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Tolerance vs. complete acceptance

A LETTER from a Lexington resident (June 21) asks why discussion in our public schools of a family headed by a same-sex couple could be cause for concern. The answer is that a slippery slope may well be involved if the focus shifts to the loving relationship of the two parents.

The great majority of us agree that gay-oriented folks have a right to tolerance, full acceptance, and respect from the other 96 percent of the population. But do they also have the right to expect full public endorsement of gay orientation as a ''just as good" alternative? And, above all, do we want our public school teachers to convey this ''just as good" perspective to the young and impressionable kids in their charge?

Encounter groups fostering tolerance and respect toward gays are already meeting in our public schools. Well, are we comfortable with the likely possibility that teachers may slide into supporting the ''just as good" perspective while supervising such encounter groups?

I feel that we voters and our elected representatives need to address this ''slippery slope" question before the next school year begins. In particular, I hope that all of us will support each teacher's' right not to endorse or promote the ''just as good" perspective, even if gay marriage is permitted in the Commonwealth.

JOHN FOUNTAIN, Needham

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