At a time when November 4 seems to be shaping up to be a very very good night, it’s sad to see California’s Equal Marriage Ban (Prop 8) leading against the opposition in our nation’s biggest state. After months behind by double digits, the marriage ban brigades have pulled ahead on a raft of plentiful money and false advertising. They’ve moved votes by claiming that if civil marriage equality remains in place, churches will be forced to perform religious marriages they oppose and schools will become training grounds for homosexuality. That’s false. So is the slippery idea, promulgated by self-appointed hall monitors of heterosexual marriage, that letting the rest of us get married to the people we love will somehow force them to “not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.”

Maybe it’s a sign of progress that the “Protect Marriage” crowd can’t scare up a majority just by saying same-sex couples don’t deserve to get married, and instead they have to pretend that your right not to like them getting married is somehow under attack. Indeed, as Paul Waldman argues in Being Right Is Not Enough, what’s really striking about public opinion on same-sex marriage is how far left it’s moved in just a decade. When I was in middle school and domestic partnership seemed like a noble but politically unpalatable concept, it would have been hard to imagine that by 2004 our Republican president would have to say nice things about civil unions days before the election and dispatch his running mate to endorse full marriage equality as a sop to some swing voters.

The arc of history is bending towards progress here, and faster than we might have thought possible. California voters won’t stop it in two weeks, but they will make it go faster or slower.

Honestly, watching Marriage Protection Poster Couple Robb and Robin Wirthlin make their case for why discrimination belongs in California’s constitution, what disturbs me most as one of the people they want their marriage protected from isn’t the dishonesty about what’s actually at stake. It’s their honesty about what they want and what they’re afraid of. As much as they bend over backwards to borrow the language of the left (see, it’s their “rights that are being infringed upon,” and now “it’s no longer OK to disagree”), what’s brought this couple across the country to campaign for Prop 8 is dismay at the idea that their children would be exposed to “human sexuality,” by which they mean gay people (King and King is not a children’s book about gay sex, it’s a children’s book about gay people). They want their kids to “not have them face adult issues while they’re children…we just want them to have a carefree and protected childhood.” No word on whether Robb and Robin’s poor son has yet had his innocence spoiled with talk of America’s struggle against racial apartheid, or god forbid coming into contact with people of a different race from his own. And if their son or one of his classmates should be wrestling with “adult issues” of his own, one gets the sense that Robb and Robin would have little to offer other than cries that the child is oppressing them.



  1. The Real Wirthlins – Religious Fundamentalists with brutal tactics

    Robb and Robin Wirthlin aren’t who they present themselves to be. __

    The Wirthlins moved into the Lexington school district already aware
    of the “Window and Mirrors” curriculum that was put in place so that
    second graders, who talk about and paint pictures of their families
    constantly, would see all students and their own families represented
    in materials. Not just traditional family children, but children from
    single parent families, interracial parent families and split-home,
    divorced families.

    Imagine if every racist could prevent their child from hearing about
    interracial marriage, if every anti-semite could prevent books about
    Jewish families, if every anti-muslim could prevent books about muslim
    families. That is what the Wirthlins asked the court to allow them
    the freedom to do. This is an issue about civil rights, not equality
    for gay and lesbian Californians. This is an issue about saving our
    constitution from religious activism of the Mormon Church. I pray to
    God that you will see the truth. __

    The Wirthlin’s son Joey, already knew a classmate, Jessica Soens, who
    had two mommies. This was not sex ed, this was anti-bias material
    representing all families, single parent families, interracial
    families, jewish and muslim families. That was all it was, according
    to Pam Hoffman of LexingtonCares.org. The Wirthlins moved into the
    district in order to challenge the curriculum and drug an unsuspecting
    second grade teacher, Mrs. Kramer, through the courts, devastating her
    life. This book, though not a good book, was at the school since 1999
    as part of an anti-bias diversity program. It had nothing to do with
    gay marriage. __

    Please pray for second grade school teacher Heather Kramer, so
    brutally attacked by the Wirthlins and the Parkers.

    Read more at: _http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=3414

  2. Dr. Paul Ash of the Lexington school district responded to the Wirthlins commercial for Protect Marriage:

    “I can’t understand why they’re saying it’s about gay rights. It has nothing to do with that,” said Ash. “This is an issue about the rights of educators to teach from materials they feel are appropriate. And this is a civil rights issue.”

    Ash claims the Wirthlins “showed no evidence” they ever wanted to find common ground. “All I saw was a political and religious campaign,” said Ash, who claims the Wirthlins went to the arbitration prior to filing suit and made no attempt to settle the case. Ash believed they’d always wanted to sue the Lexington school district.

    It served their religious purpose.

    The Wirthlins are devout Mormons and Joseph “Robb” Wirthlin is the grandson of an LDS elder, of the same name.

    The Wirthlins moved to Lexington looking for a fight, it seems.

    And Dr. Ash has had “numerous death threats” against both him and his family members. The Lexington police are regularly stationed outside his home. The Wirthlins have been most brutal to the second grade teacher, Ms. Kramer, whose home phone number was publicized at the Mass Resistance site, which the Wirthlins are linked to. Mass Resistance is called, an “anti-gay hate group” by Souther Poverty Law Center.

    These are the REAL Wirthlins. Still sympathetic to their cause?


    Ash concludes by asking the following: Imagine if a racist wanted to remove any book with interracial family models represented, if an anti-semite wanted all references to a Jewish family kept from the curriculum, if an anti-islamic parent didn’t want his child to hear of a positive family role model of an islamic family …. that’s what the Wirthlins asked for in their suit, claiming the theory of parent’s first right of refusal was paramount to their religious freedom. This is a story with national implications for educators.

    This is why the California Teachers Association has contributed to the defeat of proposition 8.

    Please remember the 52,000 children of same-sex parents, the 140,000 children of gay or lesbian parents, and the countless children coming of age realizing they may be gay or lesbian. Taking away all family models from curriculum EXCEPT for the traditional family… forsaking single parent families, divorced, dual household parent families … this would disenfranchise millions of California children… Remember all of them when you cast your vote NO on PROP 8

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