Thursday, February 15, 2007

CRC v. Covert Politically Correct Code Talk

Let me warn you: this is a long one. The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, PFOX, and some other group filed an appeal last week with the state school board, which you can read HERE. The appeal asks the board to overrule the county school board's decision to implement a new sex-ed curriculum.

Interestingly, three different people have emailed me analyses of the CRC's appeal to the state court. Turns out the appeal document is chock-full of lies and misdirections. I never would have expected that. He said, without even a hint of weary irony.

All three analysts took their own approach to it, some more legal, some more checking for accuracy, etc. It would not be practical to try to list out everything, but let me hit some important points -- I will not get into fine legal details, even though that's what it will ultimately turn on, mainly because I don't understand it all. We recognize that the CRC filed this appeal knowing there would be no chance the state would go along with them. We are considering it a dress rehearsal for their inevitable lawsuit.

Here's the kind of thing they say:
Appellants maintain that teaching respect for persons with same-sex attraction is appropriate and right, but that the revised materials go beyond the ethic of teaching respect by demanding affirmation of a homosexual behavior, and in fact teach only one side of this controversial topic, ignoring substantial health risks associated uniquely with same-sex sexual activity.
This last phrase is meaningless. There is no "same-sex sexual activity" that is not also "opposite-sex sexual activity." If there is no unique behavior, how could risks be associated uniquely with it?

We have several responses to this section:
1. Health risks are not in this section, they are found in the section on STDs. This is a very important point. The CRC says "it doesn't emphasize STDs enough," but the fact is, there is a whole section about STDs.
2. Anal sex is NOT uniquely "same-sex sexual activity." According to a recent CDC survey, about 40 percent of adult Americans have engaged in anal sex with a partner of the opposite sex.
3. These classes are not about sexual behavior or activity; they are about sexual orientation. Lesson 10.2 states, "Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Persons may, or may not express their sexual orientation and homosexuality in their behaviors." APA 2006 and "A person may be a particular sexual orientation, but never express it through action." APA 2006

MCPS does not intend to teach 8th or 10th graders about anal sex, and I don't think they should, either, even though the CRC wants them to.

The suers say:
... the revised materials go beyond the ethic of teaching respect by demanding affirmation of a homosexual behavior ...
Pure fabrication. There is no affirmation anywhere in the curriculum, stated or demanded. As stated in Number 3 above, "These classes are not about sexual behavior or activity; they are about sexual orientation."

CRC and their co-whiners told the state:
Appellees made a deliberate decision to include discussion on the highly controversial social issue of sexual orientation, including homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, transgender, intersexual, gender identity, 'coming out' for gays, and gender identity in its comprehensive health education.
So, why did they leave these other words out of the 10th Grade Vocabulary: gay, heterosexual, human sexuality, prejudice, sexual identity, tolerance, trusted adult, and validity, and these other words out of 8th Grade: empathy, epithet, generalization, harassment, heterosexual, respect, sexual identity, sexuality, stereotyping, tolerance, trusted adult?

Easy: they left them out because they wanted to take the controversial-sounding words out of context. Students learn a lot of vocabulary in these lessons. That's a good thing.
the school district introduces the subjects of "sexual orientation" and "sexual identity," instructing staff to present only one side of the story...
Of course no one is instructed to "present only one side of the story." That's a lie. Teachers present the facts as agreed to by all the mainstream medical and scientific organizations.

Appellees were presented with materials explaining the unique health risks for gender identity confusion. Nevertheless, the CAC uniformly rejected those materials.
The citizens advisory committee (CAC) spent many hours discusing the CRC's and PFOX's suggested changes to the curriculum. All proposed changes were discussed and then the group democratically voted to accept or reject materials that were presented in a timely manner (even some presented late) to the CAC. These particular changes were not accepted by the group.

Section 2 of the 2005 Settlement Agreement ... states in part that MCPS agrees that the revisions to the Grade 8 and Grade 10 Comprehensive Health Education curriculum as well as associated resource materials, will not discuss religious beliefs.... This would not preclude a general acknowledgment that there may be differing religious views on some of the topics discussed in the Revisions without discussion of what those differing beliefs are.... (2005 Settlement Agreement, p.20).
Telling MCPS students that some people view homosexual behavior as a sin would violate this section of the Settlement Agreement. Any mention of religious beliefs must NOT include "what those differing beliefs are."

I gotta say, this next one floors me.
Many on the Second CAC are related to the abortion industry as well, certainly a beneficiary of increased teen sexual activity.
Nobody on the committee is related to the abortion industry, if there is such a thing. One member represented NARAL, the pro-choice organization, but even that group is not related to any "abortion industry." And the NARAL representative herself works for a private school, nothing to do with abortions. No one on the committee, as far as I know, has anything to do with any abortion industry. This is a lie, designed to inflame.

Efforts of Dr. Jacobs, Mr. Sprigg, and Ms. Faustino to make contributions to the CAC or to find a response to their views from the MCPS Board and MCPS Supervisor were ineffective.
This is correct. They were ineffective. Many of their suggestions were voted down, after spirited discussions, by a majority of others on the CAC. Some were accepted, but it's true they were ineffective at convincing the other committee members of many of their points.

Efforts by Dr. Jacobs to ensure that homosexual students and other students would be fully informed of the very serious health risks of homosexual sexual practices were totally rebuffed.
This citizens committee was tasked to evaluate the sexual orientation and condom lessons. The committee was not asked to evaluate the lessons on sexually-transmitted disease, which seems to be Dr. Jacobs' area of expertise. She should volunteer for that committee.

The fact is, none of these lessons talked at all about "homosexual sexual practices," and, again, most in MCPS and on the committee did not think the topic was appropriate for children of this age, though the CRC insisted on it.

Evidence submitted by those minority members was ignored or voted down or members refrained from voting thereby not reaching a quorum.
Numerous items "submitted by those minority members" were approved by the CAC. Many other items were voted down by the majority of CAC members. Every CAC meeting had a quorum present. Maybe they mean to say that some voters abstained, and thus a majority did not accept some suggestions. That is standard orderly procedure in most committees.

Nothing was ignored. The committee added extra meetings to its schedule and stayed more than an hour late many times, in order to discuss and vote on the often-spurious offerings of the CRC's representative.

The petition was never permitted to be presented in full to the Second CAC and was effectively ignored by the MCPS.
Even though the petition was not part of the committee's business, and even though at least one doctor who signed it has written MCPS to say that the petition was "misrepresented" to the physicians who signed it, Dr. Jacobs did read her entire petition to the CAC and told them how many doctors had signed it.

In November 2007 Ms. Faustino wrote a speech to the MCPS...
How'd she do that? It's only February 2007 now. Sorry.

The three Second CAC minority members, Appellants CRC and PFOX and, additionally, Maria Pena Faustino, wrote an independent report of their views which report was entitled "Minority Report," dated December 12, 2006, ... [and] ...the Second CAC refused to accept it.
The minority report contained items that the CAC had already discussed and voted to reject. The document was not requested by the committee or added to any committee agenda.

It [the word "innate" to be added to the 8th grade curriculum] was submitted by MCSP upon a spontaneous recommendation by the MCPS staff.
MCPS staff suggested adding a statement about innateness when it was realized that "innate" was in 10th grade but not in 8th grade so there would be internal consistency within the curricula, which is important for teaching.

Despite the fact there is no sound scientific basis for such an assertion.
All major medical and scientific organizations agree that sexual orientation is innate. If the CRC would like to march over to the university and challenge their methods, they are free to do that, but I think they will be in over their heads.

The Additional Lessons convey the message that homosexuality and cross dressing is [sic] as normal as heterosexuality, but fails [sic] to inform students of the very serious and unique health risks associated with same-sex sexual activity or that there are recognized contrasting points of view on the subject.
I think this sentence confuses the word "normal" with "common." Sexual variations are normal but rare. There is obviously no health risk to cross-dressing, and none to homosexuality, if the person adheres to common-sense safe sex practices, for example has sex only in a monogamous, faithful relationship.

This paragraph is full of misdirection and lies:
Appellees also have set up a system where students are compelled to speak on a sensitive subject. District policies state that students should not be required to reveal their moral, ideological or religious views on sensitive issues. Yet, the only way for students to escape the biased, non-factual discussion of sexual orientation is to "opt-out" of the ongoing comprehensive health education course. And it is clear that the opt-out is not really an option for students who want to avoid looking conspicuous; instead, it is a traumatic matter which is no option at all.
First of all, no student is compelled to speak on any subject.

Second, a student opting-out will be expressing their parents' views; the option says nothing about their own.

Third, the system requires opt-in. It is impossible that the complainers don't know this, especially given the correction that was published by The Examiner. Parents have to sign a permission slip in order for their children to take the classes. In most states, conservatives fight for this approach, as it makes it harder for students to take the class. CRC/PFOX fight against it.

Fourth, looking conspicuous: are they really that afraid for people to know what they believe?

Appellees failed to show respect for varying opinions on this controversial issue by rejecting Appellants' recommendation that the curriculum include the statement that "Civil expressions of disapproval of homosexual behavior out of sincere religious, moral, or health-related concerns should not be labeled as homophobia."
The citizens committee voted to include this, but the school district decided not to. Some things I wanted didn't make it, either.

In contrast, Appellee refused to include the term "heterophobia," although they approved the term 'homophobia.'
Yes, this is typical. One of their numerous suggestions for the curriculum was that it should include a definition of the word "Heterophobia: the fear or hatred of the ex-gay community and homosexuals who seek to fulfill their heterosexual potential." There is a word heterophobia, but it doesn't mean that. It has never meant that. This kind of proposal was simply made so they could cry later that the committee voted against it -- but the proposal was simply erroneous.

The Additional Lessons recommend students to GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) school clubs, but rejected Appellants' request for inclusion of GSC (Gay to Straight) school clubs.
As far as we know, there has never been a Gay to Straight club formed at any MCPS school. GSAa are common in our county, with nearly every high school havving one. Why would they even suggest this?

the Appellants seek to protect their legitimate, albeit unpopular, religious belief that views the homosexual sex acts as sinful from being refuted to their children in classes teaching the Additional Lessons.
MCPS does not teach about sin. The curriculum does not discuss any religious beliefs, one way or the other. Whiners' religious beliefs are not challenged at all by this curriculum -- if they think it's a sin, then, to them, it's a sin. Nobody says it's not.

Lesson 8.1 states: "People sometimes stereotype others based on their beliefs. Just as stereotyping others based on sexuality is not an acceptable behavior, stereotyping others based on personal beliefs also is not acceptable"
Lesson 10.1 and 10.2 advise the teachers: "Special Note. It is particularly important to maintain an environment of respect and sensitivity toward all perspectives and individuals at all times."

These statements in the curriculum are intended to make sure students don't hold it against somebody if they hold anti-gay beliefs. There is no statement contradicting these.

No legitimate state purpose outweighing Appellants' constitutional rights can be shown.
How about these: The state seeks to reduce harassment, bullying, and violence directed toward LGBT public school students. The state also seeks to reduce rates of self-destructive behaviors including suicide among LGBT public school students.

... the Additional Lessons present the homosexual lifestyle in a totally rosy light
"Totally rosy?" We found the following examples from the curricula that show some of the many challenges LGBT teens face:
Lesson 8.1
1. Definition: "Harassment--any kind of repeated attention that is not wanted (Glencoe)"
2. Worksheet: "HOW IT [harassment] HURTS
This hurts the target's self esteem.
This makes the target feel angry.
This makes the target feel embarrassed."
3. Definition: "Stereotyping--an idea or image held about a group of people that represents a prejudiced attitude, oversimplified opinion, or uninformed judgment (Glencoe)"
4. Worksheet: "When people do not understand others, they may stereotype them.
People sometimes stereotype others based on differences in sexuality. "Sexuality is everything
about you as male or female.,' (Human Sexuality, Glencoe, 2005)
People sometimes stereotype others based on sexual identity. Sexual identity is the way you act,
your personality, and how you feel about yourself because you are a male or female (Glencoe),
People sometimes stereotype others based on gender identity. Gender identity is your
identification of yourself as a man or a woman, based on the gender you feel to be inside (Holt).
People sometimes stereotype others based on their beliefs. Just as stereotyping others based on
sexuality is not an acceptable behavior, stereotyping others based on personal beliefs also is not
acceptable."

Lesson 8.2
From Glencoe: "A teen who thinks that he or she may be homosexual or bisexual may experience stress. Concerns about how family and friends will accept the situation are reasonable, and fears about being teased or even attacked are not unfounded. Some teens, however, may also believe that they are the only ones who are attracted to members of the same gender. This belief can lead them to feel Isolated and depressed. It can be helpful for adolescents who have issues about their sexual orientation to speak with a trained counselor. "
Think questions:
"1. Why do you think that some people may be more at risk than others to be the target of harassment or stereotyping?
2. Have you ever seen/heard someone harassing or stereotyping based on sexual orientation?
3. How can harassing or stereotyping based on human sexuality hurt the individual targeted and the school climate?

Lesson 10.1
Question 1: What percentage of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trausgender (GLBT) students report they regularly hear anti-gay comments? (92%, Holt p. 9)
Question 2: What percentage of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) students report they
are verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation? (84%, Holt, p. 9)
Question 3: What percentage of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) students report they
feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation? (64%, Holt, p. 9)

Holt Resource: "To identify oneself as gay or lesbian can be very difficult given that many people do not understand sexual minorities...Unfortunately discrimination against gays lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people is common...Many people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) celebrate their self-discovery and feel relief and a new sense of joy when they can be honest with themselves and their loved ones. Others may feel isolated while coming out and may even turn to drugs, alcohol, suicide, and other dangerous behaviors. Because many youths who come out are met with hostility, they are at greater risk for engaging in harmful, damaging, and even life threatening behaviors and for being the targets of violence and harassment."
Lesson 10.2
VOICES:
Michael (gay): "I was very popular...played football, had...a cute girlfriend...The pain of lying became so great that I started using drugs and eventually got kicked off the team."
Tyrone (gay): "At a very young age, members of my family called me mean names like "sissy"...I was hurting...my mother found a letter to my boyfriend...She got so angry! She kicked me out of the house and said that she never wanted to see me again. I had to live on the streets. It was awful...my mother still won't talk to me. I can't understand why. I'm the same son she always had..."
Adrianne (bisexual) "The hardest part about being bisexual is that people think I'm confused or can never be satisfied."
Portia (trans female) "...by middle school, things got pretty bad. I was made fun of, shoved in the halls, and pushed down stairs....I was very depressed...I hated myself..."

CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING:
"....what are...challenges gays teens may face in the process of coming out?
- Fear to express openly
-Family or friend issues
-Personal doubt
-Confusion


... does that sound rosy to you?

Replacing the overt religious discrimination directed at identified religious sects with covert politically correct code talk does not avoid the unconstitutionality of the lesson. We note that the views expressed with the Additional Lessons are clearly in the realm of morality, and can be identified specifically with the religions mentioned in the First Revisions and generally with the morality of Secular Humanism (identified as a "religion" by Justice Black in fn.11, Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 388 (1961).
Nothing replaced anything. The concept of "covert politically correct code talk" is to be expected of a paranoid mental patient, and does not belong in a legal document, though really in a way we thank them for using the term, which so vividly describes the aspects of the curricuulum they oppose.

It is interesting that the CRC fights so hard against morality, and it will be interesting to see how they make the point that the consensus belief of the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Assocation, and others can be crumpled up and thrown away as "secular humanism."

MCPS is still advocating the moral viewpoint that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle. In fact it is worse. Where before Appellees at least acknowledged that there was diversity of moral views on the subject, it now simply and directly omits the acknowledgment that there is any diversity of moral views entirely, As such, this is a clear case of the government impermissibly teaching religion.
This is beautiful. This paragraph asserts that by not saying anything, the school district is "impermissibly teaching religion." How insidious: "covert politically correct code talk." The school doesn't even have to say it -- it's covert -- but everybody knows what they really mean, because they know the politically correct code, which was implanted in all our brains by the NEA and other liberals.

The curricula do not concern themselves with moral issues. If you can convince a court that that is a moral position in itself, and thus impermissible, then OK, you win. Pass the Thorazine.

There are statements included in the revisions, however, specifically to protect the "diversity of moral views" on these issues, including anti-gay elements.

For instance, from Lesson 8.1: "People sometimes stereotype others based on their beliefs. Just as stereotyping others based on sexuality is not an acceptable behavior, stereotyping others based on personal beliefs also is not acceptable."

Lesson 10.1 and 10.2 advise the teachers: "Special Note." It is particularly important to maintain an environment of respect and sensitivity toward all perspectives and individuals at all times."

Yes, all perspectives, even bigoted ones.

Lesson 10.1:
MCPS Policy ACB—Nondiscrimination...
To affirm the Board of Education's position that it regards all acts of hate/violence and illegal discrimination to be unacceptable and intolerable and in particular those based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, martial status, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, physical characteristics or disability...
MCPS Policy ACA~Human Relations...
(1) Respect for the individual regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, marital status, socio-economic status, intellectual ability, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, or disability.


Now, any opponents of the MCPS' moral view, that being anyone who takes a negative moral view of homosexual conduct, are castigated in the Additional Lessons as "prejudiced" . . . "uneducated" . . . "homophobic" and engaging in "stereotyping." Appellants are even blamed for the suicide rate and other ills suffered by homosexuals in society.
No, appellants are not named. The idea that relentless hateful speech and behaviors might drive a teenager to suicide is not so remote. If that is what the CRC is defending, then let us acknowledge that the rest of society feels otherwise. And again, the curriculum points out stereotyping based on beliefs is not acceptable, and points out two MCPS policies that protect religion as well as sexual orientation.

Erotic techniques of human intercourse may not be discussed. Discussion of anal and oral sex in the condom lessons and video clearly and patently violate this standard.
This argument has been exposed many times. First of all, there is a lie. There is no discussion of anal and oral sex in the condom lessons and/or video. The video teaches that a condom should be worn during anal and oral sex, but it doesn't discuss, and doesn't even say what those words mean. The condom video that is in current use in MCPS health classes, Hope Is Not a Method, says the same exact thing. CRC leaders have seen that video and said nothing.

The introduction of the topic of anal intercourse but concomitant failure to provide information on risk of disease transmission during anal intercourse, including risk with condom use, is inconsistent with the goal and therefore contrary to sound educational policy and arbitrary and capricious.
The condom lesson immediately precedes the lessons on sexually transmitted disease in the health curriculum.

The introduction of the topic of homosexuality without disclosure of the very serious health risks and other adverse factors associated particularly with homosexual sexual practices is inconsistent with said goal and therefore contrary to sound educational policy and arbitrary and capricious.
Interestingly, the CRC does not seem to be able to comprehend that sexual orientation and sexual behavior are two entirely different topics. There is nothing in the curriculum about homosexual sexual behaviors. The topic is irrelevant here. These lessons are about sexual orientation.

The Condom Lesson creates a misleading impression that condoms are similarly effective in preventing disease transmission in anal intercourse episodes as in vaginal intercourse and is inconsistent with said goal and therefore contrary to sound educational policy and arbitrary and capricious.
They must be referring to more "covert politically correct code talk," because the lessons do not compare the effectiveness of condoms for anal and vagina intercourse at all. In fact, there is no conclusive research on this subject.

For some reason, they really want the schools to teach all about anal intercourse.

The introduction of the topic of anal intercourse but concomitant failure to provide information on risk of disease transmission during anal intercourse, including risk with condom use, is inconsistent with said goal and therefore contrary to sound educational policy and arbitrary and capricious.
Anal intercourse may be somewhat more dangerous than vaginal intercourse. There is no discussion of either in these lessons, and so it would be inappropriate to discuss the risks, which are covered in the STD section.

Additionally Appellees introduction of the topic of homosexuality without disclosure of the various health risks and other adverse factors associated particularly with homosexual sexual practices is inconsistent with said goal and therefore contrary to sound educational policy and arbitrary and capricious.
There is nothing about "homosexual sex practices" anywhere in the curricula. Health risks are covered in the STD section.

Sex of any kind with strangers is risky for everyone. Gay men have an increased risk factor if they have unprotected sex with people of positive or unknown HIV status. HIV is covered in another section of the curriculum.

This part of the appeal document is redundant. They say the same thing over and over again. At first I thought they had simply hit "Paste" too many times, but there are some differences in wording between these sections. Perhaps this is some legal requirement, that you say everything every possible way. It makes for bad reading, though.

In developing the Lesson Plans, Appellees use information derived from a gay advocacy group in order to attempt to provide "statistics" to students on the number of incidents of anti-homosexual behavior in public schools. This gay advocacy group, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), relies on a small internet survey of gay youth that it conducted in 2003 in order to promote biased statistical data favoring a high incident of harassment against gay, bisexual and transgender students. GLSEN's conflict of interest in conducting its own survey is self-evident. GLSEN's survey was not published in any peer-reviewed professional journal and its methodology remains suspect. MCPS rejected Appellants' submission of statistics derived from a neutral viewpoint source such as the U.S. Department of Education, which contradicts the GLSEN statistics.
There is nothing unscientific about a survey targeting a particular population, in this case, gay students, in order to make estimates from a sample to that well-defined population. As no survey samples from the entire human race, we can say that all surveys do this to some extent.

Likewise, there is nothing unusual or unscientific about an advocacy group conducting a survey regarding the topic of their interest. For instance, we would not dismiss a survey by the American Heart Association about the prevalance of heart disease.

The government survey that was proposed did not "contradict the GLSEN statistics." Those results appeared to be about the same, but that government survey did not specifically look at only gay students. If gay students make up X percent of a school population, and Y percent of gay students have been harassed at school, the government's results would show that X-times-Y percent of all students are harassed because of their sexual orientation. The reported numbers are different, but the conclusions are identical.

To put it in numbers: if 3 percent (0.03) of students are gay, and fifty percent (0.50) of them are harassed, then the GLSEN study reports fifty percent of gay students are harassed, while the government study would report 0.03 x 0.50 = 0.015 or 1.5 percent of all students being harassed. Different numbers, same conclusions.

Further, it should be noted that the CRC's government survey was also "not published in any peer-reviewed professional journal," and the authorship of that survey was completely unknown to the CRC member who proposed it.

Here, then, is the big conclusion that CRC wants the state's lawyers to draw:
By inviting an advocacy oriented outside speaker like GLSEN into the classroom, Appellees converted the classroom from a non-public forum into a limited public forum. Regardless, regulations on both non-public and limited public forums must be viewpoint neutral, and that is not the case here.
This is far-fetched, to say the least. Citing statistics from a group is not the same thing as inviting speakers into the classroom. If it were the case that only peer-reviewed and government information was allowed in a classroom, then no teaching could take place, ever, on any subject.

Appellees' refusal to include any mention of former homosexuals is arbitrary or unreasonable. It also violates Appellees' obligation to present opposing viewpoints on controversial topics.
If there are "former homosexuals," then these would now be heterosexuals, who are covered in the curriculum.

MCPS rejected any mention of the ex-gay community yet define and support every other sexual orientation (intersexed, homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, etc.) in its curriculum.
Two of these four things are not sexual orientations, and "ex-gay" is not, either. The things that are mentioned are significant phenomena observed widely in society. "Ex-gays" are not.

Again,
Appellees also refused to include the term 'heterophobia,' although they approved the term 'homophobia.'
Yes, this is true, especially since the definition that was introduced in the citizens advisory committee seemed to have been invented by the person who submitted it. There is a word "heterophobia" in the dictionary, but straight people are not discriminated against, and there is certainly no definition which has to do with "ex-gays." This is the kind of foolishness they want to spend our tax money on.

MCPS tells gays, lesbians, transgenders, and bisexuals that their "sexual orientation" is healthy and normal, while denying the existence of other sexual variations such as those who are ex-gay or attempting to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.
Lie. The curricula say nothing about what is "healthy and normal." The major categories of sexual identity are well covered in the curricula. The CRC wants to include the concept of "ex-gays" for its ideological implications.

MCPS teaches students that it is normal to change your birth sex (transgender), but that it is not normal to change your unwanted same-sex attractions (former homosexual) because sexual orientation is innate from birth.
Lie. The curriculum does not contain these statements.

Appellees refuse to include inclusive information to students that heterosexuals include former homosexuals, despite the presence of an ex-gay group on the committee as representative of the community.
PFOX's representative on the CAC had every chance to make his case. The citizens advisory committee considered his suggestions, discussed them, and voted not to include them. Had he made a convincing argument, the outcome may have been different.

The Additional Lessons were adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of eliminating any discrimination or hostility toward people based on their sexual orientation. The Additional Lessons are entitled "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality" and promote tolerance of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, crossdressers, and the intersexed. Yet the only sexual orientation in MCPS which receives no respect or tolerance is that of ex-gays.
"Ex-gay" is not a sexual orientation. I'm sorry, it's just not. The sexual orientation of an "ex-gay" person would be "heterosexual," which is amply covered throughout the health curricula.

Three of the curriculum committee members showed outright disrespect and intolerance of the ex-gay community by public emails, statements, and blogs continually written against PFOX and former homosexuals.
I have blogged in opposition to PFOX, which is a bogus organization based on a ridiculous and false premise. No one on the committee ever said anything disrespectful about any "ex-gays." Disrespect and intolerance of a community is very different from disagreement and repudiation of an ideological position and the group that espouses it.

And ... which three?

A footnote says:
There is no medical or DNA test to determine if a person is homosexuality [sic], heterosexual, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is a matter of self-affirmation and public delcaration [sic].
This is a causal dichotomy entirely of the suers' own making. DNA on one hand, self-affirmation on the other. Human psychology is much more interesting than that.

These committee members continually stereotyped former homosexuals and misrepresented PFOX's mission to the public, the MCPS Board, and the CAC.
PFOX's mission was never mentioned in any CAC meeting, and in fact there was hardly any discussion in those meetings of "ex-gays" at all. At this blog, I have represented PFOX in a way they don't like -- that is not the same as misrepresenting them.

For example, one of the CAC members, an organization named 'Teach the Facts,' compared PFOX's representation of the ex-gay community to the Klan and child molesters, despite PFOX's mission of tolerance for both ex-gays and gays.
This statement refers to a document they call "Exhibit O," submitted to the state, which I'd like to see. And the "child molestor" comment -- is that because I pointed out that PFOX uses sweet words to lure gay teenage boys into contacting them? That is exactly what they are trying to do with their flyers in the schools. I didn't compare them to child molestors, I said they were "creepy."

They also helped to organize a picket against an ex-gay conference in Montgomery County last summer where they labeled the ex-gay community a "cruel hoax."
So?

Does anyone know why this is included in a legal complaint? The citizens advisory committee contained a range of points of view, I admit that. I don't buy the "ex-gay" rap, I do think it's a cruel hoax. So what? Are they actually complaining here that there are people in the curriculum-development process who don't agree with them?

Because, remember, most people in Montgomery County don't agree with them. Election results will tell you that.

Another CAC member falsely claimed that ex-gays are subjected to ice baths, electric shock therapy, and viewing pornography.
Yes, in an email which was posted HERE, a CAC member talked about reparative therapy: Soaking someone in an ice bath, administering electric shock therapy, or forcing them to watch pornography does not make someone straight. In fact, all of these techniques have been used by therapists attempting to change the sexual orientation of gay individuals. The CRC's lie here is in the word "falsely."

Another CAC member, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) continually stereotyped former homosexuals and misrepresented PFOX's mission. Yet these same members promoted tolerance for gays, the intersexed, crossdressers, and transgenders, and most of their curriculum recommendations on tolerance for their favored sexual orientation groups were accepted by MCPS while Appellants' recommendations on tolerance for former homosexuals or former transgender individuals were rejected.
Lie. The PFLAG representative on the committee never said anything about PFOX one way or the other. The CRC has audiotapes of all the meetings; let us hear a snippet from them, supporting this claim.

Also, I have to address that "favored sexual orientation group" idea. Since all but one of the members of the CAC are heterosexual, you would have to say their "favored sexual orientation" is straight.
Indeed, MCPS blocks student's access to PFOX's website on school computers while permitting student access to PFLAG's website.
Lots of computers at schools and workplaces block hate-speech sites. That really has nothing at all to do with the content of this curriculum, but rather reflects on the general consensus that PFOX is a bad influence.

Appellants' viewpoint was not seriously considered, in violation of district and COMAR regulations mandating that ...
Lie. The citizens advisory committee added extra meetings and stayed late many times to seriously consider capricious and absurd suggestions by the CRC and PFOX representatives.

In this discriminatory and hostile environment, the recommendations of the CAC were biased and unreasonable.
Even if this were true -- and it's not -- the Superintendent's staff took CAC recommendations as suggestions, and were empowered to accept or reject them as they saw fit. They rejected some things that the majority of the CAC considered very important, and added some things none of the members expected.

MCPS admits that they have not received any complaints of sexual orientation intolerance or discrimination against gays, bisexuals, transgenders, or the intersexed.
As the CRC knows, this is because the reporting procedures for harassment and bullying have changed in recent years, and schools have not fully implemented the new policies. It is reprehensible to use this as evidence that no bullying or harassment occurs.

But former homosexuals are subjected to ridicule and prejudice within MCPS.
We won't bother, but a FOIA request similar to the one that CRC filed would show that this assertion is also undocumented in school district files. Besides, we have never heard PFOX or CRC allege one instance of "former homosexuals" being ridiculed in the Montgomery County schools. Oh, PFOX is ridiculed, as a creepy, reality-denying organization, but there has never been an allegation that a "former homosexual" was harassed in an MCPS school.

Then, they have bolded this next part, so I guess it must be especially important to them:
... the "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality" portion of the Additional Lessons does not serve its purpose and cannot be considered curriculum, and therefore is not entitled to deference as such.
Uh, yes, the new curriculum is not a curriculum. We wish them luck here.

The "curriculum" affirms students who consider themselves "gay" or "lesbian" and boys who consider themselves girls, yet it does not even acknowledge the existence of those students or their relatives who identify themselves as former homosexuals or former transgenders. This can only be considered discrimination, pure and simple, and creates a hostile learning environment in violation of state law and district policies.
CRC and PFOX have never produced one instance of this. They have invented a possible category of people, and then argued that neglecting them in the curriculum is a form of discrimination.

People who have been actual targets of discrimination should be outraged by this.

The curriculum points out in Lesson 8.1, stereotyping is "not acceptable" and "People sometimes stereotype others based on differences in sexuality." It does not say "ex-gays" should be discriminated against. If all students stopped stereotyping each other "based on differences in sexuality," all students could maintain a non-hostile learning environment.

Finished with the "ex-gay" argument, they switch gears:
The statement that sexual orientation is innate and inborn, and the statement that sexual orientation results from a combination of various factors, contradict each other.
This is not a contradiction at all. Freckles are innate, yet a person with the predisposition to have freckles only gets them if they go out in the sun. The phenotype always emerges from the interaction of the genotype with the environment. It's not a contradiction: it's how genes work.

Further, the "innate" statement was added by MCPS staff as an addition to the proposed curriculum on the day the MCPS BOE voted on the curriculum. Thus, the statement was adopted without any review from the curriculum advisory committee or citizens, in violation of their established procedures for evaluating and selecting instructional materials, district policy, and state law.
The school district has the right to modify curricula at any point when they find something that needs to be changed. They added this to correct an inconsistency.

The Additional Lessons convey to students the factually incorrect message that homosexuality is innate or present in an individual from birth. State law prohibits the teaching of factually incorrect information. There are no DNA or medical tests to determine if an individual is heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Evidence of an individual's sexual orientation is dependent on his or her self-affirmation and public declaration, and not upon any medical test administered at birth. The Additional Lessons fail to cite any source verifying the veracity of its 'innate' statement.
Almost no behavioral tendencies can be detected in DNA or genetic sequences. This assertion has no foundation, and only demonstrates a lack of understanding of biology and psychology.

The appeal document goes into a long section which I will not quote here, about the Supreme Court's interpretation of what comprises an "immutable" characteristic. Clearly, the Supreme Court can rule on legal definitions to be used in determining whether discrimination has occurred, but the schools have no obligation to teach those, except perhaps in a government class.

Ditto the argument about a genetic basis for homosexuality. The human genome has only been analyzed for a few years. It is impossible to say whether there is or is not a genetic component to sexual orientation, and it is irrelevant, as the curricula make no statement on the topic of genetics.

The capper of this discussion is the statement:
Indeed, ex-gays (former homosexuals) are living proof that homosexuality is not innate.
Interestingly, this statement has a footnote that says See affidavit of Richard Cohen attached as Exhibit U. Richard Cohen was expelled for life from the American Counseling Association for numerous ethical violations, and has now been kicked out of PFOX as well. He has a Masters degree and makes his living off "donations" given in return for a bizarre form of psychotherapy that he is not licensed to practice (which is why he calls the payments "donations"). "Ex-gays," if they exist, are not evidence of anything about other gays, any more than two-headed snakes prove that all snakes can possibly come to have two heads.

They say:
Psychologists who treat individuals in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions can testify to the fact that the sexual orientation of a person is not an inborn or innate characteristic of that person; and that homosexuality is caused by a number of factors, including environment and experience, and is potentially changeable.
Ah, yes, but the far greater numbers of psychologists who don't make a buck off it will testify that sexual orientation does not change.

There is a long, bulleted section that I am obligated to wade through:
Other Factors establishing that the Additional Lessons are against sound educational policy and therefore arbitrary and capricious:
A. the Additional Lessons, without exception, communicate a strongly negative stereotype of anyone whose faith beliefs are not supportive of homosexuality.
Lie. Not only are these statements not present, but MCPS included several statements that it is wrong to stereotype people based on their beliefs.

B. the Condom Lesson creates a misleading impression that condoms are similarly effective in preventing disease transmission in anal intercourse episodes as in vaginal intercourse. (See Affidavit of Dr. Jacobs, Appellants' Exhibit F).
This must be "covert politically correct code talk." A person who sees this in the curriculum is hallucinating.

C. The Additional Lessons go beyond the ethic of teaching respect and tolerance and intimidate or threaten to intimidate students into moral affirmation of homosexuality.
Lie. No such thing happens anywhere in the 8th or 10th grade curricula. In fact, the curricula teach students empathy, tolerance, and respect, regardless of sexuality.

D. The Additional Lessons negatively stereotype and negatively label students and their families who have religious convictions that define homosexual conduct as sinful.
Lie. How can they say these things? Nothing like this exists in the curricula. In fact, the curricula teach students that stereotyping on the basis of belief is "not acceptable" and violates two MCPS policies.

E. The Additional Lessons take the unproven and inflammatory position that the feelings of isolation which may be experienced by homosexuals and the negative behaviors exhibited by homosexuals of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse are caused by disapproval by others.
Given that the CRC wants to support those who insult and demean gays, they object to this language, but most medical and mental-health experts and their professional organizations agree with this opinion.

F. The Additional Lessons take a strong and exclusive moral viewpoint that homosexuality and other sexual variations should be free of all negative moral censure while at the same time teaching that people with moral beliefs that homosexual conduct is sinful are prejudiced, biased, and homophobic, and negatively stereotype homosexuals,
Lie. Nothing like this is included anywhere in the curriculum, unless you have the secret mystical power to understand the "covert politically correct code talk." In fact, the curricula teach empathy, tolerance, and respect, regardless of sexuality, and that stereotyping on the basis of belief is "not acceptable."

G. The Additional Lessons fail to teach that homosexuality correlates more strongly than heterosexuality on factors of depression, drug abuse, promiscuity, HIV/AIDS and other STDs.
No, this section does not present the negative stereotypes of gays. Each one of these items is deserving of its own discussion if one were to refute this statement in its entirety, but it should be sufficient to say, that's not what the curriculum is about.

H. The Additional Lessons fail to warn students that early sexual experience in homosexuality is highly correlated with increased risk of disease.
Again, there is nothing in the curricula about "sexual experience in homosexuality" at all -- that's not what the curricula are about.

I. The Additional Lessons teach the students that sexual variation is "innate" (meaning something that one is born with which is immutable) as a scientific fact while in fact it is a theory, not a fact. Further the weight of scientific evidence refutes that theory and there is no credible study supporting such a theory. All evidence that the cause of sexual variation has not been established (except to rule out that it is innate) is caused by other factors.
All major medical and scientific organizations agree that sexual orientation is innate.

And that last sentence ... does it have a subject and a verb? "All evidence ... is caused by other factors?" What does that mean?

One senses that the CRC will (again) propose any assertion, in case one might manage to gain the approval of a judge or official. This particular assertion simply shows that they don't understand the function of theory in science.

J. The Additional Lessons fail to warn students that the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs through anal intercourse has not been proven to be significantly reduced by the use of condoms and in fact contain information which is likely to mislead students into believing anal intercourse can be made effectively safe by the proper use of a
condom.
Lie. There is plenty of evidence that condoms significantly reduce the risk of contracting STDs , particularly HIV.

But HIV/AIDS and other STDs are handled in a separate section of the health curriculum. The idea that the curriculum teaches that "anal intercourse can be made effectively safe by the proper use of a condom" is more "covert politically correct code talk." It doesn't say that.

K. The Additional Lessons introduce 8th graders to the concept of sexual variations despite the fact that they are not mature enough to receive instruction in this area without negative consequences and without any specific justification in COMAR which only specifies that sexual variations are to be taught in the school system (not grade specific) in optional courses. Also, encouraging children to self label their sexual identity with out parental input or support and then teach them that said identity is innate and lifelong violates sound educational policy.
"Negative consequences?" 8th graders are given some terms and taught not to bully.

"Encouraging children to self label" is just more "covert politically correct code talk." It's an outrageous lie. No child is encouraged at any point to "self label." In fact, the Glencoe resource (Lesson 8.2) reassures MCPS students, "A person may develop an interest in the opposite gender much earlier or later than some of his or her friends," specifically to dispel the "myth ... that a person is homosexual because he or she is not yet interested in the opposite gender."

L. In the 8th grade lesson, insofar as homosexuality is unscientifically defined as "attraction' to members of the same sex, with no reference to age, or maturity, or strength or frequency of attraction, and with no reference to the component of active self-identification in sexual orientation, the Additional Lessons highly likely to confuse 8th graders and cause likely cases of spurious self-identifications into homosexuality and other non-heterosexual variations. In fact several resources contained in the First Revisions ADMITS that an attraction at that age is not indicative of homosexual orientation.
Attraction is part of the definition of sexual orientation, there is nothing wrong with the word or the concept. Fleeting same-sex attraction does not mean one is gay, but the CRC and PFOX voted against including that statement in the curriculum explicitly. They can't have it both ways. And again, the curriculum dispels the myth and reassures late bloomers.

M. The Additional Lessons fail to promote tolerance and respect for homosexuals in a manner which does not obfuscate the fact that heterosexuality is the norm and that only very small part of the population is identified as non-heterosexual.
Again, they throw things like this against the wall to see if they will stick. There is no implication, from two classes in 8th grade and two in 10th grade, embedded in a lifetime health curriculum, that homosexuality is statistically comparable to heterosexuality in the population.

N. The Additional Lessons employment of the concept of "innate" prevents students from realizing their own potential to actively participate on a cognitive and emotional level in their own choice of sexual self-identification, even though current research and scientific thought demonstrate the reality and validity and value of such effort and even though the concept of self-determined self-identification of sexual orientation may help interested students avoid the health risks associated with homosexual behavior.
This argument is so twisted and error-riddled that one hardly knows where to start. From the idea that a person could or should "self-identify" as something they are not, to the "health risks" mentioned, this is simply puerile and absurd reasoning.

O. The Additional Lessons bias against the potential of the individual to actively participate in the choice of his or her own sexual orientation sexual causes the further failure of the Additional Lessons to recognize and teach that both heterosexuals and homosexuals may benefit from choosing to master sexual impulse and attraction to obtain desired outcomes such as the avoidance of high risk sexual behaviors, protection of self-esteem, and the achievement and protection of a valued monogamous sexual relationship under the terms and conditions acceptable to the individual.
Nothing in the new curricula is about sexual behavior, either its mastery or its risks. These topics are covered elsewhere in the health curriculum. The curriculum certainly is clear; abstinence is strongly encouraged throughout.

A note: Readers of this complaint must be aware that it is not possible to include everything in every section of the health curriculum. The argument that "X is not included" is not meaningful if X is included in another part of the curriculum. Families and marriage, risks of sexual behaviors, and sexual behaviors themselves are not part of these new curricula -- that is not an argument against them, only an admission that they are finite.

(For some reason, there are no points labeled P or Q.) (Looking ahead, we see that this has been arranged so they can go from A to Z.)

R. The Additional Lessons fail to promote tolerance and respect for homosexuals in a manner which does not minimize the value of self-determined sexual self-definition into monogamous heterosexuality in terms of the avoidance of high risk sexual practices associated with homosexuality and avoidance of increased risk of depression, drug addiction, partner abuse, multiple partners and poor self esteem issues associated with homosexuality.
See the note on the previous item. Monogamy is addressed in other parts of the health curriculum, and abstinence is strongly encouraged throughout.

These last negative points (depression, etc.) are not only "associated with homosexuality," but occur commonly among heterosexuals, as well.

S. The Additional Lessons, without exception, communicate a positive moral view of homosexuality and portray it as a natural and morally correct lifestyle.
More "covert politically correct code talk." No moral views are expressed. Empathy, tolerance, and respect are encouraged regardless of sexual orientation, while stereotyping, making generalizations, and harassment are discouraged as "not acceptable."

T. the Additional Lessons, without exception, communicate a negative moral view of anyone whose faith beliefs are not supportive of homosexual conduct.
Lie. "Covert politically correct code talk." No such statements exist. In fact, the curricula teach that stereotyping on the basis of belief is "not acceptable."

U. The Additional Lessons, without exception, communicate a strongly negative stereotype of anyone whose faith beliefs are not supportive of homosexual conduct.
Lie. "Covert politically correct code talk." No such statements exist. In fact, the curricula teach that stereotyping on the basis of belief is "not acceptable."

V. The Additional Lessons included as an opt-in portion of a mandatory health education course and are not offered in or as part of an elective course. Students who are taking the mandatory Health curriculum are forced to leave their normal class to avoid it. This normally means sitting in the library by oneself doing independent study work and may mean checking in with the teacher in front of the normal class every day before going to the library.
This is a complaint? That a student would have to sit in the library?

W. The Additional Lessons fail to provide students with current scientific studies and current government warnings to permit them the opportunity to evaluate their sexual practices from the perspective of a fully informed person.
No, these are middle and high school classes. Further, if the scientific evidence were to be introduced, CRC would be very much unhappier. This is another criticism of the form of "X is not included." The classes are geared to the educational level and age of the students.

X. The Additional Lessons are entirely or nearly entirely scripted and students are not permitted to discuss the matters being taught in order to express contrary views.
This is school, it's for learning, it is not a public forum for airing personal opinions. This statement should be true throughout the school system, for most classes.

Y. "Transgender" is portrayed as sexual variation when in fact transgenders are classified as having mental disorder. Transgenderism, gender dysphoria, and gender identity disorder constitute mental illnesses according to the American Psychiatric Associations's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The Additional Lessons fail to mention this fact, despite Appellant's request for same. Instead, the Additional Lessons contain a personal story about a boy who wants to be known at school as a girl. In the lesson plan, boy calls himself "Portia," receives a new student ID identifying him as a girl, and is given a key to a private unisex restroom by the principal. The Additional Lessons fail to include information on counseling for students like "Portia" who experience gender confusion. The Additional Lessons refer to "Portia" as a "she" when the law classifies her as a "he." This forces students to acknowledge that "Portia" is a female when he is not and creates gender confusion for our children. This is not sound educational policy.
It may seem outrageous to the CRC to refer to someone in the terms they prefer, but that is good civil behavior. We will ignore their usual comments about transgender people, etc. They're people, the curriculum talks about them.

Z. No positive vignettes are offered to reflect the experiences of former homosexuals or former lesbians or heterosexuals.
This is correct; the vignettes that are included are directly relevant to the lesson that is being taught.

Conclusion

The story is this: the school district proposed a really nice curriculum in 2004 and the CRC formed to oppose it. They finally got the school district to discard it through some legal chicanery, and the district proposed a new one. The CRC seemed shocked to find out that this one was not more conservative than the first one. Now they want to force the school district to discard this one, too.

That should not happen.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The story is this: the school district proposed a really nice curriculum in 2004 and the CRC formed to oppose it."

Real nice. It contained material that violated the constitutional rights of religious minorities by characterizing their beliefs and, wrongly, implied that science had conclusively established certain elements of the gay agenda argument.

"They finally got the school district to discard it through some legal chicanery,"

It's called the judicial system. The judge agreed with CRC. TTF would have us dispose of the third branch of government.

The idea that the democratically elected government can never violate irreducible civil rights is not part of our system of government.

"and the district proposed a new one."

They decided they would do better to start over then to fight an obviously losing battle to prop up an unconstitutional curriculum.

"The CRC seemed shocked to find out that this one was not more conservative than the first one."

Comee off it. They expressed disappointment. We all hope for the best. The new proposal did correct some of the most egregious elements of the Fishback revisions but, regrettably, opened new areas of offense.

"Now they want to force the school district to discard this one, too."

Not without cause. The new proposed curriculum will endanger kids by lulling them in to thinking the gay lifestyle is innocuous.

February 15, 2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All major medical and scientific organizations agree that sexual orientation is innate. If the CRC would like to march over to the university and challenge their methods, they are free to do that, but I think they will be in over their heads."

Which university would that be? These "organizations" are political entities subject to the vissitudes of constituencies not universities. Columbia University professor Spitzer has, in fact, determined, in a peer-reviewed study, that homosexuality is not innate. Other studies have searched for such innateness and their conclusions have been qualified.

February 15, 2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, your analysis contains more accusation than insight. Obviously, you worked long on it but the arguments are getting weak.

February 15, 2007 11:05 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Weak? No, I'd say it's the dishonest arguments that are weak while Jim's are honest and strong.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the curriculum doesn't warn about the risks of sexual activity. Jim tells the truth that there is an entire section on STDs in the health unit.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say MCPS policy is "opt-out." He tells the truth that the policy is "opt-in." Every student, regardless of their religion or their sexual orientation, must have permission from a parent or guardian to take this class.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the curriculum paints LGBT life in a "totally rosy light." Jim and others correctly point out the curriculum in fact warns of many concerns such as teasing, violence, and being rejected by family.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the CAC is made up of representatives of the abortion industry. Jim tells the truth that the CAC is made up of people from many walks of life. It even includes the PFOX rep who just happens to be a Vice President at the Family Research Council (a family blah blah group) whose full time job there is to make LGBT people look bad.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the curriculum is about sexual behaviors when in fact it is about sexual orientation.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the curriculum denigrates people who hold anti-gay religious views when the truth is it includes MCPS policies that protect on the basis of religion and advise against stereotyping on the basis of beleifs.

Jim's arguments don't lie and say the CAC "rebuffed" or "ignored" recommendations by the Sprigg, Jacobs, and Faustino when in fact each recommendation, even some that were submitted after the due date, were discussed and voted on, which is how we do things in a democracy.

I could go on down the list but Jim thankfully already did that for us.

February 16, 2007 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terrific analysis and rebuttal, Jim. We can only hope that the bureaucrats at the State Department of Education are as thorough as you have been. They have a pretty good record of rejecting such "crapola" from lunatic-fringe groups like CFC, so we can only hope they don't cave in to ignorance and fear.
Fortunately, national trends toward sanity and intelligent discourse might win out here.

February 16, 2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're a very nice person, Christine, but you're missing the big picture. Orientation has many aspects. The aspect that impacts health is behavior. The curriculum tries to make homosexuality more acceptable to the student without tying in the very important fact that participating in the homosexual life in 21st century America is dangerous.

Although I don't have much time today, there is one other glaring point from your comments. You mention policies against religious bias. MCPS talks but doesn't walk. They feel free to discriminate against conservative traditions of religions and support subtly the "progressive" traditions and misuse the Constitution to justify it. A Unitarian birth clinic would never be banned from public schools. If they got excessive in some way, they'd be warned to amend their program.

February 16, 2007 11:09 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "The new proposed curriculum will endanger kids by lulling them in to thinking the gay lifestyle is innocuous." and "...fact that participating in the homosexual life in 21st century America is dangerous.".

The fact is that there is no risk in a monogamous committed gay relationship. The curriculum opposes both heterosexual and gay promiscuity.

Anonymous said "Columbia University professor Spitzer has, in fact, determined, in a peer-reviewed study, that homosexuality is not innate".

He never determined any such thing. His study has been rightfully criticized for relying on self-reporting in a telephone interview in which participants could have easily lied about how much "change" they had achieved. Wayne Besen said "I asked him why he had refused to use either the polygraph or the penile plethysmograph on his subjects. According to Spitzer, “there was no way he could get his subjects to submit to such tests.” It never seemed to dawn on Spitzer that these individuals were doggedly avoiding these truth-detecting instruments because they were not telling the truth.”.

Even the journal that Spitzer published his study in took the unusual step of publishing 23 criticisms of his work all of which soundly criticized his work as unscientific. By the same token, the fact that some left-handed people can learn to use their right hands doesn't prove that handedness isn't innate - most everyone agrees it is.

February 16, 2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact is that there is no risk in a monogamous committed gay relationship."

It takes two to tango. One half of the "realtionship" is always taking a risk. One can only speak with assurance about the themself. Common sense applies. Kids lulled into trying gaeity will be at risk. Everyone knows that.

February 16, 2007 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He never determined any such thing."

He says he did. He's an estimable scholar. Probably not worried about the Canadian province take on his work.

February 16, 2007 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Even the journal that Spitzer published his study in took the unusual step of publishing 23 criticisms of his work all of which soundly criticized his work as unscientific."

Have you ever heard of political pressure? Usually peer review is considered sacred by these people.

February 16, 2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the fact that some left-handed people can learn to use their right hands doesn't prove that handedness isn't innate"

The handedness analogy fails. It involves which body part one uses to perform a function. Sexuality, on the other hand, involves the object of the function.

February 16, 2007 2:06 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, Spitzer did NOT say he proved that being gay is not innate. He said that some, a small percentage, can change and even that is doubtful given that he relied on self reports in a telephone interview.

Anonymous said "The handedness analogy fails. It involves which body part one uses to perform a function. Sexuality, on the other hand, involves the object of the function.".

I don't know what you are trying to say here, it doesn't make any sense. In any event the handedness analogy is perfectly valid. Most everyone agrees that handedness is innate and the fact that some can learn to use the non-favoured hand doesn't change that. Its the same with sexuality with the caveat that no one has proven anyone has changed their sexuality. 45 minute phone interviews with people highly motivated to lie doesn't cut it.

February 16, 2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "It takes two to tango. One half of the "realtionship" is always taking a risk. One can only speak with assurance about the themself. Common sense applies. Kids lulled into trying gaeity will be at risk.".

The same is just as "true" of heterosexual relationships.

February 16, 2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The same is just as "true" of heterosexual relationships."

Yes, it is. But disease and random promiscuity aren't present at any near the same rate in heteros.

February 17, 2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't know what you are trying to say here, it doesn't make any sense."

It makes perfect sense. You just don't want to see it.

If you pick up a pen to write, there are two hands and one pen.
You can use either hand but the pen remains the same. Handedness has nothing to do with the pen (target of action). It has to do with which hand you use (actor).

If you have intercourse, there is one body part and two possible genders. You only use one body part but the gender can vary. Sexuality has to everything to do with the gender (target of the action). It has nothing to do with body part (actor).

February 17, 2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"1) This human trait is referred to by biologists as a "stable bimorphism"— it shows up in all human populations as two orientations— expressed behaviorally.

2) The data clinicians have gathered says that around 92% of the population has the majority orientation, 8% has the minority orientation.

3) Evidence from art history suggests the incidence of the two different orientations has been constant for five millennia.

4) The trait has no external physical, bodily signs. That means you can't tell a person's orientation by looking at them. And the minority orientation appears in all races and ethnic groups.

5) Since the trait itself is internal and invisible, the only way to identify an orientation is by observing the behavior or the reflex that expresses it. However—and this is crucial—

6) –because the trait itself is not a "behavior" but an internal, invisible orientation, those with the minority orientation can hide, usually due to coercion or social pressure, by behaving as if they had the majority orientation. Several decades ago, those with the minority orientation were frequently forced to behave as if they had the majority orientation— but internally the orientation remained the same and as social pressures have lifted, people with the minority orientation have been able to openly express it.

7) Clinical observation makes it clear that neither orientation of this trait is a disease or mental illness. Neither is pathological in any observable way.

8) Neither orientation is chosen.

9) Signs of one's orientation are detectable very early in children, often, researchers have established, by age two or three. And one's orientation probably has been defined at the latest by age two, and quite possibly before birth.

These data indicated that the trait was biological, not social, in origin, so the clinicians systematically asked more questions. And these started revealing the genetic plans that lay underneath the trait:

10) Adoption studies show that the orientation of adopted children is unrelated to the orientation of their parents, demonstrating that the trait is not created by upbringing or society.

11) Twin studies show that pairs of identical twins, with their identical genes, have a higher-than-average chance of sharing the same orientation compared to pairs of randomly selected individuals; the average rate of this trait in any given population— it's called the "background rate"—is just under 8%, while the twin rate is just above 12%, more than 50% higher.

12) This trait's incidence of the minority orientation is strikingly higher in the male population— about 27% higher—than it is in the female population. Many genetic diseases, for reasons we now understand pretty well, are higher in men than women.

13) Like the trait called eye color, the familial studies conducted by scientists show that the minority orientation clearly "runs in families," handed down from parent to child.

14) This pattern shows a "maternal effect," a classic telltale of a genetic trait. The minority orientation, when it is expressed in men, appears to be passed down through the mother.

Put all this data together, and you've created the trait profile. The trait just described is, of course, handedness.

Right-handedness is the majority orientation, left-handedness, the minority. It's handedness for which lefties are 27% more numerous in men than women, the background rate of left-handedness is 12% as opposed to 8%, and left-handedness is an un-chosen, immutable, internal, instinctive orientation; you can force left-handed people to write with their right hands as was regularly done up through the 1950s in Catholic schools where left-handedness was believed to be evil and a moral failing, but that's just behavior masking the true orientation.

It turns out that the trait profile for human handedness is astonishingly similar to a profile clinicians and geneticists have assembled of another human trait—sexual orientation. Heterosexuality, the majority orientation, accounts for roughly 95 percent of us, while homosexuality, the minority orientation, accounts for roughly 5 percent. (The "10 percent gay" figure has always been merely a statistical concoction of some overly-aggressive gay activists.) Clinical research clearly shows that homosexuality is heritable, like left-handedness. Neither trait correlates with any environmental factors. All the twin studies indicate biology. (Just to make it clear: Everyone agrees that being right- or left-handed is a biological trait, but probably there are some genes creating handedness and some non-genetic biological factors like hormones and neural structure. Which is why with many identical twins, one twin is right-handed and the other left-handed. The same for sexual orientation in identical twins. But—surprise—with sexual orientation, both twins share the trait homosexuality more often than they do left-handedness—yet no one would claim this is evidence that left-handedness is a "chosen alternative lifestyle" because left-handedness isn't seen as a moral issue—any more. It used to be. Then society changed.) The sexual orientation, like the handedness, of adopted children bears no relationship to that of adoptive parents (a powerful control demonstrating that environment is not a factor in creating sexual orientation). And both show a "maternal effect" pointing towards the X chromosome.

http://online.logcabin.org/assets/pdf/1-20-06-LEF-White-Paper-Booklet-2nd-Printing-FINAL.pdf

PTA

December 29, 2006 3:51 PM"

PTA again

February 17, 2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scientific assertions in PTA's paste of a Log Cabin Republican article are incorrect. Science has not concluded on the nature of the cause of homosexuality. Handedness and sexuality are, by nature, different types of phenomena because one defined is defined by the target of an action and the other is defined by the instrument of the action.

February 18, 2007 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got some documentation of your assertion Anon? No. You are just making stuff up again.

The scientific model of genetics demonstrated in the Log Cabin paper is well established.

PTA

February 18, 2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Got some documentation of your assertion Anon?"

Which assertion?

February 19, 2007 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Handedness and sexuality are, by nature, different types of phenomena because one defined is defined by the target of an action and the other is defined by the instrument of the action."

That assertion.

PTA

February 19, 2007 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK....

Here's the definitions:

handedness: a tendency to use one hand rather than the other

sexual preference: the direction of an individual's sexuality

February 19, 2007 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try again. You were attempting to provide documentation that "handedness and sexuality are by nature different types of phenomena" but instead you provided a definition for "handedness" and a definition for another term "sexual preference," not "sexuality." Try to pay attention -- it's YOUR original statement we're talking about here and we're still waiting for you to provide some documentation (a citation for a peer reviewed paper analyzing their differences or similarities, for example) for your assertion which was:

"Handedness and sexuality are, by nature, different types of phenomena because one defined is defined by the target of an action and the other is defined by the instrument of the action."

PTA

February 19, 2007 6:35 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Operant behavior (movement of skeletal muscles) is classically understood in terms of a response to a discriminative stimulus based on the perceived relationship between the discriminative stimulus and a reinforcer.

It's nonsense to talk as if some behavior is defined by its action and some is defined by its effect -- we only behave to have an effect.

Sheesh.

JimK

February 19, 2007 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheesh yourself. What you two are saying is ridiculous and you know it.

February 19, 2007 7:21 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

No, your argument is ludicrous. Handedness is meaningless if you never pick anything up or touch anything. The action and the object are integrated, and trying to act as if they were separate is ... well, it's a new low for you, in terms of changing the subject.

JimK

February 19, 2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah, man, that's really low

imagining arguing against one of TTF's favorite idiocies

imagine

"Handedness is meaningless if you never pick anything up or touch anything."

Actually, not true. You could also do sign language.

Regardless, it doesn't matter what you pick up, or do- if you do it more facilly with your left hand, you're left handed.

However sexual preference is a matter what you choose to do something to, not with.

You guys will argue about anything as long as it promotes the gay agenda.

It's funny!

You're funny!

February 19, 2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sexual preference is a matter what you choose to do something to, not with.

That sounds so sad and lonely.

Love making for me and my partner is definitely a two-way street. We make love "with" each other not "to" each other.

February 22, 2007 8:33 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, your "distinctions" between handedness and sexual orientation are irrelevant to the fact that people learning to use the other hand doesn't prove that handedness isn't innate just like people learning to have sex with the other sex doesn't prove that orientation isn't innate.

Anonymous said "But disease and random promiscuity aren't present at any near the same rate in heteros.".

Gays are no more likely to be promiscuous than straights.

a) 40-60% of gay men, and 45-80% of lesbians are in a steady relationship
J Harry-1983 in Contemporary Families and Alternative Lifestyles, ed by Macklin, Sage Publ.
L Peplau-1981, in Journal of Homosexuality 6(3):1-19
J Spada-1979, The Spada Report, New American Library Publ

b) Studies of older homosexual people show that gay relationships lasting over 20 years are not uncommon

D McWhirter-1984, The Male Couple, Prentice-Hall
S Raphael-1980, Alternative Lifestyles 3:207-230, "The Older Lesbian"
C Silverstein-1981, Man to Man: Gay Couples in America, William Morrow Publ.

c) In a large sample of couples followed for 18 months the following "break up" statistics were observed: lesbians=22%, gay=16%, cohabiting heterosexuals=17%

Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) American Couples: Money, Work, Sex; Morrow Publ.

In a study of sexual behavior in homosexuals and heterosexuals, the researchers found that of gay and bisexual men, 24% had one male partner in their lifetime, 45% had 2-4 male partners, 13% had 5-9 male partners, and 18% had 10 or more sexual partners, which produces a mean of less than 6 partners. (Fay; n=97 gay males of 1450 males total). In a parallel study, a random sample of primarily straight men (n=3111 males who had had vaginal intercourse; of the total sample of n=3224 males, only 2.3% had indicated having had sex with both men and women), the mean number of sexual partners was 7.3, with 28.2% having 1-3 partners, and 23.3% having greater than 19 partners (Billy). This data indicates that gay men may have fewer number of sexual partners than heterosexuals.

J Billy-1993: Family Planning Perspectives 25:52-60
R Fay-1989, Science 243:338-348

February 22, 2007 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

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March 29, 2007 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following website has summaries of approximately 150 lawsuits, formal complaints, etc filed by Jehovah's Witness EMPLOYEES, who claimed religious discrimination:

EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

http://jwemployees.bravehost.com/

March 29, 2007 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

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August 13, 2007 3:27 PM  

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