MRM Editor's Note: Consider "Among the most important of these [human] rights, mention must be made of ... the right to develop one's intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth; ..." Pope St John Paul II, Centesimus Annus.
Does California Law Deny Parents’ Right to Opt Out of ‘Gender Education’?
The issue was spotlighted by a recent Orange County Board of Education legal memo, which says a 2016 state law prohibits withdrawal of children from classroom instruction on homosexuality and transgenderism.
ORANGE COUNTY, CA (National Catholic Register) — Parents with children in California’s public schools may not be able to opt their children out of lessons about gender identity, “gender expression” or sexual orientation.
That position is spelled out in a legal opinion given March 29 to the Orange County Board of Education by the county education department’s attorney.
The memo argues that a 2016 state law that overhauled the state’s sex-education curriculum may allow parents to opt their children out of lessons about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases, but not for classroom instruction on issues such as homosexuality or transgenderism.
“Things have been headed in this direction for years. It’s totally out of hand,” said William May, president of the California-based Catholics for the Common Good, a lay apostolate for the evangelization of culture that also sponsors The Marriage Reality Movement.
May told the Register that advocates who supported Proposition 8 — the 2008 state ballot amendment that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman — warned that sexual orientation and gender identity would be taught in classrooms if marriage was redefined.
“All this is being integrated into other courses, not just sex education; but it’s being integrated into history and literature in the classroom. It’s essentially getting to the point where parents will have to opt out of public education,” May said.
“I’m so encouraged that parents are starting to stand up and protest,” May said. “It’s so critical to educating other people of what’s happening to their children, and it’s important for parents to unite and rise up, to stand up and reinforce each other.”
Kiersten Lynch, a resident of Irvine, California, and a mother of four children in the local public schools, said she was shocked to discover last year that her daughter, while in seventh grade, was exposed to lessons that normalized transgender identity and that emphasized the non-procreative aspects of certain sexual acts.
“We were so appalled at what was being taught in the sex-ed curriculum. It was over the top,” Lynch told the Register.
In class one day, Lynch said the students watched a PBS video that portrayed transgenderism in Hawaii in a positive light and that blamed American Christian missionaries for spreading fear and bigotry. In another lesson, Lynch’s daughter found herself in the minority among her classmates when she was made to take a stand on whether transgender people could be good parents for young children.
“She was not trying to pass judgment on these parents, but, of course, she was labeled ‘homophobic’ — while her intention was only for young children to be brought up in the healthiest home,” Lynch said.