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Fear and Loathing In California (Proposition 8)

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The organizers behind Proposition 8 aren't worried about marriage, the definition of marriage or even the word marriage. This initiative is no different than any other anti-gay initiative.

It is homophobia in plain sight. Nothing else.

Those in favor of altering the California Constitution do not have to convince others who feel the way they do. They also know they will not change the mind of any liberal.

So they go after the people 'on the fence.' To lower the risk of offending people 'on the fence,' they avoid a direct and overt admission of homophobia and take a sneaky way around the truth.

They use education, schools and the children of those who are 'on the fence' as bait, hoping fear mongering and spinning the truth will reel them in.

With two outrageous television commercials, they are trying to frighten whoever they can by falsely insisting gay marriage will actually become some form of educational requirement in schools.

The California Board of Education and the California Supreme Court have both made it very clear that education on marriage -- whether heterosexual or homosexual -- is not required to be taught in public schools. Yet both of these commercials, and their falsehoods, are still allowed to air.

The first of the commercials shows a girl coming home with a fairy-tale book in her hand. The girl squeals, "Mommy -- look! I can marry a princess when I grow up!"

No fairy tale I ever read was a textbook, part of grammar school curriculum or an instruction manual. I was not taught about heterosexual marriage in grammar school and neither was anyone else I know.

The second commercial spotlights the story of first graders attending a creative arts school in San Francisco. They were taken on a field trip to witness the wedding of their teacher, Erin Carder, to her partner Kerri McCoy.

I don't know about you, but when I was in first grade and a field trip was scheduled, I had to bring home a permission slip. If my parents didn't sign the permission slip, I didn't get to go on the field trip.

Every child who attended the Carder/McCoy wedding was there because their parent(s) allowed it. No child could have left the school premises without the consent of a parent. This is the law.

The organizers of Proposition 8 have completely missed this point. Not only did they miss it, but they conveniently forget to tell the television audience that it was a parent who suggested the outing! This wasn't a field trip organized by the teacher getting married or even the school itself.

To my knowledge, no parent of any child who goes to that school ever stepped forward and complained. If this was such a horrific happening, why haven't those who want Prop 8 to pass been able to recruit a parent from that school district to show up on camera and say so?

It's clear: the organizers of Proposition 8 have misappropriated this story and twisted it to their own advantage. They are speaking for people that are actually against what Prop 8 represents.

The exact people they are trying to scare -- parents -- did not have a problem.

Hate-mongers and the righteously confused continue to think that the "gay agenda" is to indoctrinate and recruit. There is only one subject on their minds when they mull over this misguided fear, and it is certainly not marriage. It's not the idea of love, family or companionship either.

It's sex.

These commercials and their take on gay marriage education in schools contain a not-so-subtle insinuation that homosexuality is the same as pedophilia. It reeks of it.

The righteously confused are under this ridiculously sick impression that gays and lesbians want first-graders to know how they can use their bodies for pleasure.

Gay men and women have no interest in recruiting children or teaching them about sex. As a reminder, studies show the majority of pedophiles are heterosexual men.

I could not be 'taught' to be a heterosexual and no one can be 'taught' to be a homosexual. You can be told about the existence of both, but unless you actually have the feelings, you can never be 'taught' to be one or the other.

Years ago, I was watching a program that I (unfortunately), do not remember the name of. What I have not forgotten is this moment.

A man was being interviewed about his daughter, and what happened when she told him she was a lesbian. He was upset, angry and did not accept it. As the conversation with his daughter continued, he said something to her that prompted this response, which I paraphrase:

"Dad, when you see a woman you are attracted to, what happens? Do you have an immediate, involuntary reaction? Is your thought process involved at all? Do you think about a choice in the matter or is your reaction something totally natural that you're not controlling?"

The man said, "In that moment, I got it. My daughter's attraction to women was a physiological thing. Hard wiring. This was the way her brain worked. It had nothing to do with choice and her feelings felt as normal to her as mine did to me. She had my full support ever since then."

In 1997, when the Ellen DeGeneres "Yep, I'm Gay" issue of TIME magazine hit the newsstands and Ellen was about to come out on her prime time sitcom, Ellen sat down with Oprah Winfrey. I have also never forgotten this exchange.

Ellen was talking to a man in Oprah's audience who insisted being gay was a choice. Ellen looked at him and said, "So, you're saying you could be gay, but choose not to be?"

His response was "Well, I could choose to be an adulterer."

That was when it truly hit me how much of this argument always boils down to biblical sin for those who oppose the mere existence of gays and lesbians. Unfortunately, Oprah cut off this discussion by saying to both Ellen and the audience member, "You are never going to win this argument with each other."

At that moment, I wished I was also in the audience to correct Oprah. There absolutely is a way to win the argument, and that is to state that there is no physiology involved when it comes to adultery.

Adultery is a decision; a choice of the psyche. Homosexuality is not.

As long as I have mentioned Ellen, the bit she did on her show recently sums it up beautifully.

"I was raised by heterosexuals. Heterosexuals everywhere I looked. They didn't influence me!"

You cannot "teach" someone to be heterosexual or a homosexual. You either have the feelings or you don't.

This being the case, gays and lesbians in California -- not to mention the country -- should be recognized as equal in the eyes of the law.

Love cannot be legislated and discrimination cannot and should not be written into the Constitution of the State of California.

NO ON PROP 8!

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