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Same-Sex Marriage Debate Moves Into Schools
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 2/09/04 | Robert B. Bluey

Posted on 02/09/2004 3:16:36 AM PST by kattracks

(CNSNews.com) - All eyes are on Massachusetts this week as the state Legislature prepares to address the question of same-sex marriage. But even outside the State House in Boston, public schools across the country are being encouraged to debate the issue in their classrooms.

Teachers now have an easily accessible "curriculum guide" at their disposal. The six-point lesson plan is the work of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which advocates an end to what it considers an anti-homosexual bias in schools.

The group, best known by its GLSEN acronym, has been influential in the creation and support of students clubs, but it also serves as a place for teachers to turn when they have questions about homosexuality issues.

The marriage curriculum guide was released last fall, before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted homosexuals the right to marry.

The lesson plans range from discussing the "historical parallels" of same-sex marriage to providing students with the chance to read books about homosexual relations and then consider what it would be like to be in a same-sex wedding.

"Educators are presented with an opportunity to teach students about one of the most significant civil and human rights issues of our time," the guide states. "Along with parents and care takers, schools must take a leading role in providing accurate information about same-sex relationships."

Even though GLSEN doesn't know how many teachers might be using its guide, the group reaches thousands of schools. More than 2,000 student clubs known as Gay-Straight Alliances are in operation, and in just one week, about 3,500 teachers signed up and downloaded resources for "No Name-Calling Week," an effort coordinated by GLSEN and 40 other organizations.

Sean J. Haley, executive director of GLSEN Boston, said the chapter was "uniquely honored and privileged" to have the marriage debate played out in Massachusetts.

"A number of schools, communities and teachers are engaging this issue as a civil rights issue," Haley said. "[Teachers are] pursuing the curriculum and language in the same context that lessons are presented in African-American civil rights issues, women's equality and other movements."

But the notion of GLSEN providing a marriage curriculum guide for educators has enraged pro-family and parental-rights advocates from coast to coast. They said parents would be outraged if they knew what was taking place in public school classrooms.

"They have started the campaign in a big way. The stuff these national groups put out to help kids become homosexuals is pretty ghastly," said Brian Camenker, president of the Massachusetts-based Parent's Rights Coalition. "These guys are in the high schools in Massachusetts as we speak, and they are proselytizing the kids in a huge way."

Camenker is perhaps best known for his role in exposing what transpired at a GLSEN Boston-sponsored conference in March 2000 - a conference that was dubbed "Fistgate" for the graphic sexual language used by presenters.

Pro-family advocates still cite the episode as a reason why parents should be skeptical of letting their children participate in any sex-related discussions.

"Any parent who leaves his or her child in the hands of homosexual activists does not love that child. They are declaring their indifference," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America. "It's a form of child abuse. They're allowing their children to be seduced into immoral and dangerous sexual behavior."

For the record, the national office of GLSEN condemned the activities at the 2000 conference, said Joshua Lamont, communications director for the New York-based organization.

"In any organization's history, there are going to be instances like that, that opposition groups use inappropriately as representative examples of an entire organization's mission," Lamont said. "Our mission is simple: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are targeted for harassment in our schools. That's not OK. Our mission is to make sure that stops."

That's where the marriage curriculum guide and other similar resources come into play, Lamont said. GLSEN also trains teachers on how to combat homophobia and assists Gay-Straight Alliances in cases where they face resistance.

Lamont said GLSEN keeps an open mind when it comes to issues affecting homosexuals.

"As an organization, we do not have an official stance one way or the other on the marriage issue itself," he said. "That's because we're branded as an education organization. The reality is that it's something that's been talked about a lot, and our concern has been for educators having the resources to facilitate some sort of discussion in their classrooms about this topic."

Camenker, however, said GLSEN's real goal is to turn kids into homosexuals, a charge that Lamont denied.

"The hardest part of dealing with these people as a parent is the fact they are such bold liars about what they do," Camenker said. "They say it with such a straight face what they do, and then you see what they do and it's so different."

Camenker said his child's school in Newton, Mass., staged a mandatory assembly as part of a homosexual awareness day three weeks after the Supreme Judicial Court's Nov. 18 ruling. But as a parent, he said he knew nothing about it. That's why Camenker has asked lawmakers to enact an opt-in style permission requirement.

"Quite often parents aren't allowed to even know what's going on," said Sandi Martinez, the Massachusetts state director of Concerned Women for America.

The concerns extend to the West Coast as well. Randy Thomasson, executive director of the Campaign for California Families, said he has created a student exemption form for parents wanting to shield their child from sex-related discussions.

The efforts of parental-rights advocates haven't gone unnoticed at GLSEN. Julie Lienert, executive director of the San Francisco-East Bay chapter, said teachers are often scared to broach the issues outlined in GLSEN's curriculum guides.

"There has been a lot of resistance to even talking about safe schools for gay and lesbian youth, let alone more politically charged issues like marriage," she said. "People are extremely fearful of parent communities and fearful of backlash."

Those sentiments were confirmed by Kirk Bell, GLSEN's education training coordinator, who has worked with teachers from Phoenix to Dallas to Anchorage, Alaska. Bell imparts his knowledge and then encourages educators to share it with others.

"Teachers are hesitant," Bell said. "There seems to be a certain level of bravado among some students, and unfortunately even a handful of teachers, to express homophobic views. It really brings out the best and the worst in people. It's a constant uphill challenge."

While most of GLSEN's work is directed toward high school students, it sometimes reaches middle school students, and to a lesser extent those in elementary school, Lamont said.

One of GLSEN Boston's board members, Marc E. Lewis, is a seventh grade social studies teacher at Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. He said he has used the curriculum guides in the past, although he hasn't used the one on marriage.

Lewis called the guides "balanced," and he said they make complex issues easy for students to understand. Even an issue as controversial as same-sex marriage he considers a valid subject for classroom discussion.

"Every one of our students needs to know that no matter what their family looks like, and no matter what kind of home they come from, they are no less worthy of inclusion in what we mean by family," Lewis said. "At the end of the day, we need to do what we know is right. And what is right is making sure that every one of our students feels valued and respected."

E-mail a news tip to Robert B. Bluey.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: briancamenker; curriculum; glsen; homosexualagenda; lavendermafia; marriage; recruiting

1 posted on 02/09/2004 3:16:37 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Outrageous.
2 posted on 02/09/2004 3:27:24 AM PST by independentmind
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To: seamole
fyi
3 posted on 02/09/2004 3:35:12 AM PST by independentmind
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To: kattracks
The Boston Globe is OWNED by the New York Times
and together they want children to debate their gay dictatorship
but want to DENY adults voting on the issue.

NOTA BENE: This weekend, the New York Times finally revealed that its redefinition of marriage
[designed, engineered, and foistered by
the New York Times' Anthony Lewis-Marshall bedded into the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts]
was based upon ....(drumrolls) two gay Central Park Zoo penguins and their ecstatic behavior
which reportedly excited many in the New York Times.

4 posted on 02/09/2004 3:44:15 AM PST by Diogenesis (If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us)
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To: kattracks
Same-Sex Marriage Debate Moves Into Schools

Just what the kids need! Bring a tape of the Super Bowl half time show for added flavor.

5 posted on 02/09/2004 4:02:15 AM PST by thesummerwind (Like painted kites, those days and nights, they went flyin' by)
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To: kattracks; independentmind; Diogenesis
The lesson plans range from discussing the "historical parallels" of same-sex marriage

Don't even compare this to the (black) civil rights movement.

What's next, btw, marriage between a father and a daughter, three men and three women, a girl and her Great Dane?

6 posted on 02/09/2004 4:06:52 AM PST by thesummerwind (Like painted kites, those days and nights, they went flyin' by)
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To: thesummerwind
Public Education: Johny is PC but it doesn't matter, because Johny can't read.
7 posted on 02/09/2004 4:12:21 AM PST by Fenris6
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To: thesummerwind
"What's next, btw, marriage between a father and a daughter, three men and three women, a girl and her Great Dane?"

Now I know where Claire Dane came from../snicker
8 posted on 02/09/2004 4:24:03 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (60 Senate seats changes the world!!)
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I can't believe they even make the curriculum available by web sight or any other way. If my schools here in Illinois were to attempt something this disgusting, there would be hell to pay. I know of no parents here that would tolerate anything like this. These people should be ashamed of themselves. But of course they aren't, look at the lifestyle they are leading!
9 posted on 02/09/2004 4:34:19 AM PST by codyjacksmom
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To: kattracks
public schools across the country are being encouraged to debate the issue in their classrooms.

Debate, my eye. It's the indoctrination of a captive audience. Does anyone really think that a point of view that differs from the teachers will actually be heard? Geez, just the idea of a conservative club sends them into panic & attack mode.

10 posted on 02/09/2004 5:09:00 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage
How about schools just imparting academic knowledge and leaving social indoctrination out of the curriculum?

This is going to be big in MA public schools. Parents who don't like it will probably have to remove their children.
11 posted on 02/09/2004 5:37:39 AM PST by ladylib
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To: kattracks; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; ...
Camenker said his child's school in Newton, Mass., staged a mandatory assembly as part of a homosexual awareness day three weeks after the Supreme Judicial Court's Nov. 18 ruling. But as a parent, he said he knew nothing about it.

Reason #297,845 to homeschool your children!

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


12 posted on 02/10/2004 10:08:56 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: kattracks; seamole; little jeremiah
Teachers now have an easily accessible "curriculum guide" at their disposal. The six-point lesson plan is the work of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which advocates an end to what it considers an anti-homosexual bias in schools.

Ping!!!

13 posted on 02/10/2004 10:10:41 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: NYer
Newton, MA is on the cutting edge of cultural insanity. If you want to know what PC pedagogy is headed your way in the next 5 or 6 years, just take a look at Newton. I know, I used to live in the town next door.
14 posted on 02/10/2004 10:18:32 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: NYer
This is a quote from the link in the article:

The FISTGATE Report

"A lesson in fisting?" There was a five minute pause so that all of the teenagers could write down questions for the homosexual presenters. The first question was read by Julie Netherland, "What’s fisting?" A student answered this question by informing the class that "fisting" is when you put your "whole hand into the a#@ or p@$#%" of another. When a few of the students winced, the Department of Public Health employee offered, "A little known fact about fisting: you don’t make a fist like this. It’s like this." He formed his hand into the shape of a tear drop rather than a balled fist. He informed the children that it was much easier.

This passes as "education" for children.

I have heard some say the sodomites should be put back in the closet and the door nailed shut.

15 posted on 02/10/2004 10:25:09 AM PST by johnb2004
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To: johnb2004
I have heard some say the sodomites should be put back in the closet and the door nailed shut.

Here ... let me help you!!!

Just wonder how many kids got together after school to practice what they learned.

16 posted on 02/10/2004 10:32:26 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: NYer
Can you imagine such garbage?????
17 posted on 02/10/2004 10:36:11 AM PST by johnb2004
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To: kattracks
"Every one of our students needs to know that no matter what their family looks like, and no matter what kind of home they come from, they are no less worthy of inclusion in what we mean by family," Lewis said. "At the end of the day, we need to do what we know is right. And what is right is making sure that every one of our students feels valued and respected."

Sheer stupidity. To be treated fairly and worthy has little or nothing to do with condoning the poor choices their parents have made.

It is important that parents counter such bolony with the simple teachings of manners, plus the added guidance that getting a good grade means learning the material although sometimes what they teach is pure and utter garbage. Learn it for a passing grade, but know it is wrong.

Please don't come at me with home-schooling yadda-yadda, I know some believe in it but it is certainly not a path I would ever choose.

18 posted on 02/10/2004 10:36:30 AM PST by fml ( You can twist perception, reality won't budge. -RUSH)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: kattracks
I would like to take this time to apologize to Anita Bryant. You were right.
20 posted on 02/10/2004 12:17:49 PM PST by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
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To: seamole
What is it about homosexual activists that makes them swarm our schools? Why do our schools allow this but not the teaching of religion or the singing of Christmas carols?

Lowlifes are attracted to government schools like flies to shi-. Why? Because they have a captive audience.

The only feasible way out of this mess is the implementation of a school voucher system.

The only way out in the meantime is homeschooling or private schooling.

21 posted on 02/10/2004 12:35:53 PM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: dombett
Now this one is truly frightening!
22 posted on 02/10/2004 4:22:02 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: kattracks
I don't understand why people are getting so upset about this. It shouldn't surprise anyone to see these things happening. Just because people are the way they are, doesn't mean God has changed his standards. Actually, these things are supposed to happen. Soon, and it's versed in the bible, God will be outlawed, then we'll see just what his standards really are. Till then all you can do is sit back and let it ride.
23 posted on 02/10/2004 4:36:24 PM PST by vnix
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To: kattracks
"Educators are presented with an opportunity to teach students about one of the most significant civil and human rights issues of our time," the [same-sex marriage] guide states.

And they're in our schools.

24 posted on 02/11/2004 10:52:17 AM PST by tuesday afternoon
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To: kattracks
Do the students have to eat poop during class?
25 posted on 02/11/2004 10:53:29 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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