May 9, 2005
A federal judge has blocked implementation of homosexual sex-education curriculum in Montgomery County, Maryland, schools. Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that effectively stops the sex-ed program that was scheduled to begin late last week in six pilot schools in grades 8-10.
Two groups -- Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) -- filed a lawsuit challenging what they felt was a one-sided presentation on the issue of sexual orientation. The curriculum also ventures into the realm of religion, explaining what Jesus allegedly did and did not say about homosexuality, portraying evangelicals as intolerant and prejudiced, and referring readers to "gay-friendly" religious organizations.
In his 21-page opinion, Judge Williams agreed, stating the curriculum would "open up the classroom to the subject of homosexuality, and specifically, the moral rightness of the homosexual lifestyle." He added that "the revised curriculum presents only one view on the subject -- that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle -- to the exclusion of other perspectives."
Rena Lindevaldsen is an attorney with Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which sought the TRO on behalf of the two groups. She says the sex-ed program is not only inaccurate, but is also hostile to Christian views. She describes it as "a very controversial sex-ed curriculum" that, in addition to being one-sided, takes positions on religious doctrine concerning homosexuality.
According to the attorney, the curriculum also contains misinformation about health risks posed by condom usage.
"They cited a 98 percent effectiveness rate [for condoms in] preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases," she explains, "when the U.S. government cites that many diseases are not at all stopped by condoms -- and the pregnancy rate is more like 87 percent when [condoms are] used properly."
Mat Staver, president and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, says when offered PFOX-produced material for inclusion in the curriculum, the school district "squarely rejected" that material because it presented an "ex-gay" perspective. Staver says the school board argued it had the right to pick a side on this controversial subject and to suppress opposing viewpoints.
"In allegiance to the agenda of homosexual advocacy groups, the school board was willing to convey a message that carries substantial physical and mental health consequences," Staver says. "Given the epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases, the district was essentially playing Russian roulette with the lives of the students entrusted to them."
Staver is not alone in his praise of Judge Williams' ruling. Robert Knight with Concerned Women for America's Culture & Family Institute says the school board's plan backfired. "The Montgomery County School Board tried to steamroll this pansexual propaganda right over parents, but they didn't bargain for the kind of reaction it triggered," Knight says. "Perhaps next time they will live up to their claim of respecting 'diversity' and allow more opinions into the process."
Knight adds that the insertion of "gay-friendly" religious themes in the material did not go unnoticed by pro-family groups. "Liberals insist on the separation of church and state when that suits their agenda," he observes. "But they are only too happy to welcome into the schools a funhouse mirror version of religion that supports the latest methods for sexualizing children. This time, they got caught at it."
Liberty Counsel is now hoping Judge Williams will issue a preliminary injunction that would stop implementation of the curriculum. In the meantime, the TRO amounts to a "huge victory for parents and students," says Staver.
"The ruling by the judge blocking this radical, pro-homosexual, one-sided curriculum sends a message to every school that they must not trample the rights of parents, nor may they use our children as human experiments," the attorney exclaims.
© 2005 Agape Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.