While the Christian pro-family groups are saying “No” to legalizing homosexual marriage, three Christian school board members of Southern California's Westminster School District are also rejecting any law that will compromise their moral standards. Nothing has wavered their strong opposition to an anti-discrimination law that will allow the school members to define their own sexual orientation even though their vote turning down the law may result in a loss of $40 million in state and federal funding.
The three trustees are part of a five-member school board who convened to decide whether the school district would recognize transsexuals and those who "embrace unconventional gender roles."
Two other trustees voted in favor of the law that many think will prevent discrimination, but the three Christian trustees have adamantly put their foot down.
"I can't, with a clear conscience ... vote for this trash," Marquez-Woodcock declared at board meeting in early February.
The spokeswoman representing the district that serves 10,000 students, grade K-8, Trish Montgomery, argued it was only “a matter of complying with the law."
Trustee Judy Ahrens, who identified herself as a devout Christian, refuted the district’s viewpoint by saying the law is flawed.
"[The law is] totally anti-family," Ahrens said. "It's not protecting the kids. If we include this identity-crisis language, looking down the road, we could be in some real trouble. ... If we have done this right, this will cause people to take a look at what's going on and ask why three brave women had to take a moral stand."
The Feb. 26 emergency board member meeting was called by the California Department of Education after district personnel learned it January its discrimination policy did not incorporate a state law passed in 2000 that makes the school not discriminate against the “gender” of students and staff. “Gender” was left open to mean "a person's actual sex or perceived sex and includes a person's perceived identity, appearance or behavior."
Ahrens listed some of her worst fears if the law were enacted as boys becoming "peeping Toms" in girls' bathrooms and kids cross-dressing. "The possibilities are endless," she said.
If by April 12, the board has not agreed to the state’s law, the school district may lose $40 million in funding, which represents a significant two-thirds of its annual budget. The school board may also be sued by the state.
In spite of threats from the state, Helena Rutkowski and Blossie Marquez-Woodcock and Ahrens are standing firm on the issue. Board President James Reed indicated he did not think the three would change their minds before the deadline.
The three will keep practicing their Christian teachings.
“It's amazing how much we've eroded our society," said Ahrens. "Everyone always wants to fix things tomorrow. Well, I'm saying the time is ripe now. I might take a lot of heat for it today, but the rewards are going to be great in heaven."