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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why not support marriage equality?

After reading the article “Anti-gay Family Research Council launches fundraiser to stop "fake marriages," I’m shocked by some of the beliefs and assumptions.

Different studies in the past stated that married individuals have better mental health when compared to unwed individuals. It has also been found that the more commitment in the relationship, the better the overall well-being of those involved (Shulman, 2012, p. 159-160).

Marriage would allow a homosexual couple to feel accepted and recognized, as married heterosexual couples do. Legalization of gay marriage would allow couples to feel a more committed and concrete (Shulman, 2012, p. 162).

Finally, when viewing the opinions of those involved in same-sex partnerships, a study was conducted to discover the most widely held views. Of 686 individuals asked about their opinions on the legalization of gay marriage, 368 said that one of the things they would find “good” is having equal benefits to those in a heterosexual marriage (Shuman, 2012, p. 169). When asked about the social aspect, 113 stated that one of the greatest benefits would be that they would finally be viewed as a “real” couple and receive more respect (Shulman, 2012, p. 169).

In addressing homosexuality and sex education after the legalization of gay marriage, I first would like to propose thinking back a few years. The response to the introduction of evolution, religion, prayer, historical narratives and sex education into public schools sparked a lot of controversy. Introducing any topic into a curriculum is bound to spark a bit of dismay and same-sex marriage and relationships are no different (Randall, 2011, p. 409). Regardless, the goal is to teach children that homosexual behavior/marriage is acceptable and there are many different ways to form a family (Randall, 2011, p. 407).

When viewing the curriculum, a good example comes from a school in a New York City that called it “Children of the Rainbow.” It was a lengthy 443 pages; three pages dealt with alternative families, including homosexual families (Randall, 2011, p. 409). Another proposed curriculum from Helena, Mont., was a K-12 plan beginning with teaching first-graders that “people of the same gender can love people of the same gender and people of another gender.” Second-graders are taught that using disrespectful language for those that are homosexual is not acceptable (Randall, 2011, p. 414). Fifth-graders are helped to understand what the term “sexual orientation” means (Randall, 2011, p. 415). As students pass through grades nine to 12, they are taught that different factors affect sexuality (Randall, 2011, p. 415).

Additionally, consider this, said by a member of supporting individuals: “A child could say ‘My parents are gay. Where’s my family in this picture?’ I mean, you can’t teach as if black people don’t exist. You can’t teach as if, you know, any other group doesn’t exist” (Randall, 2011, p. 413).

In a court case related to same-sex literature being present, a judge held to the statement that “public schools can ‘teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy’” (Randall, 2011, p. 417). Parents have a few options to prevent this sort of curriculum being taught to their child; they are not forced to put their child in a public school that does not teach their beliefs. Parents can work to replace board members with ones that hold their beliefs, transfer their child to a private school, or homeschool them (Randall, 2011, p. 417).

Many different court cases in our past and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights demonstrate the statement that parents are given a right to choose the education that their child will receive (Randall, 2011, p. 404-405).

Haley Maranda

(Editor's note: Haley Maranda is a student at Indiana University studying psychology and hails from a small town in northern Indiana.)

Works cited

* Randall, E. (2011). "Same-Sex Marriage and Education: Implications for Schools, Students, and Parents," Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, (2), 385-421.

* Shulman, J. L., Gotta, G., & Green, R. (2012). "Will Marriage Matter? Effects of Marriage Anticipated by Same-Sex Couples," Journal Of Family Issues, 33(2), 158-181.