Saturday, November 01, 2008

CRW: Anti-Apple-Ballot Recommendations for School Board

The Citizens for a Responsible Whatever started out as Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, opposed to our county's public schools teaching facts about sexual orientation without saying something bad about gay and lesbian people. They fought about that for a few years, filing lawsuits, holding demonstrations, doing anything they could to make sure that gay people were properly denigrated in the schools. When they lost that fight, the exact same group of people threw a hissy-fit over a new county law that prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender identity. They changed their name for this issue, called themselves the Citizens for Responsible Government, well, whatever, I guess they like the "Citizens for Responsible" part and maybe they were able to reuse some of their old letterhead.

They fought against equal rights for transgender people by telling people that if we lost our right to discriminate, the next thing you know there will be male sexual predators and pedophiles lurking in ladies restrooms and locker-rooms. They got enough signatures for ... just a minute, sorry, they actually did not get enough signatures to put a referendum on Tuesday's ballot to block the new law.

Yesterday this small group of radicals sent out their candidate recommendations for the Montgomery County Board of Education, and I thought you'd be interested to hear who they support.

Here's their explanation, from their newsletter, about how they decided which school board candidates to support.
Our recommendations on the board of education focus on primarily one issue, the health curriculum. Currently MCPS is teaching children in 8th grade that sexual orientation is innate, that their gender identity is "their inner sense of whether they are male or female", and presents bi-sexuality at the same level as heterosexuality. Only Los Angeles has a curriculum as radical as Montgomery County.

It must be that those facts about sexual orientation and gender identity mean something special to people who read the CRW newsletter. Yes, sexual orientation is innate, everybody knows that, and yes your gender identity is your "inner sense of whether you are male or female." That's the definition of the term, I guess they're against that. It's like being against the dictionary. I don't know what it means to "present bi-sexuality at the same level as heterosexuality." There are three categories of sexual orientation -- heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual -- and the schools teach that. Again, they're arguing against the dictionary.

For the Board of Education At Large slot, the Citizens for Responsible Whatever say you should vote for Tommy Le. When the Washington Post asked him for a statement of why people should vote for him, he said, "Tommy Le is an experienced engineer in the world of work and will provide MCPS students a sense of direction for future careers and hope." I've seen him speak a couple of times, he seems like a down-to-earth guy who wants the schools to teach the three R's and not get bogged down with a bunch of intellectual stuff. He will oppose comprehensive sex education, he is one who thinks students should learn about sex from their parents.

Le is running against Phil Kauffman, who works as a Deputy Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Kauffman has been active in Montgomery County PTA affairs for 13 years and is a founding member of the Northeast Montgomery Political Action Committee, which has sponsored Board of Education forums in the past. Kauffman's wife is an MCPS teacher and their two adult children were educated in Montgomery County schools. Kauffman favors comprehensive sex ed, including factual discussion of sexual orientation and contraception.

For Board of Education District 2 the CRW likes Steve Abrams. Abrams used to be a Republican until he got into a fistfight over a loan with a local Republican leader, then shortly after that he switched to being a Democrat. He was the only school board member to vote against new sex-ed curriculum.

Abrams is running against Laura V. Berthiaume, who is a partner at the lawfirm of Farthing & Farthing specializing in estate law, has two children attending Montgomery County Public Schools, and has been active in the PTA since 2005.

The CRW newsletter says:
Note, DON'T follow the teachers union or apple ballot recommendations.

They (as the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum) even bought the domain name so they can tell you not to vote for the candidates that the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) -- the teachers' union -- supports.

Just so you know, this year the MCEA supports Laura Berthiaume and Phil Kauffman for school board.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"county's public schools teaching facts about sexual orientation without saying something bad about gay and lesbian people"

as a matter of fact, there are some important facts that say something bad about deviant sexual preference

November 01, 2008 9:21 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Oh good, confirmation that I described the CRW's position accurately.


November 01, 2008 9:25 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

(Eyes rolling) - Oh you mean the "gay men have a shorter life span" lie or the "lesbians have a high rate of alcoholism" lie.

I almost miss the days when they used to claim that gay men use gerbils in that extra special sexual fashion.

November 01, 2008 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, that pursuing a homosexual lifestyle is dangerous

November 01, 2008 10:21 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

oh yes. the generalization lie about "homosexuality being a dangerous lifestyle."


November 01, 2008 11:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

“no, that pursuing a homosexual lifestyle is dangerous”

As opposed to the book burning lifestyle?

November 01, 2008 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MCEA supports Kaufman and Berthiaume and both of them support MCPS's new sex education curriculum, which explains why the CRW likes the other candidates.

Le thinks sex ed is a waste of time and Abrams voted against the new MCPS sex ed curriculum.

If you support the new sex ed program at MCPS, vote for the longer names for BOE.

Vote Kaufman over Le

Vote Berthiaume over Abrams

November 01, 2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Washington Post endorses Abrams

other than that, MC voters should vote straight Republican to empower themselves

the fat and sassy Dems take their job for granted and seems obsessed with sexual variations

despite the wealth of MC, MCPS continues to lag many other counties in MD in leading academic indicators

November 01, 2008 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

throw the bums out

November 01, 2008 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I heard about the huge rally for the three Republican Congressional candidates(I'm talking 3 districts)- James, Hudson- and somebody. Ron Paul spoke and wait for it- 250 people showed up.

November 01, 2008 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MC citizens are, by and large, morons

November 01, 2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Steve Abrams has served three separate terms on the Board, but has lost in his races (running as a Republican) for County Executive, County Council,
and State Comptroller – as well as his race for Circuit Court Judge.

Steve’s actions with respect to the sexuality education curriculum
were, in my view, obstructionist, highlighted by the fact that he
opposed allowing teachers to answer a student’s question about whether being gay is a disease or mental disorder. Steve stated that allowing teachers to respond to this question would be a "dealbreaker." He took
this position even though every mainstream medical and mental health association has concluded that being gay is not a disease or a mental disorder.

At one point, Steve accused me of bullying after I noted in my January 9, 2007, testimony before the Board that the four Board members who had been elected two months earlier all had promised to include this information in the curriculum.

Fortunately, at the June 12, 2007, Board meeting, all of the other
Board members and Dr. Weast disagreed with Steve and did the right thing by including this critical information for our county’s 8th and 10th graders.

If you want to see the actual exchanges discuss above, you may find the video on the MCPS website at
at time segments 37:25 – 39:40, 1:46:20 – 1:47:37, and 1:51:00 –
1:54:30; and at
at time segment
4:12:00 – 4:26:00. See also the blog report on
the meeting at

Interestingly, Steve now takes the position that the MCPS policy on curriculum “discussions of homosexuality and demonstrations of contraception use” should “stand as is,” although he says that he “would like to see the curriculum altered to provide more focus on the health issues associated with sexually transmitted diseases.” See In this regard, it is noteworthy that in 2006, during the Citizens Advisory Committee’s discussion of the condom demonstration curriculum, President Jim Kennedy suggested just such an addition (, but that suggestion was never voted upon due to a CRC/PFOX filibuster on the full condom demonstration curriculum. The “politicization” of the process condemned by Steve in his answer – which, given his past postures, I suspect he attributes to our side – in truth is the result of the CRC/PFOX approach to the issues, in which they seek to insert their own theological beliefs in place of or, at best, alongside the conclusions of the mainstream medical and mental health community.

November 01, 2008 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today we had our 7th Gay-Straight Alliance Conference (and dance) at UUCF in Fairfax. 70 high school students from Virginia, DC and Maryland participated. Workshops were run by partnerships of students and adults, and included: GSA Activities, Homophobia 101, Reaching Out To Allies, Being an Ally, GLSEN 101, Homophobia 101, Mental Health Concerns of Youth, and Being an Ally. The students were terrific. It's nice to be involved with such a great group of youth.

I learned a few things. Apparently FOF sent their collection of books and petitions to 16 high schools in Fairfax, to add anti-lgbt books to FFX school libraries, and one of the avenues they took with the petition was to pass them out at Fellowship of Christian Athlete meetings, much to the chagrin of some of the members of those clubs. My student informant told me that of their list of books, only one had been revued by a library journal (as the policies of FCPS clearly state they must be), and that was a negative revue. FCPS librarians would be welcoming of reviewed books that present both sides of such issues as gay marriage and 'don't ask, don't tell.' Apparently FOF is targeting FFX because it is a large, well-known system, and this seems to be something of a publicity, perhaps fundraising effort for them. They appear to be trying to make the erroneous point that schools discriminate against anti-lgbt materials as some sort of religious discrimination. Uh huh.

Happy All Saints to everyone.


November 01, 2008 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MC citizens are, by and large, morons

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
Abraham Lincoln "

November 02, 2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...


I would be interested in knowing the names of those books. I've written about the situation on my blog. My guess is many of these books have incorrect information (i.e. peddling the so-called studies of Paul Cameron). That alone should raise some flags about their veracity.

November 02, 2008 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The student I spoke to I believe got her information from a school staff member. I'll contact her and see if she knows a way to find the list of books.

My guess would be that Fairfax County Schools would give you a list of the titles; my thought is that it would be accessible under freedom of information (esp. since a petition was involved). I know some of my correspondence with FCPS staff has been posted on the PFOX website.

Here's some people who can help:

The website for Information Services (libraries) for FCPS is:

The Coordinator of that office (head librarian, I think) is Susan Thorniley at 703-916-6900. Her email is likely to be:

The spokesperson for FCPS is Paul Regnier at the Office of Community Relations ( His phone is 571-423-1208 and his email is

I'm not going to be calling about this myself at this point, but if you find anything interesting, let us know here at TTF. I believe a complaint or lawsuit has been filed, and this is a concerted effort by FOF et al to get anti-lgbt literature into public schools, so it impacts everyone.


November 02, 2008 12:09 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

If they file a lawsuit then it would be a PERFECT way to inform the rest of the country as to the religious right's distortion of science and reliance on bad studies. I'm definitely keeping an eye this one.

November 02, 2008 2:58 PM  

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