Why I Oppose California’s Proposition 8 Eliminating Same-Sex Marriages

September 26, 2008
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In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22, which added a provision to the California Family Code stating that only a marriage between a man and a woman would be considered valid or recognized in the state of California.  This past May, the California Supreme Court determined that Prop 22 violated the state constitution and struck down Proposition 22 and all other prohibitions on same-sex marriages.  One month later, on June 17, 2008, same-sex marriages in the state of California became legally recognized in California, Massachusetts and New York.

On November 4, 2008, California voters will again have the opportunity to make history with Proposition 8.

Proponents of Proposition 8 would have California voters amend the state constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California and provide that only marriage between a man and a woman be valid or recognized in California.

Opponents of Proposition 8 would like to see a resounding voter turn out in support of squashing Proposition 8. Opponents of Proposition 8 would like to put to rest the out-dated traditional and religious-based man+woman definition of marriage. Opponents of Proposition 8 want your help to see Proposition 8 fail.  

Proposition 8 Voter Guide

 








 

 

 

 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.

[register to vote in California elections]

 

 

I believe that Proposition 8, like all other pending same-sex marriage ban state amendments, should not pass. For the same reasons that I believe in a Woman’s Right to Choose, I believe that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender, or nationality should have the right to get married to whomever they want.

Every day we make life choices.  We choose where we want to be educated, we choose where we want to work, and we choose where we want to live.  We choose our friends and we choose who we want to spend our days and nights with. We choose simple things like what grocery store to shop at and we choose more complex things like what house or what car to buy.

Choices and Freedom
The choices Americans make daily have not always been available to us. For hundreds of years, people have come to America seeking freedom. They have sought freedom from religious persecution, freedom from famine, freedom from war, and freedom from oppression.  People have come to America seeking the freedom of expression.

During the birth of our nation, Americans looked to our small, new government for guidance. They needed to be led yet sought the freedom they helped create for themselves and for those who would follow. Freedom came at a high price, and for many, freedom from slavery, segregation, or sexual or gender bias did not come for a century or more.

Today I am a woman who is proud to be free to choose pregnancy termination if that’s what I desire.  I am free to speak my mind because we have a general rule of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. I am free to make all the choices that affect my daily life, even if they aren’t the best choices for me.  The point is, I have the freedom to make smart or stupid decisions and I alone am accountable for my actions.

If one day I decide that I want to get married again either to a man or a woman, that will be my choice too.  Thankfully, I live in a country where I am free to do just about anything I want.  While doing something Illegal would remove some of my freedom, our country still provides for quite a bit of freedom for incarcerated lawbreakers. But by breaking the law, individuals choose to give up their freedom. Lawmakers don’t arbitrarily come in and take freedom away just because they feel like it. Or do they?

America – Land of the Free?
That’s what we say, right?  Then why is it that in 48 states, a man is not legally free to marry another man and a woman is not free to marry another woman? Why is this so important to the millions of same-sex marriage opponents?  The answer lies in the whole point that I am trying to make.  Opponents to same-sex marriage are exercising their freedom to choose what they feel is a moral definition of marriage; 1 man + 1 woman.

So who’s right?  We all are.  If I say that one side is right and one side is wrong, then I negate my whole argument for my right to choose.  What it will ultimately come down to is which side will have the most strength and resources to influence Americans to speak up and cast their vote. And the battle will be fought state to state for many years to come.

Like women and blacks finally obtaining the right to vote, same-sex couples wanting to get married will eventually be victorious.  Today, Massachusetts, California and New York recognize that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against same-sex couples who want to be married. Same-sex marriages are legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Spain, South Africa, and in our neighbor to the north, Canada. And many more countries recognize different forms of terminology relating to marriages or unions.  It is alarming to me that while whole countries recognize the rights of same-sex couples, the United States has but three states that recognize the legality of same-sex marriages.

Proposition 8 Should Fail
California’s Proposition 8 opponents need your help to ensure the failure of Proposition 8.  Many people, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg, have made sizeable donations in support of or against Proposition 8.  But campaigns opposing Proposition 8 are falling short on donations compared to those who would see Proposition 8 succeed.  If you support equality in marriage, help Proposition 8 fail. You don’t have to believe in same-sex marriages, but I encourage you to consider your fellow American’s right to choose a same-sex partner in marriage if it’s the right decision for him or her.

How can you help? Make a donation. (I did!) Can you donate $5? Can you afford $10?  Can you afford $50, $100 or more?  If you support gay rights and same-sex marriages, how can you afford not to be a part of this landmark decision?  What happens in California will directly impact voters’ decisions in other states. Your support does make a difference! If you can’t afford to make a donation (even $5 is helpful!), there are other ways you can support opposing bans on same-sex marriage.  Visit www.NoOn8.com/action to find ways to help, including writing a letter to local media editors, volunteering, and telling friends and family how they can help Proposition 8 fail.

Why do I oppose Proposition 8? I oppose Proposition 8 because fundamentally I believe that how I choose to live my life is up to me, not you.  I live in a great country where I have the freedom to make a thousand choices a day.  I live in a time where I am faced with change on a daily basis.  Status quo no longer exists, and it shouldn’t.  Our society encourages change, it encourages freedom and it encourages expression.

I believe in the choices and I believe in freedom.

I believe it’s necessary to support changing the laws to recognize the freedom of same-sex couples to express their lives through love and marriage.

And that’s Betsy’s View from Boston – the home of the first public library, the first public beach, the first public school, the first college, the first subway system and the first state/commonwealth to legalize same-sex marriages.

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Read more articles about Proposition 8 below.

Take Action Yourself!
California Families Share Their Stories

Noteworthy Press on Proposition 8
Pitt and Spielberg Donations – The Money Game Is On
Brad Pitt Another Big Giver
LA Times – Proponents Out-Fundraising Prop 8 Opponents
Mormon Church Gives $5 Million Supporting Prop 8
The Obama Factor
Prop 8 Battle Lines Drawn
McCain, Obama: California, Florida and Arizona Same-Sex on Ballots