As the state of Illinois considers legalizing same-sex marriage (the Senate passed it the other day, making its ultimate passage very likely), the anti-gay Illinois Family Institute is pulling out all the stops to, err, stop it. And of course, it’s all about saving the children. From what? From the horrible knowledge that gay people exist.
Elementary schools will not be able to keep picture books that portray homosexuality positively out of their libraries and classrooms. Those who still harbor the stereotype of librarians as conservative stuffed shirts will be surprised to learn that librarians and university programs in library science are, like teacher education programs, notoriously liberal…
Public schools will be hiring teachers who are in legal “homosexual marriages.” These teachers will put photos of their homosexual spouses on their desks and talk about their homosexual spouses to their students. Such images and ideas coming from teachers whom children love and admire will powerfully shape the feelings and beliefs of young boys and girls, particularly when such images and ideas are reinforced countless times in other cultural contexts. Such images and ideas will undermine what is being taught at home.
Some will argue that schools are already hiring teachers in homosexual relationships, so the legalization of same-sex marriage won’t change anything. They are only partly correct. Although schools are, unfortunately, already hiring teachers in homosexual relationships, once the government recognizes homosexual unions as marriages, administrators and school boards—particularly in elementary schools—will have the social stigma that makes them reluctant to hire teachers in homosexual unions knocked out from under them. And this, of course, is the chief motivation for homosexuals to pursue same-sex marriage when they already have all the benefits and privileges of marriage through Illinois’ civil union law.
It’s “unfortunate” that schools are already hiring gay teachers. Because for these bigots, it isn’t just gay marriage they freak out about, it’s the inability to discriminate against gay people in every way possible. And children must be protected against the mere knowledge that gay people exist.