Oh, no, we’re turning into West Hollywood!

In a town called Okemos, Michigan, some parents spoke out this week against the presence of a Gay-Straight Alliance at the local high school while also decrying the appointment of a minister to the school district’s sex education advisory committee.

The disgruntled parents protested the appointment of Rev. Beth Grimshaw, a Church of Christ minister, because she backs same-sex marriages.

“This is not West Hollywood,” one parent told the school board. “This is Okemos, Michigan. What in the world is going on here?”

What in the world indeed?

Just for the record, Okemos is a community of 23,000 near the state capital of Lansing and is named after an Ojibwa chief.

In contrast, West Hollywood lists the Gabrielino Indians as its first residents and was once known as the town of Sherman before it incorporated and was officially renamed for a sense of direction attached to a more recognizable name. Oh, yes, the 2000 Census put the city’s population at more than 35,000, which does include a few gays.

But Hollywood – the industry state of mind and not that other city – has its own link to Okemos High School. It seems that actor and former model Tom Welling is a 1995 graduate of Okemos High. Perhaps appropriately enough, he played Clark Kent in the television series Smallville.


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