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CA State Board of Education: Prop 8 Ads are “Misleading”

Timothy Kincaid

October 22nd, 2008

Sick of hearing lies about how Proposition 8 would protect children in schools, and knowing that the ads were deceiving the public, California’s top educators finally had to speak out.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and his predecessor Delaine Eastin spoke out against the campaign today, along with California State Board of Education president Ted Mitchell, saying the proposition is not tied to public schools.

Nor were they mild in their reaction.

Mitchell said he is “disgusted” by the “Yes on 8″ campaign, “in particular this misleading set of advertisements about the impact of Prop. 8 on education. This is political campaigning at its worst,” he said.

O’Connell, in a prepared statement, called the ads “alarming” and “irresponsible.”

“Our public schools are not required to teach about marriage,” he said. “And, in fact, curriculum involving health issues is chosen by local school governing boards.”

Yes on 8′s response? Denial and more lies.

White said the claim that California law allows parents to opt their children out of lessons involving same-sex marriage is a lie.

“The bottom line is that parents don’t have an absolute right to remove their children from a lesson they don’t agree with,” White said.

It doesn’t matter how many legal scholars and education specialists and conservative newspapers debunk their statements, the Yes on 8 Campaign is going to make them anyway. And the sad fact is that those who are inclined to search for a reason to justify their desire to discriminate against gay people will choose to believe that the political spokesman knows more about the education code than the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the State Board of Education.

But those in the campaign must know that what they are claiming isn’t true. They have to be aware that they are relying on lies and fears and a colletion of what-ifs and worst-cases and against-all-evidence claims. Their decision to carry on with this campaign of lies is intentional.

Which makes me wonder.

Does the Mormon Church heirarchy care?

Their endorsement, organization, and pronouncements have led to their members contributing three-fourths of the financing for the airing of these lies. The strength of this campaign is due to their efforts and it would be naive to believe that they have no influence – if not complete control – in the message of the ads.

So I ask: do they believe that they have a moral obligation to speak only the truth? Or does the Mormon Church encourage, support, and endorse blatant dishonesty?

Comments

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L. Junius Brutus
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

No they don’t. That’s an unfortunate problem that often occurs with Christian fundamentalists: they lie about people, and often use their own children as foils. Blood libel is a good example. Crazy fundamentalists accused Jews of drinking the blood of Christian children on Passover. Absolute nonsense, of course. But what did they care? It gave them an excuse to massacre the unfortunate Jews. And what do they care today?

AJD
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

But those in the campaign must know that what they are claiming isn’t true.

As a former closet case who spent the better part of his teenage years in denial, I think it’s safe to say that they know unconsciously that they’re lying, but they’ve gotten so used to it that they’ve convinced themselves that black is white and up is down.

jOHN
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

It is not a matter of truth or lies. It is a matter of control and a show of that control at any cost!

AJD
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

jOHN, exactly. This is a classic case of “the ends justify the means.” The goal of these people is sordid and mean-spirited to begin with, so it would be folly to expect any sort of moral behavior from them.

Ephilei
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Phobia: Irrational fear

cowboy
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Mormons (or anyone pro-Prop 8) has to lie. Their rationalizations for Prop 8 were weak and blatantly discriminatory in a civil-rights way.

But now a BYU Law Professor is calling on Mormons to reject the specious lies in the Pro-Prop 8 ads. He is saying that zealous Mormons are going to be an embarrassment to the Mormon Church when this is all done.

SharonB
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

It seems the Liars 4 Jesus are working overtime again.

John
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Everyone involved in this campaign knows that they are lying. After all, the Mormon Pepperdine professor of law is the one making many of these outrageous claims. It is too bad that he can’t be disbarred for blatantly lying while describing himself as a law professor.

cd
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

It’s an old practice. It’s commonly termed “lying for the Lord”.

Hillary
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

I have to say: the networks that are taking money from the yes on 8 campaigns sicken me. They are taking blood money as far as I am concerned.

They can refuse the adspace if they so desired. Those networks and radio stations are worse than the proponents on 8. They are parasites of the worst kind.

If we are going to get on the religious aspect of this, I urge everyone to watch both zeitgeist the movie, and on top, the addendum.

Religion is one of the biggest hoaxes.
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

Louie
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

The yes on 8 people don’t practice what they preach, but we already knew that:

A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Proverbs 12:17

But, perhaps when all is said and done, no matter what happens, what goes around comes around and these liars will get their just desserts.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:11


California – Vote “NO” on Prop. 8!
Arizona – Vote “NO” on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida – Vote “NO” on Amendment 2!
Connecticut – Vote “NO” on Question 1!

Jim Slattery
October 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Good luck, Californians. Wisconsin went through the same thing in 2006, and the amendment passed. Not only do the supporters of these amendments lie, they turn around and attack anyone who calls them on it. It is impossible to embarrass them – facts and the dignity of another person mean nothing to them. But hang in there. Hopefully with the Obama momentum and a well funded opposition you’ll win. I truly hope so.

oakland753
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

It has only been in recent years that the Morman church has gained some credability though I have never understood why. First, the Momon church is not a CHRISTIAN FUNAMENTALIST group as one poster suggests. Anyone who knows about the church knows it is far from this though just as dangerous.

The Mormon church is a cult. Years ago the mormon missionsaries came to my door. As a liberal Christian I do know the Bible. These men would try to pass their cult church off as a part of mainstream Christianity,which it is not and never has been!

They would lie for hours sitting in my living room all to try to covert another one to their evil cult. I am not surprised at what they are doing with Prop 8 and believe me, with the mormon church, it STARTS at the VERY TOP with the lies and deceits!

kevin
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Whether they are a cult or not, it’s besides the point. They aren’t going away and they are a force to be reckoned with (at least in the Western US). Frankly, as someone who also has a familiarity with the bible and Christian history, the Mormons are more than just a schism movement in Christianity and have views that are completely out of left field.

If Protestantism was a schism in the Catholic Church against intermediaries and non-biblical based rituals, then Mormonism represents a 180 degree departure from that and goes into a very strange territory that has a mythology almost unrelated to Christianity. Even more, there is a strong ethnic component to Mormonism where non-Mormons are considered “gentiles” and non-whites were kept out of the priesthood until 1982.

But this is America, and if you want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, that’s your right. Just don’t force it on us…something the Mormons seem to be doing now. That’s my only beef with them.

cowboy
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

minor correction: it was 1978 when the Prophet at that time allowed Blacks to have the Mormon Priesthood. So, eh, what’s a few years…

And Mormons do not really want to be part of or even be considered a schism from main-stream Christianity. They are the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

And their influence is far greater than just in the Western United States.

Timothy Kincaid
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

ATTENTION

THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-MORMON SITE. PLEASE STOP BASHING THIS RELIGION.

It is not relevant to this site or this conversation whether or not their doctrine is wacky or is the result of divine inspiration. And we will not be calling them a cult.

What IS relevant is that they are seeking to impose their doctrinal beliefs on their neighbors, doing it in a sneaky manner, and pretending that their efforts are for non-doctrinal reasons.

And that they are lying through their teeth in the process.

utah reader
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I grew up LDS in Utah, and believe me, no one has cognitive dissonance down to an art like this religion does.

tom
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Hi All,

As a prop 8 guy, I’m truly sorry so many of you feel we’re being deceptive in the claim that it’s related to education. I can offer for consideration CA Education Code §51890.

(a) For the purposes of this chapter, “comprehensive health education programs” are defined as all educational programs offered in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in the public school system, including in-class and out-of-class activities designed to ensure that:
(1) Pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health, to include the following subjects:
…(D) Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.

Now the phrase “Pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of…” coupled with “…marriage and parenthood” is that knot of the argument.

An additional example is from CA education Code §51930. (a) This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention
Education Act.
(b) The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
(1) To provide a pupil with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect his or her sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy and STDs.
(2) To encourage a pupil to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, sexual orientation, dating, marriage, and family.”

If you can summon enough charity to read these objectively, you’ll might see why our side is freaked out. If, with the evidence I just offered, you can say Jack O’Connell is not lying through his teeth by saying teachers don’t teach about marriage, but we are lying through our teeth, then I fear the gulf between us may never be bridged.

As for “imposing beliefs in a sneaky manner”, we’re taking this issue to the people, in a transparently worded amendment. In contrast, the other side has been doing end-runs around the people for years. When comparing the two approaches, why call the democratic one sneaky? Sure, we can cross-talk about base ‘motives’ (religious, homophobic); I hear uncharitable labels for your motivations too, but what good comes from repeating them?

As I’m leaving, I want to thank Mr. Kincaid for the note about religion bashing. It was unexpectedly gracious.

Timothy Kincaid
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Gosh Tom,

I guess you think that you know more about the education code than the California Superintendent of Public Instruction, the California State Board of Education, the California Teachers Union and the California State Bar all of whom say that these claims your side is making are flat wrong.

The legal status of gay marriage will not impact education either way. The proposition will not change one class, one day, one moment, whether it passes or fails. Local schools, including parents, make the determination. And parents are fully vested in the power to opt out of sex ed. I know, mine did.

That isn’t my opinion. Or some talking points from the “liberal homosexual lobby”. That is the conclusion reached by the LA Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Fresno Bee and a slew of other papers, liberal and conservative.

In fact, NO ONE AT ALL other than the Yes on 8 Campaign has come to the conclusion that your side is telling the truth.

Do you really think that we are ALL just making this up? Including the conservative papers?

Or could it just be, tom, that your side is not being honest with you and would rather lie to you to get your vote and your activism?

Stefano A
October 23rd, 2008 | LINK

(Original post seems to have been lost/not posted. This is a retry.)

Tom, your post is another example of propaganda by ignoring all of the following carefully worded AND specifically specified qualifiers to the cherry-picked section you posted.

You want to post CA State Education codes? Fine. Pay careful attention to the following….

51891. As used in this chapter, “community participation” means the active participation in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive health education by parents, professional practicing health care and public safety personnel, and public and private health care and service agencies.
….
51900. The department shall prepare and distribute to school districts guidelines for the preparation of comprehensive health education plans, and, in cooperation with those county offices of education which desire to participate, assist school districts in developing comprehensive health education plans and programs. For this purpose, the department shall assume the following functions and carry out the following duties:
….

51901. The Department of Education shall be responsible for the preparation and distribution of health education materials and for providing assistance for in-service teaching programs carried out with districts that have plans approved pursuant to Section 51911.

51914. No plan shall be approved by the State Board of Education unless it determines that the plan was developed with the active cooperation of parents, community, and teachers, in all stages of planning, approval, and implementation of the plan.

51933. (a) School districts may provide comprehensive sexual health education, consisting of age-appropriate instruction, in any kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, using instructors trained in the appropriate courses.
(b) A school district that elects to offer comprehensive sexual health education….
(4) Instruction and materials shall be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and pupils with disabilities….
(6) Instruction and materials shall encourage a pupil to communicate with his or her parents or guardians about human sexuality.
(7) Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.….
(12) (d) If a school district elects to offer comprehensive sexual health education pursuant to subdivision (a), whether taught by school district personnel or outside consultants, the school district shall comply with the following: (1) Instruction and materials may not teach or promote religious doctrine. (2) Instruction and materials may not reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of any category protected by Section 220.

51937. It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage pupils to communicate with their parents or guardians about human sexuality and HIV/AIDS and to respect the rights of parents or guardians to supervise their children’s education on these subjects. The Legislature intends to create a streamlined process to make it easier for parents and guardians to review materials and evaluation tools related to comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education, and, if they wish, to excuse their children from participation in all or part of that instruction or evaluation. The Legislature recognizes that while parents and guardians overwhelmingly support medically accurate, comprehensive sex education, parents and guardians have the ultimate responsibility for imparting values regarding human sexuality to their children.

Furthermore

51938. A parent or guardian of a pupil has the right to excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and assessments related to that education, as follows: (a) At the beginning of each school year, or, for a pupil who enrolls in a school after the beginning of the school year, at the time of that pupil’s enrollment, each school district shall notify the parent or guardian of each pupil about instruction in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education and research on pupil health behaviors and risks planned for the coming year…..

51939. (a) A pupil may not attend any class in comprehensive sexual education or HIV/AIDS prevention education, or participate in any anonymous, voluntary, and confidential test, questionnaire, or survey on pupil health behaviors and risks, if the school has received a written request from the pupil’s parent or guardian excusing the pupil from participation. (b) A pupil may not be subject to disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction if the pupil’s parent or guardian declines to permit the pupil to receive comprehensive sexual health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education or to participate in anonymous, voluntary, and confidential tests, questionnaires, or surveys on pupil health behaviors and risks.

________________________
Getting the picture yet? It is NOT THE JOB of the schools to moralize but to provide facts and information. It is the parents’ job to instruct their children on their particular moral (read “religious”) beliefs. It is not the purpose of the school to teach religion but to provide information for all students. Further, the passage or failure of Proposition 8 will have no impact on this legislation which already exists. Additionally the student does not have to participate if the parent so wishes. And that is the point. The passage or failure of Prop 8 has absolutely no effect on what will or will not be taught or what students will or will not be exposed to. Prop 8 has nothing at all to do with changing the existing school codes.

This is one reason why the use of the student’s visit to the lesbian wedding being trotted out by Yes on 8 is being lambasted for being not above board. Mainly because Yes on 8 is not telling people about specifically section 51939 OR that the field trip was parent initiated NOT school initiated.

Ben in Oakland
October 24th, 2008 | LINK

The: The intellectual and moral dishonesty of you so-called guardians of morality is just appalling, and I believe one of the reasons our country is in decline. You will tell any lie, especially to yourself, to justify continuing to do what you have always done to gay people when ever you have had the chance.

The pro-prop-8 case has been shown again and again to be a tissue of lies, distortions, and half-truths. Tom, you seem to think that the passage of Proposition 8 is about equal rights claiming that somehow, if I am allowed to marry the man I share my life with and love most in the world, then your rights as a parent and church-goer are violated.

Prop. 8 is only about the legal contract of civil marriage only between two people: not religion, family, children, or curriculum. Whether Prop. 8 passes or fails, you are unaffected. You can continue to tell yourr children that gay people are special sinners and do not deserve equality before the law. you canc still tell your children any lie you like about us. (Ionly hope for your and yourchildren’s sake that none of them are gay). your church cannot be forced to welcome gay people. That’s called freedom of religion, and it is guaranteed by our constitution. you child can be excused from any courses that conflict with your beliefs, which you omit to mention is also in the Education Code. (Thanks Stefano).

I don’t know how you people can look at yourselves in the mirror, knowing that you are attacking under false premises people whom you do not know and know nothing about. but then, you used to burn witches with exactly the same zeal and tether to reality with which you now pursue gay people.

Ben in Oakland
October 24th, 2008 | LINK

Yoo-hoo!!! Tom!!!

Are you there?

Any comment, or would you just prefer not to have your world view and your motives challenged?

BeBe
October 24th, 2008 | LINK

California schools are not required to teach comprehensive sexual education. However, if they choose to do so they MUST teach “respect for marriage and committed relationships” (CA Education Code 51933). Guess how many schools decide to teach Sex Ed? 96%- virtually all schools. Jack O’Connell’s statement that, “our schools aren’t required to teach anything about marriage,” is an absolute joke!! Please don’t be fooled by this sneaky use of words coming from the no on 8 side. Almost every school in Ca will discuss marriage!

YES on 8 to keep gay marriage from being taught in our schools!

CA Multiple Subject Credential holder

AJD
October 24th, 2008 | LINK

BeBe,

You very artfully left out CEC 51550, which gives parents the right to know what their kids are being taught and to pull their kids out of class if what is being taught conflicts with their beliefs (any violation of the code, of course, would warrant a lawsuit).

I say “artfully” because, as a self-proclaimed credential holder, you should know that.

Given that, and your insistence that Prop 8 be passed because it will prevent gay marriage from being taught in schools (uhhh, it won’t), I can only guess that you merely don’t want kids to know that gay people exist and, by extension, would ultimately like to see gay people shoved (and kicked, and punched, and legislated against) back into the closet.

Louie
October 24th, 2008 | LINK

OK, so let’s say Prop. 8 does pass. Same-sex marriage is no more.

But, domestic partnerships are still available. So, will schools be teaching “domestic partnerships”?

OH! THE HORROR!!! EEK!


California – Vote “NO” on Prop. 8!
Arizona – Vote “NO” on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida – Vote “NO” on Amendment 2!
Connecticut – Vote “NO” on Question 1!

Sapphocrat
October 25th, 2008 | LINK

The Toms and BeBes (usually hit-and-run artists who will never read replies — after all, their fragile bubble cognitive dissonance might burst from the tiniest pinprick of truth) always avoid the logical conclusion to their illogical projections:

1. Massachusetts law is not California law.

2. If you are going to use Massachusetts law as a “It will happen here!” warning, then you’d best be prepared to explain why, in the past four years since SSM has been legal in Mass., none of the horrible catastrophes you warned about have occurred.

Then, of course, there’s the blindingly obvious fact that SSM has been humming along nicely in California for the past five months, during which time our public school system has not been invaded by bands of raving homosexuals demanding to indoctrinate kindergartners.

Nor, for that matter, has a single church been sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding, nor has a single minister been sued for hate speech, nor has a single religious college been forced to house a same-sex couple, nor…

You get the picture. But the Toms and BeBes, who will cling to any lie in order to preserve their rapidly-eroding illusion of safety from the Big, Bad Queers, will never get the picture. They’re capable, but they’ve paralyzed their own synapses through deliberate ignorance.

Oh, and by the way… Before another hit-and-run “Christian” cites the “indoctrination” of innocent tots bused to SF City Hall for the wedding of their evil, child-recruiting lesbian teacher, everyone might want to take a look at a most enlightening post at Mormons for Marriage, which is excellent ammunition against this particularly nasty attack (which, I’ve noticed, is the focal point of the latest Yes on 8 TV ad). When you know what Creative Arts Charter School is all about, it’s crystal clear that this was hardly some insidious plan to recruit the kiddos. This school is heavily driven by “parent and family involvement” — for starters, parents commit to volunteering 40 hours a year.

The post spells out everything one needs to know about the wedding field trip — which the 8 camp, of course, doesn’t want the public to know; i.e.:

“First, the children and parents were well-acquainted with their teacher because she’d been with them throughout all of Kindergarten and because of the high level of parental involvement required at the school.

“Second, the field trip was organized by a volunteer parent who wanted to surprise the teacher. Even though it was organized by a parent, permission slips were required. No children were forced to attend the wedding, in fact, at least two children remained at the school. …

-[snip]-

“Finally, these parents chose this school for this children, and all of the parents who allowed their children to attend the wedding chose to educate their children in this way. If we don’t want schools to teach our children things we don’t believe, we shouldn’t be removing the option for other parents to teach their children things they believe, either.”

Worth the full read at the link — in fact, required reading, as the 8 camp has only just begun to frame this as a prime example of “homosexual indoctrination of schoolchildren.”

Sorry to get O/T, but I figured it was important to add here, as the lesbian wedding incident is getting high play, and we’re going to have to run defense on it.

Sapphocrat
October 25th, 2008 | LINK

Louie, that’s one thing I forgot to mention (and Tom and BeBe want to overlook):

If a school is going to teach that sex-ed stuff, the Calif. Ed. Code already mandates (gasp!) respect for all committed relationships, married or not!

(I just checked outside, and so far, the Santa Cruz Mountains haven’t crumbled into the Pacific yet. But it COULD HAPPEN!!!!)

Ben in Oakland
October 25th, 2008 | LINK

More to the point, it isn’t that “gay marriage will be taught in the schools.” I have no idea what that phrase means.

The real issue is the subtext; the queers are gonna get your children.

All of the other expressions are just lipstick on a pig.

tom
October 26th, 2008 | LINK

Hi guys, I’m back!

So many names, I hardly know where to begin….
First, my post was called a hit-and-run. Guilty as charged, I googled into this site and left a comment. It was bad form to not check back sooner. Sorry.

To be clear, my post was not intended to say anything more than the yes on 8 ads are not entirely without merit, and we could use more considerate intra-camp communication (as the mission statement of this site describes). Having read more of the posts here, I see I was probably unwise to post anything. I apologize for upsetting any of you.

As to responding to the eager responses above…Having spent the last 2 days debating with folks face-to-face here at UC Davis, it’s pretty certain that no online conversation of this issue has a chance of being at all productive with a noncharitable opposition. Consequently, I’m 100% fine letting you folks assume I have no answers for your responses, if it’ll make you feel a little happier.

If you’ve any desire to engage, you can reach me at [offsite link removed]

but if I don’t respond that day, it’s not because I’m a hit&run guy, or because I don’t ahve answers. It’s because I have a lot of other stuff going on. Best wishes.

Timothy Kincaid
October 27th, 2008 | LINK

Sorry Tom,

We discourage offsite debate as it disallows open dialogue.

If you have points to make with our readers (perhaps starting with addressing some of the responses to your claims) please do so here.

Ben in Oakland
October 27th, 2008 | LINK

“pretty certain that no online conversation of this issue has a chance of being at all productive with a noncharitable opposition. ”

Tom, “non-charitable opposition” What would you call the ongoing barrage of lies and distortions that your side has engaged upon. charity? I wouldn’t.

you haven’t addressed those issues at all. I saw three signs yesterday. Prop 8=freedom of speech. Prop 8=religious freedom. Prop 8=parental rights.

It is about civil marriage between two ocnsenting adults. that’s it. Freedom of speech and religion are guaranteed by our federal and state constitutions, and they are sacrosanct. that asshat mormon lawyer shouldn’t be practicing law if he doesn’t know this, let alone claiming in public.that they are threatened by marriage.

you can teach your children whatever you want. that doesn’t mean my marriage disappears becuase you don’t tihnk I should have the irght.

so please, don’t tell me about charity. Caritas means love. this isn’t about love. It’s about how much the very existence of gay people bothers some straight people.

Ben in Oakland
October 27th, 2008 | LINK

I guess tom left us again.

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