Proposition 8. Ask any citizen of California or politically minded American, and we will offer up countless opposing viewpoints, opinions, and critiques of this controversial ballot proposition. The current debates ultimately boil down to this: does legalizing same-sex marriage weaken the institution of marriage in our society? This is the question that has prompted our usually rational citizens to violently attack each other, going so far as to threaten the lives of those with differing opinions. Can such a question really warrant the actions of these extremist assailants? In this age of acceptance and tolerance, why do we find ourselves returning to the violent and destructive patterns of 11th century religious crusaders?
For, if we look at the voting record, a distinctive pattern emerges. A total of 84% of regular churchgoers voted yes on the measure. Conversely, 83% of those of us who donít ever attend church voted against this proposition. Is it outrageous to conclude that Proposition 8 was mainly a battle of our religious principles? If so, the question becomes not: does legalizing same-sex marriage weaken the institution of marriage, but did this proposition belong on a California ballot in the first place?
In 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists confirming that the constitution builds, ďa wall of separation between Church and State.Ē Seeing as the issue of same-sex marriage is rooted so deeply in the teachings of different faiths, can California truly create an amendment to our constitution concerning it? Such an amendment would have far reaching effects: it would compromise our rights to what we believe, damage the lifestyles of many same-sex couples, and even take away the current rights of those same-sex couples who are already married. Should a religious group be able to do this to the rest of us in California society?
To conclude, the issue of same-sex marriage is very personal. The government cannot take away a personís god-given rights on religious basis, or any other. An issue such as this, with a strong founding in religion, should not come to a vote. The California Supreme Courtís decision regarding the legality of this amendment should be released in mid-June. Let us hope that it will be the right one. And if not, it is time for us to do something about it. A government that blatantly ignores the rights of the people is no government at all.