Monday, November 29, 2004

ACLU Vs. Parents

This is a very touchy subject and before I express my opinion, let me clearly state my position on gay rights, because in case you’re riding the short bus, this post is really about the ACLU.

My personal opinion is that anyone who homosexual has the same rights or privileges as anyone who is straight. Sounds simple enough, well here's the catch. I do not believe that anyone should have special rights because of some group they belong to; I do believe that everyone should be judged by the quality of their character and nothing else. I know that is a little naiveté.

Here's my example against "special rights". I am like most Americans and am over weight, now do I because of my physical attributes deserve "special rights", I think most would say no way in hell. In fact most would say get your ass to the gym and lose some weight. Let's apply this to a non-physical attribute such as sexual orientation. I am a proud Republican, should I because of my political affiliation be granted "special rights" to help combat the liberal bias that I deal with on a daily basis, including my place of employment or at a liberal dominated university? Again most would say hell no, tough it out or don't tell people your political leanings.

My opinion on the rights of homosexuals is simply that there are enough laws on the books to make sure they enjoy the same rights that all Americans enjoy. I have several friends that are gay and bi-sexual so I have a tiny bit of insight on this subject. Read that last sentence carefully, “a tiny bit of insight”. I don’t claim to be an expert on what it means to be gay. In fact one of my friends had to tell me that she was, I just don’t really care what people do in the privacy of their homes or think in those terms when dealing with people.

In my ideal world most people would share that opinion, live and let live. That is a simple concept, yet hard to execute. Now on to the target of my rant, the ACLU, they now seem to think that they should determine school curriculum without the input or consent of parents.

As I have said in the past, the ACLU does some good but they are beginning to really stray from their core mission. I ran across the story of the Boyd County School District. About 10 months ago, they settled a lawsuit with the ACLU over the ability of a Gay student group to meet on school grounds. As part of the settlement, the school would require all staff and students to view a video on being tolerant of gays. Ok, I have no problem with the school being sued for denying the student group access to school facilities. That was and is wrong regardless of whom the student group is.

What I do have a problem with is that the ACLU thinks that it knows better then these students parents on how to teach tolerance. I think that most would agree that a forced viewing of a 60 minute video is not going to cut it. Tolerance for good or bad is taught by friends and family. The school district has had the following response to the required viewing of the video: “According to the district, 105 of 730 middle school students didn't take the training after opting out while 145 of 971 high school students opted out and 324 didn't show up for school on the day of the training.”

The ACLU is now threatening to take the school back to court to force the students to sit through the video. I know that many may not view this as a big deal, and maybe it’s not. I have two young children and I would like to think that my school district values the opinions of its parents and encourages input from them. Here’s a comment from the ACLU lawyer on this turn of events. "The schools have great latitude in what they want to teach, including what's in training programs, and the training is now part of the school curriculum," Esseks said. "Parents don't get to say I don't want you to teach evolution or this, that or whatever else. If parents don't like it they can home school, they can go to a private school, they can go to a religious school."

Actually, the training video is not part of the curriculum, because if it was then the ACLU would not have to waste more of the taxpayer’s money in yet another court appearance. What I take from that quote is that the ACLU feels that no parent should have anything to do with the education of their children. If I was in the situation I would lay blame at the feet of the school district first then the ACLU.

I blame the school district for their short-sightedness in not involving the parents in the original settlement and ACLU for thinking they can dictate school curriculum without participation of the most important piece of this equation, the parents.

I included the links below for more information on this topic. Later…….

http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/archive/m-n/

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/

http://www.courier-journal.com/localnews/

10 comments:

Jesse said...

I completely agree with everything you say. Homosexuals should have all the same rights as heterosexuals in this "land of the free". Certain people think because they have been discriminated against, they deserve different treatment, forcing others who are different to be educated. This is wrong.

But this is the same with race as well. Sure Native Americans were here first, but it makes no sense that they can be the only people to build casinos in most states. How about African Americans, because they were discriminated against more then one hundreed years ago, they can use it against people and a long time ago, they benifited from this.

It's called restitution. It may not be fair, but it happens and as long as America stays sue happy like it always is, restitution will always play a part.

It's just too bad that they don't notice that others are forced to "suffer" similar experiences as the group that was discriminated against.

ToddCommish said...

I agree with you about "gay rights". Those rights belong with blonde rights and hermaphrodite rights and dwarf rights and albino rights. IT'S ALREADY COVERED in the Constitution. No need for new laws either protecting OR denying these rights.

The ACLU has become a marauding band of litigious wackos that has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with frivolous lawsuits. They're defending groups like NAMBLA while complaining about the Pledge of Allegiance. Right there, they lose all credibility.

Anonymous said...

Oh.. and I was wondering about that provobial question.. "Why can't Johnny read." Now I see.. he's being forced to watch movies that in no way pertain to education. Some things are a parent's responsibility and I'd like to think I can teach tolerance far better than a video.

http://orphicsoliloquy.blogdrive.com

Anonymous said...

The are no homosexual right. EVERYONE should have the same rights and privilege for better or worse.

BTW, being overweight and all you can join the discussions at Full Figure Forum.

DJ said...

I agree with your point about the ACLU. Although I generally support the mission of the ACLU, I don't always agree with everything they do. Then again, I don't agree with most people all the time either.

The point that I disagree with is that "on the rights of homosexuals is simply that there are enough laws on the books to make sure they enjoy the same rights that all Americans enjoy." There are laws going into the books (in 11 states specifically) that deny gay people certain rights that are granted to heterosexual people. Thereby, it makes those rights "special rights" for straight folks. There are many federal and state benefits that come with marriage, both to protect couples and hold them to certain responsibilities.

One would think that section one of the 14th Amendment would be enough to guarantee rights for all Americans, no matter what makes them unique. However, it would seem that it's not enough right now. I agree with you about special rights. I don't want anything "special." I want to be equal. And right now it's the straight folks who have the special rights.

Anonymous said...

But what this boils down to is a power trip: you want to be able to foist your views and values on others (homosexuals or not) but don't like it when they ask for the same right to do so.

Perhaps tolerance ought to be a part of your lexicon.

The Mad Tech said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mad Tech said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments, I am heartened by the fact that so many got my point.

I do have a message for the anonymous poster from this afternoon around 2pm; did you even read the post? Did you not read where I stated "I do believe that everyone should be judged by the quality of their character and nothing else?" Or maybe you missed this one, "I just don’t really care what people do in the privacy of their homes or think in those terms when dealing with people."

How in God's name foes either one of those comments paint me as intolerant? I would like to quote one of my bi friends, "Your opinions are slightly misguided but certainly not intolerant" There you have it, straight (no pun intended) from a member of the Gay community.

For the record once more, my problem is with the ACLU trying to dictate school curriculum without participation of the most important piece of this equation, the parents.

The Mad Tech

Anonymous said...

My bone with the ACLU on this is that forced viewing of a movie is highly counterproductive to fostering diversity. Forced compliance to tolerance only drives intolerance underground where it festers and gets much worse. Besides, watching educational films is a piss-poor way of fostering diversity and tolerance.

In high school, I helped run a series of race relations seminars, which were then expanded to human relations to cover issues of sexism, homophobia, religious discrimination, ageism, etc. Students engaged in constructive dialogue around particular cases and moderators like myself were instructed to be tolerant of all views, including those that you'd personally disagree with.

It's amazing what this dialogue accomplishes. Especially around homophobia, views were strong. A couple of students walked out. A few were belligerent in their views on both sides of the issues. But the views they expressed were authentic, and a few people, when forced to defend their preconceptions, found the strength of their beliefs changing. It gave everyone something to think about at least.

Encouraging diversity and tolerance is a long-term battle. Mandating it from above is not going to work, and it will backfire. Exposing and critiquing intolerance is a much slower process, but it works.

Mike (http://www.yafle.com)

Craig R. Harmon said...

"Actually, the training video is not part of the curriculum, because if it was then the ACLU would not have to waste more of the taxpayer’s money in yet another court appearance."

Sorry, but this does not follow. The ACLU's return to court has nothing to do with making the film a part of the curriculum. It has to do with the schools enforcement of its curriculum.