CHILDHOOD: by Patrick J. ByrneNews Weekly
Same-sex marriage set to transform our schools
, March 31, 2012
If Australia legalises same-sex marriage, it will accelerate the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (GLBTI) transformation of the curriculum in primary and secondary schools.
The Australian Education Union (AEU) is strongly pushing this agenda. In 2006 it adopted a GLBTI policy to have “all curriculum … written in non-heterosexist language”.
It said: “Sexuality should be included in all curriculum relating to health and personal development. Homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and intersex need to be normalised and all states need to develop material which will help to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”
Attempting to equate GLBTI people with ethnic groups, the AEU policy added: “Material must be developed for students who are GLBTI and also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders or from a non-English speaking background.”
The education union policy also called upon “Federal and State Governments to ensure their discrimination laws cover all aspects of law relating to GLBTI people. These must include laws on marriage, IVF, adoption, and age of consent”.
The strongest push into the curriculum has come through Victoria’s Safe Schools initiative, which has 54 Victorian schools signed up to its program.
Partly funded by the Victorian government, the program aims at having “specialist staff training” for “whole school training on supporting same-sex attracted and gender-questioning students and challenging homophobia”.
Following a grant of $250,000 from the NSW government, a similar Safe Schools program was given a trial in NSW last year.
In 2011, the South Australian branch of the AEU had over 60 people attend a Safe Schools workshop, and another is planned for April this year.
The GLBTI push into Australia’s schools is likely to accelerate given that there are currently three same-sex marriage bills before federal parliament, with another Labor-sponsored bill due later this year.
Experience overseas shows that after same-sex marriage is made legal, there are moves by education and health departments, education unions and the GLBTI lobby to introduce these issues into schools, even at kindergarten level.
When parents and community groups resist, they are taken to court for discrimination against GLBTI people. Anti-discrimination laws are then invoked to overrule the right of parents to determine the education of their children.
In 2004, a court ruling in the US state of Massachusetts recognised same-sex marriage.
The following year, David Parker, a parent in Lexington, Massachusetts, was arrested and jailed after he peacefully but unyieldingly insisted on being able to opt-out his six-year-old son from lessons on homosexuality and transgenderism in kindergarten. School officials had adamantly refused the request.
Two years later, in dealing with the case, the US District Court in Massachusetts ruled that parents don’t have the right to restrict what a public school may teach their children, even if the teachings contradict the parents’ religious beliefs.
The District Court judge referred parents to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum, which includes a standard that by fifth grade, students should be able to define sexual orientation, such as heterosexual, gay and lesbian.
According to philosopher Margaret Somerville, one of the many complaints filed before the human rights tribunals or courts after Canada legalised same-sex marriage, was against school trustees for their decision not to include books on homosexual families on a recommended reading list for kindergarten students.
In California last year, the government adopted a law that equates transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay preference with race or ethnicity such as that of Asians, Latinos or blacks.
It requires state school to teach these sexual preferences in all social science courses, and nothing can “reflect adversely” on these lifestyles.
Testifying before the California State Senate Education Committee against this bill was Miriam Grossman, a medical doctor and certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist who has been in practice for 21 years working first-hand with children with homosexual and transgender feelings. She has also written books, of which the most recent is You’re Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Harm Your Child (to be reviewed in the next edition of News Weekly).
After reviewing California Bill SB 48, Dr Grossman concluded that it was “based on seriously flawed thinking”. She expressed her “deep concerns about the consequences to the children of this state, should this bill become law”.
She warned that the new law ignored the fundamental principles of child development: “Children process and integrate information and experiences differently than adults. This bill mandates the introduction of ideas into the classroom without considering the capacity of students to grasp and absorb these ideas. These are difficult concepts for adults to comprehend, let alone children.”
In particularly, she said that adults have enough difficulty comprehending the eight in 100,000 people who undergo a sex change. Children have “enormous difficulty” absorbing the transgender idea “that a person can feel trapped in the wrong body, that the person feels nature has made a mistake”.
She continued: “Then there is the idea of going to the doctor and asking for the removal of a normal body part. This is confusing and frightening to children.”
She said that the bill ignored the principle of normal child development.
At age three, a boy identifies himself as a boy. That’s called “gender identity”. By four the boy knows that he will grow into a man; that’s called “gender stability”. By six or seven, a boy is supposed to know that he cannot become a girl even if he wears a dress; that’s called “gender permanence”.
Dr Grossman said that she was drawing her description of child development from standard child psychiatry material. She warned that the California bill throws the principles of child development out the window and will result in children being taught that gender permanency doesn’t exist.
She said that, as the bill requires the role and history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to be taught in state schools, then presumably the curriculum will include the story of Thomas Beatie.
Beatie was a woman who altered her appearance by testosterone and a bi-lateral mastectomy to look like a man, then went on to bear a child. Under the new California law, there is nothing to stop Thomas Beatie being taught in schools as a “trail blazer” in the history of transsexuals.
“This bill propels us into uncharted territory and our children will pay the price. A child is not a miniature adult. It is our responsibility to protect children as best we can from exposure to facts and experiences that they are not equipped to handle,” Dr Grossman told the committee.
Currently there is campaign underway to have the California law repealed, at the same time as the Australian Education Union is campaigning to have the GLBTI agenda taught in Australian schools.
Patrick J. Byrne is vice-president of the National Civic Council.