New Jersey Homosexual Recruitment Drive Hits Minor Stumbling Block
School District Bans Diversity Video Because It Includes Gay Couples
(Marlton, New Jersey) A video used to teach junior school students about diverse families will no longer be shown after some parents mounted an aggressive campaign against if for including a depiction of same-sex couples.
The Evesham Township School District, in southern New Jersey, voted 7-1 to discontinue using the video, "That's A Family," because had so divided the community.
The tape was shown last school year to third grade students at J. Howard Van Zant School. It included various types of parents and families - divorced, bilingual, mixed race, parents who have adopted, and step-parents.
But it was the same-sex couple featured that angered parents.
Parents opposed to the video began their campaign in January, shortly after it was first shown.
At a stormy school district meeting earlier this year one parent suggested the Golden Rule - treat others as you would treat yourself - had nothing to do with homosexuality.
"Treat others as you would want to be treated, you don’t have to teach all these horrible concepts to them about the golden rule, do you," the parent of one eight-year old screamed at the the school board.
"When does Evesham Township or any school have a right to show to my grandchildren something I believe to be morally wrong," asked another woman.
That opposition continued to grow throughout the summer. This week, as the school district began preparations for the fall term, parents brought the issue to a boil.
More than 200 people attended Thursday night's school district meeting.
"I look out here and see a community tearing itself apart," said board member Joseph Fisicaro Jr. "It's obvious this video is a lightning rod."
Among those in favor of the video were members of the Garden State Equality, New Jersey's largest LGBT civil rights organization.
"This saga is very far from over," said Steven Goldstein, the chair Garden State Equality.
He said the organization is considering filing a lawsuit over the district's decision.
New Jersey recognizes same-sex couples under its civil unions law, designed to give gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married couples.
They have been talking about this on the news and there is absolutely nothing offensive about this video or inappropriate for young children unless you are bigoted against gay people.
Link to film's website.
Videos "Hi my name is angie and these are my two mommies"
Parents: "THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE OUR KIDS GAY!" :nerdrage:
EDIT: Fuck, my witty title has a typo.
EDIT: Here is the American Family Associations "enlightened" perspective
New Video Introduces Kids to Same-Sex Couples
By Ed Vitagliano
AFA News Editor
AFA Journal, March 2001 Edition
"My family is special because we love each other," a little girl on screen tells the viewer." Another says of her family, "They're always here for me when I need them, they're always caring for me."
Those tender words are from a couple of the sweet kids who appear in the new documentary That's A Family!, the slickly-produced, 35-minute documentary from Helen Cohen and Debra Chasnoff. If those names sound familiar to pro-family groups, it's because the pair also produced another controversial children's film, the 1996 video It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School.
While It's Elementary was intended to instruct teachers and school administrators about how to introduce the subject of homosexuality to schoolchildren, That's A Family! is intended to be shown directly to children.
There's even more to come from the duo. In a letter to supporters last year, Cohen and Chasnoff said That's A Family! was the first of a three-part video series entitled Respect for All. The next two videos will focus on the subjects of dispelling "gay" and lesbian stereotypes--in other words, anything that argues against the normalcy of homosexuality--and offering strategies to deal with name-calling against homosexuals. The untitled videos are also intended to be shown directly to children.
That target audience makes the strategy of That's A Family! all the more potent: children do virtually all the talking, turning this film into something of a one-on-one experience for the schoolchildren who are watching in class. These bright, adorable kids on screen are speaking to the viewer like a friend might do sitting across the lunch table or on the playground at recess. The impact on the hearts and minds of innocent viewers must be palpable--a fact that could hardly have been lost on Cohen and Chasnoff when they set out to develop the series.
‘That's what a family is all about'
So just what will these onscreen kids be saying to the schoolchildren of America? In the first few minutes of That's A Family!, young faces tell the viewer things like, "To have a good family everyone needs to take care of each other…and to feel comfortable with each other…you can feel trust and friendliness."
In one particularly poignant moment, a girl with her wheelchair-bound father says to the camera, "My Dad is in a wheelchair, but it doesn't really matter because he still loves me and my family still loves me, and that's what a family is all about."
Who can argue with such sweet sentiments? In fact, that sweetness is the coating on the entire theme of That's A Family! Children who are adopted, who are being raised in single-parent homes, or by grandparents, or who have divorced parents, or parents from different racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds, all talk about the love and caring that exists in their homes.
The film takes special care to honor this diversity of family framework. Emily, a third-grader, has parents with different ethnic backgrounds--the father is Chinese, while the mother is German. "There are a lot of kids like me in the world who have mixed families, and they don't all have to be the same," she says. "There are a lot of different ones."
And how. Interspersed throughout what most people would consider the normal variations of family structures that appear in That's A Family! are same-sex couples. They are families, too, say the children in such homes.
"If you knew my dads," insists 10-year-old Breanna, "you would know how cool they are. They're the best dads ever."
In this manner Cohen and Chasnoff let "gay" and lesbian couples elbow their way in and latch on to the claim of family, while the pressure of sentiment is falling heavily on the viewer. Instead of guilt by association, it is an attempt to acquire legitimacy by association.
One boy, speaking on behalf of his three siblings while two proud homosexual men look on, says, "It's really cool to have two gay dads because they brought us into a home, they adopted us and they love us."
It is true that most of us think of our families in terms of togetherness, love, and caring. However, this strategy of legitimacy by association involves a classic fallacy. Just because all dogs are mammals doesn't mean that all mammals are dogs; likewise, just because families love each other doesn't mean that all people who love each other are families.
A family, according to the most concise definition, is a group of people related by blood (ancestry), marriage, or adoption. There's no doubt that all people need love--and find it in a variety of relationships. However, not all relationships constitute a family, any more than the camaraderie experienced by the players on a softball team or the crew of a nuclear submarine makes those individuals technically a family. It may feel like a family, but it's not one.
Thus the fallacy in That's A Family! is actually quite a simple one, but therein lies the awful rub: the simple minds of the schoolchildren watching the video will undoubtedly miss the sleight-of-hand being played out in front of their very eyes.
Redefining the family
Activists like Cohen and Chasnoff appear to have completely absorbed the fallacy, however, and not only firmly believe it, but have constructed an entire strategy with it at the core.
A. Cornelius Baker, executive director of the National Association of People With AIDS, admitted in a 1997 article for the homosexual magazine The Advocate that homosexuals are "engaged in redefining the society in which we live--how marriage is viewed, how family is viewed…."
The same sentiments found in That's A Family! are heard over and over by those participating in this "redefinition." For example, in an article in the Dallas Morning News highlighting the development of townhouses as dwellings for groups of young homosexuals, the headline states, "New cultural phenomenon provides young gays a family feeling."
"A family is a group of people who join together, love each other and stick by one another no matter what," insisted the 33-year-old house "father" of one such Florida dwelling.
The same fallacy is used to stretch the definition of family to include same-sex couples when the issue is adoption. In 1999, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that two British homosexual men must both be named the parents of a child born to an American surrogate mother. The same-sex couple wanted both names on the birth certificate, something that British authorities had been unwilling to do.
"We are celebrating a legal victory," said one of the homosexual men, Barry Drewitt. "The nuclear family as we know it is evolving. The emphasis should not be on it being a father and a mother, but on loving, nurturing parents, whether that be a single mother or a gay couple living in a committed relationship."
Why do activists insist that the concept of the nuclear family "evolve" into an entirely new animal, completely eliminating the necessity for "a father and a mother?" It is because homosexuals understand intuitively that such a model excludes them--and their relationships--from legitimacy.
In the classic 1972 anthology, Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation, one writer says, "Gay men and women are undoubtedly oppressed to a large extent because their choice of love falls outside the model sanctioned by society: the family."
The traditional model, after all, is a strictly heterosexual construction. The nuclear family is built around the marriage of one man and one woman, who are sexually complementary beings. Any society which adopts that model as the basic building block for its culture will--even without realizing it--effectively lock out of the circle of legitimacy nonmarried cohabiting couples, homosexual variations, and even polygamous combinations.
For more than three decades, U.S. culture has undergone a struggle by nontraditionalists to legitimize cohabitation. If the lack of social stigma is any indicator, that battle has largely been won.
Homosexuals now want their turn, and societal refusal to grant their relationships the legitimacy for which they thirst is maddening. For example, prior to the successful passage of a state initiative last November that limited marriage to the heterosexual variety, California state legislator and lesbian activist Sheila Kuehl fumed that the "far right" refused to "budge" on the issue of family.
"This defense [of the traditional concept of the family] inevitably takes the form of drawing a tight circle around one form of an otherwise flexible word [family]. Then that circle is fixed into law, demonizing all those who don't fit its narrow definition," she said.
A new definition, a new reality
Since they cannot be included in the nuclear family model--which necessitates heterosexual marriage--then activists demand that society change the definition of family to include same-sex coupling.
When singer Melissa Etheridge and her girlfriend Julie Cypher appeared on the cover of a 1996 issue of Newsweek with the headline, "We're having a baby," very few Americans appeared to do more than shrug their shoulders. "Can gay families gain acceptance?", a subhead asked.
Four years later it was learned that rock star David Crosby was the biological father of the lesbian couple's baby, having been the donor for the artificial insemination procedure. Crosby said, "The traditional American family is a little rare on the ground now, and it's getting redefined." He added,"All that matters is that the relationship [between Etheridge and Cypher] is a loving one and that it provides a good place to plant the seed of a child."
Crosby, however, couldn't understand the opposition of traditionalists towards "gay" marriage and adoption. He said of his critics, "To them, my being the biological father of a lesbian couple's children means that I'm somehow promoting the breakdown of the American family."
He was one step removed from being right. Critics don't necessarily see his actions as contributing to the breakdown of the American family--other factors are doing a fine job of that--but the razing of the concept of family itself.
This is why the type of approach used in That's A Family! becomes so instrumental for Cohen, Chasnoff and their ilk. Through the soft voices of children, the concept of family becomes so blurred as to become virtually meaningless. After all, if by family we mean nothing really specific--or if we define it in the most malleable of terms--then family really comes to mean nothing at all. It is like a formless, intangible vapor that can enter and fill a jar of any shape.
Thus, while Kuehl gripes that pro-family groups are too rigid about their definition of family, homosexual activists are busy being so elastic in their definition as to threaten to scrub the facing off the institution like paint off a mural.Once "family" can basically include anything, homosexuals can then ask, "If no relationship is excluded from the concept of family, then why not include us?"
Why not include homosexuals?
Homosexual activists may ask, So what happens if, through revolution or erosion, the concept of the traditional family disappears into the dustbin of history? What is wrong with that?
It is possible to argue persuasively using scientific studies that children, for example, fare much better in virtually every respect when they live with both biological parents in a loving home environment. That alone might be a substantial enough foundation on which to keep the nuclear family anchored in the stormy environment of our current cultural chaos.
What happens, however, if such evidence changes? What if, in 10 years, studies demonstrate that kids do equally well in a variety of settings?
This exposes the glaring weakness in a Christian community that relies so heavily on "science," or the opinion of various scientific "professionals," to legitimize its arguments. It may be one thing to bolster an argument with scientific evidence, but for the Christian, God is the final authority. As Paul says in Romans 3:4, "Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar."
The bottom line in this entire debate--and in fact, the ideological clash which underlies virtually every controversial issue in our culture--is about God. If there is no God, or if He does exist but really doesn't care what we do--as individuals or as a nation--then no argument will stem the tide of homosexual advances. In fact, if there is no God, then the homosexual activists are right, and they should get everything they're asking for.
But the fearful truth for America is that there is a God, and not only does He care what we do, but He judges what we do. Liberals in this country have continued the slow, steady process of trying to exclude the Almighty from American culture. From our public schools to our consideration of issues involving morality and the sanctity of life, God is not welcomed. The resulting devastation of our communities and yes, even our families, has been as clear as a billboard in its warning to a people who have busily been forsaking God.
What happens to a country that takes yet another step down that twilight path, and attempts to exclude the Almighty from the family? That may be an experiment from which we will never recover.