Though I’ve shown my support for voting no on Prop 8 this November, I’ve stayed off my soap box this entire time. However after seeing a number of attacks on it from both friend and foe and with elections just around the corner, I feel I finally need to step up and say something.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with California’s prop 8, it is a proposition that if passed would change California’s Constitution and eliminate the right for same-sex couples to marry. The change would mean that the only recognized or “valid” marriage would be between a man and a woman. A similar proposition was passed in 2000 by California voters, but was later overturned by 4 Supreme Court judges.
There are a number of points I could make on this proposition that could be argued, but sadly I don’t have time to write a book. The biggest struggle I have with this, aside from the fact that it is discriminatory, is that I keep hearing people argue that “marriage” is a biblical term and that marriage between a same-sex couple is not “traditional marriage”. Both arguments which seem wholly rooted in the Christian faith.
If “marriage” is a biblical term should we not recognize the marriage of Muslims, Jews, Pagans, and Atheists? Clearly nothing biblical could support any of these faiths since they don’t believe in the Christian god and they weren’t married in a Christian church and clearly weren’t married under you’re the Christian doctrine of faith. Therefore the unions of anyone straight or gay from these religions shouldn’t be recognized or “valid” either.
Next it is argued that same-sex marriage is not the same as “traditional marriage” and a no vote will “redefine marriage”. Ironically Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary will say otherwise. If you look up marriage on Merriam-Webster Online this is what you’ll find:
1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is affected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3: an intimate or close union <the marriage of painting and poetry — J. T. Shawcross>
As you can see traditional marriage and same-sex marriage are identical. The difference is simply who the marriage is between. Clearly the argument that they are not one in the same is rooted in discrimination and religion. If that’s not the case I would suggest you get in touch with the publishers of Merriam-Webster and let them know they’ve got their definitions wrong.
If you have religious beliefs regarding marriage feel free to have those beliefs, but don’t force them on the state as a whole. This isn’t about religion. This is about equal rights to everyone in our state regardless of their sexual preference. A no vote on Prop 8 does not force you to change your belief system; it simply allows those who might not share your beliefs the same opportunities and benefits you have. If two people love each other enough to spend the rest of their lives together, shouldn’t they have the security and rights that everyone else who makes that commitment has?
If you are for prop 8 I leave you with this…If you separate religious beliefs or discrimination from your decision process, do you have any reason to vote yes on this proposition? Would two men or two women being married actually impact your life or your well being? There are homosexuals all over the state that go about their lives day to day that you probably cross paths with all the time. Many of them are in same-sex unions or marriages that have already granted by the state. Are any of these couples affecting your well being? There are probably already some in your community that you don’t even realize are there.
I ask you again, if you are pro Prop 8 and you separate your religion or discrimination towards homosexuals from your reasoning do you have any reason to vote yes? Please consider this when you visit your polling place on November 4.
For more information on Prop 8 and why it is unfair, unnecesary, and wrong visit No On Prop 8