The dichotomy of Prop 8

I was reading the L.A. TImes story on Prop 8 this morning and came across a quote I thought was interesting:

“This has been a moral battle,” said Ellen Smedley, 34, a member of the Mormon Church and a mother of five who worked on the campaign. “We aren’t trying to change anything that homosexual couples believe or want — it doesn’t change anything that they’re allowed to do already. It’s defining marriage. . . . Marriage is a man and a woman establishing a family unit.”

Talking to opponents and proponents of the proposition that appears to have a victory, I asked about this quote and the issue of the dichotomy of the arguments being made.

The interesting part of this quote is where the woman says “We aren’t trying to change anything that homosexual couples believe or want — it doesn’t change anything that they’re allowed to do already.”

The argument is often mirrored by those favoring gay marriage, suggesting gay marriage doesn’t change anything about religious beliefs and practices, it doesn’t affect anyone’s way of life by allowing it.

And I wonder how two sides, so different, in a contentious issue that has become quite divisive could have such similar arguments. And not only that, argue that one is somehow better than the other. There is a lot of gray area on this issue.

Anyway, I just wanted to open up that topic for discussion. Most discussions on the comment boards on stories and blogs on this issue haven’t been civil or helpful discussion, but I will give it one more try.

  • http://westcovinawatcher.blogspot.com West Covina Watcher

    Prop. 8 is a modern-day Jim Crow law — separate but equal. To call it anything else is disingenuous. Writing discrimination with outright lies and deception into our constitution on the same night we put a progressive, inspiring candidate in the highest office in the land is just sad and I’m disappointed in California voters who feel love is a sin.

  • To West Covina Watcher

    Well, the dictionary defines sin as a “transgression of divine law.” The Bible clearly shows that God disapproves of homosexuality. So, clearly, gay love IS a sin.

    I, for one, am glad that California has not been demoralized to the point of having disapproved of Prop. 8.

  • http://westcovinawatcher.blogspot.com West Covina Watcher

    The bible also says “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” But I guess you forgot that in your cherry picking of the Good Book.

  • To West Covina Watcher

    Cherry picking? God’s the one who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their depraved actions, including homosexuality. God is the one who determined that homosexuality is wrong. I’m not the one who judged there, He did.

    Nice try, though. Maybe you should take another gander at the Good Book before you judge me.

  • Anonymous

    The Bible is really besides the point…this is a secular democracy…not an Christian theocracy last time I checked. So please, if you care to cite anything in support of your opinion, cite the U.S. Constitution.

    It does seem that the Measure really promotes a version of Jim Crow-seperate but equal which we may all look back at some day as utterly unconscionable.

    Recognizing gay unions as marriages takes nothing away from anyone who is not gay despite the rhetoric, unless it’s somehow the tacit belief that such recongition will (a) turn people gay; or (b) force non-gay people into gay relationships…which it obviously does not. Frankly, the whole Prop 8 movement seems to have nothing but a vindictive undercurrent masked as concern for the sensitivities of children.

    I hope the Courts finally resolve this vindictive piece of mob legislation.

  • The Truth

    The people have spoken. No hate, just the desire of the people. “Special interests” are what got this country in trouble. It needs to end with the people voting for what is right. I also think that Americans need to take a closer look at judges and if judges make outrages decisions, there should be the ability to vote them out of office.

  • anonymous

    Thank god for judges….they are not motivated by what god tells them, instead they simply follow the law.

    How do you discuss an issue with someone who believes god is telling them what to believe?…pretty scarcy if you ask me.

  • Anonymous

    To Mr. “Truth”:

    I do not begrude you having your own personal religious beliefs, but I object to your attempts to impose you religious beliefs in a manner that undermines the Constitutional rights of tax-paying, law adbiding Americans.

    America is a Nation governmed by the RULE OF LAW – THE CONSTITUTION. No “majority vote” can strip anyone of their inalienable human rights…among them the right to marry you who choose and the right to be treated equally under the law.

    As I stated before, recongizing gay unions just like any other union does not take away anythong from non-gays. Recognizing gay marriages (a) won’t turn you gay; (b) won’t turn your kids gay; and (c) won’t force you or anyone into a gay relationship.

    If this was really about “what kids are taught in schools” (which it clearly is not) then why not a Proposition stating opinions about marriage cannot be taught in schools.

    I am forever greatful that we have an independent judicial system that safegaurds the Constitutional rights of the individual against the caprcious whims of a spite-filled mob.

  • Married with children

    People should have their rights whether their autistic, skitzo, have strange conditions or whatever. Yes, they must be accepted. But they’re not normal. Either is being gay. Don’t try and make a gay relationship the same as my wife’s and mine. It’s not! Have all the same rights as a married person. I can understand that. If your in a commited relationship Call it a civil union. But why you want to do what i do? You do what you do i’ll do mine. I don’t hate you for what you are. I could give a rat’s ass what you do as long as it doesn’t affect me. But when you insist that you want your union to be called a Marriage then i get offended. Back off!

  • Anonymous

    “Married with Children”???? More like Al Bundy….Do you realize you contradict yourself in your own statement:

    1. I don’t care what other people do as long as it doesn’t affect me.

    2. I don’t want gay people to be able to have their unions recongized as marriage.

    My question: How does having their unions recongized as marriages AFFECT YOU??? It doesn’t…and you know it.

    I’m sorry that certain peoples sexuality makes you uncomfortable…I guess it’s your right to feel however you feel about it… It is not your right to dictate (which is really what YOU and people like YOU are doing) what rights other should or shouldn’t have under the law.

    You keep trying to portray yourself as someone being beset upon when in really YOU are the one INTRUDING on the rights of others.

    As for your “suspect” critique as to what is “normal” perhaps you’d better leave that to the true experts.

  • Anonymous

    To Anonymous for a reason. I didn’t contradict anything. You don’t read. What you do behind closed doors doesn’t affect me. Many people have mental and emotional conditions that we can accept and go on. They have their rights of course. Gay is not normal. And you know it. The tradition of marriage has always been between man and woman particulary the contract of marriage. Not between man and man or woman and woman. People like you are are intruding on what I believe in, my values, and are trying to dictate your lifestyle is the same as mine. It’s not. Why not just be what you are instead of trying to convince the world and yourself that what you do is “right”. You want all the rights of married people, get a civil union. You get what you want and i could care less.

  • Anonymous

    “Gay is not ‘normal’”???? Perhaps what you don’t know is that the psychiatric community does not recongize homosexuality as an illness or a condition requiring a “cure.” But of course, things like science and expert opinions probably don’t matter to you…unless it’s perhaps to prove that dinosaurs lived in the time of Noah and were killed in the flood.

    “Dictate your lifestyle”??? Well for starters I’m not gay and don’t feel particularly “dictated too” simply because gay people want to have a relationship that has all the same rights recognized for other relationships….How is that dictating anyone’s beliefs upon me or you. Recongizing (under the law) somoene’s right to marry doesn’t threaten me. It won’t turn me gay and won’t turn my kids gay. Frankly, if your worried about that then perhaps your struggling with your own issues of sexuality.

    This law is nothing less than Jim Crow for gays (seperate but “equal”). If this were really about kids, the measure should have simply said that opinions about marriage (what’s acceptable or not acceptable in one’s opinion) should not be taught in school. That would safeguard parents concern about what their children are introduced to at a young age with the rights of consenting, tax paying, law abiding adults to have the same rights under the law….

    Under the law….that’s the key. No one is saying you can’t have your own opinions about marriage. What you can’t do is impose your opinions on the civil rights of others.

  • Married

    For someone who claims that they are not gay you sure try to send their message. In any case you sound alittle thick between the ears. Your not listening. Jim Crow! What?! You apparently don’t have a clue what that was about. If you in a commited relationship you have the same rights as any married person. Have you heard of Common Law? Jim Crow was miles away from this issue and don’t try to compare that fight with yours. You’ll loose. Your good at telling me not to impose my opinions on civil rights of others (which i didn’t) but you don’t have any problem imposing yours on me. By the way, who brought up kids. Not me, you did bub. Again, gay is not normal and you seem to have a problem with that. The traditional marriage contract has always been between a man and a woman. You can’t answer to that can you? You’ll just go off on another tangent. You can’t get a foothold on slippery ground. By the way are you Married?

  • Anonymous

    First of all, what’s up with your annoyingly excessive use of the word “bub”….you sound like something out of a 1930′s “Little Rascals” short.

    Second, you really need to organize your thoughs before your write them down.

    I’m not black or asian or white for that matter, but I believe strongly that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their race.

    I’m not protestant, buddhist, hindu or jewish, but I believe strongly that no one should be discrminated against on the basis of their religion.

    You seem to think that the only time someone should care about civil rights is if it’s your own rights being infringed upon….wow…enlightened your are not.

    I’m not gay but I don’t take your feeble attempt to “insult” me by questioning my sexuality as anything other than an expression of your bigotry.

    Again, you seem incapable of understanding the fundamentals of my argument:

    1. Allowing gay people to have their union’s recognized just like any other union under the SECULAR law (I’m not talking about the bible or whatever whack-job set of beliefs you subscribe to)….recognizing their unions under the SECULAR LAW does not take anything away from YOU. And YOUR attempt to REGULATE and INTRUDE UPON their personal lives is really none of YOUR business.

    2. Recognizing their unions like any other marriage DOES NOT force YOU to be gay; it does not force your kids to be gay; it does not force YOU into a gay marriage; and it does not force you to “like” gayness.

    The opponents of Prop 8 are not trying to force YOU to “Like” something you don’t like…they are trying to keep you from codifying YOUR personnel dislikes into law.

    There are many people who are uncomfortable with interracial marriage…they can’t stand it and don’t want to have any part of it and they don’t want their children to have any part of it. (As hateful as that is, that’s their right to “feel” that way.

    It is NOT, however, their right to pass laws that codify such personal hatred into laws that tell others who choose to be in interracial relationships what their union can or cannot be recongized as.

    What you and people like you propose is no different.

  • Katie

    Prop 8 has been a travesty to the California Constitution. People who are hateful or uneducated on this issue were considered the majority. Please note, that the majority on the Yes side consisted of 300,000 more people than the No side. That is the population of a small city. Should a small city have the power to strip away the rights of a minority group? No! This is not the will of the people so please stop saying that. Prop 8 will set a precedent to discriminate against any other groups that are feared or hated. What is next, losing the right to vote for those that are sick or disabled? Limiting the amount of children poor people can have? We can never limit people’s freedom. That is not what America is about. This country is greater than that and we shall never be intimidated into believing otherwise. They can cite their book of lies and deception, the bible, all they want. If this was 500 years ago, they would be citing their book in the Inquisition condoning raping, burning, and killing indigenous people throughout this continent. They are sick, twisted people and they try to win by deceiving others. They deceived people with their lies telling people that their preachers will be jailed if they don’t perform same-sex marriages and they deceived people into believing that their children will become gay if taught anything about gay marriage in public school. I am angry about Prop 8′s passage but the fight is not over. They will never win because justice will prevail.

  • Katie

    Prop 8 has been a travesty to the California Constitution. People who are hateful or uneducated on this issue were considered the majority. Please note, that the majority on the Yes side consisted of 300,000 more people than the No side. That is the population of a small city. Should a small city have the power to strip away the rights of a minority group? No! This is not the will of the people so please stop saying that. Prop 8 will set a precedent to discriminate against any other groups that are feared or hated. What is next, losing the right to vote for those that are sick or disabled? Limiting the amount of children poor people can have? We can never limit people’s freedom. That is not what America is about. This country is greater than that and we shall never be intimidated into believing otherwise. They can cite their book of lies and deception, the bible, all they want. If this was 500 years ago, they would be citing their book in the Inquisition condoning raping, burning, and killing indigenous people throughout this continent. They are sick, twisted people and they try to win by deceiving others. They deceived people with their lies telling people that their preachers will be jailed if they don’t perform same-sex marriages and they deceived people into believing that their children will become gay if taught anything about gay marriage in public school. I am angry about Prop 8′s passage but the fight is not over. They will never win because justice will prevail.

  • Who’s next?

    You wonder why our world is so full of hate as a nation we are taking a step backwards and we are becoming a nation that is denying a group of people the same rights as anyone else. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! We need to leave the bible out of this! For crying out loud Transexuals can marry but gays cannot!! The divorce rate in America is incredibly high, more than 50% of marriages fail, and many children are raped and beat by family members of straight couples. There are many gay couples who have raised well rounded, tolerant human beings and their children do not turn out differently than those of straight couples! Don’t blame gays for gay children! It’s the straight couples that have gay children! Its hard enough raising children nowadays and with all the hate in the world, people wonder why the children of gay couples have it so tough. Why is it so wrong in so many peoples eyes when so many mothers and fathers are single parents and so many families are disfunctional. We need to keep the bible out of this and as far as Im concerned, God wants us to respect our neighbors and he made gay people the way they are today. The 4 judges voted in favor of the Consitution and voting against gay marriage is unconstitutional! Its not about gay marriage- Its about NOT discriminating against a group of individuals for ANY circumstance. I cant even believe California now has discrimination written in the constitution! Im embarrased to belong to this state! Didn’t want it taught in schools? Well now it’s an Ammendment in the Constitution~! Prop 8 should have been more careful with their words if they truly wanted to preserve marriage between and man and a woman. Instead, EVERYONES FREEDOM IS NOW AT STAKE! If they can do this to the Constitution, what and WHO is next?

  • Married

    To anon. As always you couldn’t handle anythng i wrote. Your pathetic. I used bub one time and you call it excessive. Your mumbling is excessive. You don’t wish to really face anything i said. All you come up with is excuses. And lame rhetoric. You say i insult you and what do you do? You are definently a confused mind.

  • Anonymous

    I “couldn’t handle what you wrote”?????

    Now you just sound like a megalomaniac – which if we are going to talk about “normal” vs. “abnormal” IS a clinically recognized pathology.

    Married: I am under no illusions that I can somehow persuade you to be anything other the bigot you are. Still, I will not sit by and let you spew your hate with impugnity. I can’t do that in good conscience.

    You need to understand, as the previous commenter notes, that there is (or at least is supposed to be) a seperation between church and state. That is a separate between relgious codes and secular codes. Why??? Because among the religious, there is no agreement as to what is truly “right”.

    You seem to look at your own theological beliefs and confuse them with the secular law. The secular law is independent from whatever theological beliefs you hold. Frankly, I could care less what you choose to believe privately; THAT is YOUR business. It is YOUR attempt and the attempt of others like you to LEGISLATE your private beliefs that is not simply unfair…it is unconstitutional.

    I can’t quite tell if you are someone who struggles with his own private guilt about your sexuality or not, but it seems to me you act like that at times. I hope you fine some peace in your life.

  • Married

    In a word: Your a nut. I haven’t brought up religion. You did. Now you think your a psychologist. More like a psycho. Private guilt, look in the mirror. It’s apparent your having a sexuality crisis and your having to vent just come out of the closet and you’ll feel better. Your so confused you don’t know the difference between unconstitutional and the freedom of speech. I think thou protest too much. Calm down and accept what you are. God Loves you. Normal or not.

  • Anonymous

    Married:

    Do yourself and the rest of us a favor and get that GED you’re obviously lacking.

    You sound embarassingly ignorant.

    Let me guess…you barely finished high school?

  • Married

    Hey Anon, Your true A-hole self finally surfaced. When you can’t deal with a come back – insult. Who’s the Al Bundy you drop-out fool.

  • Married

    Hey Anon, Your true A-hole self finally surfaced. When you can’t deal with a come back – insult. Who’s the Al Bundy you drop-out fool.

  • Anonymous

    What in ANY of the nonsense you’ve spewed over the last few days constitutes ANYTHING amounting to a COGENT, much less COHERENT argument. Your “arguments” sound more like the disjointed ramblings of a cranky Alzheimers patient. You launch one conclusory statement after the other based on nothing more than your own personal prejudices. You ignore the role the Catholic Church and the Morman Church have played in funding the Prop 8 campaign; you ignore the countless commercials in which Prop 8 is wrongly depicated as a necessary safeguard for the sensitivities of children; you ignore you OWN earlier attempts at insult; and you employ your ignorant, “bar stool” logic about what is “normal”.

    Frankly, being call a “A-hole” by someone such as yourself, is a little like being called a racist by Adolph Hitler.

    Married, I get the feeling your simply lonely. (And no that’s not an offer for company). I suggest you have your kids take you to the senior center for an afternoon of punch, cookies and checkers.

  • Married

    Anon, You need professional help. Seek it before you do something to yourself or others. Please.

  • To Married & Anonymous

    You two idiots need to grow up.

  • Married

    Sticks and stones…

  • Anonymous

    Sticks and stones…..and alot of cobwebs are all you’d find inside Married’s skull.

  • Not Gay But This Is

    This is definitely divisive, but the line HAD to be drawn. It’s funny- for folks that generally find religion to be for “uneducated” “unscientifically minded numskulls”, they seem to have a problem with scientific, biologic fact being brought into this debate: biologically, medically(read in terms of disease and overall health), even sociologically speaking- homosexual monogamy(rare as it is) cannot rationally be equated to the societal benefit offered through heterosexual monogamy and marriage (read children and family- the basic building block of society). Maybe in a trillion years you gay Evolutionists will evolve into physical beings capable of uniting to produce offspring, but you ain’t there yet. It’s not about rights, but rather privileges. A blind man cannot get a driver’s license, and (it used to be at least) a woman can’t marry her brother. It’s not about “love” at least not in the modern definition used by every hollywood star and their multiple “loves”(love of self-that is their greatest love). I might be an alcoholic (no, really;)) but we don’t want to normalize and encourage THAT behavior, do we? I do not want to have anyone hate themselves for what they are and I don’t want the state to promote hate, but this is not that. Enough…

  • Married

    Watch out for anon and his neo-nazi gay friends. If they know who you are they will try to shut you down. If you don’t agree with them they will come to your door and protest and bully you into going against what you believe in. That’s OK. But to give my opinion is to impose on his civil rights. Who’s confused and got the cobwebs?!

  • Anonymous

    The cognitive dissonance of the previous two posters is astounding.

    They make unsubstantiated bigoted statments…..but their critics are the bigots.

    They support a law that has robbed people of their rights…..but their critics are the authoritarians out to rob others of their rights.

    They make insults about who is “normal” and who is not….but don’t dare give it back to them lest they accuse of being bully.

    Astounding…..

  • To Anon

    Your suppositious philistinism is conclusive… Extraordinary.