LifeSiteNews | Matthew C. Hoffman | Feb. 4, 2008
A federal appeals court panel has upheld a Massachusetts policy of indoctrinating elementary school students with pro-homosexual attitudes without their parents consent.
The three judge panel ruled that a lower court decision was correct when it denied parents the right to remove their children from such classes, while admitting that the purpose of the literature to which their children were being exposed was to influence children to “tolerate” gay marriage.
“It is a fair inference that the reading of King and King was precisely intended to influence the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage,” the court admits. “That was the point of why that book was chosen and used.”
However, in the appeals court’s opinion, this doesn’t mean the children were being indoctrinated with anything. “Even assuming there is a continuum along which an intent to influence could become an attempt to indoctrinate, however, this case is firmly on the influence-toward-tolerance end. There is no evidence of systemic indoctrination. There is no allegation that Joey was asked to affirm gay marriage. Requiring a student to read a particular book is generally not coercive of free exercise rights.”
The book referred to by the panel, “King and King”, depicts a “prince” who isn’t interested in a princess, but instead is “in love” with the princess’ brother. Their “love” is portrayed in a sympathetic manner, and the two “marry” each other. They are shown kissing on the lips at the end of the book, which was read to second graders in 2006 in Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Two families complained to the school district, which responded that the school district was not obligated to advise families about such matters, and would not allow parents to opt-out. David Parker and other parents with children in the school district responded by filing a federal civil rights lawsuit. After the suit was dismissed by Federal District Judge Mark L. Wolf in early 2007, the parents appealed. Now, the Federal appeals court has rejected their appeal.
However, the families are determined to press on all the way to the Supreme Court, which is the next step in the appeals process. “We are fully committed to go forward,” Jeffrey Denner, lead attorney of the Parker legal team, told the pro-family group Mass Resistance. “We will continue to fight on all fronts that we need to.”
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