“So, who wants to do the first point?” Mr Augustine asked and Amber instantly raised her hand. He hesitated before nodding for her to speak.
“Homosexuality has no value as the purpose of a relationship is to ultimately produce children,” She said, her voice clear and concise. And I was speaking without waiting for permission.
“Because so many straight couple bother with children? At the end of the day we need to worry about overpopulating the earth, so there's nothing wrong with it in that sense,” I replied. Surprising myself with how calm my voice was. Then opened my mouth to continue before she could say a word.
“And homosexual couples adopt, which helps the state financially and also benefits the children who are left by their straight parents,” Amber looked like she'd just been slapped across the face and I realised she'd never considered my comebacks to be so strong. She'd severely underestimated me.
“Adoption by homosexual couples is wrong-” she began, her voice almost stuttering as she spoke. I interrupted her pretty quickly.
“Psychological studies have reinforced a dozen times over that it has no effect on a child’s development. Various studies show they get the same school results and go on to live just as full lives. Its not about the gender roles but about the amount of love a child receives that effects how they grow up,” I explained. Now it was my turn to have a smug look on my face. Her face was beginning to look flustered.
“Gay marriage is wrong!” she yelled, latching onto anything she could think of. Mr Augustine was watching us closely now.
“And what are your justifications for that statement?” I asked her and she fumbled for words. Her teeth clenched as she looked over her paper.
“It's defies an old tradition, that marriage should be between a man and women,” she said, that smirk back in place. Oh, this was going to be fun.
“Black slavery is an old tradition, want to bring that back too?” I asked and she gave me a blank, confused expression.
“Exactly, because it was wrong. There are a list of old traditions which have been altered or added too. Heck Christmas never involved a tree, that was stolen from a pagan tradition. And a long time ago you would probably be hung for wearing a skirt so low,” I had to admit getting a comment in about her slutty skirt made me a little bit happy. Derek watched the back and forth in part confusion and part pain. I think he was trying to figure out who to back. I could feel Kim holding her breath next to me. Both her and Lily were watching the exchange closely.
“Homosexual relationships are always short-lived and meaningless,” She said, her brow was visibly sweating now, I opened my mouth to speak but Lily beat me to it.
“Homosexual relationship by adolescents and young adults? Yes, but that’s the same for straight couple. Just as heterosexual people mature as they get older, so do homosexuals. So unless your going to say heterosexuality is wrong as well, your point is invalid,” Lily shrugged with the last word. Amber looked liked she'd throw a hissy fit any second now.
“Homosexuality spreads Aids? That's the name of the disease right? Or am I getting my facts mixed up?” Derek said, shifting uncomfortably. I felt a sharp stab of pain go through me. I knew he was over there but that was because Amber dragged him there. I didn't think he'd actually speak.
“It's avoided provided you use protection, just like a girl preventing herself getting pregnant,” Kim said, her arm brushed mine under the table. I squeezed her hand and hoped it wasn't too obvious that I was upset by what Derek had said. I could see Lily glancing my way to check I was okay and I make a slight shrug so she wouldn't worry.
“Who cares about that stuff? These people don't choose to be gay or straight, they just are. So there's no point in trying to call one better than the other” James said, his confusion replaced by determination. It was the most logical thing I think I'd ever heard him say.
“Really? Then why is there evidence that therapy can turn some gay people straight?” Amber said, giving James a condescending smile.
“Incorrect, there were studies years ago that claimed conversion therapy worked, but only in a few cases and they purposely concealed how many failed cases they had. The only way a homosexual person can be close to heterosexual is if they choose to live a heterosexual lifestyle - but that would be a very unhappy life as they'd be forcing themselves to be something their not. It would result in more divorce and possibly children with a split up family,” Lily said. Amber sent her a vicious glare for that.
“So basically, leave the homosexuals alone,” James summed up for us. Amber opened her mouth to say another point but Mr Augustine sent her a silencing look.
“It's safe to say the for homosexuality team won that one. You guys can go. Those on the against team that lost, your homework is to read up on every single fact the for team gave. Because clearly these guys knew what they were talking about.” With that, class was over. As we left I purposely avoided going near Derek, otherwise I might shout a few curse words at him. I knew he'd just been grasping for something because there had been one heck of an uncomfortable silence. But I was still mad. I headed to my locker, wanting to get home as fast as I could.
“Since when did you know so much about gays?” I felt my grip on my locker door tighten at the loose way Derek asked the question. There wasn't any suspicion in his voice, I'd be able to tell it straight away. He was just curious.
“Just like to know stuff,” I said, slinging my bag over my shoulder. I didn't wait to see if he was following me, just walked out of school and down the street.
“Well, it was interesting. I mean, I never knew half that stuff before,” He said with a shrug, a smile on his face.
“You managed to think up the right name of the disease well enough,” I said, trying and failing to hide the spite in my voice. And I knew he'd heard it because a hurt look crossed his face.
“It was a debate, had to say something, right?” he said, his hands were firmly in his pockets and his shoulders hunched.
“I didn't enjoy saying it, like James said. Can't help who you like,” Derek said with a dismissive shrug. Yeah, not being able to choose was beginning to annoy me. I pulled out my phone and texted Lily. Making sure Derek couldn't see my text.
Meet up after school – Want 2 go.
Lily texted back a yay which I couldn't help smiling at. That text Derek managed to see.
“Oh, texting Lily, huh? Sure your not interested afterall?” He laughed at my shaking head.
“Just friends,” I reinforced.