Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are the Prop 8 Ads Truthful? Part I, What the Judge Approved

The opponents of Prop 8 are claiming that our ads are false and misleading. I did a taping for a CNN segment yesterday, in which the interviewer allowed Kate Kendall to accuse the campaign and by extension, me of lying. A commenter on an earlier post, Brian, repeats the claim that we are lying.
So how about it? Are the Prop 8 ads false?
Charge #1: a judge in Sacramento said our ads were misleading. Truth: there was litigation over the language in the Voter Information Guide. The judge asked that we not say schools will be REQUIRED to teach children as young as kindergarten about marriage. We changed the language in our ballot arguments to reflect this.
The Superior Court ruled that the language in the Voter Information Guide is "an accurate statement of the law." The No on 8 side did not appeal this ruling. For the record, here is what the Voter Information Guide says:
State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergartners about marriage. (Education Code 51890) If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage."
This is the language that passed judicial muster. This is the language that our ads seek to dramatize. It is simply untrue for the opponents of Prop 8 to claim that the judge threw out our arguments.
The argument that we are lying seems to hinge on the difference between "could" be forced and "may be required." These are pretty weak reeds.
And for the record, Brian, my commenter down in the earlier post, I have read the entire 120 page opinion In re Marriage Cases. I have the relevant passages of the Education code in front of me. I confess I haven't read all the Massachusetts cases, but I have read excerpts from them.
Nice try.

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