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School Runs Contest For Best Anti-Gay Essay


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School Runs Contest For Best Anti-Gay Essay

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 25, 2005 5:00 pm ET

(Farmington, New Mexico) An essay contest at a New Mexico high school asks students to explain why preserving marriage between men and women is vital society and why unborn children merit respect and protection.

The contest, at Farmington's Piedra Vista High School, is being held in connection with an essay contest sponsored by United Families International, an organization whose primary mission is "to strengthen the family by promoting marriage between one man and woman and the protection of human life, including unborn children."

The students were given the option of either writing a response to two questions about preserving marriage and the protection of the “unborn” or submitting a personal narrative.

The parent of a sophomore at the school complained about the contest to the ACLU.

"The contest had nothing to do with encouraging critical thinking," said ACLU of New Mexico staff attorney George Bach.

"It was a tactic to shape students' political views in the guise of an objective school assignment."

The contest also is being criticized by Equality New Mexico, and NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico.

In a letter to Principal Donny Ortiz they say that the contest violates state regulations banning sexual orientation discrimination by teachers.

The groups have proposed offering students a choice of also writing about alternative viewpoints.

Ortiz declined the offer of a competing essay contest saying that New Mexico Secretary of Education Veronica Garcia distributed the original essay contest school districts for interested students only.

"Piedra Vista High School's apparent lack of respect for diversity in thought is troubling," said Alexis Blizman, Executive Director of LGBT civil rights group Equality New Mexico

"Students in taxpayer-funded public schools simply shouldn't be forced to accept one viewpoint over another, regardless of the issue."

Garcia's office did not return calls seeking comment.

©365Gay.com 2005


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