Friday, September 18, 2009
Bangor Daily News
The debate about the Nov. 3 ballot’s Question 1, the effort to repeal Maine’s newly minted same-sex marriage law, will heat up in the coming weeks. Heat is one thing. Falsehoods are another.
Opponents of the law are bringing children into the fray, suggesting their innocence would be sullied if the repeal fails. It’s a ploy that has been used effectively before; any candidate for elected office who supports sex education is said to favor handing out condoms to kindergarten children. This time, the claim by repeal proponents is that schools would be forced to teach “gay sex education.” It is baseless and betrays an ignorance about education.
The claim was made by the Stand for Marriage Maine group in a recent mass e-mail message soliciting donations. In addition, the Rev. Bob Emrich of the Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church in Plymouth, a member of the Stand for Marriage group’s executive committee, wrote in a BDN OpEd: “No matter what their parents may teach them, Maine schools would indoctrinate their children that homosexual marriage is completely normal and equally desirable as traditional marriage and there is nothing parents could do to prevent it.”
This is not true.
The same-sex marriage law does not address anything in state education law. And, further, there are no state mandates to teach sex education, let alone explicit “gay sex education,” as the repeal group’s e-mail stated. Sexuality is discussed in most Maine high schools, and has been for decades, but locally elected school boards oversee those curriculums and parents are able to exempt their children from those discussions...(Remainder.)