I've always supported defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, however, my reasons previously were almost entirely based on my religious views/perspective. Knowing that family is essential to God's plan, and that the disintegration of the family will bring calamaties to individuals, communities, and nations (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). And I used to feel that those who supported same sex marriage had more logical arguments. I guess you could say I used to believe this was more an issue of civil rights.
In the last several months, since 4 California judges overturned California's law, and since Prop 8 got on the ballot, I have done a lot of reading and listening and studying of the issue. And, even though I still believe that those who oppose prop 8 have good points on their side of the argument, I now understand and see many more valid and good arguments for those who support defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, and I would like to share my thoughts on it.
First, this is not about civil rights. Prop 8 does not take away any rights that same sex couples have that are similar to rights of heterosexual couples. And we have no intention of trying to take away those rights. Prop 8 is a matter of morality, and an issue of keeping seperation of church and state, and of not taking away freedom of religion or freedom of speech (both of which are in the first amendment of the Constitution).
This leads me to my second point, and one of the most important to me. If Prop 8 does not pass, most of the religous people in California will lose our rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I don't think it's just mere coincidence that in our first amendment to the Constitution (aka our first bill of right) it states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Allowing same sex marriage will most definitely prohibit the free exercise of religion. And if you do not believe this to be true, let me share with you some examples that have already happened in our country and other places:
• “Catholic Charities in Boston and San Francisco ended adoption services altogether rather than be compelled by anti-discrimination laws to place children with same-sex couples. In the Boston case, Catholic Charities was prepared to refer same-sex couples seeking to adopt to other providers, but that was not sufficient.”
• A Christian gynecologist in San Diego County was sued when he refused to perform artificial insemination for one partner of a lesbian couple for religious reasons. The doctor referred the patient to a colleague, promised there would be no extra cost and offered to care for her during her subsequent pregnancy. The couple sued, and the California Supreme Court was hostile to the doctor’s arguments. One justice suggested that the doctor take up a different line of business.
• A photographer in Albuquerque was sued when she declined to shoot a commitment ceremony based on her beliefs. The New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination. She was ordered to pay the couple’s legal fees ($6000+).
• A Methodist organization in New Jersey lost part of their tax exempt status because they refused to rent their boardwalk pavilion to a lesbian couple for their civil union ceremony. This litigation is ongoing.
• The establishment of same-sex marriage as a civil right will also inevitably require mandatory changes in school curricula. “In Quebec, a Mennonite school was informed by the Ministry of Education that it must conform to the official provincial curriculum, including teaching that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle, or be shut down. The Mennonites say they will leave the province. A similar government position can be anticipated here.”
I would also like to add my thoughts of same sex marriage and the classroom. If Prop 8 does not pass and same-sex marriage is allowed then it would be taught in schools that same-sex marriage is good and normal. There are a couple examples from two Massachesetts schools were same sex mariage is allowed. A kindergartener was sent home a diversity bag with a book about homosexuality & same-sex marriage, and I believe it was a 1st grader who's teacher read to the class a book about two princes marrying each other. Now, from a logical and understanding point of view I can see the argument for sharing these books and this topic with the children. However I feel it is strongly hypocritical of people who say it's okay to share these books and these beliefs & ideas to children but then turn around and say, no way you can't share bible stories or religous beliefs in the classroom. You can't have one side with out the other. And in my opinion either we allow both in the classroom equally or we keep both out of the classroom. It reminds me of what Dallin H. Oaks said: This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like “homophobic.”*
In conclusion, vote YES on Prop 8.
"In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as “lies” claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding."*
One of my favorite articles written about Prop 8: Ask A Christian by Felice Austin
Prop 8 offical website: protectmarriage.com
Other great website: preservingmarriage.org