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Janice H.
Democrat CA 44

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  • Redondo Union High School Protest

    by Representative Janice Hahn

    Posted on 2016-01-07

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    HAHN. Mr. Speaker, this upcoming Monday, the Westboro Baptist Church plans to hold protests outside of Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California. We have seen these protests before, often at the funerals of our fallen servicemen and -women. They are known, unfortunately, for their hateful message, especially against LGBT Americans.

    The members of this church believe that America's generation of high schoolers is ``utterly without hope.'' They say that because these young students are promoting acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of whether they are gay or straight.

    I couldn't disagree more with their premise of calling these students ``without hope.'' I think because these students are promoting acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, they are building a future full of hope. I have the utmost faith in the next generation as the future leaders of this Nation.

    Of course, no matter how much I disagree with this group, these individuals should be allowed to exercise their right to protest, and they do have a right to free speech in this country. The students have those same rights, and an inspiring group of Redondo High students are organizing a peaceful counterprotest on Monday.

    Yesterday, I wrote a letter to the members of the school's Gay- Straight Alliance and told them that I wished I could be there on Monday to protest alongside of them. These students deserve to live in a world where they can be who they are and love whom they choose. In standing up against hate and living a life of acceptance, inclusion, and understanding, they are making that world a reality.

    I know my colleague here, Ted Lieu, who represents Redondo Beach, joins me in saying that we are so proud of these students. We are proud of their courage, their bravery, their intelligence, and skill in standing up for what they know is right, just, and for being brave enough to organize a counterprotest.

    {time} 1045 I am going to be in Washington, D.C., on Monday. But if I were not here, I would want to be standing alongside each and every student to show my solidarity with them. Instead, let me tell them that I will be there in spirit.


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