Children should be taught about same-sex marriage as they grow up to avoid confusion later on in their lives. Same-sex marriage has become a regular issue in the news lately, and children will wonder what all the fuss is about if they are not presented with the facts of life. From an early age, kids are taught that men and women get married from fairy tales, television, movies and from observing others around them. What happens when children see same-sex marriage argued on the news? Children will not know what to make of it and they will grow up with a negative attitude toward the gay community.
According to Yahoo! News, a federal judge has recently dismissed a suit filed by two families in Lexington, Mass., that wanted public schools to stop teaching their children about gay marriage. The families who filed the suit claimed that the reading of a gay-themed book in class without first notifying parents was a violation of religious rights.
I do not feel that allowing children to see homosexuality discussed in a children’s book is violating anyone’s religious rights. The families may not agree with homosexuality, but it still exists. Avoiding the subject in the classroom does not make it disappear. Children will still see it in the media when they go home. Parents have the ability to explain how they feel about homosexuality to their children. Someday children will develop their own opinions about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Trying to ignore the subject will not be successful and will not be beneficial to children.
I am a firm believer in open-mindedness. Introducing children to the concept of homosexuality and heterosexuality will allow them to be more open-minded when they get older. I do not believe children should be taught about sexual aspects of homosexuality in school just like they are not taught sexual aspects of heterosexuality in elementary school.
“Reading the book was not intended as sex education but as a way to educate children about the world in which they live, especially in Massachusetts, the only U.S. state where gays and lesbians can legally wed,” said officials from the Lexington school system.
Federal Judge Mark Wolf, who dismissed the case, ruled that public schools have the right to teach anything that is reasonably relevant to teaching students to become engaged productive citizens in democracy.
“Diversity is a hallmark of our nation,” Wolf said. “It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.”
The book that sparked the controversy is titled “King & King.” The book tells the story of a young prince who rejects several beautiful princesses because he is in love with another prince. The two princes marry and seal the union with a kiss and go on to live happily ever after.
The use of a book like “King & King” is a gentle introduction to the ways of society. The Disney movie “Bambi” taught children about death, “Cinderella” taught children that life is not always fair and “Aladdin” taught children about the class system. “King and King” serves that same purpose of many other types of children’s media. It shares an idea in a way that children can begin to understand their world and all of the different ideas in it.
Michelle Anderson is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Tyler. Her column appears Fridays.