Editor,

I remember sitting in a high school classroom years ago with a student with tears in her eyes. We had hung a rainbow flag from her school’s balcony shortly before a listening session about the results of an LGBTQQIA+ wellness survey. “I never thought I’d see the flag flying at my school. I’ve felt so isolated here,” she told us. Earlier we had shared the devastating data of the huge percentage of LGBTQQIA+ youth who reported being sad and hopeless (75%) and the number who had thought about or attempted suicide (77%). Other students I spoke with said that seeing a rainbow flag flying at their school would definitely make them feel more welcome and safe.

I was saddened to read that two San Mateo Union High School District trustees voted against raising a pride flag during June and grateful that two other trustees voted yes. A fifth trustee who wasn’t present has requested a revote likely on June 4. Trustees opposed to raising the flag used the tried and untrue “slippery slope” defense, asking what other flags might they have to raise? “How about the Confederate flag or the 49ers or SF Giants?” trustees asked.

For decades, people opposed to same-gender marriage asked, “What’s next? People marrying their cats and dogs?” My husband and I were the first two men to get a license to be married in San Mateo County in 2008 and Fluffy and Whiskers seem just fine. The slippery slope I worry most about is the one that leads from despair to self-harm. Trustees, please join most of the cities and towns and the county of San Mateo and raise the pride flag in June.

Craig Wiesner

Daly City

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(10) comments

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Is it not enough that the battle for equal rights is won? Why must minorities demand special consideration? We are equal under law. I would be grateful for that and earn the recognition I wish to aquire.

craigwiesner

First, the battle for equal rights is long from won. Second, no one is asking for "special" consideration. To truly celebrate the wild and wonderful diversity of our nation, we have to find ways to represent that diversity. Flags, festivals, murals, music, food, films, plays.... telling the stories is what we need to do. Nothing "special" about that! Third, if you put all the colors of the progress flag and what they represent together and all of the allies working together against discrimination and hate, the flags represent a majority of our beautifully diverse nation. 4th, we are NOT equal under the law today. A massive amount of work needs to be done to reach that ideal and even then, the harms done by decades or centuries of marginalization, discrimination, harm and death do not disappear with the stroke of a pen on a proclamation or law. Finally, I'll speak for myself here, I am grateful for all the progress we've made and the blood sweat and tears that have gone into that progress. I want to celebrate that progress AND at the same time illuminate how much more needs to be done. And, as a person of faith, I would like to say that you don't need to earn recognition, as a human sibling on this planet, you are already beautiful, loved, worthy, and wonderful. I celebrate the fact that you and I get to share these pages, freely!

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Hello Craig,

Which equal rights are being denied? Laws can be changed. As a nation of laws, we have mechanisms in place. In the context of flag flying, the flags of the United States and California represent citizenry, respectively. Everything else you speak of is rooted in opinion. You have yours and I have mine.

About opinions. I love my rice and beans but Asian foods are my favorite. Because I am a simple man, the mixing of ethnicities in marriage and reproduction is the beauty I need to validate our humanity. As for progress in morals, as a man of faith, I thank God my son can live his life "out of the closet". Because he knows God does not make mistakes. And he was raised to use his "specialness" for the benefit of others. Finally, in my opinion, pride flags don't unite. They divide.

Cindy Cornell

Never fear. The hateful flag flies high in the comments section of the SM Daily Journal.

wlydecker

Hope you read Horgan's column today. If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger.

Dirk van Ulden

Yes Cindy, those who disagree with you are haters? Taken English classes lately?

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Unfortunately our country is brimming with mindless emotional outbursts. I feel empathy for them but will not recognize their tantrums. Though the temptation is always there.[innocent]

Dirk van Ulden

"What's next" , a good question. Every time Mr. Wiesner writes something about his preferences, another letter is added to the LGBT moniker. How many more individuals with perceived under representation will be added until we run out of the alphabet? Perhaps Mr. Wiesner needs to realize that many are still not and will never be in favor of same-gender marriage. Fluffy notwithstanding. That was the slippery slope that, as has been mentioned, became greased by a compliant and corrupt media.

Terence Y

Mr. Wiesner, I have no issues with hanging the pride flag just as long as we also hang flags from Native American tribes indigenous to California and maybe even a Gadsden flag. Or whatever flag other people feel are more, or just as, important as the pride flag.

wlydecker

The writer asks "what's next?" It's whatever is deemed worthy by the mass media. It's not what reporters write that's important. It's what they write about. The subject was never true "marriage equality." It was about same gender marriage. All a journalist had to do was ask Newsom about polygamy. i know one who did and the answer was "I've heard it all." The slope isn't slippery until the media greases it.

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