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Court backs school on gay topics in class

Associated Press

Friday February 1, 2008

A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Lexington parents who objected to same-sex families being discussed in their children's elementary classrooms.

Tonia and David Parker of Lexington sued in April 2006 after their kindergartener brought home a book depicting a gay family. Joseph and Robin Wirthlin joined the suit over a second-grade story about two princes in love.

But the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a judge who ruled last year that parents' rights to exercise their religious beliefs are not violated when contrary ideas are taught in school.

"Public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive," the court said.

The parents' lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, said they may go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Normally, when kids are taught certain things, they believe it to come from on high," Denner said. "I think this influences the way they think in very, very direct ways and becomes functionally indoctrinating to them."

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