The Battle for NYC’s Neighborhoods, Round Two: New Chancellor flip-flops after gay-sex conference

[WARNING: Much of the language reported here will offend mature adults. The New York Board of Education intended it for children.]

After the 1993 populist revolt that led to the rejection of the Rainbow Curriculum and the demise of Chancellor Joseph A. Fernandez and Mayor David Dinkins, one would think New York City’s social engineers would cease indoctrinating our children with the “marvels” of the homosexual “alternative lifestyle.”

Yet last year a gnome in the New York Board of Education committed the City as a sponsor of “Conference of Peer Educators—Youth Teaching Youth About HIV/AIDS.” Student participation in the February 12, 1994 conference, which was held at New York University’s Medical Center, was permitted without the consent of the new Chancellor, Raymond Cortines, or of the seven-member Central Board. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 14 attended this forum, which included workshops on sex options, eroticizing safer sex, withstanding homophobia, and celebrating the “wonderful world of latex.”

President Clinton’s Coordinator for National AIDS Policy, Kristine Gebbie gave a lecture, as did numerous students. The convener was the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Parents were barred from attending or participating.

The public schools’ internal mail system was used to distribute flyers inviting children to the conference. Several of the leaflets contained the Board of Education’s High School HIV/AIDS Resources Center as a mailing address and the Board’s HIV/AIDS hotline phone number. Lawyer Jack Hartigan, who represented School District 24 President Mary Cummins in last year’s Rainbow Curriculum confrontation, explained: “They used Board of Education office space, telephones, fax facilities, people, and mail network to promote the conference. They also used the name of the Board of Education and public school system as an identification, as if it were an official function of the public school system.”

The conference was not an educational symposium, but a gathering to celebrate gay and lesbian behavior as a viable alternative lifestyle. Two brochures designed and distributed by the GMHC set the tone. The Safer Sex Handbook for Lesbians defines various sexual techniques and equipment from cunnilingus, dental dams, dildos, and fisting to oral sex, rimming, tribadism, and “water sports”—sexual activities involving urine. Specific directions are given for “safe” bloodletting sexual activities, urine “golden” showers, enemas, and douche sex play, as well as cleansing instructions for canes, crops, whips, vibrators, and butt plugs utilized in sexual activity. Explicit photographs and vulgar language describe oral sex, “safe” vaginal fisting, and hygiene measures for “squeaky clean sex toys.”

One homosexual brochure, titled Listen Up, was directed primarily to black boys, who are told, “if you do men, you can fuck, suck, eat ass, whatever. Just do it safely!”

Children left the conference with the impression that anything goes so long as one maintains ample supplies of latex gloves and condoms. Missing from the information disseminated was anything resembling former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop’s warning that “anal intercourse is simply too dangerous a practice even with condoms.” No one was told that “fisting” can be so brutal that it often causes internal injuries that require major corrective surgery and can even result in death.

Myriam Quinones, president of the parents’ organization at Brooklyn’s Clark Junior High School, stated, “My daughter was very, very shocked. She was only 13. The part of [the conference] about HIV was wonderful, but most of the time it was about lesbian and gay.”

Since February 12, parents and taxpayers have demanded that this infusion of GMHC material be halted and that those who illegally authorized and promoted student participation be punished.

On March 22, 1994, Chancellor Cortines wrote to GMHC Executive Director Jeff Richardson:

I reviewed the materials which were left on tables at the conference by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. I believe these materials were inappropriate. In my viewpoint, they dealt with sexual practices, contained language that was totally inappropriate and possessed no educational value.

I regret to inform you that on the basis of my review of this entire incident, I find it necessary to preclude the Gay Men’s Health Crisis from participating in any programs in our schools. I would be happy to further discuss this matter with you.

To give the Board greater oversight, he also transferred the AIDS Information Center from Manhattan’s High School for the Humanities to the Board of Education’s central offices.

It looked like another victory for decency and parental rights. Preparing my testimony for the Board meeting on March 23, I decided to castigate the bureaucrats who surreptitiously approved the conference, while praising the Chancellor for his swift action after being informed of the event. But shortly before the meeting, I received a call informing me that Cortines’ letter dated March 22 was not dispatched. Another letter, dated March 13, was issued. The new one stated:

The distribution of these materials raises very disturbing questions. As I told you, their availability to young people has put the relationship between our two organizations in jeopardy.

Accordingly, I recommend a solution: a mutually agreed upon temporary moratorium period beginning immediately and lasting until the end of the school year. This time will permit GMHC and the school system to develop a detailed and comprehensive understanding about our future relationship, to determine how joint activities would be carried out and to plan for GMHC’s involvement in our HIV/AIDS education program beginning September 1994. I hope that this discussion will lead to an explicit agreement which will prevent episodes like that of February 12 while still enabling our students to gain access to important resources in HIV/AIDS education.

I believe that we must continue to move forward on HIV/AIDS education and expand such programs. The school system and GMHC will continue to work together once proper safeguards are put in place of joint activities.

Why the about-face? The Gay Men’s Health Crisis promotes the homosexual lifestyle, distributes lethal material to our children, and is not banished forever from the schools. Why? Was Cortines leaned on? The supposition circulating around the Board of Education is that private foundations threatened to terminate grants that finance school AIDS programs if the GMHC were excluded. So, even though they were caught red-handed, the GMHC will soon work its way back into New York’s educational system.

Bureaucrats vs. Parents

There exists in New York City’s governing circles a deep-seated arrogance directed toward the people. Elitist bureaucrats believe they are the only ones fit to determine and set norms. Professing to be open to diversity, they tolerate no deviation from their party line. And in the name of self-righteousness and progress, they will circumvent any procedure in order to evade the will of the people. As columnist Charles Krauthammer writes, they are working “to undermine a social system [they] cannot abide.”

The social engineers don’t seem to understand that in 1992 tens of thousands of parents began to realize that ideas do indeed have consequences. They began to grasp the implications of so-called “gay rights” and “sexual orientation” laws upon their daily lives. When Rainbow Curriculums, workshops, and forums reached out to grab their children, parents turned to the streets and shouted—enough!

These parents are not dormant, and the Board of Education, City Hall, and even the state capital in Albany should consider themselves on notice: Parents will fight to preserve their family, their neighborhood, and the moral foundation on which they are built.

George J. Marlin

By

George J. Marlin is the author/editor of ten books including Squandered Opportunities: New York’s Pataki Years (2006), The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact (2004) and Fighting the Good Fight: A History of the New York Conservative Party (2002). His articles have appeared in numerous periodicals including The New York Times, New York Post, National Review, Newsday, The Washington Times and the New York Daily News. Mr. Marlin is also general editor of The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton.

Crisis Magazine Comments Policy

This is a Catholic forum. As such:

  1. All comments must directly address the article. “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” (Matthew 12:36)
  2. No profanity, ad hominems, hot tempers, or racial or religious invectives. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  3. We will not tolerate heresy, calumny, or attacks upon our Holy Mother Church or Holy Father. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
  4. Keep it brief. No lengthy rants or block quotes. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
  5. If you see a comment that doesn’t meet our standards, please flag it so a moderator may remove it. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
  6. All comments may be removed at the moderators’ discretion. “But of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36)
  7. Crisis isn’t responsible for the content of the comments box. Comments do not represent the views of Crisis magazine, its editors, authors, or publishers. “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God… So each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)
MENU