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LA candidate slams rival for teaching at college that rejected gay students

LA candidate slams rival for teaching at college that rejected gay students

  • Race in Los Angeles is putting LGBT+ inclusive school education in the spotlight.

A Los Angeles city councilman is criticizing his campaign rival for teaching at a college that did not welcome openly gay or lesbian students.

Indeed, the college in question may even have endorsed ‘healing’ gay and bi students of their sexuality. Such attempted ‘gay cures’ never work and are highly dangerous.

John Lee made the allegations against Loraine Lundquist, saying ‘these values don’t belong on city council’.

Pat Denis, senior adviser to the Lee campaign told the Los Angeles Times: ‘Lundquist made a conscious decision as an adult to teach at and cash a paycheck from a school with a discriminatory policy.’

This, he says, raises ‘serious questions about her character and judgment’.

‘Be healed, leave or live in secrecy’

Lundquist, an astrophysicist and Cal State Northridge educator, attended Principa College, a private college in Illinois as a child. It describes itself as a ‘Christian science community’. And she returned to Principa to teach physics in 2008 and 2009.

At the time she studied and taught there, Principa had ‘an unwritten agreement among admissions and the administration’. It prevented them from admitting lesbian, gay or bi students or employing gay and bi men or women as teachers or other staff.

The Lee campaign sent a mailer, which quoted a former professor saying gay and bi students had been told ‘they needed to be healed, were asked to leave or had to live in secrecy’.

But the Lundquist campaign has branded the mailer ‘shockingly misleading’.

She says she openly opposed the policies at Principa both as a student and a professor. In fact, she says she co-founded a student group to challenge them.

Indeed, her 1996 college year book reveals the group’s name was ‘Students Opposed to Bigotry and Discrimination’. And it held a ‘historic meeting’ with faculty about the admissions and employment policy.

Former classmate Sarah Mathis confirms: ‘Loraine was very dedicated to the group. It was very clear that this was something she thought was really important.’

New policy at Principa

And Lundquist also defended her decision to return to the school as faculty. She said she told Principa at her job interview that she opposed the policy and wanted to change the college from within.

She added: ‘I also knew there would be students there that needed allies and support.’

Strangely Principa now uses the fact that policy was ‘unwritten’ to say it never existed.

However, the Los Angeles Times reports the college didn’t alter the policy until until five years after Lundquist left as a professor. The new policy said the school must choose staff and students ‘regardless of sexual orientation’.

It is the second time in a year that Lundquist and Lee have gone head-to-head over who should represent a council district including San Fernando Valley, Northridge, Porter Ranch and Chatsworth.