How Legalizing Gay Marriage Impacts Schools

Warning: Graphic content included below.

In states where activists are pushing hard to legalize same-sex marriage, we keep hearing the same claim: This will not have an impact on our public schools.

That claim is simply untrue, and we need look no further than Massachusetts for evidence to the contrary.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize full-fledged gay marriage. Not long after it was legalized, National Public Radio (NPR) featured an interview with an eighth-grade teacher, Ms. Allen, who was exuberant about her new-found freedom to talk about homosexuality in the classroom.

“In my mind, I know that, ‘OK, this is legal now.’ If somebody wants to challenge me, I’ll say, ‘Give me a break. It’s legal now,’ ” she told NPR.

The NPR reporter went on to explain that due to the gay marriage debate, Allen now discusses “gay sex” with students “thoroughly and explicitly with a chart.”

Allen explained in detail exactly how she explains this chart to kids: “All right. So can a woman and a woman kiss and hug? Yes. Can a woman and a woman have vaginal intercourse?, and they will say no. And I’ll say, ‘Hold it. Of course, they can. They can use a sex toy. They could use’—and we talk—and we discuss that. So the answer there is yes.” (You can listen to the interview here.)

It’s also disturbing to hear what’s happening at the elementary level in that state. Consider the parents in Lexington, Massachusetts, who were upset to discover that their kindergarten and first-grade age kids had been exposed to books promoting homosexuality and same-sex marriage without their permission.

Even more concerning were the school officials’ response to those parental concerns, as reported by The Associated Press: “Officials there say that since same-sex marriage is a part of life in Massachusetts, it comes up naturally and it’s impossible to notify parents every time the issue is discussed.”

“It certainly strengthens the argument that we need to teach about gay marriage because it’s more of a reality for our kids,” Lexington Schools Superintendent Paul Ash said. (“Gay Marriage Foes Face Issue in Schools,” Associated Press, May 5, 2006. )

Suddenly, the parents found that any control they once had over when, how and if their kids are exposed to controversial sexual topics had disappeared. One parent even went to jail after refusing to leave the school premises until educators promised to notify him before teaching his children about homosexuality. Obviously, he never got that promise. (Archived stories about the parent’s arrest are available here and here for a fee).

Even worse—the federal court system backed the schools’ complete lack of respect for parents.

In Parker vs. Hurley, Judge Mark Wolf basically concluded that since same-sex marriage is now part of Massachusetts society and culture, it can be taught to public school students without parental permission. So now, homosexuality lessons can be brought up in any Massachusetts classroom under any number of topics—such as “diversity” and “citizenship”—whether parents like it or not.

Here’s how the judge’s reasoning went: “Students today must be prepared for citizenship in a diverse society. … As increasingly recognized, one dimension of our nation’s diversity is differences in sexual orientation. In Massachusetts, at least, those differences may result in same-sex marriages.”

The judge even went on to conclude that the younger children are exposed to those topics the better—“As it is difficult to change attitudes and stereotypes after they have developed, it is reasonable for public schools to attempt to teach understanding and respect for gays and lesbians to young students …”

As we’ve said many times before, we wholeheartedly believe that all human beings should be respected as sacred creations of the loving God and equally protected from harm—and children should be taught that basic tenet.

But teaching “respect” should never translate to mandatory same-sex marriage and homosexuality lessons against parents’ will.

Sadly though, as Massachusetts so clearly illustrates, once same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, parents can lose all control over those decisions.

In light of these facts and public news accounts, is there really any serious question that legalizing gay marriage will tangibly and concretely affect our public schools? It’s simply disingenuous to claim otherwise.