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Proposition 8 - the facts ...

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I was reading a news article (here) about the California State Supreme Court's ruling validating Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. While reading the comments to the article, I came across the following:

"If California did not want gay marriage then all of this would never have happend and those who are married now would have never been offered the chanceā€¦. so think about the facts."

The implication of the statement is that California "wants" same-sex marriage. I disagree, so I responded with the following:

The facts are:

1) In 2000, Californians passed Proposition 22 stating that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
2) Those who want to redefine marriage took the issue to court. And, in May of 2008, eight years later, 4 of 7 judges in the California State Supreme Court voted to overturn Proposition 22 and allow same-sex marriage. The State Supreme Court also denied a request to "stay" the decision until Proposition 8 was decided later in the year.
3) In November of 2008, Californians again declare that marriage should be between one man and one woman by passing Proposition 8.
4) In May of 2009, the State Supreme Court rules that Proposition 8 is valid. And, even though some disagree, the Court had no choice but to let approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages remain recognized because they did not grant the stay requested after their earlier decision.

Those are the facts.

Same-sex marriage is an issue in this State because a group of individuals who want to redefine marriage have made it an issue. And, the group has been successful in achieving their goals using the Court system. However, each time it has been presented to the voters of this State, the voters have been clear that they do not want marriage redefined.

Marriage is not a right. Historically, it is a religious ceremony joining one man and one woman in "holy matrimony". Today, not only is it a religious ceremony for most, but the State uses it as a "legal instrument" to confer "benefits" to those who are "married".

Personally, I believe the State should come up with another legal instrument to confer those "benefits" and leave marriage to the religious institutions. This will allow the State to grant the legal instrument to both traditional unions and same-sex unions without redefining marriage. I think this would best serve both sides of this issue.

I would love to see the proponents of same-sex marriage pressure the State to come up with a legal instrument other than a "marriage certificate" to confer the rights they are seeking. The State and the Federal Government need to get out of the marriage business.

Will that happen? Considering this article, it looks like the fight is moving back into the court system.

Eliminate the legal institution of marriage ...

Finally, someone else is putting forward the idea I suggested here, the idea of getting the State out of the marriage business. Read the opinion piece by Douglas W. Kmiec's titled "A proposal for compromise on Prop. 8".

Essentially, the idea is to eliminate marriage licensing by the State and Federal Governments and replace it with a civil union. The civil union will have all the same rights and benefits that the State and Federal Government confers to marriage today. No ceremony is required to establish a civil union, only the completion and filing of the proper paperwork.

Then, the religious institutions will be free to perform marriage ceremonies for whom they choose.

And, more importantly, those who believe the act of homosexuality is wrong will retain their First Amendment right to state their belief in the public square, whether they are an individual or a religious institution.

Let's hope this idea gains momentum and actually get's pushed through the legislative process at both levels!!!