Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yes on 8!

My Dear Reader,

I've already posted more on politics than I ever thought that I would. At the same time, I feel that there is at least one more thing that I need to say on the subject, so please consider this post on California's Proposition 8, which would ban homosexual marriage in the state. In short, I absolutely, completely, support Prop 8. I think that voting to pass Prop 8 is the moral, ethical, and wise thing to do. Period.

Now, you may be wondering, Gentle Reader, why a person who is registered to vote in Oregon has anything to say on the matter. The truth is that I almost didn't, because this is a state matter, and because I'm not a resident of that state. But I used to be. I was raised there and I still consider California my home. In addition, I was in this fight from the beginning, and I want to see it finished.

This all started back in 1999, when I was a freshman in high school. That was when an initiative called Proposition 22 was on the ballot. Though I was barely fourteen at the time, I knew how important it was that the proposition be passed. And it was a really, really big deal for everybody. Kids at my school wore Prop 22 signs as shirts. We put up signs everywhere, and we put up with the consequences, such as nieghbors and friends who called us intolerant to homosexuals, among other things. We told them that it wasn't about tolerance at all. It wasn't about hating gays, it was about our religious views. (Our religious views, by the way, prohibit us from hating gays.) It was about our belief that each child has the right to be raised in a home with a mother and a father. It was about our belief that both motherhood and fatherhood are so sacred, and so important, that their combined influences on a child cannot be duplicated by any other social organization. It was about our belief that the role that traditional marriage has in society is elementary, and if tampered with, will have horrible consequences. Why do Mormons consider this a religious issue? Why do we feel it appropriate to allow our religous beliefs to influence our vote? President Gordon B. Hinckley said it best at the same time Prop 22 was on the ballot. The folowing is a quote from his address given in October of 1999:

"'Why does the Church become involved in issues that come before the legislature and the electorate?'

I hasten to add that we deal only with those legislative matters which are of a strictly moral nature or which directly affect the welfare of the Church. . . . We regard it as not only our right but our duty to oppose those forces which we feel undermine the moral fiber of society. . . . Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.

I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. . . . You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort."

What better words could be said on the subject? What better words could be said on the issue at hand? President Hinckley, a man who I personally regard as a prophet of God, a man whose addresses lifted and strengthened me in the darkest times of my life, spoke true and eternal words that day, as he did every other day. We listened to his words back in 1999, and we passed Proposition 22 along with 61% of California's population. And as soon as we found ourselves in victory, with our values protected, an official or two decided that the people's voice wasn't valid. So, in short, we have to finish the fight we started nine years ago by passing Proposition 8. This isn't about tolerence; it's about protecting our values, and protecting marriage and the family. Period.

For better words than mine, visit http://iprotectmarriage.com/, http://protectmarriage.com/, and http://www.preservingmarriage.org/.

Regards, best wishes, and morality,

-Cecily Jane


Anonymous said...

If Proposition 8 passes, the law will change to designate an entire class of people as unequal to, as less than, every other class of people. In the eyes of the law, gay people will be seen as inferior to everyone else. And when opponents of gay rights see the idea that gays are inferior validated by the government, it will allow them to continue on their path of dehumanizing gays and lesbians. That's what denying a class of people an equal right does. It dehumanizes them, and it is dangerous. It is the dehumanization of a group that creates a culture in which people feel that it is okay to yell epithets at others in public; that it is okay for kids to be bullied and beaten at school; that it is okay for a jeering mob to incite a gay 17-year-old to commit suicide by jumping off a building. (Read the news.) These things happen because gays are demonized. And gays are demonized when they're made out to be an inferior class of people. And they are made out to be an inferior class of people when they are not allowed the same rights as everyone else.


Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is "false and misleading."

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says "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."

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don't agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won't affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it's about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn't grant the right--the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren't supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won't have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.


Fiction: Civil unions and domestic partnerships give gay couples the same rights as married couples.

Fact: In the few states in which civil unions or similar domestic partnerships exist, same-sex couples are granted the same rights as married couples but only on the state level. There are hundreds upon hundreds of federal benefits that do not apply to those couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.

PLEASE VOTE NO ON PROP 8. Please do not allow blatant discrimination to be written into the law. California is better, smarter, and more humane than that.

Stephen and Cindy Jensen said...

I like how anonymous doesn't have the courage to say who they are ... and thanks Cecily for standing up and speaking out for what you believe in and not being ashamed to say who you are. I to will be voting yes on 8 and agree with everything you said. And I am not worried about anyone know who I am.
cindy jensen, proud ca voter

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to side with anonymous on this one. But, for what it's worth, if I was registered to vote in California, I would vote in favor of Proposition 8 for the following reason--my ecclesiastical leader asked me to. That's good enough for me, even if I don't entirely understand why.

Anonymous said...

Proposition 8 does not dehumanize anyone. An advocate of marriage as a Biblical covenant entered into by a woman or man only and conformed to biblical teachings does not create a path of abuse against those who have same-sex attraction. Anonymous, the majority of Proposition 8 proponents would shun any idea of jeering, mobbing or calling out epithets to anyone.


As a School Board Member for over 6 years, I am witness to the leagues of special intrest groups that try to make their influence made upon the student population. My experience has shown me that if Prop 8 does not pass the floodgates of gay education in the K-12 sytem will open and gay themes will thread through every branch of curricular education-- Literature, History, Social Science and even in Math word problems. When gay themes are imbedded in State mandated and approved texts parents religiously opposed to same-sex behavior will feel a like the have to wade through a educational feild of gay themed land mines every day. Most parents, I believe, would not "opt out" of a day of class here and there, rather they would "opt-out" of state-run education as they are already doing in droves.
Finally, Anonymous if you believe Civil Unions do not yet recieve a measure of equality get your own proposition. Let Proposition 8 win that stability, religious rights and biblical morality may prevail. Marcia Harris

Cecily Jane said...


I know that this comment is months overdue, but I would like to point out that, for the record, you obviously didn't even read my post. Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with what I specifically wrote, so it seems clear that you searched the web for pro-Prop 8 pieces and then cut and pasted your pre-written argument to each that you found. That's not exactly what I'd call a debate.