Opponents of same-sex marriage are almost at the end of their four-state campaign, and they’re using one of the same closing arguments in all the states that they did successfully in California in 2008: that gay marriage could be taught in school.
Preserve Marriage Washington launched its third television ad against Referendum 74 this morning highlighting books about different kinds of families that students read in some Massachusetts classrooms. The footage is similar to ads showing up in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, where gay marriage is also on the ballot and also drawing campaigning from the National Organization for Marriage.
Washington opponents also point to religious parents in Massachusetts who complained about the lessons their children were being taught in school. Those didn’t directly involve the marriage law but emerged from a “school system’s effort to educate its students to understand and respect gays, lesbians, and the families they sometimes form in Massachusetts, which recognizes same-sex marriage,” a federal judge wrote.
And here’s what the two campaigns on either side say: Preserve Marriage and Washington United for Marriage. United for Marriage and its national ally, Human Rights Campaign, may have learned from the California experience that they need to act fast to counter such claims. They note that the law in Washington doesn’t say anything about school curriculum.
Here’s the Washington ad:
Compare that to the ads in Maryland, Minnesota and Maine:
Finally, here’s the California ad from 2008:
UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: Here’s the latest from the pro-R-74 campaign, which already has an commercial up today that sounds a lot like a response to opponents’ ads. It features a teacher and her husband arguing kids “learn their most important values at home, from their parents.”