Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Magruder Last Night

Last night, Magruder High School was planning to have a special PTA meeting about the new health curriculum. In their newsletter, the PTA president, Martha Schaerr, announced that:
Our February 20 PTSA meeting will be a forum on the Family Life Curriculum. I have invited our health teachers and members of the Citizens Advisory Committee to present their thoughts on the curriculum.

Somebody pointed this out to me a few weeks ago. I asked around, and none of the majority members of the citizens advisory committee (CAC) members had been invited. We asked around at Magruder and found out that the PTA had invited only Ruth Jacobs, the representative of the anti-MCPS group Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, the group that sued last year and intends to sue this year over the curriculum.

Dr. Jacobs is entitled to her views about the courses, though ... oh, never mind. The fact is, she is all alone in her interpretation of what's in the curriculum and what it signifies. She loves to go into public comments at the school board meetings and tell them about rimming and fisting and people putting their heads into the toilet ("swirlies"), things like that. Gay people, according to her, have anal sex and eat poop, and that's why all of them die of AIDS. Even if they do use condoms.

She voted against almost everything in the curriculum, and proposed at least a hundred changes, most of which were ... not accepted. Misleading quotes from obsolete and irrelevant sources. Data from obscure, inconclusive studies. C'mon, we're talking to 8th and 10th grade kids here.

So the mainstream members of the committee (which I'm on, in case you forgot) were concerned that she was being invited by this PTA to represent the committee and answer questions.

Well, some phone calls were made, I won't go into it. Then the PTA invited one of the CAC's student members, Margaret Ellen Johnson, who is also a student at Magruder. That was good, Margaret Ellen is a cool kid. She was going to present the student's view of the curriculum.

Good, but not balanced.

More phone calls were made. Eventally, the chair of the CAC, Carol Plotsky, was invited to speak. I know she hates doing that sort of thing, and it was most gracious of her to agree to do it. Most of the members had already decided to go anyway.

So last night, I think I counted eight members of the 15-person committee in this high-school cafeteria. The PTA president said she was real nervous. She had prepared a form for parents to ask questions, and gave us some rules at the start; there would be the presentations, then only parents would be able to ask questions until nine o'clock ... She was really expecting a fight, it looked like.

Dr. Plotsky was introduced as "the chair of the committee." Dr. Plotsky recently retired as the chair of the Shady Grove Pediatrics Department, and also used to be assistant attorney general in Connecticut -- a doctor and a lawyer, both. As the PTA president neglected to mention.

Dr. Plotsky gave a good, coherent introduction to the process of the citizens committee and what it accomplished. She discussed the origins of the committee, from the 2005 lawsuit and the requirement that CRC and PFOX be represented on it, and noted how that requirement led inevitably to a division within the committee. I really appreciated Dr. Plotsky's even tone and informative presentation -- she has been just what the committee needed, a firm hand at the rudder.

Then Margaret Ellen talked. She was surprisingly cool for a teenager talking to a room full of grownups. She talked about how boring the video was, about how important it is for gay students to know what's going on with them, how important it is for their friends to understand. She talked about bullying and how mean eighth graders can be. And she listed some things she wished had been included in the curriculum: statements from the AMA and the APA that homosexuality is not a disease; statements that gay people can live full, happy lives and be good parents. Everybody on the committee is proud of Margaret Ellen, and she gave a great presentation.

Then, after a grand introduction describing her wondrous career, Dr. Jacobs took the podium. Her Powerpoint didn't work at first. When she got it going, we saw that the title of her talk was "Excluding Information from the Lessons: Does It Put Your Child at Risk?"

Her whole talk was about things that are not in the curriculum. Speaking about "excluding information."

Rather than bias the description by interpreting what she said, I'll just reproduce my notes from her talk:
anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex AIDS anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex self-labeling anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex innate anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex "there's no gay gene" anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex gay people die anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex

There were some questions from the audience. Magruder, like everywhere, has a couple of vocal conservative parents who think kids ought to just be told not to have sex, and that should be that. There seemed to be a little core group of them, three or four people sitting together, but of course most of the people (there were probably thirty or forty people there) are reasonable, just parents who want to know what the big deal is about. Parents who want their kids to be safe and happy, and especially ones who don't want to see their kids get trapped in some stupid political tug-of-war.

Different members of the committee helped answer questions, which was a good thing. Of course, we've gone over this with a fine-toothed comb, there're a lot of details and a lot of back-and-forth here, and people were candid about what they thought could have been better and why certain decisions were made.

It wasn't real smart of this PTA president to try to do this. She says she's friends with Dr. Jacobs, and that's nice, but it was not going to serve the community at all to hear a talk about all the things that were not in the curriculum. It was a sneaky trick, and I hope the parents at Magruder realize what she tried to pull.

This is the kind of thing that keeps parents from participating in their school community.

There are serious issues here, a lot of people have done a lot of work to implement this curriculum, and to invite one strange cookie in to complain about what it doesn't include was not the brightest move in the world. Luckily it all worked out OK.

47 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excerpt:

LDS Women Stand United in the Culture Wars

Although the LDS women who attended the school board meeting wore different "hats," they were completely united in their stand that public schools are institutions of education — not indoctrination. They believed if the school board insisted upon delving into highly sensitive and controversial subject matter then that curriculum needed to express differing viewpoints, be medically accurate and teach the consequences. Of course tolerance, empathy and respect are important — but not at the expense of fairness, sound medical and social science data and freedom of speech.

Michelle Turner, RoseMarie Briggs and Martha Schaerr came to the highly publicized school board meeting as leaders.


http://tinyurl.com/32ut44


So Martha the PTSA Pres. has a connection to CRC, etc., and was promoting at first her own views instead of PTSA's as a whole. Only after she was outed did she include others because otherwise Martha meant it to be the CRC/PFOX show due to her own personal associations.

Ted

February 21, 2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting... Ruth Jacobs is Mormon, too.

February 21, 2007 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Good, but not balanced."

And it was when there were eight MCPS supporters vs one CRC supporter?

February 21, 2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see "The Shining"?

I think Jim has cabin fever.

"anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex AIDS anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex self-labeling anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex germs anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex innate anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex "there's no gay gene" anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex gay people die anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex anal sex"

February 21, 2007 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact is, she is all alone in her interpretation of what's in the curriculum and what it signifies."

This is a lie.

"She loves to go into public comments at the school board meetings and tell them about rimming and fisting and people putting their heads into the toilet ("swirlies"), things like that."

Did she do that last night?

"Gay people, according to her, have anal sex and eat poop,and that's why all of them die of AIDS. Even if they do use condoms."

Did she say that last night?

February 21, 2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She voted against almost everything in the curriculum, and proposed at least a hundred changes, most of which were ... not accepted."

No surprising since the MCPS board did their homework and made quite sure most members didn't support family issues.

"Misleading quotes from obsolete and irrelevant sources. Data from obscure, inconclusive studies. C'mon, we're talking to 8th and 10th grade kids here."

Like quotes and studies from unbiased sources like GLSEN?

February 21, 2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is the kind of thing that keeps parents from participating in their school community."

Oh yes, this is what it is. Man, I don't know how many people have told me they stay away from PTA meetings because there might be a family advocate there.

Maybe since PTA is so biased in favor of conservatives you could start a liberal PTA.

February 21, 2007 12:19 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

1) Stop calling these "family issues." My family is as real valuable as yours.

2) Ruth Jacobs is a Mormon?

February 21, 2007 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Godfrey said...

"There are serious issues here"

And TTF doesn't favor a dialogue on them. Imagine how worried the CAC was when one CRC member is going to speak and they sent out eight people to argue her down.

Wow! CRC must be doing something right.

February 21, 2007 12:22 PM  
Anonymous godfrey said...

"Stop calling these "family issues.""

Talk to Jim. He's the brilliant guy that set you up against family values with his "family blah-blah" shtick.

February 21, 2007 12:24 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Cut it out. Jim has had nothing to do with the hijacking of the term "family values." It's been a (brilliant) Republican ploy for decades now, but has done nothing but polarize this country. I recall Pat Buchanan revelling in the excitement of his proclaimed "kulterkampf" back in 1992.

I find it offensive, and I will continue saying so.

February 21, 2007 4:54 PM  
Anonymous godfrey said...

Dana

Strengthening families is important and they've been in decline and under attack for decades. If you say that you, too, would like to do that, great. Jim and his type of blogger have consistently ridiculed the idea.

February 21, 2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

You won't find one example of that here.

The difference between you and me is that I respect all kinds of families, not just ones like my own.

JimK

February 21, 2007 5:10 PM  
Anonymous marcus said...

"It wasn't real smart of this PTA president to try to do this. She says she's friends with Dr. Jacobs, and that's nice, but it was not going to serve the community at all to hear a talk about all the things that were not in the curriculum. It was a sneaky trick, and I hope the parents at Magruder realize what she tried to pull."

That was so sneaky to try to talk to any group of parents without Jim around,

The noive.....

February 21, 2007 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Godfrey said...

"You won't find one example of that here.

The difference between you and me is that I respect all kinds of families, not just ones like my own."

Jim

You made up the "family blah-blah" epithet, ridculing those who work to strengthen families.

You're a ridcilous ridiculer!

February 21, 2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I am absolutely opposed to some phonies taking a word like "family" and claiming it for their own, pretending they stand for something everybody knows is good, when in fact their mission in life is to judge and blame people and whine about how nobody respects them enough.

To put it clearly: I am against the Family Blah Blah hypocrites, and I am in favor of families -- all kinds of families.

JimK

February 21, 2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Margaret Ellen said...

Thanks Jim for the nice comments about me, Dr. Plotsky was great as well.

To others:

Anonymous said...
"I don't know how many people have told me they stay away from PTA meetings because there might be a family advocate there."

No but perhaps they stay away because people like Mrs. Jacobs like to push their own agendas on them. I wouldn’t want that adults probably don’t either.

"No surprising since the MCPS board did their homework and made quite sure most members didn't support family issues"

Just because people don't take a particular position that doesn’t mean they don't support family issues...if some parents talked to their kids such issues there wouldn’t be such an issue anymore.

February 21, 2007 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before launching into her blather about "anal sex" Ruth Jacobs talked about some of her medical training. At the time she did this particular training, she said there were no treatments for AIDS. She said **they kept sending AIDS patients to die at my ventilator** or something like that. She mentioned she was suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome as a result.

At one point she did admit up to 35% of heterosexual teens engage in anal sex, but the rest of the evening she used "anal sex" and "homosexual sex" as if they were interchangeable terms.

Jacobs did the usual CRC two step -- mentioning only the parts of the curriculum she thought might inflame while skipping the rest. For example, Jacobs put up a slide that said the curriculum encourages teens to come out or self label at an early age when it actually says "People can identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender at any point in their lives. Some people come out at a young age; others wait until they have been adults for many years."

Another slide Jacobs posted said the curriculum said "For many people, coming out is liberating and empowering and makes them feel whole, healthy, and complete." She conveniently omitted the very next two sentences which state "To identify oneself as gay or lesbian can be very difficult given that many people do not understand sexual minorities. Regardless of their sexual orientation, all students, should use good judgment and wait to have intimate sexual activity until they are in a committed, permanent relationship." And on the next page, the curriculum adds "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-treatening behaviors and for being the targets of violence and harassment."

Thank goodness the other CAC members attended so they could fill in the blanks.

MCPS Mom

February 21, 2007 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anybody here know if john garza is married?

February 21, 2007 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am absolutely opposed to some phonies taking a word like "family" and claiming it for their own"

So why don't you argue that instead of trying to slander the word.

Anyway, let's not get started on you and words like "teach", "facts" and "tolerance". The TTF attack on the English language is unsurpassed in modern times.

"pretending they stand for something everybody knows is good, when in fact their mission in life is to judge and blame people and whine about how nobody respects them enough."

Gee, TTF would never do that. Would they?

"To put it clearly: I am against the Family Blah Blah hypocrites, and I am in favor of families -- all kinds of families"

Tell us what you think family means then. How many kinds are there? Who started them?

February 21, 2007 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No but perhaps they stay away because people like Mrs. Jacobs like to push their own agendas on them."

How, ME, did Dr Jacobs' presentation constitute "pushing" an agenda? What kind of agressive things did she do that constitute "pushing"?

Have you seen a lot of presentation like Dr Jacobs at PTA meetings where people are "pushing" agendas?

"Just because people don't take a particular position that doesn’t mean they don't support family issues..."

Pro-family is just a name the media has attached to people with a like mind on a number of issues. Think of it this way: Pro-choice groups aren't the only ones believe in choices, Baptists aren't the only ones who baptize, Democrats aren't the only ones who support democracy- our vernacular is filled with these type of phrases. To start arguing against them, when everyone knows what they mean, can be inflammatory.

"if some parents talked to their kids such issues there wouldn’t be such an issue anymore"

This is actually a CRC position. These issues shouldn't be farmed out to public schools. They belong in the home.

February 21, 2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, every society has some sort of marriage and kinship system that serves their culture and economy.

The nuclear family that is prevalent now in the US is a sort of degraded form, with sibling and ancestor extensions cut off -- it is not a traditional way of life. This minimalist, isolated, alienated kinship structure isn't a very stable configuration, but it is the norm in modern America. We maintain the very fewest familial links necessary to raise children to adulthood. Then they are driven out of their family home at marriage; siblings live remotely from one another, mates typically find sexual contacts outside the marriage, parents and grandparents are "traditionally" sent to a nursing home to end their days. Not everybody subscribes to that as an ideal.

JimK

February 21, 2007 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well great, Jim. You just meant commitment to one's blood relatives. You had me scared for a minute there. I thought you might mean gay couples.

February 21, 2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Very bright, Anon. Does this mean you married your sister?

JimK

February 21, 2007 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I think the Judeo-Christian model works well. You're the one who supports "ALL kinds of families".

February 21, 2007 8:17 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

OK, since I can see the server logs, let me mention one thing that might seem a little stereotypical, but it fits:

Let's say a guy tells his "family" that he has to work late, mmm, it's tax season and he has to stay at the office to do some accounting for clients. So he leaves the wife at home with the kids, and spends the whole evening at the office goofing around on the Internet telling everybody else how pro-"family" he is.

You see what I mean?

JimK

February 21, 2007 8:18 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

You like that Judaeo-Christian model, eh? So , how many wives do you have? A couple dozen?

JimK

February 21, 2007 8:24 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "You made up the "family blah-blah" epithet, ridculing those who work to strengthen families.".

The "family blah-blah" groups don't work to strengthen families, they work to oppress gays. They've bastardized the meaning of family into meaning "anti-gay". LGBTs value families in a way that the "family blah-blah" groups don't - we don't define it as an us versus them term, we value all families.

February 21, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

To verify what I said Peter Labarbera recently admits "The semantic struggle that conservatives and Christians face is that there is no neat, positive equivalent to “pro-life” in the debate over homosexuality. Pro-normal? Pro-hetero? Nothing seems to work, hence we are left with the rather vague pro-family to avoid the negative-sounding, condemnatory anti-gay."

"Pro-family" is just propoganda for "anti-gay"

February 21, 2007 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, OK, that's what you mean. Multiple vs. single spouse. Any other kinds of family you can think of?

February 21, 2007 9:16 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

C'mon, man, didn't you ever take Anthro? Look, go to the Wikipedia page on families.

They are as diverse as languages.

JimK

February 21, 2007 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, man, I took cultural in high school. I just want to know which definition you're talking about with the all kinds.

February 21, 2007 10:35 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

All kinds.

JimK

February 21, 2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"does anybody here know if john garza is married? "

Msg Topic [No Replies]

John Garza Bio

Married to Robyn Garza, 3 children, Gabrielle age 7; Courtlyn age 5; Lucas age 4. The girls attend St. John's Episcopal School in Olney and Lucas attends Millan Methodists Pre School. Lucas suffers from autism and is home school most of the time. I attend Covenant Life Church and teach Sunday School one time per month. My wife is Jewish and does not attend Church regularly. I am a lawyer and parnter with Garza Regan & Assoc. My office is accross the street from the Courthouse in Rockville. I have been in practice for 23 years. I recently sued the BOE in connection with discrimination against Christian students. I am the current leader of the Legal Team.

[Date=12-16-2004] Name:John Garza jgarza@garzanet.com, [Msgid=752663]

http://www.teachthefacts.org/2005/07/three-letters.html

February 22, 2007 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To put it clearly: I am against the Family Blah Blah hypocrites, and I am in favor of families -- all kinds of families."

OK. Back to the top then. They are hypocrites because they argue that the policies that they advocate will strengthen families and...what else?

They think we should consider the impact on families of policy decisions. Do you, in favoring "all kinds of families", agree genrally or do you think there is no value in considering such things when determining public policy?

February 22, 2007 8:48 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

The policies they promote don't strengthen any families, they drive a wedge between families.

JimK

February 22, 2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone want to study if being obsessed with gay sex causes autism?

February 22, 2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Ruth is Jewish?

February 22, 2007 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So everybody thought: Mormon.

February 22, 2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The policies they promote don't strengthen any families, they drive a wedge between families."

Wanna be specific here?

February 22, 2007 10:22 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes humorously (though I suspect this was NOT his intention),

C'mon, man, didn't you ever take Anthro? Look, go to the Wikipedia page on families.

They are as diverse as languages.


Jim, if you ever lose your day job, you do have a fall back...as a stand-up comedian.

Check out this link,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Image:Expecting_family.jpg

then again, there is this version of a "family", found here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Image:Family_Ouagadougou.jpg

oh, and then there is this picture of a so-called blah blah family (as you so like to call us folks),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Image:US-hoosier-family.jpg

Question for Jim: notice any common theme thru these three pics?

Oh, and thanks for the link!

February 23, 2007 4:26 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Orin,

You ARE joking, right? This blog with its Anons cannot handle such tongue-in-cheek from you. Whatever gave you the thought that anyone here ever consdiered your family to be part of the Family Blah Blah groups?

First, regardless of your beliefs, characterizing your family as such would be rude and silly. If you have a nuclear family, fine. The issue is whether or not you support Dobson and his ilk, who do not support families but attack those that are unlike their own.

Judeo-Christian? First, please everyone stop trying to soften the Christian hostility here by appending "Judeo" to it. Very few Jews would support any of this extremist stuff. Second, if anyone would pick up a Hebrew Bible they would find family structures that are nothing like the home in which I grew up, and which Dobson thinks is the only vlaid model if you don't want to go to hell. Of course, just like this entire movement inspired by self-hate is obsessed with one out of 613 commandments, so the analysis of family conveniently ignores the rigid Biblical patriarchal polygamous model that is the norm.

I am simply fed up with the term "family values" meaning anything positive anymore, and I would bet the majority of the American people agree with me.

February 23, 2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Judeo-Christian? First, please everyone stop trying to soften the Christian hostility here by appending "Judeo" to it. Very few Jews would support any of this extremist stuff."

Christians and Jews, even non-Messianic Jews, read from the same scriptures. The moral vision is the same. It's true both Christians and Jews have branches which water-down or rationalize away the original meaning but, that too, lends credence to their essential reciprocity.

"Second, if anyone would pick up a Hebrew Bible they would find family structures that are nothing like the home in which I grew up, and which Dobson thinks is the only vlaid model if you don't want to go to hell. Of course, just like this entire movement inspired by self-hate is obsessed with one out of 613 commandments, so the analysis of family conveniently ignores the rigid Biblical patriarchal polygamous model that is the norm."

You and Jim seem to think the multiple wives of some biblical characters proves that there are "all kinds" of families. Genesis provides the ideal. Jesus refers to that in his teachings. I don't see anywhere in scripture an endorsement of polygamy as the preferred model. Solomon and David did other things that are not nesessarily ideal. Abraham and Hagar weren't actually endorsed by scriptures. Nor David and Bathsheeba, nor Solomon and his pagan wives. You either have hermeneutical misunderstanding or you are just blatantly propagandistic.

I also don't think FOF is opposed to extended families living together and supporting one another.

No gay families in scripture, for obvious reasons.

I don't know what other types "all kinds" encompasses. If you guys don't think Dobson supports divorced and single parent families, you really haven't listened to his programs.

"I am simply fed up with the term "family values" meaning anything positive anymore, and I would bet the majority of the American people agree with me."

Fed up? Come on, you had problems with making it a policy concern from the beginning. Americans have repeatedly endorsed family issues through the ballot box. Remember when Bill Clinton got that rude awakening his first month in office? Now, Hollywood's top homosexual is talking about what liars the Clintons were- and are.

February 23, 2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Judeo-Christian? First, please everyone stop trying to soften the Christian hostility here by appending "Judeo" to it. Very few Jews would support any of this extremist stuff."

Christians and Jews, even non-Messianic Jews, read from the same scriptures. The moral vision is the same. It's true both Christians and Jews have branches which water-down or rationalize away the original meaning but, that too, lends credence to their essential reciprocity.

"Second, if anyone would pick up a Hebrew Bible they would find family structures that are nothing like the home in which I grew up, and which Dobson thinks is the only vlaid model if you don't want to go to hell. Of course, just like this entire movement inspired by self-hate is obsessed with one out of 613 commandments, so the analysis of family conveniently ignores the rigid Biblical patriarchal polygamous model that is the norm."

You and Jim seem to think the multiple wives of some biblical characters proves that there are "all kinds" of families. Genesis provides the ideal. Jesus refers to that in his teachings. I don't see anywhere in scripture an endorsement of polygamy as the preferred model. Solomon and David did other things that are not nesessarily ideal. Abraham and Hagar weren't actually endorsed by scriptures. Nor David and Bathsheeba, nor Solomon and his pagan wives. You either have hermeneutical misunderstanding or you are just blatantly propagandistic.

I also don't think FOF is opposed to extended families living together and supporting one another.

No gay families in scripture, for obvious reasons.

I don't know what other types "all kinds" encompasses. If you guys don't think Dobson supports divorced and single parent families, you really haven't listened to his programs.

"I am simply fed up with the term "family values" meaning anything positive anymore, and I would bet the majority of the American people agree with me."

Fed up? Come on, you had problems with making it a policy concern from the beginning. Americans have repeatedly endorsed family issues through the ballot box. Remember when Bill Clinton got that rude awakening his first month in office? Now, Hollywood's top homosexual is talking about what liars the Clintons were- and are.

February 23, 2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another link for you Orin. Check out the picture.

http://www.citypaper.com/printStory.asp?id=11607

All in the Family
Kids Raised By Same-Sex Couples Speak Out To Defend Their Families
by Laura Laing

Aaron Henry-Lambert is 9 and a half. The half is a big deal. Gym is his favorite subject at Joppa View Elementary in Baltimore County. He plays soccer, basketball, and baseball, and after dinner each night, he and his 7-and-three-quarters-year-old brother, Brendan—who gets his affinity for fractions from his big brother—play a few video games, like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

Oh, and Aaron has two moms.

Last month, Aaron was the youngest of seven panelists who answered questions from an audience at a forum sponsored by Equality Maryland, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil-rights organization, about the children of gay or lesbian parents. Audience members wrote down their questions, which were posed to the panelists by two moderators.

“We’re here to continue a dialogue about LGBT families,” Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, said in his opening comments.

But instead of hearing from gay and lesbian parents, who are usually the ones to step forward to defend their families, this forum was designed to let the kids have a chance to speak.

The 2000 U.S. Census reports that there are about 11,243 same-sex couples in Maryland. However, there are no reliable statistics revealing how many of those couples are raising children, or how many single lesbian or gay male parents there are, or for that matter how many gay people share custody of their children with ex-spouses. Furthermore, the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization fighting for equal rights for LGBT individuals, estimates that the U.S. Census undercounted gays and lesbians by as much as 62 percent. So really, no one really knows how many children are being raised by gays and lesbians in Maryland.

But no matter the count, children are a central part of the gay-rights debate in this state, especially when it comes to the gay-marriage debate. Proponents of same-sex marriage, for example, point out that allowing gays and lesbians the same marriage rights as heterosexuals would make their families stronger and protect their children; opponents of same-sex marriage, though, insist that it’s harmful for children to be raised in households with same-sex parents.

It was clear that the panelists at the Equality Maryland forum knew that they are at the center of this argument. They talked about how marriage rights for their parents would strengthen their families and how their lives are impacted by their unique family structures.

Duncan Morgen-Westrick, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Gilman School, got right to the point. “I’m one of those children they say they want to protect,” he said, referring to those who believe that parenting by same-sex couples is bad for children. “I’m here to say that I don’t need protection.”

Keott Gomez-Starnes was adopted by his fathers when he was 4 years old. He now attends high school in Silver Spring. His younger brother was adopted into the family when Keott was 9.

“Kids who are in foster care need homes,” he said. “We have a lot of kids out there who need good homes.”

The kids were speaking to a friendly audience, but some serious questions were posted. The most common question asked was along the lines of “Are any of you gay?”

“I get that question all the time,” said Katie Coyne, a 23-year-old college graduate who will attend med school in two years. Her older sister is gay and out, but Coyne is in a stable relationship with a man she expects to marry someday. She was raised by two moms, after her father and mother split.

“We all like men in my family,” joked 30-year-old Kate Oliver. A mother of two and licensed clinical social worker, Oliver was raised by her father and his partner, Bob, after her parents divorced when she was a child. Oliver’s father and his partner have been together for 25 years now.

“I know I’m straight, like I know I’m right-handed,” she says.

Despite the positive message relayed at the forum, not all responses to it were positive. Tres Kerns, for example, executive director of VoteMarriage.org, an organization that does not believe same-sex marriage should be legal, and host of conservative radio show The Veritas Hour on WCBM (680 AM) Sunday evenings, wrote an opinion piece in The Gazette that was published a week after the Equality Maryland community forum was held. In it, he says that children need opposite-sex parents in order to relate better to the world. “Most [homosexuals] were not shown the Creative order of true love as children,” the article notes. “Some homosexuals do not even believe that it is possible to have a loving, faithful father and mother.”

In an interview with City Paper, Kerns says that without the foundation of the Creative order—a concept described in Genesis that describes the procreative relationship of men to women—gays and lesbians are not able to provide the proper home for children. This contributes to a phenomenon he calls “sexual anarchy,” which includes divorce, molestation, and promiscuity, in addition to homosexuality.

Kids of same-sex parents “don’t get to see really how two opposite-sex parents would interact,” he says. “I think who really suffers is the children. What do most kids want? They want a loving mommy and daddy.”

But the kids involved in Equality Maryland’s forum don’t agree with that sentiment. Coyne said that having to justify her family is “sickening, really,” and she often testifies before General Assembly hearings on issues involving gay rights.

“I speak in front of all these people and then I go out in the hall and just lose it,” she said. “It’s a feeling like no other—to have people attack my family, the core of my soul.”

Most of the panelists acknowledged, like Coyne, that they have had to deal with negative public reaction to their family situations. Keott said that he has been told he would go to hell because his fathers are gay. And all of the panelists nodded when one participant brought up the oft-repeated phrase “that’s so gay.”

“I get so angry I want to clobber them,” Aaron Henry-Lambert said about kids who use the word gay pejoratively. “When I hear that, it’s really mean and I don’t like it.”

In the end, these daughters and sons don’t feel they are much different from their peers being raised by straight parents. But they see inequities.

“We live in a nation where we’re so dependent on equal rights,” Keott said. “I don’t know how people can say that they’re proud to be an American when they don’t let certain people do things because they’re black or gay or something else.”

February 23, 2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

The religionists have no credibility on families headed by same sex couples. The've pre-judged their position and as with all relgious dogma admit they refuse to change that position under any circumstances regardless of what current evidence says is best. The major mental and physical health institutions haven't jumped to a conclusion in the absense of evidence and are willing to base their position on the best current knowledge - they are responsive to reality whereas the religionists are not.

February 24, 2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:27 PM  

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