Queens Democratic candidate wants to erase same-sex couples from school textbooks

This article originally appeared in the NY Daily News, and was written by Kenneth Lovett.


Jung Wants to Re-Write History by Removing Gay Couples from Textbooks

A Democrat waging a primary campaign in Queens vowed to fight to bar pictures of same-sex couples from appearing in school textbooks.

S.J. Jung, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky in the Sept. 13 primary, made the remarks in March to a group made up primarily of Korean churches.

At the same meeting, Jung, according to a report in Korean that was translated into English, spoke of other bills that have been difficult for the religious community and asked for prayers “so I can get elected to the New York State Senate to stop this from happening.”

“I pray Jesus Christ’s love to spread and his message speak through this election and your prayer of faith to make me become a warrior clad in armor,” he told the groups, according to the translation of his remarks.

In a statement to the Daily News late last week Jung did not deny raising the issue of seeking to keep pictures of gay couples out of textbooks.

He told the News he opposes gay marriage, which puts him at odds with many in his own Democratic party.

Calling it a “matter of distinction, not a matter of discrimination,” Jung said he believes “in the Bible’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

He also said he spoke at the March 28 meeting of the dangers faced by groups who are not in agreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding gay people’s rights to marry.

As for citing legislation that would ban same-sex couples from being pictured in textbooks, Jung said he was not referring to a specific bill in New York, but to “a general trend in the nation.”

“As a nation we must protect the rights and freedoms of all, regardless of their views on this matter,” he said.

His comments from March and last week were quickly criticized by those in the Queens gay community.

Councilman Daniel Dromm, chairman of the education committee and one of the first openly gay public officials in Queens, called it “hard to believe that someone from New York State, especially someone from Queens would continue to hold those views in this day and age.”

“He is ignoring reality; same sex couples exist,” Dromm said. “Children see them. They know about them. They should be taught about them. What is he going to do, continue to deny reality? We’re everywhere.”

Stavisky, who previously defeated Jung in the 2014 Democratic primary, voted to legalize gay marriage in New York. Her campaign had no comment on Jung’s remarks.