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The board of education for Montgomery County in Maryland approved a new sex education curriculum on Tuesday. But the topic of homosexuality is limited to lessons about what it means to be gay or lesbian, The Washington Post reports. The final lesson plan, designed for the eighth and 10th grades, says little about how people become gay because educators are resisting pressure from a divided community to define homosexuality as nature or nurture, right or wrong.
A lawsuit by antigay groups, who wanted a less inclusive plan, is expected. Those groups persuaded a federal judge to halt a version of the curriculum in spring 2005. U.S. district judge Alexander Williams Jr. found that the curriculum presented one view of homosexuality, "that homosexuality is a natural and morally correct lifestyle," to the exclusion of all others.
The lessons, approved by a unanimous vote, mark the first time Montgomery County schools will introduce the topics of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Barring intervention by the courts, the materials will be field-tested in a handful of middle and high schools in spring.
"Absolutely nothing is allowed to be said that is negative about homosexuality," Ruth Jacobs, an infectious-disease specialist and member of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, which, with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, sued to block the curriculum in its first incarnation, told the Post. (The Advocate)