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Conservatives are confident that Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage will cost him the election. This may or may not be the case. Polls show Americans to be evenly divided on this issue. However, one thing is clear: While older voters are strongly opposed to these unions, younger voters strongly support them, and the gap on this issue continues to close each and every year.

Conservatives are slowly losing the battle to protect marriage. If we don’t change our tactics, we will lose, not today or even tomorrow, but we will lose!

First, we must recognize where the battle is being waged and join this fight on the front lines in the public schools. If you think your child’s school is safe from the effort to mainstream homosexuality, then you simply haven’t been paying attention. It begins in kindergarten and continues through college – and it is more intense with every passing year.

It crept in more than three decades ago through sex education when books like “Changing Bodies; Changing Lives” were introduced. “Most people are neither ‘all straight’ or ‘all gay.’ It helps to picture a line with ‘gay’ on one side and ‘straight’ on the other.” It then encourages young people to experiment to find out where they belong.

The push to normalize homosexuality began in earnest with AIDS education. Now it is difficult to find a subject where our children are not given this message.

It is to the point that, last year, gay columnist Daniel Villarreal asks his colleagues just to admit that the goal is “to indoctrinate kids.” Said Villarreal, “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.”

The nation’s largest teachers union is squarely behind him. Last summer, at the annual meeting of the National Education Association, it passed no less than 12 resolutions aimed at mainstreaming homosexuality.

It is not an accident that most school board elections are held in off years when turnouts are low. Conservative Christians rarely show up at the polls for these elections. They either can’t be bothered or are unaware of how important they are.

We teach our kids to play fair, and then we send them to school. For the next 12 to 16 years, they are taught that homosexuality is normal, that some people are born that way (an unproven assertion) and that this is a natural behavior. Now, their mean old parents tell them that they ought to deny homosexual couples the right to get married. How cruel is that?

The argument that marriage has always been between a man and a woman and ought to stay that way doesn’t cut it anymore. Our young people need the facts, and they need to know why marriage is recognized by both church and state. Then, and only then, can they make a reasonable decision to uphold it.

In a religious union, a couple comes together to make a vow before God to live together as man and wife until death. Since homosexuality is condemned in the strongest terms by all major religions, a homosexual marriage sanctioned by the church is a departure from Scripture and an attempt to “feel good” at best.

The state recognizes marriage for more practical reasons. Statistics consistently show that a committed relationship between a man and a woman is the best environment to produce and nurture productive citizens for the future. Therefore, the state has an interest in encouraging these unions. The state recognized that it costs money to raise children, so it put a hedge of protection around the family unit.

If states legalize or recognize homosexual marriages, then that hedge of protection moves. Taxpayers in traditional marriages will be footing the bill for the health insurance of the homosexual partners of government workers along with a host of other benefits and tax exemptions. Also, private businesses will be forced to adjust their overall pay scales downward to compensate for these benefits.

When any two (or more) people can marry then marriage has no meaning. When everyone is inside the hedge, the hedge becomes meaningless.

Certainly, some marriages are childless. However, the overwhelming majority of married couples support or have supported children. Despite all the media hype, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of homosexual unions do not have children. Hard cases make bad law or, in this case, public policy.

You cannot elevate homosexual unions without lowering the hedge of protection placed around the traditional family. The real questions are these: Has the traditional family outlived its usefulness? Should society remove the hedge?

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