Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"No on Prop 8" Nonsense

In my previous post, I simply indicated that my "Yes on Prop 8" signs had been stolen. I made no diatribe about how Prop 8 was a good thing, nor did I suggest that everybody should vote "Yes on Prop 8" (I'll say it now, though: "Vote YES On Prop 8!!!").

Nevertheless, somebody left a comment on that entry that contains clearly copy/pasted content from the "No" campaign outlining several of the claims from the "Yes" campaign, and attempting to debunk them. Well, I'm going to take a little bit of time right now to debunk the debunking. (Seriously, why these people continue to harrass my family-friendly blog is beyond me -- can't they tell my mind is made up?)

I include the content in it's entirety, highlighted in italics, with my position immediately after each segment. Here goes:

If Proposition 8 passes, the law will change to designate an entire class of people as unequal to, as less than, every other class of people.

My take: Gays and lesbians are not a "class" of people, any more than pet- or gun-owners are. They are "normal" people (or so they say) who choose to participate in behavior that most other people don't consider to be "normal".

In the eyes of the law, gay people will be seen as inferior to everyone else.

How, exactly? California law already very clearly provides protections against hate crimes and does not diminish the rights of gays or lesbians as individual citizens.

And when opponents of gay rights see the idea that gays are inferior validated by the government, it will allow them to continue on their path of dehumanizing gays and lesbians.

Dehumanizing? Seriously? Who's doing that? I have several co-workers that are gay and while I do not agree with their chosen lifestyle, I do not consider them any less "human" than me.

That's what denying a class of people an equal right does.

Since when is marriage a right? Marriage is no more a right than holding a valid drivers license. It is a social institution. To have a valid drivers license, you must obey by the rules of having a drivers license or you can not have one. Marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman -- that is the rule of marriage and if you can not abide by that rule, you do not have a marriage. You can not redefine it. The second you do, the word "marriage" no longer means what it did and it becomes something different.

The lifestyle that grown and consenting adults choose to live is up to them -- that is their right, and one I would not deprive them of. However, you can not equate a chosen lifestyle with a "right".

It dehumanizes them, and it is dangerous.

There's that dehumanizing thing again. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

It is the dehumanization ...

I repeat, repeating something doesn't make it true.

... of a group that creates a culture in which people feel that it is okay to yell epithets at others in public; that it is okay for kids to be bullied and beaten at school; that it is okay for a jeering mob to incite a gay 17-year-old to commit suicide by jumping off a building. (Read the news.) These things happen because gays are demonized.

No, these things happen because people are people, who need very little excuse to behave badly. Kids are bullied and beaten at school for being overweight, dressing badly, or just having freckles. Teenage suicide happens for many, many reasons. Your argument that things like this happen because "gays are demonized" is ridiculous -- people are teased and belittled all the time for any attribute or behavior that is considered out of the ordinary. Consider a "goth" young man who can't get a job because of the way he dresses, or the pretty young woman who gets whistled at when walking down the street, or the friendless young man who stutters. In the first case, the choice of the young man has consequences on his life; in the second and third case, there are more biological reasons for the consequences they experience.

Gay and lesbian behavior is just that, a behavior -- like dressing like a "goth" -- and arguably a self-selected behavior that when "out of the closet" presents to the larger population a manner in which the gay or lesbian person is out of the ordinary. Is it acceptable for people to tease or belittle anybody who is out of the ordinary? Absolutely not, but it is unreasonable to expect that it will not happen -- we do not live in a perfect world. Should we provide protections for people who choose to engage in behaviors that are out of the ordinary? That depends on the behavior at hand, and today's society has concluded in the affirmative for gay and lesbian behavior, as evidenced by the plethora of laws on the books to protect them. But I see no way that this means that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to participate in the institution of marriage -- their behavior breaks the rules of that institution.

And gays are demonized when they're made out to be an inferior class of people. And they are made out to be an inferior class of people when they are not allowed the same rights as everyone else.

Again, gays are not a class, and marriage is not a right.

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is "false and misleading."

Ah, but you see, this may be the case today, but we are thinking about tomorrow, when all it will take is one gay or lesbian couple taking a case to the very same San Francisco Supreme Court that struck down the 2000 proposition and insisting that "their child" is being taught that "their marriage" isn't equivalent to a traditional marriage. We can easily foresee that this court would then state that if marriage is to be taught at all, all forms of marriage must be taught. Regardless of what California law states today, in the face of the California constitution (which currently remains silent on the topic -- we hope to fix that: Vote Yes On Prop 8!!), the Supreme Court would likely continue with precedent; if they've already said that same-sex marriage is "constitutional" today, they will say the same thing when this hypothetical but not unrealistic case comes forward, thereby eventually overturning other California laws that are out of line with their previous ruling.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says "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."

Again, this may be the case today, but tomorrow will likely tell a different story. Those who are convinced that Prop 8 will hurt gays and lesbians aren't realizing the precedent that has been set by the California Supreme Court and the greater hurt that will come to everybody else if Prop 8 doesn't pass. In stating that a traditional marriage-only concept is unconstitutional, they have opened the door to all manner of litigation that will eventually enforce the formal acceptance of gay marriage, not merely its tolerance. There is a very clear distinction between the two. I have no concerns tolerating it, but I can not in good conscience accept it. That is my religious belief, and this very clearly is infringing upon my 1st Amendment rights.

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don't agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won't affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

I think I've said enough about what may happen in the future that I want to protect against. In a way, the actions in Massachusetts has been "helpful" in that they have been showing us very clearly an example that I do not want California to follow.

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it's about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn't grant the right--the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren't supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Again, marriage is not a "right"! I understand why the "No" campaign keeps using this word (to give them more bang for their political buck), but they are using it erroneously. And, yes, this campaign will show what Californians, right now, in 2008 really want.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won't have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Didn't they already say this?


Fiction: Civil unions and domestic partnerships give gay couples the same rights as married couples.

Fact: In the few states in which civil unions or similar domestic partnerships exist, same-sex couples are granted the same rights as married couples but only on the state level. There are hundreds upon hundreds of federal benefits that do not apply to those couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The state level is exactly what is at hand here -- this Proposition is a state proposition and will do nothing at the federal level. If the "No" campaign has a beef with the federal laws, they're fighting the wrong war here. Ironically, this "Fact" is exactly what the "Yes" campaign has been promoting -- Prop 8 seeks not to harm same-sex couples in any way, it only seeks to protect traditional marriage. Prop 8 will not harm same-sex couples or reduce any of their rights (I use this word correctly here) or benefits.

And, just what are those hundreds upon hundreds of federal benefits that don't apply?

PLEASE VOTE NO ON PROP 8. Please do not allow blatant discrimination to be written into the law. California is better, smarter, and more humane than that.

This is not discrimination. It is simply protecting the traditional definition of marriage. Is California better and smarter? We'll see. Is California more humane? What, are you pets to be treated humanely?! Are we taking all the gays and lesbians out and publicly whacking them with sticks? Nope, we just want them all to leave the rest of us alone.

Vote YES on Prop 8!


emily said...

this is an awesome post.

awesome post.

yes on prop 8

for more discussion:

can i link to you?
post on my blog (if this is okay)

--- said...

Emily, good to make your acquaintance. Yes, you can link to me from your blog, if you wish.

Thanks for the positive feedback!

Megan said...

A professor at BYU wrote something that supposedly de-mythed the reasons why we "say" we need this to pass. I don't necessarily agree with everything he wrote but it is being passed around a lot. The bottom line for me is that we have been asked by our Prophet do this, so I will do what he asks! Simple as that. But I do like your view of not "today" but "tomorrow".

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