Why You Should Always Go To The Source

Jim Burroway

May 29th, 2009

I’ve adopted a policy of never believing what I read on most anti-gay web sites, simply because when you go to the source, you find that things are never — never! — as they appear. And I say that mindful of the dangers of speaking in such absolutes. But here is just another of one those examples. This email landed in my inbox:

I’m a faithful DAILY (HOURLY?) gay guy reader of your blogs. I LOVE YOUR WORK!! I am grateful for all you do!

Since I also read WND to “find out what those guys are thinking”…every once in a while I come across something that makes me wince. If the below is true (is it?), it doesn’t look A-OK for our side…do you guys have any back-story on this? I don’t like the fact that parents can’t opt-out. Is this another scare tactic?


Good question, Thomas. Thanks for asking.

The WND article decries a “mandatory homosexual curriculum for children as young as 5.” But what is that “homosexual curriculum” that the Alameda (CA) Unified School District has developed?

Well, it’s all online right here. And as you look through it, you will find that it is simply a set of short discussions with students about fellow students’ families. Some of these families have a mom and a dad, some just a mom, some just a dad, some with two moms, and some with two dads, and some with no moms or dads but aunts, uncles or grandparents.

It’s the mentioning of two moms and two dads that’s stiring up the trouble. But having a child in school with two moms or two dads is just a fact of life. This curriculum is designed to reflect that ordinary fact, and to point out that ostracism, teasing, or bullying because of it are not acceptable.

But to anti-gay opponents, the possibility that we might just be ordinary families who happen to send children to school is very scary. So yes, it is a scare tactic. Anything that unmasks the horrible creatures invented by anti-gay activists and reveals that ordinary people in ordinary families send ordinary children to ordinary schools, well there’s nothing more frightening to them than that. And so they oppose it at all costs.

Our opponents are very good at scaring people. It’s all they have left. And so they label a curriculum designed to minimize bullying and ostracizing behavior as a “homosexual curriculum,” as if teachers were being ordered to teach the mechanics of homo-sex to school kids. But that’s not what this is. Not even close.

But the mechanics of hetero-sex, well that seems to be another matter.

[Thanks to Thomas for asking a very good question.]

Richard W. Fitch

May 29th, 2009

This came in my email thru another source, not sure where, but what struck me was that one of the reader there had the audacity to ask the question: “What exactly is this curriculum?” Of course, I have seen no follow-up by the rag trying to defend the traditional family on this question against the gay agenda.

Lindoro Almaviva

May 29th, 2009

Teachers then ask if students are surprised to learn that those famous people are members of the LGBT community. The curriculum also provides a list of LGBT vocabulary words for students, including the following: bisexual, transgender, gay, LGBT and lesbian.

Contact information for the three members of the Alameda County Board of Education who voted for the LGBT curriculum is as follows:

Vice President Ron Mooney: fax: (510) 522-6926

Trustee Tracy Jensen: phone: (510) 865-6350 or fax: (510) 522-6926

Trustee Niel Tam: fax: (510) 522-6926

This is the last of the article. Since those people are going to hear from angry people, i suggest that they also hear from people who see what they are really trying to do and hear the congratulations for a job well done. How about that?


May 29th, 2009

I wish the people who are swayed by the scare tactics and believe people who are not gay and therefore do not know what gay life is like but they paint these fantastical ideas of who we are, would read this and start being more diligent about educating themselves. I have yet to see a marriage that has in anyway affected my life. Why would someone else s business in their personal life affect me. I had a neighbor who said she was for gay rights yet told me it was her business what I do in my house because she has children. If I was strait she would not have made that comment. She said they could look through my window. Oh, yeah, I lived on the second floor. This is how ignorant some people are. I think we need to get the people out to vote and educate them. Why does someone else s religion get forced on me. When are we going to be free from religion in politics. I believe in Jesus Christ not in religion or most of the religious dogma that is skewed to the ideals of a few.


May 29th, 2009

Thank you for doing the legwork on this and other anti-gay horror stories. I wish the people who needed to read this would, but it does help LGBT and supportive people with, say, our parents and other relatives who wish to start something.

I have a couple of very close friends, both bisexual parents of 8-year-old girls, and I’ve lately seen that they are already having to deal with some grief because of how others perceive their parents. They already know why their parents stop holding hands in certain venues and why some adults look all lemon-faced at their parents. The girls themselves are perfectly fine with it and can clearly and quickly explain their family lives–it’s adults who get confused, often willfully so, and make things worse. It makes me angry that these kinds of curricula are so violently opposed. The opponents claim to be “pro-family” and “pro-child”. Those phrases come with asterisks and extensive footnotes. But you know that.

One question I have asked quite a bit of right-wingers, and never gotten a solid answer to, is, “Okay, so what would you have taught about these kids and their families? Because they’re going to your local public school right now, and there will be questions.” They stammer and avoid the question. They have no real ideas of their own. And it’s hard not to think the worst, it really is.


May 29th, 2009

I live in Alameda and have a kid in the Alameda public schools. It is actually a fairly liberal place (not a suprise, since it is an island in the SF Bay). I don’t have the exact figures, but I think more than 60% of the voters voted No on Prop 8 and there were few if any Yes on 8 yard signs.

This curriculum issue is very interesting and the lies that the right wingers (Mormons and a few Evangelical churches) have been putting out scared some folks into thinking that this was actually about sex education rather than an anti-bullying campaign. One of the two Board Members who voted against the curriculum has ties to a virulent homophobe who writes letters to the editor frequently.

Our next school board election will probably see right wingers trying to capitalize on this to take over the school board. If they win, I am sure they will over-reach and liberal Alameda will not tolerate intelligent design, watering down evolution and trying to impose school prayer in some way. We’re in for some headaches for the next few years.


May 29th, 2009

Such teaching is required by the California Education Code, which is probably why the Alameda County Board of Education is insisting on it. And since the county has about a million and a half residents, it is hardly surprising opponents could come up with 500 signatures on a petition in opposition. The story does not say that the signatures are those of parents of children in the county schools, or even of county residents.


May 30th, 2009

Nicely put Jim – we get this too over here in the UK fromsimilar outfits (the ‘Christian Institute’ being one). These organizations seem to be nothing more than good PR machines – if you pump out the same lie enough times, people start believing it. They capitalize on the fact that neither the media nor the public at large care to check the facts, and simply ask ‘how do I know this is true?’ (this applies across the board, from WMD in Iraq, to the saintliness of the Dalai Lama…)

It’s really important to be vigilant about refuting these claims because this is the premise they use for campaigns to maintain discrimination such as adverts against gay marriage.

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2009


Thanks for the report from the site. I hope the school board doesn’t get overrun, but Alameda may resist a homophobia-based campaign.

Alameda county voted against Prop 8 by 61.9% to 38.1% and the City of Alameda was even better: 68.4% to 31.6%.


May 30th, 2009

So now that prop 8 supporters know that the gay-marriage ban did nothing to prevent this sort of curriculum, what will they do?


May 30th, 2009

In my experience WND runs anything that pushing their values no matter how crazy, dishonest or absurd.

The first time I came across them it was because they mentioned a book I wrote on South Africa under the ANC — it was not a complimentary book but it was factual. Yet this article also mentioned an alleged plot by South African blacks to slit the throats of all white people—something i knew to be totally bat crazy. Contrary to Western media claims the relationships between black and white was relatively good. (The relationship between blacks and the government was a different matter.) The very idea that tens of millions of black were keeping this plot a secret was as ridiculous as one could get, yet there it was reported as fact. And they were quoting my book in this article, though it said no such thing. An email to them was ignored.

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2009

Thanks, CLS

Those curious about WND’s credibility may also want to consider that they ran an article titled “soy is making kids gay.”

And it wasn’t satire.


June 1st, 2009

My rule is never trust what you read on anti-gay web sites that don’t allow comments. Take Peter LeBarbera’s site, AFTAH. No comments allowed and his distortions of the truth can be blown out of the water in a heartbeat. NOM has its BS as well and no room for differing opinions. Or if they do allow comments, they erase differing opinions quickly.


June 1st, 2009

Jim – your words about fear here are very insightful. Thanks

NOM does allow comments on their blog which impresses me. It’s fun to read because 95% are pro-gay. Makes you wonder who’s really paying attention to NOM.


February 5th, 2010

Just an update. 20 parents (with the help of the right wing Pacfic Justice Institute) filed a lawsuit ( Balde, et al v Alameda Unified School District) in order to opt out of the curriculum. Balde et al lost. A judge ruled against the opt out, because the crriculum was anti- bullying and not health related as the plaintiffs argued.

Balde is Irene Penalosa “Aisha” Balde. She and her husband Musa Balde (Imam and founder of the Alsmrda Islamic Center) are being sued by the City Attorney of Oakland, California on 82 counts of fraud. The Baldes run American Legal Services, a business in Oakland that is accused of defrauding immigrant of thousands of dollars each with false promises of gaining them legal status even though the Baldes knew these people didn’t qualify. Suit for $8.2 million. Couldn’t happen to nicer folks. I love karma.

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