The Illinois Family Institute is another one of those conservative groups whose name suggests they’re fighting on behalf of all families, but who only get attention when they lash out against families that don’t fit their faith-based heteronormative standards.
Case in point: They’re flipping out over a recent story involving the existence of a same-sex couple, one of whom teaches at a suburban grade school. Nathan Etter received flowers from his husband on Valentine’s Day. When the students in his music class asked who they were from, he told them the truth, only to hear some kids say things like “ewww” and “gross.” He let the kids know that some married couples have two moms or two dads.
And then a parent complained about it. The reason it became a bigger story is because school officials told him to “stick to the curriculum,” a comment that Etter and his teachers’ union claimed was discriminatory, and there was a rally earlier this week on his behalf. (School officials say there was no discriminatory intent and his employment was never in jeopardy.)
So what is the IFI’s Laurie Higgins saying about all this?
Etter then jumped on this “teachable moment,” which I’m sure caught him totally off-guard (yeah, riiight), to give a Leftist lesson on “respect, tolerance,” and the existence of families led by “two moms” or “two dads.” He offered this chastisement/instruction to his young charges: “‘Oh no, friends, we’re not going to have that response, because that’s not showing respect.’”
Which is a greater offense: young children expressing disapproval of homosexual relationships or an adult homosexual teacher affirming his homosexual relationship to young children in a classroom and shaming young children for their disapproval of it?
She makes it sound like asking students to treat their gay teachers with the same basic respect that’s afforded to straight couples is some sort of liberal conspiracy. It’s telling, too, that she equates knee-jerk disgust by the children with some kind of sophisticated “disapproval of homosexual relationships.” To people like Higgins, asking students to be respectful of their gay teachers is a form of Christian persecution.
And as with so much of what she writes, she didn’t stop there.
… I wonder why Etter didn’t mention families led by 3, 4, or 5 persons of assorted sexes (i.e., polyamorous families)…
What about when the teacher who’s in love with his brother exploits his “teachable moment”?
Higgins throws in enough red herring arguments in her article to run a full game of Bigot Bingo. Even her headline deserves a square: “Homosexual Teacher Shames First-Graders at Illinois School.”
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that she’s firmly in the minority with her beliefs. The administration is walking back any suggestion that they were discriminating against Etter — they “apologized for any misunderstanding” — and the rally was full of people supporting the teacher.
Many of them, it seems safe to say, were probably Christian too.
(Screenshot via YouTube)