Calling his battle outcomes has been so easy that I can't feel smug about nailing every one. However, following the dismissal this week, I found I was wrong on one point. I figured he would drop back down to state courts to try and twist an interpretation to his liking of the parental notification law. He seems to be looking to an even surer loss.
That has been a real giggle to see over the past couple of years. One key basis for demanding that the public school system not teach or even mention what he doesn't want to his kids is the sex-education aspect of that law. There is a mechanism, with forms and such, for parents opting out of such classes. Parker (actually et uxor and et alia, with his wife and another Lexington couple) swamped his own boat before leaving the dock here. He straight-faced claims that mentioning that there are legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts is sex education.
On the broader issue, the quarrelsome quartet falls in the self-proclaimed parents-rights movement. Typically they hold to what they say is their interpretation of Old Testament teachings on families (beware of anyone saying he is a Judeo-Christian). In this case and others, the claim is that parents have an absolute right to raise their children as they see fit.
That sounds largely reasonable on the surface. Unfortunately for such folk, there are some legal realities. For example, governments mandate that they not physically or sexually abuse their kids. Their children must also attend school until a mandated age; even home schooling requires tests and other verification to meet this stricture.
As every school committee and court ruling has informed and re-informed Parker and his girded chums, parents do not have the authority to dictate curricula, content and texts. Yet, this is a reality that these folk choose not to accept. They strongly, frequently and consistently return to their claims of absolute rights. They find offense at suggestions they take their tailored-to-them requirements to private or religious schools that will accommodate them...for a fee. It is also important to note that other such claimants scattered about the United States feel the same way.
So, to my wrong prediction here, I had no doubt the Supreme Court won't reject this lawsuit without comment. However, I then predicted that the attack would be at the state court. Instead, according to Parker's post-latest-loss statement and commentary at fellow traveler MassResistance, they will head back to the General Court here.
You have no reason to be aware of previous efforts to replace the notification law. The current version, S321, is typical. It disappears into committees, the unwanted-bill graveyard. Moreover, even former supporters in the legislature have wearied of sponsoring or speaking up for these. After all, the effort comes from the same folk who proclaimed they absolutely would stop same-sex marriages from beginning and then would overturn the legalization by ballot or court or whatever. Lose, lose, lose and lose.
The MR sites too have done their best to alienate their supporters. They have slandered anyone who changes a vote. Perhaps they are unsure how to lobby or even get along with others.
Even with all that, the new claim is they'll introduce the replacement for the notification law yet again. This is another sure losing effort, as the number of lawmakers who might support them dwindles. Perhaps they can caucus in a single coffee-shop booth.
It's worth considering Parker's response to the Supreme Court dismissal:
The Federal Supreme court of the United States has tragically decided to deny our case from moving forward. We have exhausted all our legal options in the Federal system for the protection of young children in the public schools.The Supreme court has cowardly turned their backs on a parental rights issue that clearly has national significance with profound consequences.The hyper-dramatic and overly emotional typify these sorts. Anyone who does not agree or does not yield to their demands is cowardly. They conflate their religious feelings and thoughts with absolute rights. The alternate and prevailing views become perversions and the seduction of children. They may even include as in this statement non-specific threats of rebellion and revolution.
We believe that parents have the right and sacred responsibility to defend the psyches of their young impressionable children against such child predation. This includes more forceful measures to defend against, the inculcation and penetration, of perversion into their minds, behind the parent's back and against their will.
All public school administrators are hereby on notice that efforts to seduce children into the acceptance and affirmation of homosexual conduct and "gay marriage" will be met with the full force of the citizenry.
This despicable ruling is not of the people, nor for the people, and nor by the people--but against them. We, the people, must take back our government for the sake of our children and the sake of this nation."
From here, this is too easy to call. They introduce a new notification bill, yet again, and it goes to the Joint Committee on Education, yet again, and it dies in study, yet again.
The chest-thumping assertion of absolute rights trumping existing law has a poor record. If what these folk really want to do is get everyone else to bend to their will, they'll continue to lose. If what they really want is a fundamentalism based school system, they should set it up.
Morning Update: My record may still hold MetroWest Daily News got comments from Parker including, "We will look into [pursuing it in state court]. We will have further meetings with our attorneys and discuss that option."
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, parents rights, Mad Dad, Lexington, notification law, U.S. Supreme Court