Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proposition 8

 
Last May the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry according to the California Constitution. Since then 16,000 same-sex couples have been married in California [California Proposition 8 (2008)].

On November 4th voters will decide on whether or not to change the California Constitution to block the marriage of same-sex partners. This is Proposition 8:
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. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.
The latest polls indicate that the "yes" side has a slight lead. If the "yes" side wins next Tuesday, it will be illegal for same-sex couples to marry in California.

This is California, folks. In the United States of America. In the 21st century. Gay couples are getting married but that right might be withdrawn.

What the heck is going on?


[Photo Credit: BBC News]

13 comments:

  1. The rural areas of California tend to be very conservative and more than a little religious. The large Hispanic population is predominantly Catholic and tend to vote with the “morals” group. Also remember that we do have a Republican governor.

    Of course, the way I see it a vote for Proposition 8 means that you’re against traditional, biblically described marriage. As we all know, marriage as described in the Bible is a relationship between a man and several women. In other words, polygamy. The Bible is filled with examples of great kings and holy men who had multiple wives.

    If a marriage is limited to between one man and one woman this obviously goes against Biblical principles. By extension, eliminating the right of same sex couples to marry also violates these principles because if a man marries multiple women, obviously the women involved are married to each other.

    I mailed my ballot a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to say that I voted for Biblical principles, and against Proposition 8.

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  2. It doesn't help the "great progressive hope", Senator Obama, has pubically proclaimed he is against same sex marriages. He did come out against Prop. 8 back in July but did so quietly. Needless to say he hasn't been bringing it up since. Instead from the Obama/Biden camp has been reminders that they do not agree with same sex marriages (highlighted during the VP debate). You think a "progressive" presidential candidate who proclaims to be a leader and not a typical politician with lots of money would fight Prop 8 with some vigor but nope. Sums up a lot of the problems in America.

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  3. This all seems very strange. Several older Canadian acquaintances of mine seemed to have problems with the idea that Canada was going to legalize gay marriage. Then it happened, the world didn't end, and it seems that now they've realized that it really wasn't a big deal.

    It's not like Californian society has collapsed. So what's the impetus? This is just a 'we think it's wrong so it shouldn't be allowed' issue.

    I'm moving to the States next year, and I'm already trying to make a list of 'cultural differences' I should be aware of so that I don't step on toes... Not bringing up gay marriage in polite conversation must be one of them?

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  4. I'm moving to the States next year, and I'm already trying to make a list of 'cultural differences' I should be aware of so that I don't step on toes... Not bringing up gay marriage in polite conversation must be one of them?
    *****
    Depends on who you are with. Americans are diverse in their opinions. If Prop 8 passes it will not be by a large margin (which is why Obama being more vocal and shifting resources to fight Prop 8 could do some good).

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  5. Depends on who you are with. Americans are diverse in their opinions.

    Oh, indeed - I agree. However, I've noticed that there are slight differences in terms of the political discourse. I've been to international conferences where, for example, while sitting around having drinks, a bunch of non-Americans were scolded for criticizing president GW Bush's policies. Apparently, despite all of his faults (your opinion may differ), they were told that he's someone you should show respect to. Now, while I can fully appreciate the idea that some people would be offended by foreigners criticizing their government, I've been to many Canadian conferences, and know many foreign post-docs and graduate students who criticize the Canadian government all the time. I've never seen such a reaction. We have multiple political parties and people argue about their relative merits all the time.

    I'll fully acknowledge that my experiences may have been completely isolated incidents that are not broadly applicable. I've been in universities for the past ten years, around the most liberal of the liberal (a term that's not slander here up north) and like I said, I just don't want to step on any toes!

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  6. Not that this isn't a discouraging result but you have to remember that, IIRC, the original referendum about gay marriage, that the Caligornia Supremes overturned, passed with 60+%. The latest poll has it losing 49-44%

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/prop-8-tea-leaf.html

    No matter what the outcome, it is a distinct improvement in the state in just a few years. Also, California has a "domestic partners" law that gives gays marriage in everything but name, that will not be affected by Prop 8. While I agree with the Supreme Court that the name is important, if Prop 8 wins, no other legal right than to call the union a "marriage" will be lost.

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  7. Prof. Moran:

    FYI

    "Academic Freedom Under Many Assaults"

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/10/31/inquiry

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  8. Interesting that no one's commented on the fact that the Mormon Church has spent ~$20 million to convince Californians to vote Yes (against same-sex marriage).

    I never will understand the great moral/religious duty to interfere with the life decisions of people you've never met in places you've never been.

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  9. Heh, that last comment was left by me - don't know what type of brain-lock made me type "Yes" under Name. ("Hmm - yes, I have a name....")

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  10. Actually, before the State Supreme Court decision, same-sex civil unions didn't have the same rights as mixed-sex marriages, and that was in fact the point of the decision. "Separate but equal" is never equal.

    The states and the federal government could, in theory, rewrite every law that mentions marriage to include civil unions, or the constitution could be amended to similar effect, but short of that there are a great many practical differences between being married and being joined in a civil union.

    I'm cautiously hopeful that Prop Hate will fail on Tuesday.

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  11. Not that this isn't a discouraging result but you have to remember that, IIRC, the original referendum about gay marriage, that the Caligornia Supremes overturned, passed with 60+%. The latest poll has it losing 49-44%
    **********************
    Yes some progress has been made but you are not comparing apples to apples. In the first case people thought they were voting to maintain what they thought was the status quo. In the current case you have people actively voting to limit rights already established. There are those who are against same-sex marriages you won't vote yes on the latter but would on the former situation. Weird, yes but such is humanity.

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  12. Christians! Don't be fooled by a Mormon LDS trick! Save Christianity and vote NO on proposition 8! See http://Batyzim.com/ for the real, Christian, story.

    BTW: The Mormons have been instructed by their leaders to deface and vandalize their own signs to make themselves look like victims. It's an old trick, and a shame the Media fell for it.

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  13. You are sadly misinformed. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been told to "love our neighbors".

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