Checking the latest ad in the Minnesota marriage debate

6:59 PM, Oct 26, 2012   |    comments
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Competing signs in marriage amendment debate

MINNEAPOLIS -- The latest ad produced by the group supporting a constitutional marriage amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman may not present the whole story, according to documents obtained by KARE 11 News.

The latest ad by Minnesota for Marriage features a Massachusetts couple that sued their son's school district, after books showing same sex couples appeared in their son's school.  The ad further connected those books to the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2004.

But according to the U.S. District Court, the books were introduced in the classroom as part of the district's diversity curriculum -- "The Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework" -- introduced in 1999.

The U.S. District Court opinion further describes the court's decision, which concluded that parents do not have a right to dictate what is taught in public classrooms.

But Autumn Leva, with Minnesota for Marriage, says the case continues to serve as an example of what could happen in states that legalize gay marriage.

"You can't just overturn society's most basic foundational building block and have there be no consequences.  That doesn't make any sense at all, and I think most Minnesotans fully understand that," Leva said.

In the meantime, a spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Education said the conversation about a possible impact on schools is premature -- given that even if the amendment fails, same-sex marriage would still be illegal in the state of Minnesota.

Keith Hovis also said that while each district determines their own curriculum, the state promotes national standards regarding health-based education.

"The Minnesota Department of Education believes every student deserves a safe, supportive environment in which to learn.  While MDE sets standards and benchmarks, as a local control state, districts make decisions about curriculum and materials," he said.



(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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