We've seen in California and now Maine how far religious fundamentalists will go to prevent same-sex couples from obtaining the civil right of marriage. The successful theme continually used which resonates with their supporters is "homosexuals will indoctrinate your children in schools." Buying this argument requires two things a) A complete lack of knowledge and understanding of who GLBTs are. b) Belief the GLBT is a community to fear.
"Homosexuality in Your Child's School," a pamphlet distributed by the Family Research Council (FRC), is an example of the type of marketing material being used in the campaign against GLBTs in schools. It's eloquently written with ostensible facts but within the first paragraph its main message is revealed:
Despite decades of activism and media propaganda promoting acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, and numerous political and judicial victories for the pro-homosexual movement, a clear majority of Americans still believe that homosexual behavior is "morally wrong."
Indoctrinating impressionable school children is an easier way of changing public attitudes toward homosexuality than persuading adults.
However, since directly promoting acceptance of homosexuality or of sexual activity by students would be controversial, pro-homosexual activists routinely deny or downplay those aspects of their agenda. Instead, they begin with the school policy proposals that are likely, politically, to win the most agreement. The first issue raised by the advocates of homosexuality is invariably the same--"safety."
This type of demeaning and demonizing dialogue does more harm to children than good. As children approach their teens they begin to understand themselves as individuals and come to terms with their own sexual identities. Note, "sexual activity" and "sexual behavior" hasn't even occured yet. Life is hard enough and making children feel bad about who they are, who they are attracted to, and attend school in an environment too intolerable to even discuss these emotions is damaging psychologically. But, this is exactly the time in a child's development when organzations like the FRC want to "force out" same-sex feelings and acceptance of these children by their peers. These feelings have to be eradicated and "cured" as if it is a "disease". But does removing GLBT dialogue in schools "normalize" children into heterosexuality? Did it "normalize" you?
This next video illustrates the innocence and struggle adolescence endures as they experience their inner struggle with same-sex attraction.
This is an excerpt from "You are Not Alone" a 1978 coming-of-age story about two boys at a Danish boarding school where one of the boys develops a special relationship with the headmaster's young son.
It's kind of like that - youthful innocence, nothing sinister or evil.
And what about children in schools who are being raised by same-sex parents, single parents, grandparents? What about children who come from an array of diverse backgrounds? Shouldn't the message in schools be of inclusion rather than exclusion? It is a life skill we should be encouraging to be taught in schools today. How will our children be able to grow up and coexist in peace if we don't teach them this great concept now?