The Real Argument on Prop. 8

(h/t to the Bilerico Project)

The discussion for and against Proposition 8 has been sort of schitzophrenic. By that I mean they are at once interesting and boring. It’s a lot of the usual. From both sides. This is not to suggest the arguments against Prop. 8 are not valid; I think they are, but they somewhat miss the mark. To be clear, the ones in support are without exception completely bogus.

There’s a guy, a writer performer named Prince Gomolvilas, who lives in Los Angeles and has operated a blog called Bamboo Nation since 2005. In a recent post, he recalled a chat with a friend and one topic in their chat was Prop. 8.

This is, without question the best argument I have seen/heard/read in opposition to this most harmful ballot initiative. Following are some excerpts. I seriously recommend you read the entire post. It genuinely is worth your time.

Arguments against same-sex marriage, at their core, have never been about the institution itself. They’re fundamentally about homosexuality. So if you look underneath the shiny surface, “preserving the sanctity of marriage” is not the real issue—the aim is to attack sexual orientation, to disapprove of sexual identity, and to legalize discrimination, which is far more insidious and which will set this country back decades.

and

There are people out there who want to change the law to designate an entire class of people as unequal to, as less than, every other class of people. If we lose this battle, I don’t care that we’re losing marriage; I care that you and I will, in the eyes of the law, be inferior to everyone else. And when our opponents see that our inferiority is validated by the government, it will allow them to continue on their path of dehumanizing us. That’s what denying a class of people an equal right does. It dehumanizes them. And it is the dehumanization of a group that creates a culture in which people feel that it is okay to yell “fag” at me when I’m walking down the street; that it is okay for kids to be bullied and beaten at school; that it is okay for a jeering mob to incite a gay 17-year-old to commit suicide by jumping off a building. These things happen because gays are demonized. And gays are demonized when they’re made out to be an inferior class of people. And they are made out to be an inferior class of people when they are not allowed the same rights as everyone else.

and this

The rights, benefits, and acceptance that you are allowed and that you enjoy and that you take for granted as a gay man are the result of history—history created by regular people, just like you and me, who weren’t activists or politicians or crusaders. They were people who came out of the closet decades before us in a time when it was social suicide to do so; they were high school students who met opposition when they tried to start gay-straight alliances to foster tolerance at their schools; and they are the millions of people, gay and straight, who will vote no on Proposition 8 on November 4, 2008. The latter act is indeed a modest act, but one that will have far-reaching ramifications. One vote may be a footnote in our lives, but that footnote will explain how we stood up for what is fair, what is just, and what is humane. The story of lives reveal the scope of our history; the footnotes give us depth.

Thank you, Prince, for your undeniably accurate, insightful and inspirational words.

  36 comments for “The Real Argument on Prop. 8

  1. lee
    October 17, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    these problems are social problems–changing an institution (at the expense of what others believe) is not the way to go about gaining more tolerance.

    yes on prop 8

  2. em
    October 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Marriage is our culture’s ultimate expression of equality–it takes one man and one woman to create a family. Even if a marriage can’t have children or choose not to have children the definition of their relationship expresses this equality.

    One could see a lesbian union as a marginalization of men, or a homosexual union as a marginalization of women.

    Caution should be made in making this decision. Please read the materials. Please consider the consequences. Under California law civil unions have the same rights as marriages. Prop 8 will not change this. It simply defines marriage as between a man and woman.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    October 17, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    California civil unions do not have the same rights as marriages. You are parroting a big lie from the Yes on 8 effort.

  4. Invariant Memory
    October 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    lee:

    Changing institutions is the only way to gain more tolerance. We would be stuck with a ban on interracial marriage if we had to wait for the racists to put aside their prejudice. And so with homophobia. The Supreme Court decision performed its duty in recognizing this.

  5. Invariant Memory
    October 17, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    em says: “Under California law civil unions have the same rights as marriages.”

    This is simply not true. See the following link for more details on why civil unions do not confer equality under the law: http://tinyurl.com/2amepu

    Also: “One could see a lesbian union as a marginalization of men, or a homosexual union as a marginalization of women.”

    Ummmm…except for the fact that gays and lesbians are not demanding that straight men and women be stripped of the existing right to marry. You seem quite comfortable doing that to gays and lesbians, however.

  6. Invariant Memory
    October 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Bill Spaulding:

    I really like this article. Dehumanization is the perfect framework within which to understand what the Yes on Prop 8 supporters are doing. It nails their assumption that the love of gays and lesbians is worth less than that of straights. Prop 8 strips gays and lesbians of any claim to dignity or respect; it discriminates in order to disempower.

    A gigantic NO on 8!

  7. cook
    October 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I am not voting on this measure, but I do have a question.

    If Prop 8 passes. what rights will be loss to same sex couples?

    And maybe you can show the the right lost is in fact and right currently held. So try and leave out all the “rights” that are barred becuase federal law already exculdes them and prop 8 can not change that either way.

  8. Steve
    October 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Did you hear that philanthropist Steve Bing has made a $1,000,000 challenge grant to Vote No on Prop 8. From now through midnight this Sunday, Steve Bing will match the first one million dollars donated to Vote No on Prop 8.

    To be doubled, donations need to be made through this URL: http://www.NoOnProp8.com/challenge

    All donations will be doubled if received by Sunday midnight.

    Please spread the word to every one you think might be willing to give.

  9. adam
    October 17, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    civil unions do not give the same rigts as marriage. people with marriage get dignity and respect. while people with civil unions are look down uponas second class.vote nooooooooooooooooooo on proposition 8and let equality win

  10. Steve
    October 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    To Em: To say that marriage is one man and one woman means you haven’t read your bible.
    a. Lamech had two wives – Genesis 4:19.
    b. Esau had three wives – Genesis 26:34 & 28:9.
    c. Jacob had four wives – Genesis 29:28 & 30:4-9.
    d. Gideon had many wives – Judges 8:30.
    e. Abijah had 14 wives – II Chronicles 13:21.

    Also to Em: California law does not allow civil unions; it has domestic partnerships. They are nothing like a marriage. Would you trade your marriage (or your right to marry) for a domestic partnership?

    Civil unions and domestic partnerships are not transportable. When traveling, they may or may not be recognized. They are a second class institution as the courts in Connecticut have just pointed out.

    Civil unions and domestic partnerships do not allow for tenants-by-the-entirety which is the most common way that married persons own real estate… and there are more than 1,000 differences.

  11. October 17, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Lee writes: “Changing an institution (at the expense of what others believe) is not the way to go about gaining more tolerance.”

    I respond: History has proven otherwise. When the U.S. Supreme Court validated interracial marriage in 1967 (Loving v. Virginia), 72% of this country opposed the very idea of interracial marriage. Subsequent tolerance and acceptance by the majority came later. Additionally, you suggest that granting gays the right to marry is “at the expense of what others believe.” Well, what do you think denying basic equal rights to an entire class of people is? That, too, is “at the expense of what others believe,” but far worse–it’s analogous to asking gays to sit in the back of the bus.

    Em writes: “Marriage is our culture’s ultimate expression of equality.”

    I respond: I agree. That is why I don’t understand how you can seem to be not in favor of gay marriage. If marriage is the great equalizer, don’t gays deserve that right?

    Em writes: “Under California law civil unions have the same rights as marriages. Prop 8 will not change this. It simply defines marriage as between a man and woman.”

    I respond: Others in this thread have pointed out very clearly that civil unions ARE NOT the same thing. You say, Prop 8 “simply defines marriage as between a man and woman.” There is nothing simple about stripping away rights from real live tax-paying human beings. It’s not simple. It’s undignified.

    Cook writes: “I am not voting on this measure, but I do have a question. If Prop 8 passes. what rights will be loss to same sex couples? And maybe you can show the the right lost is in fact and right currently held.”

    I respond: I think others here have linked to pages that can show you what happens when gays are stripped of the “marriage” designation. But, Cook, you have to see this as more than a marriage rights issue. It’s a CIVIL rights issue. When interracial marriage was illegal in the country, people were fighting for marriage rights, sure, but, more importantly, they were fighting to have the law recognize that blacks and whites are equal. That’s it. It’s that simple. When Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, the main issue was not redefining where she could and could not sit–it, again, was about trying to get the law to recognize that blacks and whites are equal. If you fundamentally think that gays and lesbians are inferior to you, that they’re worth is less than yours, that they do not deserve all the same rights as you do, then I suppose this conversation can go no further. I leave you alone with you and your judgment, and that is between you and your God.

    And, finally, Bill, thanks for keeping the conversation going.

  12. October 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I happen to be a fellow local Orange County resident with some pretty strong feelings about this subject, and I’m not gay, I’m a happily married mother of two.

    I support marriage for all. I support legal rights for all. I’m American. I thought that’s what we did, here.

    I have already copied and pasted Prince Gomolvilas’ brave and thoughtful exploration of this subject which I also happed to care deeply about — that being equal rights.

    Clearly, Prince writes from a perspective not my own — I’m not a gay man. However, the points he raises highlight the universality of allowing our fellow citizens to be dehumanized, bullied and/or and have their rights denied. (Unfortunately I have several stories of my own to tell along those lines. But, they’ll have to wait for another day.)

    My point being: Whether or not you are gay or straight, religious or not, equal rights for everyone is a uniquely American ideal we should feel proud to protect and hold sacred. I know I do.

    I think it’s a no-brainer that we were late in the game giving equal rights to African Americans and women, but it appears we are even later in the game giving the same legal rights to those who have a different sexual orientation than our own. But, better late, than never.

    Also, I’d like to add, I’m pretty darn proud of our forefathers’ brilliant suggestion that we separate church and state.

    Ironically, I also believe the words in our patriotic and semi-religious Pledge of Allegiance,

    We are all “one nation under God. With liberty and justice for all.” So, I think what “God,” here is saying by demanding “liberty and justice for all” is that we all should have the same rights, no?

    So, if gays or lesbians want the same rights to get married as my husband and I have, then by all means, that should happen.

    If our forefathers wrote into the Constitution that there needs to be a separation between church and state, isn’t that to protect our laws from being limited by religious “rules” which do not benefit a free society?

    Look, I’ve said this before, I’m just an Orange County Mom who passionately believes we all deserve the same legal rights in this country, and that a vote for Prop 8 is a vote for bias and bigotry and all sorts of vile things that I thought we’d safely put in the past.

    However, you can read some of my other local, liberal ramblings from this Orange County mom at Louise On The Left — http://louiselarsen.blogspot.com/

  13. OCGator
    October 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    My God I haven’t seen this much bullshit in a while. Plain and simple, Vote yes on 8

    My Pop used to have a saying “Rave on cat shit, somebody will bury you” this applies especially to louise on the left.

  14. October 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Well, OK then. First, Prince, the thanks are due you for beautifully articulate reasoning. Secondly, Thanks also to Louise. It is the enlightened, starting with our brilliant forefathers and foremothers, who started this great nation on the exceptional journey that is the United States of America and kept alive by people like you to keep us moving in the correct direction.

    The argument really is quite simple, as Prince has so eloquently stated. It’s about relegating people to second class status. Using marriage as a point of contention is a smoke screen. It’s an excuse. Those who say otherwise are either blind to their own prejudice or in denial about it.

    I have yet to hear of one instance where someone’s marriage is on the verge of ending because gay people can wed. I have yet to hear of one planned wedding called off because gay people can wed. Yes, OCGator, it is bullshit. But the bullshit is on your side of the discussion.

  15. October 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Dear OCGator: Thank you so much for your very intelligent, well-thought out, beautifully written, remarkably inspiring, extremely complex comments. It shows me the kind of wonderfully smart and compassionate people who are on your side of this issue. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you. I send you a big, wet, hot kiss! XOXOXOXOXO

  16. OCGator
    October 19, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Hey Prince, what is it you don’t understand?? Is it the “Bullshit” you and others are putting out?? Or the vote yes on 8??

  17. October 19, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Oh, what..no kiss for me Prince?! I’d like to respond to one of the early comments – marriage is an expression of equality? I don’t much like the insitution of marraige for straight couples either – the bride being ‘given away’ by her father, ‘man and wife’ not ‘husband and wife’, ‘you may kiss the bride’. That doesn’t sound very equal to me. I’m glad to see a lot of support for the ‘No vote for Prop 8′ on here. I’ve written a few responses about marriage, and it’s definition and meaning. Why should two words exist for the same thing? Why is ‘marriage’ being viewed as something which is a holy institution? Why are the religious afraid of other people stepping on their toes and ‘getting married’. If I marry a man (I’m female) in a registry office, we are still married, but there was no religion involved. And I’m still given some kind of cultural and social status by being married. If the words ‘civil union’ are used to describe a same-sex, binding union, and all rights are equal to a hetero, married couple then why have two definitions? The word marriage is being used as a language power tool by the religious and homophobic.

  18. October 19, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    prince is a friend of mine… i’m lucky there.

    the whole thing comes down to one word; love.

    i can give points on why prop 8 should not be passed… i’ll leave those for people far more articulate than i am.

    it remains love for me… i don’t care if you are same sex or opposite sex… if you are willing to put in the time and faith and work, ’cause relationships are work, then, you have the right to marry.. to have all of the rights given under that word.

    it also goes for parenting… if a gay couple or single person wants to adopt, by golly, let them. there were times in the raising of my five kids i happily would have given them to ANYone who offered to adopt them. i would have thrown in a wardrobe.

    for all of those who hold out the bible and shake it, i say this– for christians, wwjd? hmmm?

    for those who aren’t… show me the direct im from god, saying he actually disapproves. we believe, as humans, we are created in god’s image.

    all of us.

  19. October 19, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Well said, Louise on the Left.

    OCGator, you’re the kind of person who keeps my blog in business. I suppose I should thank you.

  20. tbone
    October 21, 2008 at 12:43 am

    This has been a remarkably great discussion. The quotes presented originally were some of the best arguments against prop 8 I have ever seen. Continuing to present such intelligent arguments will significantly help to gain support for gay rights.

    It does seem to me that the arguments against prop 8 are much stronger than those for it. However, if you are in support of gay marriage, you need to be very careful about your statements. Although this board started off strong, it seems to have taken a wrong turn. The argument is less and less in support of gay rights and more and more against religion. You all need to be very careful to not make generalizations. The fact of the matter is that not all religious people support prop 8 and even many of those who do are not necessarily bigots or homophobes. They have been socialized by their families and their churches to think a certain way, but they are not necessarily hateful or prejudiced. All prejudice is is pre-judging people. To automatically equate religion with homophobia is to engage in prejudice. And when you do that you become no better than those you are arguing with.

    The only way gay rights will be advanced is if more Americans are persuaded by your arguments. To talk down towards your opponents doesn’t persuade them, it only pisses them off, which then makes them even firmer in their beliefs. Leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King were so effective in changing the face of their societies because the respect and goodness of their nature weighed so heavily on people’s conciences that more people began to be persuaded by their causes. Persuasiveness is directly linked with respect. Treat your religious opponents with respect and understanding and they will listen to and consider your arguments. Refer to them as homophobes and bigots and they won’t even listen to a word you have to say and you will have persuaded no one.

  21. tbone
    October 21, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Also, one more thing. It is probably not helpful for advancing gay rights to refer to the U.S. constitution’s reference to a seperation of church and state because no such reference exists. The concept of a wall of seperation of church and state comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, 15 years after the constitution was ratified. Jefferson claimed that a wall of seperation was formed by the establishment clause of the U.S. constitution. The establishment clause was written into the constitution in order to prevent the government from imposing one particular religion on its citizens and was directly connected with the free exercise clause which claims that people are free to exercise whichever religion they choose.

    However, this wall of seperation does not refer to moral positions that may be held by particular religions. It is obvious that certain religions hold moral positions that our government upholds like the fact that it is wrong to murder or steal. This does not mean that the government is imposing religion because they have laws against murder or theft. Moral positions fall into a different category than religious beliefs even though they are oftentimes connected. To maintain and enforce a particular moral position is not to impose religion on people. The founding fathers were afraid of repeating certain historical atrocities such as the Crusades where conversion was forced on others, they were not seeking to prevent the establishment of moral positions in society.

    As far as advancing gay rights is concerned, referencing the constitution’s seperation of church and state probably doesn’t help advance gay rights. However, the amendment people might consider refering to is the 14th amendment which states, “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.” That one will probably be a little harder to refute.

    That’s my take. Take it or leave it. Just don’t forget to be patient and understanding of others, even those you might disagree with. :-)

  22. October 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    TBONE, thanks for pointing out the history of the separation between church and state. And thanks for some excellent points on religion. For example, I, for one, was very surprised to find out about Mormons who actually support marriage equality.

    I do want to say though that it can be very difficult to be “patient and understanding” of other people’s views, especially when those views blatantly support discrimination. I’ve considered doing all I can to be accepting of other people’s opinions, but after a while I realized no one in their right mind would ever expect a neo-Nazi and Jew to hang out or a KKK member and a black person to have a pleasant discussion. I’m never going to sway someone who spews hate speech in the guise of friendly discourse anyway, so I’m not going to waste my time playing nice with them. There are better men than I who can. I’m not there yet. I’ve faced too much discrimination in my life–overt and subtle–not to be at least a bit agitated.

  23. tbone
    October 21, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I can understand the frustration you might feel. It is important, however, to understand that there is a difference between modern day conservatives who oppose gay marriage and neo-nazis and kkk members. For one, nazis and kkk members murder people they don’t like. That is a very big difference. There are many people opposed to gay marriage who do not have anything against gays. Many of them are just doing what they honestly think is best to protect the institution of marriage. Regardless of the fact that their understanding of marriage may be wrong and narrow-minded, nevertheless many of them are not motivated out of pure hatred toward gays.

    With that said, I know that there are some who exist who may feel and display such hatred. I’m not denying that there are such people in the world. All I’m saying is that we all need to be careful of making generalizations. To equate all religious people or conservatives with hatred and bogotry is a gross misunderstanding. It’s the equivalent of equating all Germans with nazism or all white people with racism. I honestly believe that the vast majority of those opposed to gay marriage are infact compelled by a lack of understanding and socialization, not by hatred or bigotry. I honestly believe that if, for example, you were hurt and bleeding in the street, there would be many conservatives who would be willing to help you out even if they knew you were gay and many liberals who would just pass you by. Although people’s views may inadvertantly lead to discrimination does not necessarily mean that they blatantly support it. They just may be ignorant or misinformed.

    People are very complex beings. You cannot sum an entire person up solely on the basis of which hole he or she punches on a ballot.

  24. Torschlusspanik
    October 24, 2008 at 4:48 am

    I’ve read Tbone’s comments and I can understand the point made about trying to be tempered with comments about religion. I’ve also thought about my own comments on the issue and how I tried to unravel what I thought about some religions (not all, and not all religous people) and the opposition to same-sex couples. Was I being prejudiced myself?? In defense of some of the blogs I’ve read on this issue, people for ‘No on 8′ have been fair to include links to religious groups that are also ‘No on 8′ (eg Prince and his link to the Mormons). A healthy balance is needed.

    I’ve also noticed that most of the questions about the religious influence on the ‘yes on 8′ vote is directed at conservative Christians. That is probably because Christianity is still the largest (or one of the largest) religious groups in the US, and therefore the most vocal. But then these groups are also writing about marriage from their religious point of view, what marriage means to their religion – and this is also one-sided on their part. I would add that there are other religious followers from other groups who might be for Prop 8 and some that are against. But as much as No on 8 bloggers might attack religoius objections, the conservative Christian groups are equally stating that marriage should be a religious unity, an institution sanction by, presumambly, their God. I think this is also unfair: would they not recognise a Hindu marriage because it was not performed in the church of their Christian God? Additionally, I think the heavy weighting of comments against religious ‘yes’ voters is because the fear, predjudice and hate against same-sex couple is mostly stemming from traditions of religous teaching that have undeniably been passed down to us through the years. Undoubtedly fewer people practise religion these days in the Western countries than before, but the objections to same-sex relationships do have a religous backdrop to them. Of course, there will always be ignorant people, who are just set in their ways, stubborn and unwilling to get to know people different to them, who want to push the ‘it’s against evolution and natural biology’ view, and of course there are some religious believers who would vote No on Prop 8. But you have to think where the prejudices actually come from in the first place. (sorry for the long comment!)

  25. Dave Watson
    October 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    The word “marriage” was clearly coined to define the legal and religious union of a man and a woman. One of the posters cited Biblical examples of plural marriages, but even those were between a man and a woman/women. The argument that this issue is the same as allowing Blacks and women to vote is entirely bogus. Those populations were born with certain characteristics that ought not to disallow human rights. The same is not true for homosexuality which is a choice. Don’t bother citing any scientific studies because none of them were conclusive about anything. Special rights are not granted to people who choose to eat too much so they should qualify for less restrctive health insurance or those who smoke so they should get free cancer treatments or pedophiles who love children should be allowed lesser punishments under the law because they “can’t help themselves”. If you want to choose to have sex with someone of your own gender or live with them or even raise children (very inadviseable) you have that right and ought not to be persecuted, but these choices do not qualify you for special rights or to be included in legislation solely because of that choice. And let’s not forget the “pissed off factor”, the voters decided this issue years ago and when some judges decide to overturn it under the table and stab the voters in the back, you better expect a backlash. No pun intended.

  26. alan
    October 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    There are 2 immutable truths about marriage:
    1. Throughout history, all adults have had the right to marry.
    2. Throughout history, no adult has had the right to marry anyone they wanted.

    When did society decide there was a compelling need for an institution of “same sex marriage”? Answer: NEVER.

    It is a creation of four (4) arrogant judges, who defied the democratic voice of 60% of California voters.

    And now . . . if you are someone who supports traditional marriage . . . you are officially demonized as “hateful” or “oppressive”. And what is your crime? You support an institution that literally EVERY major society and culture has defined unanimously and consistently for thousands of years, and which institution has been the cornerstone of civilization and progress of humanity.

    We live in a dangerous era . . . notions of freedom and liberty are at risk when people are demonized for rational and legitimate beliefs. Let’s pray our country does not follow the paths of others, for example Canada, where even uttering support traditional marriage could be construed as a criminal offense.

  27. asdf
    October 30, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Homosexuals SHOULD have the same rights as heterosexuals. Voting yes on prop. 8 is straight out discrimination. Every human being has the right to marry, and do what ever they please. If America is a “free country” then homosexuals should be allowed to marry also. I understand that this is also a religious matter too. Those who are strongly into the bible believe that being homosexual is a sin. And that is understandable.. but God loves everyone does he not? Why should the homosexuals be considered sinners if God and Jesus Christ love them. Also, imagine having a gay/lesbian/bisexual friend for a long time but they never told you until later, and they wanted to get married? Would you tell them that they are wrong and that marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman? That is so disgusting and wrong. No person should be discriminated just because of their sexual orrientation. If they want to marry, let them marry. All they want is to be with the one they love, and to be happy. I may not be homosexual, but I have a lot of friends that are. In the art business, you meet a lot of homosexuals, and therefore I have many friends which are homosexuals. Listening to them about this proposition is so amazing. All they want to be with the person they love, and if you’re against that, then fine. But every human being should be “free.”

  28. October 31, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Supporters of Prop. 8 talk about their opposition to redefining marriage. Well, I just think that if you look at the history of this country it’s all about redefinition. We’re constantly expanding what it means to be an American citizen, extending rights to people who have historically been disenfranchised. A hundred years ago, women couldn’t vote and black people faced legal discrimination. Restrictive covenants barred Jews and Latinos and Asian-Americans from moving into certain neighborhoods. Extending rights to more Americans has made this a better, stronger country. We shouldn’t go backward.

  29. Unka Dano
    November 1, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Regarding prop eight, is there anyone out there that really cares what two people do with their lives?

    Lets look at it this way, if modern science could tell if a fetus would grow up to be gay, would the conservative right be okay with aborting them? If not then what right does the conservative right have to impede gay couples lives, i.e. marriage?

    The proponents of prop eight are both rude and obnoxious. By their rational it would be possible to outlaw heterosexual marriage too. However, that hypothetical situation would instantly be found unconstitutional and I think that with the passing of prop eight it would be found unconstitutional as well.

  30. Pete
    November 1, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Its not that complicated everyone. A simple test will suffice to determine which way you should vote.

    If your 6 month old infant is placed at an adoption agency, and there are two choices for adopting parents, a gay couple and a heterosexual couple, and if you prefer that the heterosexual couple raise your infant, then you should vote yes on Prop 8.

  31. Pete
    November 1, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Deciding which way to vote on Prop 8 is not difficult. There is a simple litmus test.

    Assume your 6 month old infant has to be placed at an adoption agency, and the agency has two sets of prospective parents to choose from, a heterosexual couple and a gay couple. If you would prefer that the adoption agency give preference to the heterosexual couple to raise your child, then you should vote yes on prop 8.

  32. Steve Kim
    November 1, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Let ALL be included in that cornerstone institution.

  33. John
    November 6, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    In response to Dave Watson:

    “The word “marriage” was clearly coined to define the legal and religious union of a man and a woman.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage – The definition of marriage, in a general sense, is more broad than just “between a man and a woman”. Marriage is defined in many different ways around the world, varying between religions and countries.

    “Those populations were born with certain characteristics that ought not to disallow human rights. The same is not true for homosexuality which is a choice.”

    So just because someone has a characteristic that is perhaps a combination of genes and/or environmental influences from their early life (beyond their control, I might add), instead of something that is solely genes, like race, is enough to deny them rights? The “choice” to be gay is not like turning a light switch on and off. It is something that is ingrained in someone. This leads to the counter argument that any desire (such as wanting to kill someone) should be allowed. However, these counter arguments hinge on the use of destructive behavior that infringes on other people’s rights, like their right to life. Same-sex marriages will not impose on other people’s rights, it just allows equality under the law.

    You say that by the same argument, someone who smokes should then get free cancer treatments. But this behavior is self destructive, and people should not be rewarded for their self destructive behavior. This is totally different from same-sex marriages.

    “And let’s not forget the “pissed off factor”, the voters decided this issue years ago and when some judges decide to overturn it under the table and stab the voters in the back, you better expect a backlash.”

    But why did the judges overturn what was voted by the people? Because they determined it was unconstitutional! If 60% of the population voted to ban interracial marriages, it doesn’t justify the inequality it would impose on society. When it comes to rights, the people’s vote only goes so far.

  34. November 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    To Dave Watson and OC Gator: You’re offensive. When are you going to realize we are born with so much out of our hands. Do you think we can choose who we are attracted to? We are a complex roll of the biological dice. We are who we are. Deal with it and stop the hate. I can’t help it that I was born a woman,but when people don’t treat me as an equal because I’m female, I call that sexism and I can say I’m discriminated against. With time I am sure all people can also do the same thing. Apparently just not now…Thanks to mean, small people who are too stupid to see how manipulated are by much a bigger, much greedier, self-serving machine than you realize. It’s not a new story, really. What’s shocking is how predictable we seem to be with all this access to education right at our fingertips. Astonishing, really.

    But, you just can’t be this hateful. It’s not Christian. It’s not moral. It’s not right. It’s so ugly I feel like you’re hiding something about yourself by calling so much attention to your homophobia. Hate serves no higher good.

  35. tbone
    November 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Its been a while since I looked at this board. It has so far been, for the most part, one of the most tempered and reasonable discussions on this issue and I appreciate that. There a couple things I would like to say.

    We need to be careful about namecalling. I understand how, from the perspective of the gay person, it might make sense to consider conservatives as hateful, discriminatory, and homophobic. But please try and expand your view on this issue and look at it from a global perspective. To this day, there are still over 80 countries in the world in which any type of homosexual behavior is criminalized and in 7 of those countries, the penalty is death. It is terribly unfortunate that this still happens in the world. But you have to realize that the only reason why gay marriage is even being considered in this country in the first place is because Christians in our society have been, for the most part, tolerant towards gay people. If you divide the world up into different regions on the basis of which religions are dominant in those areas you would have 4: Hinduism in the India, Islam and Judaism in the Middle East and some parts of Africa, Budhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in the far East, and Christianity in the West. The first region in which gay marriage began to be considered was the West under predominantly Christian culture. What this means is, historically, Christians in Western society have been the most tolerant people towards gays in the world.

    Now I’m not saying that there aren’t people who call themselves Christians who are truly intolerant bigots. These people do exist. I just think that you might want to reconsider labeling as intolerant the very people whose tolerance of you has got you to the point you are at today.

    You have to realize that you are trying to change the course of thousands and thousands of years of human history. You can’t honestly expect that to change overnight. History has proven that respect and patience towards others has worked in achieving civil rights. Just look at Gandhi in liberating the British and the African American civil rights movement. If you expect people to respect you, you need to respect them. I know this can be hard to do if you truly believe in your position, but try, just try, to put yourself in other people’s shoes. The only reason why I think I am capable of have such a moderate and reasonable view on this issue is because I have tried to put myself in other people’s shoes. I have seen it from the perspective of the liberals and the homosexuals themselves who see this as unequal and unfair treatment, and I have seen it from the perspective of the conservatives who see traditional family structures as the most healthy for society.

    So hears my advice for all of you. Regardless of whether you are conservative or liberal, just at least TRY to consider how you might think if you were raised in the situation that other people were raised in. There is no point in labeling and namecalling. I have learned to respect all people, even those I disagree with. It works. Respect produces rational and reasonable and effective discussion, rather than aggressive argumentation. Nobody ever has been convinced by being labeled a hateful bigot. When you respect people, they will listen to you and consider what you have to say. And it is the only way to change people’s minds. And remember that you can disagree with someone on an issue and still respect their opinion at the same time. Try it. It’s a good thing.

  36. tbone
    November 9, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Sorry. About that last comment. I meant to say Gandhi liberating India from the British. That’s what I meant to say. :-)

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