The ‘Yes on 8’ campaign’s new ad

Well, not exactly.

The ad shows you California Education Code section 51933(b)(7), which says, “Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage.” But perhaps it also should’ve cited this one:

51240. (a) If any part of a school’s instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or guardian, shall be excused from the part of the instruction that conflicts with the religious training and beliefs.
(b) For purposes of this section, “religious training and beliefs” includes personal moral convictions.

“(I)nstruction in health” includes sexual health education, and that’s what the section cited in the ad governs. So California parents always have had the right to opt their children out of this curriculum, and they still will whether or not Proposition 8 passes.

That’s why Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley this August shot down the “Yes on 8” campaign’s challenges to opponents’ ballot-pamphlet assertions that Proposition 8 “doesn’t have anything to do with schools;” that Proposition 8 “won’t affect our schools;” and that “no child can be forced, against the will of their [sic] parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues.” The State Court of Appeal denied proponents’ request for a fast review, and they dropped the matter. Case closed… until this ad.

One also could argue that public schools should be teaching the law of the land, and if a majority of voters decide same-sex marriage should remain the law of the land, so be it. But that’s a whole other discussion.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • ucla david

    The supreme court used the fact that since California doesn’t discriminate based on employment, housing, etc. it could also apply it to marriage. The problem with this type of thinking is that employment and housing have little to do with sexual orientation. Marriage does. Every child deserves a father and a mother.

  • ucla david

    Many people are saying that this issue is pinning the Christian belief system into politics. What they fail to recognize is that nearly every society in the world has always maintained that marriage is between a man and a woman.

  • ucla david

    How come none of the No on 8 campaign ads show a same-sex couple? There is one with the woman running to her wedding to meet a man. There is another with a elderly heterosexual couple talking about their daughter. What are they hiding?

  • ucla david

    What do you want to be when you grow up?
    For people who think that this issue will not affect them, consider the following. It is not definite that these will occur in California; however, most of these events have already occurred in either Massachusetts or Europe. Others are in the courts.

    Teacher: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to teach that heterosexual marriage and same-sex marriage are the same and equal. As a health teacher, you will be required, by law, to teach homosexuality, and homosexual acts including sodomy and oral sex. It’s not just the kids. It’s also the teachers. Introduction of homosexual relationships may start as young as kindergarten age. Don’t believe me? Check out this video.

    Psychologist: If prop 8 does not pass, as a marriage therapist, you will be required, by law, to treat same-sex couples, and families with same-sex parenting, regardless of your personal belief.

    Accountant: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to prepare tax returns for same-sex couples, regardless of your personal belief. (Federal vs. State taxes may differ.)

    Doctor: If prop 8 does not pass, as a fertility doctor, you will definitely be required, by law, to inseminate a lesbian couple, even if you feel that every child has a right to a father and a mother. ( This actually happened in San Diego. The doctor would perform the service only to potential father-mother families. Even single moms were turned down. A lesbian couple sued the doctor and the supreme court, unanimously, ruled against the doctor. Even the justices who felt it was wrong were unable to rule any other way since it was a business transaction and California’s laws regarding sexual orientation in this area are very explicit. Prop 8 is not directly related to this one, but its impact could help support future doctors who believe every child deserves a father and a mother.)

    University Dean: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to offer housing for same-sex married couples.

    Adoption agent: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to place children into same-sex parenting, even if you feel that every child has a right to a father and a mother. This happened in Massachusetts. A catholic adoption agency closed down because they were sued by a gay couple. The adoption agency had been around for over 50 years.

    Lawyer: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to represent same-sex couples in marriage, family, and divorce proceedings.

    Judge: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to not use sexual orientation as a decision factor in child custody hearings. In other words, if one partner of a straight couple decides to get a divorce and practice homosexuality, the judge would have to ignore that issue when deciding where the child should be placed should joint-custody not be an option. (There is no precedence to this yet, but considering the other rulings in Europe, Canada, and Massachusetts, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.)

    Minister: If prop 8 does not pass, you may be required, by law, to offer your church and facilities to same-sex marriages.

    Hotel/Restaurateur: If prop 8 does not pass, you will be required, by law, to offer you facilities to same-sex marriages, honeymoons, and celebrations.

    The above may be a good critical thinking exercise to help people recognize the importance of prop 8.

    As I said before, we must preserve the idea that every child deserves both a father and a mother.

  • Theo

    UCLA David ignores than a few facts

    Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

    Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.”

    As for the other “examples”, I’m confused. Is a judge allowed to bring his or her own beliefs into play when making decisions or does s/he have to follow the law?

    I’m not sure but I’m willing to bet that the American Psychology Association and the American Medical Association call for their members not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when providing services.

    Honestly, what role does sexual orientation play in doing someone’s taxes? That has to be one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

    Hotels–I doubt too many of them would turn down anyone’s business in this economy. Anyway, hotels are not allowed to discriminate due to personal beliefs of the owners if they allow PUBLIC use of their facilities. Under the law, you can’t pick and choose who you allow to use your facilities.

    As for ministers and churches, most don’t allow people who are not members of their faith and/or congregation to use their facilities for something like a wedding. The case you’re alluding to a New Jersey case in which a religious group was forced to allow a lesbian couple to celebrate their civil union. The decision was based on the FACT that the group allowed people other than the members of their church to use it. It was for PUBLIC use.

    I cannot believe the intellectual dishonesty on the part of those pushing to place discrimination in the California Constitution. They continue to use lies and deception to further their narrow agenda. I hope that the voters see past this and defeat this amendment.

  • Theo

    One other thing-marriage has little if any to do with procreation. Two of my sisters cannot have children yet they are married. Would anyone deny them the right to be married?