Sunday, October 26, 2008

Myths About Prop 8. The last time I'm writing about this.

OK, now that I have everyone’s attention with my pretty new header, here are some things MYTHS about Prop 8.

The “yes” ads say that schools will have to teach that gay marriage is “okay.” Schools do NOT teach about marriage. I’ve been teaching school for 12 years (Kinder, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th grades.) Never once have I ever been required to teach about marriage in the classroom. In addition, “okay” is an opinion. If the district told us we had to teach that gay marriage was legal, there is a difference between the words “legal” and “okay.” A wise teacher knows the difference, would define the word “legal” and move on. The California Teachers Association (which includes almost all CA teachers) is against Prop 8 and very unhappy about the way the “yes” ads are scaring people into thinking that their children would be taught about gay marriage in school. That is an absolute lie. If the kids bring up any controversial subject that we are not required to teach, we are fully within our rights as teachers to say, “This is something you need to talk to your parents about.”

The overturning. “Yes on 8” ads are telling people that this is all about getting rights back that were taken away from us when 4 judges overturned previous CA votes. Another lie. Back in 2002 CA had something on the ballot called Prop 22. Prop 22 was kind of the same idea as Prop 8, and equally unconstitutional. Let’s define what “unconstitutional” means. It means that people are being treated differently under the law. The “4 rogue judges” overturned Prop 22 because it was unconstitutional and should never have been put on the ballot.

The last myth is that churches will be forced to marry gay couples. Here is what the 1st Amendment of the constitution says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is called the Establishment Clause, which, if you read it carefully, actually PROTECTS religions so that the government cannot tamper with their doctrine. The actual “separation of church and state” clause can trace its history to this:

[Thomas] Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 to answer a letter from them written in October 1801. A copy of the Danbury letter is available here. The Danbury Baptists were a religious minority in Connecticut, and they complained that in their state, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature - as "favors granted." Jefferson's reply did not address their concerns about problems with state establishment of religion - only of establishment on the national level. The letter contains the phrase "wall of separation between church and state," which led to the short-hand for the “Establishment Clause” that we use today: "Separation of church and state." (

And lastly, remember this: voting a Yes on 8 will set a precedent, as most votes do. Today it is the gay community’s rights that are taken away. Sure, they’re an easy target. But who will be next? Maybe you.

NO on 8.

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