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Jewish World Review
May 16, 2006
/ 18 Iyar, 5766
Gay rights who is harassing whom?
I suppose it's a matter of one's perspective, but it sure seems to me that if there is any special interest group aggressively pushing its agenda on society, it's the radical homosexual lobby. I don't assert this as some earth-shattering revelation or to prove my superior powers of observation. But it is amazing how many people have swallowed the homosexual activists' propaganda that it is heterosexual conservatives who are picking on them rather than the other way around.
A month or so ago I wrote a column about the incredible story of a librarian at Ohio State University at Mansfield who was met with a sexual harassment claim from three professors for suggesting that a number of conservative books be included on a recommended reading list for incoming freshmen. Since then, in my routine daily scanning of the news, I have come across stories almost every other day without particularly looking for them involving controversy over homosexual-related issues. Could this be an accident?
From April 27 through May 11, I ran across the following headlines: "Anti-Homosexual Bullying 'Endemic' in Schools, Study Says," "Parents' Suit Challenges Gay-Themed Book," "Christian Students Considering Lawsuit Over Suspensions," "California's 'Gay History' Bill Advances," "Gays Fight Citizens in Court," "Gay Ice Skaters Settle Hand-holding Harassment Case" and "Supreme Court Lets Lesbian Partner Be 'De Facto Parent.'"
The first story reports that 64 percent of homosexual students "reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation," according to the fourth biennial National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Activists are reportedly lobbying state and federal legislators to pass laws forbidding "harassment" based on sexual orientation or gender expression. If indeed these statistics are accurate, why won't ordinary school policies against harassment apply? Some believe the survey, which is apparently based on subjective impressions, is a tool for homosexual activists to normalize their lifestyle and suppress the expression of those who disagree.
The next story reports that two Lexington, Mass., couples have filed a federal lawsuit against school officials because elementary school teachers were giving out and reading storybooks with gay themes without advance notification to parents. Where are the zealots who always demand a pristine wall of separation between church and state? Are the schools not endorsing values driven by a particular worldview? This story illustrates the significance of the ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that laws forbidding same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Opponents say the ruling has emboldened Massachusetts gay rights advocates to push their agenda in schools and has chilled the rights of those with an opposing viewpoint.
The next item involves a group of 13 high school students in Roseville, Calif., who threatened to sue the school district for suspending them when they refused to remove shirts containing the message "Homosexuality is sin. Jesus can set you free." The students were counter-protesting GLSEN's "Day of Silence" project, which calls attention to anti-gay harassment. Whether or not you think the message is harsh, should its expression not be protected like all other speech?
The next story is nothing short of amazing. It reports that a committee of the California Senate has approved a bill requiring "gay history" to be included in public school textbooks. One provision of the bill would require all social studies textbooks to "study the role and contributions of … people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender … with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society."
The next item tells of a judicial challenge by Massachusetts homosexual-rights activists to a proposed constitutional amendment to end same-sex "marriage." According to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the state constitution doesn't permit citizen-initiated amendments to reverse judicial rulings. Now that's a novel approach: A judicially created provision of the constitution is stronger than its original provisions and its legally adopted amendments. How could anyone present this argument with a straight face?
The next story reports that a company sued by a pair of gay skaters who claimed they were harassed for holding hands "has agreed to hold monthly gay-straight skate nights, to sign an anti-discrimination pledge and to contribute $5,000 to two gay groups." The company will also post placards saying it is promoting diversity and will require its workers to undergo sensitivity training.
In the final story we learn that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a ruling of the Washington Supreme Court granting parental rights to a lesbian in a child custody suit. The U.S. Supreme Court probably declined, justifiably, because these issues are usually matters of state law. But as we can see, the relentless march goes on and not just in the state of California.
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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape
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