Oh great. Now the ACLU is involved.
The Davis School District restricted access to a book about gay parents and there's been a huge uproar. On Tuesday the ACLU said it wants to talk about how the district may have violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Has anyone read the book?
We read some of "In Our Mothers' House" on Monday at a community forum held by Ogden OUTreach, which I moderated. It's a nice book, but is it this controversial?
The book describes normal family life. There are dinners and picnics and aunts and uncles, kids playing, parents cooking, people getting older, and so on.
That's it. Page after page of normal.
Except, of course, that the book describes a family with two mothers.
Ah, yes: Married gay people.
A few parents in Davis saw the book in their kids' grade school and worried it was "advocating a gay lifestyle." The school district hid the book, someone called the media and off the story went.
We are in a period of great change regarding gay people marrying. The TV show "Will and Grace" broke a lot of ground, but these things take time.
Remember black people?
Not that long ago you got into serious trouble implying that a black person and a white person could marry and have a normal life. One of my assignments at the Elmira, N.Y., Star-Gazette in the early 1970s was to interview such a couple.
They were married. They had kids. They loved each other. This was news?
Page One. Now it is gays.
A paradigm is shifting when 300 active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can march in Salt Lake City's Gay Pride parade. The New York Times reported the march, and it is nice to see Utah make national news without being kooky.
Weber State University Professor Dr. Eric Amsel, chairman of the psychology department, told the forum you have to understand how hard change is. People socialized to one way of life are going to have trouble when that way of life shifts.
Fortunately, the younger generation is adjusting, which is why seemingly innocuous books like "In Our Mothers' House" are important. When children see something is normal, they react accordingly.
This is not advocacy. This is education.
Speaking of children, Monday's forum featured two gay couples with theirs. Three squirmed and fidgeted and watched "Spider Man" on a little DVD their moms brought. One quietly drew pictures while his dads talked.
OUTreach Director Marian Edmonds asked Abigail, 9, the very poised daughter of Jamilla Tharp and Michelle Hasting, of Salt Lake City, how she handled the "You have two moms?" question at school.
"I just say I have two moms," said Abigail, and shrugged with a "What else would I say?" sort of look.
Dillan, 8, is the son of Ogden's Glory to God American Catholic Church pastor the Rev. Robb Trujillo and Mark Dexheimer. Dillan said a fellow student asked him why he referred to one man as "dad," and yet said another man was also his father but called him by a different name.
"It would be confusing to call them both dad," Dillan said. The other student said, "Oh, OK," and they went off and played.
If only life were that simple with adults.
The ACLU isn't suing anyone. Legal director John Mejia told Davis Superintendent Bryan Bowles he just wants to talk.
Talk is good. More talk sooner, in a threat-free atmosphere between families that were worried and families and librarians that were affected, might have avoided this mess.
The Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. He can be reached at 801-625-4232, or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at www.standard.net.