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The Battle of Spanish Fork
Transcript of The Battle of Spanish Fork
High School's volleyball coach got a call from one of her
players. Wendy's Past -Lived in Salem, Utah
-Raised on a dairy farm in Idaho
-Was a cheerleader, junior class president, president of NHS
-Attended a religious college: Brigham Young University
-Became a Mormon
-Was a teacher at 21
-Married a man at 23
-Had 30 foster children, before having a son
-Was nominated and won "Family of the year"
-Led the Spanish Fork volleyball team to 4 state championships
-Struggled with the feeling of being a lesbian
-Divorced her husband and moved in with her female partner, Rachel Smith
-Thought it made her a better person
-With her choice came more trouble than just having a player quit the team Actions Against Wendy Phone call from
player, who quit
the team 1. 2. Wendy was called
into the principal's
office 3. Had a meeting with
the school district headquarters 4. The director of
read her a letter
that instructed her
not to talk about her
sexual orientation or
she will be fired 5. If Wendy pursued the lawsuit her kids
could be harassed by the media or community 6. About 100 parents and grandparents
started a petition protesting the school's employment of Wendy, they even hired a lawyer. "We have a say in what our kids are taught,
in class or by example," said Roxanne Barney. 7. Petition had 2,678
resident signatures "It makes no sense to us to spend
years creating one type of moral
climate in our home only to have it
directly or indirectly destroyed in
our schools," said Matthew Hilton, the
lawyer representing the parents group
opposed to Wendy. 8. Controversy intensified
as rumors spread that Wendy
had done numerous improper
things with her players Such as discouraging the players from
dating boys and encouraging them to
have lesbian relationships 9. Parents of Wendy's children's
friends forbade them to set
foot in Wendy's house 10. Rachel, a highly rated collegiated
sports official, found herself
dropped from several
basketball conferences Actions For Wendy 1. Wendy made other
teachers feel ok about
coming out about their
sexuality 2. Director of ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, Carol Gnade met with Wendy and said they would be willing to fight with her against the school 3. ACLU held a news conference in Salt Lake City. Wendy was faced with reporters and cameras "All I want is to have the freedom to live my private life as I choose."
-Wendy Weaver 4. There were some families of her volleyball players who came to her defense "Those of us parents who had children in the volleyball program almost unanimously said, 'What's sexual orientation got to do with her ability to coach volleyball?' I can't say that we all agreed with her lifestyle, or understood it, but we certainly weren't afraid of her because of the good experiences our kids had with her in the past." recalls Brent Kidman 5. Larraine Sands, a parent stood up against the petition and said, "The moral issue I'm concerned about here is the example we're setting for our own children reguarding respect and tollerance for those whose beliefs are different from ours." 6. The volleyball players on Wendy's team
denied all rumors and held a press
conference to praise their coach as
a positive role model. "What bothers me," Wendy said, "is I am not
Wendy Weaver anymore. I'm 'the lesbian teacher.'
It's not who I am. I'm a teacher, mother, and I was
a coach...the gay issue has become a focal point, but
it shouldn't be. I wish I would be judged by my
performance on the job like anyone else would be." 7. The judge ordered the school
to withdraw the gag order and
offered Wendy her coaching
position again. 8. Wendy's lawyer called her
and told her the news,
she was ellated to
find out that it was
unjust for Spanish Fork
to threaten her job
because of her
personal life. 9. Wendy was also pleased
that the ruling could
help other gay and lesbian
teachers, by establishing
a significant precedent
against a school's efforts
to restrain a teacher's
private life. 10. The children were not affected by
the lawsuit. "They mostly thought it was pretty cool that their moms were on tv and getting all this attention." In 1981, Wisconsin became the first state to adopt a law protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination. By the year 2000, ten more states had passed the similar laws. SECTION 17: It is descrimination because of sexual orientation:
1. For any employer, labor organization, licensing agency or employment agency or other person to refuse to hire, employ, admit or license, or to bar or terminate from employment, membership or licensure any individual, or to discriminate against an individual in promotion, compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment beacuse of the individual's sexual orientation. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 12 states and D.C. also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Although these laws provide important protections, according to a 2002 General Accounting Office (GAO) report, relatively few complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation have been filed in these states.
Hundreds of companies have enacted policies protecting their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. As of March 2011, 433 (87 percent) of the Fortune 500 companies had implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 229 (46 percent) had policies that include gender identity.
Adoption: 19 states allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt children in a complex and expensive two-step process, in which one parent first adopts and then the second can petition for joint rights.
Military personnel that are gay, lesbian, or bisexual
are not allowed in the military unless they hide
who they really are. If they were to be found "guilty"
of being homosexual they would be dishonorably discharged. "Those of us parents who had children in the volleyball program almost unanimously said, 'What's sexual orientation got to do with her ability to coach volleyball?' I can't say that we all agreed with her lifestyle, or understood it, but we
certainly weren't afraid of her because of the good experiences our kids had with her in the
past," said Brent Kidman. "They mostly thought it was pretty cool that their moms were on TV and getting all this attention," Rachel later recalled. Wendy won her battle of Spanish Fork, but there still are many other gay men and lesbians fighting their own battle to have their rights. Just because they have a different sexual preference doesn't mean that they can't have the same rights as everyone else; they are people too, just like you and me.
"Being an American is about having the right to be who you are. Sometimes that doesn't happen." - Herb Ritts