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News of the Day ... In Perspective

12/28/2005

PFOX victory on First Amendment grounds followed by ongoing controversy

Last May, Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) announced a win in U.S. District Court in Maryland, in a lawsuit filed against the Montgomery County Board of Education.

The suit complained that the public school sex-education curriculum advocated homosexuality and refused to allow the viewpoint that “change is possible and ex-gays exist.”

Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., wrote: “The Court is extremely troubled by the willingness of Montgomery County Public Schools to venture—or perhaps more correctly bound—into the crossroads of controversy where religion, morality, and homosexuality converge…. However, 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.”

Citing the importance of the First Amendment, the Judge stated that the “merit of Plaintiffs’ (PFOX’s) viewpoint—be it right, wrong, discriminatory, or just—is of no consequence. Rather, the Court is concerned with ensuring that the Plaintiffs’ free speech rights are not restricted merely because they voice an unpopular viewpoint….”

Controversy over the curriculum is ongoing. A Maryland School Board member recently appointed members of three “pro-homosexual” groups to its new Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development (CAC): the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL); Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); and Teach the Facts, which has close ties to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). A conservative parents group, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC), complains that that the board is not allowing the group to designate its own representative, though guaranteed a seat by the settlement agreement (Agape Press 12/19/05).

Additional information:

“Homosexuality: Some Neglected Considerations” by Nathaniel S. Lehrman, M.D.,
J Am Phys Surg, Fall 2005.

Letters about Lehrman article
J Am Phys Surg, Winter 2005.

 

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