CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. - A Bay Area high school that attracted controversy last year for its "Days of Diversity" program is again welcoming pro-gay speakers this week. But the school has rejected a request by a student Christian club to host an HIV-positive speaker whose experience with homosexuality proved to be life-threatening.
Castro Valley High School sparked controversy last year by hosting several questionable presenters, including Rev. Arlene K Nehring, a lesbian minister who talked to students in math and science classes about her gay wedding, encouraged them to "come out" to God, their families and themselves, and invited them to a gay prom at her church. Because of the religious overtones in past and pending presentations, students in the Revelation Club were surprised when the school rejected their request to host Christopher Yuan because of "separation of church and state." Mr. Yuan is HIV-positive and had been invited by the students to speak on the topic "Christian, Gay, and Celibate." In addition, it appears that the school has blocked links relating to Mr. Yuan, though continuing to allow access to gay websites.
Attorneys for Pacific Justice Institute sent a letter to the high school late last week, demanding that CVHS drop its illegal viewpoint discrimination. PJI Chief Counsel Kevin Snider commented, "It has become clear that Castor Valley High School is seeking to silence the student club and Mr. Yuan because his experiences with homosexuality were not positive, and he encourages celibacy. The school's favoritism toward some religious and political viewpoints, and disfavor toward other positions, is blatantly unconstitutional."
Vika Mukha, president of the Revelation Club at CVHS, commented, "I support respect and diversity for all people, but it must be true diversity in which all people are given a voice. If only one side is heard, that is indoctrination, not education. I hope CVHS respects these principles by allowing ex-gays to have a voice at Days of Diversity and allowing our Christian club to invite speakers of our choice."