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07/07/2011

No, what we're saying is we'll push 'normative' view *REGARDLESS* of marriage bans!

by Jeremy Hooper

You surely know that California voters halted same-sex marriage in November of 2008. A little thing called Prop 8? Remember that lovely little vote? Keep it in mind, as we'll be coming back to it.

So now here in 2011, the California legislature has passed the FAIR Education Act, a bill that requires state schools to accurately acknowledge the LGBT population and the related civil rights movement. And predictably, social conservatives are all kinds of outraged:

Chris Clark, pastor of East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church in San Diego and a bill opponent, said debate over the bill is full of irony. In 2008, when opponents of "gay marriage" were warning that homosexuality would be taught as normative in schools if it remained legal, supporters of "gay marriage" adamantly disagreed.

"The very same ones are pushing this legislation to do exactly that -- to teach that homosexual behavior is normal, that it's acceptable, and that people because of their sexual behavior are somehow heroes in our society," Clark previously told Baptist Press.

The goal, Clark said, is "to put homosexuality on the same level as a minority status based on race or color or religion."

Calif. gay history bill close to becoming law, impacting U.S. [Baptist Press] tuB

To get to the ridiculousness of Mr. Clark's claims, we have to go back to what we mentioned at the beginning of this post: Prop 8's 2008 passage. Chris-ClarkThat vote eliminated further same-sex marriages. As in, these marriages do not currently exist in the state of California. As in, they were not around at the time of this latest legislative vote. As in, marriage is clearly not a requirement for LGBT-inclusive teaching, despite Mr. Clark's framework here. As in, we are not waiting for any kind of license to tell LGBT students and their peers that gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, transgender, and cisgender kids are ALL "NORMAL"!

We see this all the time during marriage referenda: The anti-LGBT crowd pits nuptials as the one concept on which all inclusive teaching or even basic non-discrimination hinges. But if anything, votes like this FAIR Education Act one repudiate that idea, not confirm it! This legislative action shows that when it comes to basic respect for and inclusivity of the LGBT population in our public schools, it is not the existence of shiny ring fingers that creates either the need or possibility for greater understanding: It is the mere existence of LGBT people themselves! If *that* is what the "protect marriage" crowd wants to do away with, then they need to say as much. But marriage, in this case, is a big, fat red herring.

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