California’s Prop 8

Posted by Katherine | November 14, 2008 – 8:40 pm

California’s Prop 8, probably the most scrutinized ballot measure of 2008, was one of three same-sex marriage bans that passed last Tuesday. (The others were in Florida and Arizona.) Gay-rights advocates are questioning its legality and planning nation-wide protests tomorrow. Several anti-Prop 8 marches have already taken place since the election.

ET from San Diego “love[s] laying video to music,” and he did just that with footage he recorded at a local protest over the weekend. The song he chose is John Legend’s “If You’re Out There,” which was inspired by Obama’s campaign.


[ET / Vimeo]

ET says, “yup…. the guy on stilts with the huge hammer whacks me on the head… actually felt great.”

Nareth Chuon from Long Beach, California, was in the thick of last weekend’s Prop 8 protest march in LA. This is just one of the huge number of shots he took:

Prop 8 protester
[nc90813 / Flickr]

Some of the outrage has been directed specifically against the Mormon church, which supported Prop 8. Breckster, a Mormon living in New York, wasn’t sure what she thought of the measure. So she did her own homework. And concluded that Prop 8 defends important rights.

For those of us who believe that marriage is ordained by God to be between a man and a woman, opening the definition of marriage infringes on our religious right to define marriage. […] And, it is on that reasoning that I have decided that I am glad Proposition 8 passed, because in its passage, religious rights are protected. […]

I believe that marriage is a divine union, that it is sacred, and that it should be protected. I believe that it is my right to think, teach, and practice that belief. I hope that right is never taken from me, and that my opinion is allowed, in just the same way I wish to allow lifestyles that do not fall in that definition. I will admit that I can’t call it marriage, but I do firmly believe that government should protect the rights of all couples, just under a different name.

Adam, who thinks “being an American means questioning authority” and who wore old-man glasses as a four-year-old, comes down differently on the nomenclature issue. To Adam, the trick is “understand[ing] the difference between civil and religious marriage.”

Religious marriage is a sacrament, and I don’t believe the government has any business telling any religion who they can and cannot marry. If the government ever made any kind of move to force any church to marry anyone they did not want to, I would be on the front lines protesting that.

But civil marriage is not a sacrament. It is simply a legal contract that’s enforced by the state that confers rights on the citizens who enter into that contract. […]

There’s a lot of talk about civil unions these days - trying to create a system alongside civil marriage that would involve the same rights. But why create a new system, a new bureaucracy, to try to simulate something already in place? Is that fair? I don’t think it is. “Separate but equal” didn’t work in the civil rights era, and it doesn’t work here.

Jon from Riverside, California, is a Christian and would like to become a minister. He was first relieved that Prop 8 passed and somewhat annoyed that people were protesting it. But then his feelings turned more conflicted.

Watching the protesters on the news yesterday brought about a new feeling in me […] I actually felt sympathetic - a rare emotion on my part, and even more so when it comes to this issue. Not only were hopes crushed, but prop 8 opposers also feel segregated and unloved by at least 52.3% of our state (numerically thats 5,668,960 people). My desire for peace conflicts with my beliefs.

Instead of feeling victorious, I now realize that the future is daunting […] One unfortunate result of prop 8 is the wedge driven further between the Church and homosexuals.

Misty Irons from Los Angeles is a straight married mom who homeschools her kids. She’s also an evangelical Christian who blogs about the Bible and homosexuality. Misty thinks her church approached Prop 8 in the best possible way — by not addressing it at all.

My pastor has never preached a sermon on Proposition 8 or even once mentioned it from the pulpit. I have no idea how he voted on Prop. 8 and I don’t care to know. I have no doubt that his silence was a conscious decision to honor the church as a spiritual institution and to respect the consciences of his congregants. […]

A surprising number of people [in the congregation] told me they were voting no. Others said they were genuinely torn. Even for the ones who ended up voting yes, this was no light matter, no small struggle of conscience. Just the struggle encouraged me. […]

If only more church leaders took care to treat their congregation members as citizens of a heavenly kingdom, and left them alone to figure out how to vote as citizens of this passing earthly society. Our witness to the world would be immensely brighter.

To read one Christian’s “no small struggle of conscience” over her church’s anti-gay-marriage teachings, click here.

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