Staff editorial: Marriage decision provides next steps

Now that the Kansas Supreme Court lifted the state’s same-sex marriage ban, Mill Valley needs to become more LGBT accepting

JagWire staff

The Kansas Supreme Court recently lifted Johnson County’s ban on same-sex marriages. The JagWire believes this decision should inspire change across Mill Valley.

By lifting Johnson County’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Kansas Supreme Court paved the way for people to become more accepting of same-sex couples as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Now that same-sex couples can legally marry, the law supports LGBT people in Kansas and shows others that being LGBT is OK. In Mill Valley, this has the potential to create greater acceptance of both LGBT students and students with same-sex parents.

Students should build upon this acceptance. Those who do not know much about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights should educate themselves on these issues. If students disagree with same-sex marriage, then they should do so in a respectful manner, without expressing their opinions in a harmful or derogatory way. Students do not have to agree with same-sex marriage to be kind toward LGBT people; kindness should not be affected by opinions.

Along with this, GSA should improve its efforts to educate students and instill acceptance. Currently, GSA partakes in events such as Day of Silence, Transgender Day of Remembrance and Asexual Awareness Week to inform students about LGBT issues. During these events, GSA members usually hand out ribbons before school at a table in support of the event. While this is a good start, these tables don’t always have information for students, and are limited to before school. Also, sometimes it is intimidating to approach people you don’t know, so GSA should consider additionally informing students through morning and afternoon announcements, MVTV ads, a club website or a club social media account.

GSA is not the only school group that can promote acceptance at Mill Valley. Diversity Club can incorporate sexuality and gender diversity into their outreach and events, the student relations committee of SLT can brainstorm ways to improve treatment of LGBT students and jagPRIDE can raise awareness of LGBT suicide through their suicide prevention activities. Additionally, Mill Valley News has not always covered events put on by GSA; we plan to provide more coverage on GSA in the future.

Mill Valley can also promote acceptance through its curriculum. Health classes can include more lessons and discussion about sexuality and gender. When the counseling department addresses bullying, they can include bullying based on LGBT characteristics as part of their education.

Johnson County’s allowance of same-sex marriages is a step in the right direction, but there is still much to be done to promote LGBT education and acceptance. The JagWire believes that Mill Valley students and staff can work together to create a more open and accepting environment, regardless of sexuality or gender.

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