A certain segment of society would have you believe that Proposition 8 discriminates against homosexuals by denying them the right of marriage, and that it was created and forced onto the public by gay-hating Christians. I have some thoughts on this matter:
1. Proposition 8 does not prevent homosexual people from getting married. It bans same-sex couples from getting married. Anyone who truly wants to get married is free to find a partner of the opposite gender and do so. Personally, I’m interested in becoming a member of the Roman Catholic communion. I can’t, since they don’t allow Freemasons. If I wanted it badly enough, I’d give up being a Freemason to become a Catholic–but I don’t want it that badly.
2. Of course, I could just say that I’m not a Freemason–but anyone who respects the Church enough to really want to join would know that that lie would render invalid any sacrament–including marriage–in which I participated. Similarly, a marriage decree issued by by a Christian church to a same-sex couple–being against Church doctrine–would be invalid. These people aren’t interested in marriage rights for homosexuals. They are interested in offending Christians. These are the same protesters who go to Communion and spit the Host on the floor.
3. While sexual-orientation discrimination is not being practiced (see above), gender discrimination is. Only couples of mixed genders may obtain marriage licenses. If it can be proven that gender discrimination is not accepted under California law–that is, that all public restrooms and high school locker rooms are unisex–then I will consider that Proposition 8 may be invalid.
4. Even without same-sex marriage, there are no rights available to married people that are not available to same-sex couples. Marriage is a sacrament of the Church; it provides no legal standing that is not also provided by a civil union. Further, there are many organizations–especially in California–which are happy to provide beautiful, moving wedding ceremonies for such civil unions.
5. As mentioned above, marriage is a sacrament of the Church. It is therefore protected by the First Amendment. Using the government to violate the sanctity of a religion by re-defining marriage sets a dangerous precedent against the First Amendment.
My solution? All secular weddings should be referred to as “civil unions,” and such unions should be available to anyone. The “license” which provides privileges such as tax breaks and hospital visitation rights, should be secular, and not use the word “marriage.” “Marriage” should refer specifically to a religious ceremony involving a husband and a wife, with no language tying it to legal standings.