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Thread: Gay marriage and homosexual rights- questions

  1. #1
    freddy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Gay marriage and homosexual rights- questions

    Some groups who are opposed to gay marriage rights are opposed because of the doors it opens in other areas.

    For example, if your 2nd grade teacher is reading a children's book to the class about homosexuality, is this okay? Do parents have a right to be notified? To parents have a right to opt out?

    Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash said Estabrook has no legal obligation to notify parents about the book. ''We couldn't run a public school system if every parent who feels some topic is objectionable to them for moral or religious reasons decides their child should be removed," he said. ''Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal."
    Its an entirely different question from whether or not gay marriage should be legal. That argument often is founded on the concept that, even if you disagree with it, it doesn't impact you and therefore you shouldn't care. You shouldn't limit other people's freedoms, freedoms that you enjoy for yourself, when extending those freedoms to other people doesn't even impact you.

    The problem is that it does. And if your kid's 1st grade teacher wants to actively include representations of homosexual couples in the class, it kind of indicates that the previous argument is invalid.

    As a second topic, I've heard some argue that churches could be mandated to perform homosexual wedding ceremonies, or to allow such ceremonies to be performed at their facility. Its conceivable that a law could be passed prohibiting people who perform weddings from making a distinction based on gender. Should this be the case? Is it acceptable for a church to discriminate based on gender, if gay marriage is legal?

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    Dani is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default First of all, is the book about homosexuality

    or is it about a child who happens to have two mommies or two daddies? Is it about homosexuality, or is it about understanding and accepting diversity? If the book is about sex and why some people choose same sex partners and the nuts and bolts of sex, then it should be age appropriate and within the scope of the health/sex ed curriculum.

    If the book is just talking about how families come in all different configurations, and that's OK, then what's the harm? Are you afraid the 2nd graders will start asking questions? Then good. That's when parents can explain their own value system, in an age appropriate way.

    Same sex couples already do raise children together, so I'm not sure why the legalization of marriage would change how we teach our children about diversity and acceptance of others.

    I can't see government telling the churches who they can and cannot marry. I couldn't get married in a Catholic church unless I went through all the classes and rigmarole for baptism and communion. I can't see how it would allow same sex couples to marry there.

    Then again, I know here in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities decided to stop doing adoptions altogether because it could not get an exemption from the anti-discrimination laws that would require them to place children with eligible same-sex couples. Sad, sad, sad.

    In any case, I am 100 percent in favor of gay marriage and proud to live in a state where it is recognized and legal.

    Danielle

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    psilverman is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default OK -- first of all, it DOES impact me...

    ...because I am a human being and just because I am not gay, the mistreatment of others is not acceptable to me. My child may be gay, or my friend, or my sister -- or even if I somehow have managed to live in a society where NO ONE I know is gay -- it still impacts me. A wrong is a wrong, even if no one hears the tree fall.

    As for the book in class. I could not put it better than Dani did above.

    As for mandating a church to do something. Ummmm, unless we are changing the separation of church and state, I'm not sure how the government can legally mandate a church to marry someone or divorce them. We can't mandate the catholic church to recognize a sectarian divorce. Churches don't have to marry people. BUT... I was married by a judge. Why should I have that right and someone else not? Civil union versus marriage. It is a bandaid and a euphamism for "not quite good enough." I don't buy it.

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    freddy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani View Post
    or is it about a child who happens to have two mommies or two daddies? Is it about homosexuality, or is it about understanding and accepting diversity? If the book is about sex and why some people choose same sex partners and the nuts and bolts of sex, then it should be age appropriate and within the scope of the health/sex ed curriculum.

    If the book is just talking about how families come in all different configurations, and that's OK, then what's the harm? Are you afraid the 2nd graders will start asking questions? Then good. That's when parents can explain their own value system, in an age appropriate way.

    Danielle
    The book 'King and King', a fairy tale where the queen wants her son to marry and he passes over the princess and marries her brother instead.

    What am I afraid of? I assume that's a general question. I don't know what anyone is afraid of. The issue is their rights as parents to have the ability to have their child opt out of something that is of such a controversial nature. If it were in the realm of health class, they would probably have the right to be informed and to choose to opt out. But since it falls in the realm of social studies, they have no right to even be informed, much less opt out.

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    freddy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilverman View Post
    ...because I am a human being and just because I am not gay, ... A wrong is a wrong, even if no one hears the tree fall.
    The edited version of your text is the same argument that those opposed to gay marriage use, when they're told they shouldn't care because it doesn't effect them.

    So I guess both sides feel that its a weak argument.

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    Interesting question.

    I do think that parents DO protest a lot of things that are objectionable and some schools do remove the offending material; so I think that the reading of King & King should be treated similarly to the reading of Harry Potter in class..... Although I think one could make an argument that reading either book to the class is different from it simply being in the library. I'm sure schools could come up with useful, classic literature that doesn't offend as easily or obviously, and leave *questionable* or potentially offensive books in the library.

    Personally, I think this mass hysteria over homosexual marriage & rights is ridiculous. As mentioned already - its not like same-sex families don't already exist. Making it *legal* isn't going to change that fact (or encourage a rash of "straight" people to "turn gay"); it simply enables these existing families to provide for themselves and their children more effectively.

    My father is one of those people that just can't deal with this issue, even though he's incapable of articulating a reason. I think there are a lot of people in his generation (he's mid 60s) that will never come to terms with this issue; just like many of the previous generation (and some people still) who can't come to terms with inter-racial marriage. I think by the time our children are adults, this will be no big deal for them. I hope it doesn't take that long for these families to obtain rights, though.

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    Jeannie is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    As to the first concern, whether the school reads a book about it or not, you cannot shield children from the fact of homosexuality. Even if your state doesn't recognize gay marriage, gay couples will continue to live together and find ways to have children together. Two of the children in my younger DS's class have two mommies. He doesn't need to have a book read to him to know some people live differently than his family does. He asked about it and I gave him a simple answer (Some women are attracted to other women instead of men and choose to have a family with two mommies). I am sure he'll ask more questions about it later when he is ready. You can complain about your school reading King & King. But you can't keep Johnny out of school just because he has two dads. You may not like homosexuality but you're living in a state of denial if you think you can avoid ever having to explain it to your kids.

    The second concern about forcing churches to do anything seems to me to be a non-starter. Churches already refuse to marry people for all sorts of reasons. The laws against discrimination do not apply. It's not a bar to marriage. You can always go to city hall.

    p.s. My you's in this post are general you's. LOL I am not directing my comments to freddy.

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    frits is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    There will never be a law requiring any church to marry anyone and that's how it should be. Raising that issue as a fear sounds to me like baiting (sorry, but that's how I view it) b/c it's so clearly never going to happen. I don't know ANYONE who supports gay marriage who also thinks that churches should be required to perform gay marriages. In fact, I don't know anyone who holds that view, period.

    As far as reading the book in the classroom, I would actually support parents being able to opt out. But what is the point of that, in the end? Gays exist and if/when/where they succeed in being able to marry, some of them will in fact marry. You can think that is wrong and you can teach your children that it is wrong, but you're not going to be able to repress the rest of the world's views and opinions from your children forever. They're going to grow up someday and sooner or later find out (gasp!) that some people think gay marriages and gay families and gay people, period, are just fine. Shielding them from a book is not going to prevent them from being exposed to alternate views, perspectives, opinions, etc. So again, my question is, what is the point of opting out?

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    freddy is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannie View Post
    You may not like homosexuality but you're living in a state of denial if you think you can avoid ever having to explain it to your kids.

    p.s. My you's in this post are general you's. LOL I am not directing my comments to freddy.
    LOL! I was going to ask if those were general you's. Our language is kind of inefficient in that regard.

    For me personally, I'm uncomfortable with the school explaining things of such a controversial nature to my child on my behalf at such a young age. For many kids, that topic may come up naturally at a young age. For many it doesn't. Perhaps it shouldn't be a controversial topic, and maybe our society will get to that point one day, but I don't think anyone can suggest that its already at that point.

    For that particular book, I don't think that it would have been any more appropriate as a social studies text than the same book with a heterosexual outcome. Personally I try to steer clear of boyfriend/girlfriend style fairy tales (a personal pet peeve of mine, as if I want to teach my kid that her main mission in life is to catch a man), and on top of that, its a crappy way to go about choosing a spouse (he's cute!).

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    Dani is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddy View Post
    For me personally, I'm uncomfortable with the school explaining things of such a controversial nature to my child on my behalf at such a young age. For many kids, that topic may come up naturally at a young age. For many it doesn't. Perhaps it shouldn't be a controversial topic, and maybe our society will get to that point one day, but I don't think anyone can suggest that its already at that point.
    I think you have to give your own school system the benefit of the doubt that it will consider the demographics of the children it serves. Although I live in Massachusetts, I can't imagine my local school system reading a book like King and King (although it might be available in the library). The demographics of my town are much more conservative and homogenous than those of a town like Lexington.

    The book itself does sound silly. And I agree with you about fairy tales all about attracting a mate. You seem like an "Atalanta" girl to me.

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