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Save the Children!

Save the Children!

The children, oh, please, save the children. The newest ploy in California to take away equal rights is to use Massachusetts, writer Sara Whitman's home state, as an example of all that will go wrong. Children will be 'forced' to learn about gay families should voters defeat Prop. 8 on election day.

I’ve had enough.

I’m tired of being treated like some freak that needs to be carefully sidestepped at every election as if supporting my marriage is touching the third rail. I’m tired of the rhetoric that “gay marriage” will be taught in classrooms across the land and small children will be exposed to sexuality in inappropriate ways if equality is given to all.

The children, oh, please, save the children.

The newest ploy in California to take away equal rights is to use Massachusetts, my home state, as an example of all that will go wrong. Children will be “forced” to learn about gay families.

They may even be exposed to a book, King and King, that on one page shows two men kissing.

Oh, the horror. I have to admit, any time my kids see my wife and I give each other a peck, they do shriek in disgust. The same way all kids do when they see their parents express affection.

What makes me the angriest is not the stones they are throwing at me -- bring it on -- but the effect it has on my kids. My kids aren’t gay. They have gay parents. Should their teacher have to send out a permission form every time one of my kids mentions his parents? If they draw a picture of their family, does it require parental notification?

Is that what we want in our schools? A lock down on anything different?

The people so concerned with the “children” are clearly not concerned with mine at all. While it’s fine for my son’s fifth grade teacher to come in and share pictures and stories about her heterosexual marriage ceremony, it’s suddenly all about sexual behavior when a lesbian or gay man does it.

I will admit, all my kids did, in fact, talk about our wedding at school. It was historic, it was about social change and you know what they discussed? The chocolate fountain at the reception. The giant bouquets of hostess Twinkies, ho ho’s and cupcakes.

They are kids. They have lives they want to share with their friends. Why should they be singled out for different treatment because of who their parents are? Can you even imagine anyone recommending doing this to kids of interracial marriages?

Proposition 8 supporters are running ads with little children asking their heterosexual parents about men with men and women with women. Funny thing is, with all those heterosexual teachers at school, some parading around with pregnant bellies, and I have never once had my kids ask about heterosexual sex practices.

Nor do they come home and ask, Mommy? Can a man and woman get married? And it’s not solely because kids are awash in 24/7 media images of men and women together, often sexually, but because they don’t really care.

They care about their worlds. Soccer games. Playdates. Chocolate fountains.

And so what if kids do come home and ask about gay families? If you’re really such a bigot, just spew out all the hateful things you have to say about homosexuality. See it as a teachable moment.

Son, if you grow up to be gay, we’ll disown you, the church will shun you, and in fact, you’ll burn in hell. Now go do your homework.

I’m tired of being treated like some leper that will infect children with horrible values simply by being acknowledged. I’ve got news for those folks -- I’m a parent, first and foremost. I’m also a wife, a writer, a neighbor, a friend, a colleague, and a pretty damn good cook. I coach my son’s soccer team, I fold laundry and I make my kids brush their teeth. I volunteer at the school on occasion even though on top of it all, I’m a big ol’ lesbian.

The kids don’t care. They just want someone to help tie their shoes, or pick out a library book.

Save the children? Don’t believe it for a second. They only want to save a hateful way of seeing the world through very narrow eyes.

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Sara Whitman