Friday, October 10, 2008

The Democratic Process

"In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters."

This quote, from a party that supports Proposition 8, describes the democratic environment surrounding Proposition 8. I believe that this type of contextualization is important for a clear understanding of the issue. I know of homosexual people that actually support Proposition 8 for the reasons that I will discuss here.

The original vote in March of 2000 was "overwhelmingly" in favor of defining marriage in its traditional sense - a man and a woman. Over 4 million Californians voted in favor of this traditional definition. Contrast that to the 4 people who overturned that decision in March of this year. Clearly, our democratic rights have been undermined. A vote for Proposition 8 will send a clear message that we demand the right to decide on important issues in our society, rather than allow those who think they know better than the rest of us to decide for us. The way of the activist judges is not democratic. It is almost monarchical in its condescending treatment of California voters.

Political activists who seek to overturn the moral balance in society recognize that most people do not believe in legalizing same-gender marriage. For this reason, they have historically promoted their agenda using tactics that seek to circumvent the democratic process. The decision by the 4 activist judges is just one example. Another example has occurred since the introduction of Proposition 8, when the attorney general of California, an opponent of Proposition 8, changed the words of the description that accompanies the Proposition from what its framers had originally written. This change casts the proposition in a negative light, focusing on the denial of marriage to same-gender couples, rather than focusing on what the proposition is really about - protecting an institution that is vital for the future of our families and our society. You can see this change in the election literature that all registered voters have begun to receive by mail.

A July 30th San Francisco Chronicle article said this about Brown's change:
"Attorney General Jerry Brown is trying to stack the deck against a November ballot measure barring same-sex marriage by declaring in his formal ballot description that it 'eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry'".

True to their non-democratic strategy, opponents of Proposition 8 everywhere rejoiced at this news, celebrating the fact that the people behind the proposition were denied the right to represent their own points of view to the California voters. The wording chosen by the authors of Proposition 8 does not refer to any denial of rights, for that is not what Proposition 8 is about. Rather, it is about protecting an institution that a majority of California voters have already voted to protect.

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