by Hilary White

SYDNEY, June 5, 2006 ( – In an optional teachers’ manual, educators in Victoria, Australia are being urged to drop the terms “mother” and “father” in favour of “parent” or “carer” in order to downgrade the meaning of marriage and family life to include homosexual partnerings.

The manual, “Learn to Include” has been developed by homosexual political activists and funded by the Australian government. Its imposition into the curriculum of a day care in Sydney raised protests from family and parliamentarians last week.

Morris Iemma, the premier of New South Wales – Australia’s most populous state -Âsaid the program was using children as fodder in the gay political wars. “Kids should be allowed to be kids and daycare centres should not be a battleground for gender politics,” Iemma told local media.

The Learn to Include program, including children’s books and a teachers’ training manual, are funded and promoted directly by the New South Wales Attorney General’s crime prevention department and the Tasmanian Department of Education Equity Standards Branch.

The books and the manual were written and edited, respectively, by Vicki Harding a lesbian activist who, with her “partner” Jackie Braw and daughter Brenna, appeared recently on a children’s television program to promote the idea of “normal” homosexual couples with children.

The manual suggests that the promotion of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle must begin as early as possible, while the books areÂaimed at children from kindergarten to grade six. The childrens’ books tell stories about everyday life and carefully avoid directly addressing the same-sex issue. The manual says, “Each book relates a different everyday family experience – the family make-up is not the central theme. The books are suitable for children learning to read in the first three years of school.”

The manual recommends various methods of combating “heterosexism” – the idea that only relations between a man and a woman are normal. “Use inclusive spoken and written language (e.g. ‘parent’ or ‘carer’ rather than ‘mother’ and ‘father’; ‘dominant’ or ‘widespread’ rather than ‘normal’) wherever possible.”

Schools, it says, should display pictures of prominent homosexuals, and children should engage in activities in which they role-play situations where they or their friends are in homosexual households.

The curriculum includes spelling and grammar lessons where children are asked to fill in the blanks of a sentence that reads, “There are lots of bugs at our house and a big tree that I can climb while my mums work in the garden.” A comprehension exercise reads, “Today my mums and I are working in our back yard. Jed is coming over with his two dads…There’s the doorbell! It must be Jed and his dads.”

An editorial appearing in this Sunday’s edition of the Herald Sun said, “Not even Leftist teachers can disguise that their goal in adopting the manual is to set the wider social agenda. They seek to impose minority views on children too young at five to analyse properly the concept of unorthodox families.”Â

The manual complains of the commonly held belief “that young children are innocents, who can’t understand the complexities of sexual matters. For these adults, sexuality has no place in a young child’s life – whether in schools, childcare centres, in the media or elsewhere – and so they seek to prevent young children from encountering what they regard as expressions of sexuality.”

The author alleges, “Under the guise of protecting innocents from sexuality, these critics actively encourage children to be heterosexist (to see heterosexuality as right and every other sexuality as wrong) and to be homophobic (fearful or hateful of ‘non-heterosexual’ people).”

Opposition education spokesman Martin Dixon said the program is “political correctness gone mad.” He told local media, “Parents don’t send their children to school expecting them to receive those sorts of lessons.”

Read the Learn to Include Teachers’ manual:

Read related coverage:
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