Wednesday, May 18, 2005
You'll remember the fun we had last fall with the message board at Montgomery County, MD-based "Citizens for a Responsible Cirriculum," a group that doesn't want children in public schools to learn that gay people exist...even in their midst. They haven't gone away--in fact, they've quietly kept up their work and this month won a court injunction temporarily suspending implementation of the new sex-ed cirriculum (which allows teachers to discuss--to discuss--homosexuality. (There's also the matter of the condom/cuke video, but that's really a footnote; these folks hate and fear gays, not hyperphallic fruit, as intimidating as such fruit in fact is).
The WaPo has a piece on Michelle Turner, the supermom behind CRC. Amazing stuff:
The couple's oldest son, Grant T. Turner III, a senior at Albert Einstein High School, is headed to Mormon-run Brigham Young University in the fall, to study music. Two older sisters already are at BYU. The Turners' 13-year-old son will start at Northwood High School in September, and their 15-year-old daughter will be an Einstein junior. The two siblings didn't want their names published. The youngest in the family, Madeline, is a fourth-grader.
None has a phone or TV in his or her bedroom. They watch suitable shows in the basement den on a set wired to an $80 device called the TV Guardian -- "a nifty little gizmo," Turner said. The small black box decodes hidden, closed-caption text, searching for any of 150 preprogrammed "offensive words and phrases," then mutes them, flashing substitute text on the screen. "Get the hell out of here," for instance, becomes, "Get out."
"You can set it to take out just the cuss words," she said, "or the cuss words and anything related to taking the Lord's name in vain."
Poor freakin' kids. But check out the oldest one:
Grant Turner III, the only sibling willing to be interviewed, is an aspiring song producer who plays piano and guitar. He said his parents' rules are "good tools for bringing up a good family," even though he gets frustrated now and then. CDs with parental advisory labels are forbidden, for example, and his mother has lyrics-approval over all other music he brings home.
"Sometimes I feel it's not fair, other kids getting to do things that seem fun to do, and I don't get to enjoy those things," he said. "But I tell myself it's not going to change, so just get over it. And I do."
He said that he shares his parents' religious beliefs, and that he didn't want to discuss homosexuality. And he said he has been too busy getting ready for college to focus on the sex-ed debate.
"I feel it's not fair"? C'mon, Grant III, you pussy! You're a senior, for chrissake! Is this how healthy, virile, heterosexual 18-year-olds are supposed to behave? "Other kids getting to do things that seem fun to do"? Jeeebus, what a wuss.
As far as mom goes:
Hers was not an especially religious upbringing, she said. Her mother explained the facts of life to her when she was a sixth-grader, after two pet mice in the family mated and their babies were born. As for homosexuality, she said, back then "it was just something that you heard about, with your peers. . . . I know that people joked about it, and people would get ridiculed."
"Something you heard about?" Sounds like this woman is really informed about the subject which has become her life's crusade! Ah, the good old days, when gay people were merely the subject of rumors, mockery, and jokes--you didn't have to actually, like, discuss them in the informed context of a classroom!
But with Michelle--as with all people like Michelle--her political position is a funny thing. Such as when it comes to people she actually knows:
She added, "I will admit there could be a possibility" that in rare instances, people are born homosexual -- such as her cousin Steve.
"He's gay, and he's a great guy," she said. "He's a hairdresser. He's very artistic, very good at what he does, men's and women's hair. Fabulous decorator. And I remember playing together when we were young. . . . My brother was always into trucks and guns, knives and swords. . . . Steve was much quieter. He was much happier hanging out with the girls."
Michelle Turner isn't really a gay-basher--she's a fag hag! But only for the good gays--such as her cousin Steve. Isn't Steve awesome? Steve is just Steve, you know, and that's cool. It's a shame all the other bad gays are going straight to hell.
And as to all the decadent heathens down in the D.C. suburbs:
"I don't think they're purposely promoting the homosexual agenda," Turner said in her home. "I think they're just very liberal, and this is a liberal area. And they just assumed that this was something everybody wanted to hear about."
What do you suppose Michelle Turner would say if you asked her what she thought the "homosexual agenda" was, other than the right of cousin Steve to live his life with dignity and equal opportunity, to hairdress and decorate artistically, fabulously, and without being humiliated, intimidated, discriminated against?
If I were her, I'd keep Grant III away from that tinkly piano.
Oh, and for anybody interested in following the developments in MC--both locally and in the context of the national right-wing crusade against gay people, sanity, and knowledge--should check out the excellent blog TeachtheFacts.org.