10/30/08

Proposition 8 is a Toss-up

This Tuesday in California, voters will decide whether or not same-sex couples should retain the right to marry. A yes vote will add fourteen words to the state constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

The campaign for Proposition 8 has been filled with half-truths and fear mongering. And apparently it's working. The polling website Five Thirty Eight reports that the measure is ahead, 49-44. (It would need a majority in order to amend the state constitution).

But why is Proposition 8 necessary? Even Governor Schwarzenegger is against it. In an eloquent, informative and moving essay, Andrew Sullivan explains the "transformation in understanding" that has brought gays into the mainstream and the effect his own marriage had on his relationship with his family.
...when gays are seen as the same as straights—as individuals; as normal, well-adjusted, human individuals—the argument changes altogether. The question becomes a matter of how we treat a minority with an involuntary, defining characteristic along the lines of gender or race. And when a generation came of age that did not merely grasp this intellectually, but knew it from their own lives and friends and family members, then the logic for full equality became irresistible.
Supporters of Proposition 8 claim they want to protect marriage, but from whom? Sullivan's article leaves little doubt that both families and the institution of marriage itself are stronger and healthier as a result of gay marriages. If they truly want to support family values and the institution of marriage, perhaps Proposition 8's biggest advocates should seriously consider a no vote.

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