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Monday, October 11, 2004

Homo-Cleansing the Class Room

A "Muth's Truth"......

HOMO-CLEANSING THE CLASSROOM
by Chuck Muth
October 10, 2004

I feel like Michael Corleone in “Godfather III” who famously said, “Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in.”

I’ve been trying to refrain from commenting on “the gay thing” for the last couple of months, other than to criticize the gay organization Log Cabin Republicans for failing to endorse the Republican nominee for president. And I stayed pretty much mum on the House’s attempt to pass a Federal Marriage Amendment other than to note that, as in the Senate, the effort went down in flames.

And then along comes Rep. Jim DeMint, who is now running for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina, to pull me back in.

DeMint is an staunch conservative. As a congressman, he has a Lifetime ACU Rating of 97. He is, by far, the superior candidate in the senate race for those of us who long for a strictly limited federal government.

But at a recent debate with his opponent, DeMint joined the ranks of the “homo-cons” by offering up the following: “If a person wants to be publicly gay, they should not be teaching in the public schools.” Good grief. Is this supposed to be the CONSERVATIVE point of view?

Now before some of you rush off to send me the now-requisite hate email (send it to chuck@citizenoutreach.com) for daring to pen yet another of my patented “fag lover” commentaries, let me put this in perspective.

Back in 1978, a California state legislator named John Briggs put forth a ballot initiative to ban gay teachers. This was at a time in history when most gays were pretty much still “in the closet,” and WAY before “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

In a fundraising letter at the time, Briggs compared gay teachers to mass murderers by tying his anti-gay initiative to another initiative strengthening the death penalty: “You can act right now to help protect your family from vicious killers and defend your children from homosexual teachers,” he wrote. Subtle, huh?

The Briggs Amendment, which apparently Jim DeMint would vote for today, over 25 years later, was leading in the polls by as much as 61 percent to 31 percent. And then. . .

Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan came out against it.

On election day, the Briggs amendment was soundly defeated.

Now, those of you from the Leviticus Wing of the GOP can heap hosannas on Jimmy DeMint ‘til the cows come home, but don’t DARE say his position on banning gay teachers is the CONSERVATIVE position. Let me tell you something. I knew Ronald Reagan. OK, not personally. But as my President. Ronald Reagan was a TRUE conservative. And Jim DeMint, you’re no Ronald Reagan.

Wanna talk about teaching or advocating homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) in the classroom...fine. The subject is open for debate. But banning a teacher simply because of their sexual preference? Uh-uh.

One of the best teachers I had in 12 years of schooling was rumored to be light in the loafers. I couldn’t care less. Not then; not now. He was a FANTASTIC teacher. In fact, he probably sparked my love for writing at an early age - a love which persists to this day - in addition to teaching me how to play Cat Stevens songs on the guitar.

OK, in retrospect that one doesn’t appear to have been such a shining moment. But in fairness, this was long before Cat became a terrorist symp.

In any event, Jim DeMint would have denied me and my classmates the opportunity to learn from this truly gifted individual...simply because he was gay.

You know what? If you don’t want to "risk" having your kids taught by a gay teacher, then pull them out of the public schools. Send ‘em to a private school. Or better yet, home-school them. But don’t try telling the rest of us TRUE conservatives that a teacher should be judged not on their ability to teach and inspire a desire for a lifetime of learning in children, but on their sexual preference.

You know, between President Bush’s big-government "compassionate" conservatism and Jim DeMint’s homo-centric conservatism, I’m starting to think it is indeed time for TRUE limited-government conservatives to tear up their GOP membership cards and sign a Declaration of Conservative Independence. In fact, I think I’ll start writing one right now.

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Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com

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