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Ban on Gay Lifestyle Teaching Proposed

By: LOURDES MARTIN
State Capital Bureau

January 24, 1995

JEFFERSON CITY _ The Missouri Jewish Federation provided the main opposition before a Senate committee considering legislation to prohibit promotion of gay lifestyle in schools.

``The ban pushes the idea of intolerance and our educational system is based on enlightenment,'' said David Winton, a spokesman of the Jewish Federation.

The committee was hearing testimony January on legislation sponsored by Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon.

He told the Senate Education Committee that the bill would give school boards some guidelines to stop teaching gay lifestyle in sex-education classes. He also proposed the ban of books addressed to children like ``Daddy's Roommate'' or ``Heather has to mommies'', saying that such readings are ``a threat, and not education''.

Russell said that teachers could refer to the matter of homosexuality if necessary, but not promote it.

In favor of the ban was the Missouri Family Network, a non-profit organization.

``Schools shouldn't cross the line between teaching respect and teaching the non acceptable,'' said Kerry Messer, lobbyist for the Family Network.

``Parents should never been contradicted at school,'' Messer said.