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California's Proposition 8


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There's been some discussion about this, however I felt it deserved its own thread.

 

California passed a ballot initiative which amends their state constitution specifically to exempt same-sex couples from being recognized as married. You can read more about it here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8_(2008)

 

Some questions to consider:

 

1) What are the moral ramifications of granting homosexual couples different rights than heterosexual couples?

 

2) What do you think about a group of out-of-state mormons initiating an amendment to the constitution of a state they don't even live in?

 

3) What ramifications do you think this amendment has under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution? Can state constitutions specifically state that they will not honor a particular legal status bestowed upon people from another state under which specific provisions are granted by state law? Does this amendment violate the US constitution?

 

Personally, I am disgusted by the passage of this amendment. This amendment discriminates against a particular set of people. I wonder how mormons would feel about an amendment to California's constitution which states that no mormons can be married.

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Mr. Skeptic, As I said in my last post, I do believe you have made valid points. Also, I do believe the doG owes you a thoughtful response to your questions. In light of my previous post, let me tr

Yes, it is a prerequisite for the child to be the biological child of both parents. Obviously, the other partner can adopt the child, but then they will be an adoptive parent and not a biological pare

I do appreciate the point you're making here, but doesn't this apply to everything we toss about here in the forums? Everything we bicker about boils down to my value system verses your value system,

I couldn't believe that California passed this. I mean I know they have a republican governor, but I thought it was a liberal state. I'm disappointed with this too. Are there exit polls showing who voted to pass this?

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1) Absolutely wrong. Terrible exercise of legislating interpersonal relationships by refusing to recognize a particular combination. I would say the same about polygamy as well. I would think the preferred solution would be to replace the concept of "marriage" with "civil union" for all combinations of unions. Sex is irrelevant. Only that they are american humans should matter. Let society bat the word "marriage" around however they want.

 

2) Kind of an insult, but it ultimately falls into that category Pangloss was talking about, that these things need to be played out anyway regardless of who initiates it.

 

3) I'm torn at the moment. Leaning toward unconstitutionality. I like state's rights, but this is one of those things that I would expect to be considered basic human rights that no state has a right to refuse.

 

I agree with bascule's sentiment on the disgust. I would like to see no recognition of unions by government at all, since I don't think anyone earns any more or less rights or consideration just because they have an intimate relationship with another human being. However, I do concede that there are certain practical scenarios that require it, and for those we should not discriminate.

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1) Agreed. I can't justify different status for homosexuals, and the whole thing goes squarely against the principles of free egalitarian societies. Really, the whole argument shouldn't even be happening. Rather than arguing over the legal definition of marriage, it's time to recognize that government shouldn't be defining marriage at all. There are benefits to recognizing legal partnerships (i.e. civil unions), so I can see that argument (though I'm not fully convinced either way), but it needn't have anything to do with chromosomes or who we happen to be boinking.

 

2) Per the out of state thing, it's very annoying, but it's legal. It is, after all, Californians who did the voting.

 

3) It does seem like a violation. This should probably go to the Supreme Court.

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I think the constitutionality of the amendment being placed on the ballot should be challenged. The 14th Amendment begins:

 

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

 

No State should have any amendments on their ballots to treat citizens of the United States differently than citizens of their own state. If the mormons want to fight gay marriage then let them do so in all states, not just one, and let them due so with due process, not a poll designed to avoid it.

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I got a good way to make everyone happy.

 

Have church marriage's be called "marriages". The church decides if you get married, etc. Same rights as they have now.

 

Have court marriages (between gays and people who just don't wanna be in a church for their special day) civil unions. Same rights as marriages.

 

Everyone has equal rights, and the church gets to keep the definition of marriage.

 

10/10

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I got a good way to make everyone happy.

 

Have church marriage's be called "marriages". The church decides if you get married, etc. Same rights as they have now.

 

Have court marriages (between gays and people who just don't wanna be in a church for their special day) civil unions. Same rights as marriages.

 

Everyone has equal rights, and the church gets to keep the definition of marriage.

 

10/10

 

I agree, except there's no need for the "separate but equal" institutions. Just make "marriage" have no legal significance whatsoever. Under law, everyone has "civil unions," for which orientation doesn't enter into it. People are free to call it whatever they like.

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In the recent election, California State ballot Proposition 8--eliminating same-sex marriage--posed complex ethical, legal, religious, and scientific questions.

 

Proposition 8 is the California State ballot proposition that would amend the state Constitution, to limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman--overturning a recent California Supreme Court decision that had recognized same-sex marriage in California as a fundamental right.

 

The official ballot title language for Proposition 8 was, "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry." On the day after the election, the results remained uncertified. With 100% of precincts reporting, the vote was 52.5% in favor of Proposition 8 and 47.5% against, with a difference of about 504,000 votes; as many as 3 million absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted. The organizers of the "No on Prop 8" campaign conceded defeat on November 6, issuing a statement saying, "Tuesday’s vote was deeply disappointing to all who believe in equal treatment under the law."

 

The passage of Proposition 8 means that the legality of same sex marriage in California has been determined by popular vote--rather than by the state Judiciary. This sets an unsettling legal precedent. Setting aside the question of why one group of people should care about the private lives of others--should all matters concerning individual rights be left to popular vote?

 

Opponents of Proposition 8 argue that it is unethical to deny one minority group a fundamental right held by the majority (marrying a partner of one's choice). Proponents counter that no such discrimination is occurring--that Proposition 8 eliminates the right of all individuals to marry others of the same sex, and does so equally. In their view, the fact that certain individuals wish to marry partners of the same sex--while others do not--is of little consequence.

 

While many proponents of Proposition 8 site the Bible as justification for their belief that same-sex marriage is morally 'wrong,' many opponents believe that antiquated Biblical passages have no relevance in today's world, and that all humans deserve equal rights under the law.

 

How are we to sort this out?

 

Some forms of religious upbringing and cultural norms have been shown to limit rates of homosexuality (for instance, by teaching that homosexuality is 'sinful'). But are they truly limiting homosexuality, or simply suppressing genetically pre-determined characteristics? If sexual orientation is learned behavior or merely a matter of choice, society arguably has a right to intervene; only voluntary actions and choices can be considered right or wrong.

 

But if sexual orientation is biologically pre-determined, then it is difficult to make the case for limiting the marriage rights of one subset of humans over any another. There is great diversity among the human beings, and preserving and protecting that diversity--the right of individuals to remain unique--is essential for any progressive society.

 

Homosexual behavior occurs in the animal kingdom, especially in social species--particularly in marine birds and mammals, monkeys, and the great apes. Homosexual behavior has been observed among 1,500 species, and in 500 of those it is well documented. This discovery constitutes a major argument against those calling into question the biological legitimacy or naturalness of homosexuality, or those regarding it as a meditated social decision. For example, male penguin couples have been documented to mate for life, build nests together, and to use a stone as a surrogate egg in nesting and brooding. In a well-publicized story from 2004, the Central Park Zoo in the United States replaced one male couple's stone with a fertile egg, which the couple then raised as their own offspring.

 

The genetic basis of animal homosexuality has been studied in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Here, multiple genes have been identified that can cause homosexual courtship and mating. These genes are thought to control behavior through pheromones as well as altering the structure of the animal's brains. These studies have also investigated the influence of environment on the likelihood of flies displaying homosexual behavior.

 

Georgetown University professor Janet Mann has specifically theorized that homosexual behavior, at least in dolphins, is an evolutionary advantage that minimizes intraspecies aggression, especially among males. Studies indicating prenatal homosexuality in certain animal species have had social and political implications surrounding the gay rights debate.

 

Is sexual orientation a matter of choice? Mounting evidence seems to point against it. What becomes clear is that petitions, ballot measures, and preaching from the pulpit will not resolve this complex issue. Only science can determine the outcome, and until the science is in, we would be wise to move slowly and gently; with tolerance and compassion.

 

Machines Like Us

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I agree, except there's no need for the "separate but equal" institutions. Just make "marriage" have no legal significance whatsoever. Under law, everyone has "civil unions," for which orientation doesn't enter into it. People are free to call it whatever they like.

 

Yes, that seems like the best solution.

 

Well, this is certainly interesting. Some are claiming that LDS's support of Prop 8 violates their tax exempt status:

 

http://lds501c3.wordpress.com/

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1) What are the moral ramifications of granting homosexual couples different rights than heterosexual couples?

Our country was founded on the principal that everyone has the liberty to do what they choose as long as their choices do not infringe on the liberty of others. I don't see how a gay couple marrying infringes on the liberty of heterosexuals marrying. Since it does not, stopping gay marriage is immoral.

 

So why are the Mormons interested in stopping gay marriage? I'm sure it is because they don't want their tax dollars supporting something they think is immoral. Just like the Catholics don't want tax supported abortion. Take that reasoning to its extreme however, and the government can't do anything.

 

2) What do you think about a group of out-of-state Mormons initiating an amendment to the constitution of a state they don't even live in?

There are lots of Mormons in California.

 

3) What ramifications do you think this amendment has under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution? Can state constitutions specifically state that they will not honor a particular legal status bestowed upon people from another state under which specific provisions are granted by state law? Does this amendment violate the US constitution?

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act

Which is a strange law indeed.

 

I find it interesting that Prop 8 passed during this election cycle. Obama received 61% of the vote in California. Prop 8 received 52.5%. Lots of Obama voters must have voted for Prop 8. Lots of minority voters must have voted for Prop 8. I would have thought that Obama's coattails would have defeated Prop 8.

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What are the moral ramifications of granting homosexual couples different rights than heterosexual couples?

 

Conversely, what are the moral ramification of denying homosexual couples the same rights that heterosexual couples have?

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Conversely, what are the moral ramification of denying homosexual couples the same rights that heterosexual couples have?

 

A gay person can still marry a member of the opposite sex. They have exactly the same rights.

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A gay person can still marry a member of the opposite sex. They have exactly the same rights.

 

They can? They do? Can they file their 1040 as "Married filing jointly"? Can they cover each other on their health insurance as a spouse?

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Our country was founded on the principal that everyone has the liberty to do what they choose as long as their choices do not infringe on the liberty of others.

 

Except, as NLN and others have already pointed out, nearly all scientific evidence indicates that it is NOT a choice, but it is genetic. When did you choose to be a heterosexual? Do you still remember the day? :rolleyes:

 

Either way, we seem to agree that Prop 8 is something which needs to go away, and you were probably talking about "making the choice of getting married," not the choice of how to sexually orient. Sorry if I misinterpretted.

 

Also, the "riding on Obama's coattails" thing is part of what is to blame for this. A large black population voted, larger than in many years past, and the predisposition for this group tends toward church attendance. I think a previous poster said that 67% of the votes in favor of Prop 8 came from the black community. In essence, their coming out to vote Obama meant they also came out to vote yes on prop 8.

 

I'm not blaming anyone or anything. I personally feel that ANYBODY who voted yes on this archaic draconian measure is a misguided soul desperately in need of having their ideological blinders removed from their faces and their craniums extracted from their anus.

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They can? They do? Can they file their 1040 as "Married filing jointly"? Can they cover each other on their health insurance as a spouse?

 

A re-read of my post would indicate that indeed, the answer to those questions given my words would be yes.

 

 

Except, as NLN and others have already pointed out, nearly all scientific evidence indicates that it is NOT a choice, but it is genetic. When did you choose to be a heterosexual? Do you still remember the day?

If this is the case, then why merely accept it? What if there was a way to "cure" homosexuality? Not that I would think forcing it on the current homosexual populace, but more of a preventative thing(breed it out with gene therapy). Obviously this would be a bit off topic, but if there was a way to stop the damaged genetic material from propagating early in life would people do it? Would people think there was a moral/ethical problem with it?

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Except' date=' as NLN and others have already pointed out, nearly all scientific evidence indicates that it is NOT a choice, but it is genetic. When did you choose to be a heterosexual? Do you still remember the day?

 

Either way, we seem to agree that Prop 8 is something which needs to go away, and you were probably talking about "making the choice of getting married," not the choice of how to sexually orient. Sorry if I misinterpretted.[/quote']

 

Yeah, he's clearly talking about choosing marriage.

 

I'm not blaming anyone or anything. I personally feel that ANYBODY who voted yes on this archaic draconian measure is a misguided soul desperately in need of having their ideological blinders removed from their faces and their craniums extracted from their anus.

 

Hell yeah! (see, I told ya')

 

A re-read of my post would indicate that indeed, the answer to those questions given my words would be yes.

 

Yeah, a re-read of your post would indicate a benign point. No one ever suggested homosexuals couldn't marry a member of the opposite sex. And that wouldn't be a gay marriage. I think I get what you're trying to say, but you're choosing to ignore the specific rights they are being denied and instead trying to pretend they aren't denied anything since they have every right to marry heterosexually.

 

If this is the case, then why merely accept it? What if there was a way to "cure" homosexuality? Not that I would think forcing it on the current homosexual populace, but more of a preventative thing(breed it out with gene therapy). Obviously this would be a bit off topic, but if there was a way to stop the damaged genetic material from propagating early in life would people do it? Would people think there was a moral/ethical problem with it?

 

That's basically an argument for eugenics. Why stop at homosexuality? Why not examine all possible characteristics and determine which are truly an advantage and which are truly a disadvantage and then breed the "perfect" human? What if we could "cure" brunettes? Or ugliness? Or "conservatism"?

 

Oh yeah, that's nature's job. Natural selection, sorry I forgot...

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If this is the case, then why merely accept it? What if there was a way to "cure" homosexuality? Not that I would think forcing it on the current homosexual populace, but more of a preventative thing(breed it out with gene therapy). Obviously this would be a bit off topic, but if there was a way to stop the damaged genetic material from propagating early in life would people do it? Would people think there was a moral/ethical problem with it?

 

I think there is a moral/ethical problem with the implicit suggestion that homosexuality is a disease to be cured. It's not. Since being "black" is genetic, maybe we should find a way to "cure" that, too. Would people think there was a moral/ethical problem with that?

 

Homosexuality is just another approach to life that some people feel "icky" about, and the ick-factor tends often to be reinforced by their iron age belief systems. Homosexuals are people like anyone else, facing the same daily challenges, trials and tribulations as all of us, seeking a way to survive, to provide food and shelter for themselves and their families... They just desire different things. You like vanilla, they like strawberry. So what?

 

If there is going to be a concept of marriage which extends beyond the church (as it absolutely does in our current society), then it should not be resticted based on sexuality.

 

 

A debate over the idea of genetic manipulation to "cure" it, though, is probably best for another thread. You're right on that. :)

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Yeah, a re-read of your post would indicate a benign point. No one ever suggested homosexuals couldn't marry a member of the opposite sex. And that wouldn't be a gay marriage. I think I get what you're trying to say, but you're choosing to ignore the specific rights they are being denied and instead trying to pretend they aren't denied anything since they have every right to marry heterosexually.

That's just it, no rights are being denied. People are asking for something that never existed before. This is a creation of rights, not restoration of ones previously denied.

 

 

Homosexuality is just another approach to life that some people feel "icky" about, and the ick-factor tends often to be reinforced by their iron age belief systems. Homosexuals are people like anyone else, facing the same daily challenges, trials and tribulations as all of us, seeking a way to survive, to provide food and shelter for themselves and their families... They just desire different things. You like vanilla, they like strawberry. So what?

I understand the sentiment here, I understand how it's different but still the same. With one exception, the need to reproduce. It's a state of mind that directly contradicts the basic drive to create offspring. I'm not trying to redefine or start debating the science behind homosexuality. I just wanted to have my view on it out there so you could see where I was coming from.

 

If there is going to be a concept of marriage which extends beyond the church (as it absolutely does in our current society), then it should not be resticted based on sexuality.

I would like to see marriage completely removed from the gov't. It's just something that should really have no impact on taxes and such.

The idea of a 'civil union' would work. Remove the sexual component and make it so that any people living together can reap the benefits. Whether they be hetero, homo, or not romantically linked in any way. If the benefits are about the economic situation of two individuals then what does it matter if they are romantically involved? The opinions about gay marriage of the populace should have no relevance on the tax benefits of two people living together. If you remove the sexuality from the equation then there's nothing to debate about, it's just two people living in a house, what they do within is all up to them. As it stands, it is the governments business what's going on in the bedroom, and I think that should change.

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A gay person can still marry a member of the opposite sex. They have exactly the same rights.

 

...but they can't marry the person they love, or even visit them in the hospital. So no, they don't have exactly the same rights.

 

That's just it, no rights are being denied. People are asking for something that never existed before. This is a creation of rights, not restoration of ones previously denied.

 

Why does their lover's gender matter?

 

There are lots of Mormons in California

 

Yes, however much of the funding for Prop 8 came from out-of-state:

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/28/BA7E12038R.DTL&type=politics

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That's just it, no rights are being denied. People are asking for something that never existed before. This is a creation of rights, not restoration of ones previously denied.

 

Ok, fine let's play semantics. They are denying the creation of a right that they never had. That's even more absurd. So, next, let's pass an amendment saying that no one can drive a flying car except red heads.

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