Prop 8 Essay

Proposition 8 California Proposition 8 (California Marriage Protection Act) was a state-wide ballot proposition passed in the November 4, 2008 state election that made same sex marriage illegal in California. The vote which won by 52% adds exactly 14 words to the California State Constitution, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. ” To qualify for the ballot, Proposition 8 needed 694,354 valid petition signatures, equal to 8% of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2006 General Election.

The initiative proponents submitted 1,120,801 signatures, and on June 2, 2008, the initiative qualified for the November 4, 2008 election ballot through the random sample signature check. The passage of Prop 8 was a major victory for religious conservatives seeking to ban gay marriage in other states, and a crippling setback for the gay rights movement nationwide. Prior to prop 8, marriage in the state of California had always been between a man and a woman, but in 1977 the state legislature amended the California Family Code to make it clear that marriage was between a man and a woman.

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In 2000 the possibility of other states legalizing same sex marriage led to Prop 22 being passed, which restricted California from acknowledging the marriages of same sex couples from other states. The California Supreme Court overturned Prop 22 in May of 2008, and the court also mandated marriage licenses to be issued by judicial degree, and not by the will of the voters or the legislature. These licenses were not recognized by the federal government and most of the nation, but for that brief period in California same sex marriage was legal.

The same sex couples that were married during that time are still considered married in California under the grandfather clause. I believe prop 8 is taking away the fundamental rights of the gay and lesbian citizens, it is making it okay to discriminate against a certain group of the states population. The right to marriage is a fundamental right straight from the constitution and gays and lesbians are being deprived this right with the passage of this law. We are in the year 2010 and I feel it is a huge problem that we cannot see everyone as equals, I understand people have their rights to opinion and their pinions are based on their religious views, but there is a separation from church and state and the people who oppose same sex marriage due to their religious views must look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that we must all coexist and what history has taught us is that it is wrong to discriminate against a certain group of people we seen this many times with the abolishment of slavery, segregation, the woman’s right to vote, and other instances.

I find it hard to believe that we still must debate whether a right should be given to one group and not another. Yes the gay and lesbian community has California domestic partnerships, but the fact of the matter is that it is not equal, and does not afford all the same benefits as their straight counterparts. I do believe that the gay and lesbian community will eventually prevail like others in the past that were subject to discrimination.


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