Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for September, 2011

Two Men Attacked In Wichita, KS

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2011

From the Wichita Eagle:

Sgt. Jesse Boomer said two cars pulled up beside the 18- and 19-year-olds walking in the 1700 block of east Douglas, near Hydraulic, around 2:30 a.m. Six men, all in their late teens or early 20s, got out of the cars, accused the two men of “being homosexuals” and attacked them, Boomer said. The victims drove themselves to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Jimmy Iniguez Goes Back to School

Timothy Kincaid

April 1st, 2008

jimmyi.jpg We reported on a Kansas student that seemed to have been suspended for being gay. Now he’s had a hearing and the Wichita Eagle reports that he won’t be expelled.

Iniguez, who had been suspended since the incident, said he was innocent and was unfairly accused because he is gay.

He received a letter from the district today saying a hearing officer found him not guilty of the charge. He plans to return to school at the Towne East Educational Resource Center on Wednesday.

“I’m very happy it worked out and I can go back to school,” Iniguez said. “If anybody goes through what I went through, I encourage them to fight it and not give up.”

Fascinating to me, however, were the two other news sources who forgot to mention that Iniguez was found “not guilty”. They both leave the impression that Jimmy was guilty of sexally attacking another student – rather than just telling his best friend what people were saying about him.

Kansas Public School May Expell Student for Being Gay

Timothy Kincaid

March 27th, 2008

jimmyi.jpgNaturally, no public school would openly state that they were expelling a student because he was gay. But the facts of the story, as reported by the Wichita Eagle, seem to indicate that this is what is happening in Wichita.

According to [Jimmy] Iniguez, the incident began when a female friend told him she had heard a rumor that a mutual male friend of theirs was gay.

“I told her that rumor was false,” Iniguez said. “I said I would know, because I was his best friend.”

But, “it’s like you can’t be straight and have a gay friend,” he added.

When the male student saw Iniguez in the bathroom later that day, he asked Iniguez what was going on.

“So I told him, ‘Some people are saying you’re gay, but don’t worry. I told them it wasn’t true,’ ” Iniguez said. “But he still got kind of upset.”

The student, who is 18, allegedly returned to class and threatened students and a teacher, Iniguez said. He was suspended and later expelled.

School officials then suspended Iniguez, saying he was partly to blame because he harassed the teenager in the bathroom.

Jimmy denies that he was harassing the other teenage in the bathroom. And the other kid is showing up at his hearing to testify for Jimmy.

That doesn’t seem to matter to the administration.

School officials said they could not comment on Iniguez’s case because of privacy restrictions. But spokeswoman Susan Arensman said the district’s anti-bullying and sexual harassment policies, as well as its student code of conduct, ensure safe schools.

“Harassment is harassment, and we write that broadly to apply to all students,” she said.

Aparantly very very broadly if punishing gay students.

However, not quite broadly enought to protect gay students. The district’s current policy offers protection from discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religion, race, gender, nationality, age or disability – but not on the basis of sexual orientation.

Jimmy and his attorney think that he’s being punished for being openly gay. And while there may be more to the story, so far it looks as though he has a point.