Friday, October 17, 2008

For anyone who is interested...

I have avoided Prop 8 on my blog thus far because I like people to respect my opinions and I want them to know that I respect theirs as well, so I would much rather enter into a discussion of Prop 8 where people would like to know my stance than post it on a blog, but I heard something last night that was just too much for me to pass up.
To clarify my stance, I will be voting yes on Prop 8 in November. My church is actively involved in the Yes on 8 campaign, and my church leaders have called for the church members to vote Yes on 8, which is partially how I made my decision to vote yes. I say this as clarification to my friends who might be surprised that I am choosing to vote yes on 8. I may have voted no on Prop 8 had the church not come out with its decisions, but I choose to go with the church on this one, and that is my decision and it in no way invalidates my vote; I have chosen to vote yes because I think it is the right thing to do.
That being said, in the past I have always shied away from "moral" legislation. I don't like making laws against things that I think are wrong. For example, I think abortion is a terrible thing. I will never do it and I would not want friends to do it (of course I recognize that there are definite circumstances where it is appropriate). However, I don't necessarily want to make it illegal. As I said, while I may believe that homosexuality is something people should not act on, my normal course of action would be to hope that no one would choose it, but that it should not be legislated.
So far, this post will probably only anger both sides. Those who want to vote yes may think that I am not taking a stand against something they may see as wrong (homosexuality). Those who want to vote no may think that I am voting yes because I am just following along with my church without conviction. However, I reiterate that I am voting the way I am because I think it is the right thing to do.
I believe marriage is a divine institution and that it should be protected as such. I want my children to grow up recognizing marriage as different from everything else (for example, I don't think marriage is the same as living together, having children together, etc). I will teach my children these things about marriage whether prop 8 passes or not.
If you do not have this particular belief system, then it is obvious to me that you would not be interested in voting yes on prop 8. Why would you? I think I have an answer to that question. Speaking with a friend who is working with the Prop 8 campaign, she pointed out to me that if Prop 8 does not pass (that is to say, if same-sex marriage continues to be legalized under court law), it effectively makes the judiciary branch of government a legislative branch.

That concerns me.

In 2000, Prop 22 was passed by the majority of the people. However, it was judges who overturned that law. If the gay and lesbian community would like to make same-sex marriage legal, I propose that they go about it by getting the necessary signatures to get it on the vote that way. It should not be done by overturning the will of the people, even if it is believed that the will of the people has now changed. If you are okay with the judges overturning the will of the people this time because they are going "your way" or along with something you agree with, think about the next time they decide to overturn something. Perhaps it will not be along with something you agree with. Voting no on Prop 8 lays all of legislation vulnerable to be overturned by the judicial branch, so the power of the people falls to almost nothing!

I encourage you to take your personal beliefs about same-sex marriage out of it for a brief moment and consider what this proposition may do to the system of government. It is about more than just same-sex marriage.

Again, I want to reiterate that I respect all positions on this and I definitely do not want to belittle any beliefs or way of life; I hope you all will show a similar respect for me, but I would be happy to enter into a discussion with anyone who is interested. Thanks for reading.

6 comments:

abby said...

THANK YOU!!! I really like the upbeat, loving, and respectful way you talked about why you are supporting Prop. 8. Very cool!

I agree that the real issue here is about FREEDOM for all peoples. Why some are demanding us to give up our freedom is very strange and the cost in $$$ is so much...

Prop. 8 is about American Freedom. If prop. 8 fails, it will hurt all of us, including same-sexuals, because it is a direct attack on basic freedom. And once a special interest group is allowed to make new laws, other special interest groups will be quick to follow. See these sites: www.whatisprop8.com, www.preservingmarriage.org, www.iprotectmarriage.com and www.ifprop8fails.org

Vote Yes! Prop. 8.
Vote Yes! American Freedom

Let's you, me, and same-sexuals work together to restore freedom of voice in our beautiful California and use the millions of dollars to help the hungry and poor instead of trying to force new laws that will cost even more and take even more away from those truly in need of basic life support like food and medical care, especially in this economic storm.

Stacy Lawrence said...

well stated. God save the queen.

emily said...

thank you for this great post.

Marriage is our culture’s ultimate expression of equality–it takes one man and one woman to create a family. Even if a marriage can’t have children or choose not to have children the definition of their relationship expresses this equality.

Under California law civil unions have the same rights as marriages. Prop 8 will not change this. It simply defines marriage as between a man and woman.

seriously, thank you.

Nate said...

Nicely argued rachel. I think you made some great points, but I'm not convinced that this was necessarily the case of a group of activist judges taking the law into their own hands. 6 out of 7 were Republican appointed judges and could be considered conservative to moderate. Their job is to ignore public opinion and deliver the law as they see it. In this particular case, using the California consitution as a premise to assess the legality of SSM, they found that as the constitution is currently constructed a denial of marriage to homosexuals is considered unconstitutional. In that light I don't see it as overturning the voice of the people, but in doing their job, applying usual standards of judgement interpretted a denial of SSM as not jiving with California's current constitution. Like it or not, thats the template they must follow in doing their job.

Is it Nov 4th yet? I'm burned out on Prop 8.

Sel said...

something to think about:

brown v board of ed
roe v wade

both landmark cases in which the supreme court overturned "the voice of the people..." aka times when the judicial branch became the legislative branch.

Amanda said...

So, generally speaking I don't like disagreeing with folks via family blogs..it just seems inappropriate. That being said I've always loved that we've been able to have open and honest dialogues even though we don't always agree on everything...so just wanted to throw some facts out there for peeps to think about.

Emily said that civil unions (actually domestic partnerships under CA law) are the same as marriage. According to congress they are not, thanks to the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA)there are 1,138 federal legal benefits available exclusively to married couples (not those in civil unions or domestic partnerships) the report can be found here http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/2004GAO.pdf?docID=1161

Also, prop 8 doesn't change the role of the judiciary. The judicial branch has always existed to verify constitutionality of voter decisions and laws passed by congress (it's the 3rd piece of the checks and balances established by the constitution). When they overturned Prop. 22 they did just that, 22 was overturned b/c it was unconstitutional (similar to the way the supreme court over turned Jim Crow laws and the Loving case that overturned a law that previously made interracial marriage illegal)not b/c CA courts wanted to make new laws. The CA supreme court has already overturned Prop. 22, Prop. 8 is an entirely new piece of legislation that doesn't actually effect the judiciary or Prop. 22.