Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prop 8 Does Not Exist In Isolation

Well, we're coming down to the wire and the rhetoric is soaring higher than ever. One thing I wanted to comment on today is the fact that proposition 8 does not exist in a vacuum. There will be ripples (tidal waves?) emanating outward if it fails.

I have noticed that advocates for the no side revert increasingly to statements like....
  • "Other people's marriages don't affect you. Live and let live."
  • "Proposition 8 has nothing to do with what children will be taught in schools"
  • "It won't hurt your church."
If proposition 8 is considered in isolation, all of these things are true. Obviously it does not. There are many probable and even automatic consequences which will undeniably arise. It is completely acceptable to examine the relevant events that followed the legalization of same-sex marriage in other states (Massachusetts) or countries (Canada, Norway, Spain, South Africa).
  • Kids are being taught about gay marriage in school in Massachusetts and California
  • In 2004, Justices of the Peace in Massachusetts were fired for refusing to perform gay marriages on moral or religious grounds
  • The United Methodist Church had tax-free status revoked for refusing to let a same-sex couple use its property for a ceremony
  • Boston Catholic Charities was given a choice: abandon your morals or shut your doors. It shut down after placing children in homes for over 100 years.
  • Ake Green, a Pentecostal Pastor in Sweden was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for a month for preaching against homosexuality
  • In Canada, pastor Stephen Boisson was fined $7000 and ordered to remain silent from the pulpit for writing a letter criticizing the gay agenda to the newspaper
The list goes on. The important thing is that it has happened and it will happen again in different ways and in different places. It will happen increasingly in California if Prop 8 fails.

Let's examine, on the other hand, what would happen if Prop 8 passes. The definition of marriage is reaffirmed and ... that's it. Nothing else. Nobody loses any rights. Nobody gains any additional rights. Everybody already has equal rights.

Please, my fellow Californians, preserve rights for everyone by voting YES on 8!

Concerned in California

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposition 8 in Plain English

This video is excellent. I certainly couldn't say it any better myself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Which Rights Does Prop 8 Take Away?

My answer would be none. There is no fundamental, inalienable right to marry whomever or whatever one would. Marriage is a tradition that precedes and transcends civil law and exists to provide husband and wife protection, stability, and a solid foundation upon which they can bring children into the world and found a family and thus perpetuate and continually improve upon society as a whole. Traditional families are, were, and will always be the fundamental building blocks of society.

To make my case today, I will quote liberally from a very thoughtful book: Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate by Lynn Wardle and several other editors and contributors. I came across it in Google's book search and there is much of it that is readable on the web. I will put quotes from it in BLUE ARIAL FONT. It comes as highly recommended reading if you have a chance to look it up.

Here is an intro to the current situation pulled from the book (which was written with great foresight over five years ago)

"It should come as no surprise that these principles of international human rights have been misconstrued in and misapplied to ... the claim that same-sex relationships must be entitled to enjoy marital status and\, further, that such a claim is recognized and protected under international law, which emerged from the traditions established by the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]... While such relationships may be based on the love of two people who happen to be of the same-sex, there are many other types of love between and among humans that do not constitute the grounds for declaring such relationships to be marriage. Examples include the love between a parent and his or her children, the love between siblings, and the love between friends or distant relatives. The reader might imagine many kinds of love and many kinds of commitment...some with people, some with animals, and some with inanimate objects. They may all be based on a person's love for the other... But such kinds of love do not a marriage make."

The point is well-stated, if slightly verbose. Love alone does not make marriage. There is a guy in my apartment complex that seems to fawn over his Mercedes to a degree that a marriage proposal seems imminent nearly every time he is outside covering it with its fitted cloth cover or removing imaginary specks of dust from the hood. I am sure that, whether you are for or against Prop 8, you would agree that a redefinition of marriage to include man and car would be ridiculous.

The fight in favor of same sex marriage is the latest move in a judicial game of chess which homosexual people have been playing against traditional society. From their perspective, it is fighting discrimination. From the standpoint of traditional marriage it is a gradual quest to force change upon our collective morals. The progression is to move from through three stages of public opinion regarding homosexuality: to endure it, to pity it, and finally to embrace it. Here is that thought fully developed from the aforementioned text.

"Advocates of same-sex marriage first asked for tolerance of themselves as homosexuals who were entitled to privacy. When this privacy was recognized and protected, they sought the pity of legal institutions for being discriminated against when they entered the public sphere. When the discrimination was declared unlawful and they were favored with the compassion of the courts and legislatures, they demanded endorsement by legal recognition of their sexual practices as being the same as those of traditional, married couples consisting of one man and one woman. But this attempt at affirmation and legal acceptance to be the the same as marriage is an absurdity, and the law of nations will have none of that - in the future or for the time being."

The progression from enduring, to pitying to embracing is a reference to Alexander Pope. Surely to some the use of this verse in this context will be considered inflammatory, but from my point of view it illustrates the perspective and the position of the Yes on 8 contingent: homosexuality is wrong.

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yes seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
-Alexander Pope

My contention, as always, remains that homosexuality is wrong and that the attempt to foist it upon society and force its acceptance is unacceptable. I am very concerned about what sort of footnotes will be attached to the word "embrace" if Prop 8 fails.

-Concerned in California

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Make No Mistake, Prop 8 is about the Kids

I am concerned for children in California.

A well-researched and startling article illustrates how the education of children about being gay is one of the core aims of many of the most active opponents of Prop 8.

It has already happened in Massachusetts and been upheld by a federal judge. It has even happened more strikingly during a recent first-grade field trip in San Francisco. Same-sex marriage proponents want kids to condone gay marriage, to accept it, to think of it as normal. Voting Yes on 8 will ensure that children are taught correctly about traditional marriage AND tolerance for gay people under domestic partnerships. It is NOT intolerant to vote your conscience and vote YES on 8. You are not alone.

Gay Opponents of Prop 8 argue that it has nothing to do with the education of children but it undeniably and even blatantly does. It is not in the wording of the amendment itself but it is natural and hoped-for next step for the No side.

Have you ever even heard of a field trip to a traditional marriage? Would a school board have considered my heterosexual grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary as an acceptable field trip proposal?

This issue still comes down to the fundamental question of whether we accept gay marriage as correct or not. It would greatly further their cause to fill the minds of the next generation with idea that gay marriage is normal and acceptable. I still accept the right of people to choose to be gay, but I do not accept their actions.

Please Vote YES on 8!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tolerance: What’s in a Name?

Whichever side you're on in the Great Prop 8 Debate, it's all about the tolerance. Tolerance is the political buzzword du jour, or rather, "du year". It is the very name of this game.

But what does that name mean? "What's in a name?" I consulted my trusty www.dictionary.com. The first definition reads thus:

"a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry."

The very key to the definition of tolerance resides in two words of that definition "those whose". Tolerance is about people. Tolerance is not about the actions of people. We must tolerate all people. As a society we do not, should not, and cannot tolerate all actions. In this sense of the word, I firmly believe that we should tolerate all people, gay people included.

There is, however, a word for the toleration of actions: condone. Supporters of Proposition 8 do not condone the actions of gay people. I repeat, we tolerate gay people, but we do not condone their actions.

Under domestic partnerships, our society and our law were already tolerant of gay people. Beyond mere tolerance, legalizing same-sex marriage goes beyond the bounds of the verb tolerate and lands completely in the realm of condoning the actions of gay people. That I cannot do, and neither will many of my fellow Concerned Californians.

Five Declarations on Tolerance
  1. Tolerance is a two-way street - Many of Prop 8's greatest detractors wave the flag of tolerance until it is threadbare only to set it on fire the moment alternate views are expressed.
  2. Tolerance is about people, not their actions - You can love someone while being against their actions.
  3. Tolerance is about rights - Prop 8 does not take away anyone rights. In fact, in the end it may very well protect many dearly-held rights.
  4. Tolerance is not a weapon or a shield - We should not wield tolerance to hurt others or to protect ourselves from rightful scrutiny. Rather tolerance is a lens through which we must view all people.
  5. Proposition 8 is tolerant.
Please vote Yes on Prop 8.
-Concerned in California

Why this blog?

My fellow Californians and other Concerned Citizens,

I am Concerned in California over Proposition 8. I have been following the Proposition 8 saga for some time. In my mind, this issue is greater than the presidential election. Obama or McCain will come and go, and their impact will be one small stitch fading into the tapestry that is America. Proposition 8 is an unwitting fulcrum upon which turns the future of America. I want to add my voice, however small, to this crucial issue.

I am in favor of Proposition 8. I will attempt to thoughtfully articulate the "Why" of my position in several posts during the countdown to November 4th. It is my hopes for this blog are that it will help rally support, great or small, for Proposition 8 and that it will help still-undecided people to vote yes on November 4th.

Concerned in California will be a small and tolerant forum for the exchange of ideas on Proposition 8 and what it means to us as Californians and other concerned citizens of planet earth. Whether you are for it or against it, you are invited to participate on two key conditions.
  1. Intelligence, variety of opinions, constructive criticism, debate, and even wit will be tolerated. In fact, they are encouraged.
  2. Name-calling, hatred, profanity, and destructive criticism will not be tolerated.
Thanks for reading,
Concerned in California