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Maryland sex education curriculum halted

Maryland sex education curriculum halted

The school superintendent in Montgomery County, Md., last week suspended a new sex education curriculum that included discussions of homosexuality and instruction on how to properly put on a condom after a U.S. district judge issued a 10-day restraining order against its implementation, The Washington Post reports. The new curriculum, set to begin at six schools this week and expand county-wide in the fall, was targeted by antigay conservative groups Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays, who say it presents a one-sided view of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and that it does not place enough emphasis on abstinence as the preferred way to avoid pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV infection. Judge Alexander Williams Jr. wrote in his opinion granting the restraining order that the sex ed program "opens up the classroom to the subject of homosexuality and specifically, the moral rightness of the homosexual lifestyle. However, the revised curriculum presents only one view on the subject--that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle--to the exclusion of other perspectives." Williams also writes that the revised curriculum is biased against certain religious groups by noting that it "paints certain Christian sects, notably Baptists, which are opposed to homosexuality, as unenlightened and biblically misguided." County school superintendent Jerry D. Weast put the new sex education program on hold following Williams's ruling and has ordered a review of the new curriculum before deciding on its future. Members of CRC and Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays say they hope to be involved in the review.

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