Sunday, June 05, 2005


And deliberately shoving it in the face of parents that their rights over the education of their children are non-existent. It is however a good way to create Republican voters, I would think.

A poster at Troy High School that reads "Gay People are Everyday People" appears to be multiplying instead of coming down. Some parents have been fighting the Troy School District for more than a year to have the poster removed from an English classroom, claiming it promotes sexuality and a homosexual lifestyle. But the maker of the poster said the school's English department has decided to go the other direction, ordering 25 more copies. "Now there's going to be 26 at the school," said Leslie Thompson, executive director of Ferndale-based Affirmations Gay/Lesbian Community Center, which distributes the posters. "I'm really rather proud of the district, the school and the teachers for standing by their gay students," she said. "(The poster) is really a strong message for those kids."

District spokesman Tim McAvoy confirmed that at least four new posters went up recently. The poster originally went up in 2003 at the request of the student group Human Equal Rights Organization, which was doing a project on tolerance. It portrays five teenagers surrounded by photos of professionals such as caterers, mail carriers, musicians and teachers. "The students requested the poster to show all people deserve respect and tolerance, and should not be harassed for any reason," McAvoy said. "The poster ensures student safety through a message of tolerance and respect."

But parents opposed to the poster say it promotes more than tolerance, and should be replaced by posters that read "Treat Everyone With Respect" or other nonsexual messages. "If the poster is truly a message of tolerance, it should not single out one group," said Tony Cruz, a parent of two daughters in the district. He said the posters promote a sexual lifestyle that is against Judeo-Christian beliefs. "It should not even be acknowledged to youth, much less promoted."

Cruz said his Christian upbringing prohibits him from hating gays, but also won't allow him to accept their lifestyle. "If they want to engage it, that's their business. We believe it's a sin," he said. "I am here to censor their attempts to promote that lifestyle on my children. We do not want them to try and change our children."

But Affirmations' Thompson said the poster does not promote sex or sexual activity. "We don't consider the word 'gay' any more sexual than the word 'marriage,'" she said. She fears the controversy over the poster will further alienate gay students who she said are afraid to let their sexual orientation be known for fear of retribution. "We're not trying to force anything on anyone," she said. "We're just trying to live our lives. We are everyday people."



With balance being deliberately rejected

Today, a high school in Hawaii plans to show students a video that promotes homosexuality as normal and natural, a decision made despite the fact that several parents have raised objections to school administrators over the film's content and message. Officials at King Kekaulike High School on the island of Maui say they intend to show the film It's Elementary as a way to teach tolerance toward homosexuals. However, several parents are opposed to the school's plan to show the film in isolation, saying it not only legitimizes homosexual lifestyles but also denies that ex-homosexuals exist.

In addition to proceeding with plans to show the controversial film, the school administrators also ignored a simple request from parents that another video called I Do Exist be shown to supplement It's Elementary. Featured in I Do Exist is a man who, as a teen, was interviewed for the other film but who has since left the homosexual lifestyle.

Estelle Wilkerson is a member of the group of concerned parents who raised objections over the school's planned showing of the pro-homosexual film. "We expressed our opinion," she says. "We offered another option. We even offered to come up with a committee that could be at the schools to supervise and help, like a security team of parents, just so that this harassment that, as you say, is happening on campus will stop, if in fact it is -- at least to the extent that they are making it seem [so that] it warrants this film."

However, since the school appears to have swept the parents concerns aside and is proceeding with the showing of It's Elementary to the students. Wilkerson admits that she and the other parents in the group are "feeling a little frustrated." The reason, she notes, is because, "when we're at the meetings, they express how wonderful it is for parents to be [involved] and how much they appreciate our presence and our concern," she says. However, the Maui mom adds, "Obviously, our opinion and what we have to say is unimportant, because we're still having this film."

The protesting parents feel the film scheduled for screening at King Kekaulike High School is both one-sided and outdated, since it features a homosexual teen who is now an adult and no longer involved in homosexual activity and also ignores the existence of former homosexuals like him. The parents group is concerned that by showing It's Elementary without the balancing perspective of a documentary like I Do Exist, the school will be presenting students with an incomplete and decidedly one-sided view of homosexuality.


Bible under fire again: "Bibles could be banned from hospitals in Leicestershire because they offend non-Christians. Hospital bosses also fear the Gideon International bibles may spread the MRSA superbug. They are holding a meeting to discuss the proposals. In a statement, the Trust said: "University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust is committed to religious diversity and equality." It added: "Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, patients can be reassured that religious texts will continue to be made available at the Trust's three hospitals through the chaplaincy." But Gideons International, which distributes the bibles widely in hospitals, hotels, cruise liners and prisons, said the move is "outrageous". Iain Mair, executive director of Gideons International UK headquarters, said: "We understand that the hospital authorities are having a meeting to discuss ordering the removal of these testaments from bedsides. "Firstly, they are saying there's a potential MRSA risk, and we say that is nonsense." He said the proposal was "political correctness gone mad". "We will put notes in the lockers which will say that, if a patient wants a book of another faith, these are the people they should contact.""

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