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Austin Cline

Satire Lost on Anti-Gay Bigots

By April 18, 2004

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The Thames Valley District school board in Ontario, Canada, was approached by a parents' group to hald the spread of the "homosexual agenda" in schools. Unfortunately for them, they used an image from the Onion, a satire newspaper, in order to make their point!

Marissa Nelson writes for The London Free Press:

"Satire is apparently lost on rigid individuals," said London trustee Peter Jaffe. "Taking something from a spoof newspaper and presenting it as reality crosses the line. (The photo) plays on people's worst fears. I would hope this group will make a full and public apology." The photo shows a teacher at the front of a class with explicit sexual images and terms drawn on the board and is supposed to represent one of the "countless" classrooms where homosexuality is promoted.
Marilyn Ashworth of STOP said it's concerned the photo represents what will end up in this region's schools if the board goes ahead with its plan. "We knew it was a gay paper and we hold that even as a joke, the gay community is proud of their advancements into the safe schools program in the U.S.," she said. "We don't think homosexuality in schools is a joke."
Asked whether she believed it was a real photo, Ashworth said the caption included the teacher's name, city, state and grade. "We researched in depth and that was one of the things we found," she said, noting the group spent seven weeks accumulating research. "We don't come by our findings lightly. . . . Whether it was meant to be a joke or not, it's not funny to parents who are trying to protect their children."

The phot was part of a 300-page book of Internet research that the group put together - but if their "research" couldn't reveal that they used a satire site, then the rest of their "research" is pretty dubious as well. They've made laughingstocks of themselves and they deserve all the derision they receive. The original Onion piece is pretty funny too, by the way.

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