According to Lindsay:
if prop 8 fails:
1. public school teachers will be required to teach that same-sex marriage is normal and acceptable. parents will be denied the option to opt-out their children from this discussion. this has already happened in massachusetts.
Lindsay isn’t alone in believing this — it’s one of the primary arguments made by those who favor Prop. 8. From protectmarraige.com:
For example, because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners.
This just isn’t true.
Don’t take my word for it — take the word of California’s superintendent of schools:
Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for California’s superintendent of schools, Jack O’Connell, said the ad’s claims are false.
“There’s nothing in the Education Code that requires schools to teach about marriage,” McLean said. In schools that do provide instruction about marriage, locally elected school boards determine the content, she said.
Think the superintendent of schools doesn’t know the law? Well, then, how about Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley, who as part of a lawsuit examined this issue:
Judge Frawley further rejected the assertion that marriage by same sex couples would be required in the California school curriculum, saying, “…children cannot be required to attend any health-related instruction, including instruction on the subject of marriage, against their parents’ will [Cal. Ed. Code §51240.].
According to curriculum experts with the state Department of Education, Section 51890 of the Education Code — the section cited by the Proposition 9 camp because it calls for teaching children about the legal and financial responsibilities of marriage — is not a requirement for schools. It’s an expected part of instruction for school districts that want a state-funded health curriculum.
Things fall apart more when you get to the kindergarten thing. There is nothing in the Education Code about the age at which children should learn about marriage. The grades at which students should be taught certain subjects is contained on the content standards, and the standards for health education don’t mention marriage until high school, at which point students are supposed to learn about the differences between just-plain dating, committed relationships and marriage. The curriculum standards, by the way, aren’t mandated either. They are, as the Pirates of the Caribbean put it, more sort of guidelines.
I imagine that as part of this, high schoolers might indeed learn that same-sex marriage is legal in the state of California. And, call me crazy, but I think they can handle it.
This is how they’ll take marriage away from same-sex couples, and from the children being raised by same-sex couples; they’ll lie. They’ll say “protect the children.” But the children being endangered in this fight are those who would benefit from having married parents, but whose parents will be legally forbidden from marrying — or whose already-existing marriages might be forcibly annulled — if proposition 8 passes.
Please visit No on 8, and if you can, donate some money.