In its recent editorial ("Misinformation campaign," Aug. 26), The Sun correctly identifies the theme that "gay marriage will be taught in schools" as unsupported nonsense. However, in doing so the editors overlook the sinister underlying message and its intent.
First a bit of history. Frank Schubert, the public relations consultant who serves as National Organization for Marriage's campaign manager (Maryland Marriage Alliance is NOM's local franchise), came up with this attack line during California's Proposition 8 campaign in 2008. He claimed that it created a very strong visceral reaction in a focus group. Mr. Schubert used the same talking point in Maine's Question 1 contest the following year. He was successful in both campaigns.
The underlying motif is the notion that, if anything about gay people is taught in schools, it might cause one's child to choose to be gay, which is a very, very bad thing. In other words, gays are a threat to children. Thus, the more important response to this attack is that sexual orientation is neither contagious nor a choice. While Mr. Schubert often frames this as an issue of religious liberty and parental rights (teaching something that conflicts with a parent's religious beliefs) it is only effective because parents are uncertain about one very basic scientific fact — they have no more control over the sexual orientation of their children than they have over the hair or eye color.