Wednesday, September 05, 2007

PFLAG Joins Lawsuit

Yesterday's news release from Lambda Legal:
(Montgomery County, MD, September 4, 2007) In court papers filed recently in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland Lambda Legal represents Metro DC Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in a lawsuit over a decision by the Montgomery County School Board to include information about sexual orientation as part of the health education curriculum for 8th and 10th graders.

The Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality curriculum will provide education on sexual orientation that includes medically accurate information as it relates to homosexuality.

"Schools have a right to create an accurate curriculum -- not a curriculum guided by individual beliefs," said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal. "In Geography class teachers aren't required to teach that the Earth is flat just because someone believes it."

On June 12, 2007, the Montgomery County School Board voted to implement the curriculum for the upcoming school year. The lessons had been field tested in several schools and received the recommendation of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Development. However, opposing groups, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Family Leader Network have challenged the curriculum and appealed the decision to implement it to the Maryland State Board of Education, which dismissed the challenge. The groups have now appealed that decision to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County seeking to have it overturned.

Christine Grewell, who co-founded the organization Teach the Facts to support the new curriculum, said, "As a mother who raised three children in this school system I understand that education is key in dispelling the idea that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), is an illness or taboo. Children deserve an education that will help them have a better understanding and respect for themselves and others."

David S. Fishback, a member of Metro DC PFLAG, said, "Our two now-adult sons are gay, and we know that if there had been such a curriculum when they were teenagers, their lives would have been much easier. We owe it to both LGBT and straight students to provide medically accurate information, for ignorance breeds fear. No child should have to go through school in fear of themselves or others."

"Classrooms are for facts -- and for many LGBT youth, their classrooms will be the first place that they find out that even though they feel 'different' they're completely normal and healthy," said Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG National. "Making sure that our schools are relaying this fact is an issue to parents everywhere and the obligation of our schools."

The papers filed today by Lambda Legal seek to participate in the ongoing lawsuit between the Montgomery County School Board and the groups opposed to the curriculum.

Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director in Lambda Legal's Headquarters is handling the case with co-counsel Jonathan Frankel, Daniel Matheson, Brian Simmonds, Kenny Wright and Daniel Squire of the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington DC. Lambda Legal Stands on the Frontlines with Local Maryland Groups in Support of Inclusive Sex Education


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock on!!! :-)

September 05, 2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boy, another unbiased release from an objective source

you know, in most places in the US, outside of a few elite zip codes like West Hollywood and the Upper East Side, a politician who voted to approve the curriculum that MCPS is going with would be committing career hari-kari

ditto for associating with radical groups like Lambda "Legal"

September 05, 2007 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

andrea said
Well, this is Montgomery County,Maryland, not Polson, Montana.

September 05, 2007 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Lambda Legal is radical... it's radical for equality. What's wrong with that? At least it's not nasty and hateful like PFOX and CRC. I mean, PFOX and CRC don't even like themselves... why would they like anyone else?

September 05, 2007 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course Lambda Legal is radical... it's radical for equality."

Radicals are always for some kind of "equality". Their goal is to make outrageousness acceptable. That's what they mean by "equality". But if all ideas, desire and actions are equal, what is there really to talk about.

It's like the Fifth Dimension, baby! You gotta go where you wanna go, do what you wanna do, with whomever you, feel like doin' it with!

September 05, 2007 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, idiot, it's The Mamas and the Papas, not The Fifth Dimension.

Must have received a private school education.

September 06, 2007 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, they both recorded it.

Lambda "Legal", however, is in the Fifth Dimension.

September 06, 2007 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you saying that the "radical" African-Americans wanting equality is outrageous? I don't understand how with me being a man and wanting to marry a man has anything to do with you at all. Are you that insecure? Apparently you are. Ugh, you Republicans need to take some courses in "how the world changes over time as people become more educated. "

September 06, 2007 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So are you saying that the "radical" African-Americans wanting equality is outrageous?"

I don't think anyone said that.

I guess it's just you wish they did, youwish.

September 06, 2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, as an African American man, I don't, actually.

September 06, 2007 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why it's like you wish history could be revised, jackjoe. The fact is blacks and their civil rights allies worked long and hard to win equal rights for oppressed minorities. They worked against people and groups who used all sorts of weapons, including religion, to try to maintain white supremacy. The most notorious of the anti-equal rights groups was KKK and its radical "white Christian American" supporters. White supremists are still a big problem right here in the local area.

Klan Leaflets Denounced in Manassas
Members of Both Sides of Debate Reject Appeal to 'White Christian America'

By Pamela Constable
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007; Page B02

Dozens of Ku Klux Klan leaflets calling for a ban on "all non-white immigration" were distributed last weekend in Manassas, where a dispute over illegal immigration has raised tensions in recent weeks.

The leaflets, dropped at night into mailboxes and on driveways along one street, urged "white Christian America" to stand up for its rights. Smatterings of racist literature are distributed in communities throughout the region every few weeks, but this incident struck a raw nerve in Manassas.

Klan officials, who are based in Arkansas, said yesterday that Virginia residents had asked them for Klan literature to deliver in Manassas.

In Prince William County, officials are trying to restrict public services to illegal immigrants and allow local police to take action against them. Latino activist groups are staging marches and boycotts to protest the proposed measures, which they denounce as racist and anti-Latino.

"We have heard from people all over Virginia, including Manassas, who are concerned about quality-of-life issues including gangs, violence and drugs," said Travis Pierce, a Klan official, speaking by telephone from Compton, Ark. "We put out leaflets to bring these problems to the attention of the local authorities. . . . Our concerns are legitimate, and our actions are legal."

Officials and activists on both sides of the immigration debate in Prince William rejected the Klan's message and actions, which came to light when homeowners on one street in Manassas said over the weekend that they had found several dozen Klan leaflets in their mailboxes or on their driveways.

"This is totally over the top. It is something the citizens here will universally condemn," said Greg Letiecq, an activist who opposes illegal immigration and heads a group called Help Save Manassas. The group complains that the large influx of Latino immigrants to the region, including many who are illegal, has burdened public services and caused neighborhoods to deteriorate.

Marc T. Aveni, a member of the Manassas City Council, said that the Klan should stay away from the area and that its actions were not productive.

"We don't want this here," he told Potomac News Online. "I 100-percent condemn this sort of thing."

Pro-immigrant activists in Prince William, led by the group Mexicans Without Borders, condemned the Klan activities in even stronger terms. They said the Klan leaflets showed that local efforts to curb illegal immigration had created a "hostile environment" toward immigrants and minorities.

"Any time lawmakers pass initiatives that . . . single out a segment of the population and try to drive them out of the community, they are laying the foundation for increased bigotry and hatred," Mexicans Without Borders said in a statement issued yesterday in response to the reports of Klan leafleting. They said a recent wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric had "opened the door to racist organizations."

Some local residents suggested that the immigrant groups had drawn distant "fringe elements" to the region, especially by staging a week-long economic boycott and a protest rally this month. But Pierce said the people who handed out the Klan leaflets were all Virginia residents who "love their nation and see the problems too."

The leaflets contain a brief history of the Klan, tell how to contact and join the group, and urge "white Christian Americans" to unite in defense against a variety of issues, including drugs, gang violence and pornography. They also opposed immigration by Mexicans and other "non-white" groups, who they said seek to "take over" the country.

Police said no problems or incidents were reported in connection with the leafleting, and no arrests were made.

Although Klan activities are focused in the U.S. South, its members have periodically distributed similar material in other communities in the Washington area where racial or immigration issues have heated up. Klan recruiting leaflets were found in Frederick in 1999, and a Klan march was held in Annapolis in 1998.

September 06, 2007 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about that, Bea. It's quite scary!! Ever since Bush was elected we seem to be having a lot more problems with homophobia, racisim, ethnocentricity, etc... SAD!!!

September 06, 2007 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing is worse or more horrific to the various phony "Anonym" (in the guise of the multitude of "Joes" et al.) who constantly post here than changes in social mores, especially those that they cannot personally control. Quote: "Radicals are always for some kind of "equality". Their goal is to make outrageousness acceptable. That's what they mean by "equality"." Interesting perception: equating equality with outrageousnes. I always thought that was the basis or our Democracy.
Fortunately for the constant growth of civilization, most societies have wisely accepted and embraced change. And then there are those who, like scared rabbits, scamper into the nearest hole in the ground to avoid some perceived threat to them. Anybody ever wonder why Fascist or other autocratic governments have such an easy job of controlling their populaces?

September 06, 2007 10:36 AM  

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