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Pro-Gay Sex-Ed Curriculum Passes Md. Board Despite Pro-Family Efforts

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By Doug Huntington, Christian Post Reporter
July 6, 2007|8:01 am

Pro-family groups are upset over a ruling in Maryland this week that has approved a homosexual-friendly sexual-education curriculum.

The Maryland State Board of Education wrote a 17-page opinion paper Tuesday in which they explained that they found nothing illegal as part of the new curriculum which addresses sexual orientation as well as condom use. Since the board could only throw out the program if it broke the law, the panel members will back the Montgomery County Board of Education’s new education layout.

Leading pro-family groups are now deciding whether they want to take the case to federal court to try and reverse the decision.

"There are many parents here in Montgomery County who are opposed to the curriculum," explained Michelle Turner, spokeswoman for the community group Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, to the Washington Post.

As part of the new curriculum, 90 minutes of course material would be added to the current health class schedules. In the fall for eighth and tenth graders, students would learn about differing sexual orientations and accepting alternative lifestyles. Tenth graders would also watch a DVD on the correct use of a condom.

Parents have been fighting the issue for about five years now, noting that the classes are mandatory and that their children should not be forced to learn about such issues.

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While members on the Maryland board did agree that parents should have a say in how to raise their children, they say “that right is not absolute.”

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

The curriculum could only be overturned if it was found to break any current laws. For example, a similar curriculum was first proposed in 2005 by the Montgomery School Board but was thrown out by a federal judge because materials criticized religious fundamentalism.

Pro-family groups brought up about 12 allegations about the current issue, but the school board dismissed every account as legal.

Opponents still disagree with the ruling and argue that the curriculum suppresses religious students’ voice to express homosexuality as a sin. The classes are one-sided, leaning towards a favorable view of alternative lifestyles, explained religious proponents.

The curriculum challengers were also upset that they could not address the panel before they voted on the changes. The board held a closed session with seven people signing the opinion paper and four abstaining.

"I wish we had had an opportunity to address the board," added Turner.

Parents are also worried that the new lectures may spread to other counties after it is initiated within Montgomery County.

The controversy is similar to a recent curriculum bill, Senate Bill 777 (S.B. 777), that is currently being voted on in the California legislature. The legislation would ban all bias against homosexuals, transgenders, and bisexuals at public schools. The bill has already passed the Senate and the California Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

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