Signing of gay marriage law changes the game at schools
Posted on April 27, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
The gay marriage bill signed into law by Gov. Jodi Rell on Thursday eliminates an 18-year-old provision that prevents schools from portraying homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, but legislators said the new measure is much to do about nothing.
State Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-27, said the new bill does away with language that can be construed as demeaning to gays from a 1991 equal rights act and is not a demand for schools to promote homosexuality.
“It doesn’t require it to be taught and it doesn’t say it can’t be taught,” he said.
The bill– which legislators said is a compromise between gay marriage opponents and supporters– comes six months after the high court ruled 4-3 that same-sex couples have the right to wed in Connecticut, rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.
“My position is that religious liberties, as a fundamental right and a First Amendment right, are so important that we need to address any concerns of any group,” said State Rep. Bruce Morris, D-140.
In an effort to appease some gay marriage foes, lawmakers amended the bill to show they want to protect religious liberties. For example, it says religious organizations and associations are not required to provide services, goods or facilities for same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Many groups feared that the bill would somehow force schools to teach about homosexuality in sex education courses and limit parental control over the matter.
Parents can already prevent their children from participating in a sexual education course, even if the course does not teach about homosexuality, McDonald said.
Connecticut’s education statutes allot parents the right to give their children written permission exempting them from “family life education programs,” courses which would likely include any lessons on homosexuality and gay marriage.
“Some of the religious organizations had an issue with the fact that a child wouldn’t have a choice but to sit and listen (to a lesson on homosexuality) in sex ed.,” said state Rep. Chris Perone, D-137. “The statute puts some of the control back into the parents hands.” See Signing of gay marriage law changes the game at schools
The Hour – Norwalk,CT,USA
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