Joe Schulz, June 29, 2022
Riponites of many backgrounds packed into Rotary Square last weekend to show their support for LGBTQ rights.
The Ripon High School (RHS) Gender and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) hosted a Pride Rally last week Saturday, which brought more than 50 people together.
While the event was not officially sanctioned by the Ripon Area School District (RASD), several district officials were in attendance, along with a few local leaders from the city, library, churches and businesses.
During the event, attendees listened to speeches from GSA President Elliott Luedke, RASD alumnus Elliot Heiling, First Congregational Church Of Ripon Rev. Jeffery Dodson and Federated Church of Green Lake Rev. Karen Gygax Rodriguez….
GSA, faith leaders show support
Luedke said GSA planned the rally to support those who have faced discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We are here today for those who have been bullied and called slurs by their very own peers,” Luedke said. “We are here for those who have been ridiculed and shunned by their families due to their identity, for those who have been told there isn’t a place for them in their religion that they follow or want to follow.
Heiling asked the community to protect today’s LGBTQ students and to stop teaching them that they must endure negative comments from peers and disrespect from adults.
“Boost your students and boost the queer children who dare to exist, regardless of how uncomfortable they make you, regardless of if you understand them and regardless of how weird they are — because all teenagers are weird,” Heiling said. “Children deserve to feel safe not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. They are the revolution and they are our future.”