Sunday, November 2, 2008

No on 8

Andrew Sullivan, writing in Time in 2004:

When people talk about gay marriage, they miss the point. This isn't about gay marriage. It's about marriage. It's about family. It's about love. It isn't about religion. It's about civil marriage licenses. Churches can and should have the right to say no to marriage for gays in their congregations, just as Catholics say no to divorce, but divorce is still a civil option. These family values are not options for a happy and stable life. They are necessities. Putting gay relationships in some other category — civil unions, domestic partnerships, whatever — may alleviate real human needs, but by their very euphemism, by their very separateness, they actually build a wall between gay people and their families. They put back the barrier many of us have spent a lifetime trying to erase.
If I were a California voter, I'd vote No on 8.

comments: 4

Sharon Delman said...

I am a California voter. Both my husband and I voted NO on 8. Thanks for your post . . . and your perspective.

Lisa Johnson said...

If I were in California, I'd vote NO too. I don't understand how people can't see that we as a nation should be about making sure everyone has civil rights and moving forward. Not going backwards.

Anonymous said...

I AM in California, and I don't know how I'm going to vote on Prop 8.

You see, I'm a Christian from a pretty conservative ("fundamental") denominational upbringing. Most in this denomination, I would venture, would vote YES on 8, saying that there SHOULD be a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They are speaking from faith: The Bible is very clear about how God defines marriage -- one man, one woman, for life.

But I'm faced with a conundrum. While I believe in God's definition, I don't believe it's government's business. As a matter of fact, government's business is "equal protection" and "promoting the general welfare." Part of government's business is making sure no group gets special preferment, and making sure no one is discriminated against.

And if we're talking about "protecting marriage," let's REALLY protect it with constitutional amendments banning adultery and divorce. No gay relationship is threatening my marriage. The only one who can threaten my marriage is me. So, NO on 8.

On the other hand, if I were truly a Christian, wouldn't I want to promote in the world the things I believe God would want? So, YES on 8.

Hence, my conundrum. What do I do? I suspect I won't really know until I pull the lever.

Szabe said...


I have great respect for your dilemma, and although I will vote No on 8, I've experienced similar bouts of indecision on other propositions whose underlying principles I endorse, but which strike me as bad legislation. The conclusion I've reached is that these propositions must be judged for what they are--laws--and not expressions of belief. I will do my best to vote for pragmatism and the common good over personal ideology Tuesday, and I hope that, whichever way you cast your vote, you do the same.