In oral arguments last week, the Thomas More Law Center asked Maryland state circuit court judge William Rowan III to overturn a Maryland Board of Education ruling that approves of public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, teaching 8th and 10th graders that homosexuality is innate-meaning they are born that way. The schools also show how to use condoms in anal and oral sex.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represents Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, the Family Leader Network, and the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays. John Garza, of Garza, Regan & Associates of Rockville, Maryland, is acting as local counsel.
Montgomery educators were forced to defend their new sex curriculum that promotes anal sex, homosexuality, bisexuality and transvestitism despite strong opposition from several pro-family groups. The controversial new curriculum was adopted as a result of pressure by homosexual advocacy groups.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, "This is another example of our public school system being used as an indoctrination arm of homosexual advocacy groups. Promoting the use of condoms in anal and oral sex not only violates Maryland law and court decisions, but endangers the health of any student who tries it. Moreover, teaching students that homosexuals are ‘born that way' is contrary to the rulings of the Maryland's highest court and court decisions of other states as well."
"The bottom line – this school system is guilty of educational malpractice," said Thompson.
This challenge to the new sex education curriculum has been in litigation for six years, meandering through the Federal District Courts, Maryland Administrative Panels and finally winding up in front of Judge Rowan III. Initially, a Federal District Court enjoined the county schools from implementing the curriculum in 2005 because the lesson plan criticized religious "fundamentalism."
However, following the federal court ruling and injunction, the county board merely omitted the anti-religious references, and began teaching the controversial health curriculum to all 8th and 10th grade classes. The current case involves a judicial appeal of the final State Board decision under a Maryland law that allows final administrative denials to be challenged in the state circuit court.
Brandon Bolling, the Thomas More Law Center attorney who argued the case, asked Judge Rowan to either declare the curriculum illegal or send it back to the state board for another review. "Maryland law says you have to teach something that is factually accurate," said Bolling. "They are not doing that, therefore it is illegal."
That sexual orientation is innate-homosexuals are born that way-is a theory that has been rejected by courts in several states including Maryland. Maryland's highest appellate court issued an opinion in a 2007 civil union case, holding the proposition that homosexuality is innate is not supported by credible evidence. In fact, not one U.S. court presented with the issue has found homosexuality to be an innate characteristic.
Moreover, although state law does not define the word "erotic," Bolling argued that a Maryland law which prohibits classroom material that "portrays erotic techniques of sexual intercourse," makes video demonstrations of the use of condoms in anal and oral sex illegal. Bolling argued that if a sexual act is not done for a procreative purpose, it is an erotic technique.
Thus, the six year battle boils down to two questions posed by Bolling in this latest court skirmish: Can the school board legally teach students that homosexuality is innate despite rulings to the contrary by the state's highest court? And, can the health lessons discuss sex acts other than copulation?