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School Field Trip: Lesbian Wedding

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When students attended a school-organized same-sex wedding, some parents were less than pleased.

two female wedding cake toppers
Last Friday, first graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to attend the marriage of their lesbian teacher -- causing a firestorm of backlash from angry parents.

According to reports, some opponents of same-sex marriage say the field trip was an attempt to "indoctrinate" the students.

"It's just utterly unreasonable that a public school field trip would be to a same-sex wedding," said Chip White, press secretary for the "Yes on 8" campaign. "This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to have an understanding of its purpose."

But the school is defending its decision to let students attend, saying the trip was academically relevant.

"It really is what we call a teachable moment," said Liz Jaroslow, the school's interim director, who says same-sex marriage have historic significance. "I think I'm well within the parameters."

Students reportedly tossed rose petals on their teacher and her new wife as they left City Hall.

On November 4, California will vote on Proposition 8 which seeks to ban same-sex marriage in the state, and supporters of the ban fear the field trip may normalize same-sex unions to school children.

Tell us -- would you let your child attend a same-sex wedding?

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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
Timothy October 13, 2008, 6:26 PM

The facts in your posting are incorrect. There were no angry parents nor a firestorm of backlash. That simply is untrue.

The event was organized by a parent and those two families that opted not to participate simply didn’t approve the trip. All other parents signed permission.

The only ones in a firestorm of backlash are those individuals who do not live in the district and who seek to impose on the parents a set of values that the parents do not share. They wish to take rights away from those parents and call the decisions of the parents “indoctrination”.

Renee October 13, 2008, 6:44 PM

How were the children allowed to attend without parental consent? I don’t think this was inappropriate simply because it was a same sex ceremony. It was inappropriate for any marriage ceremony unless it was with parent approval.

halen October 13, 2008, 6:44 PM

“This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to have an understanding of its purpose.”

yes, but teaching your kids about some dead guy in the sky is perfectly okay. teaching them people should be treated equally, on the other hand… *rolls eyes*

right wing October 13, 2008, 6:46 PM

I wrote about this on my blog today as well. While i do not support same-sex marriage and certainly do not feel that it should be taught in schools - and the No on 8 campaign says in an ad that aired on television last week that it would not be, even IF you supported this since when has attending ANY teacher’s wedding during school been a field trip? and is it appropriate for 5 & 6 year olds in the first place.

halen October 13, 2008, 6:52 PM

not to mention, don’t the parents have to first sign a release form for field trips? so… they’re pissed that *other* parents thought it was okay for their own children to go to a gay wedding? riiight. or does this just go back to them being pissed that a school is okay with kids learning tolerance?

right wing October 13, 2008, 6:59 PM

i think it goes to a point that they are concerned about how far schools are going to go in content taught.
how is it any more “right” to teach same-sex marriage than it is to allow teaching creation?

if you are going to deny my rights to free speech and invalidate all my beliefs and those that i want my children to learn, how is that teaching any tolerance for me or my children?
tolerance seems to only be acceptable when it is not affiliated with christianity at all. that in itself is denying my rights.

why does government get to choose what my children learn about? on key hot topics it would be better to let them be taught at home than having them mandated and violating other peoples beliefs.

Mommy October 13, 2008, 7:26 PM

Yes. My son’s other mother and I would have no problem in letting him attend a wedding between people of the same gender.

However, I pray he never asks to come to some of your homes.



halen October 13, 2008, 7:29 PM

so then don’t sign the form for your child to go. it’s as simple as that. no child here was forced to go. a mom organised this. the school figured it was okay, because, as the article states, it’s a historical moment (gays having the right to marry). two families opted out. I don’t see why people not involved in this are mad that it was allowed, when the parents of those who WERE involved had to sign a release for their kids to go.

if the school had just whisked these kids off on a field trip without the parents’ permission, that would be a completely different story—and not because of where they went, but because of the lack of parental consent.

and who is talking about free speech here other than you? what does this have to do with free speech, anyway? if you were involved in this, you’d obviously have not let your kids go. nothing whatsoever would be infringed upon you or your kids. this situation has nothing to do with you, or your rights at all.

as for tolerance… tolerance and Christianity don’t exactly go hand-in-hand a whole lot of the time. I’m not religious anymore. I don’t mind if people are religious, as long as they don’t try to step across the line and use their religion to interfere with the lives of others, like banning gay marriage, or trying to turn this into a Theocracy.

teaching that same sex marriage is okay is completely different than creation. creation is a *religious belief* (and therefore does not belong in PUBLIC schools), and is not based on *scientific fact*. taking kids to their teacher’s same sex marriage *with their parents permission* is just exposing them to more things in the world. allowing gays to marry (and any other rights straight people get to enjoy) should be a basic right. I have yet to hear ONE decent argument for denying gays the right to marry that has absolutely nothing to do with religion, or beliefs based on religion. and as this is a Democracy, and not a Theocracy, and religion and government should be kept separate for that exact reason, you guys need to come up with a better argument.

and if you REALLY want to get into the whole tolerance issue, you should be able to step back and say, “Although, as a Christian, I don’t agree with homosexuality, I understand not everyone shares my belief, we live in a country with freedom of religion (or lack thereof), and that this is a Democracy. Therefore, I still think gays should have the right to marry.” Many Christians feel that way. I just wish there were more of them who did. THAT is tolerance.

just remember… religious beliefs were once used to deny blacks their rights. and now it’s being used to deny gay people their rights.

mary October 13, 2008, 7:38 PM

I’m actually more shocked that a wedding became an approved ‘field trip’ by this school and/or district! I would not expect a wedding of any sort, traditional or gay, to be a field trip! Field Trips are for educational purposes and while I’m sure they drummed up some educational objectives to tie in with the wedding ceremony, truly, this was just someone’s idea of ‘fun’.

Kirstie October 13, 2008, 7:57 PM

I can’t comprehend how this is an issue. Permission slips were signed, parental consent was granted - this is a nonissue. All of the children present had permission to be there and thus were not at risk of being “indoctrinated” with anything.

Also, as a Catholic, I seem to remember years of having the phrase “love thy neighbor” stressed in CCD. I might not have to love their *actions* or their *choices*, but I’m still called to love the *person* despite them. Just because I disagree with them doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same civil and secular rights that I do as a heterosexual.

Mike Tidmus October 13, 2008, 8:17 PM

“a firestorm of backlash from angry parents.”

It’s really irresponsible of you not to substantiate this claim with a link to a legitimate news source.

Was the field trip “a teachable moment?” I’d say yes it was. With the fight against marriage equality all over the TV and newspapers, it certainly qualifies as “current events.”

I remember being taken, as a grade school field trip, to a taping of some Bob Barker game show. I’d say a wedding between a loving couple is far more worthwhile.

right wing October 13, 2008, 8:59 PM

my original point had more to do with the fact that this even qualified as a field trip. i can think of plenty of other current event topics that we would not have children taken to. political rallies, protests, court cases, are those all open game now for “field trips”

when i gave my opinion in the second post i was giving my opinion.

i do practice a “love the sinner - hate the sin” mentality. we have same-sex family members. but i still personally believe that the definition of marriage is one man, one woman. proposition 22 was passed by a 61% majority in california in 2000. that is far more than the religious right. so you are blaming the minority in the state of california for the decision of the entire state, one of the most liberal open states in the country.

and just in case you think evolution is totally scientific. there are more holes in that than a big old slice of swiss cheese. actually go and read darwin and you will see that darwin did not say they were mutually exclusive. there is plenty of room for intelligent design. watch the movie by ben stein, expelled, for more information there.

and i still believe that tolerance is not practiced equally or fairly. you (not any one person in specific) require my tolerance over everything. yet you do not offer me the same tolerance and possibility of being right. even when i am tolerant of other beliefs, and do not agree, i in turn am shot down and told by that just by virtue of being a christian and holding to what i believe i am wrong and intolerant.

where is the equality in that?

John D October 13, 2008, 9:46 PM

Right Wing notes, that people do not “offer me the same tolerance and possibility of being right.”

Of course we do. It’s just that you’re not right.

I don’t think it’s surprising that a group of first graders got a field trip (with parental permission) to go to a wedding. I am sort of surprised that a first grade teacher got married on a school day.

Now you can rail about the permissive parents who signed the permission slips. The principal who issued them. We’ll just think you intolerant.

Were you a parent of a child in this class, and you declined to sign the permission slip, I’d be on your side. “Hey, that’s Right Wing’s prerogative as a parent.”

To be tolerant (that word again), you have to extend that same right to others. The parents had every right to sign those slips and let their first graders go to the wedding.

right wing October 13, 2008, 11:15 PM

agreed. my children would not have been in that situation in the first place. but you also don’t get to decide i am wrong. you just don’t agree. just as much as you think i am wrong i disagree with your view. but i think in order to live in a society that is tolerant we have to embrace my opinion just as much as you want me to be open to yours.

i would have had questions about the purpose of my children at age 5&6 attending any wedding during school hours.

thanks for lively discussion! and for keeping it civil. i always love a good debate.

Anonymous October 14, 2008, 8:32 AM

The facts are the parents signed the slip, THEY knew where their children were going! As to if you think it’s right or wrong it really doesn’t matter unless you have a child there! JMO

Uly October 14, 2008, 9:07 AM

“I am sort of surprised that a first grade teacher got married on a school day.”

Given the circumstances, she probably couldn’t get an appointment on a weekend. There’s been a bit of a rush lately, as you might imagine.

Phoebe K October 14, 2008, 10:35 AM

Gay marriages are taking place, that is a fact. For the school to ignore that completely is wrong. I am not sure if it was appropriate for schoolchildren to attend the marriage of their teacher, especially during school hours.

I am a lesbian and my wife and I married in Massachusetts. Her students did not attend our wedding. We thought it a private event and did not wish to blur the lines between her professional and private life.

ls October 14, 2008, 11:18 AM

Absolutely I would. I hope that my daughter has the chance to experience as many happy, loving, relationships as possible in her lifetime. She is 5, and one of her classmates has two mothers. Children accept non-traditional arrangements completely without judgment. It is a beautiful think to see.

Stephanie October 14, 2008, 12:19 PM

and just one more reason I’m glad my children are in a private christian school….

Jo. October 14, 2008, 2:36 PM

There comes again the million dollar question. Would there be such a big hoo ha if the kids were to attend a heterosexual marriage?

Whether kids grow up to be straight or not MAY be influenced, but not decided by surroundings. By making such a big din of this does not just show your concern for your kids, but your non-acceptance for same sex relationship, or for that matter, marriage. What are we teaching the young ones then? Acceptance should be the key, not discrimination.

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