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Outrage Follows Graduation Speaker's Marriage Remarks

He urged Ohio high school students to follow 'Biblical principles'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2022 7:00 AM CDT
Graduation Speaker's Marriage Remarks Prove Contentious
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Rattankun Thongbun)

A public school district in Ohio says it will be "reviewing its processes" after a graduation speaker urged students to avoid same-sex marriages. "Choose a spouse, I suggest. I also strongly suggest to make sure to choose Biblical principles, you know, a male with a female and female with a male," Jim McGuire told students at the River Valley High School graduation ceremony last week. Some of those in attendance at the school in Marion, north of Columbus, said they were shocked by the remarks from McGuire, a River Valley graduate who now owns a manufacturing company, the Marion Star reports.

"When he made the comment that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, my jaw dropped to the floor, and I honestly thought I was hearing it wrong," Alexis Osipow tells the Star. Osipow—a 2018 River Valley graduate who was there for her younger sister's graduation—says she "felt like crying when I heard some people in the crowd clapping. But I was absolutely outraged and so were my parents and brother. I heard people behind me whispering about how inappropriate the comment was as well."

The district released a statement the day after the ceremony saying McGuire's speech was not reviewed before the event and his remarks reflect his personal beliefs, not those of the district, WBNS reports. The district also released a transcript of his remarks. The district said it will review procedures for future ceremonies "to ensure our students, families, and guests receive a high-quality program focusing on the accomplishments of our graduating class." (Read more Ohio stories.)

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