The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

October 29, 2008
Proposition 8 is about rights, not field trips

In the waning days of the campaign, Proponents of Proposition 8 -- which would change California's Constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage -- have seized on an incident from a public charter school in San Francisco.  Parents of 18 first-graders organized a 90-minute field trip to City Hall to surprise their children's teacher, a lesbian who was getting married that day.  As is the case for all field trips, reported the San Francisco Chronicle, parents had to sign permission slips and could opt out of the trip.  Two did and those children spent the 90 minutes with another first-grade class back at school.

So now Prop 8 advocates have produced an ad, using video footage of the children from that event.  The parents are outraged, saying that no one asked their permission to flash images of their children in a statewide advertising campaign.  They are most bothered that Prop 8 advocates are using the images to turn what was a joyful event into what they see as propaganda for a hateful purpose.

The fact is, Prop 8 will not make gay people disappear. Kids will continue to have gay teachers.  Nor will Prop 8 render gay couples invisible.  They'll still be part of our communities.  Finally, Prop 8 will not change the fact that local school districts decide how to teach about marriage -- or not to teach about marriage at all.

But Prop 8, if it passes, would for the first time introduce language into the California Constitution making gay people second-class citizens.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein understands that and has cut an ad that makes that purpose clear.  She urges Californians to vote "No", saying that Prop 8 "eliminates fundamental rights" and "treats people differently under the law." Watch her very effective ad here.   

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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