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A self-proclaimed bisexual male teacher in New York has invited his seventh-grade students and their parents to witness his commitment ceremony to another man.
The New York Times reports 32-year-old Chance Nalley gave slips of paper to his entire seventh-grade class at Columbia Secondary School, inviting them to the upcoming ceremony to be held at St. Paul’s Chapel on the campus of Columbia University on April 4. Nalley teaches math, science, and engineering at the school — “whose mission statement includes a commitment to diversity,” notes the Times. Nalley reportedly obtained his principal’s support before coming out to his students in the fall of 2007, when the school opened.
Frank Russo of the American Family Association of New York calls the Times’ report biased. “If a secularist teacher in a school invited his or her students over to a ritual of initiation into becoming a Christian and invited his students to attend this, I could just imagine the hullabaloo that you’d see,” he contends, “and The New York Times would not report it in the same fashion as it reported this.”
Russo admits he struggles to understand Nalley’s motives behind the invitations. “For a teacher to invite his students — seventh graders, typically 12-years-old, possibly 13 — to attend a gay marriage is mind-boggling to me that he would do that.”
The family advocate is also encouraging parents not to take their children to a ceremony that he believes “honors” a gender identity disorder.
The Times article showed Nalley’s students were trying to understand his sexuality. When asked if they were surprised he was “gay,” a handful of students noted he was bisexual, not gay. One student added that his coming out to them “showed he trusts us.”
Interestingly enough, Nalley says six of his students have “come out” to him this year.