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The closet is your private place, redux

The title of this post is boldly stolen from my esteemed colleague, Zippy Catholic, who used it for an inaugural post of his at this very blog about a year and a half ago. It seemed so perfect for this post that I could not resist but have added "redux" to it and trust that he will not mind.

Probably a number of my readers have already heard about the case in Massachusetts a couple of years ago in which parents, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, were denied an opt-out for their five-year-old from discussions and promotion of homosexual "marriage." The problem began with the child's being sent home with a "diversity bag" containing a book about a girl, her father, and her father's homosexual partner, all of whom live together and are treated in the book as a "family."

Mr. Parker demanded that he be notified and given an opt-out opportunity for such materials and discussions of them in the future. When the superintendant refused, the father insisted that he would not leave the school until an accommodation was made, and he was arrested for civil trespass.

It is not my intention to defend the father's actions. My own opinion is that if the Parkers had not yet realized before sending their child to a public school kindergarten that their beliefs would be actively assaulted, they should have realized it the minute he came home with anything called a "diversity bag," and, so far from refusing to leave the school building themselves, they should immediately have removed their children from the school and either sent them to a Christian school or, better yet, homeschooled them. Even if the school had agreed to such an opt-out, the other children would all have been receiving the material and probably discussing it among themselves, the school atmosphere would have been such that such ideas were promoted, and very likely the notion of homosexual "marriage" would be sufficiently integrated into the curriculum as to make it impossible to avoid situations in which its normalcy was promoted to the child. Opt-outs for objectionable material are, in my opinion, cosmetic, and parents should not rely on them.

What interests me, however, is this fact: Massachusetts has an explicit statutory law requiring that parents be notified and given an opt-out opportunity for the discussion of "human sexuality." So why wasn't the Parkers' wish granted? It's very simple: Since homosexual "marriage" is now officially, legally recognized in Massachusetts, parents who object to such propoganda material are told that it is not about "human sexuality" but rather just about "real life."

This point is made explicitly by a school principal in this NPR story (you must click on another link to listen to the whole story) about a gay fairy tale in which a prince "marries" a prince. This principal even pontificates a bit about "abiding by Massachusetts law," as though the legalization of homosexual "marriage" means (as it obviously does not) that public schools are legally required to read gay fairy tales in class.

Get it? See, if the people in the little "diversity" story in the Parker boy's bookbag are just a family, and the relationship between the two men is just a marriage, then unless the book contains explicitly sexual material, it is no more about sexuality than any little booklet showing a little girl living with her mom and dad. For that matter, I suppose that a mom and dad in some book given to children could kiss, hug, or hold hands if it came up in the story without the book's concerning "human sexuality," so by this logic, so could her dad and his homosexual partner. Very clever. (Note: I am not saying that this happens in the book. I haven't read the book. I'm only pointing out what could happen in the book without the book's obviously falling under the statute.)

The legal logic is impeccable, and so is the bait and switch. Homosexual rights, we have been told, is about your right to do what you want to do in your own bedroom, to be left alone, not to be persecuted for your private acts. But let's be clear: That is so only insofar as this really is about sex. The private acts in question are sexual acts. But the whole goal has been not simply to permit those private acts, which no one was running out to try to stop anyway. The goal was to force normalization of those acts, and everyone knows well that the normalization of a particular type of sexual act is the unspoken theme and purpose, the very raison d'etre, for such books as Who's in a Family? and King and King. It is not, after all, as though the little girl's father and his partner are heterosexual college buddies who live together to save on the rent! A book like King and King, being a "love story," makes this point even more obvious. So of course this is about human sexuality, but it's oh-so-easy, once normalization has taken place, to pretend that it isn't.

So we started with privacy, and here is where we have ended up: "Oh, this isn't about sex at all. See, now that this is legally recognized as marriage, this is about real life. This is just about different kinds of families. It's a public matter and must be treated in public as any other marriage is treated publically." Gotcha.

Conservatives warned until they were hoarse that this was the case but were not heeded. And so it will go on. Normalization is by no means about privacy. It's about what we say in public. And that was always the endgame.

HT Jeff Culbreath

HT Americans for Truth web site for NPR link

Comments (11)

The Closet is Your Private Place, redux

The title of this post is boldly stolen from my esteemed colleague, Zippy Catholic, who used it for an inaugural post of his at this very blog about a year and a half ago.

So it was a year & half ago that Zippy came out of "The Closet..."? (sorry... couldn't help myself)

As for the whole Homosexual agenda that's currently being incorporated by the modernist agenda into several of our public schools by the great PC teachers of the day whose only intention is to brainwash our children into thinking it as a normal life, as one good philosopher put it: "Reality is Heteronormative!"

Next on the Modernist agenda: Bestiality -- but yet another lovely thing that perhaps will undergo similar normalization in our society, as these reprobates can't help themselves.

And next on your children's required reading in school: "Mary & Her Little Lamb: A Love Story"

As always, I think you are full of insight. Thanks for the post. But if I had to guess about what comes next down the marriage pike, I'd guess polygamy and polyandry, not bestiality.

Here's why:
Our culture has argued (and assumed) that the basis of marriage is two sided: love and consent. "If they love one another, and if they consent, let them marry." On that basis, there's no reason to conclude that you couldn't marry multiple wives, multiple husbands, blood relatives, young partners, etc, as long as they love and consent.

My advice is to start the fight now, before the polygamy and polyandry train gets too much momentum, so that we can set the terms of debate and put them on the defensive, if possible. We also have to acquire a new set of cultural friends on this issue. Whereas, in the past, we might be able to count on the Mormons as allies, we might be a little less able to do so on this one. Perhaps we might want to see if an allegiance between Christians and, say, feminists, could be built, on the premise that feminists might not be happy to endorse one man with several wives as a suitably woman-honoring arrangement. I don't know.

We might also be able to convince feminists that a marriage between two men is unacceptable because it says that mommy is easily replaceable. A marriage of two men implies that mommy adds nothing unique to a family that can't be added by the man with whom daddy has sex.

But we simply cannot afford to wait until the 7th inning to begin our battle. It's time to begin now -- to organize, to argue, to research, to legislate -- and to do so with purpose, cunning, wisdom, insight, and courage. We seem to get beat at the culture and politics game almost every time. That must end. The battle must be engaged on every possible front. For example, I'd love to see some comedians take it on. One of the best ways to win the support of your culture is to make your opponent a laughing stock.

Where is Erasmus when you need him?

We might also be able to convince feminists that a marriage between two men is unacceptable because it says that mommy is easily replaceable.

Never happen. The feminist movement is entirely caught up with the sexual revolution and is increasingly strongly identified with lesbianism.

Obviously, marriage protection amendments will stop the polygamy train as effectively as the homosexual "marriage" train--_one_ man and _one_ woman, they say. We just have to make sure they will stick. I still don't know what's going to happen on the full faith and credit thing in the Supreme Court when somebody tries it.

How do you think we can make them stick? I honestly don't yet see a way.

Well, obviously, the states attorneys general for all states (I think that's who would argue before the SC) who have passed marriage protection amendments to their state constitutions need to have arguments all ready to roll when a challenge comes up at the SC level. I would suggest that they coordinate and consult with each other now and have a game plan for various possible attacks. I think, myself, that the full faith and credit argument is obviously specious, and it's rather interesting that no one has tried it yet. Maybe they realize it wouldn't fly, yet, with the U.S. Supreme Court.

I think it's also very important that states pass _constitutional amendments_ to their state constitutions, not simply initiatives that have the same force as merely statutory law. That reins in kooks on their own state supreme courts. That was the mistake in California. If the thing they passed years ago had been a proposal like Proposal 8 is now--an actual CA constitutional amendment--they wouldn't have the uphill task of trying to pass Proposal 8. But it was just something at the law level, so their own state court struck it down.

I strongly support a federal marriage protection amendment, for sure. I'm extremely annoyed at congressmen who say the DOMA is sufficient, since that just isn't the same thing at all. The problem _there_, of course, is the old problem that dogged and eventually killed attempts at a human life amendment years ago: We conservatives can't agree among ourselves about what to push. There I'm not necessarily blaming the purists. I think they have a point about an amendment that deliberately leaves civil unions in place. Civil unions, after all, are indeed governed by marriage law and will have many of the same effects. For example, child custody decisions are treated under civil unions the same way as under marriage law, so that in a state with civil unions, a repentant lesbian biological mother can be forced to share child custody with her former lesbian partner who is no relation, either biologically or by adoption, to the child, solely in virtue of their previous civil union which has now been dissolved. It's treated exactly like a divorce and like the former partner was also the child's parent. For another example, I can imagine that diversity bag book being sent home and defended as "just real life" on the basis of legally recognized civil unions just as well as marriage. But the trouble is that we can't get all the conservatives on board with a single federal marriage protection amendment, and then we also get the idiot congressmen who oppose it on specious federalism grounds. (Duh. The whole _point_ of an amendment to the Constitution is that it _respects_ federalism, because enough states have to ratify it for it to pass.) Obviously, a federal constitutional amendment would be the way to go, if only we could do it.

I'll throw in my prediction: Polygamy, polyandry, yes. Bestiality--disturbingly possible. But before that I expect lowering of the age of consent and some really wide interpretations of what consent entails.

But to shift gears slightly, I have to wonder about the survivability of homeschooling. As Lydia said, the whole game was publically proclaiming homosex morally good by legislative fiat. I don't believe for a second that they are going to be live-and-let-live if someone wants to opt out of the public social engineering labs we call schools, given the story above. My prediction are massive assaults on homeschooling.

The application of "full faith and credit" is one of those things that continually confuses me. The way supporters of homosexual "marriage" try to use it makes it seem like it guarantees that any documented right given by one state will and must be guaranteed by all the others. But this seems obviously false in practice.

For example: As far as I know, states that do not recognize their citizens as having a right to carry a concealed weapon are not forced to recognize the carry and conceal permits held by residents of states that do. I have seen discussion by gun owners over what the laws are in certain states they are going to be traveling through or vacationing in so as to be prepared to defend themselves if the need arises without violating local laws.

So if full faith and credit only applies, as it seems to, to rights that are recognized by both the issuing state and the state one is currently in, then the the best tactic seems to be arguing that homosexual "marriage" is recognizably distinct from real marriage. Thus, it cannot be forced onto a state by full faith and credit because this so-called "right" is not recognized in said state. However, I don't know how easy it would be to argue this point legally.

Brendon, that would be the direction I would go. As I say, I think it's interesting that they haven't tried a ff and c attack yet. I think perhaps they're waiting (brrr) for a few more SC appointees. And at that point, hey, maybe they'll just find a right to homosexual "marriage" in their fave--the due process clause!

Scott, I definitely worry about that under an Obama presidency. We know that there is a lot of hostility to home schooling among liberals. A huge amount, in fact. I have referred particularly to this article from several years ago in First Things for a glimpse of how these people think about parental rights:


It's basically the academic gloss on Dawkins's opinion that raising your child religiously is child abuse. (Dawkins's special worry is children's lying awake in terror because their parents told them there is a hell. These guys have bigger ideas.)

So far, the HSLDA has done a wonderful job at putting a lot of protections for home schooling into even federal law. They turned lemons into lemonade with the NCLB by putting in various things in there that don't allow the states to use NCLB against home schooling. But of course that is all statutory and could be changed. There is no chance of even trying to pass what HSLDA would like to pass--a parental rights' protection amendment to the Constitution. About our only hope right now is the accumulated goodwill and legal precedents of the past thirty or so years. I think an all-out assault on home schooling at the federal level would be very unpopular, even with some Democrats at the grassroots. (There are still liberal nuts and Wiccans and stuff who think the public schools aren't liberal _enough_!)


The gun permit issue is not a good analogy: your right to carry a gun in your home state refers to a right to do an act in a location. That location is under the laws of a state. A marriage is a non-local entity. If you live in one state, and work in another, does your employer's medical care for spouse provision cover your spouse? Yes, because your spouse is your spouse wherever you happen to be at a moment.

I am all for states enacting constitutional amendments protecting marriage as being between one man and one woman. But if we get 5 liverals on the SC, those state amendments will be worth exactly squat. Nada. It is SOOOOO easy to claim FF & C requires all states to recognize a marriage in any other state.

What we really need is a federal constitutional amendment. But the chance of getting one through the house and senate is really, honestly, less than 5% at this time. There is just no sufficient political gain for enough members, and plenty of political loss for many members, for them to want to push for a vote in the face of the alternative of letting it lie below the surface yet another cycle.

My wife teaches 3rd grade in Cal. If we lose on Prop 8, she will probably be forced at some point to teach that homosexual marriage is just fine and pass out Prince and prince books.

She asked me if she could object on moral grounds as a Catholic. I said, no. The State will insist that she will have to do what she was hired to do: teach their curriculum.

The only tactic left has to be the scientific one. She can insist that homosexual behavior in demonstrably unhealthy and lowers the life expectancy of the its practitioners by 24 years. She can assert that it is not healthy just as she must teach that smoking and drug abuse are not healthy.

There is a wealth of scientific info out there proving that homosexual lifestyles are bad for people. If the State can't prove that homosexual behavior is healthy and good for people, then they have a more difficult time making teacher's promote it or approve of it to their charges.

Mark, your wife would be Mrs. Butterworth, yes? I am having a hard time imagining Mrs. Butterworth handing out P & P books.

She could in theory use the same technique one of my friends used in her class when told to use bad materials - she used them...to shore up the short leg on the desk, to keep it from wobbling. To show kids how to make paper airplanes. To crumple into wads for padding in a box. But these techniques don't work if the person in authority actually checks up.

As long as the material is simply supposed to show "real life" (whatever that means), then she should become very good at finding and using "real life" resources that are very diversity -sensitive but on other grounds: racial, ethnic, etc. Then she can say she is just choosing other resources to support the diversity prinsiples. You know, get very practiced at saying things like "you can't mean that there is only ONE way to support diversity, can you? Surely there are all sorts of alternatives out there, that's what we mean by diversity!!!"

The real trick will be to use the same argument in her defense when some busybody tries to get her fired: that diversity implies a wide range of values systems, and surely the school doesn't want to set up some "conformist" value system as being above those of individuals in the school community. They should embrace MANY ways of viewing the world. And she should use the scientific angle at the same time, so that they cannot claim she is getting all religious on them.

In the end it won't work, but she may get a couple of years of tying them in knots, and maybe convince another teacher along the way, before the system gets rid of her.

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