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Less than a year ago, the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in the case of Goodridge vs. Dept. of Public Health changed the definition of marriage in Massachusetts to be “the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.” In the wake of that decision, we noted the impact that it would likely have in the way schools deal with the issue of sexual education and family.
“Are you prepared, to have your children or grandchildren exposed to a homosexual lifestyle in schoolbooks? How would you like sex-education programs to describe homosexual acts to grade-schoolers?” we asked in a Nov. 21, 2003 editorial.
The editorial went on to provide a brief explanation of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. “The Church does not consider homosexual orientation sinful, yet calls it a ‘tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,’ because by virtue of same-sex attraction, one carries within oneself the inclination to fornication outside of marriage. Because of this, the Church declares that homosexual orientation is ‘an objective disorder.’”
The editorial continued, “Any promotion of a homosexual lifestyle will obscure that fact, making sexual orientation merely an arbitrary choice. Is this what we want for our children?”
Now, only few months after the court’s ruling took effect on May 17, our concerns are being realized.
National Public Radio recently produced a story on the “ongoing debate in Massachusetts over how to address the issue of discussing gay relationships and sex in public-school classrooms.”
In the report, several teachers and students presented their differing viewpoints on the issue. Particularly distressing are the remarks of Brookline teacher Deb Allen.
Following is an excerpt of the transcript of the NPR report:
NPR: ...Many teachers say they’re less afraid now since the high-court decision legalizing gay marriage. Deb Allen teaches eighth-grade sex-ed in Brookline. She keeps a picture of her lesbian partner and their kids on her desk and gay-equality signs on the wall. Allen says she’s already been teaching a gay-friendly curriculum for nearly a decade, but she says she does begin this year feeling a bit more emboldened.
Allen: In my mind, I know that, “OK, this is legal now.” If somebody wants to challenge me, I’ll say, “Give me a break. It’s legal now.”
NPR: And, Allen says, teaching about homosexuality is also more important now. She says the debate around gay marriage is prompting kids to ask a lot more questions, like “what is gay sex?” which Allen answers thoroughly and explicitly with a chart.
Allen: And on the side, I’m going to draw some different activities, like kissing and hugging, and different kinds of intercourse. All right?
NPR: Allen asks her students to fill in the chart with yeses and nos.
Allen: All right. So can a woman and a woman kiss and hug? Yes. Can a woman and a woman have vaginal intercourse, and they will all say no. And I’ll say, “Hold it. Of course they can. They can use a sex toy. They could use...”—and we talk—and we discuss that. So, the answer there is yes.
Comments by gay-rights activists have consistently presented the view that the establishment of homosexual marriage in our state will have little or no impact on the vast majority of people.
In reality, once the idea of the family based on the complementarity of the sexes is obscured by laws that endorse homosexual acts, future generations’ understanding of marriage and procreation will suffer tremendous damage. That affects us all.
We ask once again, “Is this what we want for our children?”