“A rose is a rose is a rose.”

So what’s different about segregation? What’s different about special rights? What’s different about pandering to politically influential groups and trashing the rights of everyone else?

What’s different is homosexuality. It appears that what used to be regarded as deviant sex behavior is now so “in” that anything goes.

In fact, it appears that if the homosexual lobby wants something for “gays,” they get it.

In this case, they wanted a New York public school for “gays.” Oops. That’s too simple. In reality they want a public school for “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and those questioning their sexuality” high-school students. They’re called “LGBTQ.”

Sorry. It’s complicated, but that’s the way it is. Remember when they were just called “teen-agers”?

Called the Harvey Milk High School, it’s named after San Francisco’s first openly homosexual supervisor. Milk gained most news coverage when both he and the mayor, George Moscone were murdered in 1978 by another supervisor. In death, Harvey Milk became a martyr for the gay movement.

New York’s new school honors him for – what? His murder? Or his sexual practices and lifestyle? The answer is clear.

The gays wanted the school and got it. How cool is that? The board of education kicked in $3.2 million to renovate a building in the East Village just for these “special” kids.

I wonder what that $3.2 million would have done for some of the regular public schools in New York City which are virtual disaster areas of crowding and physical decay. Guess those kids aren’t “special” enough.

The news of the new school last week made a big splash, but hidden in the story – and virtually unnoticed and unmentioned – is that there’s been a small school program for “gay” students in New York City for 19 years.

I wonder how many New Yorkers even knew it existed? Want to place a bet?

Begun in 1984, there were two classrooms and the program was managed and financed by the Hetrick-Martin Institute, described as a “gay-rights youth advocacy group.”

Apparently the institute’s been doing some lobbying over those 19 years. It worked. Now, instead of 10 to 20 students, there’ll be some 170, and public money available too.

The institute says the school will enable those children to learn in a “safe and supportive environment.” They also said that “success requires the ability to respect and value the diverse human community.”

I wonder how those kids can “respect and value the diverse human community” when they’ll be segregated from contact with all that diversity.

When the official announcement was made, city officials were so pleased with themselves, you could almost hear them patting each other on the back.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “I think everybody feels [FEELS?] that it’s a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools … It lets them get an education without having to worry.”

Excuse me, Mr. Mayor, if children in the public school system are being harassed and beaten, why don’t you put a stop to that instead of pushing them off by themselves? Why do your schools tolerate any violence against students?

Michael Salzman, principal of the new school: “This school will be a model for the country and possibly the world.”

Great. Now the U.S. will be a “model” for segregation. I thought we spent the last 40 years getting rid of it!

Institute Director David Mensa: “It’s misleading to say this is an issue of segregation … They [the kids] need a safe haven.”

Sure, David. As if being “gay” is the only reason kids are harassed or beaten up.

Do we provide separate schools for every group that gets picked on? If that’s the case, what about a fat school, an anorexic school, a nerd school, an ugly school, a handicapped school … even a dumb school? How about a school for girls who develop early? Talk about getting ridiculed – just ask any sixth grader who’s 38-D.

Get real, New York – this is segregation, plain and simple and should not be allowed. If a private group wants a private “gay” school on their dime, OK – but not with tax dollars.

But if we don’t allow black schools or any school that isolates racial groups, if we don’t allow schools for brilliant students, if we don’t even allow single-sex schools, then venturing into this political swamp is disaster.

It’s also shameful – not because of the sexual proclivities of the kids, but because of the blatant pandering to a political lobby, which is infiltrating every aspect of our lives and culture by forcing society to accept them on their terms.

And that is simply wrong.

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