A few years ago in California, Propisition 8 proposed that marriage should be limited to the union between a man and a women. Effectively it discriminated against same sex couples, disallowing them the same legal rights their heterosexual partners enjoyed. I thought that since I lived in California, one of the most liberal states in the union, I naively assumed this Prop would be shout down with a sizeable majority. To my dismay, and disappointment in the average voter, the Proposition passed.
Naturally opponents of Proposition 8 quickly sought legal action claiming the law was unconstitutionally discriminatory. The law was later overturned in a california state court. Naturally, the proponents of Prop 8 countered by then claiming that the “activist” judges are promoting their own agenda, and that one of them was himself biased because he was openly homosexual. Luckily just yesterday, a federal judge overruled the challenge, declaring the judge was indeed unbiased and his decision just and constitutional.
It really makes me said that this is such an issue. To be frank, this law is absolute discrimination. It is blatant homophobia manifested as “law to protect the sanctity of marriage.” Unfortunately this problem will not be resolved until it reaches the supreme court, so until then, this legal shoving match will continue.
I am glad this was in the news again though for selfish reasons. Right when the Proposition came out, I wrote a very detailed analysis of my perspective of the Proposition, with the majority of my writing focused on why it’s illogical to be homophobic. It was unfinished, but at least you’ll get the gist of it.
Proposition 8 Analysis
“Here is a brief history lesson about what Prop 8 is addressing. Prior to 1971 in California, a marriage was defined as “Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary.” However, during this time, with a society that was becoming progressively more liberal, the gay community began to gain strength. Also, remember at this time homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder!!! So in 1977, the constitution was revised and the new state said “Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary.” So in a legal sense it was without mistake how they defined marriage.
However, in another section of the constitution, it states “A marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in this state.” Opponents viewed this as a loophole, since say a gay couple got married in Mass., then their marriage was LEGAL in california if they moved here. So they were allowed to all the rights and obligations given to heterosexual couples.
So Prop 22 in 2000 wanted to amend this “loophole” by adding the amendment that stated “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It passed overwhelming with like a 62-39% difference, which was surprising.
Now on May 15, 2008, in a 4-3 decision at the California Supreme Court, they overturned Prop 22 and the revision of 1977 to be unconstitutional claiming that it is discrimination towards one group. I remind you that Amendment 14 of the US Constitution states “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State
wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Also, there is the well known clause “all men are created equal.” By claiming that homosexuals not be allowed to marry is inherently claiming that homosexuals are not EQUAL! This clause, called the Equal Protection Clause, protects equality of everyone. Think about things in a historical stand point….this is how they were able to claim that blacks could not marry whites, because they were not equal. Or that blacks only got 3/5 vote, because they were not equal. By limiting, or denying, the right of homosexuals to marry can only be LEGAL if you are assuming they are unequal.
Now Prop 8 is an initiative to essentially overturn the judges decision, and restore to the previous standard.
Saying No to prop effectively means the judges decision stands…that is all.
Now I want to bring up an important, but inaccurate rebuttal. Many claim that by allowing gays to marry, then they will force the teaching of marriage in schools. Looking over the legal wording itself, the only thing the wording says is that they will be legally recognized as married. There is no clause stating that in schools, where marriage is taught, that they must say “marriage is just a legal contract between ANY two people.” They are still allowed to say marriage is between a man an woman.
Second rebuttal is that they are imposing gay marriage on churches. This is INCREDIBLY not true. In the California Family Code, Section 307 it states that “(3) The religious society or denomination of the parties to the marriage, and that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of that religious society or denomination. The statement of the parties to the marriage that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of the religious society or denomination is conclusively presumed to be true.” This gives the churches the RIGHT to deny whoever the right to marry in that church, assuming they have due cause.
This brings up an important confusion people make. Marriage, in this sense, is purely LEGAL. It has nothing to do with the sanctimonious union that must of us picture it to be. People to disconnect the two in the sense, because homosexual couples just want to be certain that the law will protect their assets in case something ever happens to their partner and other things along those lines.”
I also wrote some additional notes that I never followed up on. But I’ll add them below for your viewing pleasure.
“Other things to address…..
Many argue Kids forced to go on fieldtrip…it is state law that parents must give permission to allow student to go on a field trip.
Response to “Yes on 8” propaganda
Education Code (EC) 51933 (Outside Source) specifies that school districts are not required to provide comprehensive sexual health education, but if they choose to do so, they shall comply with all of the requirements listed below.
Comprehensive sexual health education instruction shall be age-appropriate and bias-free, and all factual information shall be medically accurate and objective. Instruction shall be appropriate for students of all genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and it shall be accessible for English language learner students and students with disabilities. Instruction shall encourage communication between students and their families and shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.
This is the VERY WEBSITE THEY PLACE ON THEIR AD!
Also, it states “How many schools provide comprehensive sexual health education, even though it is not mandated?”
According to Sex Education in California Public Schools (PDF; Outside Source) (survey conducted PB Consulting, 2003), 96 percent of California school districts provide comprehensive sexual health education.
I am ashamed in myself for just believing the so called “TRUTH.” I’ve always been one to focus on facts, which should be indistinguishable from the truth, however opponents seem to somehow separate the two.”