Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Objectively researching Proposition 8

Objectivity reveals truth.

I've been receiving and seeing lots of people supporting Proposition 8 for California - the constitutional amendment to make marriage solely between a man and a woman. The argument for this is that California currently grants civil unions and those are the state equivalent of marriage. This is true. However, California civil unions are state level, it is not required to be federally recognized as the same and does not grant the same federal rights.

Many arguments against gay marriage revolve around religion, particularly that churches will be forced to perform gay marriages, could lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to or be seen as promoting hate speech if they speak out against homosexuality. This is not true.

I do what I can to view all issues objectively, to be as informed as possible and to get as many facts regarding an issue as I can. Of the groups I've seen supporting this proposition, none provided objective sources for their information, so I found them myself. The following quotes and news sources are what I found. (Many news sources and articles regarding this were either noticeably biased, such as from about.atheism.com or from www.protectmarriage.com, or were other versions of these same stories.)

From http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=15725:
The groups said they feared legalized gay marriage could result in some undesirable scenarios, starting in California with ripple effects from coast to coast:

-- Because California lacks residential requirements for marriage, a flood of gay couples nationwide could travel to California and get married, then return to their home states and demand that those marriages be recognized.

-- California houses of worship would be forced to conduct same-sex weddings or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

-- Christian-based adoption agencies that refuse to place children with same-sex couples could lose their ability to operate.

-- Public schools would be forced to teach the "fully equal status of homosexual and heterosexual conduct."

But gay-rights advocates dismiss such scenarios as a "red herring," noting that the California ruling says nothing about houses of worship, adoption or what is taught in public schools.

Lara Schwartz, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, called it "the combination of a scare tactic and a desperate move." Churches will no more be forced to conduct same-sex weddings than a Catholic Church will be forced to marry a bride or groom who's already divorced, or a rabbi will be compelled to perform an interfaith wedding.

On the potential for a faith-based institution to lose its tax-exempt status, Schwartz said "the legal issue that they brought up isn't related to marriage rights, it's discrimination rights."
Furthermore, in response to the LDS church - the church to which I am a member and firm believer of - losing it's tax exempt status due to this event in more detail, it has nothing to do with gay marriage. It is an issue of the church being involved in politics and whether or not its involvement in this issue violates the tax exemption status. The legal/tax issue is not regarding gay marriage or the church prohibiting marriage. The current legal conclusion was that since the church is not endorsing a political candidate, only supporting a position, it has not violated its tax exempt status. Of course that is subject to change should this matter escalate.

From http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=97b66a40-0f35-4f4c-b843-32138998993a:
Kendell and her attorney concluded the LDS Church can't endorse a political candidate but can take a position on the anti-gay marriage amendment in California, but added that there may be certain restrictions on the Church contributing directly to the California anti-amendment forces.
I realize many of my fellow LDS friends and church members disagree with me on this. I accept that. The simple fact is that the main reasons people are using to argue for this proposition are unfounded fears that rely on things that "could" happen; not things that will happen or things that are even likely to happen.

If you still wish to vote yes on Proposition 8 due to your feelings about gay marriage that is wholly within your right and I will not hinder nor argue with you about that. That is your right as an American. It is your right to voice your opinion and vote for what you believe is right. All I ask is that you do not claim rumors, lies, or fallacies as facts to convince others to do the same.


bigmark74 said...

If you're refering to what i sent you on facebook i invite you to check out out http://www.whatisprop8.com/Legal-Battles/Legal-Battles/ where my friend found the information for her invite on facebook. it has direct links to the legal cases where they were originaly reported on sites like the washingtontimes.com and marketwatch.com. so to say that these situations are "rumors, lies, or fallacies" about what CAN and HAS happened would be incorect. so if you think that all those legal cases are untrue then you'll want to take it up with those reporting agencies who reported them.

Tim said...

Thanks for that; I'll look into it.