Thursday, June 9, 2011

Teaching sexual orientation in Kentucky schools; Kentucky Department of Education Model Curriculum Framework

Lexington, KY -- The Family Foundation of Kentucky yesterday unleashed an absurd attack on the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) for mentioning "sexual orientation" a single time in the KDE's draft Model Curriculum Framework. In addition, it appears that the Family Foundation of Kentucky is opposed to mentioning critical thinking. The Kentucky Equality Foundation, by contrast, strongly encourages consideration of sexual orientation and critical thinking.

This is a sad attempt by the Family Foundation of Kentucky to gain legitimacy by jumping into the education-policy brawl between think tanks and candidates.

"Teaching children that people have different sexual orientations is a step in the right direction and would lead to less school bullying, suicides, in addition to drug/alcohol abuse," said Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer.  "These are not ‘special interests’ as classified in the press release issued by the Family Foundation of Kentucky, rather Kentucky schools will prepare our children for a Commonwealth and world full of diversity.  However, in the past the Kentucky Senate has held hearings on such things without public notice and behind closed doors, allowing only the Family Foundation of Kentucky to speak, lead by Senate President David Williams who classified any attempt to elevate school bullying laws, adoption, or teaching sexual orientation in schools as teaching 'aberrant behavior'." (source WKYT-TV)   

Kentucky Equality Federation Public Relations and Media Director Josh Koch also commented. "What makes this truly despicable is that the Family Foundation has chosen to make this bid for legitimacy by injecting nonsense and needless venom into a serious discussion," Koch said. "This is a tragic attempt to buy relevance at the expense of decency and common sense.

I grew up among fundamentalists who reverenced groups like the Family Foundation. These allegedly 'pro-family' groups routinely use demagoguery and subtle fear tactics about social issues to manipulate their donors and supporters into supporting an establishment which routinely sells out those donors and supporters on more important issues. Sadly, these propaganda pushes also have negative public fallout, from discrimination to hate crimes. Tactics like these are why I left the Republican party and the 'social conservative' roots with which I was raised. I believe people should treat each other as neighbors, not as enemies, and I believe in critical thought."

"The Commonwealth is filled with a variety of families, extended families in addition to being born straight or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or intersex," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Mental Health Outreach Director Kelly Gill.

Gill continued: "Children learn from their environments, from birth they learn from our actions. We instill values in them often without notice. However, we also instill hate and prejudice. If we start teaching our children at a young age that something as simple as sexuality is not a choice, but how people are born we would be taking a large leap toward a new level of acceptance. People tend to believe that being homosexual is a choice, it is not. No one chooses to be outcast by family, ridiculed in school, and forced to hide who they are. When we ignore the situation is does not go away it turns to bullying and growing negativity. Some of the very children sitting in a classroom hearing a teacher speak about homosexuality in a neutral way may be hearing what they need to hear in order to be more comfortable with who they are, likewise it may be a child who could have turned into a bully had they not been taught about sexuality. We are asking you to support your children and who they are without turning this into a self serving political agenda."

Kentucky Equality Federation Assistant Southern Kentucky Regional Director William Taylor stated: "By teaching sexual orientation we are prepping the children for life outside of school, in the real world and not the small bubble the Family Foundation of Kentucky apparently lives in, this has nothing to do with 'political correctness' as they indicated, it is about teaching our children about the different cultures, including different sexual orientation they will encounter. This is political propaganda which the Family Foundation of Kentucky is famous for, such as their 2009 seminars to 'save marriage,' save it from what? We believe Kentuckians are tired of so-called "family foundations," which serve so other purpose that to spread hate and indifference.  The influence of the Family Foundation of Kentucky has diminished considerably in the past couple of years."

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