Ad on school curriculum sparks heated debate in Maryland’s gay marriage fight

October 26, 2012

The two sides in Maryland’s same-sex marriage debate clashed Friday over a new television ad from opponents that warns that if Question 6 passes, “schools could teach that boys can marry boys.”

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group seeking to uphold the state’s gay nuptials law, called the ad a scare tactic, arguing that curriculum decisions are made by school boards and not subject to the Nov. 6 ballot measure.

The ad, which echoes some that have run in other states weighing the same issue, features a couple from Massachusetts, where same-sex marriages have been legal since 2000. The couples says that they were unable to opt out their second grader when he was asked in school to read “King & King,” a story about two princes who marry.

“Don’t make the same mistake and think that gay marriage won’t affect you,” parent Tonia Parker says at the close of the ad sponsored by the Maryland Marriage Alliance, the lead group seeking to defeat the law.

“Children learn values from their parents at home, and Question 6 doesn’t change that,” Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, said in response. “Parents, teachers, and local school districts determine the public school curriculum in Maryland. That, too will, never change.”

The back-and-forth over the ad comes amid a flurry of activity with a week and a half remaining before Election Day.

Supporters on Thursday trumpeted an endorsement of Question 6 from President Obama and started airing a new radio ad featuring his words on same-sex marriage from a television interview in May.

Later Friday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), who has donated $250,000 to the same-sex marriage campaign in Maryland, is scheduled to appear with Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) at an event in Baltimore.

O’Malley signed the law allowing gay couples to wed in March. If voters pass Question 6, the law will take effect in January.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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