Montgomery County School Board Settles Homosexual Sex-Ed Curriculum Lawsuit

Jun 28, 2005

Montgomery County, MD - Yesterday, the Montgomery County School Board voted to approve a settlement agreement to resolve the lawsuit brought by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (“CRC”) and Parent and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (“PFOX”).

On May 5, Judge Alexander Williams issued an order blocking the implementation of a controversial homosexual sex-ed curriculum. Some of the instructional material stated: “Fact: Sex play with friends of the same gender is not uncommon during early adolescence and does not prove long-term sexual orientation;” “It is no more abnormal or sick to be homosexual than to be left-handed;” “Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality;” “Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression;” “One’s sexual and emotional orientations are fixed at an early age…certainly by age five;” “Human sexuality is a continuum;” “Many homophobic responses are born out of a fear that one’s own sexual orientation may not be entirely heterosexual;” “[A]bstinence until marriage” is detrimental to ‘GLBT youth;’” and “It is perfectly natural to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender.” The curriculum defined “family” as “two or more people who are joined together by emotional feelings or who are related to one another.”

The court order blocking the curriculum was the first successful one in the country. As a result, the Board voted 7 to 0 to approve a settlement of the lawsuit, which is also the first of its kind in the nation. Among other provisions, the settlement prohibits the Board from denigrating religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. The Board must follow specific notice procedures to permit parents the opportunity to know what is being taught and to make an informed decision as to whether their children will be permitted to attend. The Board also has agreed to limit the newly constituted Citizens Advisory Committee to 15 people, with PFOX and CRC permitted to designate one seat each to the committee. The settlement requires the Board agree to pay $36,000 in attorney’s fees incurred by Liberty Counsel and our local Maryland counsel.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, stated, “We are pleased that the radical, biased and inaccurate homosexual sex-ed curriculum was blocked by the federal court and that the case has now been settled. Parents need to stand up against actions taken by school boards that trample their rights and present a one-sided, pro-homosexual agenda. This case sends a message that school boards do not have unfettered discretion to indoctrinate our youth and use them as human experiments. We will carefully monitor any further actions by the school board. If a similar curriculum were to surface, we will not hesitate to go back to court.”