Without a doubt, California has placed itself squarely in the national spotlight once again with a ballot initiative addressing the definition of marriage. Californians have the opportunity to vote this November 4th on this seemingly endless marriage debate, otherwise known as Proposition 8.
Here’s what the ballot is attempting to do: If it is passed, it will amend the California Constitution with a new section that would read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The ballot is called, “The California Marriage Protection Act.”
Remember the 2000 election? That’s when we had Proposition 22. With that proposition California voters determined overwhelmingly that “marriage is to be between one man and one woman.”
So if Prop 22 was passed eight years ago, why do we need Prop 8? Good question! The answer is, at the same time, simple and complicated. Allow me to venture into this morass.
Since the passage of Prop 22 there have been a number of laws passed that address domestic partnership and same-sex marriage, thus eroding the value of traditional marriage. In other words, same-sex couples are afforded the same rights and privileges as traditional heterosexual couples. San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, decided he would take it upon himself to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. These marriages were eventually annulled by the courts.
You may recall that earlier this year a measure was presented to the California Supreme Court, successfully striking down Prop 22 in a 4-3 vote. As a result, all bans against same-sex marriage were overturned. At the same time, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed approval of two same-sex marriage bills. But do not be fooled here. The Governator has made it clear that he is personally opposed to Prop 8. He said, “I respect the Court's decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”
California Attorney General Jerry Brown wrote an amendment which states that Prop 8, “ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.”
Senator John McCain, Republican nominee for president, had this to say about Prop 8: “I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman [...]. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions.”
Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, had this to say in a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Democratic Club's Pride Breakfast about Prop 8: “As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law [...]. I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.”
Now here are some sobering statistics regarding this proposition. As of September 14, a field poll taken on this issue showed some startling results. Of those polled, 38% were in favor of Prop 8; 55% were opposed; and 7% remain undecided.
I find it rather disturbing that an issue of this magnitude has not generated more response from the electorate. If the polling data is correct, Proposition 8 will be roundly defeated in November. Marriage will become whatever people decide it should be. Without a standard that supersedes man’s laws, I see a future that will allow marriage to be a relationship with whatever a person decides is right for them. There are already attempts to legalize the marriage of humans with animals.
Marriage is sacred in the eyes of God. His view of marriage is the view we should all take. Why? Because God has the correct view on everything.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
As Joshua said, long ago, “Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”