Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Proposition 8 revisited

Hooray for research.

A good friend of mine linked me to the site where much of the information regarding Proposition 8 (the CA proposition to make marriage only legal between a man and a woman in the constitution). The link itself is:

I would be amiss
and hypocritical if I did not follow what I ask of others, that is, to educate themselves as much as possible on all sides of issues in this world. After all, you can't say you support one side over another if you don't know both sides. Following that, I checked out the site. Here are the (only) stories and links from the legal battle page.
  • Artist hit for refusal on beliefs - this news article simply states that an injunction was filed, it does not give a ruling or any fines.

  • CA Supreme Court rules doctors must provide treatment that violates their religious beliefs - this article focuses on a ruling by the supreme court of California that doctors cannot discriminate with their patients. The doctors ran a fertility clinic and a lesbian woman was refused treatment after failing to get pregnant using home fertility methods; one doctor refused on the basis that she was a single woman, the other refused due to religious reasons, again stating the marital status of the woman.
    According to an L. A. Times report, Kenneth R. Pedroza, who represented the doctors, said the ruling would probably cause many physicians to refuse to perform inseminations at all. Pedroza said Dr. Brody did not violate the law because it did not bar discrimination on the basis of marital status when Benitez sought insemination in 1999. The state law has since been amended.
    What this implies is that the case was not in relation to her being a lesbian but rather that she was unwed. Of course this ties into the issue of homosexuality as she was not able to marry the person of her choosing. This court case did not revolve around her being homosexual but rather on her marital status.

  • CA Supreme Court threatens medical care and religious freedom, says Americans United for Life - this is another article on the same case as the one I just discussed.

  • Canadian Catholic Priest opposes same-sex marriage, faces possible prosecution - as with the photographer case, this is a case where a priest is being investigated, but no ruling, fines, or lawsuit is given. The title of the article even states "possible" prosecution; there was/is an investigation, but no injunctions have been filed.

  • Christian photographers fined for refusing same-sex ceremony - the exact same case as the previous photographer case I covered. This one does include a ruling, however:
    In its ruling this week, the commission found: "Complainant, Vanessa Willock, proved her discrimination claim based on sexual orientation. The Complainant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent, Elane Photography, LLC, discriminated against her because of sexual orientation, in violation of … the New Mexico Human Rights Act."

    The Christian couple was ordered to pay Willock $6,637.94.

    The ADF, however, said the case will be appealed because of the significance of the constitutional issue at stake.
    I don't actually agree with this and hope the appeal does succeed. I do not agree with the discrimination, but I also do not agree with someone being forced to participate in something against their will. I imagine there were other photographers in the area who would have gladly taken this job.

    The article also mentions a congressional bill discussing this topic and homosexual rights that failed in congress due to being seen as unconstitutional and infringing on free exercise of religion.

    One thing to point out is that this is not in fact revolving around or involving gay marriage at all: the event that the photographer was requested to photograph was a "commitment ceremony," not a marriage or civil union. Of course the implications and perhaps meaning of the ceremony are the same, but this occurred outside of the topic of gay marriage and I would argue using it in such a case is dodgy at best.

    Doing a search on the site, I found that on July 8th, 2008 a follow up article was published regarding the appeal and counter lawsuit: no ruling has yet been reported by this case on the site, but it sounds like it has a good chance.

  • Court rules schools can teach homosexuality without parents consent or choice to opt out - basically what the name of the article says.
    Justice Wolf accepted the school board’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that “It is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students about individuals with different sexual orientations and about various forms of families, including those with same-sex parents, in an effort to eradicate the effects of past discrimination, to reduce the risk of future discrimination and, in the process, to reaffirm our nation's constitutional commitment to promoting mutual respect among members of our diverse society.”
    I don't disagree, so I have nothing to add.
I must say I find it sad that of the six stories, two are duplicates. It implies there aren't many cases to go off of and they are trying to make it look like a more widespread issue. Listing only four stories, or adding "second source" or "follow up" links to support the story would have reflected better upon their reporting.

I would also like to point out once again that none of those issues involve gay marriage or civil unions. They're all related to gay rights and discrimination, not gay marriage or Proposition 8 in California at all.

Mark, I appreciate you linking me to the site where this came from. I'm always open to further research and education.

One more thing to add: Massachusetts already allows gay marriages and has since May 17th, 2004; in the 4.5 years it's been allowed it hasn't caused any of the issues people are claiming will come from California. I would think if these fears were grounded in reality, the issues would have surfaced already.

1 comment:

Chino Blanco said...

I'm getting tired of seeing these Mormon spambots everywhere.

Anytime you see, you know it's coming from a member of the LDS church.

Head over and check out “How to Blog About Prop 8″ at

It’s basically a primer for Mormons on how to become Latter Day Spammers.

A quick check of the comments sections under the news articles that turn up from a search for Prop 8 terms reveals numerous drive-by comments with convoluted "Yes on 8 = tolerance" arguments and always accompanied by a link to ...

This approach reminds me of some of the stuff I saw getting tried during the Romney campaign. In the current campaign, I don’t think such tactics are well-suited for the target voters the Yes on 8 campaign needs if they’re going to actually win this thing. Californians who’d be persuaded by such obvious tactics are more than likely either not going to vote or are already planning to vote Yes.