A lesbian couple that attends a San Diego, Calif., high school stirred up controversy over the weekend when they became the school's homecoming king and queen. Although it was the student body's vote that decided who received the honors, not all of the students are happy with the result and school officials say they have since been overwhelmed with “hate” messages from angry adults.
“I am disappointed that this happy and positive event has received national media coverage which has attracted a slew of what I can only describe as hate calls and emails to the school,” said Bill Kowba, superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.
“What is especially disappointing is that adults who have contacted the school, many of whom are not even San Diego residents, are demonstrating such a lack of tolerance and are presenting such a negative role model for children with their hateful comments.”
Kowba said some of the comments, if they had been made by students, would have resulted in disciplinary action.
Last Friday, during a pep rally, female student Rebeca Arellano was named Patrick Henry's homecoming king and the next day, her partner, Haileigh Adams, was announced as queen during a school dance.
“They were chanting my name and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had,” said Arellano following Friday's announcement, according to ABC News.
"We have a lot of support, but there are also a lot of people who are angry about it," she said. "Anonymous Patrick Henry students are saying they're embarrassed and that it's wrong for a girl to take the spot of king. But there's no other way for us to run as a couple. It's not really fair for us not to have the right to run as a couple."
Arellano also posted a message to her Facebook page in which she appears to jab at her critics.
According to ABC News, she wrote: "For all the girls who think tradition should be continued, go back to the kitchen, stop having sex before you're married, get out of school and job system, don't have an opinion, don't own any property, give up the right to marry who you love, don't vote, and allow your husband to do whatever he pleases to you. Think about the meaning of tradition when you use it in your argument against us."
Matthew Hulet, a writer for examiner.com who covers San Diego-area Christianity and culture, says the election of a homecoming “Queen and Queen” is partially due to society's general lack of courage to stand up to the LGBT community in these cases.
“The problem lies in the morality and standards that are being violated with these decisions and this community in general,” Hulet wrote on Monday. “My fellow San Diego News examiner Dave Thomas said it well. 'This is not about denying gays and lesbians their opportunities, it is about keeping some sanity in our values and traditions.'”