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Appeals Court Deals Massive Blow to Parental Rights

( – Maryland parents trying to protect their children from gender dogma have suffered a major setback. A federal court has just rejected their appeal against a lower court’s denial of an opt-out from LGBTQ classes. Now they’re planning an appeal.

Last June, parents in Montgomery County, Maryland, began protesting against the LGBTQ curriculum adopted by the state’s largest school district. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) had just announced the new lessons, which it wanted to bring in as part of its K-5 English language curriculum. Many parents objected to this, and tried to opt their children out of the controversial classes and books — but the district refused, pointing to a policy that says the only lessons parents can opt out of is the “Family Life and Human Sexuality” course (where the LGBTQ lessons should have been).

Three sets of parents took the district to court, arguing that the ban on opt-outs violated their First Amendment rights. However, a district court rejected their case and said the district had the right to insist their children took the classes. Now the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld that ruling in a 2-1 decision.

The majority opinion said that while the parents objected to their children being exposed to ideas against their religion, they hadn’t shown that this violated their First Amendment rights. They also said that hearing things you disagree with is “part of the compromise parents make when choosing to send their children to public schools.”

One member of the appeal court dissented from the decision. Circuit Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr, a Trump appointee, wrote in a minority opinion that the parents had shown the school district had burdened their right to exercise their religion, and the board wasn’t acting neutrally. Eric Baxter, an attorney for the parents, told journalists his clients will be appealing the latest decision.

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