Thursday, October 9, 2008
Until 1977, California did not explicitly define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but court decisions, and some statutes, dating from both statehood and the 1872 codification of the civil law, assumed as much. In 1977, the legislature amended Civil Code section 4100 (predecessor to what is now codified at Family Code section 300) to read that marriage is "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman". In 2000, voters passed with 61% of the vote, ballot initiative Proposition 22, which changed the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman.
In 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to ignore Proposition 22 and allow same sex marriages in San Francisco. This decision became a lightning rod for immediate judicial developments surrounding this topic. The 3,995 same sex marriages that took place in San Francisco were annulled by the California Supreme Court, but San Francisco began a legal challenge that was consolidated with other cases as In re Marriage Cases. On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court, by a vote of 4–3, ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. It also held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution.
Anticipating that either the courts or the legislature might overturn Proposition 22, opponents of same-sex marriages introduced several attempts to place a constitutional amendment before voters that would prohibit same-sex marriages—and in some cases, domestic partnerships as well. Prior to 2008, none had made it to the ballot (enter Proposition 8). Proposition 8 (which was submitted for the ballot by petitioners with the title "California Marriage Protection Act") is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry". If passed, the proposition would change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. The text to be added reads, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Proponents of Prop 8:
The list of those in favor of this measure includes: the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John McCain, and Newt Gingrich. Need I say more?
Opponents of Prop 8:
The list of those that oppose this measure includes: the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Orange County Register, the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama, and anyone with even a slightly open mind.
My take on Prop 8:
Here's the deal people. Gay people don't choose to be gay. It's in their DNA. It's just like being born left-handed or with blue eyes. Would it be fair to penalize or discriminate against someone because they were born left-handed or with blue eyes? Well, it's absolutely no different than penalizing or discriminating against someone because they were born gay.
I'm a straight man who's married to a woman. I think marriage is good for individuals and for society as a whole. It promotes strong family values and provides a stable environment for children to grow up in. Call me old-fashioned. I also think that same sex marriage in no way takes away from the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. To me marriage is not about the gender of the two people involved. It's about love, commitment, and fidelity. If two people are ready to formalize their union, gender should have nothing to do with it.
Questions for those in favor of Prop 8:
First off why do you care if two men or two women get married? And don't feed me your religious bullshit. Religion is a product of man, created and documented by man, to help man come to terms with the things he fears and cannot understand. I don't care what it says in the bible - parts of that book were written over 3500 years ago. Secondly how will same sex marriage negatively affect your life in any way? I get that the thought of two people of the same gender having sex (especially two dudes) can be quite disturbing. But the thought of two fat people having sex is also quite disturbing - do you have a problem with two fat people getting married?
My take on how people should live their lives:
Everyone possesses a certain amount of eccentricity. It’s only natural to feel that our personal way of life is somehow the superior way of life. This is an acceptable belief but only when coupled with a heavy dose of tolerance. Life is subjective. There are certain moral rules of society that are not up for debate but little else in life is black and white. Different lifestyles work for different people and everyone is entitled to happiness. So long as somebody’s lifestyle doesn’t impede upon the lifestyle of others it should be practiced freely and accepted by all. Don’t ever make the mistake of judging other people based upon your own beliefs because your conclusions will be tainted by your own prejudices. Keep an open mind, practice tolerance in your daily life, and society will be better for it.
If after reading this post you still decide to vote yes on Prop 8, what can I say? Enjoy your narrow-minded, sheltered little world, and may your kids grow up with a broader sense of humanity than you.
Damn - when did this blog get so political?