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.