Unification News For April 1996


Pure and Proud in San Francisco

by Michael Balcomb-San Francisco, CA

Shouting "Stronger families is what our city needs," more than 50 young college and high school students staged a spirited rally at the Feb. 12 meeting of the San Francisco City Supervisors in the Richmond. The young members of the Pure Love Alliance were out in force in front of the George Washington High School protesting what they called the Supervisor's extraordinary decision to grant so-called "marriage certificates" to homosexual and lesbian partners.

The issue has caused considerable controversy in the city, as evidenced by the large police presence. Supervisor Tom Ammiano, openly gay, apparently received a number of threats and was accompanied throughout the meeting by a plain-clothes detective.

Outside, however, the spirit was festive as one speaker after another encouraged the supervisors to examine their consciences and put the family first. Placards and signs carried by the young demonstrators spelled out the message to the 500+ who came to attend the supervisors town meeting.

Irina Kutzenova, an exchange student from Moscow, said that public reaction was evenly divided. "Some were very hostile," she said, "and said that government didn't belong in anyone's bedroom. But others were so excited and said, `You are totally right! It's about time!'" And Shaolin Pen, a Chinese American from San Jose, told the supervisors that they could not legislate against the law of nature. Homosexuality is "unnatural and wrong," and the supervisors have no business condoning it, she said.

Jin Suh Park and Malitzen Flores, both members of World CARP, the international student body co-sponsoring the meeting, then led participants in the "Pure Love Pledge." The pledge, which has already been signed by thousands of young students, commits people to four promises:

To refrain from all sexual relationships before marriage. To respect and honor the ideal of purity in oneself and others. To learn how to practice pure love as a child, friend, spouse and parent. To dedicate oneself to absolute fidelity within marriage.

Later, during the supervisors' meeting, local organizer Michael Balcomb chided the supervisors for their wrong priorities. "San Francisco's young people need to be pure," he said, "and while the Supervisors cannot legislate behavior, they can lead by example." Citing links between sexual activity at school and poor educational achievement, he said that "education stressing abstinence and self- control would be the best contribution the supervisors could make."

Late last year, at simultaneous rallies in Hollywood and Washington DC, the Alliance announced its goal to reach a total of 10 million signatures for the Pure Love Pledge. Rallies were held in several major cities around the country, including Chicago, where Alliance members protested Playboy magazine for its shameless exploitation of women. More than 4,000 students demanded that Playboy and similar pornographic materials be removed from the college bookstores and libraries.

The Pure Love Alliance is also planning a major festival and rally in Atlanta this summer at the time of the Olympic Games. Several thousand young students from all over the world are expected to attend.

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