In the states where marriage equality is on the ballot this year, NOM and its local surrogates have launched their usual late-in-campaign barrage of lying homophobic ads veiled in a veneer of reasonableness.
One of their main tactics is to say (paraphrased) “If gay marriage is legalized, children will be taught it in school.” It sounds so scary! I can imagine thousands of ordinary straight parents thinking “I don't have anything against gays, but I don't want the schools turning my kids gay!”
I, personally, think that it's a good idea for schools to teach kids about reality. If in some context a school is teaching students about marriage, and they're in a state where you can get married to someone you love regardless of their gender, then yes, of course the school should mention that marriage is not limited to opposite-sex couples. You'd rather that our schools lie to our kids? After all, there's nothing wrong with being gay.
But I recognize that my above approach is not a good one for convincing those concerned straight parents. Fortunately, the pro-marriage-equality people in Maine are way better at this than I am, and they've produced this awesome 30-second ad addressing the issue:
It features a Maine teacher who's also a parent, who says (among other things):
Like most kids today, our children already know people who are gay or lesbian. [...] What we do in a school is no substitute for what happens at home. [...] No law is going to change the core values we teach our kids here at home.
Good stuff. I really hope that this approach resonates with its target audience, and works to counter the scaremongering from NOM.
The other Maine video I wanted to mention is on a different topic: it's a teenager talking about his moms:
The thing that I find unusual (in a good way) about this one is that it's an inversion of a common marriage-equality-ad approach: instead of a straight couple saying “I want my gay daughter [or son, but usually daughter] to have a marriage like ours,” it's a straight teen saying that when he gets married to a woman, he hopes to have a marriage like that of his moms. I don't know whether that'll resonate with the target audience, but I really like it—holding up a same-sex couple as the role models for straight people to emulate is a nice twist.
If you like these ads, it's not too late to donate to Mainers United for Marriage. I'm really hoping that in a few days, Maine (and Washington and Maryland) will join the states that have marriage equality.