On California Prop 8, Debunking False Claims

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My close friend Carlos Cabrera wrote an analytical article discussing the claims of both sides of the Proposition 8 campaign. Finding the truth when most of the information comes from a side in the debate is often times very difficult, but Carlos has done a great job.

Please give his article full consideration of your thoughts and leave him some critical feedback whether you agree or disagree.

When did you make up your mind on Proposition 8? Have any of the arguments you have heard changed your mind or have they simply reinforced your prior position?

Click on continue reading to see his essay.

On California Prop 8, Debunking False Claims

Over the last few weeks, the arguments have intensified regarding California's ballot initiative Prop 8 which installs a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Although I belong to a historically conservative religious organization, many of my friends participate in progressive politics, and so I've enjoyed the benefits of hearing both sides of this debate. Unfortunately, both proponents and opponents of Prop 8 continue to repeat arguments that run completely contrary to each other, so I couldn't previously determine which side (if either) was telling the truth. Worse still, most blogs, videos, and other online content (not to mention street corner activists) rarely direct investigators to source materials that could help us derive our own conclusions.

With the fact that same-sex marriage is currently legal in California, I began by trying to understand the concerns of those pushing to pass prop 8. The principle claims that proponents of Prop 8 continue to repeat despite earnest denial of opponents are the following:

1. Churches/religious institutions refusing to marry same-sex couple could lose their tax exempt status.

2. Church leaders or officials refusing to marry same-sex couples could be subject to civil lawsuit for discrimination.

3. Parents would be forced to have their children taught about same-sex marriage practices in public schools under California State Education Code 51980 without recourse to "opt-out" (i.e., remove their children from class during presentation of material on same-sex marital status).

Regarding the first two points, the majority opinion given by the California Supreme Court ruling on the constitutional right of same sex marriage clearly states that the tax exempt status of churches are protected and that church leaders cannot be sued for refusal to marry same-sex couples. Here is the language used regarding those protections:


"Finally, affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the
designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any
religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.)72"


Here's the link to the actual State Supreme Court Decision: (The quoted citation can be found on page 117 of the PDF).
http://www.hrcbackstory.org/files/CA-SupremeCtRuling.pdf

Given the clear protections outlined in the court ruling, the alarm raised over tax exemptions for churches and lawsuits against church leaders seems a bit unnecessary and perhaps even disingenuous.

Regarding the third point on public education however, considerably more controversy surrounds the issue. The question bears on whether age-appropriate family education (including exposure to material describing same-sex relationships) will be taught to their children in public schools and whether parents will have the opportunity to withdraw their children from those lessons. The California Superintendent of Schools, Jack O'Connell has stated that nothing of the sort will happen in California. However, California State Education Code 51890 declares:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/edc/51890-51891.html


51890. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, "comprehensive health education programs" are defined as all educational programs offered in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in the public school system, including in-class and out- of-class activities designed to ensure that:
(1) Pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health, to include the following subjects:

...(D) Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.


If same-sex marriages remain legally binding in California, there doesn't seem to be anything to prevent inclusion of information on same-sex relationships from these health education programs. However, in spite of Code 51890, everything I've read online asserts that the actual implementation of these health education programs are determined and designed not at a state level but by local school districts. I think this is made more explicit in California State Education Code 51900:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/edc/51900-51901.html


51900. The department shall prepare and distribute to school districts guidelines for the preparation of comprehensive health education plans, and, in cooperation with those county offices of education which desire to participate,
assist school districts in developing comprehensive health education plans and
programs. For this purpose, the department shall assume the following functions and carry out the following duties:

(a) Assist in the development of model curricula for the public schools for comprehensive health education programs consistent with the provisions and intent of approved district comprehensive health education plans.


Essentially, current law states that public schools may (but not necessarily will) implement family health education plans that include material on same-sex marriage, but that the content of each school's health education plan will vary on a district by district basis. For parents with more traditional values, however, the mere possibility of incorporation of same-sex educational material into these health education programs remains just as distressing as the veritable certainty of their inclusion.

In the event that a local school district does formulate a health education plan with material on same-sex marriages, some more conservative parents may understandably feel concerned their children will encounter conflicts with the values taught in the classroom and those taught at home. In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2004, parents attempted to opt-out of the family education plan but were denied. Proponents of Prop 8 have asserted that if their school district adopts a family health education plan containing material on same-sax marriage, students will be forced to the exposure of these lessons against the will of their parents. However, under California law, parents always have the right to opt-out and withdraw their children if these lessons conflict with their moral standards.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/edc/51240-51246.html


51240. (a) If any part of a school's instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or guardian, shall be excused from the part of the
instruction that conflicts with the religious training and beliefs.
(b) For purposes of this section, "religious training and beliefs" includes personal moral convictions.


In summary, a failure to pass Prop 8 may or may not result in age-appropriate family health education plans that include material on same-sex marriage. The family education plans will vary by school district, and presumably each district will reflect the values of the overall community it serves. In the event that parents find their values at odds with the family education plans of the district, they do retain the right to withdraw their children from class during these lessons.


On California Prop 8: What's at Stake?

Not surprisingly, both sides on the debate over proposition 8 tend to frame the issue in terms that evoke the most sympathy for their own cause. Proponents of the proposition talk about protection of the family and traditional values, while supporters of same-sex marriages raise the banner of civil rights and discrimination. I rarely encounter anyone from either side willing to engage in debate over the issues with which their opponents are concerned, but anyone who has given even a marginal level of attention to the matter can see that proposition 8 deals with all of these problems.

First, the supporters of prop 8 should recognize that the constitutional ban clearly deals with civil rights. While M. Russell Ballard, an LDS Church leader (along with countless others), has stated that proposition 8 is not a civil rights issue, the US Supreme Court has a different opinion. In Loving vs. Virginia (a case involving interracial marriage), US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren declared in the opinion of the Court
( http://www.ameasite.org/loving.asp ),

"The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

The court opinion also stated,

"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival."

Clearly, the determinations of civil rights are at the very heart of prop 8. What remains uncertain, however, is the question of whether the civil right to marry extends to people pursuing same-sex marriages. The very language in the Loving vs Virginia opinion suggests that Justice Warren considered marriage a fundamental civil right because of it's role in "our very existence and survival." His words may indicate that the marital institution enjoys its status due to its assistance in the procreation and rearing of children. Even so, it's not at all clear that same-sex marriages are any less capable of achieving those ends than traditional marriages. Studies have been produced in defense of both sides of the debate.

While the US Supreme Court hasn't yet weighed in on same sex marriage, the Maryland State Supreme Court has ruled that such marital rights do not extend to individuals pursing same-sex marriages (http://mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2007/44a06.pdf). Meanwhile, the California State Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. As of a May 15th 2008 State Supreme Court Decision, consenting adults do have the right to marry individuals of the same gender in California. Hence the change in the title of Prop 8 to now read: Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Act.

Hopefully, we can all agree that Prop 8 does deal with civil rights, regardless of our opinions on whether these rights should extend to same-sex couples. This proposition in fact gives Californians the opportunity to determine to whom these marital rights will apply. Therefore, prop 8 also deals with discrimination, since a constitutional ban would allow some people the right to marry, but not others. However, discrimination in itself does not present grounds for the dismissal of the proposition. To quote from a Weekly Standard interview with Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown civil rights law professor ( http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp?pg=2 ),

"Gay rights supporters often try to present these laws as purely neutral and having no moral implications. But not all discrimination is bad," Feldblum points out. In employment law, for instance, "we allow discrimination against people who sexually abuse children, and we don't say 'the only question is can they type' even if they can type really quickly."

Of course, I don't mean to imply (and I doubt Feldblum means to imply) that homosexual behavior is comparable to sex crimes, but only that society may take measures to protect itself from behaviors of individuals or groups poised to threaten it. Discrimination is a word no one wishes to endorse, but sometimes it is necessary. Prop 8 provides us an opportunity to decide if now is such a time.

This brings us to the question of how same-sex marriages threaten traditional values and the family unit. In the advent of the Massachusetts ruling to legalize same-sex marriage (the first state in the country to do so), a Catholic Charities adoption agency was forced to close its doors after over 100 years of service because its adoption policies of placing children with strictly heterosexual couples conflicted with the state's nondiscrimination laws concerning gay couples.

Some have argued that if the adoption agency receives state funds (apart from its tax exempt status), then it should operate within the laws of that state. But if this line of argument prevails, then the negative ramifications for religiously affiliated groups, organizations, and individuals as well as the number of potential legal battles will be legion. Either religiously affiliated organizations will relax their standards (or shut down), or additional legislation will be required to protect them. But the standards from which religious attitudes and practices derive are entrenched in the core doctrines and beliefs that make up the substance of their faith. Forcing churches to relax their standards is tantamount to a distortion of that faith. If prop 8 fails to pass now in order to protect civil rights, we will likely be forced to return to the courts for additional protections of religious rights. This has already happened in a California ruling to throw out a lesbian suit against a Christian school:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59873

It's not unreasonable to assume that failing to pass prop 8 presents real possibility for restrictions on religious freedoms. Same-sex marriage could lead to more widespread social acceptance of homosexuality that would create a polemic tension with religious groups whose negative attitudes towards homosexual behavior derives from faith in the divine inspiration of church leaders or traditional scripture. Their doctrines and institutions could more and more find themselves under the label of bigotry. And since members of religious institutions behaviors, practices, and even perceptions are framed within these doctrines, individuals will find their very conscience under siege. We may very well find ourselves in a situation where we must choose whether we would prefer religious discrimination over orientation discrimination. (It's worth mentioning, however, that some minority of churches supporting gay marriage argue that passing prop 8 restricts their right to religious freedom to marry same-sex couples in their churches).

Lastly, how does legalization of same-sex marriage change our understanding of the family unit? We've already experienced a drastic change in our perception of families due to increased divorce rates. But the advent of same-sex marriages might bring with it the potential for a considerably more diverse portrait of American families. First, the jury is out regarding the social impact of same-sex marriages, but they are uncertain at best. It's certainly unclear how things will be different, but I think most people agree things will be different. Secondly, will intellectual consistency require the acceptance of polygamous marriages? How will this affect the cultural landscape?

Ultimately, I hope both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriages will show a little more integrity and honesty when discussing Prop 8. Proponents should realize that passing the proposition does, in fact, eliminate the legal right of same-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Warren's assessment bears repeating: The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. When you vote in favor of prop 8, consider what you are denying countless men and women, and how you might feel if this right was denied you.

Likewise, I hope opponents of the proposition realize how seriously same-sex marriages threaten not only long standing religious institutions and the cultural practices attached to them, but the very perception of society as we know it today. To quote Chai Feldblum again in her interview with the Weekly Standard (an article I would encourage everyone, but especially opponents of prop 8, to read),

"It seemed to me the height of disingenuousness, absurdity, and indeed disrespect to tell someone it is okay to 'be' gay, but not necessarily okay to engage in gay sex. What do they think being gay means?" she writes in her Becket paper. "I have the same reaction to courts and legislatures that blithely assume a religious person can easily disengage her religious belief and self-identity from her religious practice and religious behavior. What do they think being religious means?"

In the end, the acceptance or rejection of prop 8 presents very real problems for one group or another. Stop pretending that the outcomes of prop 8 are inconsequential for the opposing side, and please cast an informed, conscionable vote on Election Day.

39 Comments

So...in other words, what are you saying?

The biggest problem with the NO ON 8 argument is that "children, parents, churches and businesses lose fundamental first and second amendment rights in order to give homosexuals the mere title of a married couple that gives no additional rights under the law than they already enjoy in civil unions.

they dont lose first and second amendment rights, thats a load of crap.

Cabrera puts together a very comprehensive and understandable overview of the issues but do I detect a concern that a failure to pass the Prop will encourage society to place religious beliefs under more critical scrutiny?

Is Cabrera suggesting that's a bad thing or a good thing? I sense he's not neutral about it.

I attended the "Yes on 8" rally in front of the County Government Center yesterday and, let me tell you, it was so invigorating and encouraging to see all the young people (I counted over 40) who were out there waving signs and giving the thumbs up to passing cars. It was awesome! There was no middle fingers or any other such signs of hostility on display. Just a lot of horns honking and people waving.

Most were teenagers who were clearly very excited about and committed to the idea of preserving the wonderful institution of marriage that we all cherish so much. I also saw Kimble Ouerbacker and several other Venturans I recognized, most of whom had been there for hours.

It's great to see our community come together to support such a worthy cause. With all the negativity and sliming that's been going on during the current election season, this has restored my faith in humanity, for a short while at least.

While section 58190 says it says schools can pick what they teach, it also encourages schools to teach every part of the code. so teaching smoking and teaching the legal ramifications of marriages is on the same grounds.

Damn, you people really are selfish and ignorant.
telling people how to vote, is one step away from COMMUNIST CHINA amongst many others.
LAST TIME WE MIXED POLITICS WITH RELIGION PEOPLE GOT BURNT AT THE STAKE.

some dumpy looking mormon guy just left a yes on 8 door hanger on my front door. makes me sick to my stomach. i'm not sure i can ever go to church again. this is an outrageous push by religious groups.

Mike Gibson, I was was also at that rally yesterday, where we learned that if gay people can keep their existing rights to be married under State Law, then my children then will be molested by them. Isn't that what you and everyone else were saying? This is such a worthy cause indeed!

Mike Gibson finds the prospect of denying his fellow Americans their civil liberties "invigorating and encouraging".

Isn't that special?

Maybe you'll get lucky and someone will back initiaves to reinstate slavery and take away women's right to vote.

Mr Cabrera's article provides some good information on the impact of Prop 8. Thanks Brian for sharing it!

The "yes" on Prop 8 would seem to advocate that passing this amendment would "preserve traditional marriage".

The best thing to accomplish preservation of "traditional marriage" would be to address the rates of heterosexual marriage divorce.

Seem to me that hetero divorce is a far bigger problem than same-sex marriages if preservation of marriage is your issue.

But then again, this whole topic is not about rationality, it is about fear, fear of things that are different. In this case, same sex marraige. Forty years ago it was inter-racial marriage.

Society survived race "mixing". I'm quite sure it will survive recognition of the relationships same-sex couple establish.

Mr Cabrera's article provides some good information on the impact of Prop 8. Thanks Brian for sharing it!

The "yes" on Prop 8 would seem to advocate that passing this amendment would "preserve traditional marriage".

The best thing to accomplish preservation of "traditional marriage" would be to address the rates of heterosexual marriage divorce.

Seem to me that hetero divorce is a far bigger problem than same-sex marriages if preservation of marriage is your issue.

But then again, this whole topic is not about rationality, it is about fear, fear of things that are different. In this case, same sex marraige. Forty years ago it was inter-racial marriage.

Society survived race "mixing". I'm quite sure it will survive recognition of the relationships same-sex couple establish.

Laura,

Well I see your sarcasm hasn't lost any of its sting. Clearly, you missed my point, however. My feelings of invigoration and encouragement were related to the participation of all the young people in a political rally. It was great to see that the youth of our community have taken such a strong interest in an important election that includes not only candidates with clearly distinct positions but many issues that could affect their future as well.

I suppose that's the difference between you and I. I can see the positives in an event that allows folks to openly express their views in the wonderful democratic system we live in. For you, however, it only presents an opportunity for contentiousness and partisanship.

Prop 8 is an issue that has been very contentious. To see the negative reactions on both sides is very disheartening. I believe most rational intelligent folks can see there are merits on both sides of the issue. Yes, every American should have all the rights they're entitled to. Gay couples should be able to enjoy all the benefits that heterosexual couples have. Yet we are talking about changing the definition of a word that means a commitment between a man and a woman. And in changing this definition, aren't we forcing people to accept and recognize something they do not believe in? (Religious freedom.) Since "marriage" has always meant "between a man and a woman," why can't gay people call their commitment something else? Something that's just as special as marriage and represents the same loving partnership. And in calling it something else (Blessed joining, beloved commitment, joyful union, et cetera), this will simply differentiate one loving commitment from the other. For these two different partnerships are different ways of lifestyles and while we may not agree with one lifestyle or the other, we can respect each other's right to choose. When you have a same-sex couple and a man/woman couple, they both can be loving relationships. But let's be honest -- they are different from each other. Is one better than the other? In the sight of God, many people believe one is better. Most people who believe in the Bible would say God would not want us to live a gay lifestyle. But we live in this beautiful country that gives each individual the freedom to worship God in their own way or not to believe in Him at all. Under our religious freedom gay people and straight people can believe and worship as they choose, one of the freedoms this country fought for.

Can't we work together and compromise and stop all the negativity and even hate? GOD DOES NOT HATE GAY PEOPLE AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN HIM DON'T YOU THINK HE EXPECTS US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER? Sometimes I think God put different sorts of people on this earth just to see how the rest of us would treat them and I suppose how they would treat us. Please don't assume people are bigots if they're voting Yes on 8. And stop calling people foul names if they're gay. I just wish we could have a proposition that would bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

Thank you for listening.

In the post above it mentions their faith, but not why that should be used as the only basis for making a civil law.

You don't truly believe in religious freedom if you want to remove the religious freedom of people that support marriage equality. Many of us attend churches, temples, Mosques, and other religious sites that don't discriminate against gay people.

If you vote yes on 8, you are voting against civil rights for gay families. Please explain why we need the government to deny a group of people their civil rights. We deny people their civil rights when they threaten the rights of other people. But you didn't show how your civil rights are under attack by gay people and their supporters.

If you want to deny a group of people their civil rights because of your religious beliefs and no other reason, what word would you prefer to the slur bigot?

The argument that the word "marriage" itself has the power to deny one group their right to equality and to deny the other group their right to believe is much like the basis for the war between nations that was sparked by an ideological difference over which end of the hard boiled egg should be cracked open at breakfast time.

I agree with Mike Gibson here. He is pointing out some positive sides of this debate around Proposition 8, which have turned quite ugly, especially in the east part of the County.

We can have differences of opinion, yet we can conduct ourselves in a civil manner while holding these opinions. It is the hallmark of our democratic system and Gibson is the only one I've seen who has recognized this.

It's not surprising to see Laura Winchester belittle his comments. She is an extremely partisan individual who seems to use every opportunity she sees to divide people.

If you vote to allow gay marriage you are voting for gay marriage subsidies to encourage this behavior down the road from our liberal legislature.

They are determined to make it equal.

Just imagine in the future when there will be a gay marriage tax credits subsidized by hardworking traditional marriage taxpayers....

"Whether you like it or not!!!" -- Gavin Newsom

California Teachers Association spent over a million dollars attacking 8, so they can indoctrinate children about gay love.

Check out the fairy tales 4 year olds are getting in England.

Vote yes on 8.

You didn't read the article and it shows.

Calm down from your anger issues and do some reading. Come back when you are able to put together a thoughtful sentence or two not based on your preconceived biases that stop you from reading.

I was very firm in my opposition to Prop 8 before reading this article and am still very firm in my opposition after. However, this article is very well written and has a lot of good information. Thank you Carlos. I wish I had read it weeks ago because I think it would have helped me understand proponents of Prop 8 better and this would have helped me in my conversations with them.

I am curious if Carlos read this rebuttal to the 6 consequences if Prop 8 fails to pass written by Morris Thurston (note, it is a pdf):

http://www.affirmation.org/pdf/2008_09_18_thurston.pdf

In answer to "Civil," you brought up a good point. I did decline to list how our civil rights under the freedom of religion is under attack. I would imagine it's not the purpose of opponents of Prop 8 that the following list has happened, but unfortunately it is a result of legalizing something that's called "marriage" when it pertains to same-sex couples. It is a fact that the Catholic church pulled out of the State of Massachusetts when the government told their adoption agency they had to start placing adoptive children with gay couples who were legally married. This certainly sounds like the government stepping in and denying religious freedom to a certain group. Now if the adoption agency is run by the government or is a private adoption agency that has no particular religious belief that goes against placing kids with same-sex couples, that's different. But to tell a non-government religious group they have to do something that goes against their particular beliefs, that certainly sounds like someone's civil rights are being attacked. Why can't gay couples go to an adoption agency that will place children with gay couples? (I'm assuming such agencies exist since the Boston government mandated the Catholic adoption agency to implement this practice, but I am not knowledgeable on the subject.)

Another example of people's right to religious freedom being attacked is the doctor in San Diego that declined to artificially inseminate a gay woman because it went against his religious beliefs, but there was another doctor available to perform it for her. She sued the first doctor and the court decided in her favor. Well, wait a minute. Why not do that for abortion? Yes, you might say that's not the same thing because we're talking about perhaps taking a life away. Well, if you're a person who doesn't believe that fetus or embryo is alive, should that give you the right to force a doctor to perform an abortion even though it goes against their religious belief?

I didn't initially list these examples because I was trying to stress the point of compromising on calling a gay partnership something else besides "marriage" and at the same time making sure gays have every right married couples have. And I really mean that. If you are guaranteed all your civil rights under the law if your loving partnership is called something other than "marriage," why isn't that okay? By changing the definition of the word "marriage" to also mean a partnership between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, aren't you really forcing society to accept your individual belief regarding same-sex marriage? And don't get me wrong. I would stand on a corner with a sign to guarantee your right to live your life according to your own beliefs, obviously as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, including to worship God in any way you choose. That's one of the reasons why our founding fathers fought the civil war -- religious freedom. Why can't another description other than the word "marriage" be used for gay people who lovingly commit themselves to one another? There is a difference between a heterosexual couple and a gay couple. That's just a fact. So why can't we label them with equally respectful, loving terms where one represents a same-sex couple and the other term represents a heterosexual couple? Should one couple be hated and shunned because of that difference? NO! Is each couple entitled to the same rights and privileges? YES! Should one couple be discriminated against whether you're talking about slur words, rules regarding hospital decisions, insurance coverage, et cetera? NO! And, by the way, committed gay couples should be able to file their Federal tax returns jointly and receive the tax benefits committed heterosexual couples enjoy. Let's all get behind that issue!

I understand why gay couples want to be recognized as a committed loving partnership and not be the subject of bigotry and hatred. Unfortunately, by changing the definition of the word "marriage," the law steps in with unfortunate results at times. Again, why can't there be a compromise?

And I would appreciate it if Civil would address all my points I've made and not stoop to asking me what term I would prefer instead of the slur bigot. Thank you.

As far as religious adoption agencies go, could they be shut down if they don't adopt to single parent households, or to members of other faiths? Research that and get back to me. Are Catholic Adoption agencies free to discriminate in favor of only Catholic families? Would you support their religious freedom to practice their faith in that way?

Charities are impacted by civil rights laws when they take tax payer dollars to run their programs. Otherwise they are free to practice their faiths how they see fit.

You don't see churches getting sued for not allowing people of other faiths not being able to hold services there.

To _+_+_+: If it goes against their faith to adopt to single-parent households, why is that bad? And if a woman gives her baby up for adoption to a Catholic adoption agency and would like her child to be raised Catholic, is that a crime? Granted, she is giving the baby or child up, but maybe for the best interest of the child. And where does this all end? If I wanted to adopt or have a medical procedure done, why would I go to someone who has a problem with what I'm proposing if I could simply go to someone else? I do understand the line has to be drawn somewhere. (Like not hiring someone solely on the basis of their gender or ethnic origins.) But aren't we getting to the point of the ridiculous? And do you know for a fact this particular Catholic adoption agency was taking taxpayer dollars?
I'm really interested in knowing that, because that is definitely a good point. But even that can get to the point of being a tad ridiculous. For example, the Boy Scouts of America no longer receives taxpayer dollars because they don't want gay men as Scout leaders or gay youth in their organization. Well, don't people join a club at times because they have the same values and beliefs? Isn't that why a lot of clubs are formed in the first place? What's stopping gay men from creating their own organization similar to the Boy Scouts if they wish?

I certainly wish someone would address the main point I'm trying to make. Let's figure out a way no one's rights are stepped on while respecting each other's choices and/or beliefs. Or am I being too naive?

Saddened by all of this, what is the point in calling it something different?
per your statement:
“I was trying to stress the point of compromising on calling a gay partnership something else besides "marriage" and at the same time making sure gays have every right married couples have?

If they are going to have the same rights as “Normal? people when they are joined what is the point of calling it anything but marriage? An Orange is still an orange regardless if you want to call it an Apple.

Tshouldn’t be any difference, denying same sex marriage is no different then in the 50’s when blacks were denied the right to marry whites, back then it was racial discrimination, today it is sexual discrimination.

Saddened by all of this, what is the point in calling it something different?
per your statement:
“I was trying to stress the point of compromising on calling a gay partnership something else besides "marriage" and at the same time making sure gays have every right married couples have?

If they are going to have the same rights as “Normal? people when they are joined what is the point of calling it anything but marriage? An Orange is still an orange regardless if you want to call it an Apple.

Tshouldn’t be any difference, denying same sex marriage is no different then in the 50’s when blacks were denied the right to marry whites, back then it was racial discrimination, today it is sexual discrimination.

I agree with "Gibson Is Right". He sure is. A little to the right of Genghis Khan, if you ask me.

How you can claim he is so civil-minded and unbiased when he's out there with all his holy roller minions supporting Prop. 8 is beyond me. Looks like he's all for discrimination.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, half-truths to support the no-truths. The Catholic church was not infringed upon in Massachusetts. Its adoption program received federal funds and so it is required to follow federal laws. The church decided to stop adoptions rather than adopt to same-sex couples. That was their choice. The Mormon Church in that state still makes adoptions, refusing to adopt to same-sex couples, which they can do because they don't receive public monies.

It's interesting to me that the vast majority of support and sponsorship of 8 is from organized religous groups. Obvoiusly, anyone who looks at the claims can determine rather easily they are outright lying in campiagn statements. Just read today's L.A. Times editorial that specifically breaks down the charges made in Yes on 8.

I'm not sure what's more sad, the depths these people will sink to in direct opposition to their beliefs (lying) or the fact they want the rest of the world to live by their rules, whether they belong to their particular religion or not.

Sorry, there was a glitch, I only sent once.

Piratesmirf, I truly am confused when you say an orange is an orange even if you call it an apple. Yes, that's true. Okay. Heterosexual marriage = one apple and one orange; i.e., one man and one woman. Same-sex marriage = one apple and one apple or one orange and one orange; i.e., one man and one man or one woman and one woman. Clearly there is a difference. That is neither bigotry, nor does it have to be legally labeled as "bad." It is simply a fact. I sincerely am not trying to be contentious, but let's state the truth.

When I said and orange is an orange even if you want to call if an apple, I was referring to you suggesting calling a same sex partnership something other then marriage but that this same sex “insert name? union will give same sex couples the same rights.

The main point is what is the difference? If same sex couples have the same rights but you call it something else why not just call it marriage, after all it will be the same thing.

Hence and orange is an orange, even if you call same sex marriage something else it still doesn’t make it an apple.

It just seems pointless, Same sex couples need to have the same rights as every other couple. Anything other then that is Sexual discrimination.

Let's face it. There are sound points on both sides. However, according to your last entry it sure seems like you're imposing your opinion that a same-sex union is the exact same thing as a marriage between a man and a wife. Obviously that's a matter of opinion. But how is it discrimination if everyone has their rights intact?

We live in a democratic state and country, something that the four judges in San Francisco seemed to have forgotten. In being as honest and fair as I'm humanly able with the opinion I have, I can understand why some people want to say the ability for a gay couple to get married is a civil right. But where will it end? There are consequences to this that are not readily apparent, like NAMBLA watching the outcome of this Proposition 8 very closely. And if you think that's impossible, who would have thought that the North American Man/Boy Love Association would be able to legally have a web site? Food for thought. And recently a women's auxiliary web site has been added to the NAMBLA site that celebrates sex between adult women and young girls. I suggest you Google NAMBLA and do some reading. It's very sobering.

Is anything having to do with NAMBLA the responsibility of the general gay population? OF COURSE NOT! But if you don't draw the line somewhere and include morality in our laws to some extent, we could end up like the Netherlands where "Dutch law permits sex between an adult and a person as young as 12 if the younger person consents." Do you really want to open the legal door to this kind of thing just to be able to enjoy calling your union a marriage? Is it fair? No. But shouldn't we do what's best for the whole country instead of focusing on a very small percent of the population? I know we'll never agree, but I do wish there was a compromise.

This will be my last entry and I've enjoyed sharing ideas. Thank you.

4 judges in San Francisco? Why does the location of the court house have to do with anything? Sounds like you are involved in more gay baiting.

Saddened by it all, this is what I dont understand when the root of the subject is reached (Sexual Discrimination) those in support of Prop 8 Bring up, pedophilia, rape, ect.
Here is the point, all of those involve unwilling partners, children are not adults thus they cannot make informed or adult decisions so exactly how would granting same sex couples (that are consenting adults) the right to marry make Nambla or pedophilia an issue of civil rights?

Same sex marriage is between two consenting adults, it is the same as a Man and a Women, both same sex partners and heterosexual ones want to marry each other because they love each other.
The only difference is their gender.

Nambla, pedophilia, rape are crimes, children cannot make rational decisions, each of those involves victims not consenting adults.
I am completely at a loss why supporters of Prop 8 always like to bring that up to support their views.
By the way its not my union I am supporting as I am a straight male, but I am supporting the civil rights and freedoms for same sex couples.

But since you wont be posting anymore I guess I will never know how you think victims of crimes have a connection to the civil rights of same sex couples to marry. Like you said we both have our beliefs and we will both vote per those beliefs.

That is what makes this country great.

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  • piratesmurf: Saddened by it all, this is what I dont understand read more
  • 3: 4 judges in San Francisco? Why does the location of read more
  • Saddened By All of This: Let's face it. There are sound points on both sides. read more
  • piratesmurf: When I said and orange is an orange even if read more
  • Saddened By All of This: Piratesmirf, I truly am confused when you say an orange read more
  • RickHazeltine: Sorry, there was a glitch, I only sent once. read more
  • RickHazeltine: Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, read more
  • RickHazeltine: Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, read more
  • RickHazeltine: Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, read more
  • RickHazeltine: Another half-truth, which is the foundation of Yes on 8, read more