- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 11, 2007

Here’s an easy-to-follow setup. On Thursday, in a front-page story in The Washington Times, Gary Emerling reported: “Proposed guidelines for a sex-education curriculum to be used in D.C. Public Schools recommend that middle-school students learn to define sexual orientation and be taught about homosexuality.” The 43-page draft proposes teaching students the “correct terminology” and learning about how people of both genders “may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender.” (It will be remarkable if teachers actually pull that off, considering the fact that far too many students are promoted to middle school without knowing the difference between an adjective and an adverb.)

As a followup story, Mr. Emerling reported yesterday that school authorities are willing to hold public hearings on the sex-ed proposal. Hearings can be a good thing. But is the public being set up for a setup.

The mayor and school board president are already on record.

Here’s what each politician had to say when running for election last year. The questions and answers were part of an inquiry by the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. One paper was titled “Responses of Robert C. Bobb to GLAA 2006 Questionnaire for D.C. Board of Education Candidates.”

GLAA: “Will you work to implement a comprehensive sex education program in the D.C. Public Schools that teaches that homosexuality is part of the normal range of human sexuality, consistent with existing DCPS policy?”

Mr. Bobb: “Yes.”

GLAA: “Will you oppose the use of either federal or District taxpayer funds to promote so-called ‘abstinence only until marriage’ sex education that undermines safer-sex programs by discouraging the use of condoms and that effectively tells lesbian and gay male students that they must be celibate forever because they may not legally marry?”

Mr. Bobb: “Yes. I reject the notion that ‘abstinence only until marriage’ should be the only sex education message taught in the District. There are certainly times where an abstinence message can be useful, but it must be presented as part of a broad array of options for young people that reflects the reality that they may choose to engage in sexual activity.”

Now Mr. Fenty, whose responses were captured in a paper titled “Responses of Adrian Fenty to GLAA 2006 Questionnaire for DC Mayoral Candidates.”

GLAA: “Do you oppose the use of either federal or District taxpayer funds to promote “abstinence-only-until-marriage” sex education that undermines safer-sex programs by discouraging the use of condoms and that effectively tells gay and lesbian students that they must remain celibate forever because they may not legally marry?”

Mr. Fenty: “Yes. I believe that age appropriate sex education programs that explains [sic] conception, reproduction and contraception must be part of the curriculum in our schools. I support the recommendations of the Task Force that was chaired by School Board Member Dr. Carolyn Graham that concludes that abstinence only until marriage would not be an effective message for all our children. While abstinence is one of many things that can be taught, if it is the only thing taught to students it clearly undermines appropriate safe-sex programs and prevents us from giving students all the information they need to lead safe and healthy lives. Clearly it also tells GLBT students who we as a society have told they may not marry, that in essence they may never have sex.”

If these two influential officials have already made up their minds, what’s the point behind the public hearings?