LGBT ‘That’s so gay’ prompts a lawsuit

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by NOVAJock, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    ‘That’s so gay’ prompts a lawsuit

    Student sent to principal’s office insists it was not a homophobic putdown

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    Updated: 9:41 p.m. ET Feb 28, 2007

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. - When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay."

    Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?

    After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued, claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo High violated their daughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering a phrase "which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," according to court documents.

    Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: "That's so stupid, that's so silly, that's so dumb."

    But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.


    "The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment," the district's lawyers argued in a legal brief. "In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase 'That's so gay' ... was a reasonable regulation."

    Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing plans to issue a ruling in the non-jury trial after final written arguments are submitted in April. Her gag order prevents the two sides from discussing the case.

    A confusing set of terms
    Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like "queer," "ghetto" and the n-word.

    In recent years, gay rights advocates and educators have tried teaching students that it is hurtful to use the word "gay" as an all-purpose term for something disagreeable. At Berkeley High School, a gay student club passed out buttons with the words "That's so gay" crossed out to get their classmates to stop using them.

    Rick Ayers, a retired teacher who helped compile and publish the "Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary," a compendium of trendy teen talk circa 2001, said educating students about offensive language is preferable to policing their speech.
     
  2. _Trev_

    _Trev_ Ya gotta pay the troll toll... OT Supporter

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    I'm not sure how I feel about stories like this. I mean, I am guilty of using "gay" to describe things in a negative connotation, and I am not insulted when someone calls something "gay". Only if it is used in a hateful way do I see it as offensive. I think the school may have overreacted on this :dunno:
     
  3. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    that lawsuit is soooooo gay. i have no problem with people saying "thats gay" used in that type of context. get the sand out of your fagina if you start to cry over a statement like that
     
  4. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    I used to be the same - but since I came out - I have completely eliminated it from my vocabulary without even knowing it. I also cringe when ppl use it and try to correct ppl when they do. Even though people usually dont mean it as a comment on sexual orientation - guess what - it is. By using gay to mean terms like, "stupid" and "dumb" you are equating gay with dumb and stupid and I do have a problem with that.

    Although - it really depends on who is saying it, and when, and in what context for sure. If a friend says it once or so its okay. I know people who seriously use the word "gay" to mean stupid in every sentence they utter, all day long. it is not okay.

    although - on this topic - the school should have educated and not prosecuted - and the parents are just ridiculous suing over it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  5. UpPy

    UpPy Guest

    Yikes.....I always thought "That's so Gay" was the ultimate complement...I mean...we have higher IQ's...Higher Incomes..Better taste in Clothes & Fashion...Drive highend Cars...& we don't pollute the Earth with rug-rats.
    How is it derogative?

    :x:
     
  6. ExDelayed

    ExDelayed New Member

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  7. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    I really wish gay people had higher standards for themselves. It would make those of us gay people with standards seem less arrogant.
     
  8. UpPy

    UpPy Guest

    Arrogance isn't a Gay trait....I believe that lives in the realm of the straight life.
    Your confusing Arrogance with being PROUD & LOUD....not the same.

    :x:
     
  9. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    No. It's definitely not a gay trait. Being insecure is a gay trait.
     
  10. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    and smoking

    well.. just more prevalent :(
     
  11. UpPy

    UpPy Guest

    You've obviously met the wrong Gays...Are you refering to Closeted Gays?

    To be honest...I've never met or even heard of an openly Gay "INSECURE" Gayboy...NEVER.


    :wavey:
     
  12. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    you haven't looked deep enough then.

    almost all of the current "pop gay culture" is built off of insecurities :hs:
     
  13. UpPy

    UpPy Guest

    Explain please...
     
  14. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    that's so gay
     
  15. Casey_the_geek

    Casey_the_geek New Member

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    But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

    VERY interesting...
     
  16. WyldKat

    WyldKat Come with me if you want to live.

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    If she wanted to insult the girl, she could have just called her Mormon. :mamoru:
     
  17. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    i have mixed emotions
    gay = stupid, or dumb or anything negative does bother me
    but on the other hand, i dont think the person using the term is putting the two together
    so really my mixed emotions force me to have no opinion :)
    i am glad that schools are stepping up to defend gay students tho
     
  18. ledzep73

    ledzep73 New Member

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    I got in trouble when I was in highschool for getting pissed and calling some black kids a bunch of fucking worthless niggers after they had been calling me my friends faggots the whole damn day. I was suspended, they never left class.
     
  19. ManyHamsters

    ManyHamsters There are necessary pursuits... but poetry, beauty

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    ok i'm more than a little biased here being:

    a. a homosexual myself
    b. a youth counsellor


    but shit like this is what made me want to /wrists in high school

    i know most of you are all grown up and secure enough to take it now, but think of the people who it affects most, the up and coming gay kids

    homophobia is systemic, we have to stop it at the root, and since we can't legally force religion to change its stance on the issue, we have to begin weeding it out at the next developmental level: public schooling
     
  20. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Well you're from San Fancisco so maybe this isn't completely obvious.

    Gay people are portrayed as stupid in movies. Stupid and fashionable, but still stupid. And what about those horribly tacky drag nights at even more tacky gay dance clubs? What's the deal with those?

    Gay people sacrifice their potential for acceptance. They fabricate a sense of acceptance by embracing gay cliches and making friends that are equally as vapid. How does any self respecting man dress up as a woman to entertain other people? TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY. It's so fucking annoying.

    The world doesn't expect gay people to do anything other than 1) listen to Cascada 2) wear nice clothes 3) dress up like a lady once a week. It's disheartening that gay people don't care because they don't feel important enough to think that they should.
     
  21. ManyHamsters

    ManyHamsters There are necessary pursuits... but poetry, beauty

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    what is gender, but mainstream society expecting you to conform into easily bite-sized categories in order to pit you against the other in a false dichotomy and pulled about on political puppet-strings?

    category is a function of a society seeking to keep individuals down

    each person's potential is there own to find and define or reject

    that said, i agree with your other point, that we have to re-stake our claim in society, intellectually, socially, and politically, not only follow trends that have been set up by our much more daring predecessors (exceptions exist of course).
     
  22. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Yeah, maybe we could all become sociology majors or some shit.

    Anyway, if you're suggesting that dressing up in drag somehow breaks down the gender barrier...phew...I don't even know what to say to that. I haven't met many transgendered people, but they don't feel the same way about it.

    edit: And by self respecting man...wow, I didn't word that correctly. I mean somebody that thinks they're a man. Not somebody that may question it otherwise. I didn't mean to imply that I thought transgendered people weren't self-respecting, because I generally think they're very brave people.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  23. ManyHamsters

    ManyHamsters There are necessary pursuits... but poetry, beauty

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    :dunno: i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree then
     
  24. Diesel Freak

    Diesel Freak ♂♂ Closet Crew OT Supporter

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    :werd: Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007

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