“I learnt how a prince married a prince, and I can marry a princess!”
Australia got its first taste of what the upcoming national survey on same-sex marriage will look like this week, as the opposing campaigns released ads making their cases.
Coalition for Marriage / The Equality Campaign
Known as Prop 8, the campaign was actually to make same-sex marriage illegal again in California, following a state Supreme Court ruling earlier in 2008 that had legalised it.
This meant the “yes” and “no” sides were the reverse of what they are in Australia — people who wanted a ban on same-sex marriage voted “yes”, while people who wanted to keep it legal voted “no”.
The people of California voted against same-sex marriage 52-48 in the dramatic and often vitriolic campaign. It wasn't until 2013 that the US Supreme Court issued a ruling that overturned Prop 8 and meant same-sex couples could marry again in California.
One prominent ad that ran during the campaign showed a young girl handing her mum a book and saying, “Guess what I learnt in school today? I learnt how a prince married a prince, and I can marry a princess!”
“Think it's not happening?” law professor Richard Peterson told viewers. “It's already happening.”
Another ad — titled Everything To Do With Schools — again featured concerned parents, this time from Massachusetts, which became the first American state to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2004.
“After Massachusetts legalised gay marriage, our son came home and told us the school taught him that boys can marry other boys,” says a mother. “He's in second grade.”
Like the “no” ad in Australia, the narrator insists that same-sex marriage will lead to a change in the school curriculum.