AUGUSTA – Here and there in Maine, the attentive observer often sees a sturdy stone wall running through field and forest. Such walls were built by farmers of an earlier age as a reminder of a line not to be crossed.

In similar fashion, each family in Maine is guarded by a wall more enduring than stone. That wall is the inalienable right of parents to educate their children in accordance with moral and ethical principles, and the right of each citizen to be safe in their person.

Such rights are secured by the Constitution; and history tells us that such rights are infringed at the cost of dire consequences to the social order.

Documents recently released under a Maine Freedom of Access Act request show that an agency of state government is quite near to crossing the invisible line which defines and protects parental rights.

A LACK OF PUBLIC CONSENSUS

The Maine Human Rights Commission is proposing new guidelines for schools in Maine on how to handle issues of sexual orientation.

Specifically, the commission plans to force all private and public schools in Maine to give transgendered students access to the bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams of the opposite sex.

The documents reveal that the proposed guidelines were written in close cooperation with homosexual rights activists, including the Boston-based organization GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.)

These individuals and organizations were given a line-by-line review of the proposed guidelines.

In drafting the guidelines, the commission relied on existing rules for transgendered students developed in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Moreover, the documents reveal that the commission felt that such rules, though presented in the form of guidelines, would have the force of law.

By far the most remarkable fact to come out of the documents is the lack of public consensus.

Educational associations in Maine immediately voiced their firm opposition to the proposed guidelines.

Objections were raised by The Maine Principals’ Association, the Maine School Management Association and a representative of the University of Maine at Orono.

DEMANDING THE IMPOSSIBLE

One troublesome point for the educators was that the new rules allow boys on girls’ sports teams, thus resulting in an unfair advantage. GLAD refused to concede this point, arguing that discrimination against transgendered individuals outweighs the issue of fairness in sports.

One representative of an educational association pointed out the guidelines were being developed behind closed doors, and go far beyond the scope of the Maine Human Rights Act on which they are purportedly based.

This same individual noted that Maine law required the commission to hold a public hearing on the matter, a step which the commission neither wanted nor even contemplated.

Clearly, there are good laws and bad. Some laws are ill-advised, such as the recent law legalizing same sex marriage in Maine. The education guidelines proposed by the Maine Human Rights Commission go one step further.

Buoyed by their recent successes in legalizing gay marriage, homosexual rights activists are now demanding the impossible.

They are demanding that schools treat biological males as female in all regards. This is an impossible absurdity. Private delusions regarding one’s own sexual identity cannot be accepted as public policy.

A TIME FOR SOUND LOGIC

Parents in Maine can easily see how this will put vulnerable young children in jeopardy. Once again, civil rights, which by their nature are difficult to define and susceptible to willful misapplication, are being used to undermine clearly defined, inalienable rights.

History teaches us that governmental interference with natural rights pertaining to religion or the family has invariably led to very dire conflict. The quartering of soldiers in the home was a spark which led to the unfortunate conflagration of the Revolutionary War.

Mercifully, the current decision of the Maine Human Rights Commission will lead to no such turmoil.

Yet the poorly thought out, pre-emptory decision of the Maine Human Rights Commission has the potential to disrupt social order just when America needs cool heads and sound logic to confront the many problems facing her.

Public authority ends at the line in the sand where parental rights begin. State government is now crossing that line, and the consequences are impossible to predict.