Okay, hold your horses. Hear this out. A state law mandates “LGBT history” to be taught in public schools but the Mayor of a New Jersey township, Barnegat Township is against it. New Jersey recently opted to teach “LGBT history”. But the Mayor, Alfonso Cirulli has taken a strong stance against it and received backlash for it.
On October 29th, the news hit the papers. Guess who is upset with his stance? The LGBT+ community.
It’s All in the Details
The introduction of LGBT+ history in public schools rose because of Senate Bill 1569 which passed in January. According to the bill, the school boards have to develop lessons about LGBT+ history. As well as the social contributions of the disabled. Particularly, “political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people” throughout history. Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy. signed the bill.
According to Lifesite News, in August, a committee meeting was held in the Barnegat Township. And the Republican Mayor tagged the LGBT agenda as “an affront to almighty God”. He also declared that before the new curriculum was implemented, the righteous have to stand up.
Cirulli argues along the lines of morality and freedom to teach kids about sexuality when the parents prefer it. He says, “The government has no right to teach our kids morality,”.
“We’ve crossed over the line into absurdity” in overriding parents’ right to decide when and how to introduce children to such sensitive subjects.
“Everyone has a right to live his or her life the way they want to, but no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs,” added Cirulli, who is a former assistant principal.
Obviously, Cirulli’s take on the issue evoked comments from the LGBT+ community. The LGBT activist group Garden State Equality said, “It is deeply troubling that Barnegat’s mayor is opposed to building an inclusive and affirming environment for LGBTQ youth, especially considering that Garden State Equality worked so closely with the school district to successfully implement transgender student guidance last year,”
One can only imagine the disappointment to see someone of this stature speak against LGBT+ education. The group also added,
“Moreover, the mayor’s views are in stark contrast to educators within the district, two of whom are contributing to our curriculum development.”
But Cirulli’s issues do not lie with the LGBT+ directly.
Privacy, Sexuality, and Government Force
Cirulli’s argument revolves around three main features. One, the confusion created through these conversations, specifically giving kids an identity crisis. Secondly, parents should have the freedom to teach their kids about sexuality according to their discretion. And thirdly, no government or special groups should enforce this.
Cirulli told his critics, “I’m not a bigot, I love people,”.
“This is going to hurt people. This is going to cause more problems than they say it’s going to help, and I’m worried about kids. You’re taking young kids and you start telling them, ‘If you want to be a girl, you can be a girl, if you want to be a guy, you can be a guy.’ And you’re giving them an identity crisis.”
In a letter to his constituents, he also discussed this in great detail. He also expressed gratitude for all the support received.
Cirulli even traced the history of syllabus construction to make his argument in the letter.
“Prior to the shift that has occurred over the past 25 years, education was determined by the citizens of each local community, holding to the standards of that community,”
He pointed out that members of the community provided feedback that is in line with his stance. He said that “parents want to guide their children in regards to sexual matters. They do not want to be bullied by the government, or other special interest groups.”
But that’s not all. Cirulli has urged the state representatives to take action and repeal Senate Bill 1569 based on the same. He also “offer(s) no apologies” for his stand.
The Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey has also come out with a petition alternative to this.
The petition observes a mid-way stance between the Mayor and the SB 1569. The petition calls on Gov. Phil Murphy to “at the very least” support amending the law to include an opt-out provision.
The petition also argues, “A person’s significant historical contributions should not be predicated on their sex life or personal feelings about their sexual identity,”.
And adds that “Sexuality is a private matter and only parents have the right to decide when and how their children learn about it.”
So what do we think? Won’t parents enforce their own beliefs upon the kids and increase the confusion? Are all parents qualified enough to talk about LGBT+ or help their children figure it out? Sex education has been around and is evidently helping people. So is this stance plain hypocritical? What do you think?