The Mad Dad and his backup group the Lexington Looneys have put themselves back on thin ice, very thin ice. Their federal suit demanding control over the public schools' curriculum is a hoot.
His attorneys, who brag about defending child abusers, pornographers and drug dealers on their Website, don't talk about their pro bono efforts. Perhaps they specialize here in anti-gay cases or perhaps only Parker-related windmill tilts.
They had better be good about judge shopping. Their filing is pretty lame. There's a lot of boilerplate in it.
One cute angle is the claim that the school officials "...interfered with and deprived the plaintiffs of their exercise and enjoyment of their civil rights secured under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts..." The giggle here is that the school folk didn't threaten with anything and the Mad Dad and his minions have tried to threaten and coerce the teachers, principal and superintendent repeatedly. This lawsuit is the latest attack doing just that.
The meat of the matter is more Vienna sausage than steak. They fundamentally come three ways at the schools' not adhering to the Looneys' particular religion. They try to turn that backward by saying, in effect, if you present any facts or reality that does not conform to what we teach at home, you have violated commonwealth and federal law. It is to laugh a judicial laugh.
Basically, by making a picture book available that shows simply that there are same-sex couples with kids the schools "invaded and impaired the plaintiff's clearly established rights to the free exercise of religion." This claim comes in a state which permits same-sex marriage and adoption, and in a town and school system with numerous same-sex-headed families.
The suit also tries -- very weakly -- to twist the opt-out human sexuality law. It claims that "The Town of Lexington has begun a program intended primarily to indoctrinate very young elementary school children in the notion that homosexuality and homosexual relationships and marriage are right and moral." That takes such forms at an early-reader book that has a two princes falling in love, a sweet and decidedly non-sexual fairy tale, and another in an optional diversity packet that has mundane images of gay couples doing household chores with their kids.
The Looneys' suit claims that these fall in the "human sexual education or human sexuality issues" definition of the commonwealth law. You can be damned sure that's a throwaway claim.
The suit finally falls on the filthy bed of conspiracy -- generally nearly impossible to prove. It claims that "the defendants conspired to deprive the plaintiffs of their due process rights and their rights to equal protection of the law or of the equal privileges and immunities under the law, and they acted in furtherance of the conspiracy which resulted in the injury to the plaintiffs as described above..."
(Pause to chuckle.)
So, we have a conspiracy claim that is sure to lose, an effort to rewrite the opt-out law that is sure to lose, and an attempt to turn the First Amendment 180 degrees saying that if you teach anything other than their particular religious beliefs you are preventing them from practicing that religion. Double huh?
This is a worthless suit. If it were clothing, it would dissolve in the first spring shower.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, same sex marriage, Lexington, public schools, parental notification