Gay Marriage: Get Used to It

This column appeared at Debating Dad on Dad-Blogs!

My son Will is only 14 months old, and although I think he’s smart enough to take and pass the SATs right now, he’s not currently enrolled in school. But just because he’s too young to be in the classroom, doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to what’s going on in school systems around the country.

All too often, I read stories in the news about parents who are furious their children are being taught about homosexuality. They feel the subject matter is taboo or inappropriate for their kids. They act all indignant and demand that the teacher either stop teaching such things, or alert the parents when the subject arises so they can pull their kid out of school that day. Most of the people against teachers raising awareness of non-traditional families are of a religion that believe homosexuality is a sin, and as a result punishable by spending eternity in hell.

But hell is exactly where I’d tell those people to go.

I live in Massachusetts, where gay marriage has been legal for 5 years. And in that time, the world hasn’t ended. Gay marriage hasn’t affected heterosexual marriage one iota. But what it has done is give basic human rights to ALL of our population, instead of excluding and marginalizing gay people. And although some would disagree with me, I’m proud of our legislators in this state because they stood firm against a petition to put gay marriage to a popular vote, knowing that human rights has no place at the ballot box.

But back to the classroom. Teachers, especially in a state like mine where two people of the same sex can be married legally, should ABSOLUTELY teach kids from an early age that some boys and girls have two daddies or two mommies instead of one of each. I highly doubt any teacher in his/her right mind is getting into the specifics of either gay or straight sex, so it’s not like the minds of poor, young children are being poisoned with evil, damaging thoughts. The message being sent is there are all different kinds of families out there and kids should try to be accepting of all of them.

I understand some people disagree with homosexuality and genuinely feel it is wrong. Aside from the fact that discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation is the worst kind of ignorance, that shouldn’t matter. If you feel gays are evil then you can tell your kid that at home. You’d be wrong and foolish to do that in my opinion, but if that’s what you believe then knock yourself out. But at school, in the classroom, kids should be made aware of the different kinds of families that exist and taught to keep an open mind no matter what. After all, would people get upset if their kids were reading a book with a black, latino, asian character? I would hope not. So why get so upset about kids learning about gays in class? Diversity is diversity.

And sure, a parent has a right to keep their kid out of school. But pulling your kid out of the classroom on the day homosexuality is being discussed, is nothing more than putting your head in the sand and needlessly shielding your child from receiving an education in diversity.

Some people may not like it, but gays, gay marriage, and gay families are here and they’re not going anywhere. Maybe the Bible beaters are too busy quoting an outdated book in an attempt to continue discrimination against homosexuals, but maybe there’s still hope for their kids as long as they’re taught to accept and respect gay families.

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8 thoughts on “Gay Marriage: Get Used to It

  1. Parents have an obligation to try and teach kids what they think they should believe. Schools have an obligation to teach kids about what truly exists. If it’s done right, those two areas should never conflict. It’s a problem parents have, and they pass it on to their kids.

    There are always questions about age appropriateness for certain topics, and parents have every right to know and be concerned about what their children are being taught and when they are being taught it. But the deal should be – the schools won’t interfere with your right to your religion, and you shouldn’t interfere with their obligation to educate openly and honestly.

  2. Irony…these are the same people that demand all school children recite the pledge of allegiance, up to and including, Liberty and Justice for ALL.

  3. In this world, today – why would ANYONE want to discourage LOVE? The world needs as much love as it can get!!!! Amen Aaron!
    PS you know that these people fighting it have a secret room in their basement, right?

  4. I have to say I snickered when I read this. I hate to say this, but there are times when I suffer the fool of “the other side”. I am a bit of a “reverse discriminationist” (is that even a word?) at times. I make efforts not to make eye-contact or coversation with the other parents in Adrian’s class…only because I don’t understand them. KIDDING! I mainly avoid having conversations with them and their children so that THEY don’t have to feel awkward and uncomfortable around me. My family was, very recently, featured in a magazine here in town that hightlighted gay families. I didn’t tell anyone about it. To me it was no big deal. About a week after the magazine hit the stands one of the parents came up to me at school with her husband in tow and said, “OHMYGOD!!! I SAW YOUR ARTICLE IN THE MAGAZINE!!! I WAS SO HAPPY AND EXCITED!!! I YELLED OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORE THAT I KNEW Y’ALL!!!” Her excitment literally frightened me. My first response was, “Ummm, thanks”…but then my second reaction was, WHY THE HELL WAS THIS STRAIGHT WOMAN READING A GAY MAGAZINE? And then it dawned on me…we’re really not all that different, after all.

    Great post, and thank you.

  5. Thank you for this post. The voice of the supportive straight ally carries far more weight among many heterosexualS than the voice of self serving gays like myself in the struggle for acceptance and equality. Would that it were possible for all people to experience 48 hours of having your existence spat upon, your legal equality voted on by others, your right to marry and be with your partner and parent your children questioned and or denied and your beliefs trumped by others, I suspect there would be no more discrimination. Unfortunately, those born into privelege have no frame of reference of what it’s like not to have the same freedom and opportunity as everyone else and those who have already gained their legal equality and protection often forget those left behind. Please keep talking and teaching and supporting. Your words mean more than you can ever possibly know and you have my sincere, personal gratitude for being a shining example of what true humanity, American spirit, liberty, freedom and justice are all about. In peace, love, solidarity and pride, -a gay “brother”

  6. This may sound trite or too obvious, but it’s important all the same: If more fathers had your attitude, the world would be a better place. Sure, I shouldn’t have to applaud tolerance, but such are the times we live in. So, thank you for an excellent post and, especially, thank you for being the kind of father this world desperately needs.

  7. Thank you so much for your tolerance. I married my parnter in Canada in 2005 (live in Texas, so we are not able to get married here). We have a beautiful daughter who is almost three. We appreciate you.

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