“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose…”

 

The poem “Sacred Emily” by Gertrude Stein… If The Parents Rights Bill S321 passes, this still can be read to Massachusetts students, but discussing the fact that Stein wrote it to a woman toes the line of requiring students to procure a parental permission slip to participate in this discussion.  However, a classroom discussion about the loving and nurturing relationship between Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas and how this relationship and others inspired her works would be forbidden without this permission slip.  Gertrude Stein’s sexual orientation was very much part of her identity and helped form the genius she was.

 

Students and teachers can discuss the lives of two of the three men whose art and inventions helped draw Western Civilization out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, but students are would be required to bring a permission slip to class if teachers discuss Michelangelo’s or Leonardo da Vinci’s identity as homosexual men.  Including their loves or societal implications during their lifetimes.

 

What other sorts of discussions will not be allowed in schools without a permission slip if Parents Rights Bill S321 passes?  Let’s see…To discuss the life of Alan Turing the British mathematician whose service and invention  broke the German Enigma Code which saved countless lives in WWII and set the foundation for the modern computer, would not be allowed.  Because to discuss  Turing’s life one must take into account how social injustice led to his arrest for having had a homosexual relationship with another adult male which in Britain in the 1950’s was still punishable.  Nor would it be allowed to discuss without a permission slip the fact that Turing had to undergo a court-ordered Hormone Therapy which eventually led to his suicide.

 

 

 

 

 

Lang Testimony Page Two

 

 

And discussion of the Holocaust is fine unless a teacher includes “homosexuals” among the list of the 6 million Jews, Gypsies, dissenters and social outcasts murdered by the Nazis in their death camps.  A permission slip would also be required for students to discuss the horror that homosexuals faced after the liberation of these death camps by the Allied Forced when they (the homosexuals) were re-arrested by the Allies  because homosexuality was still a crime in Europe.

 

Parents Rights Bill S321 does not just set to limit free discussion of past history but it also restricts discussion of current events such as the current Equal Rights struggle for LGBT in this state and throughout this nation and the world.  And it would set apart children, LGBT or straight, being raised by same-sex couples.

 

But the true intent of Bill S321 is to take away the identity of LGBT children and to prevent them from reaching their full potential and achieving their greatest self-worth.  LGBT—is not what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom but constitutes our very existence, past, present and future.  LGBT youth need to have free access to their identity and to be allowed (without restrictions) to know that they share this identity with some of the world’s greatest leaders, inventors, athletes, poets, musicians, politicians, thinkers, parents, activists and fellow human beings.

 

Before I end, I would like to say for the record, that I am angry.  I am angry that I have to be here today to testify once again and this time against such a heinous and dangerous bill as S321.  But I would also like to say on record  that I am angrier at the 25 Legislators who co-sponsored this bill—including my own Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Brad Hill who should know better.  It seems that if good people are not constantly vigilant then nasty bills such as this one may just get through. 

 

Lang Testimony Page Three

 

 

 

Bill’s that not only hurt children, families and society at large but bills

that carry a faint scent of “pay back” for the LGBT daring to ask that our Constitution be left alone and our Equal Rights be protected.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

Tom Lang

Director KnowThyNeighbor.org

3 Colburn Road

Manchester-by-the-Sea

978-526-9707 home

978-335-0477 cell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joint Committee on Education

Hearing

 

Testimony of Tom Lang, Director of KnowThyNeighbor.org

Against Bill S321

An Act Regarding Parental Notification and Consent

 

May 29, 2007