Proposition 8 (aka "Prop 8"), if passed, will undo a ruling by the California State Supreme Court handed down in May of this year (2009). This ruling gave lesbians and gays the right to legally marry in this state. This is a long-awaited ruling, and has been much celebrated by lesbians & gays AND many heterosexuals, alike!
Now, sadly, this ruling is in jeopardy of being overturned by Prop 8. If Prop 8 passes, there will be an addition made to the State Constitution which makes marriage in California legal only between one female and one male. Lesbian and gay couples, some of whom have been together for decades, will no longer be allowed to marry.
Shelly Bailes (left) and Ellen Pontac (right), who have been together for 34+ years, hold each other's hands as Yolo County Clerk/Recorder Freddie Oakley performs their wedding ceremony on June 16, 2008.
What's worse is that those in favor of Prop 8 are lying in their ads! Here's an explanation of the fiction (what they're saying) and the fact (what will really happen if Prop 8 fails).
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.
Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.”
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.
Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it’s about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.
Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.
Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.
Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Regardless of how you feel about the issue, we should not eliminate fundamental rights for ANY Californians.