“In places where same-sex marriage is not legal, schools force children to conform to a narrow moral code that is not in line with their family’s values,” states the ad’s somber, deep-voiced narrator. “Do not let this happen in Maine. Vote Yes on Question One.”
The ad, which is airing on all network TV affiliates in the Portland and Bangor markets, shows pictures of teenagers being forced to attend proms with members of the opposite sex, and kindergartners listening to stories in which a female protagonist is only able to find happiness by marrying a handsome man.
“The pattern is obvious,” said David Farmer, spokeshuman for Mainers United for Marriage. “In places where heterosexual marriage has become the law of the land, a dangerous agenda of moral degradation has pervaded our schools, to the point where kids who don’t fit in with these twisted ideals are routinely bullied and shamed.
“Furthermore,” continued Farmer, “kids are forced – Forced, I say! – to read controversial heterosexually-oriented books, like ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ which promote and glorify the straight lifestyle.”
Carroll Conley, Director of the Christian Civic League of Maine and a leading campaigner against question 1, rejected the idea that schools would force conservative Christian values on children if Question One does not pass.
“They’re acting like we’re going to make them say the Pledge of Allegiance, or allow kids to use the word ‘fag’ in a derisive manner without any punishment,” said Conley. “The fear mongering here is ridiculous. It’s not like we want public schools to set aside time for prayer or something.”
Question 1 has no bearing on education law, according to an analysis by Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers. “Individual school boards and teachers will still be free to make their own curriculum decisions, even if the referendum fails,” he stated. “Worries about heterosexually-oriented literature and propaganda becoming a mandatory classroom norm are totally unfounded.”