Why I worry about what Proposition 8 means for my kids

Supporters of Prop 8 keep getting told we don’t need to worry about homosexuality being taught in schools, because we will be forewarned and have the choice to keep our children out. What happened to this family obviously illustrates that that isn’t the case. When sex ed is taught, parents will, as always, have the choice to teach their children about it in the privacy of their own homes. But sex ed isn’t the only time homosexuality will be discussed, if Proposition 8 fails.

The family in the video had their child exposed to the idea of same-sex marriage in kindergarten – way before a child needs to learn about such issues anyway. I applaud the idea of diversity. But treating same-sex marriage as equal to heterosexual marriage isn’t about embracing diversity – it’s about calling two very different things by the same name. Apples and oranges, if you will. The relationships are fundamentally different. And by trying to teach our children to be accepting of those few individuals who choose a homosexual lifestyle, teachers end up pushing homosexuality. To get the message across, they have to talk about it more and praise it more than they do a normal, heterosexual relationship.

Children are impressionable, and easily confused. What their teachers tell them at school is very important. How many little kids’ first crush is on their elementary school teacher? They soak up every word they hear. For example, my three year old loves her uncle Trevor. I think he’s probably her favorite relative. Trevor is a very animated person. Whenever he comes over and plays video games with my husband, he has to be very careful what he says. He’s resorted to yelling “Flowers and puppies and happy things!” when something doesn’t go right in his game. All because my little girl adores him and repeats every word he says. (After the “fat cow” incident, we had a little talk about watching his language around her.) Kids adore certain adults, and what those adults do and say leaves a stronger impression on a child than they realize. So if my kid’s teacher tells her homosexuality is a great thing, it’s just as good as your mom and dad’s marriage, she’s going to have a hard time when mommy tells her that’s not what we believe. Children shouldn’t be learning two different sets of standards and morals.

And imagine the fun literature our kids will be reading as they get older. When I was in middle school and high school, we read a lot of literature about the oppression of blacks, about families who experienced horrible things like child abuse, and about turbulence in Latin America. We read about things our school district decided would probably be issues we would hear about in our lives, to help prepare us for the “real world.” Evidently, preparing us for the real world entailed reading about horrible things, difficulty, and diversity, rather than reading any literature from our own culture… So if gay marriage becomes a legalized practice, doesn’t it follow that our children are going to start reading gay literature too? If we represent every other group in our English classes that has experienced what some would term oppression, it seems logical to assume that we will someday at gay literature to that list.

It’s not just something kids are going to hear about in sex ed. They are going to hear about it anytime marriage is discussed. They will be exposed to it when gay parents take our kids on field trips. As the recently squashed Harvey Milk day idea suggests, in the future our kids may be taught to celebrate homosexuality. As I recently blogged about, kids were taken to a homosexual wedding, which was considered an appropriate activity for young children and an appropriate use of school funds.  Our kids will be bringing books home from school that will, in our hearts, horrify us if we don’t believe homosexuality is a moral practice.

And since when did it become the school’s job to teach our children morality? Especially when the school is going to be teaching our children that immoral behaviors are, in fact, moral? Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: Most Americans don’t practice homosexuality. The majority of religious citizens believe that homosexuality is immoral. In our efforts to be politically correct, we have taken the idea of tolerance to a whole new level. Not only do we accept what people choose to do in private, but now we are going to be teaching our children to accept abberant behavior in our public schools. Being tolerant of others’ beliefs doesn’t mean embracing them and teaching them to our children. Just because we are tolerant doesn’t mean we have to legalize what most Americans term immoral behavior.

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8 Comments

  1. Either I am a raving, angry, lunatic activist
    Who is insane enough to be
    UN-ashamed and UN-apologetic as I
    Demand civil marriage equality…

    – OR –

    I am a man who simply KNOWS
    I deserve equality. I AM equal.
    You may not think so, but I know it.

    Be adults. I cannot hold all of your hands as you
    Grapple with your phobias, fears, and obsessions.

    We exist.

    Deal.

  2. I am not afraid of homosexuals. I have gay friends. I accept that they have made a different lifestyle choice than I have. However, I don’t agree with that choice, and I don’t want it taught to my children in school. It’s a moral issue, and moral issues should be dealt with at home.
    My question in this and other posts is, since a gay couple’s relationship is fundamentally different from a heterosexual relationship, why does it have to be called the same thing, i.e. marriage? Why do I have to redefine my beliefs just to accomodate the fact that you have made a different choice? Don’t I also have a right to my personal beliefs?

  3. You want cold hard fact. You say prop 8 will not have an effect on teaching same sex marriage in school. I disagree completely with you on this issues. I would like you to look up the story of the Massachusetts father who was arrested because he would not leave his daughters school until he was informed when their school would be teaching about same sex marriage so he could remove his daughter when they taught this. The school said they did NOT have to inform him of when this would be taught because it was not topic that needed parental release. That is taking away the right of the parent to teach his child what he believes is right and granting that right to the government. You say this isn’t in proposition 8 but where does it stop. It wasn’t in Massachusetts law when passed but was ruled by the Massachusetts state that parents had no say. The Massachusetts Supreme Court would not hear the case, so therefore it stands as law. I will not stand by a Proposition that points in this directions. Furthermore I agree with you in that gay and lesbian individuals should have the same civil rights as married couples, but what I do not agree with is if gay marriage is passes then my religious leaders could get sued for not performing same sex weddings because it would be considered discrimination. This is violating their right of personal belief in their religion and the things their religion teaches. Supporters of no say “give non religious reasons” These are all non religious reasons of why I am a supporter to protecting traditional marriage.

    Please go to http://www.protectmarriage.com to read about more of the benefits of proposition 8.

  4. John, I think it’s intellectually lazy to fall into the simple argument that since we’re not for your cause we must be afraid of it. It’s much more than “phobias, fears, and obsessions.”

    This is about freedom of speech in the arena of ideas. Freedom to choose what we think and feel and how to act ought to remain a freedom, even if we choose to disagree with your view. That’s part of free discourse. You have it, why shouldn’t we?

  5. Thanks for posting about the Massachusetts school case. As a school teacher, I see firsthand the powerful influence my colleagues and I have on young minds. They believe WHATEVER we say – I’m telling you, give me an hour, and I could convince my students of ANYTHING. That’s why I am so careful about what I teach and discuss in the classroom. If ever we get on the topic of religion or personal morals, my response is the same, “Go home and ask your parents what your family believes.” Keep personal beliefs out of public schools! Yes on 8!

  6. The evidence is in and it’s mounting! Everyone can see it for themselves at http://www.protectmarriage.com, http://www.preservingmarriage.org, and http://www.ifprop8fails.org and on great blogs like yours! Prop. 8 is a vote for American Freedom for all of us (you, me, and same-sexuals). I’m proud to stand with ALL Americans to vote YES! On Prop. 8.

  7. CaliforniaCrusader, if you’re a teacher you should demand that your union dues be refunded for the donation CTA made to no on 8. You have the right to do it. There is more information here:

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/teachers-association-backlash-join-the-sick-out/

  8. I am linking to your post from Voters Guide: Prop 8 arguments I am going to be putting this together over several days. I’ll be back for the constitutional argument.


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