As May 8th approaches, more and more North Carolinians are making their way early to the polling booths. Unlike earlier primaries, the main issue on their minds is not the various candidates running for office but the referendum on the Marriage Protection Amendment. Those who support the amendment repeatedly warn that failure to pass the amendment will negatively impact businesses and religious organizations. Those who oppose the amendment rebuff such warnings, claiming that nothing will change—life will go on as we know it. If anything, it will bring rights and freedom to homosexuals. Although I agree that every American is entitled to certain rights and freedom, I want us to look at them from the viewpoint of the family.

If the Amendment fails, it will have serious impact on parental rights. Children are not the property of the state to be indoctrinated with the propaganda of some Führer; they are the heritage of their parents to be reared under their guidance, love, and protection. Parents are the rightful instructors in all matters on morality and ethics, especially sexuality. That line has been crossed already by the introduction of sex education into the school curriculum. Such issues should have remained at the sole discretion of the parents. Furthermore, sex-education is based on the erroneous belief that information equals transformation. As if, a thief will stop stealing if he is given courses in safe-larceny and safe-burglary! Some may consider this to be naïve and argue that “kids will do what they want to do.” To them, I will answer, “Kids follow by example.” It is not the principle of abstinence that is at fault but the inconsistent lifestyle of the adults. Abstinence from sex until marriage remains the only approach that protects against STDs, prevents teen pregnancies, and results in well-adjusted people with less emotional hang-ups; it reinforces the values and beliefs of the parents and the society. Such was the case until recently…

For almost 15 years, North Carolina schools followed the Abstinence-Until-Marriage (AUM) law with relative success. Three years ago the General Assembly passed the Healthy Youth Act (HYA) – which expanded sex-education to include information on sexually transmitted diseases and contraceptives. Contrary to what is often assumed, the HYA is not a mandate for a condom-based sex education only. In fact, AUM is still the standard and parents still reserve the right to check the materials that are taught to their children and can choose to opt their children out of anything they find offensive and harmful in the Reproductive Health and Safety Education. Unfortunately, most Parents are unaware or busy and rarely get around to checking on such matters. Consequently, children are being bombarded with mixed messages—on the one hand, they are told to stay pure until marriage; on the other hand, they are given instructions on how to have “safe sex.” Imagine the confusion! In some ways, we are damaging the future citizens of our state and nation.

Back to the amendment issue—if the amendment fails, it will only make matters worse for our children. Special interest agenda groups are still not satisfied with the HYA. They claim that it is not comprehensive enough since it advocates heterosexual marriages as the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. It is a matter of time before the current sex education curriculum will be revised to include homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Homosexuality deals with questions of fundamental identity, morality, ethics, and religion. Children should not be subjected to such adult matters. After all, even movie theaters have age-limits for movies with adult themes. Isn’t it reasonable to expect the same at our schools? Don’t our children have the right to enjoy growing up in innocence, free from the agenda of the few?

Our nation and state is only as strong as our families. Passing the marriage amendment will ensure the rights and freedoms of the American family, especially our children.

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