After issuing a letter telling probate judges not to “recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with Alabama’s Constitution, limiting marriages to a man and a woman, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore attempted to once again refuse to honor the federal decision to recognize same-sex marriage.
SWAN President, Kayla Huber ’16 calls Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage “unadulterated bullshit.” She said, “All individuals should be given the option to legally marry. It shouldn’t be up for debate.”
Martina Bright ’15, former member of Lake Forest College’s PRIDE Executive Board, agrees. “I hate it,” she said of the ban. “It’s unfair and it sucks. We’re supposed to be the land of the free, but a man and a man or a woman and a woman are not allowed to legally express their love for each other and have the same rights as heterosexual couples? That just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t see why it matters what people are in love with each other.”
Lake Forest College markets itself as welcoming to all students and members of the LGBTQ community on campus believe that the school has been making a good effort. Jyothis James ’16, former president of PRIDE, said “the visibility of queer students is not as expected— considering the initiatives and goals of the school in relation to the queer community—because few students are out.
The school has made a good, but not explicit, effort.” James said it is not the school’s responsibility, however, and “the level of social progress in this country and society in general makes it difficult to come out, regardless of how welcoming the environment is.”
Huber has heard of prejudiced statements being made on anonymous interfaces such as YikYak, which she finds very concerning, she said. Huber also has heard that many people in the community do not feel comfortable coming out or being affectionate with their partners in public. She finds that the stigma and prejudice that exist in this country also affects this campus.
“One thing that I wish could be changed is the manner in which our campus speaks about sexual assault,” Huber said. “I have heard that some LGBTQ individuals do not wish to come forward about their experiences because they don’t feel as though they will be taken seriously. A greater emphasis must be placed on the fact that any individual can experience sexual assault, regardless of sexual orientation, and those reports will be processed just the same.”
Huber applauds the inclusion of non- hetereosexuals in the HAVEN training. “It is one step in the right direction,” she said. As future generations become more accepting of differences, people will continue to see more welcoming and understanding environments. In the meantime, any small effort made will be one in the larger stride for equality.