The editorial of Sept. 18 begins with the question, "Will same-sex marriage be taught in schools, if it becomes legal in Maine?" The answer, according to the writer, is a simple, declarative, "No," arrived at, we are told, because at the moment, "Nothing in law, or curriculum, mandates any Maine student be taught about marriage, same-sex or otherwise."
That is a strikingly narrow interpretation of Maine's pending same-sex marriage law. Mainers are to believe, because the law itself says nothing specific about what will be taught in schools, that same-sex marriage will never be taught in schools?
If same-sex marriage is made legal in Maine, no further changes to the law are necessary for it to be a school topic. The pending law redefines marriage as "the legally recognized union of two people." All references to marriage as one woman/one man are gone. When marriage is discussed in Maine classrooms, by law, it will have to include same-sex marriage.
Furthermore, would the Sun Journal have people believe that gay marriage activists, whose every action is to push their agenda whenever they can, will not push it in schools? There are sexual orientation protections, diversity education, ally sensitivity training, the Attorney General's Civil Rights Unit school lectures — but no discussion of gay marriage will happen in Maine schools?
The editorial's narrow view of the pending law is further strained in the description of the famous Parker v. Hurley federal court case. Bottom line: Same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. Now it's being taught in grade school. How can any reasonable person (or editorial writer) say beyond a shadow of a doubt that same-sex marriage won't be taught in Maine schools if it becomes legal?
But wait. By the end of the same editorial, the editorial writer seems to be rethinking his position. "Homosexual marriage" would be taught in Maine schools "only ... if there was a significant alteration of Maine's current academic curriculum and laws. ..." Of course, such teaching could also be approved under current law by a local school board.
"Parents," the editorial concludes, will not be "helpless if the prospect arises." That is, when the teaching of same-sex marriage in Maine schools takes place — parents can try to undo it. Good luck. Ask the Parker family how that worked out for them.
Here's a better idea. On Nov. 3, I encourage the public to cast a vote in favor of hanging on to Maine's marriage laws as they now stand — vote yes on Question 1. In so doing, people will send a message to those legislators and to Gov. John Baldacci who put the public in this mess: Quit playing sexual politics with children.
Bob Emrich, Plymouth
Executive committee, Stand for Marriage Maine