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Gay History Month Angers Philadelphia Parents

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Gay History Month Angers Philadelphia Parents

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

September 26, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) October is LGBT History month but noting it on the Philadelphia school district's calendar has irked some parents. The district sends copies of the calendar to the homes of students and some parents say the reference is promoting sex.

"Gay and Lesbian Month? That's sexuality - that's a preference," Nicola Rucker, 41, a mother of two students, ages 9 and 11, told the Philadelphia News..

"In elementary school, most 8- and 9-year-olds don't understand that," she said. "Everybody raises their kids differently. I don't want my 9-year-old son learning about this stuff unless he's old enough to come to me and ask."

The calendar also angered Addie Williams, the vice president of the Philadelphia Home and School Council.

"As a parent, I do understand why they would want to include everyone," Williams told the news. "But... I personally would not want to announce that or include that in a public setting because I believe in a man and a woman - a mother-and-a-father household."

Cecilia Cummings, a spokesperson for the district defends History Month saying it is no different than recognizing months devoted to the history or heritage of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

"The school district maintains and upholds Policy 102, which is a multiracial, multicultural gender-education policy," she said. "Basically, it's a policy intent on fostering knowledge and respect for people of all races, ethnic groups, social classes, genders, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations."

LGBT History month began in 1995 as means of teaching younger gays about their heritage.

"In our schools systems we learn all types of history - American history, Egyptology, the history of the civil rights movement and the important reason for gay history month is that young people in schools need to know they have a heritage and culture that goes back hundreds of years," Mark Segal the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News told 365Gay.com.

"In areas where kids are being bullied at least they know there are other gays out there."

Segal said the complaints are coming from from a very small number of parents.

"Here in Philadelphia we are very lucky to have the mass part of our citizens supporting the LGBT community. This is a very small number of people," he said.

Segal has just completed editing a month long series of stories marking LGBT History month that includes articles by Congressman Barney Frank, Martina Navratilova and writer/performer Bruce Vilanch,

The series will begin running on 365Gay.com on Sunday.

©365Gay.com 2006

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