What Others Are Saying

I was reading through some comments on the Above the Law blog.  I will not link directly to it because many of the comments are mean and filled with foul language.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been reading there at all, but there were several comments made on a post called Countdown to California’s Prop 8 Showdown that were particularly interesting and thought provoking.  Just thought I’d share:

1—all the no on 8 folks, your problem boils down to this — not a single one of you would have passed a logic and rhetoric class freshman year of college. you assume that you have a constitutional right to do whatever it is that you want to do, to “be who you are,” but such an assumption is ridiculous. …what makes you special? you’ve got one leg to stand on: being sexually attracted to members of your own gender … is palatable enough to debauched post-modern America that you hope to slip past what remains of moral censure.

it’s nice to sit around and think that we all have a constitutional right, founded under equal protection, to self-actualization — but we don’t, and what’s more you know it. so you sling mud and call anyone who points this out a bigot. bigotry implies malice and a somehow incorrect basis for the beliefs to which you object, but you haven’t told us why homosexuality is something that should be protected.

that’s the sad secret y’all try to keep hidden: there’s no difference between your policy stance and plain old hedonism: I should be allowed to do whatever it is that I want to do. this isn’t a concept enshrined in any governing law which courts or lawyers are bound to respect, but rather a political judgment about what government policies you support. So man up and admit the obvious — you want to be “yourself,” society disagrees. the rest of us think you ought to tamp down your appetites, and the only way you’ll ever get to pursue your own definition of pleasure is through the courts because the legislatures won’t hear your petition. If you win, mazel tov, really, but cut the **** about it being a moral victory and a great day for civil rights. it’s a great day for relativism, and that’s it.

2—If you read the In re Marriage Cases decision, the (slim) majority reached its “constitutional” decision by interpolating up from “lower” statutes, such as anti-discrimination laws and, ironically, civil union statutes. Yet, at the same time, it refused to give equal dignity to Prop. 22. In other words, the Court derived a higher-level rule from lower-level laws. Justice Baxter, writing for the dissenting minority, identified the problem with the majority’s analysis as follows:

“The majority’s mode of analysis is particularly troubling. The majority relies heavily on the Legislature’s adoption of progressive civil rights protections for gays and lesbians to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In effect, the majority gives the Legislature indirectly power that body does not directly possess to amend the Constitution and repeal an initiative statute.”

3—Understanding what the Supreme Court did, and why, is important to understanding why this proposition is not just about “equality.” It also is about separation of powers, the appropriate role of the judiciary, and about the freedom of society to decide for itself what relationships it wants to promote through the legal construct of “marriage.”

4—At what point do I become a bigot? I will be honest, although I have other reasons for supporting my position; my first reason for supporting Proposition 8 is religious beliefs. But I believe that it is okay to let our individual morals guide our voting. As such, I support the proposition in the same way that I would support a number of other issues that I feel are morally related. If there was a measure legalizing prostitution, I would be concerned about its impact on society—but my first reason for opposing the measure would be moral and religious beliefs. Similarly I would oppose measures expanding gambling, legalizing recreational drugs, or any other vice. It would seem that each of these measure would “infringe on somebody else’s rights.” After all, doesn’t prostitution involve a consensual interaction, and doesn’t the prostitute have a “right” to determine what she wants to do with her body. Still, I would oppose such a measure legalizing prostitution, because I believe that it is morally wrong. Here I stand on election eve, in support of Prop. 8, and thus have been labeled a bigot and a homophobe because I plan to vote in accordance with my beliefs.

5—YES ON 8.

If you want to make up something new that’s like being an Eagle Scout, but for girls, then call it something different. Don’t change what being an Eagle Scout is for all those people who previously received it.

If you are gay and you want to make up some new sort of union that’s protected by the state, then do it but call it something different.

YES ON 8. -Big3 Associate, Los Angeles

6—I’m a big law associate – voting YES on Prop 8 to protect and restore traditional marriage in California. If we’re talking about “rights” – in California same sex couples have all of the same rights as married couples.

This is one of those unique issues in which Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sarah Palin and most of America agrees:


7—I don’t have a birth certificate because I was born outside of the US (to American parents). Instead, I have a consul report. I have the same rights as other citizens, but the government calls my document something else.

I want the right to have the government call my document a birth certificate. Anyone who doesn’t agree with me should be disbarred for failing to uphold the constitutional principles of fairness, equality and justice.

8—The truth is, liberals don’t like to feel “guilty”. If society has any sort of norm that says that you should be married before you start having sex, or before having kids, or whatever, and they don’t want to do it, then their goal will be to destroy that norm. They don’t believe in sin because if they did they would have to feel guilty. They don’t believe that life could possibly start in the womb because if they did they would be murderers. So if they can create social norms that remove those beliefs, they can live a much more blissful life in their platonic caves.

9—These people don’t really want to be married. Look at how many gay couples in California have NOT gotten married. It’s incredible. This isn’t about people wanting to be married. It’s to get rid of the idea of marriage as something with an ounce of holiness left in it. It’s already been whittled down to practically nothing with rampant divorce, abuse, people who do not honor their marriages, but this they hope will be the final death to the idea and the end of guilt.

10—“The adoption of same-sex marriage would topple a long-standing system of shared values. It would change assumptions and expectations by which society has long operated–that men and women are not interchangeable, for example, and that the central reason for marriage is to provide children with mothers and fathers in a safe and loving environment. . . .My foreboding is that a generation after same-sex marriage is legalized, families will be even less stable than they are today, the divorce rate will be even higher and children will be even less safe. To express such a dire warning is to be labeled an alarmist, a reactionary, a bigot and worse . . . .but it is not bigotry to try to learn from history, or to point out that some institutions have stood the test of time because they are the only ones that can stand the test of time.”
Jeff Jacoby in Boston Globe

11—I am a straight pregnant married woman. My brother is gay. If my brother married another man, would that threaten my own marriage? ….wait for it….NOPE! Straights will continue to get married, have babies and generally live their lives. GROW THE **** UP. Vote NO TO H8TE-Vote NO on 8.

12—Here’s a different angle:

I am a straight pregnant married woman. My brother enjoys sex with prostitutes. If my brother has sex with a prostitute, would that threaten my own marriage? ….wait for it….NOPE! People that have sex for free will continue to get married, have babies and generally live their lives… yet we as a society have decided that prostitution is not acceptable and not something we want to promote. GROW THE **** UP. Vote YES TO SOCIETAL STANDARDS – Vote YES on 8.

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“Equality!” That’s what I have heard people yell out their windows when I have been standing on street corners waving Yes on 8 signs. I have done this twice already and plan to do it again tomorrow. The first time I was in a group of about 80 supporters, and the second time there were about 30 of us. Most of the feedback we got from motorists and pedestrians was positive.  Lots of thumbs up, honking, waving, mouthed “thank you”s and truckers and paramedics giving us a shout out with their big horns and sirens.  But I would say that about 20% of cars that passed gave us some sort of negative feedback. One woman yelled while driving through the intersection, “You need to think about equality for all!” And another woman yelled through an open window, “Equality! What about equality!?” Some that were stopping to turn on a red signal would say nothing until the very last second and as they accelerated away call us bigots, or give us the bird, or yell, “no on 8!” One high school girl read the sign about parental rights and yelled, “your sign makes no sense!”

I have been thinking and pondering a lot about this, especially yesterday as I was reading the many reader comments on articles throughout the internet. The main argument I see from no voters is equality. After reading several of the debates between commenters, I felt sick and depressed.  I want to believe that people are generally good, but I have seen so much meanness, sarcasm, and anti-religion statements that I feel really troubled. One thing that has been good about it though, is that it all has made me really think and re-examine my motives for supporting Proposition 8. I had a great discussion about it last night with my husband Rob, and I think a Yes vote on 8 is still the right thing even if you leave religion completely out of it (which of course I don’t, and I don’t think the founding fathers expected us to either).

So why does it matter for everyone, even atheists and those who believe in social progress?  One thing I read yesterday was a comment that said (paraphrasing), “Being gay is not a choice. As a heterosexual I cannot say when I decided to be straight. That’s just the way I am, and that’s just the way they are.”

I cannot help but think about the many lifestyles that fall into this same category.  There are those who are naturally angry, or naturally happy, or naturally depressed, or naturally mean, or naturally kind, or naturally bitter, or naturally funny, or naturally addictive, or naturally skinny, or naturally fat, and on and on forever. Can a person recall when they decided to be a drug addict, or when they chose to be a mean mother? If a person with one of these traits lives a lifestyle that promotes the manifestation of their nature, they must of course live with the natural consequence of their actions.  A naturally angry man that beats his wife or girlfriend, must accept that he will be arrested and possibly jailed for it, regardless of whether or not he “can’t help it.” A woman that is naturally cracking jokes all the time, may have to live with the consequences of offending those who don’t get her humor, regardless of her intentions.  A friend that is naturally depressed will have to deal with difficulties in maintaining friendships, regardless of the fact that they don’t have the strength to. And a man that is naturally fat will have to try every day to be diligent about diet and exercise regardless of how he feels it is unfair that he was cursed with a slow metabolism. And a gay man or woman who lives in a relationship is perfectly free to do so but it cannot be called marriage, regardless of the fact that he wants to same recognition given to heterosexual couples.

What I as a yes voter am saying is that marriage has meant the same thing since the beginning of creation, time, tradition, or whatever.  It has always meant a union between a man and a woman. My feelings toward whether homosexuality is right or wrong are moot here. I agree that there should be a word to identify their union, but let’s find one that is unique to the idea of two people of the same gender joining in a committed relationship.  I’m sure someone more clever than me could come up with a good one.

These things simply are.  The world isn’t always fair, and if we try to make it our mission to level the playing field to provide for every personality and situation, there would be no moral code of conduct for society, and thus fear and anger would rule over us.  Vote Yes on 8 because it matters!

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Prop 8 in Plain English

Remember to Vote YES on Prop 8!  I think this video does a great job of explaining my thoughts on the subject.


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Obama/Biden Intolerant & Hateful?

In my marriage we have been following the political campaign closely and I lean towards one candidate while my husband leans toward another. Both of us are Independent voters, so we enjoy some political discussions and although we agree on most things, there are some where we differ. With all of the media buzz about Palin’s ability to debate, we were excited to sit and watch the vice presidential debate together.  Was anyone else shocked and impressed by Joe Biden’s response to the gay marriage question last night? I had assumed that this issue was just as divisive as so many others, but the Republican team and the Democrat team have the same stance.

All four potential leaders of the United States of America agree:
Marriage should not be redefined to include gay marriage.


When he was asked about supporting gay marriage, Biden said: “No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage.”

Palin agreed, “My answer is the same as his and it is that I do not,” she said.

Now let’s discuss. Of course I am so interested in this topic because of the upcoming vote here in California on Proposition 8.  Many of you may be tired of hearing me talk about this issue, but it is one that I believe is vital to the future of our society. We all will be affected by this from what is taught in our public schools to how we run our businesses.

So if both the Democrats and Republicans agree on this issue, why are we even talking about it? Because it has become a popularity contest.  The gay rights agenda has been slowly pushing for decades to gain popularity and status. Their message of tolerance was accepted, and society said- we will tolerate your right to live your life as you see fit. But now their message has turned into- you need to agree that we are right. And you need to openly acknowledge and teach your children about our lifestyle. I heard Ellen on Leno say that denying marriage rights to homosexuals is hateful and that the money donated toward this cause should be spent on those losing their homes and the hurricane victims in Texas. If that is the case, it is true for both sides.  I’d rather be sending my money to those people too, but this issue has far reaching consequences. And since the issue has been raised, a final decision must be made.

In order to compete with the money pouring into the No campaign by the “popular kids” (Spielberg and Brad Pitt both gave $100,000 for the No campaign. As open Obama supporters, I’m curious what they think of Biden’s statement), us “nerdy kids” that make up most of the “school”, must do fundraising as well. (I can’t help but make the high school student council analogy.)

Yes voters have been called religious crazies, but Joe Biden agrees with us: “That is basically the decision to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths, the determination… what you call it. The bottom line though is (and I’m glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word obviously) that she thinks there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple.  If that’s the case we really don’t have a difference.”

I can hear it called out now, “He’s only saying that so as not to offend the majority of the country who are Christian. He doesn’t really believe that.”  Even if you’re right, you have proven your own point. A politician’s job is to represent the will of the people they govern.

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What Does This Mean?

On Sunday morning I discovered that someone had removed a bumper sticker from the back window of my mini van while it was parked in my driveway. Rude!

Considering what it was for, I started thinking about the type of person that might do this. It read “Restore Marriage, Yes on 8.” So the person that removed it is most likely a Vote No on 8 person;  Why else would they bother pulling it off? Isn’t the big message of that campaign tolerance?  So, they’re all for tolerating other points of view… as long as you agree with them? Hmmm

For the record, I do not agree with the popular definition of tolerance. Tolerance has come to mean acceptance. I am tolerant of this group, but I do not accept their lifestyle. I feel that gays and lesbians are children of God and I have no feelings of hatred for them; however, I also believe that the lifestyle they live is immoral and should not be granted the right to marry. It still boggles my mind how the No supporters can justify their stance when marriage rights have been refused to many groups already. For example: a polygamist, or cousins, or a brother and sister, or minor and adult, or owner and pet…  All can say that they love each other and deserve the right to marry. Do No supporters really believe that allowing this right to every group of people is the best idea, or is it because the homosexuals have become popular that they deserve it over all of the other “alternative” lifestyles? —OK, I’m done, but whoever removed my bumper sticker started it 😉 —

Lucky for me I had another bumper sticker and stuck it right back where the first one was.  Anyone want to take bets on whether my house gets egged when I put a sign in the yard?

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Protecting Marriage to Protect Children

This article written by David Blankenhorn (a democrat, by the way) appeared in the New York Times. I meant to just copy over the best points, but the whole thing is great, so most of it is here:

In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood…

…marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood — biological, social and legal — into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other…

…The philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of conventional sexual morality, was only repeating the obvious a few decades earlier when he concluded that “it is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.”

…a team of researchers from Child Trends, a nonpartisan research center, reported that “family structure clearly matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage…”

…children have the right, insofar as society can make it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. The foundational human rights document in the world today regarding children, the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically guarantees children this right.

…For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California’s Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage’s customary man-woman form. Do you think that every child deserves his mother and father, with adoption available for those children whose natural parents cannot care for them? Do you suspect that fathers and mothers are different from one another? Do you imagine that biological ties matter to children? How many parents per child is best? Do you think that “two” is a better answer than one, three, four or whatever? If you do, be careful. In making the case for same-sex marriage, more than a few grown-ups will be quite willing to question your integrity and goodwill. Children, of course, are rarely consulted.

The liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously argued that, in many cases, the real conflict we face is not good versus bad but good versus good. Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict?

Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution — marriage — that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.

Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing — the gift, the birthright — that is marriage’s most distinctive contribution to human society. That’s a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support.

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