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Video: Now they're using their own troops as 'teachers'?!?

by Jeremy Hooper

The new "yes on 1" ad is up. Or actually, we should say the reworked "yes on 1" ad, as it's nothing more than a repurposed version of an old Prop 8 spot:

The same old lies and fears and Wirthlins. But the biggest bit o' ridiculousness here? That they are using Charla Bansley in the "teacher" role, making it sound as if she's just some layperson. In truth, Ms. Bansley is the state director of the Concerned Women For America of Maine, and has appeared onstage at many Stand For Marriage Maine rallies. She has made her interest clear time and time again.

And while she is a teacher, she doesn't teach at a public institution. She teaches at Calvary Chapel Christian School. A Christian school where she is already freely stifling pro-gay speech, at least according to one of her very own students. To identify Ms. Bansley as merely a "teacher" is like simply calling Barack Obama a CEO of an important entity.

In truth, Ms. Bansley is one of Stand For Marriage Maine's own (paid?) staffers who is motivated almost exclusively by her faith. It is almost unbelievable that the campaign would use her, a private Christian school teacher, to speak on this civil matter and and think that nobody would notice.

But hey, maybe it will at least help school kids learn the meaning of the word "disingenuous."


*MORE: Here's Ms. Bansley talking about a February Stand For Marriage Maine rally, revealing herself as the co-founder (with SFMM's Bob Emrich) of the Maine Marriage Alliance:

And the ties go back for years. Here's a 2006 mention of a project she co-organized with Emrich.

**MORE: We've rounded up more audio: Some apples from the 'teacher' [G-A-Y]

**MORE: SFMM has also put out a school-focused radio ad. Still positioning Charla as a mere "teacher," of course:

*SEE ALSO: Now that you've seen how this supposedly has "everything to do with schools," go watch how anti-gay bias truly affects school kids.

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Your thoughts

Speaking of the Mormons! I think that the "We teach Maine Values" spot from No on 1 still addresses this batch of lies pretty effectively. Didn't one of the kids in the Wirthlins' kid's class bring the book in for the teacher to read to the class? In the back of my mind, I still have the lingering impression that the Wirthlins staged the whole thing just so that they could file their ill-fated lawsuit.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 23, 2009 12:41:15 AM


I was just coming here to tip you off on this, and you had already posted it. You are good, man.

This and the first Yes ad are 95% repackaged ads from Yes on 8. There is virtually no difference except that they put in a Maine teacher.

This is a critical moment - maybe the most critical moment of the campaign. It was at this point that No on 8 lost. No on 1 has had nearly a year to work out a good response. If No on 1 can't respond effectively to this while staying on its own message, then we will certainly lose. If they can rise to the challenge, then given our superior field operation, I would say we have decent chance of pulling out a win. The only way to do this, as far as I can see, is to simultaneously run a sharp response to this ad and a series of our positive ads. I don't think they can do both things in a single 30-second spot.

A couple of points on the ad itself:

Essentially that ad has 3 political activists playing the roles of ordinary teacher and parent. The Wirthlins are not regular joes. They enrolled in that school with full knowledge of the diversity curriculum and then they eagerly joined the Parker suit within weeks. They go from state to state making TV ads and starred in a propaganda video with Tony Perkins.

The entire argument comes down to the fact that the Parkers and the Wirthlins got into a pissing match with their local school. There is no one else; out of the millions of kids who go to school in marriage equality states and civil union states, all these people have is the traveling roadshow of the Parkers and the Wirthlins. And the subject of the pissing match, King and King was written before there was gay marriage and could either be taught in schools or banned for all times from schools regardless of what the marriage law says or whether Question 1 passes or is defeated. One has nothing to do with the other, no matter how many times they insist that it does. What they want is a visceral reaction of revulsion. It is therefore, literally, a hate ad.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 23, 2009 1:00:30 AM

No on 1 needs to hit back hard on the Wirthlins as well. They are hardly the unassuming soap and starch, homespun traditional folk they make themselves out to be. It's no secret that they have close family ties to the Mormon cult hierarchy and are allied with homo hate group Massresistance. If left unchecked they can do great damage. Robin's "he's in SECOND GRADE" whine was particularly effective in linking gay marriage with the corruption of young children.

I still want to know why they decided to change "gay marriage" to "homosexual marriage." Did "homosexual" poll scarier with the focus groups?

Posted by: WilliamM | Sep 23, 2009 1:35:01 AM

In the end, these bigots do more to secure our civil rights than we could ever achieve on our own.

We will lose in Maine. I am sorry to say that, but having grown up there, I know first hand that Maine is populated by a bunch of toothless, redneck, bigots. They will vote to take away our rights just as they did in California, where I now live. And they will vote to take away our rights WHEREVER and WHENEVER our rights are are up for popular vote. (I wonder why NO ONE ELSE'S civil rights have ever been up for popular vote?)

So while our inevitable loss in Maine will be painful, as it always is, in the end, it will bring more attention to the vile discrimination that is carried out daily in this country not only by our own Government, but by the very Heterosexuals who are responsible for the creation of gay and lesbian children.

Sick, sick world.

Posted by: Bill | Sep 23, 2009 1:29:58 PM

Failing to address the religious bias of the opposition is what cost No on 8 the ballot. No on 1 needs to IMMEDIATELY produce ads exposing the Wirthlins and Bansley as anti-gay activists; as well as pointing out their distorted claims.

Posted by: ---- | Sep 23, 2009 1:36:34 PM

William, the use of the word "homosexual" is purposeful and pejorative - they are trying to clinically label us as something unnatural, not normal, "the other." Check out any recent copywriting style manual and you'll see what I mean. These h8trz are again showing their SICK OBSESSION with queer sex and sexuality.

Posted by: Your Uncle Bastard | Sep 24, 2009 9:52:52 AM

Mrs. Bansleys claims are not false she taught at a public institution, a college no less. As one of her students i know she is not a hateful person. I was taught in a public institution in Maine and i know that you cant escape the pro-gay speech. there is no view of the opposing side, talk about stifling. in response to the claims that the wirthlins are part of the hate group massresistance that should not reflect upon Mrs. Bansley i know her and her family well and know that they are not connected with this group nor part of the mormon cult

Posted by: gotJESUS | Sep 27, 2009 9:39:37 PM

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