Thursday, March 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Court Tosses Challenge |To Pro-Gay Books In School

BOSTON (CN) - The 1st Circuit threw out a lawsuit filed by parents offended by books in a Massachusetts school district that favorably depict same-sex couples and gay marriage.

Parents of grade-school children in Lexington, Mass.,claimed they had a right to shieldtheir kids from pro-gay material they found "religiously repugnant," including the book "Who's in a Family?" depicting same-sex couples and "King and King," about a prince who rejects several princesses only to fall in love with another prince. The page depicting their wedding shows the princes kissing, with a red heart covering their mouths.

According to the lawsuit, public schools are indoctrinating children against their family beliefs with a "specific intention to denigrate the (families') sincere and deeply held faith." Parents say they should be notified about pro-gay curriculum material and that the school should exempt them from receiving it.

The court agreed with the district that, while parents have a right to choose between private and public school, they do not have a constitutional right to determine how a public school teaches their child. If they don't like the curriculum, parents can place their kids in another school.

"While we accept as true plaintiffs' assertion that their sincerely held religious beliefs were deeply offended," Judge Lynch wrote, "we find that they have not described a constitutional burden on their rights, or on those of their children."

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.