Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kiss this Judge
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf has thrown out a lawsuit by parents trying to stop gay marriage from being mentioned in classrooms:
BOSTON --A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by parents who objected to discussions of gay families in their children's classrooms, ruling the parents do not have the right to dictate curriculum in public schools.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf said federal courts have decided in other cases that the constitutional right of parents to raise their children does not include the right to restrict what a public school may teach them. Those earlier rulings also have held that teachings that contradict a parent's religious beliefs do not violate their First Amendment right to exercise their religion, Wolf said.
"In essence under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," he said in his ruling.

"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation," he wrote.

Both couples said they have religious beliefs that homosexuality is immoral and that marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman. They argued that Lexington school officials violated their parental rights to teach their own morals to their children.

"It boils down to this simple thing: the parents have a fundamental right to be the primary directors of their children's upbringing and moral education," David Parker said Friday.

This parent is missing the boat. Parents are already in the driver seat when it comes to the education of their children, but they aren't in control of the education of other children. Judge Wolf points this out:
In his ruling, Wolf said parents have a fundamental right to raise their children and are not required to abandon that responsibility to the state. But he said the Parkers and the Wirthlins have alternatives if they do not approve of the curriculum at public schools, including private schools, home-schooling and working to elect a Lexington school committee that will choose a curriculum more compatible with their beliefs.

"However, the Parkers and Wirthlins have chosen to send their children to the Lexington public schools with its current curriculum. The Constitution does not permit them to prescribe what those children will be taught," Wolf said.