Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's official--you can't discriminate in Kansas

In response to an incident that occurred a few months ago at a high school basketball game in Kansas, the Kansas State High School Activities Association has added language to its application for member schools which prevents discrimination against an official based on sex, nationality, race, or religion. (Note the very obvious absence of sexuality and gender expression. Grrr...) The addition of the anti-discrimination language was motivated by an incident this past February in which a female referee was told by one of the participating schools, St. Mary's Academy, that they would not allow her to officiate the game because a woman in charge of young boys went against their religious beliefs.
St. Mary's has not commented on the change in the application which would effectively deny them any form of membership in the KSHSAA meaning they would not be able to compete against member schools--assuming they would continue to refuse female referees--which they seem intent on doing. The academy's rector has, in communication with the association, said that such a denial would itself be discrimination.
How entities that initiate discrimination can so easily and without any sense of their own hypocrisy, turn around and say "but you're discriminating against us now" when actions are taken to be fair and equitable and, you know, comply with the law, just boggles my mind.

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