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Erie, Illinois Mayor Marcia Smith Suggests Children Raised by Same-Sex Couples Not Welcome In Town

by Scott Rose on June 4, 2012

in Analysis,Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,Education,Politics,Scott Rose

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The Erie, Illinois public school system recently banned from its elementary schools all materials stating that same-sex couples raising children exist.

Illinois offers civil unions to same-sex couples.

Conspicuously banned was Todd Parr’s The Family Book, which simply mentions that some families have two dads, and some, two mothers.

Theocratic officials of the Erie Christian Church placed gay-bashing demands on Superintendent Bradley Cox, who caved to the Christofascists’ demands, though he is by law required to uphold the constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. Cox’s action in banning The Family Book sends the message that he believes that gay-bashing Evangelicals are morally superior to all non-gay-bashers, and that elementary school-aged children being raised by same-sex parents in his district deserve to be stigmatized.

Aaron Sweeney, the Youth Minister for Erie Christian Church, spearheaded the theocratic, anti-gay propaganda attack on the public school, leading “prayer vigils,” praying for Parr’s The Family Book — and all GLSEN related materials — to be banned from the elementary school. One result of the GLSEN ban is the discontinuance of “No Name-Calling Week.” Sweeney has led young persons on proselytizing missions abroad.

Superintendent Cox appeared to be talking out both sides of his mouth when he told his local CBS4QC that tolerance and diversity will still be taught in the school, but that no mention whatsoever will ever be made of gay-parent-led households. In that, Cox appears to be violating the “Goals, Standards and Descriptors” for “Social Emotional Learning” of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Learning Standards. Section 2B of the Standards, for instance, treats of this: “Recognize individual and group similarities and differences.” That Section includes, among other things, descriptions of how Illinois public school educators shall teach students to: “Identify negative depictions of differences among people (e.g., gender or sexual orientation stereotyping, discrimination in readings completed for coursework)” and “Explain how a lack of understanding of social and cultural differences can contribute to intolerance” as well as “Evaluate ways of overcoming a lack of understanding of those who are different.”

The Christofascist theocratic corruption of Illinois’s required teaching of good, strong acceptance values, and Superintendent Cox’s apparently unconstitutional, craven caving-in to the theocrats’ demands, cast into sharp relief the story of Jordan Pisey Windle, a Cambodian orphan adopted at two by a gay American, and now at 13, practicing in Indiana for Olympic diving trials this summer.

Superintendent Cox says that the school board joined in his decision to carry out the theocracy-fueled, anti-gay, books and materials ban. The Erie School Board includes two farmers and a businessman. So two farmers and a businessman think that they know better than legislators and Ph.D. education professionals, which Social Emotional Learning skills should be taught in the schools. Joe Weaver, one of two Board members who voted in favor of continuing to use the GLSEN materials, told CBS4QC “The materials were reviewed and implemented by our educators. To me, they’re the ones that are supposed to be experts of what should be taught in the schools.” Weaver went on to say, apropos of the GLSEN materials, that “there was nothing wrong with them, and they were appropriate.”

This reporter called Erie, Illinois Mayor Marcia Smith, to ask “Are elementary school-aged children being raised by gay parents welcome in Erie?” The line went dead, so I called again, to be sure the disconnection was not inadvertent. Mayor Smith said “I know they had some committee meeting, but I don’t really know anything about that.” The story has been all over Mayor Smith’s local news, so I said, “Then let me report to you about what is going on in your town.” She laughed, as though this were a laughing matter. I again stated my question “Are elementary school-aged children being raised by gay parents welcome in Erie?” and Mayor Smith hung up without responding.

New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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{ 7 comments }

Raytheist June 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

This insane change will make it so that children being raised by same-sex parents won't be able to speak of their home, their parents, or any other thing. What a horrible way to have your very existence silenced by a handful of fearful idiots. :-(

cloydjpro June 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Don't believe everything you read, especially from a writer trying to make a name for himself by making it sound as bad as possible. By the way, and this is just my comment, the Bible DOES say same-sex marriage is wrong.

Raytheist June 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

But in a secular nation such as our own, it doesn't matter what other people think the Bible says, based on their own interpretion (which does not match up with all other Christians). If you believe your Bible tells you that your same-sex marriage is wrong, then you need to not be in a same-sex marriage. Nobody cares what you believe, and nobody has to live by your beliefs. Do whatever you think is right for you, and allow others to live their lives on their own terms. We're all covered under the same Constitution.

meggie1313 June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

This is crazy. While I don't agree AT ALL with the boards choice to ban the book this is out of hand. They decided to take it off the shelves so they don't have to deal with complaining parents. It happens to a lot of books regarding lots of different issues. There are small minded people out there and you're giving them power by reporting on them. Let them be mad and ignorant but don't let them have influence.

However, asking the mayor a question like that was dumb. dumb dumb DUMB. That has nothing to do with the school board and it's issue with the parents/book. That question will blow up the media no matter what the answer and dragging someone else into this overblown story isn't fair. While hanging up wasn't the best response I probably would have laughed at the question too. Not wanting to fuel the fire doesn't mean she is anti gay.

Continue loving people and treating them they way you want to be treated regardless, no matter what!

Libertybelle71 June 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

My name is Amy Smith.. My father was Frank Joseph Smith. and my grandparents and rest of my dad's family lived in Erie and graduated from Erie High School.. To see this happening makes me cry.. my ancestors helped create Erie Illinois. and for them to do this is a slap in the face of my ancestors. Who was well respected. I have Newspaper clippings of all the good they did. Why would they do this… My family's farm is still there even though its owned by someone else .. I am so upset… Many of my family members are buried there.. This is very upsetting. I do understand that Erie is a very small farming community but its still wrong.

cloydjpro June 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Amy, I know Marcia well, and I've never hearad of you, and I'm a Smith and lived in Erie for 23 years, but DON'T believe everything you read.

cloydjpro June 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Good job, Scott. You did what most reporters do now. Who cares about facts, let's just make it sound bad or sensational, you moron. Marcia told you "no comment", and that is NOT hanging up on you. She has more important things to do in life than answer your idiotic questions. (as do 95% of us) You indeed, embody all that is wrong with journalism, and I hope you bosses, (even though I suspect they promote stupid articles with facts missing to make the story better) take you off the staff, and call you to make sure you have ALL the facts and not just the ones that fit your idea of a "great" story. By the way, I'm the reason her last name is Smith. Her integrity is above your article, but not yours , you showed your true colors, you jerk.

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