By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun
3:34 PM EDT, October 29, 2012
Opponents of Question 6 are airing a television commercial that claims same-sex marriage could be "taught in schools" if the law is upheld in the November election.
What the ad says: The commercial features David and Tonia Parker, a Massachusetts couple who sued the school board when their son brought home a book that discussed gay married couples. A federal judge tossed out the lawsuit, saying schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens."
The facts: State and local boards set the curriculum in Maryland public schools, education officials note. Question 6 "does not affect public school curriculum in the State of Maryland," Lillian M. Lowery, the state schools superintendent, said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun. "Whether or not a couple has a civil marriage license is not a matter for the public school system."
William Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, said state officials provide "no guidance" to teachers about talking about different types of families. "It has not been an issue," he said.
Asked to support the ad's claim, Frank Schubert, the consultant running the campaign against same-sex marriage in Maryland and other states, said "it necessarily follows" that schools would teach same-sex marriage if Question 6 is approved.
Analysis: Opponents frequently use the Parker family when trying to persuade lawmakers or citizens to vote no on same-sex marriage. It is part of a broader narrative that approval of Question 6 would have unintended "consequences."
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