Parents outraged after kids shown in Prop 8 ad

October 27, 2008 12:03:29 PM PDT
The Yes on Prop 8 battle has enlisted children as its new weapon and some parents are incensed.

Images from a same-sex wedding held two weeks ago at San Francisco City Hall are now being used by gay marriage opponents in the latest commercial for Proposition 8.

The parents of two children featured in a Yes on Prop 8 video have written two letters to Yes on Prop 8, asking Proposition 8 to voluntarily drop their kids' images from that new television ad.

They're also asking the San Francisco Chronicle, which initially published the images to prevent them from being used politically.

Proposition 8 would prohibit same-sex marriage in California. Sunday the parents of two of the children featured in the newest Yes on Prop 8 ad say they want the images of their children removed from the ads. They say Proposition 8 is abusing and hijacking the images of their children for a campaign they don't support.

"I'm horrified that her image is being used this way and I want it taken down," said Jennifer Press referring to the new ad. Her 6-year old daughter Lucy was part of a field trip to City Hall two weeks ago to see her teacher married to her same sex partner. Now pictures from that field trip have made their way into a Yes on Prop 8 ad.

Parents of two of the children in the ad held a news conference Sunday.

"The field trip we went on was about sharing a special moment with our teacher and having a fun and enjoyable day. Prop 8 has turned it around and distorted these images," said Press.

In the new ad a narrator explains:

"Proposition 8 opponents claim gay marriage has nothing to do with school instruction. But then a public school took first-graders to a lesbian wedding calling it a teachable moment and now a liberal politician claims schools aren't required to teach about marriage."

The ad goes on to say that teaching marriage is required in 96 percent of all California schools, according to the State Public School superintendent's website.

The Superintendent had something different to say in a recent No on 8 ad.

"Prop 8 has nothing to do with schools or kids. Our schools aren't required to teach anything about marriage and using kids to lie about that is shameful."

William May with the Yes on Prop 8 campaign told ABC7 Sunday, "The Superintendent of Public Instruction is absolutely lying on this. He knows better. They're trying to cover it up. They don't want parents to know that this is going to be taught in public schools."

Laura, whose son Ben is also in the ad, told reporters Sunday, "You can't use children's images in political statements like this. No one asked us to use our children. No one talked to us about this. And I feel like my children are being manipulated."

Asked about the pictures May told ABC7, "The images of the children wouldn't be in the public domain if they hadn't called the press and publicized it. It's been on national TV."

The Proposition 8 campaign says the ad will stay.

Assemblyman Mark Leno called the use of children in this political battle just wrong.

"It is indeed reprehensible that the proponents of Prop 8 would abuse children to make their point," he said Sunday.

The parents say they would like Prop 8 to drop the ad voluntarily. They are now contemplating what to do if Prop 8 continues to run the TV ads.


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