Bunning imposed a consent decree that required mandatory staff and student diversity training, "a significant portion of which would be devoted to issues of sexual orientation and gender harassment." Included in the mandatory one hour video were dogmatic claims that homosexuality is immutable and that it is wrong to object to the gay lifestyle.
A lawsuit was then filed by students who objected to being forced to watch a pro-homosexual video. They lost; Bunning sided with the school and upheld the mandatory video.
- After Poway High School in Poway, Calif., near San Diego endorsed the "Day of Silence" sponsored by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (known as GLSEN), student Tyler Chase Harper responded by wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the words "I will not accept what God condemned."
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the student, claiming the First Amendment does not protect students expressing views opposing homosexuality. The dissenting opinion pointed out the hypocrisy of the majority who claimed they were promoting "tolerance for minority points of view," but actually "demonstrated intolerance for a viewpoint that was not consistent with their own."
- An offensive anti-Bush T-shirt, however, received very different treatment from judges. A federal court has just ordered a public middle school to allow Zachary Guiles to wear a T shirt accusing President Bush of being a "crook," a "cocaine addict," a "draft dodger," a "chicken" and a "lying drunk driver."
When a school official merely asked the seventh-grader to tape over the images of drugs and alcohol and the word "cocaine," the student's father sued the school. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a new judge-invented right to wear an anti-Bush T shirt to school.
The federal courts bend over backward to award astronomical fees to American Civil Liberties Union-type attorneys, such as the obscene $2 million attorney fee award for censoring intelligent design in Dover, Pa., schools. But the 9th Circuit ruled that parent attorneys cannot recover attorney's fees after winning a case under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The bottom line is, Americans should monitor presidential nominations to the lower federal courts just as solicitously as to the Supreme Court.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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