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TEXTBOOK DECISION A BIG MISTAKE

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Congratulations to the Utah State School Board and members of Utah Eagle Forum. As reported June 16, they have succeeded in ruling against any words in a textbook that might indicate that homosexuals are decent, law-abiding individuals whose only fault is a "hormonal miscue."

With discriminatory paranoia, they have smugly kept Utah in its "1800s Salem witch-hunt mentality." How will Utah smother such lectures as that given recently at the U. of U. by a Minnesota pediatrician. He has studied adolescent homosexuals and details methods of counseling children who recognize their homosexuality.He tells doctors to "encourage adolescents to be more open about their sexual orientation by stocking their offices with printed materials about homosexuality and being `nonjudgmental' in their discussions about sex."

"Failing to find social support for gay teens and their families puts them at risk of school problems, substance abuse and suicide," he stated.

So, for Eagle Forum members and other homophobic parents, if your children can read, I suggest you keep them out of doctors' offices. Better still, why not educate yourselves about homosexuality. It might calm some fears.

For example, parents would learn that: Homosexuals do not proselyte; homosexuals are not pedophiles; homosexuality is not learned; it is not a fad like Izod shirts that your child will copy from his peers.

And for the grandmother that stated she was just trying to protect her children and grandchildren, sexuality originates in the brain. It can no more be changed or caused than you can change the color of a child's eyes. However, you can love and build that child's feeling of self-worth.

In the meantime, I would pray that one word of acceptance left out of a textbook would not be the trigger for one more teen suicide.

Jo Harmon

Salt Lake City