According to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink,
The Washington, D.C., Board of Education will vote next month on “Healthy Learning Standards” that would encourage condom use and teach eighth-graders that they “may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender.”
Needless to say, Focus on the Family is not happy about the proposed curriculum. Speaking against the program, Randy Thomas is quoted in the article:
“Parents need to be aware of the fact that in many school districts across the nation, the promotion of homosexuality is coming in stealthily under titles like ‘health learning standards’ or ‘family life education,'” Thomas said. The new “standards” appear to push a one-sided perspective of homosexuality.
“They only present homosexuality as something positive,” he said, “whereas, as a former homosexual, I know what its like, and it’s not all positive, it’s not all perfect.”
Since CitizenLink fails to provide any specific details about what would be included in these new learning standards, readers are left to fill in the gaps for themselves. Those who take the time to find out what the curriculum (titled “Health Standards,” not “Healthy Learning Standards”) actually says will find little if anything to suggest the sort of bias implied in the CitizenLink article. The section dealing with sexual orientation reads as follows:
8.1.5 Define sexual orientation, using correct terminology; and explain that as people grow and develop they may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender.
8.1.6 Compare and contrast the theories about what determines sexual orientation, including genetics; prenatal, social, and cultural influences; psychosocial factors; and a combination of all of these.
Readers who do their homework will also learn that the sex education portions of the curriculum (which covers a broad range of health-related topics) place a strong emphasis on abstinence, something Focus on the Family usually lobbies for quite vocally. If there is a “gay agenda” hidden in the proposed curriculum, CitizenLink provides no substantiation of its existence.
CitizenLink’s brief commentary also begs the question of what Focus on the Family and Exodus would consider a balanced presentation of the issue. Would a Focus/Exodus-designed curriculum acknowledge that many openly gay and lesbian individuals lead healthy, productive lives, or would it portray the GLBT community as diseased, shallow and emotionally stunted individuals inclined toward pedophilia?
Would that curriculum be used as a recruiting tool to herd impressionable young teens into ex-gay programs, or would it honestly inform them that the best most Exodus participants can hope for is lifelong celibacy? Would it portray all gays and lesbians as victims of bad parenting and/or sexual abuse, or would it objectively present all of the research that’s been done on the causes of homosexuality (as the proposed curriculum appears to do in its current form)?
Given the consistent track records of Exodus, Focus on the Family and their allies, it’s difficult to accept cries of “one-sidedness” from them without being reminded of the pot that called the kettle black.
Mike Airhart contributed to this article.