Many arguments in support of Proposition 8 in California include statements relating to how gay marriage threatens the very sanctity of marriage, homosexuality will be taught/encouraged in schools, churches will lose their tax-exempt status, and religious believers will be sued for hate crimes. Before addressing these relatively outrageous concerns, I feel that all of these are simply red herrings for the fact that the Christian religious right simply wants to impress a chosen core belief upon the rest of the population – to the point of suppressing the rights of others.
It must be said that during any discussion over this matter in which a participant uses quotes from the bible as support for their argument – not only do I lose interest, but their argument holds little value. Simply because while Christians believe theirs is the one true and correct religion – so do followers of most of the other religions – including the Church of Scientology. So when ANY of your arguments include the statement ‘God Says’, or ‘The bible says’ – I can only stare at you blankly, while lowering my expectations of the argument you will deliver, because anyone can find an opposing position using a different ‘god’ from a different religion. So that argument is always a waste of time and if you were smarter you would come up with a real reason for wanting a social/cultural policy instead of simply because your religion says so.
And if you bring up an argument that same-sex marriages hurt the ‘family/children/society’ – then the numbers are against you because there are a number of countries which have legally recognized same-sex marriages for quite some time and the failure/divorce rates of heterosexual marriages are inline with countries that do not legally recognize same-sex marriages. So the argument that same-sex marriages threaten the sanctity of ‘marriage’ is really a red herrring.
The argument should really be stated as ‘Same-sex marriages threaten the sanctity of marriage as Christians have traditionally viewed marriage.’
While I will not argue the validity of ‘gay’ as a protected class such as race, gender, or disabled persons – the discrimination towards the gay community is definitely comparable to the discrimination felt by members of the current protected classes – before and after their ‘protected class’ status was established.
In looking at both sides of Proposition 8 – the proposition itself and not the actual legality of gay marriage – there are two points/focuses that stand out to me:
- Denying any group of persons the right to legal marriage because of your religious beliefs is wrong.
- Statements like the one pasted below (originally posted in our comment section of the last post – click here to read) are the epitome of the fear induced propaganda that is regurgitated by many supporters of Proposition 8:
Churches will lose their non-profit status if they mention anything against homosexuality, and they would be forced to marry gays in ANY church, regardless of what that particular church believes.
While the above statement is the epitome of the fear felt by many supporters of Prop 8 – it is simply not true. What they are afraid of is that by allowing ‘legal’ marriage for same-sex couples, it will legitimize one of their worst fears and set us sliding faster down the slippery slope which in their minds will lead to the stripping of their right to religious freedom.
The example most often used by supporters of Proposition 8 is a case in New Jersey where a church lost some of its tax exemptions after it refused to rent out a publicly used pavilion which was located away from the church proper. Basically, they refused to rent a commercial property of the church to a same-sex couple.
One argument says that it was a ‘publicly used commercial space’ – and the other will say that it was still ‘church’ property and they can do with it as they please – both truly valid on the surface.
THAT EXAMPLE is the basis for the above quote, posted in our comments of the last post. Clearly, there is a big gap between arguing over not renting out a space based on sexual orientation – and the fear that
…it would become hate speech to preach the Word of God when he says that homosexuality is perversion.Churches will lose their non-profit status if they mention anything against homosexuality, and they would be forced to marry gays in ANY church, regardless of what that particular church believes.
That is the leap that the majority of Proposition 8 supporters have made – at least when they state that it is an issue of religious freedom – nevermind the outright discrimination towards a group of people (same-sex couples/gay people).
Again, I believe that denying any group of persons the right to legal marriage because of your religious beliefs is wrong.
But I would be hard pressed to disagree that the church should be able to deny use of its grounds for nearly any reason it sees fit, in the same way we all can do with our own private property.
And in case you think that the legalization of gay marriages in California was a direct attack on religion – I believe it wasn’t – it was simply done in order to give same-sex couples the same LEGAL rights that hetero couples enjoy – and NOT an attack on anyone’s religious views regarding everything else not relating to legal matters. In anticipation of the uproar over anything remotely in opposition of the current set of Fundamental Christian beliefs*, Californias Supreme Court provided language with its ruling allowing same-sex marriage:
The court ruled that affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples; and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.
Of course, the topic will come up again – but for now the marriages that were conducted between the court ruling allowing same-sex marriages and when Prop 8 goes into effect – will be honored in California (Thanks twitter friend @neddotcom.)
*Since the rules allowing slavery (Exodus 21:7) and death for working on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2) are selectively not currently followed.
– The quotes used in this post were taken from the comment posted to Leah’s earlier post discussing Proposition 8. Click Here.