Vermonters Protest 'Homosexual Agenda' in Schools
(CNSNews.com) - A group of Vermont parents met at the State Capitol in Montpelier Tuesday to protest what they see as promotion of the homosexual agenda in schools by state and local educators.
Tuesday's protest was sparked in part by an incident at a local school where a student said he was exposed to "homosexual harassment" in the classroom.
In a study of genealogy, a teacher said that homosexuality was inherited, putting forward a controversial thesis that has never been proven. When the student questioned the teacher, the teacher asked the student if he was "homophobic" or "had problems with his sexuality," the student said in an affidavit. The teacher is a facilitator with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
Family groups also are protesting the distribution of graphic brochures by Outright Vermont, a tax-funded organization that targets "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth."
Of particular concern to parents is a pamphlet by Outright Vermont entitled, "Safer Sex Can Be Fun," in which children are encouraged to: "Become a condom expert. Practice with a few different brands, colors and flavors. Learn to put them on in the dark. Then you'll be ready for safer sex!"
"We are also very concerned with stated policies put out by GLSEN that there should be no concerted efforts made to change a homosexual individual from the position they've already taken regarding their lifestyle," said state Representative Nancy Sheltra, a conservative Republican who led Tuesday's protest.
Sheltra has formed a new political action committee - Standing Together And Reclaiming the State (STARS), which is focused on recruiting and educating new political candidates and opposing homosexuality.
"The purpose of STARS is to engage in all aspects of the political process in defense of our moral Christian heritage which was the foundation of our country and state," Sheltra said.
Outright Vermont received a grant from the state Department of Health for $121,575 over three years. "There are 36,835 males and 34,603 females in Vermont between the ages of 14 and 22," the group said. "Outreach's projects are available to youth from middle school (age 14) through college (age 22)."
Parents say the group is actively promoting homosexual behavior in schools by organizing safer sex parties, youth recruitment and weekend retreats. The group also distributes "dental-dams," condoms, lubricants, female condoms and latex gloves to children as young as 14.
In a recent protest, demonstrators passed out copies of a February 2000 memorandum by the office of Democratic Governor Howard Dean to members of the House Education Committee in which Dean justified a $12,000 grant to Outright Vermont.
"Last fiscal year, Outright Vermont developed a training program for public schools that was designed to support diversity and safe schools for Vermont's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth," the memo said.
Outright Vermont delivered 21 workshops for faculty, staff and students in a dozen schools in 1999.
"The governor feels that this group has demonstrated its effectiveness in this area and warrants the state's support," the memo said.
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