

Transgender/Transsexual refers to those with the biology of one sex and the psychology of another.

These, very generally, are the four main sexual minorities and, even in a small town like ours, most of us have known people in all four.

Gee’s estimate of one per cent is low by any factual standard we’re aware of but even if it’s accurate, can we allow a dozen or so children in our schools to live in fear and emotional agony? (Not to mention families, or minority adults who are still suffering).

This discussion should continue – getting to a higher level of understanding, compassion and justice will make all our lives happier.

Jim and Lillian Popoff,

Grand Forks

Grand Forks Gazette