Alright, I'm no longer a Californian, haven't been one for about thirteen years or so, but I found the whole Prop 8 to be an interesting study in the case of social issues.
I would have most likely voted Yes if I had the opportunity to vote on it. I notice the sides both for and against this proposition and both make some good valid arguments. Here is mine.
One of the major arguments I see for voting no is that Marriage is a Right and everyone has a right to marry who they love. That this proposition is discriminating against freedom and people's rights.
My argument? Everyone does have the right to marry. Just they have to marry somebody of the opposite sex. that is the definition of marriage, between man and woman. The problem with gay people is that they are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, their sexual attraction is for members of their own sex, and thus, they feel it necessary to rewrite the law and redefine marriage to be defined based on being able to marry who they love.
This is another argument I have to make in regards to sexual orientation. Twenty years ago homosexuality was still very taboo and a lot of gay people remained in the closet. The thought of two people of the same sex getting married was considered outragious. Times have changed, haven't they?
But what is the definition of sexual orientation? Most people see it as three things. You are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. In this day and age, these are pretty much considered 'accepted' orientations. But some people take their sexual attractions a little further. Some people are sexually attracted to children (NAMBLA sepcifically is between men and boys). Others are sexually attracted to animals. I bet if you talk to some of these people, they will make the same arguments that homosexuals make, in that they are born that way.
Homosexuality was considered perverse and taboo not to long ago, now it has wide acceptance. If we feel that marriage is discriminatory between homosexuals, then it is certainly discriminatory to those who are sexually attracted to children or animals.
Furthermore, by defining the right to marry who one loves, regardless of their gender, leaves some limited. Why can't three consenting adults marry? They love each other, right? They are all in agreement that they wish to marry, they are all consenting. If two guys can get married, why can't two girls and a guy, or two guys and a girl? Heck, what if three guys want to get married to each other? They all love each other, so that should be their right. Because Marriage is a right according to some. I'm sure the FLDS would love to have the laws rewritten so they can continue to marry multiple wives. And I can say that. I'm Mormon.
Some guy in Japan has petitioned to allow people to marry cartoon characters, which is absurd (how does one have a relationship with a cartoon character anyway?) Yes, this is somewhat weird, as there is no way a cartoon character can consent. You can hold the argument that animals can't really show their consent either. But if they are sexually attracted to cartoon characters rather then human beings, that must be their sexual orientation, which means that they cannot legally marry who they love. The law discriminates against them. Just like it discriminates currently against homosexuals.
But the next argument I hear is how this only affects homosexuals, allowing them to marry, and doesn't affect heterosexual marriae in any way. I will further disagree as I point out that this is a snowball affect. Like the argument that everyone has a right to marry who they love, things will gain wider acceptance the more we accept it, so more and more perverse lifestyles become mainstream. In Massachussetts, there was a study about how because gay marriage is legal, schools have to teach it to children as being OK. But it is many people's beliefs still that homosexuality is wrong, and if the government is saying it is ok, but the parents are teaching their children that it is immoral, this confuses kids and undermines their parents authority. If a parent wants to teach a child that homosexuality is ok, then they can. That is their right. It is not the role of the government to do so.
You heard of the saying 'seperation of church and state?' It goes both ways. Most people say that churches are allowed to not marry gay people in California if they so choose, but how long is it going to be before two men petition to be married in a specific church that does not recognize homosexual marriage? Isn't that discrimination? How long before they sue, as the government recognizes gay marriage as being legal, so these churches should have to recognize it. And it's only a matter of time, somebody will do it. And if they get a good enough argument in court, and they win, that will mean that every church has to allow marriage between two men or two women or face charges of discrimination, despite what their beliefs teach contrary to this lifestyle. I know of at least one church that stopped marrying anybody in their chapels in the state of California to prevent this from being an issue.
Another argument, comparing this to the discrimiation issues of the civil right movement, as people are won't to say that in the 60's civil rights were fought for the rights of people, so that they could be equal despite their race. This was a well fought battle that deserves recognition for what it is. But sexual orientation is different from race. Despite what some people say, who you have sex with is ultimately your choice (more on that in a moment), a black person can't do anything about his race. He will be black from birth until the day he dies. He can't change that. A person can make a choice about how they live.
My thoughts on homosexuality in general is pretty simple. I believe everyone is born with the potential to be homosexual or heterosexual. How they are raised, experiences they are faced with, a number of factors play into their orientation. Are some born with a higher propensity to homosexuality then heterosexuality? You bet. that is their challenge, their test in this life. Now if that is your sexual orientation, what is your identity? If you decide one day you are gay, how are you going to act upon that? Are you going to embrace it, or are you going to choose not to? Because ultimately the act of homosexuality is a choice. A guy is not forced to have sex with another guy. He chooses to allow it. Because the act of sex is a choice, even if sexual orientation is not.
The point I'm trying to make is that you have to draw the line somewhere. Homosexuality was considered immoral in our society a few decades ago and now finds wide acceptance. I have nothing against a person based on their sexual orientation, that is their business. I don't hate gay people, I just disagree with their bedroom behavior. And I find it sad that many gay people feel that they have to soully identify with being gay, so that they must throw it in your face and flaunt it. Why must that be the one defining thing about a person? Why can't they be satisfied with being identified as being a human being with many traits and characteristics, their sexuality being just a part of it? I know a lot of gay guys who clearly identify themselves as being gay and making that the center of their identity, with everything revolving around that. It is kind of sad if you ask me.
On a final note, I'm all for Monogomy, and if two consenting adults are living in a monogomous relationship, whether hetero or homosexual, I fully support that and encourage it (its a lot safer and less disease prone that way). Of course, I also believe that heterosexuals should only have sex in marriage so I'm a bit hypocritical (but my belief in homosexuality is that if you are prone to homosexual tendencies you should practice abstinence, so monogomy is the next best thing) If you make the choice to be homosexual, and if you find a person you are committed to and wish to live together, all the more power to you. But I don't think we can define marriage as a union between two men. Or two women. Marriage is between a man and a woman, it has been for thousands of years. Just because homosexuality has become socially acceptable does not change this.
Notice I did not use the Bible as the case for my argument. I have another belief, you can not use the Bible to argue a point with people who do not believe in it.
This is my opinion, you have a right to agree with me or you might think that I have no basis for an argument. It is a fickle topic with strong opinions on both sides. I state my case. You are welcome to state yours in my comments.