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Pro-Family Groups Threatening Lawsuits over Pro-Gay Sex-Ed Curriculum

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By Doug Huntington, Christian Post Reporter
July 9, 2007|5:18 pm

Several pro-family groups have been contemplating whether or not to file a federal lawsuit after members of a Maryland school board OK’d a new homosexual-friendly sex-ed curriculum.

The lawsuit would be an attempt to reverse the decision found in a 17-page opinion paper written by Maryland State Board of Education officials. In the document, officials explained that a new health education layout as part of the Montgomery County Board of Education that would teach about sexual orientation and condom use was legal and thus should not be thrown out.

Christian groups are arguing that the decision not only goes against what parents in the area want, but that the curriculum illogically violates parents rights in upbringing their children and that it is intolerant to those against alternative lifestyles.

"Schools should not be an adversary to the parent; they should be an extension of the parents' wishes because, after all, they are engaged in helping the parent bring up the child in the parents' value system,” explained Mat Staver, founder of Christian legal firm Liberty Counsel – one of the groups considering further litigation – to One News Now. "[W]hat we're now seeing is exactly the opposite. We're seeing schools, and even some courts, say that indeed there could be this adversarial relationship, and that parents' rights cease to exist, essentially, when they drop their child off at the schoolhouse gate."

Initially, pro-family groups brought up 12 allegations against the new curriculum to be implemented by the Maryland county school board. Each of the arguments were thrown out, however, by the board members, who explained that none of them broke the law and that they would only remove the provisions if they were illegal.

Although the officials agreed that parents have a right to upbringing their children, that “right is not absolute.”

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“It must bend to the State's duty to educate its citizens," wrote the state board.

As part of the new education program, 90 minutes of course material would be added to health classes. Eight and tenth graders would learn about differing sexual orientations and acceptance of such lifestyles during the fall. In addition, tenth graders would have to watch a DVD on how to use a condom.

Opponents have explained that the ruling by the state board is still discriminatory towards those who feel homosexuality is a sin. It is also unfair, because it labels anyone who disagrees with the curriculum as being a “bigot.”

"We're called homophobes; we're called bigots,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) – the latest group to threaten a lawsuit – to One News Now. “I have been told to stay out of the school or else. I consider that to be threatening behavior [but] the state school board knows all of this and has ignored it. That's a violation of free speech – that's a violation of equal access, in my book."

She also explained that the board has ignored health problems that come about from a homosexual lifestyle since the curriculum mentions none of the adverse health effects. She cites a signed letter from 270 physicians sent to the board that warns that gay sex is too dangerous to practice.

"In other words," added Griggs, "if you are a physician who's concerned about the health and well-being of students, if you are a parent who holds a different viewpoint on homosexuality, or if you are an ex-gay, you have no voice. You're a bigot."

There is currently no time frame on how long each group has to file the lawsuit, but they will most likely decide within the near future on whether to take action.

According to the groups, a large reason to challenge the board’s position is to also prevent the school policy from spreading to other Maryland counties.

The issue is similar to a current bill being voted upon in the California legislature, Senate Bill 777 (S.B. 777). In the law, it prohibits all bias against homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders at public school. The bill has already passed the Senate and the California Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

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