STRASBOURG, France — Alliance Defense
Fund attorneys are representing two German parents in an appeal to the European
Court of Human Rights filed Thursday.
The two parents were convicted under German law when they chose to
educate their child at home on the subject of sexuality rather than allow her to
participate in a four-day “sexual education” course and related stage production
at her school, both of which taught views of sexuality in conflict with the
family’s Christian faith. ADF attorneys are already representing two other
parents who were also convicted in the same way.
the government, are the ones ultimately responsible for making educational
choices for their children,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “These parents were well within their
rights under the European Convention of Human Rights to opt to teach their
children a view of sexuality that is in accord with their own religious beliefs
instead of sending them to a class and stageplay they found objectionable. These types of cases are crucial battles
in the effort to keep bad decisions overseas from being relied upon by activists
who attack parental rights in America.”
The parents, Willi and Anna
Dojan, and their eight children are active in the Christian Evangelical Baptist
Church. The Dojans were concerned
about allowing their 11-year-old daughter Lilli to attend four school days of
“sexual education” and a mandatory, interactive stage play titled, “Mein Körper gehört mir” (“My Body Is Mine”) in February
2007. They regarded the play and
lessons as morally harmful.
The parents, being convinced that they were
within their legal and moral rights to protect their daughter, removed her from
the offending play and accompanying lessons, instead opting to educate her
according to their own views on sexuality during those days. They did not withdraw their daughter from
any other school programs or classes.
The parents believe that the play and lessons were not only opposed to
their faith, but also obliterated their rights under Protocol 1, Article 2 of
the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Dojans argued to a German court that no scientific proof existed
that the programs prevented child abuse (the play’s stated purpose) but, to the
contrary, taught the children to become sexually active by ultimately teaching
the principle that if something feels good sexually, then it is acceptable to do
it. The court nonetheless convicted
and fined the Dojans in May 2008.
subsequent appeals were rejected, resulting in the appeal to the European Court
of Human Rights filed Thursday. The
application objects to the punitive measures applied by the German court in
convicting the applicants and seeks to establish that such opt-outs of “sexual
education” programs are in line with ECHR Protocol 1, Article 2.
- Application of appeal filed with the European Court
of Human Rights in Dojan v. Federal
Republic of Germany
Application of appeal filed with the European Court of Human Rights in Elscheidt v. Federal Republic of Germany
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations. This media release was originally issued on May 19, 2009.