Friday, October 26, 2012

Marriage Equality Opponents on Air with False Scare Tactics About School Curriculum // WATCH THE AD & THE RESPONSE

Maryland Juice has received word from Marylanders for Marriage Equality that opponents are on the tv airwaves with tired false claims that expand civil rights will have an impact on school curriculum. Below you can watch the false advertising, followed by a response from backers of a "vote for" Question 6:

Press Release

Marriage Opponents on Air with Old Ad

BALTIMORE - Yesterday, opponents of Question 6 began airing an ad with charges that have been debunked by independent analysts and by a leading opponent of same-sex marriage. The ad in question tries to scare the parents of public school children.

“Children learn values from their parents at home, and Question 6 doesn’t change that,” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “Parents, teachers, and local school districts determine the public school curriculum in Maryland. That, too will, never change. The ad is false and meant to scare voters."

Opponents of marriage equality have tried these scare tactics before. In 2009, the independent fact check site, PolitiFact, deemed the charge of “gay marriage” being taught in Massachusetts schools "false." The new ad up today by Question 6 opponents recycles this false claim.

Marc Mutty, the campaign manager for the effort to stop marriage equality in Maine in 2009, has admitted:

“One of the problems I have, I know we need to do what we need to do – not only slam people over the head with a two-by-four, but a two-by-four with nails sticking out of it. Unfortunately, I think it’s a lousy approach. But it’s the only thing we’ve got – it's the only way. That's the way campaigns work. And we use a lot of hyperbole. I think that’s always dangerous. We say things like, ‘Teachers will be forced to.’ Well, that’s not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t.” 
The clip is available here:

CLAIM: “Schools could teach that boys can marry boys.”

Question 6 provides gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to get a marriage license while protecting religious freedom. It is about fairness and equality under the law. It does not – nor could it - change education policy or impact school curricula.

CLAIM: “If Question 6 passes, same-sex marriage could be taught in local Maryland schools…”

In Maryland, a school’s curriculum is decided by local school districts. MD Edu. Code Ann. § 4-111 states that the "bylaws, basic policies, and guidelines established by the State Board, each county board, on the written recommendation of the county superintendent, shall: (1) Establish curriculum guides and courses of study for the schools under its jurisdiction.” Local school districts, parents, and teachers decide what is taught in the classroom, and no state law – including Question 6 – changes that.

The Baltimore Sun has repeatedly written about the scare tactics of Question 6 opponents.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the diverse coalition made up of 1199 SEIU of Maryland, NAACP Baltimore, ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign working to protect marriage on the November ballot.


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