David & Tonia Parker
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David and Tonia Parker became involved in controversy in 2005, a year after moving to Lexington, MA, when their son came home from kindergarten with a “diversity book bag” that included “Who’s In A Family?” Among the many families represented in the book was one showing an innocent illustration of a family headed by two moms. In the picture, they are joined by their two children washing the family dog. David and Tonia Parker, along with the Wirthlins, filed a lawsuit in federal court to try and stop the school from distributing the book, arguing that their religious values should control the curriculum. The federal courts rejected that argument and the case ended in 2008.
According to Lexington School Superintendent Paul Ash, there was never any intention by the Parkers or the Wirthlins to settle their differences with educators. “At the attempt to mediate prior to the case, it was abundantly clear that the Wirthlins and the Parkers had no intention of coming to a compromise, that they wanted a public fight. I only saw political campaigns and religious vigils. I never saw any evidence, not even a hint, that there was any intention on the part of these families to work out an agreement.”
David Parker continued to play a prominent, public role in Massachusetts marriage battles, appearing on cable news shows and traveling to Maine to testify against legislation that allowed same-sex marriage. NOM was the single biggest contributor to the subsequent ballot measure fight over the new state law in 2009.
Parker has a long association with Brian Camenker’s group MassResistance, which has been officially listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Parker has testified side-by-side with Camenker before the Massachusetts Legislature, MassResistance sponsored a rally built around Parker’s dispute in Lexington, and Parker made a number of appearances on the now defunct MassResistance radio show.
David and Tonia Parker continue to live in Lexington but currently home school their children. They founded United Parents of America, a nonprofit organization, dedicated to parents’ rights.