Wee bit more on Proposition 8 + thanks

It emerged in the comments thread on yesterday’s post and, obviously, in many other places that two of the main reasons people have given for voting for California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriages are not true. They are:

    1. That it would lead to same-sex couples being able to sue churches that refused to marry them

As Alexander and Tim pointed out this is a lie. To quote Tim:

    Churches could not have been sued for refusing to marry homosexual couples—first and foremost this is a violation of the right to freely practice religion which is protected by the US Constitution. Religious institutions (churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.) have the right to refuse marriage to people if they do not fulfill the criteria of the religion, as has been exemplified by the Catholic Church. While it is legal in the US for divorced people to be remarried, the Catholic Church still retains the right to refuse marriage to one who is divorced, because they do not fulfill the criteria for marriage as outlined by the Church. This has been the case for, like, ever.

In the United States and in many other countries it is forbidden for the government to dictate to religions and vice versa. That’s what separation of church and state means.

    2. That legal same-sex marriages would make it legal to “teach” homosexuality in schools.

Proposition 8 has no effect on what is or isn’t taught in schools in California. No effect at all. Prop 8 is only concerned with the legal status of same-sex marriages. Those who told Californians that Prop 8 had anything to do with Californian school curriculum were flat-out lying.

If you believe that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman then voting yes to Prop 8 was the way to go. But I am afraid that many people voted for it because of the two lies above. They made their decision based on false information.

If the people pushing the Yes case had faith in their side why did they feel the need to lie to so many people about the effects of Proposition 8?

I’m convinced that if they had not lied the proposition would have been defeated.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post. I especially thank you for being so courteous to one another. Elsewhere on the intrawebanets discussions of Prop 8 have become heated and hateful. I’m so glad that this blog has not engaged in such nastiness. Bless!

I don’t hesitate to delete obnoxious comments but the joy of this blog is that it is extremely rare for me to have to. Thank you!


  1. cbjames on #

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m in the middle of Magic or Madness and am enjoying it. I’m going to pass it along to my students and see what they think about it becoming one of our book club books. I teach 7th grade in California.

    And I hope my comment on your previous post is not too snarky. I’m feeling very snarky today.

  2. cat on #

    Sorry to tell you that is the downside of politics, advertising, and legal ads: lying. You think you know what is going on and then a few years later you find out that everything you thought you knew was a lie. I noticed this on Propositions and other issues over time. Not everyone and everything lies but you just never know that is why I am a little more cautious these days. I am glad that your blog has been more civil than others. That is one reason I like to read it. I think the more something becomes the commonplace the less people are threatened. I have no problem with ANY couple who want to make a commitment and a life together. It really is not threatening. But so many people cannot handle what is different. Too scarey and too different for them. So sad and look at all they miss. I wish well for all those who take the plunge into a committed relationship. That takes a lot of faith and hard work. I commend them and wish them all well. cat

  3. Tim on #

    First of all I wanted to say thank you for using my reply, it wasn’t something I expected and I’m quite flattered by your using it. ^_^

    I’m very glad that you specifically brought up these topics in a post. Whenever I looked at reasons people were voting Yes on 8 these two were the first that came up. In this election a lot of people weren’t voting Yes to stop gay marriage, they were voting Yes to stop people “infringing upon their rights” – rights that weren’t going to be infringed upon anyway. It was never a fair fight from the very beginning.

  4. Maureen Johnson on #

    Prop 8 is one of the most shameful items to ever land on a ballot. It’s obscene. Here’s hoping that the people fighting it win!

  5. Rebecca on #

    Prop 8 makes me incredibly angry, but I have a lot of hope that we will beat this. It’s sad that these setbacks tainted what would have otherwise been a completely enjoyable election night, but I believe America will overcome this blatant disregard for human rights someday. The upsetting part is how long it’s going to take. Before we achieve equal rights, a lot of people will have been hurt.

    What I can’t understand is what the Yes supporters are so afraid of. Obviously, I’ve heard some of the reasons behind banning same-sex marriage, but none of them make sense. They sound like excuses. And having said that, I’m not including the “it’s against my religion” argument in the excuses category, because, as many people have already said, we have separation of church and state in this country (allegedly), so whether a church/synagogue/mosque/temple/etc. sanctions a marriage or not has nothing to do with whether it’s a legal marriage in the United States.

    I, too, am glad we can all talk about our views in a more or less friendly way. It’s the only way we’ll ever gain any ground on this issue, and any other issue. But I’ll also be the first to say that Prop 8, and other laws like it, make my blood boil. I really and truly believe these laws are wrong.

  6. eek on #

    Justine, thanks for taking the time on the blog to discuss this topic, and to highlight two of the more insidious lies used to pass prop 8. I have a hard time being civil about it, because I have difficulty even with the explanations given – my response to these lies feels callous, so I won’t even go there…

    But, if there is a bright side here, and I am trying to find one to hold on to, it might just be this: maybe the proponents had to resort to ridiculous lies to gain the votes necessary. Maybe.

    I say maybe, because I’m not sure I buy it. That they bought the lies. BUT, here’s my thing, if the people who claim they voted based on these lies, actually did vote based on these lies (as opposed to plain old fashioned homophobia) then they should be outraged and join the cause to repeal prop 8, now that they know they were mislead. And, if their religious leaders are honest and honorable people, then they should tell their congregations that they were mislead.

    And maybe, at least for me, a brighter side is that I think a lot of people who claim to have fallen for these lies did not, not really – but they are at least feeling embarrassed or ashamed enough to have to say they voted for some other reason than mere-homophobia. Not so long ago people wouldn’t have been embarrassed to say they voted for their true feelings, and if we are in a place where people are starting to feel embarrassed, then maybe, just maybe, things are changing more than it seems.


  7. Justine on #

    cbjames: Thank you. Very pleased you’re enjoying MorM.

    You weren’t snarky. You were justifiably cranky. Nothing wrong with that.

  8. Allison van Diepen on #

    I can’t believe this is still an issue. Here in Canada, gay marriage is legal. Because it’s a human rights issue, those who continue to challenge it don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Even our conservative Prime Minister has promised not to revisit the issue. My mom, who is a United Church minister (a popular Protestant denomination), performed more gay marriages last year than ever. It’s wonderful. I can’t wait until the U.S. catches up!

  9. Amy on #

    ok…I don’t really have a comment on gay marriage, but I am yes on 8, don’t hate me, please.

    Anyway I just finished How to Ditch Your Fairy. It was SO good. Very original, which is hard to come across with fairy books now a days.I just want to give kudos for awesomeness.

  10. cbjames on #

    I shouldn’t hate Amy. She just took away my marriage but I shouldn’t hate her. She and her pals just voted to make my a second class citizen, but I shouldn’t hate her. Gee, Amy, I just don’t know how I should feel about you.

  11. Justine on #

    Amy: I’m so pleased you liked HTDYF. Thank you!

    I don’t hate anyone who voted for Prop 8. I’m saddened by them. But hating people I don’t know because they hold different beliefs to me is not good for me or the planet. I continue to hope that some of those people will change their mind. Especially those who voted against it because they believed the lies they’d been told.

    Also I think those who voted for Prop 8 are historically on the losing side. Back in 1967 it was still illegal in several US states for a black person to marry a white person. Now it’s not illegal anywhere. Before too long the same will be true of same-sex marriage.

  12. Another Amy on #

    “If you believe that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman then voting yes to Prop 8 was the way to go.” = Quote from Justine

    Another way to look at this is that even if you believe this, you should still vote no on Prop 8. I know most who believe this won’t vote no. However, since we are supposed to have separation of church and state, people should not feel justified in making their views into law, if they are based on religious beliefs. I think it is safe to assume that a large number of people who are opposed to same-gender marriages, are opposed for religious reasons.

    I read a comment about marriage (somewhere else) where the writer believed marriage could only be between a man and a woman, because they could have children. I rather dislike this viewpoint, because there are many mixed-gender marriages who don’t want kids, or perhaps can’t have kids. Are their marriages less valid than mine, just because I do have kids?

    Differing religious beliefs is part of what makes our country what it is. But the religious beliefs should not cross over into law.

    Just to be clear, I am a Christian who is in a committed mixed-gender relationship. And yes, it is a marriage, but it doesn’t seem fair that I can say that when there are many who want to be married and can’t be.

  13. Jim on #

    Hi Justine
    I personally think everyone is going about this the wrong way. I don’t think the government should be in the marriage business at all. Everyone should get a domestic partnership agreement from the state and those that think it’s necessary to be “married” can go to church. That way everyone is treated the same and religious nuts can have their own way in their own church where it belongs.

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