Opponents of gay marriage are once
again promoting the narrative that legalizing marriage for gay and
lesbian couples would harm children.
The tactic is being used in ads
produced in four states by the National Organization for Marriage
Referendums in Maryland and Washington
state ask voters to uphold gay marriage laws approved by lawmakers.
Minnesota will vote on a constitutional amendment which would limit
marriage to heterosexual couples. And Mainers on November 6 will
decide whether to legalize such unions.
Frank Schubert is the chief strategist
of the four ballot fights. He ran California's 2008 Proposition 8
campaign, which overruled a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing
marriage for gay men and women. He repeated that success in Maine
the following year and North Carolina in May.
Schubert dreamed up the legendary
“Princess Ad” during the Proposition 8 campaign. In the ad, a
young girl tells her mother that she learned at school “how a
prince married a prince, and I can marry a princess.”
In the final weeks of the campaigns,
Schubert has released similar ads in all four states highlighting the
plight of David and Tonia Parker, the Massachusetts couple who
objected to the inclusion of the book Who's in a Family? in
their son's public school lessons.
“If marriage is redefined in
Minnesota, same-sex marriage could be taught in local Minnesota
schools, just like it was in Massachusetts,” Mrs. Parker says in
the ad airing in Minnesota. “Don't make the same mistake and think
that gay marriage won't affect you.” (The video is embedded on
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The ads are yet another example of the
increasingly hyperbolic tone opponents have taken in the final weeks.
For example, in Maryland a
pastor associated with the campaign suggested gay people and their
allies are “worthy of death.” And in Minnesota, Pastor
Brad Brandon accused marriage equality supporters of suppressing the
religious freedom of opponents with techniques similar to those used
by Adolf Hitler.