Gay and lesbian couples in California have been getting married for months now. In Massachusetts, for several years. In that time, thousands of straight couples have continued to get married, and neither state has been mass-annulling straight marriages. So “traditional marriage” clearly isn’t endangered by same-sex marriage, and banning the latter isn’t going to “restore” the former.

If California’s Proposition 8 does not pass, no marriages will be ended. If it does pass, all those same-sex marriages will be wiped out. If you’re really serious about “protecting marriage,” the clear choice is to vote against the proposition.

Some other things to consider:

This is not about “activist judges.” A bunch of judges didn’t say, “Hey, let’s make it legal for same-sex couples to get married!” They heard a case, looked at the law, and determined that the only thing preventing gay marriage was a law that conflicted with a higher law: the state constitution. That’s what judges are supposed to do. At least Prop. 8 is going through proper channels by amending the constitution instead of just trying to pass another unconstitutional law. Of course, I think it’s a bad idea to inject discrimination into the state constitution.

(While we’re at it, the whole concept of “activist judges” is a smokescreen. It basically means “judges who strike down laws that I would rather stayed in place.” I imagine that most people railing against this decision would be perfectly happy if a group of judges overturned Roe vs. Wade.)

As for children: Let’s not forget that there are plenty of straight couples who can’t have children either, whether for age or medical reasons. Should they not be allowed to marry? How about straight couples who choose not to have children? Should they not be allowed to marry?

And teaching marriage in schools? Shouldn’t a child know something about marriage by the time they start school? Neither of us remembers being “taught” about marriage when we were children, it was something learned through observing and asking parents. And we both went to public school. In different districts. Katie spoke to a fifth-grade teacher recently who remarked that the only time she even talked about marriage in class was when students asked about it, and then district policy prevented her from answering most of their questions. I can only assume that the objection is that children might find out that same-sex marriage exists.

Oh, and that “classroom trip” mentioned in the latest pro-8 ad? It was their teacher’s wedding, it was a creative arts charter school, it was organized by the students’ parents (note the headline that they surprised the teacher), and it was optional. The school approved the trip because, whatever happened, it was a notable event from a civil rights perspective.

To anyone who thinks that civil unions or domestic partnerships should be enough: would you be satisfied with the state saying you could only have something that’s almost, but not quite a marriage?

6 thoughts on “Same-Sex Marriage

  1. Ugh. It looks like Florida’s numbers are about the same as the last time California voted on this. I’m encouraged that the margin has at least shrunk over the last few years.

  2. Did The United States take 2 steps forward, or 2 steps back on November 4th?

    Arizona Proposition 102: Ban on Gay Marriage
    This measure would amend the state constitution so that only a union between one man and one woman would be valid or recognized as a marriage in the state. A similar measure was on the ballot in 2006 but failed.

    Arkansas Initiative 1: Ban on Gay Couples Adopting Children
    This measure would prohibit unmarried “sexual partner(s)” from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. The measure specifies that the prohibition applies to both opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples.

    California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage
    This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.

    Florida Amendment 2: Ban on Gay Marriage
    This measure would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In order to amend the Florida constitution, 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of the amendment.

    ll of the above PASSED!

    Now, although I do agree that gay unions should have the same exact rights as straight unions, I’m certainly not an activist and at the end of the day it doesn’t directly affect me if someone gay can’t marry some 18 year old twink. I’m not an Afro-American rights activist either. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have something to say if some state tried to amend their constitution to keep Afro-Americans out of public restrooms. It seems to me that far too many people fail to see the parallels there, that some of the same people who voted to deny gays rights would be appalled if there were an initiative on the ballot to deny Afro-American or a woman’s rights.

    Some people have asked me why I care, My answer is why DON’T you care? Why don’t you care that state constitutions are being amended to restrict and deny rights? Why don’t you care that discrimination and bigotry is being written into law? Why don’t you care that our morality is being legislated? That dogma is becoming law? You know those “Middle-Easterners” everyone is so scared of? They’re big on legislating their religion too.

    I think everyone should care about this, even if you hate homosexuals, even if you’re Fred Phelps, this is bad for all Americans. I’m not sure how state constitutions differ from the US constitution, but I was under the impression that the intent and purpose was to protect and grant rights, not revoke and deny rights. There are supposedly protections in the US Constitution where the majority can’t take away the rights of the minority. Not that it seems to matter anymore.

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