Saturday, February 24, 2007


Massachusetts Ruling May Have Implications for Evolution Battle

In a ruling that has implications for the battle over teaching evolution in public schools -- and any potential suit that might be contemplated by creationists here in Kansas -- federal judge Mark L. Wolf has thrown out a lawsuit filed by parents who wanted to keep their young children from learning about same-sex marriage in school.

In his ruling, Judge Wolf said the courts had decided in other cases that parents’ rights to exercise their religious beliefs were not violated when their children were exposed to contrary ideas in school, according to the Associated Press.

"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote. "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."

According to AP, the parents who filed the lawsuit, Tonia and David Parker of Lexington, sued after their 5-year-old son brought home a book from kindergarten that depicted a gay family. Another Lexington couple joined the lawsuit after a second-grade teacher read a class a fairy tale about two princes falling in love.

If parents disagree with the policy, "the Parkers and Wirthlins may send their children to a private school …[or] educate their children at home," the judge said.

Which is precisely what thousands of Southern white Christians did following the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that outlawed racial segregation in public education.

Jeffrey Denner, the parent's attorney, said they would file a federal appeal and refile state-court claims.


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