Ann Arbor News
Ann Arbor, MI
January 28, 1998
Sexual orientation again hot topic
By SHENA ABERCROMBIE, NEWS STAFF REPORTER
For Ypsilanti school board member Tom Reiber, it's a phrase he doesn't want to see in school policy.
For gay rights activist Charles Duty, it's a mission to make sure that it is.
Duty first approached the school board last year after it approved a city police contract that did not include sexual orientation in a clause describing what groups would be protected against discrimination.
Again Tuesday, he asked the board to include the words "sexual orientation" in its policy regarding harassment.
Duty also lashed out at board members Reiber and Gigi Gooding, who voted against renewing a Washtenaw County Sheriff Department contract with the schools because it included sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination clause.
"I wonder who influenced you to state that you simply do not feel sexual orientation language should be included," Duty said.""
Gooding did not respond to the comments.
But Reiber defended his statements from the Jan. 14 meeting.
"I don't think we need to single out a particular group," said Reiber. "It's not a gay issue that I have difficulty with; it is the words sexual orientation. If we're honest, that would include pedophiles and members of man/boy societies. That's the problem I had with it. I don't want to get into a debate whether gay is good or not."
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Last updated 1/30/98 by Jean Richter, richter@eecs.Berkeley.EDU