New Anti-Gay Attack
From Ed. Secretary
'Schools Not Place For Gay Issues'
By Doreen Bradt 365 Gay.com from the Web, February 2, 2005
Washington -- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings says she has no apologies to make for criticizing a PBS children's series which features an episode with a lesbian family.
Last week Spellings angered gays and lesbians when she said that many parents would not want children exposed "to such lifestyles" and accused the network of wasting public money (story) on the series, “Postcards From Buster”.
The animated series was produced with money from the Department of Education.
This week, Spellings said that gay issues are not appropriate topics for schools.
“On lifestyle issues, I think it's appropriate for parents to deal with those and address those as they see fit, in their own way and in their own time,” Spellings said.
“I believe that as a mother, and I believe that as a policy-maker. For the Department of Education or public broadcasting to get into things that are, you know, in a grayer area, is just not something we need to do.”'
Spellings said the education department would not get into issues such as whether gays and lesbians should be prevented from teaching, but, she said, it would get involved when federal tax dollars are being used.
PBS said it would not distribute the "gay" episode to its 349 stations across the United States, although it denied that Spellings' criticism had anything to do with the decision.
Nevertheless, Boston's WGBH, which produces “Postcards From Buster” will air the show.
More than 20 other stations will also show it, WGBH said Tuesday.
Station spokesperson Jeanne Hopkins said that the PBS to cancel the episode was disappointing.
"We feel that the program and the other 39 episodes in the series, met the goals set out for it, which is to teach children to understand and accept the rich cultural diversity of this country,'' Hopkins said.
Among the other city's where the show will be aired are New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Hopkins said.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights group said Spellings' remarks showed a lack of dignity and respect to families headed by gay and lesbian parents.
"Same-sex families are a reality and a vibrant part of America," HRC spokesperson Steven Fisher said.