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FIRST-PERSON: Silencing the opposition

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–“We will shut you up,” she muttered under her breath.

“Excuse me?” I replied. “Did you say something?”

She glared as she answered.

“One day we will absolutely shut you right-wing Christians up.”

The aforementioned exchange took place six years ago at a Portland, Ore., high school following a debate over the promotion of homosexuality in public education.

I felt I had done well against my debate opponent in maintaining the position that homosexual practices are aberrant and unhealthy and should not be promoted as natural and normal at any level of public education. But my opponent, rather than focusing on honing her argument, believed her solution to “victory” would be the silencing of the opposition.

As I left the debate that day six years ago I realized that homosexual activists, and those who agree with them, fervently desire to muzzle any and all opposition to their lifestyle. If they could make it illegal to speak out against homosexuality, they would.

Fast forward to the current California state legislative session and my debate opponent’s words have a prophetic ring to them. Four bills pending in the Golden State effectively would promote homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy. Additionally, they would stifle opposition to homosexuality.

A reading of SB 1437 indicates the bill would require that public school textbooks and curriculum reflect the homosexual, bisexual and transgender communities in “a positive light.”

“It would effectively silence the Christian voice on homosexuality in California’s public schools,” Mona Passignano, state issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action, told CitizenLink. “Curriculum, instructional materials and teaching would be stripped of any negative messages about homosexuality in effect suppressing the values of traditional families.”

Said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, “This bill clearly attempts to enforce the homosexual lifestyle as normal and as immutable as race or color.”

A second bill, SB 1441, would grant special protections to homosexuals and would forbid an organization that receives any government funding from portraying homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender as aberrant behaviors.

There is no doubt that many faith-based organizations will be impacted by SB 1441. Additionally, Christian colleges could also be affected. Will a judge view a state-based tuition program that assists a student at a Christian school as a violation of SB 1441? Given the judicial track record in California, the likely answer is “yes.”

Another bill, AB 1056 would create and fund a “Tolerance Education Pilot Program” that would promote “tolerance and intergroup relations.” The program would mandate tolerance for “actual or perceived gender.”

Years ago, tolerance meant “live-and-let-live.” But homosexual activists define tolerance as accepting and celebrating. Thus, AB 1056 would instruct teachers and students that homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender are equal to heterosexuality.

The fourth bill, AB 606, is a bill that would require school districts to adopt anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies that would include “actual or perceived identity and sexual orientation.”

No child at any school should be harassed or discriminated against for any reason. Schools can, and should, adopt a no tolerance policy for hurtful and harmful behavior. However, safe campuses -– which AB 606 seeks to achieve –- can be established without focusing on “actual or perceived gender identity and sexual orientation.”

“Anti-discrimination, anti-harassment policies have been in place for a long time in education codes of California,” Prentice told CitizenLink. “This is geared to specifically indoctrinate public school children about the normalcy of the homosexual lifestyle and it forces it upon teachers as well.”

Taken as a whole, if these four bills become law they will not only promote homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender as natural, normal and healthy, they also will represent a huge step toward silencing those who believe the aforementioned behaviors are aberrant and unhealthy.

Six years ago I was told by a homosexual activist, “We will shut you up.” If these bills become law in California, the effort to silence opposition to homosexuality will have taken a significant step.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears each Friday in Baptist Press, is editor of the Baptist Message, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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  • Kelly Boggs