Rejecting Proposition 8 Doesn't Mean Teachers Would Have To Endorse Gay Marriage

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.].

As Karen Klein explains:

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.

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27 Responses to Rejecting Proposition 8 Doesn't Mean Teachers Would Have To Endorse Gay Marriage

  1. 1
    Jeff says:

    I have personal viewpoints on this issue that stem back to the idea that marriage is indeed a sacred bond between a man and a woman, and that because of distinct and wonderful differences between the two genders, we are meant to be together.

    I have a strong conviction that marriage is something that is ordained of God, and that it was designed to be between a man and a woman, specifically. I know this is my personal viewpoint and not everyone agrees with it, but there are other important reasons that men and women should be together, and that each gender contributes certain things to the other gender that are essential and that are designed to create balance and to create a positive influence on children as they raise them–not to mention the fact that those differences also create an environment for each individual in the relationship to flourish emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually–regardless of how religious of a person you are.

    There have been tons of studies done on the differences between men and women, and the contributions that a mother and a father, separately and individually, make on a child’s positive development. (this is something i know a little about) For example, studies have shown that girls who have a positive relationship with their father (specifically) have less emotional problems, less problems in school, tend to stay out of early sexual relationships (which can be very harmful to that child’s emotional and social development), have less problems with drugs and alcohol, and overall do much better in life. Fathers specifically teach a child how to deal with their emotions whether they explicitly teach them or not, its just an inherent thing they learn from their dads.

    The influenced of mothers is equally very important,and mothers contribute very important emotional bonds that can help a child to learn how to socially interact with those around them and how to form bonds with other people. Children who have a poor attachment to their mother, specifically, tend to have a harder time making positive attachments in their relationships, whether they be friendships or romantic interests.

    Therefore I support proposition 8.

  2. 2
    Mommy Lisa says:

    I just saw that Prop. 8 was on the ballot and am sorry I can’t be there to vote! being that I don’t even live in CA it would make it difficult. Fight on!

  3. 3
    Thene says:

    Jeff – you have made an argument about why all partnerships should include a man and a woman. The problem is, they don’t. Out in the real world, there are many same-sex couples, and a lot of those couples have children. Voting yes on Prop 8 will not change this; those couples won’t be breaking up and abandoning their kids, they’ll be staying together same as ever, but without the option of getting married.

    So please look beyond theory and into the real world before voting. Also, check the citations on any ‘studies’ you hear of that conclude that man-woman pairs are better parents than same-sex pairs: the psychological medical establishment will tell you that no such studies exist, so it’s likely someone is lying to you if they’re telling you that. The best way to check is to read those studies yourself before drawing any conclusions.

  4. 4
    PG says:

    Jeff,

    Should a heterosexual couple who doesn’t follow your set of gender stereotypes be allowed to marry? to raise children?

    And are the studies you’re citing reflecting the impact of having a mother and a father, or of having two parents?

  5. 5
    Phil says:

    The problem with such arguments: that “kids need both a mother and a father” is that they presuppose all males and females are the same.

    Or, rather, the argument contains the assertion that there is a quality that all men possess that no woman possesses, or that there is a quality that all women possess that no man possesses. Certainly, we’re aware that men have male genitalia and women have female genitalia (at least if we run with a phenotypic definition of sex and gender here). But are any of the anti-marriage-equality folks willing to say that what children need in their parents are penises and vaginas? Is that what Jeff is saying here?

    And if it’s not about the penis and the vagina, or the testicles, or whatever sex-specific physical traits there are, then what is it? If you’re going to claim that there’s a special quality that only women possess, then you should at least be able to identify it. The same can be said for the special male quality.

    I have yet to read a clear explanation of what that quality is.

  6. 6
    Maco says:

    Phil: The problem with such arguments: that “kids need both a mother and a father” is that they presuppose all males and females are the same.

    Or it presupposes that mothers and fathers are both responsible for being parents to their children. I’ve been observing many arguments about marriage for a long time. They all appear to have evolved out of a single difference of opinion.

    It’s not about gender or sexual orientation, it’s not about whether mixing and matching genders is harmful, it is about whether we are morally permitted to bring children into the world without accepting responsibility for them.

    Those that say we can not do this, that we are morally obligated to accept personal responsibility for our children, require the natural parents to be mother and father to that child, and any philosophy that has the effect of undermining that responsibility, regardless of intent, is automatically immoral.

    Those that say we are free to decline this responsibility are open to most any alternative, and any philosophy that has the effect of undermining the parent’s freedom to choose, regardless of intent, is automatically immoral.

    Each side’s perspective makes perfect sense if you agree with their position on the root question, and each side’s perspective is anathema if you don’t.

  7. 7
    Dianne says:

    Jeff: Numerous studies (and I will give you references if you are interested) have demonstrated that children of lesbians do just as well psychosocially as children of heterosexual couples. There is less evidence available for children raised by gay male couples but what there is nearly uniformly suggests that children of gay men do as well as children of straight couples by all measurable outcomes. So there is simply no evidence to support the idea that children are in any way worse off if they are raised by a gay or lesbian parent or parents than if they are raised by a straight parent or parents.

    Incidently, if marriage is sacred and ordained by god, who are you or I to say whose relationships god has blessed? Isn’t it putting a limit on god’s power and goodness to say that god may not bless and make sacred a relationship between two men or two women?

  8. 8
    Myca says:

    Maco, I think your analysis is wrong in a few different ways, but just to pick one, I believe that, “mothers and fathers are both responsible for being parents to their children,” and I believe in Same Sex Marriage.

    I fail to see how support for a legal situation that, in fact, codifies and documents the acceptance of certain responsibilities could reasonably be seen as an abdication of them.

    —Myca

  9. 9
    Maco says:

    Myca: I believe that, “mothers and fathers are both responsible for being parents to their children,” and I believe in Same Sex Marriage.

    I think we disagree on what “mothers and fathers are both responsible” means then.

    I fail to see how support for a legal situation that, in fact, codifies and documents the acceptance of certain responsibilities could reasonably be seen as an abdication of them.

    For any alternative to the natural parents to be explored, the natural parents must abdicate those responsibilities, or you have to admit we don’t have to accept them in the first place.

    I doubt I can add anything else before Monday. Good weekend Myca.

  10. 10
    Myca says:

    I think we disagree on what “mothers and fathers are both responsible” means then.

    That’s probably likely. I don’t believe that ‘source of sperm’ is the same thing as ‘father’, for example, and I find conservative attempts to define it thusly to be degrading to the institution of fatherhood.

    —Myca

  11. 11
    PG says:

    Out of curiosity, what qualifies as a “natural parent” these days? Is Elizabeth Edwards the “natural parent” to her youngest child? She’s not the genetic mother, after all.

  12. 12
    klandestine says:

    Howdy, Everyone I’m new here! Thanks for displaying/ reading the following.

    Dear Jeff:
    The major problem with the studies to which you allude is that they are based on a very narrow model, much like Freud developing all his theories from case studies on: himself (a closeted bisexual misogynist addict); rich white women; and those already presumed to have some psychopathology. They start out with an inescapably self-proving assumption by virtue of the subjects chosen. In the case of these studies, what proof do you have that the sampling is NOT overwhelmingly white -this is important because minority mothers never had the luxuryto develop a tradition of not working outside their home as affirming of their “femininity”- heterosexual, married couples in which both parents support the concept of male dominance?
    Of course a girl raised in that environment would come out “healthier” after having prolonged contact with and positive attention from the dominant member of her such a unit; ANYONE WOULD. In a hierarchy, affirmation from the source of power produces a positive emotional state in anyone who buys into the hierarchy, as children must and usually do. She is conditioned to respond to his power and position and how it relates to how the larger world responds to male power and position, not his maleness in and of itself.

    In fact, there is no way to quantify any supposedly health-inducing qualities in any of them, because of the tainted sampling. Did any of these “studies” include a sampling of adoptive families OR same sex parent families? How many non-White or non-Christian families? Were there any families AT ALL that were not in fact surrounded by the culture of the mainstream White Patriarchal society of Western “civilization”? Were any of these children raised gender-neutral? OF COURSE NOT. These studies are already tainted with the pre-supposition of what is “normal,” in WHO and HOW they choose to study, and are thereby corrupted by the unconscious expectations of the authors of the “research.” Studies like that render themselves invalid by failing to account for environment, something easily controlled in rats and monkeys (that’s what that attachment theory you referenced started with), but not in humans.

    Nevermind that the legal system has never asserted that the purpose of marriage is to have children, or else they would mandate childbearing and annul marriage privileges of those who fail to reproduce. That is to say that even in the ancient world, marriage was never solely about reproduction, but legal responsibilities and commitments. Even of you want to talk religious law, that whole argument falls apart and pretty quickly.

  13. 13
    klandestine says:

    Also:
    WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY EVER TALK ABOUT GAY KIDS’ RIGHTS TO HAVE HEALTHY ROMANTIC BEHAVIOUR MODELED IN FRONT OF THEM??? Isn’ that hard to do when homosexuals have NO relationship rights and are actively discouraged by the government and society from treating eachother with love, dignity, and respect???

    It is automatically assumed that the child’s “health and welfare” includes a heterosexual state. Anybody else see anything wrong with that?

  14. 14
    Maco says:

    PG: Out of curiosity, what qualifies as a “natural parent” these days? Is Elizabeth Edwards the “natural parent” to her youngest child? She’s not the genetic mother, after all.

    For the purposes of this conversation I was using the term “natural parent” to distinguish birth parents from other kinds of parents. By that definition Ms. Edwards is not the natural parent.

  15. 15
    PG says:

    But Mrs. Edwards IS the birth parent of her child. She just didn’t supply the egg because, well, she was old and pretty much out of the good ones, but her body still was OK for delivering the baby. So they got another woman’s egg, mixed it with Mr. Edwards’s sperm, and stuck the embryos into Mrs. Edwards. This is a pretty common phenomenon — much more so than surrogacy.

  16. 16
    Myca says:

    WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY EVER TALK ABOUT GAY KIDS’ RIGHTS TO HAVE HEALTHY ROMANTIC BEHAVIOUR MODELED IN FRONT OF THEM???Isn’ that hard to do when homosexuals have NO relationship rights and are actively discouraged by the government and society from treating eachother with love, dignity, and respect???

    It is automatically assumed that the child’s “health and welfare” includes a heterosexual state. Anybody else see anything wrong with that?

    Absolutely, Klandestine. My favorite quote from the story about the student field trip to the same-sex wedding in SF:

    “She’s a really nice teacher. She’s the best,” said 6-year-old Chava Novogrodsky-Godt, wearing a “No on 8″ button on her shirt. “I want her to have a good wedding.”

    Chava’s mothers said they are getting married in two weeks.

    Ah-ha! In other words, here’s a kid who’s being taught that her family is normal! She’s 6, so I doubt her sexual preference is really solidified yet, but if it were 10 years later, she might be getting taught that she is normal!

    When people say that they oppose the ‘mainstreaming’ of Same Sex Marriage, what they really mean is that Chava should have been taught to be ashamed of her mothers.

    —Myca

  17. 17
    Maco says:

    Then the Edwards have expanded their responsibility to include a child that is not entirely theirs, in the genetic sense. They have not denied responsibility for any child that is theirs.

  18. 18
    Myca says:

    Then the Edwards have expanded their responsibility to include a child that is not entirely theirs, in the genetic sense. They have not denied responsibility for any child that is theirs.

    Sure, but it does raise the question of who the child’s ‘natural parents’ are. Are they John Edwards and an egg donor he’s never met?

    Those that say we can not do this, that we are morally obligated to accept personal responsibility for our children, require the natural parents to be mother and father to that child, and any philosophy that has the effect of undermining that responsibility, regardless of intent, is automatically immoral.

    So, then, Maco, would you say that these people believe that:

    1) Parents shouldn’t be able to give kids up for adoption?
    2) Surrogacy should be illegal?
    3) Artificial insemination should be illegal?
    4) Egg donation should be illegal?

    I ask because I’m unaware of any significant political opposition to any of these issues. I think it’s more likely that the people who make these arguments about ‘natural parents’ do so because it’s a convenient beard for their anti-gay prejudice.

    —Myca

  19. 19
    PG says:

    So the egg donor, by making it possible for Mrs. Edwards to bear another child after one of her older children died, has denied responsibility for a child that is the donor’s?

    Huh. And they make egg donation sound like such a good thing to do.

    Incidentally, Palin came out in favor of an amendment to the federal constitution that would ban any state’s recognizing same-sex relationships. Even if the majority of voters in the state wanted to permit SSM — heck, even if they amended their state constitution to permit SSM — Palin wants to block their ability to do that.

    Just in case you thought that her alleged lesbian friend had some influence over her…

  20. 20
    Maco says:

    Myca: Sure, but it does raise the question of who the child’s ‘natural parents’ are. Are they John Edwards and an egg donor he’s never met?

    I don’t have any questions about it. John and Elizabeth are doing exactly what they would be doing if the child were entirely theirs, no one had to deny a child to do it. The medical sleight of hand is irrelevent.

    Myca: So, then, Maco, would you say that these people believe that:

    1) Parents shouldn’t be able to give kids up for adoption?
    2) Surrogacy should be illegal?
    3) Artificial insemination should be illegal?
    4) Egg donation should be illegal?

    I ask because I’m unaware of any significant political opposition to any of these issues.

    If they are used to save a someone from a desperate situation or overcome a medical barrier preventing conception, these are reinforcements of our right to a safe and stable family, but if they are used to bypass or excuse parent’s from their customary roles they represent a denial of our right to a family.

  21. 21
    Maco says:

    PG: So the egg donor, by making it possible for Mrs. Edwards to bear another child after one of her older children died, has denied responsibility for a child that is the donor’s?

    She gave up an egg to give a woman who cannot conceive a child. That’s not the same as giving up a child.

    Huh. And they make egg donation sound like such a good thing to do.

    Indeed it is.

  22. 22
    Myca says:

    If they are used to save a someone from a desperate situation or overcome a medical barrier preventing conception, these are reinforcements of our right to a safe and stable family,

    Ah, okay, so same sex marriage and adoption would be okay, then, in the same sense that opposite sex marriage and adoption are okay.

    but if they are used to bypass or excuse parent’s from their customary roles they represent a denial of our right to a family.

    Excellent. I’m not sure why you think it’s an issue, then. Same sex marriage and adoption doesn’t bypass or excuse any parent from their customary role.

    If the position, though, is that all 4 of those are permissible for a straight couple, but none of the 4 are permissible for a gay or lesbian couple … well, then, that’s just hateful homophobia. Like I said, a convenient beard for anti-gay prejudice.

    —Myca

  23. 23
    klandestine says:

    Myca:
    Huh-huh. You said beard.Huh-huh.:)
    Ashamed of her mothers exactly.
    Nobody responded to the extensive arguments I put forth. Any argument concering reproductive rights (even whem framed as resopnsiblities)is a complete logical fallacy. The two have nothing to do with each other.
    Speaking of the FDMA, Prop 8 is a complete subversion of the US Constitution, as long as marriage has ANY FEDERAL PRIVILEGES AT ALL. It is a matter of civil rights, plain and simple. If you want to talk about a threat to families, why doesn’t anyone mention that people on wefare get bettersubsistence when they’re single parents- they actually lose benefits when they get married and gain them when they get divorced. WTF??? That is more of a threat to marriage and families than “people you don’t know” getting married to each other and never coming to your house. If it weren’t for the fact that nobody’s race could get wiped out by “those people” getting together and having kids, I would think it was the good old miscigenationargument. Or do they really think that gayness spreads that way????}:* I think the chauvinists just want o to keep gays ghettoized is really what’s going on.

  24. 24
    Gary Blackburn says:

    Yes, it’w surprising that the individuals you quote do not understand the law. Perhaps the best source is the law itself. Section 51890 of the California Education Code reads:

    “(2) To the maximum extent possible, the instruction in health is structured to provide comprehensive education in health that includes all the subjects in paragraph (1).”

    That’s right, items mentions in paragraph (1) are to be taught to the “maximum extent possible.” So what’s in paragraph 1? It includes:

    “(D) Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.”

  25. 25
    PG says:

    Yes, and as quoted above:
    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.]

    Try again.

  26. 26
    Maco says:

    Myca: Ah, okay, so same sex marriage and adoption would be okay, then, in the same sense that opposite sex marriage and adoption are okay.</em

    That’s a common interpretation. But same sex couples not overcoming a medical barrier, they are denying kinship.

    Myca: Excellent. I’m not sure why you think it’s an issue, then. Same sex marriage and adoption doesn’t bypass or excuse any parent from their customary role.

    Except for the parents that are bypassed or excused from their customary roles. Mom doesn’t want dad, so he’s out. If later, Mom 1 doesn’t want Mom 2 anymore, she’s out. If she decides she doesn’t want you, you’re out. Am I wrong about this?

    Myca: If the position, though, is that all 4 of those are permissible for a straight couple, but none of the 4 are permissible for a gay or lesbian couple … well, then, that’s just hateful homophobia. Like I said, a convenient beard for anti-gay prejudice.

    Or it is an affirmation that the unchanging bloodline is the basis of the family, not our tastes and desires, which change all the time. The OS model was never a gambit to deny homosexuals anything. The model mimics the natural genetic links that connect every one of us to thousands of people across centuries of history. It’s not hetero it’s genetic

    Genetically, we can’t bedenied a family Myca. I can be a man or a woman, I can be old or young, I can be gay or straight, I can be a trans, I can be a gay trans. At this very moment if I transformed into another gender or changed sexual orientation or lost my memory, I am still what I am: brother, son, husband and father.

    Yet, if I thought this was denying homosexuals meaningful relationships, I might relent. It doesn’t. My place as husband and father is my security of a family, but if my wife has a need to explore a homosexual relationship during our marriage, she can. She just cannot replace me with her. If you want an easy analogy, think of the difference between us adopting a child, and replacing one of our children with an adopted child.

    Did you mean ‘board’ as in ‘springboard’? Or did you actually mean beard?

  27. 27
    PG says:

    Maco,

    Except for the parents that are bypassed or excused from their customary roles. Mom doesn’t want dad, so he’s out. If later, Mom 1 doesn’t want Mom 2 anymore, she’s out. If she decides she doesn’t want you, you’re out. Am I wrong about this?

    You seem to have an rather narrow, limited idea of how homosexuals form families. It’s really not as different from heteros as you may think. If Mom doesn’t want Dad, and he’s out, they get divorced and probably split custody with one having primary physical custody for where the child lives during the week. This “you’re out” rhetoric betrays a poor understanding of how children are treated in divorce in the 21st century United States.

    If later, Mom doesn’t want Mom 2 OR Dad 2 (see, it doesn’t matter if Mom goes for boys or girls — gender is irrelevant), then if the stepparent hasn’t adopted the child, 2 has no custodial claim.

    As you can see, there is no difference between heteros and homos in this. There’s is nothing peculiar to failed hetero marriages that makes them different from failed homo marriages. If you can point out something in law that distinguishes between men and women with regard to their duties as spouses or parents, I’d love to hear it. Your place as husband and father is legally indistinguishable from your spouse’s place as wife and mother — only the labels are different, and in many statutes, those gendered labels have been replaced with the gender-neutral “spouse” and “parent.”

    I’m still bewildered by the idea that an egg donor represents the “unchanging bloodline that is the basis of the family” for the Edwards’ youngest child. That child’s parents are John and Elizabeth Edwards, the parents who love him, have raised him and have custody of him. Families aren’t a matter of genetics — I hate to break it to you, but long before there were baby-daddy DNA tests, men raised children who weren’t genetically their own.

    What matters in family are the commitments made among the members. Two unrelated adults who make a lifelong commitment to one another are spouses; if they then make a commitment to support a child to the age of 18, they are parents. If a woman sells/ donates her eggs or a man his sperm, they’re not committing to any children that may result; they’re simply enabling a couple (hetero or homo) who wants to go through pregnancy and have a baby to do so. Never having made a commitment by word or deed, the donors are not somehow escaping a responsibility that ought to be theirs.

    This idea that same-sex marriage interrupts some kind of unchanging verities of life is absurd, because childrearing never has been irrevocably wed to genetic parenthood. The advances in assisted reproduction pioneered by opposite-sex couples have made the separation of genetics and childrearing publicly acknowledged instead of hidden. But now that same-sex parents wish to enjoy the same ability to form a family and have their commitments recognized by the state that opposite-couples have had, suddenly any family that isn’t made up of a man, a woman and the children composed of their sperm and ova and baked by the woman has somehow fallen short of the proper meaning of family.

    I have a feeling that everyone from the Edwardses to Dan Savage, his partner Terry and the boy they have raised in an open adoption, would say that someone with such a narrow, constricted idea of what can be a family is the one who doesn’t understand what the word means.