Tuesday, October 28, 2008

YES on Prop 8

The following is an opinion letter on Proposition 8 I read in the Daily Universe. I thought it was one of the best I have read, so I am including it in this post:

"This election Day, California voters will vote on Proposition 8, deciding whether gay marriage should remain legal in their state. The First Presidency has asked California residents to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment," yet some members of the BYU community appear confused about why our ecclesiastical leaders are taking a political position on the matter: What's wrong with equality? If gay people are allowed to marry, how does that affect anyone else?
If I only make one point in this essay, it is this: legalizing gay marriage in California is not about equal rights. That was already guaranteed. It's about changing our society's values. It's about using the apparatus of government as a tool to reprogram how the rest of us think about marriage.
Even before the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in May 2008, gay civil unions enjoyed all the civil rights enjoyed by married couples. Proposition 8 does not take away any of those rights; it would simply ensure that the title "marriage" is reserved for heterosexual unions. It is important to maintain the distinction because there are differences between gay and heterosexual unions. When we make it our state's official position that there is no difference, we open the door to the elimination of any distinction. California schools that choose to teach comprehensive sex education - and 96% do - are required to teach respect for marriage. If Proposition 8 is defeated, the legal definition of marriage will include gay marriage. You can bet that it won't be long before gay rights groups begin demanding that schools teach gay marriage as equal to traditional marriage. The objective is to push the limits of what our society considers morally acceptable to the point that anyone who disapproves of gay marriage is considered prejudiced. It is not enough that we say, "You are legally free to do as you choose, but I believe homosexual activity is immoral." Gay rights advocates also want to remove all stigma associated with their lifestyle. They want to use shame and public opinion against those who believe that sexual relations are only acceptable within the bonds of traditional marriage.
Those against the Proposition 8 campaign have tried to distance themselves from the situation in Massachusetts, where gay marriage has been legal for 4 1/2 years, claiming that what is happening there won't happen in California. They emphasize that if Proposition 8 fails, schools won't necessarily begin teaching children acceptance of gay marriage. It did not happen immediately in Massachusetts, either, but now public schools in that state teach about homosexuality beginning in kindergarten! Courts have rules that parents have no right to object, and schools do not need to notify parents before teaching such curriculum. Opponents of Proposition 8 counter that California law allows parents to request that their children be excused from such lessons. But they know that the battle is over once the curriculum teaches homosexuality. It does not matter if a few students are excused. That will not stop the curriculum from altering the environment at our public schools. I grew up in California and remember being accused of being homophobic, because I supported traditional marriage. If Proposition 8 fails, it will be far easier to mobilize shame to silence supporters of traditional marriage. With such a public and visible victory of gay marriage, it would only be a matter of time before new legislation more aggressively punishes those who view gay marriage as morally wrong. Regardless of whether the failure of Proposition 8 would immediately lead to those results, that is the path we would be on. In the words of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, "This door's wide open now! It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not!"
The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles did not make a mistake. This is not about tolerating homosexual relationships. We already do that. It's about endorsing homosexual relationships. It's about forcing the rest of us to accept gay marriage as morally equal."

(I apologize if anything is mistyped. I could not find a copy of this letter on the Daily Universe website at this time, so I had to type it in myself. A copy may by found at some future date on their website. The letter appeared in the Monday October 27th, 2008 edition of the Daily Universe).


This election will be very pivotal in California's history, as well as our country's future. As the above letter said, it is not about equal rights. California Family Code 297.5 already ensures the equal rights of gay unions in California. I think it is naive of people to assume that this is the end of the fight, that this change in the constitution will not lead to the infringement of the rights of people who believe homosexual relations are morally wrong. It has already begun in Massachusetts. A Catholic adoption charity was forced to shut down because they would not compromise their beliefs and adopt to homosexual couples. Of course I believe in being tolerant, respectful, and kind to those whose lifestyles are different than the one I have chosen for myself. I do not consider supporting Proposition 8 as violating this belief, especially since gay couples are already legally guaranteed equal rights as married couples. My reason for supporting Proposition 8 is because I believe that legally defining marriage as anything more than traditional marriage opens the door to all kinds of legal action that will impose on the rights of many people in this nation. I believe marriage is a sacred bond, instituted by God. I believe in promoting the principles that God has given for marriage. I do not deny gays the right to live as they choose. I do resist legal measures that have no other purpose than to rewrite the morals of the nation into something that I do not agree with and will likely threaten my right to believe what I choose and my rights as a future parent.

I encourage citizens of California to vote YES on Prop 8. The LDS Church teaches that "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." Please ensure that this right is not threatened, not by eliminating gay rights (as has already been established, gay unions have the same rights of traditional married couples) but by ensuring that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

My friend also wrote about Proposition 8. Check out her blog. For more information on Proposition 8, check out this website. For information on the LDS church's involvement on Prop 8, read this article.


nolij said...

Thanks for posting this. Its giving me even more motivation to make Yes on Prop 8 phone calls.

Katie said...

Good for you for posting this. It will be an eventful week.

Also, I am so excited that you have a blog, they are great. Here is mine: www.adaylikethisone.blogspot.com