A coalition led by the National Educational Association (NEA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) has come under fire recently over a published booklet that was distributed throughout the nation's 16,000 school districts, and which critics claim endorses homosexuality.
The 24-page booklet, titled "Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth," claims to act as a helpful guide for educators "who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian and bisexual students."
"Many adolescents as well as adults may identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual," reads the booklet, published the Just the Facts Coalition. "This is particularly relevant during adolescence because experimentation and discovery are normal and common during this developmental period."
The booklet, which claims to include "the most recent information from professional health organizations," further states:
"Most lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths are healthy individuals who have significant attachments to and make contributions to their families, peers, schools, and religious institutions.
"Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy, has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations."
Conservative groups, in response, have dismissed both the booklet and its "facts."
"Among the so-called 'facts' in the 24-page document is the opinion that homosexuality is 'a normal expression of human sexuality,'" stated Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), in an email to FRC supporters.
Perkins derided both the NEA and APA in their roles in producing the booklet.
"For years, the organization (NEA) has used teachers' dues to subsidize its top officials' left-wing fanaticism, which includes everything from promoting homosexuality and abortion in schools to pushing birth control," Perkins stated.
"The APA is no better. In the past few decades, the group has gone from listing homosexuality as a mental disorder to becoming one of its biggest champions in the public square," he added.
Perkins accused the two groups of "using their influence to transform public schools into incubators for their radical social agendas."
Most recently, in an effort to counter the booklets' influence in schools, the FRC has released a guide for parents, titled "Homosexuality in your child's school."
"Despite decades of activism and media propaganda promoting acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, and a number of political and judicial victories for the pro-homosexual movement, polls show that a clear majority of Americans still believe that homosexual behavior is 'morally wrong," said Paul Sprigg, vice president for policy of the FRC.
"This pamphlet will equip you to oppose this promotion of homosexuality in your child's school," he added.
First formed in 1998, the Just the Facts coalition produced the original version of its booklet "to respond to concerns that school personnel were receiving inaccurate information on the issue of sexual orientation." The updated publication "reflects the coalition's continuing concern about the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian and bisexual students."
The coalition is comprised of 13 different groups.
On the Web: www.frc.org