California’s Proposition 8 would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry by changing the state Constitution to read, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Earlier this year, the California State Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional “Proposition 22”, a 2000 referendum that banned same-sex marriage.
Proposition 8 backers are running heavy, emotional radio advertising spots claiming the Supreme Court ruling forces people to “accept gay marriage” whether they approve of it or not.
This is a lie. It’s the worst kind of fascist hogwash. No one is forced to “accept” anything of which they disapprove. The question is, can the ballot be used to deprive others of civil liberties?
I won’t be the first to point it out, but I don’t want to be the last: the court is only saying that religious groups do not have the legal authority to eliminate the rights of one group to a civil liberty that is legal for all other Californians.
Proponents also offer other untruthes and red herrings. They say the current law will force Californians not only to tolerate gay lifestyles, but to face mandatory “compliance”. They say that school children will be taught that “same sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage”. Neither of these statements is true.
Proposition 8 propaganda also argues unconvincingly that it’s not about attacking gay couples, and asserts that same-sex couples already have California’s domestic partner law.
As we’ve previously documented on this site, the domestic partner law is a feel-good law with no teeth and no specificity. Banks, creditors, merchants, courts and even the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) have no idea what they’re supposed to do when presented with a State Registered Domestic Partner certificate. Even the California DMV said sweetly, “we don’t need to see that.” This nice law and its nice certificate aren’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
We all know many people who feel uncomfortable with the idea of “gay marriage”. In some cases, they’re basing it on tradition; in others, on religious teaching. In many cases, people just feel uncomfortable about gays. We are told to “protect traditional marriage”.
Who has ever met a man or woman who personally admitted their own marriage is threatened by the possibility of a same-sex couple getting married somewhere in the United States?
So, what if a citizen is genuinely morally opposed to gays and same-sex marriage? What are they supposed to do, vote against Proposition 8?
We’re going to go the extra mile, suggesting they consider doing exactly that.
When rights are subject to ballot approval, they are also subject to revocation. Obviously, many voters who are still confused about “rights” may still think the referendum process can be used to ban some rights of other groups. But no one can ever convincingly argue that it is OK to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, while claiming it’s unconstitutional to ban the ownership of firearms — just for example.
If most members of your church are opposed to same-sex marriage, then OK, your church is not ready to perform that private ceremony. And it may never be. But when it comes to civil liberties, we need to recognize that outlawing rights for groups we just don’t happen to like is morally wrong.
If the morality of non-discrimination seems too abstract, consider that a vote for Proposition 8 is a vote to undermine the foundation of your own civil liberties as well.
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