The Washington Post reports today that the antigay parents/spouses group PFOX plans to join a Maryland religious-right group, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, in suing the Montgomery County Public Schools.
The lawsuits were announced after CRC and PFOX failed to convince the public — through school board meetings and public hearings — to halt the school district’s comprehensive sex-ed curriculum.
The new MCPS curriculum emphasizes abstinence, but acknowledges the existence of homosexuality and shows teen-agers how to properly use a condom if abstinence fails. The program allows teen-agers and their parents to opt out of lessons that they might find objectionable.
CRC has accused the curriculum of concealing the dangers of unsafe sex, overstating the benefit of condom use, and promoting “transgenderism.”
But both the sex-ed committee and the public hearings found the charges to be unfounded. The few experts cited by CRC and PFOX have not represented mainstream clinical thinking about sex education. And the sexual libertinism that is alleged by the religious-right groups is absent from the actual curriculum (PDF file) the school district’s Health Education web site, and Teach The Facts, a Montgomery County parents group that that supports sex education based on facts rather than partisan political ideology.
I am not sure what PFOX hopes to achieve. Is the goal:
- to drain money from Maryland public schools,
- to falsely accuse other parents of being less moral, less holy, than PFOX parents,
- to punish the public for supporting the curriculum,
- to cause sexually active teen-agers to practice unsafe sex and suffer God’s wrath through STDs, or
- to find an “activist judge” who will help the religious right overthrow the democratic process?
And when the courts throw out the lawsuit, will PFOX use that sensible ruling as another example of “judicial activism”?
Whatever the case, PFOX apparently has access to more money than the $20,000 indicated in its annual reports.
Addendum: The Montgomery County Gazette offers a followup story on May 4.
Addendum II: A judge ruled May 5 that a pilot program for the curriculum be put on hold. Well-balanced AP story.