Star Parker

According to the California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association, the Proposition 8 marriage initiative has nothing to do with what is taught in California's public schools. The "Yes on 8" campaign claims that if homosexual marriage stays legal in California, kids will learn in public schools that this kind of "marriage" is normal and legitimate.

Proposition 8 is the ballot initiative in California that, if passed in November, will amend California's constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The initiative follows a decision by the California Supreme Court last May that legalized homosexual marriage.

In a recent ad run by "No on 8", California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, says "Proposition 8 has nothing to do with schools or kids .... our schools aren't required to teach anything about marriage."

To call this misleading would be the understatement of the 2008 campaign season.

The California Department of Education makes a comprehensive sex education curriculum available to every school district, but specifies that it's voluntary.

A poll done by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2006 showed that 78 percent of California's adults want comprehensive sex education in the public schools. According to the "Yes on 8" campaign, 96 percent of the school districts currently provide it.

If a school district does provide sex education, it must follow the guidelines of the California Department of Education. According to these guidelines, as they appear on the CDE website, the schools "shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships."

It doesn't take much to conclude that just about every kid in California's public school system gets some kind of instruction about marriage at some time. Should homosexual marriage remain a legal institution in California, there is little doubt that children graduating from California's public schools will see homosexuality and homosexual marriage as normal and legitimate as proverbial American apple pie.

If Proposition 8 has "nothing to do with schools or kids,'' then why has the California Teachers Association, the union of California's teachers and public school employees, contributed well over $1 million to the "No on 8" campaign?

The teachers union opposes school choice and vouchers, claiming on its Web site that vouchers "hurt students and schools by draining scarce resources away from public education." Yet the union somehow sees it helping education to write a check for a million dollars to keep homosexual marriage legal.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.