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Gay Book Protest Dad To Go To Trial


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Gay Book Protest Dad To Go To Trial

by Margo Williams 365Gay.com Boston Bureau

Posted: August 4, 2005 3:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) A Lexington, Massachusetts man arrested after he refused to leave a school where he was protesting against a children's book with gay characters, will go to trial on trespassing charges.

A judge has set a trial date for Sept. 21.

David Parker became enraged last April when he discovered his six-year old son had brought home the book "Who's in a Family.' (story)

The book by Robert Skutch, and illustrated by Laura Nienhaus is aimed at children between three and seven. It catalogues a variety of multicultural contemporary family units, including those with single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents.

But, it was the inclusion of same-sex parents that angered Parker. He confronted officials at the Joseph Estabrook School.

Parker, who is a member of the Article 8 Alliance, an organization fighting same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, demanded that the book be removed from the school library and that his son be pulled from discussions about homosexuality whether they are in planned lessons or arise spontaneously.

Lexington Schools Superintendent Bill Hurley rejected both demands.

When Parker refused to leave the meeting police were called and he was charged with trespassing.

Parker's attorney, Jeffrey Denner, said he is negotiating with school officials and hoped the charges would be dropped.

"There's a larger issue here locally and nationally and internationally about the role of family and what kind of encroachments government can make into children's and people's lives," Denner told WCVB television.

"It's an issue that, basically, it is time to draw a line and decide who is in charge here," said Denner.

The school district has refused to comment on any possible negotiations in the case. But, even if the charges are dropped the controversy may not end.

Denner said he is likely to file a civil suit in federal court by this fall. He plans to sue the town of Lexington, the school system and its officials.

In the meantime, Parker is barred from all schools in Lexington.

©365Gay.com 2005


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