Update: Supreme Court Leaves Intact Decision Upholding Schools’ Right to Offer Positive Portrayals of Same-Sex Marriage
On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal filed by two sets of parents who objected when their children’s schools provided their children with books offering positive portrayals of same-sex marriage and families headed by same-sex parents. The parents claimed the schools’ actions violated their First Amendment “free exercise” rights and the right to direct their children’s education and religious upbringing.
The Supreme Court’s action leaves intact the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision upholding the schools’ right to adopt a curriculum supporting diversity and to provide positive materials concerning same-sex marriage as part of that curriculum.
“There is no free exercise right to be free from any reference in public elementary schools to the existence of families in which the parents are of different gender combinations … public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas,” the court said.