Erie, Illinois is a small, rural town of 1,600 residents in western Illinois, just across the border from Davenport, Iowa...not exactly where you'd expect to find a national controversy brewing over pro-gay marriage school curriculum.
It all started when concerned parents in Erie, Illinois got word of plans for a new curriculum (even in a MATH class!) teaching their children as young as 4 years old about same-sex marriage and cross-dressing.
Listening to the parents' concerns, the Erie school board voted 5-2 to reject the curriculum introduced by the Gay, Straight, Lesbian Education Network (GLSEN).
But it didn't end there...now GLSEN has launched a national campaign to pressure the Erie school board into imposing its "Ready, Set, Respect!" curriculum over the objection of parents and taxpayers.
As reported by CitizenLink, the curriculum invites students as young as kindergarten to "draw pictures of favorite TV or storybook characters and dress them in clothes that are different … from what they would typically wear," such as "Cinderella in a knight's armor" or "Spiderman wearing a magic tiara."
It also suggests teachers incorporate examples of homosexual relationships into classroom activities, such as math problems including "a variety of family structures and gender-expressions. For example, 'Rosa and her dads were at the store and wanted to buy three boxes of pasta...'"
And it encourages educators to use storybooks that familiarize young children with same-sex marriage and transgender or cross-dressing behaviors. Suggested books include Uncle Bobby's Wedding, which features two male guinea pigs who get married.
And now GLSEN is urging its members across the country to pressure the Erie School Board to re-introduce the curriculum over the objections of parents.