The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright April 5, 2012

Jon Tevlin of the Star Tribune tells us about an attempt by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to rally young people around “traditional marriage” as a political cause.

I’m not sure what the archdiocese expected to happen at this mandatory assembly for seniors at DeLaSalle high school, but I’m sure they didn’t expect anything as awesome as what did happen.

DeLaSalle kids have a few words with archdiocese at marriage talk,” Tevlin reports:

“The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good,” said [senior Matt] Bliss. “They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a ‘normal’ family is the best family.”

“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”

Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, “I love my moms.”

It’s not just that the students argued with the priest and the married couple there representing the archdiocese — it’s that the students won the argument.

And best of all — my favorite thing about this story — is that these kids had each others’ backs. The adopted kids stuck up for the LGBT kids. The LGBT kids stuck up for the kids from single-parent families. And the few kids whose families fit the archdiocesan emissaries’ definition of normal and normative stuck up for their friends in the “abnormal” majority.

“People were upset,” said student Lydia Hannah, “and we weren’t just going to sit there.”

And they didn’t. Good for them.

“I don’t think they expected the response they got from the students,” Matt Bliss said.

They were so upset that the priest and school officials abruptly ended the assembly. Students who were angry were allowed to stay there and talk with the archdiocese volunteers. It was more civil, for a while, but the more questions the presenters tried to answer, the worse it got.

“It was a really awful ending,” said Bliss. “It was anger, anger, anger, and then we were done and they left. This is really a bad idea.”

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