Monday, October 20, 2008

Proposition 8

This post has been a long time in coming because it's been very hard to write. The subject is so very important to me but I didn't want to offend the - oh so many - people who read this blog. So I dithered for a long time about how to start and how to word it and what to include and what not to; you get the idea. Then I decided to just do it. It probably will offend someone (sorry) but it might also educate or encourage someone to think about their point of view.
California is voting in November for a number of things; light rail, renewable energy and prison sentences among others. Oh and the President of the United States too. Also on the ballot is a Proposition redefining marriage as between one man and one woman. Redefining because in 2000 the same Proposition was passed by 61% of the voters. Then the State Supreme Court overturned the people. Now it's on the ballot again, to permanently amend the State Constitution. To some this is an attack on the gay and lesbian lifestyles but I don't see quite how. Under the state's law,
  • "Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses. (Family Code ~297.5)

I support, as do others in favor of Proposition 8, civil unions, alimony, joint custody and power of attorney for all types of partnerships. Share the title on the house, be able to inherit money, joint bank accounts, absolutely. Just don't call it marriage. I don't think that is an outrageous tough compromise but for some it seems to be. The very wording of the Proposition implies there are rights being taken away from citizens. I don't agree. I believe the ability to marry is a privilege, not a right. Sort of like a driver's license. Not everyone can get one. Those who want to defeat Proposition 8 say there will not be any change to what is taught is schools and will not affect any other aspect of life. But I disagree. It's already being affected. Consider: There are already threats to remove tax exempt status and other benefits from churches if they do not accept same-sex marriages. Private schools run by religious groups will have to alter their curriculum or face prosecution. I'm sure there will be a flurry of law suits and prosecutions of Catholic churches, LDS temples and Jewish synagogues for discrimination. The Catholic church has had to suspend adoption proceedings in another state that passed a similar law. Ministers and priests in Canada have been sued for hate speech for preaching against same-sex marriage. That's a lot of changes. What would not happen to make this situation different? Nothing that I can tell.

This is me, welcoming your comments. Make them constructive please.


Rocketgirl said...

I've struggled with this issue since I haven't understood what the wording was and I have a fairly liberal view, although I know that I trust our church leaders. You have perfectly describled why the church has the stance it does, and now I completely understand and agree. Thank you Jane!!!

RHM said...

I could honestly deal with the fact that 'marriage' could not happen for a 'gay' couple. I'm not fond of it, but that seems to placate the masses. I stringently object to the wording going into the constitution. The California Constitution should have no place for laws. Make all and any laws you want, but the Constitution is for running a government.
Private schools feel threatened, but really, they (should) recieve no money from any public source to maintain their open doors. Already it is actually easier for students to graduate from private high schools in California: they aren't necessarily bound to the CASSEE.
I really do think the educational component is being blown out of proportion. Frankly, as someone who has regularlly sat through watching teens squirm uncomfortably as we factually dispense information about "Family Life", collectively, the school nurse and guest speakers refer to LGBTQQAA population less than 20 minutes and it's mostly to point out that they're at higher risk for contracting HIV.
I hope this is constructive without sounding defensive or offended.

Quinn said...

Marriage is a religious institution - civil unions are not. If gay people want marriages they should reconsider whatever it is they are doing that puts them at odds with their favorite religion.

Otherwise, lobby for civil unions and live your life.

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