Friday, February 1, 2008

School's Right to Teach About Family Diversity Upheld

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit yesterday unanimously affirmed District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by two sets of parents against the Lexington school system. In the suit, parents David and Tonia Parker and Robert and Robin Wirthlin claimed that a Lexington elementary school violated their constitutional rights by exposing their children to books portraying many different kinds of families, including non-judgmental depictions of families headed by same-sex couples.

Judge Sandra Lynch wrote for a unanimous court that the parents who brought the suit have no constitutional "right to be free from any reference in public elementary schools to the existence of families in which parents are of different gender combinations." Her decision further stated, "Given that Massachusetts has recognized gay marriage under its state constitution, it is entirely rational for its schools to educate their students regarding that recognition."

We're delighted that school systems remain free to include age-appropriate material featuring a wide variety of families, including those with two moms and two dads. As a result, gay and lesbian parents and their children can feel safe and supported in their schools, and all children can learn about the true diversity of the society we live in.

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