Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For the Record

Teaching children in school from K-12 about marriage IS in the California Education code.

SECTION 51890-51891

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:
(A) The use of health care services and products.
(B) Mental and emotional health and development.
(C) Drug use and misuse, including the misuse of tobacco and
(D) Family health and child development,
including the legal and
financial aspects
and responsibilities of marriage and

(E) Oral health, vision, and hearing.
(F) Nutrition, which may include related topics such as obesity
and diabetes.
(G) Exercise, rest, and posture.


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 pursuant to subdivision (a), whether taught by
school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all
of the following criteria:
(1) Instruction and materials shall be age appropriate.
(2) All factual information presented shall be medically accurate
and objective.
(3) Instruction shall be made available on an equal basis to a
pupil who is an English learner, consistent with the existing
curriculum and alternative options for an English learner pupil as
otherwise provided in this code.
(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.
(5) Instruction and materials shall be accessible to pupils with
disabilities, including, but not limited to, the provision of a
modified curriculum, materials and instruction in alternative
formats, and auxiliary aids.
(6) Instruction and materials shall encourage a pupil to
communicate with his or her parents or guardians about human
(7) Instruction and materials shall
teach respect for marriage and

committed relationships.

(8) Commencing in grade 7, instruction and materials shall teach
that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only certain way to
prevent unintended pregnancy, teach that abstinence from sexual
activity is the only certain way to prevent sexually transmitted
diseases, and provide information about the value of abstinence while
also providing medically accurate information on other methods of
preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Domestic partnerships have all the same
rights as married spouses.

SECTION 297-297.5

297. (a) Domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share
one another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of
mutual caring.
(b) A domestic partnership shall be established in California when
both persons file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the
Secretary of State pursuant to this division, and, at the time of
filing, all of the following requirements are met:
(1) Both persons have a common residence.
(2) Neither person is married to someone else or is a member of
another domestic partnership with someone else that has not been
terminated, dissolved, or adjudged a nullity.
(3) The two persons are not related by blood in a way that would
prevent them from being married to each other in this state.
(4) Both persons are at least 18 years of age.
(5) Either of the following:
(A) Both persons are members of the same sex.
(B) One or both of the persons meet the eligibility criteria under
Title II of the Social Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section
402(a) for old-age insurance benefits or Title XVI of the Social
Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section 1381 for aged
individuals. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership
unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62.
(6) Both persons are capable of consenting to the domestic
(c) "Have a common residence" means that both domestic partners
share the same residence. It is not necessary that the legal right
to possess the common residence be in both of their names. Two
people have a common residence even if one or both have additional
residences. Domestic partners do not cease to have a common
residence if one leaves the common residence but intends to return.

297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall
have the same rights,protections, and
and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations,
and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations,
court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon

(b) Former registered domestic partners shall have the same
rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,
government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon former spouses.
(c) A surviving registered domestic partner, following the death
of the other partner, shall have the same rights, protections, and
benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities,


Michelle said...

That sounds a lot like things in "family life" which my school did in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. You know, the part where kids have to carry around a flour sack for two weeks? They have to keep financial logs and everything.

My mother had to sign a form.

But I thought this part was nice to include:

"Instruction and materials shall encourage a pupil to
communicate with his or her parents or guardians about human

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite yes on prop. 8 blogs (including yours :) is http://www.beetlebabee.wordpress.com

Keep up the great job on your awesome blog!!

emily said...

as i've studied this issue, i've realized that the state really does have a responsibility to protect its children.

France took a year studying the issue BEFORE they decided. They rejected same-sex marriage because of the rights of children.

Every child has a right to a mom and a dad. This is how they grow and learn best. While homosexual parents are really awesome people, they can't equal a mom AND a dad.

society has an obligation to provide this basic and natural/biological right to its children.


p.s. i also love beetlebabee (and of course PM.com)

Christa Jeanne said...

Thanks for the blog tip, ladies!

Michelle said...

Emily, I think your argument fails to understand the reality that society doesn't have an obligation to provide that "right" to children.

There are so many functioning families that run without a mother and a father. There are so many children that are adopted that are perfectly fine - and that is what children of gay people would be - adopted. (Aside from artificial insemination)

Single parents can't be both a mom AND a dad. But the children turn out fine.

The families I've grown up around are so nontraditional that I honestly don't understand your argument. If society owes anything to people, it's understanding and love.

Preserving Marriage Blogger said...


I think that Emily's point is that the best environment for children is one with both a mother and a father.

There may be circumstances where children do quite well in alternative arrangements, but such anecdotal evidence does not disprove the rule.

I think we can all agree that, in a perfect world, all children would be raised in a home filled with understanding and love and would also have the benefit of both a mother and a father.


Michelle said...

Yes, yes, yes. Of course. I'm not saying we should eliminate "normal" marriage.

Still, why should we take out a circumstance that is equal to adopted parents / single parent households, possibly better for children?

Is the next step banning single parent households and eliminating adoption? Are we going to ban divorces as well?

It seems as though the bias against homosexuality is what's forming these opinions - not reality.

Preserving Marriage Blogger said...


Proposition 8 does not take away the rights of anyone to adopt.

And no one is arguing for eliminating adoption or banning single parent households. Setting forth such preposterous examples does not really advance the argument.

If marriage, however, can be defined to mean anything that someone wants it to mean, then don't you think that "marriage" really loses all meaning.

It seems to me that if marriage means nothing because any type of relationship can be called "marriage" it will make couples less likely to enter into the institution of marriage.

Though children will likely come to these un-formalized relationships, they will be denied the stability and structure that a relationship formalized as a legal marriage would provide.

The family structure and traditional marriage are already under strain. I believe that current statistics are that over 70% of African American children are born to single parent households. These children lack the ability to be legally bound to a mother and a father through marriage and are at a disadvantage.

Again, if marriage can be defined as whatever type of relation is currently "en vogue," can one really conclude that those type of statistics will really improve?

Anonymous said...

Thanks greg for your comments.

We should be concerned about providing the best environment for our children. Extending the definition of marriage to a group so they can have social status and express their love--is not a valid reason.

Government involvement with marriage has always been about any children that may or could result (even if a couple can't have kids or choose not to)-- -whether it be property rights or inheritance laws or proper care.

Single parents, of course, can be wonderful, and homosexual parents can be wonderful but they can't equal an mom and a dad. Divorce, abandonment, and tragedy occur. However, when it can, society should do everything it can to provide children with a mom and a dad. The traditional institution of marriage works towards this goal.

Kids are resilient, but we shouldn't be just letting them survive. And we shouldn't be okay with them being just "fine." We should be actively trying to help them have the most awesome/delightful growing up we can, as a society, provide.

That's why i'm voting yes on prop 8

Michelle said...

I know adoption is not going to be banned. Why? Because parents that are not your birth parents can be just as good as your real parents.

I know single parent households are not going to be banned. Why? Because children can still become successful and feel loved.

If we aren't going to eliminate other families that aren't perfect, these families shouldn't be eliminated either. Especially when not all gay couples want children anyhow.

Preserving Marriage Blogger said...

Prop 8 will not prevent same sex couples from adopting children and it will not "eliminate" those families.

California's domestic partnership laws will continue to provide those rights to same sex couples.


Michelle said...


So either way schools will have to face the fact that gay couples are considered committed relationships and could have children?

I guess I don't understand the relevance of this blog post, then.

Christa Jeanne said...

Michelle, the No campaign has been accusing the Yes'ers of lying about how children will be taught about gay marriage in the schools. This information from the education code PROVES it. It's black and white, in the code, there for everyone to see.

THAT is the relevance of this post.

Michelle said...

The curriculum still sounds like "family life", which parents can opt out of.

If it's not, then sure, "marriage" is being taught. The facts about domestic partnerships and marriage. Nothing about what it takes in regard to love and such, what is acceptable and what is not. It doesn't teach religious parts to it, and I think that's what people are worried about. I'm not sure where where it would fit in the day though, between math and english? Ehh. Either way, I suppose I wouldn't worry too much about the curriculum. You can always discuss it with your children at home.

Preserving Marriage Blogger said...

Not always....

in this California kindergarten classroom, kids were made to sign "pledge" cards to be allies for gays, lesbians, and transsexuals.

Parents were not notified or allowed to opt out.

If Prop 8 fails, I guarantee that you will see a lot more of this type of stuff. That is why it is so important.


Michelle said...

Wait... would you not want your child to sign a paper saying they aren't going to harass gay people?

Not age appropriate, I know that. But I don't understand the fury that she saw her sons name on the page. Tell the district what happened and move on.. Sorry you have to have a discussion with your child about something you're scared of - it would have come up eventually anyhow.

Christa Jeanne said...

Michelle, interesting that you refer to it as "something you're scared of." At least for me, that's NOT how I view it AT ALL.

A 5-year-old child doesn't know what gay people ARE. I mean, at that age, they don't (or at least shouldn't) know about adult sexuality at all. I think it's really underhanded and wrong to have them sign something they don't understand - I mean, they're just barely learning to write, period!

That being said, there's no way that I'm "scared" of gay people. One of my best friends is gay, and I love him. And with him in my life, my children would be introduced to the fact of same-sex couples. That doesn't scare me. It is what it is.

It's not about fear.

It's about schools pushing an agenda. At that age, it's indoctrination. Parents should be able to address lessons about such lifestyles to their children's understanding.

Here's an anecdote: when my older brother married, our half-sister, who was five at the time, served as flower girl. My brother's marriage didn't make it past the two-year mark. How, then, would my parents explain the concept of the marriage not working out to my little sister? She's a highly sensitive child who is prone to worrying; the divorce was a concept that she would have really had a hard time handling. So my parents delayed explaining it until they'd really considered her needs so as to couch it in a way she could understand that wouldn't upset her.

Not quite the same thing - but parents know what their children can handle and how to explain things to them better than a one-size-fits-all classroom lesson. When it's an issue that is so controversial - and, frankly, when you have a large religious base for whom homosexuality is taught as a sin (but love the sinner!!!) - it is not the school's place. Period.

And, really, children are struggling to do well with the basics of reading, writing, math, etc. in public schools these days. Do we really need to spend time in the classroom focusing on LGTB outreach? Let's just teach the principles of love, compassion, understanding and respect - let the specifics shake out when the kids are old enough to grasp the concept.

Preserving Marriage Blogger said...

No, I would not support my kindergartner signing such a document. The pledge was not "just" that they wouldn't harass homosexuals, transsexuals, etc., it was that they would be an "ally."

Shouldn't we be teaching kids to have respect and tolerance for everyone? And not singling out a certain group. Also, I am not sure that my elementary school child should even know what homosexual conduct is, much less know how to recognize one to be their "ally."

I know that I would not know what know what one looks like just by seeing one, would you?

Having a child sign this type of "pledge" that they can not possibly understand completely goes beyond mere tolerance and respect and infringes upon my right as a parent to direct the teaching and education of my child.

Michelle said...

I do remember writing "Not age appropriate, I know that."

I'm just asking if you would honestly be furious because your child signed something saying they weren't going to call people mean names.

I was six when I got the sex talk.
I was five when my mother got married for the second time. I was a flower girl at the wedding. It had to be explained to me that my mother was marrying the one she loved, who wasn't my father. Nobody decided to baby me. They weren't going to keep me from reality because they were ashamed. I appreciate that, too. I'm glad they thought I could handle it. Guess what? I did handle it. And simply because I was exposed to the idea of divorce / marriage at a young age doesn't mean I'm going to do either anytime soon.

But face it - it is about fear.
It's the fear of people taking over your marriages.
It's the fear of people who god doesn't approve of, being an acceptable part of society.
It's the fear of having to tell your children that although society says it's right, it's really not, because your bible says so.

I'm not saying the teacher should do it again. I'm not saying anyone should follow her lead, unless the kids are older. I am saying though, that parents shouldn't be furious that their children are signing a paper saying they're going to be nice to gay people.

Christa Jeanne said...

For a kindergartener? Yes, I would be upset. It doesn't just say "be nice to gay people." It talks about slurs and intolerance that are waaaaay over that child's head! Like I said, promote respect and understanding at that age level.

For a sixth-grader, it wouldn't outrage me, but I do think parents need to be able to teach this in the home. After all, it's a Pandora's box. If teachers are allowed to teach it, how can you control when and where and how, just like the Hayward example?

And I disagree that it's about fear. No one said ANYTHING about gay people "taking over" marriage. I don't even understand what you mean by that, or how that would play out.

I do understand that if you widen the definition of marriage, there's no end to it. Why not allow polygamy, polyandry, bestialty, incest, etc.? You can't tell me that it would ONLY be two men or two women. If your rationale is that you'd limit it to that, you don't have a leg to stand on! It's a slippery slope. You might be opposed to polygamy - but why should they be prohibited from marrying the ones they love? Not saying I endorse it, but you have to understand that Prop. 8 is about drawing a line in the sand, standing up for marriage while it still means something. If anyone can marry whoever or whatever they want, it loses its meaning and its sanctity.

God loves all of his children, regardless of what they choose to do. Ever heard of "hate the sin, love the sinner"? And yes, for those of us who believe the Bible to be the word of God, it is a sin. Period. No way to get around that one. And I don't think that's a bad thing, either. I can stand up and say that it's a sin - but that doesn't mean that I hate gays. Some of my closest friends are gay. I love them, even if I disagree with their behavior. No one's perfect - we all sin and fall short of God's glory. Why else would we need a Savior?

But for the non-religious, these nuances and delineations may be hard to understand. If you see all organized religion as being hateful (you may not, but many do), then you can't understand how this will affect churches and why we want to teach our children ourselves. It's like trying to explain what salt tastes like without using the word "salt" or "salty."

Jesus Christ's example was to love all - he spent most of his time with the sinners, helping them to be their best selves and to cast away their sins to follow Him and have a better life. Did he preach fear? No! He taught that, as Christians, we do not need to fear, for there is power above evil - and He taught that we are to love ALL.

Christa Jeanne said...

Okay, that next-to-last paragraph doesn't quite make sense. Let me clarify. If you're not religious, then you can't possibly understand where the religious are coming from. Our lives are based on faith and on striving to follow what God has outlined in His scriptures with the belief that those teachings help us lead a better life, become the best people we can be and, eventually, will lead us to our Heavenly home.

When that's the foundation of your life, yes, you do filter everything through the lens of your faith. That is NOT the same as pushing your beliefs and your values onto everyone else. Standing up for your beliefs doesn't mean you're enforcing others to adopt them.

Michelle said...

I'm so terribly sorry you can't see it. I trust you'll look back one day and know differently, though.

But hey. I am religious.
My uncle is a pastor for the Church of the Brethren and I've been raised in the church.

I've read the Bible, including the parts where people consider homosexuality to be condemned.

Guess what, though?
I've come to the conclusion to vote no on eight.
I've also come to the conclusion that it's not a sin.

I'm done hoping you come to your senses. I will raise my children to be tolerant and accepting no matter what. Do what you please, just remember it's the job of the Supreme Court to overturn unconstitutional laws, so be ready for them to do so.

Best of luck.