The "Protect The Children" Smear

Seyward Darby does some reporting:

Maine's gay marriage opponents recruited Frank Schubert, the p.r. strategist behind last year's Proposition 8 advertisements in California, to employ his signature tricks--including telling voters that, if the law remains as it is, gay marriage will be taught to schoolchildren. The law includes no language about altering school curricula, and last week, Maine's attorney general confirmed that her "analysis of the issue reveals no impact" on what students are taught. But Yes On 1 is still pressing the point--and hard.

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which is backing the Yes On 1 campaign, told me there's plenty of evidence that the law will allow gay marriage to infiltrate classrooms. "We don't have to guess or create hypotheticals. We already know," Brown insisted. "Let's not argue about the fact that this is what same-sex marriage proponents want."

From later in the post:

"I don't think that parents want their kids as young as kindergarten being taught about same-sex marriage, period, whether the teacher thinks it's appropriate or not," Brown said.

In other words, in the minds of Yes On 1 supporters, teaching gay marriage can mean merely saying that it exists, although, inevitably, gay-loving teachers will go further and tell children it's a good thing. And the Maine law does nothing to prevent this. "I'd like to see that in writing, guys. Show it to me that it's not going to be taught in schools," Marc Mutty, chair of Yes On 1, said this week in a local news segment. "I dare you to guarantee me that this subject will not come up in schools. I don't think they [No On 1] can do that."

I'm fine with the law as it is. But I dare Mutty to guarantee Maine voters that, if the legislation were amended to forbid discussions of gay marriage in classrooms, Yes On 1 would end its this-will-harm-children crusade. I don't think he can.