The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Archive for June 2009

Have Motherless and Fatherless Homes Become a Good Idea?

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An article by Oran P. Smith of the Palmetto Family Council came to my attention yesterday and I want to pass along some of his sentiments and echo some of his thoughts. Read a portion of Mr. Smith’s article below, or you can click here for the full article.

       “South Carolinians know that marriage is an institution that predates the law and the Constitution. Nothing else besides male-female marriage makes any sense and never has. Marriage without a male and a female cannot be called marriage any more than lemonade can be called lemonade without lemons. It is just common sense that marriage is a union of two different genders, not just a union of two different people.
     South Carolinians know that just like with money, a counterfeit version of marriage devalues the genuine article. Yes, same-sex marriage does harm real marriage. Same-sex marriage is a strike at the very idea of the importance of gender in our society. What could be more socially revolutionary?”

 Mr. Smith is writing for a South Carolina based family group, but, I would gladly exchange “South Carolina” for “West Virginia,” or just about any state for that matter. I believe it would be easily verifiable that the majority of citizens in this country support the traditional definition of marriage. Consider some facts brought out by Mr. Smith earlier in his article:

-To date, 29 states have passed a marriage amendment, and 42 states have passed defense of marriage laws.
-A May 2008 survey showed that African-American people oppose same-sex marriage by a margin of 46 percent to 26 percent (Pew Research Center).
-A May 2009 Gallup poll showed Americans oppose legalizing same-sex marriage by a margin of 57 to 40 percent.

And of course most notably was the decision by residents of California, generally considered to be a more liberal state, to enact an amendment to their state constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and woman.

But the fight for traditional marriage goes much deeper than a simple definition. It is a fight to preserve the traditional family that has been the foundation for our society for generations. It is the fight to give every child the opportunity to be raised in a home with a mom and dad, learning the invaluable life lessons that come from each. And if you think this is just about the right to marry, consider this quote from lesbian scholar Paula Ettelbrick, writing in “Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation?”

“Being [homosexual] is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. … Being [homosexual] means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society.”

There is the true motive behind the homosexual agenda, the real intention that few are willing to admit. This is not just about the right to marry, this is about an effort to undermine all that America has stood for, and all that we hold sacred and dear. This is a battle for the mind of your kids. This is a battle to stop indoctrination in public schools. This is a battle to stop the revolutionary alteration of society.

Same-sex marriage will successfully create the largest generation of motherless and fatherless homes in the history of America, and society in general. And never before have motherless and fatherless homes been encouraged, so why start now? The negative effects of motherless and fatherless homes have not changed, the benefits of intact traditional families has not changed. Essentially I agree with Mr. Smith that it doesn’t make sense to “create motherless or fatherless homes on purpose? It comes down to putting the needs of children before the desires of adults.”

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Charleston Daily Mail: Kanawha schools should educate first

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From today’s editorial page in the Charleston Daily Mail, an excellent piece on the proposed KCBOE policy that would add “sexual orientation” to its diversity policy.  Read the entire editorial here; the heart of the editorial is reproduced below:

Discrimination is wrong, and teachers, of all people, should know this before they even step into the classroom.

To be sure, some students, particularly boys, do discriminate against openly homosexual students or students whom they think appear to be homosexual.

Teachers, administrators and other employees are already making it abundantly clear that such bullying is unacceptable.

For that matter, all bullying, for whatever reason, is unacceptable.

Or, as one parent put it in a comment to the board: “Students bullying homosexual students should be punished just as any other student that bullies any other student.”

The comments suggest that some parents fear that children will be indoctrinated into accepting beliefs their parents do not share. Many religions consider homosexuality to be a sin, which is their right, but it would have to be a mighty peculiar religion that condones harassment or bullying of homosexuals.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

WCHSTV Reports on KCBOE Policy

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From wchstv.com:

A new addition to the Kanawha County Schools Diversity Policy has some up in arms.

Jeremy Dys of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia says, “We are concerned that the Kanawha County Board of Education is going to be holding hostage the paychecks of teachers simply for them abiding by their religious convictions.”

The board will soon be voting on whether or not teachers have to complete training that encourages tolerance of homosexuality. And Dys thinks that’s wrong.

“Forcing teachers to be indoctrinated on issues of sexual orienation against their religious convictions is unconstitutional.” says Dys.

(….Continue reading at wchstv.com….)

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(Clicking on video will take you to wchstv.com to play video and read entire article.)

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Religious Freedom

Tagged with ,

Who’s Misconceived?

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By now, most of you know of our opposition to the Kanawha County Board of Education’s press to add “sexual orientation” to the policy manual for Kanawha County Schools.  The policy would hold the paychecks of teachers hostage in exchange for indoctrination on “sexual orientation.”  Teachers shouldn’t be penalized for simply abiding by their beliefs.

In today’s Daily Mail, Ry Rivard provides a balanced article on the issue.  In the article, he writes the following:

School system attorney Jim Withrow said there appears to be a misconception of what the policy does.

“It does not encourage, support or otherwise put forward an alternative lifestyle or encourage other types of sexual orientation,” Withrow said. “All it does is say and make a point of emphasis that we are not going to discriminate against and we’re going to protect people from harassment and discrimination and other maltreatment that may result from their sexual orientation.”

via Charleston Daily Mail – West Virginia News and Sports – Kanawha County – Diversity policy raises hackles .

Indeed, Mr. Withrow, there appears to be a misunderstanding, but it is not with us.

Many of you who have emailed members of the Kanawha County Board of Education have told me that some of the members are giving you a similar line.  They are explaining that you are “misunderstanding” or promoting a “misconception” of the policy’s intent.

We ask you to write them back and remind them that – if just for one question in an online training manual – teachers should not be forced to violate their conscience to promote a political agenda.  The KCBOE should stick to promoting reading, writing, and arithmetic, not promoting behavior that is unwise, unhealthy, and unravels the moral fabric of the family.

BUT, to be very clear, we quote from a GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) online publication called, “Four Steps Schools Can Take to Address Anti-LGBT Bullying and Harassment.”  Here are the four steps that the leading education arm of the radical homosexual agenda is promoting nationwide:

  1. Adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression/identity.
  2. Require staff trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.
  3. Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in events such as the National Day of Silence and Ally Week.
  4. Institute age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect within the school community and society as a whole.

via GLSEN.org.

If you have been following this story, you will recall that this proposal began as an “anti-bullying” provision.  That’s step #1 above.  But, it soon morphed into a proposal to “train” staff to be sensitive to issues of “sexual orientation” (which, by the way, is yet to be defined).  That would be step #2 above.

What we can expect going forward is a press for Step #3, except that I would wager several Gay-Straight Alliance clubs have already been formed in the Kanawha County School system.  And, of course, the overall goal of step #4: “inclusive curricula” (like this one from California or this one from Massachusetts) for ALL ages of children.  Yep, that means teaching homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered behavior as normal, acceptable, and something to be encouraged for  ALL children from K-5 to 12th grade.

Mr. Withrow and the entire Board of Education are promoting a policy that places the best interests of politicians (see Del. Carrie Webster’s (D-Kanawha) letter in support of this policy here) over and above the best interests of students.  For whatever reason, they press this agenda while calling the taxpayers of Kanawha county “misconceived” in their understanding of what this proposal will lead to: teaching of behavior that goes against what is being taught in most homes in the Kanawha Valley.

Even worse, today’s Daily Mail article suggests that training on “sexual orientation” is necessary because state and federal laws on hate crimes requires it.  However, no provision in either state or federal law includes “sexual orientation” as a component of hate crimes.

I invite you to visit www.familypolicywv.com/kcboe to read more and find the email addresses for Mr. Withrow and the entire Kanawha County Board of Education.

Share this information with them.  Let them know that the only misconception is their own.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

What I was ‘up to’ yesterday

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Our colleagues and friends at the Center for Arizona Policy recently commissioned one of their own as he started for Washington, D.C.  He had to get there to take part in an internship on Capitol Hill.  He had the brilliant idea to stop at 10 different FPC’s along the way.  Thus was born, the “2009 FPC Summer Tour” in which Brett Urig would stop at 10 FPC’s in 14 days, covering 3000 miles in the process.

I had a great time showing Brett and his videographer friend around a small part of the Mountain State.  My only regret is that Brett’s battery died in my driveway.  But, I suppose that was better than it dying somewhere on the turnpike towards Beckley.

I invite you to watch the video Brett shot while here, and then visit the blog Brett created for the tour at fpcsummertour.wordpress.com.  There, you will get an interesting perspective as he interviews each of the executive directors of the FPC’s he meets with along the way.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Arthur Goldberg and Michelle Cretella – “Gay Marriage: Bad Science, Bad Politics”

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Great commentary today from a good friend, Arthur Goldberg writing with Michelle Cretella on The Jewish State, out of New Jersey.  Arthur runs a fantastic outreach to those who want to come out of living a homosexual lifestyle.  In his commentary, Arthur uses the studies and words of homosexual activists to explain that homosexual behavior is neither innate, nor immutable.

I commend your reading of this insightful piece.  Here’s a portion of it:

Nearly every argument favoring same-sex marriage is based on the belief that homosexual orientation is inborn and immutable. Thus, the argument often is made that just as interracial marriage gained approval so, too, should gay marriage.

But sexual orientation is not like skin color; it is not genetic. An avowed lesbian, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of developmental biology and gender studies at Brown University, admits “[Although the claim that homosexuality is genetic] provides a legal argument that is, at the moment, actually having some sway in court, [f]or me, it’s a very shaky place. It’s bad science and bad politics.”

No genetic earmark distinguishing homosexuals from heterosexuals has ever been identified. Homosexuals and heterosexuals are genetically indistinguishable. As stated in a British medical journal, “From an evolutionary perspective, genetically determined homosexuality would have become extinct long ago because of reduced reproduction.”

Indeed, taking the question further, more than 100 scientific studies indicate that change of sexual orientation is possible for many motivated individuals. The father of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (the Bible of psychiatry), Dr. Robert Spitzer, changed his own lifetime view. He published a study in 2003 confirming that many dissatisfied homosexuals are able to make substantial long-term changes in orientation.

Another premise of the same-sex marriage debate claims homosexual coupling involves stable, long-term relationships equivalent to heterosexual marriages. Drs. David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, both openly homosexual, studied 156 male couples who had lived together for 20 years or more. To their dismay, they found that the longest period of sexual monogamy for those couples was five years; the average was under two years.

I especially like their concluding paragraph:

To summarize, homosexuality is not genetic like skin color. Interracial marriage never changed the definition of marriage; marriage remained the exclusive and faithful union of one man and one woman. Defending traditional marriage is not bigotry. Defending traditional marriage protects the greater common good for everyone — including those with homosexual attractions.

Read the rest of this commentary at thejewishstate.net.

Arthur, in addition to being what I consider to be a good friend, is also the author of Light in the Closet, an interesting read about, as the subtitle suggests, the “Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change.”  If you have the time and inclination, I commend your reading of it.

Written by Jeremy Dys

June 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Commentary: Capture the Kids, Own the Future

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“It is the first fact of civilization,” says lesbian activist and author Patricia Nell Warren.  “Whoever captures the kids, owns the future.”

That’s an agenda the Kanawha County Board of Education (KCBOE) appears to appreciate.  Out for public comment now is a proposal – proudly endorsed by Del. Carrie Webster – that would add “sexual orientation” to the KCBOE’s “cultural diversity” policy.  The policy would require the KCBOE to actively recruit teachers based upon their sexual orientation and require its faculty and staff to annually undergo required training about sexual orientation.

One can’t help wondering what exactly is meant by “sexual orientation.”  Presumably, the KCBOE knows, but its members do not appear to be telling.  Perhaps they would like to identify which one – of the more than 25 different sexual orientations that have been suggested in the DSM to date – they have in mind.  Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender behaviors are certain to be included; polyamorous, asexual, or pansexual behavior may be as well.

While we await that clarification, what can KCBOE teachers and principals expect if this measure becomes school policy?

Well, for one thing, those teachers who object to the forced indoctrination that is “cultural diversity education” can expect not to be paid.  Of course, on paper, citizens employed by West Virginia’s public education system shouldn’t be penalized or discriminated against for abiding by their beliefs.  But in this case, the Board of Education has threatened to hold the paychecks hostage and force its employees to complete diversity training that endorses homosexual behavior – even between minors.

Forcing teachers to participate in such indoctrination even if it violates their deeply-held religious convictions is unconstitutional. Under this policy, teachers will be forbidden to respond to students who have unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction and are being bullied for wanting to embrace their heterosexuality; on the other hand, they must learn to be sensitive to students who feel compelled to engage in anal, oral, or manual sex with members of their own gender, just to fit in with their peers.  What’s more, principals will be required to encourage boys to pretend to be girls, and faculty will be forced to remain silent when bisexual faculty are given alone time with children.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the KCBOE should concentrate its collective efforts on improving reading, writing, and arithmetic, instead of promoting, protecting, and propagating behavior that is unhealthy, unwise and unravels the moral fabric of the family.

Parents – not professional educators – have the fundamental right and final responsibility for directing their children’s education … including their sexual education.  This new policy, though, will force teachers to endorse behavior that in most cases directly contradicts what is being taught in the home.  It places the best interest of politicians over what’s best for students —  especially for those young people dealing with feelings of same-sex attraction.

The classroom is not the appropriate venue for this politically-charged debate.  Del. Webster herself admitted in a letter to the KCBOE that this policy will accomplish in the schools what her political agenda has not been able to accomplish through the Legislature.

Worst of all, though, students shouldn’t have their sexual identity forced on them by either school administrations or the government.  Where is the concern for students who have unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction?  Students struggling with their sexual feelings can’t be expected to make good, well-informed decisions if they’re only hearing one side of the issue.  Rather than provide that kind of balance, however, the board is pushing through a deeply-biased policy that will deliberately recruit bisexual teachers to fill roles like P.E. teacher and coach (positions that supervise class settings in which students are especially physically vulnerable and self-conscious).  And the policy prompts these sexually-focused teachers to encourage students to embrace behavior that has been statistically shown to increase the risk of suicide among teens.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has offered – at its own expense – to provide local, state, and national experts who will provide an informed and thoughtful opposing viewpoint to this proposal so that the KCBOE can make a fully informed decision on this policy.  Yet, the KCBOE has repeatedly refused this offer, choosing instead to rely upon junk science and political special interests to achieve what are clearly its politically-correct, rather than child-sensitive, goals.

Whatever the deaf ear the KCBOE turns to the rest of the world, we hope it will still listen to the parents and taxpayers of Kanawha County.  We, therefore, urge you to contact James Withrow, the General Counsel of the KCBOE, by calling him directly at 304-348-7798 or emailing him at jwithrow@kcs.kana.k12.wv.us.  Politely, but firmly, express your opposition to the proposed “cultural diversity” policy.

You have until July 1 to express your concern that the KCBOE is working to capture our children – and change our future for the worse.

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq., is president and general counsel of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, www.familypolicywv.com.


Written by Jeremy Dys

June 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm