Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guest Post - Carol

Dear Family and Friends,

I feel compelled to write because, regardless of what political party affiliation you support, our decision about Prop 8 regarding the definition of marriage will affect all residents of California, and eventually our country as a whole. In the long run, what we decide here will have a greater effect than who we vote for president.

If the following subjects are of any importance to you, please read on:

Our Constitutional Form of Government/Freedom from TyrannyParental Rights

All First Amendment Rights

A Bright Future for Our Children and Grandchildren

For those of you not aware of Prop 8 (although I can’t imagine any who aren’t, as heated as this is), it is a measure on the ballot for an amendment to the California Constitution stating that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Before any of you start making a death wish on me for supporting this, let me tell you this has nothing to do with being a homophobe--I have friends who are dealing with the issue of homosexuality. Nor is this about gay rights--gay couples already have the same benefits as married couples in California (you can go online and read the California Family Code sec. 297.5. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/fam/297-297.5.html). So if it is not about that, then what is it really about?

Do any of you remember in the days growing up (if you’re my age) watching America Rock on Saturday mornings? It was a fun cartoon with catchy little tunes all about American History. There was one called the Three-Ring Circus which explained the form of our government with its three branches--executive, legislative, and judicial--each with their unique duties and also with checks and balances upon each other to prevent one from becoming more powerful than the others. Our Founding Fathers did all they could think of to prevent tyranny in our country after fighting against it with England. We are up against the very same challenge with the decisions made by 4 judges in the California Supreme Court. Basically, they have decided what is proper and correct for millions of people, disregarding what the majority of voters safeguarded in 2000. Think about it--is it the responsibility for judges to determine the definition of marriage? Who should define it--four judges or the people of the state? When the majority voted that marriage was between a man and a woman in 2000, they did not change anything already in the Constitution; they only responded to a threat of change. In all of history, when has marriage been known as anything other than between a man and a woman? I have checked my dictionaries (I even have an 1828 dictionary) and they all agree it is what we have known it to be. When the judges made a decision that Prop 22 was unconstitutional, they actually changed what was recognized at the time the Constitution was written. It is not the duty of the judicial branch to create new legislation. Whether you agree with the judges’ decision is not the issue; it is that they out-stepped their jurisdiction and are not following the established forms. What does this mean for you and me? It means that we have a state being run by the will of a panel of judges rather than by the will of the people--that is called an oligarchy. If our vote can be trampled on like that, where does that lead us in other situations?

For the case of parental rights, we only need to look at examples where the definition of marriage has been redefined to see how this will affect us. Massachusetts is one such place. In Massachusetts, the homosexual agenda is being taught in schools to children as young as kindergarteners. In a certain case, the parents of one such child asked the school to give them notification if that topic was going to be taught so they could have their child opt-out. The parents were denied this parental right. It went to court and the couple lost. There is information online regarding Parker v. Hurley. This website also tells the story briefly: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1815825713

I know that the opponents to Prop 8 are claiming that voting no on 8 will not affect the education of our children in any way. They state that there is a mandate that already prohibits teachers from teaching health issues without parental consent. While that may be true (for now), it doesn’t address whether they will teach about gay unions while discussing either families or diversity. Books are being read to 1st graders in Massachusetts about men marrying other men as part of normal family life. Do we want this to be the right and role of the State to teach our children or do we want to retain it as parents? What is even more baffling is that on one hand the California Teachers Association is backing the no on 8 --with $1.25 million already donated for their cause--while on the other they are insistent that this has nothing to do with education. If that is truly the case, then isn’t it a little ironic that the Association is even involved?

Furthermore, the other organizations against Prop 8 (namely the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, Equality for All), who say gay marriage will not be taught in public schools, are the same organizations who fought for it to be so in Massachusetts. Their statements in the Parker v. Hurley case are on file with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts in the case Parker v. Hurley (514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir.2008)). Here are a couple of their statements:

From the ACLU Amicus Curiae Brief:“Specifically, the parents in this case do not have a constitutional right to override the professional pedagogical judgment of the school with respect to the inclusion within the curriculum of the age-appropriate children’s book…King and King.” [p 9]


From the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Amicus Curiae Brief: “In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the right of same-sex couples to marry is protected under the state constitution, it is particularly important to teach children about families with gay parents.” [p 5]

From the Human Rights Campaign Amicus Curiae Brief:“There is no constitutional principle grounded in either the First Amendment’s free exercise clause or the right to direct the upbringing of one’s children, which requires defendants to either remove the books now in issue – or to treat them as suspect by imposing an opt-out system.” [pp1-2]

If these organizations are saying one thing in Massachusetts, and telling Californians something else, is it quite possible that they are being deceitful and have an agenda similar to that in Massachusetts?

I have now only covered two of the reasons I mentioned in the beginning of my letter as to why voting YES on Prop 8 is so imperative. Without going into long detail about all of our 1st Amendment rights, let me explain a personal matter regarding our free exercise of religion.

My husband is the Bishop of the local church to which we belong. Recently he received a call asking if he would be willing to marry a same-sex couple. Telling the inquirer that it was contrary to his beliefs and the doctrine of our church, he said he would be unable to do so. Fortunately, that was all to the matter. If Prop 8 does not pass, my husband, and many churches, may be faced with lawsuits for discrimination and possibly the termination of marrying couples under the recognition of the State as a civil union. What does this mean? The very nature of marriage will change and how it fits into society, creating chaos and confusion.

Marriage has been instituted from the beginning of man for the rearing and protection of children. I believe it to be the basic unit of society, and the indicator of the success of any society. When marriages and families thrive, so does society. When they fail, society follows.

Ultimately, I believe this battle will not go away by a simple measure on the ballot. We are at a point in our society where there are definitely two different points of view about the nature of right and wrong. There are those who believe that equality means they should be free to do as they choose and that “anything goes,” regardless the cost to others; and there are those who still believe that there are morals and actions of right and wrong, and that those actions have consequences according to their nature. We are at a fork where we must decide what path is best. We cannot go down both roads.

With respect for your individual beliefs, I hope I have persuaded you at least to think about the ramifications of Prop 8. What I hope even more is that you will join me in voting Yes on Prop 8.

With Love and Respect,

Carol

1 comments:

prop8discussion said...

Thank you for all your cool posts. I come here several times a day.

It's "children have a right to a mom and a dad week" on my blog. i would love comments and participation.

http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/category/children-have-a-right-to-a-mom-and-a-dad/

yes on prop 8!