Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Proud of My Town

Those of us who live in Lexington are all too familiar with the story of David Parker, the Lexington parent who apparently believes that gay parents do not constitute a fit family unit and that his children should not be "exposed" to those who do believe that functional families come in all types.

He was arrested for trespassing after refusing to leave school grounds following a discussion with school administrators about a book with a "Heather has two mommies" type of picture, a book called What Makes a Family? that came home in a school "diversity bag."(Note: The book was not required reading, didn't promote a "homosexual agenda," and in fact, the entire bag of materials was made available to parents at the beginning of the school year. Each bag--which is mainly filled with books, recipes, and music about cultural diversity--goes home with a child for a week, and parents can refuse to take the materials at all. I'm a little embarrassed to say that when such a bag came home with our son once, we barely looked at the contents.)

It makes me weary even to think about the case, because I feel sorry for the children involved: Parker's, because--contrary to what the Parkers say, I do think they're exposing their children to bigotry and this isn't just about "parents' rights"; and the children at the Estabrook School who were put through all this mishegoss (as my New York relatives would say).

I'm proud of my town because, last night, when anti-gay-rights groups held a demonstration on the Lexington Battle Green in support of Parker, many more people came out to support the Lexington Public Schools--and to support all the families within the schools, not just the "traditional" ones--than came to support the anti-gay groups.

I have to laugh, though. The website of Article8.org (sorry, no link for you), one of the virulently anti-gay groups that supports Parker, reported that the 200 or so school supporters were on the verge of a riot and that Parker wasn't safe in our presence. And how could it be otherwise? Consider the people who Article 8 reported were there:
Participating in the counter-demonstration were Helen Cohen, Chairman of the Lexington School Committee, and Tom Griffiths, a School Committee member. Also identified in the crowd were Jeanne Krieger, Member of the Board of Selectman, Rabbi Howard Jaffee of Temple Isaiah, Rev. Judy Brain, Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church, and Rev. Bill Clark, Senior Pastor of the First Unitarian Parish in Lexington.
There's a vicious bunch, if ever I saw one. Even the photos on the website show a bunch of people standing around talking, holding signs, and mostly...talking. But apparently there was a bloodlust lurking beneath all that talk, laughter, and ... talk ... that I somehow missed. How foolish of me.

(Click here to contact Lexington CARES, which organized the last night's school supporters' rally. As their website shows, they're a bit underfunded, but they sure can drum up a nice counter-demonstration!)

3 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Nice showing, Lexington! ...Again! (Reminds me of the Phelps counter-protest--Simple, unified, strong, and calm)

6:56 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Well, as Kenneth Mars said in his role as the mayor of a German town in Young Frankenstein: "A rriott iss an ugly thing--but I think zat it's just about time zat ve had one!"

Strong and calm indeed, though that's so not what the Article 8 people and their ilk wanted to see. Sorry guys, that's all we could give you.

10:32 AM  
Blogger clipper829 said...

Excellent, I am so glad you attended. That story just makes my blood boil.

-Erin
pinkandgreengirl.com

11:00 AM  

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