Prop 8 Is About the Kids

Politics — By on November 4, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Californians, today you are being asked to vote on one of the most critical pieces of legislation that we have yet seen. I have given an extensive argument for why I believe it is moral and just to support proposition 8. The argument by those opposing proposition 8 is that it is wrong and unfair. They say that Proposition 8 has nothing to do with what goes on in your family or my family and everything to do with affirming love. However, the education that your children receive in schools directly impacts your family. That opponents of proposition 8 deny this aspect of proposition 8 reveals a stunning lack of integrity on their part. Consider the evidence:
Proposition 8: Who’s Really Lying?
Public Records Show Proposition 8 Opponents Want Gay Marriage To Be Taught In Public Schools – ‘The earlier the better.’
The top issue that has emerged in the Proposition 8 campaign is whether same-sex marriage will be taught in California public schools if the initiative is not enacted. Opponents of Proposition 8 are spending millions of dollars on television commercials telling voters that the Yes on 8 campaign’s claim that gay marriage will be taught in public schools is a lie. Yet a review of public records filed with the First District Court of Appeal in Boston shows these same organizations who claim our statement is a lie fought to make it true in Massachusetts. Specifically, they fought to ensure that gay marriage be taught in Massachusetts public schools, even over the objection of parents who sought an “opt out” for their children. Gay marriage was legalized by Massachusetts courts in 2003.


Further, their assurance that parents can always “opt-out” of such instruction when it is taught is belied by the fact that in Massachusetts, they argued successfully that Massachusetts’ parental opt-out provision should not be permitted.
“These damning public records show that it is in fact the organizations leading and financing the No on 8 campaign who are lying to California voters,” said Yes on 8 campaign manager Frank Schubert. “On one coast of the country they tell judges that gay marriage should be taught to children in school at the youngest possible age. But, on the opposite coast, here in California, they have the audacity to tell voters that gay marriage has nothing to do with public schools.”
Lying…who’s really lying?
The Yes on 8 campaign has been airing television and radio commercials factually presenting what happened in Massachusetts where second graders were taught in class about gay marriage using the book, “King and King.” This book is about a prince who married another prince, and includes an illustrated scene of the two men kissing. In response, the No on 8 campaign has purchased at least $1.25 million in television time to run an ad that says, “They’re using lies to persuade you…[Prop. 8] will not affect teaching in schools. Another lie.” (Source: No on Prop. 8 Ad available at www.noonprop8.com)
In the greatest irony, of course, just two days after the No on 8 “Lies” television commercial began airing, a first grade public school class in San Francisco was taken on a field trip to a lesbian wedding at City Hall, officiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom. School officials said they wished to provide their five and six year old students a “teachable moment.”
It should also be noted that the day after the first Yes on 8 ads began running, the Los Angeles Times reported that “Newsom called the (Yes on 8) ad ‘classic distraction’ and misleading.” Ten days later, he officiated at the above-mentioned and now infamous field trip.
“Not only do the organizations leading the No on 8 campaign want gay marriage, under the guise of ‘diversity,’ taught in public schools, they believe it is important to teach it at the earliest possible age,” Schubert said. Massachusetts begins its “diversity education” to five year old children in kindergarten.
According to legal records on file with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts in the case Parker v. Hurley (514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir.2008)), some of the very organizations who are funding and driving the No on 8 campaign have argued vociferously that gay marriage should be taught in the public schools under the guise of “diversity,” and any attempt to prohibit such instruction – or to permit parents to opt their children out of it – must be stopped.
The following are statements filed in amicus curiae briefs in Parker v. Hurley. The statements show how organizations leading the No on 8 campaign are lying to California voters when they say gay marriage will not be taught in California public schools.

From the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Amicus Curiae Brief:

“In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the right of same-sex couples to marry is protected under the state constitution, it is particularly important to teach children about families with gay parents.” [p 5]
“Diversity education is most effective when it begins during the students’ formative years. The earlier diversity education occurs, the more likely it is that students will be able to educate their peers, thereby compounding the benefits of this instruction.” [p 3]
(Note: The ADL is a leading member of the No on 8 campaign, and publicly announced they had joined the campaign opposing Proposition 8 on September 9, 2008.)

From the Human Rights Campaign Amicus Curiae Brief:

“There is no constitutional principle grounded in either the First Amendment’s free exercise clause or the right to direct the upbringing of one’s children, which requires defendants to either remove the books now in issue – or to treat them as suspect by imposing an opt-out system.” [pp1-2]
“In short, there can be no serious dispute that the books in issue are both age-appropriate and reflect the growing diversity of American families.” [p 9]
“Lexington’s selection of the [three] books…for inclusion in its curriculum is firmly rooted in the long-recognized tradition of public schools as a place for disseminating the knowledge and information that helps to foster understanding between diverse groups and individuals for the overall benefit of society.” [p 13]
(Note: The Human Rights Campaign has organized one of the largest recipient committees to oppose Proposition 8. The committee, Human Rights Campaign CA Marriage PAC (ID# 1307246) has received more than $2.2 million in contributions (as of 10/8/08), including over $100,000 from the Human Rights Campaign itself in non-monetary contributions. The committee has funneled over $2 million of its funds to No on 8, Equality for All (ID# 1259396), the main No on Proposition 8 campaign committee.)
From the ACLU Amicus Curiae Brief:
“Specifically, the parents in this case do not have a constitutional right to override the professional pedagogical judgment of the school with respect to the inclusion within the curriculum of the age-appropriate children’s book…King and King.” [p 9]
“This court has astutely recognized that a broad right of a parent to opt a child out of a lesson would fatally compromise the ability of a school to provide a meaningful education, a conclusion that holds true regardless of the age of the child or the nature of the belief.” [p 18]
“First, a broad right of a parent to opt a child out of a lesson would subject a school to a staggering administrative burden…Second, in contravention of the axiom that ‘the classroom is peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas” [citations], a broad right of a parent to opt a child out of a lesson would chill discussion in the classroom…Third, the coming and goings of those children who have been opted out of lessons would be highly disruptive to the learning environment. Moreover, such comings and goings would fatally undermine the lessons that schools teach the other students.” [pp 22-23]
(Note: The Northern California Chapter of the ACLU has also formed a Proposition 8 opposition committee: No on Prop 8, Campaign for Marriage Equality, a project of the ACLU of Northern California (ID# 1308178). This committee has collected $1.6 million in contributions (as of 10/8/08), including more than $70,000 from the ACLU of northern California, as well as $8,000 from the ACLU Foundation. This committee has contributed $1,250,000 to No on 8, Equality for All (ID# 1259396), the main No on Proposition 8 campaign committee.)
These are the facts. This is the truth about the calculated efforts to deliver gay marriage into our public school classrooms, against the wishes of the people of our state. Voters may differ about how they feel about gay marriage, but there is no disputing that the organizations funding and leading the No on Proposition 8 campaign have already revealed, in their own words, their desire to impose this subject on children in the public schools – ‘whether you like it or not.’
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Kindergarteners Forced to Sign Gay Pledge Cards
Isn’t this the Obama plan?
This image shows one of the pledge cards signed by a kindergarten student. (FOX News)
glsen card.bmp
Is a kid in kindergarten really ready for this?
What’s wrong with, “Be nice to people?”
A California school forced kindergarteners to sign a gay pledge card.
FOX News reported:
A California school system refuses to say what action, if any, it will take after it received complaints about a kindergarten teacher who encouraged her students to sign “pledge cards” in support of gays.
During a celebration of National Ally Week, Tara Miller, a teacher at the Faith Ringgold School of Arts and Science in Hayward, Calif., passed out cards produced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to her class of kindergartners.
The cards asked signers to be “an ally” and to pledge to “not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts.”
The school has acknowledged that the exercise was not appropriate for kindergartners.
How will voting no on proposition 8 impact you and your family? Perhaps you ought to ask yourself, how it will not.


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  • RIchie

    Forgive me if I’m being stupid, but can someone please tell me what the big deal is if children are taught gay people exist, please?
    It won’t make them become gay. It’s not a career path you choose. Why are (some) people so paranoid about keeping their children wrapped in a bubble of total ignorance that gay people exist?

  • ex-preacher

    There you again, Dustin. The motive of those who oppose Prop. 8 is utterly unrelated to whether or not Prop. 8 should pass. What if I told you that many of those who funded the “yes” side actually want everyone to become Mormon. Would that influence your opinion? It shouldn’t.
    You also are guilty again of saying that people shouldn’t support issue “A” because it might lead to issue “B.” Your slippery slope argument is absurd because the issue of what is taught in public schools is not on the ballot. Some teachers or schools will teach pro-homosexual marriage while others will teach against it regardless of whether Prop. 8 passes or not. These are two separate issues. It is very telling that you can’t argue against the justice of gay marriage itself. Instead you must try to frighten people with what their chldren might be taught. You are guilty of fear-mongering.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Public Records Show Proposition 8 Opponents Want Gay Marriage To Be Taught In Public Schools – ‘The earlier the better.’
    Pretty stupid. You may have a point here if this was an election but when you vote on a Proposition you are voting on the Proposition, not what it’s opponents or supporters want. Supporters may want gays packed into camps and exterminated, that doesn’t make a yes vote on 8 the legalization of gay genocide.
    Needless to say, what, if anything, public schools say about gays in California is independent of Prop 8. There would be nothing stopping public schools from having ‘pro-gay’ events if Prop 8 passes and since Califonia has civil unions the same ‘field trip’ you object too could still take place.
    Dusty, is this the massive post you were planning on gay marriage? This is your effort to communicate better? I know you must have been following the debate about this on the comments page because you sure haven’t been writing posts. Do you actually care about this blog or is this going to just be recycling ground for failed press releases?

  • Godbot

    Supporters of Prop 8 are a fear filled group who do not oppose “Gay Whatever.” They oppose “Gay” itself. They seem to believe that if gays are allowed to be gay, that gays will then try to make everyone else gay too. In short, they seem to think that there is a “Gay Committee” somewhere gayfully carrying out a “Gay Agenda” designed to place gays in the schools to “teach” gay marriage and other gay things. Whats even worse, they actually seem to think that they themselves can be turned gay! (I know quite a few of “them” myself, and while a few have asked me if I am gay, not one – ever – has tried to make me gay, nor could they if they were to try – and they haven’t!) Which means, I think, that Prop 8′s supporters are the ones hiding something – (1) they are the group with the “Agenda,” and (2)they just might be gay!
    Many of Dustin’s cited data over the last couple of posts are questionable AT BEST, and most are obviously and unashamedly biased. He picks and chooses only the TINY pieces of data that support his a priori position and ignores ANYTHING that might allow him to have a more nuanced and HONEST opinion. Not to mention his logic fails at every turn. (Paraphasing:)”The opposite of homosexuality is holiness.” Are you serious? “The core of marriage is heterosexuality.” Really? “Only 17% of hetero marriages end in divorce due to infidelity.” You’re kidding! “The purpose of passing Prop 8 is to ‘teach gay marriage.’” Say what?
    Why don’t you just get it over with and admit that your position is based on (1) FEAR, (2)questions concerning your own sexuality, and (3) a few relatively minor passages in the Bible?
    If Jesus were in his grave, he’d be rollin’ in it. Thank the Lord he is risen and lovin’ us all!

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    ex-preacher,
    It isn’t a slippery slope argument to say that something that is already happening in another state will also happen here, especially when the same groups with the same agendas are involved. And I’m curious to know how you would define “fear-mongering” (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that you aren’t just throwing out vague polemics to avoid responding to the actual points being made). After all, if there is good reason to think B will in fact follow A, it wouldn’t be fear-mongering to point that out. Further, Dustin has attacked the “justice” of gay marriage itself. He did so in the previous post. Just because you don’t buy his argument doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made one.
    Boonton,
    There would be something stopping schools from teaching that gay marriage is natural and acceptable in the same way as traditional marriage if prop 8 passed. Public schools would be free to teach about gay people and civil unions and the teacher would be free to tell the students her personal opinion, but a difference would have to be acknowledged and there would be no risk of parents being punished for wanting to “opt out” of field trips to civil unions.
    The point you all seem to be missing is that Dustin is NOT making the following argument:
    If Prop 8 does not pass, then the gay agenda will be forced on us at all levels of society, especially in education.
    What he IS saying is that the gay agenda is ALREADY being pushed on the American public, and that voting for Prop 8 will safeguard Californians against the kinds of things currently happening in Massachusetts. Whether you agree with gay marriage or not, then, the basic logic of this argument is solid.

  • Godbot

    What exactly is this “gay agenda” that “they” are supposedly pushing on the rest of us?
    “There would be something [?] stopping schools from teaching that gay marriage is natural and acceptable in the same way as traditional marriage if prop 8 passed”
    What exactly is “natural” about marriage, gay or straight? Promiscuity and infidelity seems to be the rule in the “natural” world. What exactly is “different” about gay marriage as opposed to straight? I mean, except for the sex? Why should the sexual lives of consenting adults (assuming this is the only group being allowed to marry in the first place) in marriage be any of my/your business?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    There would be something stopping schools from teaching that gay marriage is natural and acceptable in the same way as traditional marriage if prop 8 passed. Public schools would be free to teach about gay people and civil unions and the teacher would be free to tell the students her personal opinion, but a difference would have to be acknowledged and there would be no risk of parents being punished for wanting to “opt out” of field trips to civil unions.
    Do public schools teach that Brittany Spears’s first marriage….the one that can at the end of a drunken night in Las Vegas and was annulled a few days later, was ‘natural and acceptable’? After all it wasn’t illegal and to my knowledge no evangelical group has come out for any type of laws to limit such dubious marriages.
    We already covered the ‘field trip’. No teacher should do a ‘field trip’ to her own wedding. Whether or not the marriage complies with state laws, attending a wedding is a personal affair & it crosses the boundaries. That being said, we also covered the fact that the field trip was done at a charter school, charter schools as you know operate outside of the rules of the general public school system (on the idea that they can innovate more freely) and are generally supported by conservatives. In short, you have a small argument for keeping the public schools in their proper place but a really pathetic argument for banning gay marriage.

  • ex-preacher

    Thanks, Boonton, for pointing out that Dustin’s post is not something he wrote but a press release from some other group.
    Dustin, did they explain plagiarism to you in school? I define it for my students as the uncredited use of someone else’s words or ideas. I tell them that, as a rule of thumb, three or more words from another author that you present as your own constitute plagiarism. Would you mind giving us the source for your post?

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick

    -Overheard on a California school playground this morning…
    “Guess what Mommy, I found out that a Prince can still marry a Prince in MA, Canada, and of course Denmark and the Netherlands, where they actually have royalty.”
    “And Mommy? I’m gay too, why do you hate me?”

  • Dustin Steeve

    Apologies,
    The first part of this post is my own. Everything after the “Prop 8: Who is Really Lying” is used with permission from a well argued press release from the Yes on 8 campaign. This post was written very quickly and I forgot to include the link back – the absence of the link was unintentional. One should note, relevant data is cited in this post. You can go to this link for more information: http://www.protectmarriage.com/news/press-releases.
    Regarding other claims about the validity of my data in other blogs, the fact of the matter is that most every source cited in my reflections have numerous other sources and studies to back up their conclusions (also cited on those sites). If someone chooses to ignore the evidence, they are free to do so.
    Regarding the claim that I am afraid of homosexuality: clearly the point is absurd given the level of thought which I have put into these blogs. I will not give this childish charge the dignity of further response.
    Richie,
    The big deal is not teaching kids THAT gay people exist. Of course they do, nobody questions the fact. The big deal is what we teach our kids to be normal, healthy, and/or morally good. My problem is that, absent a healthy discourse in the public square, the American people have been force fed a heavy dose of political correctness and pushed to accept the normalcy of homosexuality. At the very minimum, we do not agree about the normalcy, healthiness, and moral uprightness of a homosexual lifestyle. As prop 8 attests, a majority of voters in one of the most liberal states in the union clearly is unconvinced. Why then do we think it wise to educate our children to believe something upon which wise and well educated adults cannot agree?
    David N gave great responses to the rest of the claims that ought to be remarked on.

  • Richie

    “The big deal is what we teach our kids to be normal, healthy, and/or morally good.”
    Heterosexuality is not ‘normal’, it’s just common.
    As for healthy, it is no less healthy than heterosexuality. How could it be?
    I suspect ‘morally good’ is the crux of the matter, for which your only real objection which stands is your religious beliefs. And this is simply imposing your own religion on other people. Can’t you accept that you believe one thing, but respect other peoples’ right to disagree and believe something else? Don’t you accept freedom of religion? That everyone has the freedom to practice the religion they choose?
    Sadly, it seems as though proposition 8 has indeed passed. Shame. Another nail in the coffin of America’s claim to be the land of the free.

  • http://www.link648099.wordpress.com Greg

    Richie,
    I don’t think anyone is imposing or forcing their religion on others. There is nothing here that requires another person to accept Christianity.
    There isn’t a litmus test in America that determines where one can derive their morality from. We are all free to vote according to our beliefs. Everybody, in as much as they have a vote, has a constitutionally derived right to impose their morality onto someone else.
    Every single law in our country is the forcing of one’s morality onto another.
    Why do you think it is wrong for Christians to do this, and why is your system of morality better than theirs? In arguing for this, how are you not trying to impose your moral beliefs onto others?

  • Richie

    A fair question, Greg.
    To demonstrate, imagine that the state is made up of yourself, twenty other Christians, and a gay couple. This gay couple have been in a loving, caring, devoted, monogamous realtionship for 5 years, and want to marry. They are both Buddhists, and same-sex relationships are not against their religion at all. They come to you and the other twenty and ask for permission to marry. You all refuse however, because it is your personal Christian belief that same-sex marriage is wrong.
    Does this make the case clearer? Can you now see you would be imposing your religious beliefs on this gay couple? It is their freedom of religion that is being infringed.
    What I am advocating is simple tolerance – a live-and-let-live attitude where different people of different religions and beliefs could live together and allow each other to just do thir own thing (within the law, of course). I thought this was freedom. I thought this was supposed to be a cornerstone of the American way.
    Aren’t I stupid?
    If you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t have one. No-one’s trying to make you. But why do you have to stop others doing it too?

  • Richie

    A fair question, Greg.
    To demonstrate, imagine that the state is made up of yourself, twenty other Christians, and a gay couple. This gay couple have been in a loving, caring, devoted, monogamous realtionship for 5 years, and want to marry. They are both Buddhists, and same-sex relationships are not against their religion at all. They come to you and the other twenty and ask for permission to marry. You all refuse however, because it is your personal Christian belief that same-sex marriage is wrong.
    Does this make the case clearer? Can you now see you would be imposing your religious beliefs on this gay couple? It is their freedom of religion that is being infringed.
    What I am advocating is simple tolerance – a live-and-let-live attitude where different people of different religions and beliefs could live together and allow each other to just do thir own thing (within the law, of course). I thought this was freedom. I thought this was supposed to be a cornerstone of the American way.
    Aren’t I stupid?
    If you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t have one. No-one’s trying to make you. But why do you have to stop others doing it too?

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey

    What I am advocating is simple tolerance – a live-and-let-live attitude where different people of different religions and beliefs could live together and allow each other to just do thir own thing (within the law, of course).
    Sorry, Richie. Tolerance or not is no longer the issue. Christians who believe that homosexual behavior is morally wrong, already tolerate that behavior. And the living together. And the 2-10% of the gay couples who are not promiscuous (more than one partner in X years), as well as those 90-98% of gays who ARE promiscuous.
    The issue is accepting the ‘marriage’ label status for same-sex coupling which will never result in that couple having a child whose complete DNA is a ‘marriage’ of the two parent’s DNA.
    Why isn’t Civil Union enough for gays? Because they want to make it illegal for Christians to claim their behavior is sinful. Their gay behavior is generally not illegal (except when done with children; as would be straight sex, too).
    Gays do not want to tolerate Christian claims of sinfulness about their behavior.

  • Richie

    “Christians who believe that homosexual behavior is morally wrong, already tolerate that behavior. And the living together.”
    Do they? How do you work that out? You tolerate gay people by not murdering them? How very big and tolerant of you…
    To judge a society on how tolerant it is, you look to see how it treats its minorities. In America, gay people are not allowed to marry, therefore they do not have equal rights to heterosexuals. This is not tolerance.
    “2-10% of the gay couples who are not promiscuous”
    This is a wonderful example of the bigotry and intolerance I was referring to.
    “a child whose complete DNA is a ‘marriage’ of the two parent’s DNA”
    Errrr… no. A child is a child. A marriage is a marriage.
    “Why isn’t Civil Union enough for gays?”
    Well, in the words of a man I admire, “drawing a legal distinction between civil unions and marriage is the same reasoning as the “separate but equal” argument that was once used to justify racial segregation.” (taken from http://www.daylightatheism.org/page/3)
    “Gays do not want to tolerate Christian claims of sinfulness about their behavior.”
    Errrr… yes. That is correct. Why should gay people tolerate such claims?

  • http://www.crablaw.com Bruce

    It’s specious, to say the least, to argue that a legal right should be stripped because a public school system might discuss that right.
    If the real problem is educational policy, not the legal rights of married couples and couples who want to get married, then aim your political efforts at the school board or the California assembly. But I don’t think this is really about public school policy, nor has it ever been, except insofar as it is an argument for low information voters.
    Ditto the buncombe claim that churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t perform or do morally oppose performing same-sex ceremonies of whatever sort. What WILL jeopardize a church’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status is when it stops being a church and starts being a political action committee trying to run the lives of non-church members (which, after all, they will be: conservative Christians won’t be same-sex marrying, at least not in their churches,)
    I mean, strip clubs are legal, too (with local licensing and zoning), but the public schools manage not to teach about them. Why? Public outcry. But why a school SHOULD even be barred from identifying the current state of the law in class, anyway, is beyond me.
    This entire debate has reminded me of John Stuart Mill’s claim that while most conservatives are not stupid, most stupid people are in fact conservative. Sad to say; we could use more smart conservatives who can see a distinction between one thing and another. Then again, maybe it’s because in my field (law), failing to distinguish one distinct issue from the next is sometimes tantamount to malpractice.

  • http://www.crablaw.com Bruce

    It’s specious, to say the least, to argue that a legal right should be stripped because a public school system might discuss that right.
    If the real problem is educational policy, not the legal rights of married couples and couples who want to get married, then aim your political efforts at the school board or the California assembly. But I don’t think this is really about public school policy, nor has it ever been, except insofar as it is an argument for low information voters.
    Ditto the buncombe claim that churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t perform or do morally oppose performing same-sex ceremonies of whatever sort. What WILL jeopardize a church’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status is when it stops being a church and starts being a political action committee trying to run the lives of non-church members (which, after all, they will be: conservative Christians won’t be same-sex marrying, at least not in their churches,)
    I mean, strip clubs are legal, too (with local licensing and zoning), but the public schools manage not to teach about them. Why? Public outcry. But why a school SHOULD even be barred from identifying the current state of the law in class, anyway, is beyond me.
    This entire debate has reminded me of John Stuart Mill’s claim that while most conservatives are not stupid, most stupid people are in fact conservative. Sad to say; we could use more smart conservatives who can see a distinction between one thing and another. Then again, maybe it’s because in my field (law), failing to distinguish one distinct issue from the next is sometimes tantamount to malpractice.

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