A few weeks ago the Attorney General of Maine was asked to review the effect of Maine's equal marriage rights law (suspended pending the referendum in November) on educational curricula, given the opposition's assertions that the new law would force gay marriage to be taught in schools, etc.
Today the Attorney General issued her report.
In a smackdown worthy of Mark Elias toying with the Coleman lawyers, she destroyed their arguments. A few choice excerpts below.
Dear Commissioner Gendron:
You have asked about the implications of LD 1020, PL 2009, ch. 82,
"An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious
Freedom," on the development of school curricula in our state.
My office's analysis of the issue reveals no impact on the
curricula of Maine's public schools.
LD 1020, as enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by
the Governor on May 6, 2009, expands the availability of civil
to couples of the same gender...
I have scoured Maine laws relating to the education of its
children for any references to marriage in the public school
curricula. I have found none...
In fact, for parents concerned about educational practices in
Maine, safeguards for persons with religious beliefs are already
provided in the law: The Maine Learning Results statute,
20-A M.R.S.A. sec. 6209, requires "accommodation provisions
for instances where course content conflicts with sincerely held
religious beliefs and practices of a student's parent or
Whatever the benefits and burdens of the civil institution
of marriage, the state's definition of marriage has no bearing
on the curricula in our public schools, either under current
law or under LD 1020. Neither the Parker decision nor passage
of LD 1020 "requires" or "allows" the teaching of any particular
subject in our schools, in answer to the citizen question attached
to your letter.
Very truly yours,
Janet T. Mills Attorney General
The' Parker Decision' refers to the now-famous Massachusetts case often cited in support of the opposition's claims. More detail is provided in the full Attorney General's statement.
While this will hardly stop the false rhetoric pouring out of the opposition to equal marriage rights with respect to this issue,
it will provide our side with a lot of ammunition, and maybe material
for an ad or two.
The full statement is well worth reading. It includes a few more subtle and not-so-subtle smackdowns. Link is above.
Update Article in Bangor Daily News