New York Times Misses the point on same sex families

I’m excited to share
this cross-post
with you, thanks to our friend Dana Rudolph of

The New York
reported today on the Evesham, New Jersey School
District’s decision to uphold a ban on the film That’s a
, because of its inclusion of children with same-sex
parents. (See
my post on the matter

The Times tries to remain a neutral reporter, offering
opinions both for and against showing such subject matter
(depictions of same-sex families, not sex education) to children of
elementary-school age. The big point they overlook, however, is
that there are children of same-sex families already in
preschools and elementary school classrooms
. These kids know
about same-sex families from birth—or at least from the point
they can say “Mommy and Mama” or “Daddy and Papa.” This
blows the whole “third grade is too early” argument out of the

When schools ban films and books showing same-sex families, they
also make our children feel like oddballs and outcasts. No one
would think of showing an educational film today that didn’t
include racial diversity, and for good reason. Same principle
should apply here. This isn’t a matter of teaching children about
some distant community. This is about teaching children to respect
others who may be sitting right next to them, sharing a juice

Furthermore, as I wrote
a couple of weeks ago for
Bay Windows
(and have said
), “it is ridiculous to imagine notifying parents every
time a child from an LGBT family wants to share family photos
during show and tell or write an essay about going on an R Family

They can ban curriculum items (films, books, etc.) that depict
same-sex families, or have parents “opt out” of scheduled
discussions, but to fully expunge us from the classroom, they’ll
have to expel our children or limit their freedom to talk about
their own families. And with most schools desperate for parent
volunteers, do they really want to tell our children they can’t
bring both parents to the school potluck? I make a darn good
lasagna and my partner makes a mean batch of oatmeal cookies.