Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R)

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R)

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is being attacked by anti-gay groups as being too gay-friendly.

Greg Kabel

CCSSI is an educational initiative that spells out what K-12 students should know in mathematics and language arts at the end of each grade.

According to the CCSSI website the initiative aims to provide “clear and consistent learning goals to help prepare students for college, career, and life.”

A group of Florida lawmakers disagree with CCSSI’s definition of its purpose. At an anti-CCSSI event in March, Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R) spoke against Common Core, claiming it promotes the LGBT Agenda and that it will turn our children gay.

At the event, Zant said in a video posted by ThinkProgress that CCSSI “will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

Others have also spoken against the CCSSI including Alabama Tea Party leader Terry Batton who called the test “a Trojan horse at the gate of our educational system.”

The extreme negative responses address the American Institutes for Research, a behavior and social science research and evaluation organization, according to the Washington Post. According to the article, the AIR recently won a new six-year $220 million contract from the Florida Education Department to create a new standardize test that would be aligned with the new Florida Standard.

The organization has listed on its website a program called LGBTQI2-S Learning Community which provides an “opportunity for individuals and organizations in the behavioral health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and education systems to learn about strategies for delivering services that can enhance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, or two-spirit (LGBTQI2-S) youth and their families.”

According to the website, the program provides web-based resources, presentations, webinars and networking opportunities for professionals, youth and other allies.

Zant, along with other opponents, views these resources as a threat.

“They are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in LGBT agenda,” Zant said. He apologized at the end of the speech for having to be the bearer of the bad news.

SAVE, an organization, which promotes, protects and defends equality for people who are LGBT, responded to the comments, stating that the comments “are ignorant at best and hateful at worst.

“Such an important policy like the plan to update the Florida’s standardized testing program should be debated on its merits — and using the LGBT community to distract from the real issues will certainly fail,” SAVE stated in a press release.

The controversial statements continue to spark debate.