Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fundamentally Changing Society--The Prop 8 Debate

Same-sex marriage will fundamentally alter society whether you believe it or not. This is why it is such a charged issue in California's current political season, wherein we find the masses passionately supporting both "YES" and "NO" on California Proposition 8. Proposition 8 will officially define marriage in the state of California as being between a man and a woman. It is important that each individual consider the immediate issue as well as the ramifications of the issue, being well informed, before voting on this proposition. A "YES" vote will preserve marriage as it has always been and how it should always be--between a man and a woman. A "NO" vote will change marriage, open the door to further changes and will fundamentally and adversely change society. Ultimately, it comes down to what you personally believe marriage to be. You will obviously vote accordingly. But let us explore how society will be changed if same-sex marriage passes in California.

1. By redefining marriage we are bringing into conflict religious beliefs with religious practices. Those who promote same-sex marriage say that religion will not be affected. This is wrong. Apparently, they believe that religion is a sunday activity within the walls of a church and not a way of life. In essence, they are attempting to impose gay and lesbian rights on society while shoving religious rights into the closet. You may worship in private, but do not live your religion. And those who live their religion--they will be deemed discriminatory and will be sued for their opposition to the law. We will be forced to practice what we morally oppose or be fined, fired, incarcerated, or persecuted in other manners. Let me offer a few examples of how this will play out from actual cases that have already occurred:

a. Adoption services: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. After a legislative struggle — during which the Senate president said he could not support a bill "condoning discrimination" — Catholic Charities pulled out of the adoption business in 2006.

b. Parochial schools: California Lutheran High School, a Protestant school in Wildomar, holds that homosexuality is a sin. After the school suspended two girls who were allegedly in a lesbian relationship, the girls' parents sued, saying the school was violating the state's civil rights act protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination. The case is before a state judge.

c. Medical services: A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state's civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman's right to medical treatment will trump the doctor's religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.

d. Psychological services: A mental health counselor at North Mississippi Health Services refused therapy for a woman who wanted help in improving her lesbian relationship. The counselor said doing so would violate her religious beliefs. The counselor was fired. In March 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the employer, ruling that the employee's religious beliefs could not be accommodated without causing undue hardship to the company.

e. Adoption services: A same-sex couple in California applied to Adoption Profiles, an Internet service in Arizona that matches adoptive parents with newborns. The couple's application was denied based on the religious beliefs of the company's owners. The couple sued in federal district court in San Francisco. The two sides settled after the adoption company said it will no longer do business in California.

f. Wedding services: A same sex couple in Albuquerque asked a photographer, Elaine Huguenin, to shoot their commitment ceremony. The photographer declined, saying her Christian beliefs prevented her from sanctioning same-sex unions. The couple sued, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination. It ordered her to pay the lesbian couple's legal fees ($6,600). The photographer is appealing.

All of these cases are truly unnecessary. These gay and lesbian individuals could have easily found an adoption agency that would allow adoptions by same-sex couples--instead, they sue and drive people of faith out of business. The parents of the lesbian girls obviously knew the rules and standards of a religious school, yet they sue when they break those rules (they could have easily enrolled their daughters in another school where it would not be an issue. Instead, they wish to impose their own beliefs over that of religious beliefs). The lesbian who wanted to receive in vitro fertilization was referred to a doctor who would be happy to perform the procedure, yet she chose to sue the doctor who made the referral because he would not compromise on his religious beliefs. And the list goes on and on. If we could trust people to be civil and understanding (dare I say TOLERANT) of people's religious beliefs, this would not be an issue. But because there are some within the gay and lesbian community that wish to impose their beliefs on others, same-sex marriage will take away the rights of individuals to live their lives according to their religious beliefs. You may view the article from which these cases are documented here.

2. Same-sex marriage will be taught in public schools. This has already happened in Massachusetts. The opposition to Prop 8 claim that what happened in Massachusetts will not happen in California. They are wrong. It is already happening as is exemplified with a school class taking a field-trip to a same-sex wedding. Also, with kindergarten classes being exposed to "Gay Appreciation." Another article on the matter may be read here. And you may wish to read through some of the California State Content Standards that require the teaching of families in 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade, which will undoubtedly lead to teaching same-sex marriage in public schools (you will have to download the document from this site--see my previous blog for the specific standards). The teaching of same-sex marriages will take away the rights of parents who oppose the teaching of their children concerning this practice.

3. The family is the most basic unit within society. By allowing same-sex marriages we are changing the very pillars of society. Marriage should be reserved for the promotion of the optimal or ideal family, which will offer children the best opportunity for success and happiness. Opponents of traditional marriage between a man and a woman use this article to support their position that children in same-sex families are not adversely affected. However, they fail to recognize this one key fact from the article--the comparison in the studies is to single mothers, not families with a mother and father. The article states: "Studies from 1981 to 1994, including 260 children reared by either heterosexual mothers or same-sex mothers after divorce, found no differences in intelligence, type or prevalence of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, well-being, peer relationships, couple relationships, or parental stress." The optimal conditions for children is a family with a mother and a father. Same-sex marriage fundamentally changes that condition.

4. All those who oppose the practice of same-sex marriage will be demonized both in public schools and in society at large. They will be labeled bigots, intolerant, discriminatory, hate mongers, and plenty of other choice words. This will lead to further abuses within society. This will cause great confusion for children who are being taught religious principles by parents on the one hand and then are being taught in schools and by government (Diane Feinstein has already labeled us such) and society that their parents are ignorant, bigoted, Intolerant, and etc. Furthermore, the latest ads by opponents to Prop 8 presents the concept that those who support traditional marriage and the traditional family--father, mother, children--and who have not done anything ever in their lives to downtrodden gays and lesbians (truly tolerant people who simply disagree with some on how marriage should be defined), are the moral equivalent of racists and xenophobes. It exemplifies the fact that if you have a differing opinion on an issue, that opinion is not valid--you MUST think as they do or you are an intolerant bigot. Is this not the epitome of intolerance? It is quite hypocritical for opponents of Prop 8 to claim that they are for tolerance and fundamental rights when they are blatantly intolerant of digressing opinion and freedom of speech.

5. By redefining marriage to accept same-sex couples we are setting a dangerous precedent. The argument is that people love each other and we do not have the right to deny people of their love for one another. Supposedly, this is a fundamental right--if one loves someone, they should be allowed to marry that someone. As of now it will be same-sex couples. But what will happen a few years down the road when other groups with varying sexual preferences want their "fundamental right" of marriage? Do not those who practice or wish to practice polygamy have the same exact argument for marriage? They love. Is it their "fundamental right" to marry whom they choose? What about incestuous relationships? They love. Is it their "fundamental right" to marry whom they choose? What about people who practice bestiality? They love. Is it their "fundamental right" to marry what they choose? What about teenagers? They love. Is it their "fundamental right" to marry when they choose? And, of course, if we lower the age of marriages so as to not deny the fundamental rights of those who by nature are able to conceive, then what of more wicked and perverse groups such as NAMBLA. Will they not push for their "fundamental right" for dirty old men to marry young boys? Obviously, those who support same-sex marriage do not support polygamy, incest, bestiality, the lowering of the marriage age, or NAMBLA. But what they are doing by changing the definition of marriage is opening the door for all of these groups. The very logic which they are approaching the redefinition of marriage is the very logic that each of these groups will use in return. And those who claim at this time that it is discriminatory, immoral, unfair, and wrong to deny these supposed "fundamental rights" to same-sex couples, will be labeled the exact same thing when they in turn oppose these other groups. If we are considered to be prejudiced by opposing same-sex marriage, how would we not also be labeled as being prejudiced in opposing these other groups? If we are counseled to not be judgmental of others sexual preference, wouldn't that also mean that we should not be judgmental of all of these fringe groups? Can they not also make the argument that they are born that way, that they love, and that it is their "fundamental right" to be recognized by society as being nothing different than a mother and father in a marriage relationship? This is a slippery slope on which we stand. It would change the entire moral fabric and principle on which this nation was founded and will ultimately lead to the destruction of society as we know it.

6. Our ideals and values on sexuality will fundamentally change. Hollywood and various forms of media are already bombarding America with sexual messages, both heterosexual and homosexual. In my opinion, neither is appropriate for public consumption (I mean with easy access to children--one just has to flip on the television to be bombarded with sexual messages). Passing same-sex marriage emboldens this position. It will become wrong to make judgments concerning sexuality which will ultimately lead to the legalization of more perverse practices. This can easily be seen by looking at the Scandinavian countries where same-sex marriage has essentially been in existence for the past decade. The idea of being non-judgmental concerning sexuality has led to the legalization and popularity of such things as animal bordellos, as is evidenced by this article. and has led to an increase in divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and etc. This repercussions of which are not limited to the individual, but have an effect on society as a whole.

7. Same-sex marriage will entirely alter the way Americans view sexuality. Advertisers for wedding rings, wedding dresses, wedding suits, or anything at all dealing with weddings will have to promote same-sex marriage through its advertising. Once more, people who believe in the sacredness of marriage as being between a man and a woman will have this ideology working its way into our homes and will cause a conflict of interest as families attempt to teach their children their own values while society is promoting a contradictory perspective.

8. Marriage will lose its sacredness and meaning. Whether you would like to admit it or not, marriage is a religious issue. It began as a religious ordinance and it is ordained of God. Same-sex marriage will entirely sever the original origin and purpose of marriage from what it will become. The way Americans view marriage will change and its traditional purposes of maintaining chastity, promoting procreation, providing an ideal environment for rearing children, and our pursuits of patterning our lives and families after that of our Heavenly Parents will be undermined. People will view it as nothing more than a profession of love, and realizing that they may profess that love without marriage, the institution of marriage will become an unnecessary ritual in the mindset of many.

9. Same-sex marriage will set the precedent of seeking redresses with government by attacking institutions rather than seeking to change government. Many gays and lesbians feel that the denial of same-sex marriage strips them of "fundamental rights." When pressed about these rights and confronted with the concept of domestic partnerships, they claim that domestic partnerships do not allow for recognition of citizenship with foreign lovers, federal tax reductions, and the likes. Hence, their rights are being denied. If they wish to have such rights they should take it up with the government which is preventing those rights, not by trying to redefine marriage. They are attacking the wrong institution.

10. By allowing same-sex marriage to stand in California, we are legitimizing the California Supreme Courts decision for activist judges to create laws that overrule state law (prop 22 passed in 2000, defining marriage in California to be recognized only between a man and a woman). This is a bad precedent. People may agree with the judges decision, but what about the future? What happens when elite judges begin creating other laws with which you do not agree? If we allow judges to create law now, we will be allowing them to create law in the future. We live in a democracy. I do not wish my democratic rights to be trumped by the tyrannical rule of elite judges who feel they (the few) feel what they know is best for the whole.

These are the reasons I feel we should vote "YES" on Proposition 8. You may disagree and that is your right. I believe in democracy and it is time for each of us to decide for ourselves and vote accordingly.

Click here to read a summary of the French Parliamentary Report on the Family and the Rights of Children

1 comment:

Kyle said...

You are my hero. Keep up the good word!