NO on Prop 8: because the other side are liars

This is the third in a five-part series on the “California Marriage Protection Act,” Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot. Parts one and two appeared earlier in the week.

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California’s Proposition 8 seeks to amend the state Constitution by adding a section which would read: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

The coalition of religious and conservative groups who are aligned with the “Yes on Prop. 8” effort are bold-faced, unethical liars. There. I said it. It’s that plain and that simple.

We are near the conclusion of a presidential election cycle which means most of us are awash in a sea of “spin.” The daily barrage of half-truths and outright lies is almost too much to bear. At some point, we just kind of turn it off and tune out. But it’s worth remembering that this is exactly the kind of campaign being waged right now with respect to the “Yes on Prop. 8” effort.

Here’s an example. The short paragraph I began this post with is the entire text of Prop. 8. That’s it. The measure has nothing to do with education, adoption, or economic policy. It has nothing to do with a church–any church–and its rights to do whatever they like. Nothing.

Yet you would not know that from the “Yes on Prop. 8” campaign. Their website (which I won’t link here but is really easy to find) describes the California Supreme Court decision which made same-sex marriage legal as overturning “the will of California voters.” This might seem like simple truth, since California voters passed a proposition in 2000 defining marriage as between “a man and a woman.” But it’s spin. As discussed in the previous post in this series, the process the court performs has nothing to do with “our” consensus as voters on a given position and everything to do with our consensus on a constitutional government. We demand that it is their job to make sure our government respects the laws and values as reflected in our Constitution. That’s what they did.

If we relied on the “will of the voters” to be our standard of Constitutional interpretation then segregated schools would still be the norm. When the U.S. Supremem Court issued their famous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the vast majority of Americans supported segregated schools–and not just in the South. The point of the courts is to make their decision apart from all that, and the “Yes” folks know that. They just want to piss you off. And anyway, when did the “will of the voters” become such a static thing? Rather than just ask people how they feel about same-sex marriage, they have to make sure you don’t think about it and instead think about how much you don’t like so-called “activist courts.”

Isn’t what we’re doing in this proposition voting on whether or not it is “our will”? What sense is there in opposing a measure whose consequences you support because you don’t like how those consequences were arrived at? Why can’t we discuss the values of same-sex marriage without resorting to tactics of fear?

And that’s what helps us see the truth of the effort. The one overriding reason this side lies in order to mobilize support for their cause is that their entire cause boils down to one simple position: gay and lesbian Californians should be discriminated against in the law. They need people to turn off their commitments to equality, to decency, and to common sense. They need people to ignore the months of legal same-sex marriages in the state with no other consequence other than happy, married couples. Most Californians don’t agree with their belief, but they can be moved to vote yes if they are inundated with enough lies and half-truths to obscrue the truth of the measure. And that’s exactly what is happening.

The ads funded by the “Yes on Prop. 8” effort communicate a steady stream of bullshit meant to incite fear, hate, and some of the worse tendencies in the electorate. They say that legalized same-sex marriage means “schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage.” (It should be, and I hope it is, but this proposition will not be the nail in that coffin.) They say churches will loose their tax exempt status. They say a lot, but none of it is true. Californians already know that when same-sex marriage became legal, the sky didn’t fall, the earth didn’t open up, and soceity as we know it didn’t begin it’s decline.

They are joined by more “academic” efforts as well. Groups like the Family Research Council (FRC) issue regular mailings filled with the most biased and least truthful form of dissemination of academic work, all in the name of promoting discrimination. A visit to their website shows a list of reasons to oppose the measure–all relating to adoption and the rearing of children. First of all, whether you like it or not, same-sex couples can adopt in the state of California (but not without some forms of local discrimination). If you don’t like that, try working in some public social work capacity and see what conditions tens of thousands of children are living in. You should read the research on what makes a good home for foster and adopted children, often the solution to this anti-child society. It has NOTHING to do with whether or not the parents are of the same gender or not and everything to do with the kinds of love and support they can give.

The FRC uses very specific research which studies, for example, children who are raised in single-parent households without a father, and then extrapolates it to form conclusions about two-parent households where the parents are both moms. If they were in my class they’d get an “F” for that kind of work. It’s an unfair use of research, and an unethical tactic in a political campaign.

The worst part of all of this is that these groups are supposed to be the moral and ethical ones in society. Many of them are religious and religiously affiliated. In the real world classroom of our society, they are all earning an “F” by allying themselves with a cause that is so discriminatory it can not face the substance of its very narrow stance. (I’ll say it: if Jesus were around he’d be for same-sex marriage, too!)

By spinning a campaign based on everything but the direct issue at hand, these groups are signaling voters that there is something wrong. That something, is the “Yes on Prop. 8” campaign.

For more information, click here.

7 thoughts on “NO on Prop 8: because the other side are liars

  1. It’s ironic that the opposition is not secure in their own stance. if they were, they would not be exerting such effort to stifle our efforts to pass prop 8. let them say what they need or want, and we will do the same. play fair. it’s quite simple. YES ON 8!

  2. Well said! I wrote something very similar this morning. It makes me angry and sad that people believe the blatant lies being touted by the Yes on 8 folks. We spent last night with our “Support Equality – No on 8” signs along side the Prop 8 supporters and will continue to do so every day they are there.

    If you are near Rancho Santa Margarita, come join us!

  3. Sorry, but I also have to respond to the anonymous response.

    First off, anonymous? How secure are you? Second, the opposition is not secure because we are fighting against prop 8? Did you you even read the blog? The facts are there, and the lies can be found on every Prop 8 supporters sign, blog or website. Playing fair? How is it fair for one group of people to make a life decision for another group of people?

    NO ON 8! It does not support equality or freedom and is not what America stands for!

  4. Just because you call something a lie doesn’t make it a lie.

    It is striking how all the arguments against prop 8 are purely emotional without any factual backing. “Liars, unfair, unequal, love and hate, bigots, religious fanatics” — these are the “arguments” against prop 8. Proponents, however, have actual examples they can cite to support their claims. I have yet to see someone effectively debunk any pro prop 8 claim, other than to simply say, “That’s a lie!”

    The biggest lie in this campaign is that this is about rights for same-sex couples and that they are being treated unfairly. The only “right” being denied same-sex couple is the right to call their legal union “marriage.” With a domestic partnership, they have and will retain all of the actual rights married couples have. When challenged, you, yourself, have failed to cite any right that will be taken away from same-sex couples if prop 8 passes. California has strict laws regarding unfair treatment. Those laws are strictly enforced and will continue to be.

    The real reason opponents of prop 8 are trying to defeat it is because it will eliminate a very powerful tool they have to discriminate against people who hold a religious belief that their behavior is wrong. You said so yourself — it is about social equality, not legal equality. The gay community wants to force acceptance on individuals who do have the constitutional right to hold an opinion opposing gay marriage.

    I’m still waiting for facts to back up your claims!

  5. By taking a quick glance across the animal kingdom, it may be surprising to some to note that several species live in monogamous relationships. This phenomenon is observed in both the greater and lesser species. Surely there must be some benefit to living such a monogamous lifestyle or it would not exist. Such monogamous relationships, or marriages if you will, seem to naturally exist as if some underlying advantage could result. Evolutionary biology provides an answer to the quandary. The goal of every species is survival. The key to survival is passing on your “genes.” In order to accomplish this, a species must maximize its reproduction and maximize their offspring’s survival. Turns out, for some species the best way to accomplish this is by the father sticking around and helping the mother. Each gender of the species provides essentials of survival and thus a marriage is formed. Thus marriage can yield an evolutionary advantage. So, biologically speaking, much prior to governments issuing licenses, marriages existed to bear children and assure that genes proliferated. This type of marriage could only exist between a man and a woman. As languages evolved, English was born. The word marriage was used to define such relationships between one man and one woman. Surely, other relationships exist, many of which are full of love, but these would not be called marriage. Marriage has always described the coming together of a man and a woman to unite in love and initiate the bearing of children. Marriage is the gateway of the family. Biologically speaking, there is only one way to create offspring – this requires both a MALE and a FEMALE gamete. The implications of marriage go far beyond love. Defining marriage isn’t a task to be left to social experts, political activists or judges – The definition has been provided by nature itself and dates back to the beginning of life.

  6. Proposition 8 is more than same sex marriage its about protecting our sons and daughters from growing up in a world that teaches that being gay or lesbian is just as normal as being straight. I don’t want my sons and daughters being taught as young as five years old in school that it is okay to marry someone of their same sex. It is about the principle of religion. And protecting what God has set up as the correct way to replenish the earth. It is marriage between a Man and a Woman. God set Adam and Eve on earth to have their posterity fill the whole earth. It goes contrary to the laws set up by God himself. I have nothing against gay or lesbian individuals. I believe they can live their life how they please. I am against the teachings that go against the teachings of God. And we must fight to protect God’s holy ordinance of Marriage between one man and one woman.

    Please go to http://www.protectmarriage.com to read more about the benefits of proposition 8.

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