Sunday, November 09, 2008

Please Support CA-Prop. 13 - Eliminating Right to Divorce

Dear Registered Voters of the Great State of California,
On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, the People of California truly triumphed. Californians played a critical role in electing Barack Obama the first African-American President of the United States; Californians affirmed the need for our farm animals to be treated humanely; Californians voted to protect a teenager’s right to have an abortion. Perhaps most importantly, Californians voted to amend our constitution and eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.
The will of the people has been made clear. However, our work is not done. Therefore, I hope you will join me in pursuing the next critical step in improving our state marriage laws. Specifically, I hope you will support California Proposition 13, which is summarized as such:
Some of you may be thinking, "What? That makes no sense. I voted to eliminate same-sex marriage but I definitely support the right to divorce." However, I would assert that you just weren’t thinking things through when you voted Yes on Proposition 8. I will show you why eliminating the right to divorce makes even more sense than eliminating the right for same-sex couples to marry.
California voters voted "Yes on Proposition 8" for the following reasons:
To protect/restore traditional marriage
To protect Californian families
To protect our children from exposure to ideas that are inconsistent with traditional marriage
To preserve the sanctity of marriage, as defined by our religious beliefs
Let's review how Proposition 13 does an even better job of accomplishing these goals than Proposition 8.

A common cry among anti-gay marriage proponents across the country is that gay marriage is an attack on traditional marriage, and as such the electorate needs to move swiftly to "protect" or "restore" marriage. However, there is no clearer threat to marriage than divorce. In order to truly protect marriage, we must ban divorce.
Contrary to everybody’s apparent fear, granting gay people the right to marry does not result in the dissolution of traditional families. Both Massachusetts and California granted this right to its gay citizens. However, we haven’t even seen an anecdote – let alone an epidemic – of heterosexual couples divorcing in Massachusetts or California as a direct result of gay marriage.
There has not been a single instance of a married man saying, "Oh well, gays can marry now, so I’m going to leave my wife and children" (trust me, we would know if there was such a case). In fact, the divorce rate in Massachusetts actually fell following the approval of gay marriage.
In the United States, 0.5% of all people aged 15 to 64 get a divorce every year. This divorce rate is higher than most industrialized countries, indicating a clear attack on American marriage. As shown above, this is not the fault of gay marriage in Massachusetts. However, if we move to ban divorce in California, then we can ensure that over 99% of all marriages are preserved. In fact, there would be no factor – divorce, gay marriage, or otherwise – that could threaten marriage.
Some of our less responsible citizens may try to go to Nevada to get a divorce, but under our amended constitution we don’t have to recognize that divorce.
The signs in support of Yes on 8 were so cute – stick figures of a man, woman, a boy and a girl. Surely, gay marriage threatens the stability of this family...somehow. I don’t have any data to support my assertion, but I’m pretty sure that it’s true.
What I do have data on are the crippling effects of divorce on families in the United States: Only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents – the lowest figure in the Western world. I am one of the 37% who did not get to live with both of my biological parents. In fact, I have lived through 3 different divorces. Many victims of divorce, like my older sisters, end up having an irrepressible need for attachment and end up jumping into marriage – only to end up getting divorces of their own. Other victims, like me, end up with the exact opposite problem – our crippling fear of commitment stops us from getting anywhere close to something resembling marriage.
Have I tugged at your heartstrings and completely distracted you from the issue at hand? Good. Heartrending true stories aside, I think you will agree with me that nothing destroys families quite like divorce. This is why we need to vote to eliminate this threat to our families.
A new argument against gay marriage that appeared this election cycle – and a very big reason why many of you voted for Proposition 8 – is to prevent our public schools from teaching children about gay marriage. I agree that our children should not be corrupted by exposure to concepts that are not consistent with "traditional values." I would therefore not only vote to stop schools from teaching children about gay marriage, I would also vote to stop schools from teaching concepts such as evolution, slavery, and dictatorships. By teaching children that dictatorships exist, for example, we give them the opportunity to decide that they like dictators and might want to become one someday. Clearly this is anti-American and against our values.
Unfortunately, California is not ready to stop exposing our children to science, history, and international political systems. However, it is clear that Californians today care very deeply about whether and how marriage is taught in schools. We must therefore capitalize on this interest and stop all teachers from using the word "divorce" in Californian classrooms. By teaching our children that divorce exists, we cheapen the institution of marriage by implying that marriage is not permanent. Indeed, nothing cheapens the institution of marriage more than divorce. We must make it clear: marriage is a permanent civil contract between a man and a woman, and there are no exceptions.
Some might say that this position – amending the constitution to influence a lesson plan – is a little bit extreme. It might seem as though there could be a better way to reinforce traditional marriage in the classroom. However, the voters made clear that the only way to stop a concept from being taught in schools is to eliminate it outright. After all, if we could have voted on a law that prevented schools from teaching gay marriage, rather than a constitutional amendment that eliminates rights, then wouldn’t we have done that instead?
We all know that we need the government to approve and adhere to our religious beliefs. Equally, if we do not influence civil law to read exactly like our religious laws, then God becomes very, very angry with us and sends various natural and unnatural disasters our way. After all, God has made clear that He would prefer his believers be required by the government to follow His laws, rather than voluntarily follow out of obedience and love for Him.
Many religious organizations got involved in the passage of Proposition 8, and many religious leaders strongly encouraged their followers to not only vote for – but donate to – Proposition 8. One Mormon family in California gave $30,000 in support of Proposition 8. If you think that’s impressive, then consider the $1,000,000 donation that was given by Mormon Alan Ashton...of Utah.
It is inspiring to see so many people of faith work so hard to push their religious views through the ballot box. Unfortunately, I think many of them believe that their work is done. Surely, it is not. Gay marriage is never mentioned in the Bible. In fact, if you go back to the original Hebrew and Greek translations of the Bible, then monogamous gay relationships between two consenting adults is never mentioned, either ( Oddly enough, in the English translation, passages get broadened from (paraphrasing) "homosexual prostitution is bad" in Hebrew/Greek to "all homosexual activity is bad" in English.
God’s position on gay marriage, or even gay relationships, may be unclear, but not much is unclear about His position on divorce. Malachi 2:16 (NIV) states: "’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel." Matthew 19:6 further asserts: "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Christians of all stripes, our work is not done. Just as we are offended by homosexual marriage, we must be even more offended by divorce. Furthermore, since so many religious individuals donated with such zeal to pass Proposition 8, I fully expect that the same people will donate as much (if not more!) to pass Proposition 13.
Some may say that they did not vote for Proposition 8 for any of the above reasons. However, I don’t believe them. Opponents of Proposition 8 often claimed that people were in favor of Proposition 8 due to hatred and/or fear of homosexual individuals. However, this is the Great State of California that we are talking about. This is a state where unicorns outnumber bigots.
Some have further asserted that people voted for Proposition 8 out of fear that their children might become homosexual. However, that also does not fly. It makes no sense that the mere presence (or lack thereof) of gay marriage would turn people into homosexuals. It is not a disease; it cannot be caught through mere exposure to the concept. Californians are much smarter than that. If I’m wrong, then I will sell my unicorn farm.
Imagine what we can do after passing Propositions 8 and 13. We don’t have to stop there.
  • Proposition 14 can eliminate the right of Hispanics to marry white people – they can instead register for domestic partnerships.
  • Proposition 15 can eliminate the right of Jewish people to engage in business contracts with Catholics – they can instead do business based on trust.
  • Proposition 16 can eliminate the right of people over 65 to drive each other – they can instead accompany one another on public transportation.
  • Proposition 17 can eliminate the right of women to own property – they can instead get married to a man who can own the property for them.
This may all sound ridiculous now, but fundamental rights in California can be eliminated with only a simple majority vote. I am confident that we can achieve this majority. While many demographic groups were evenly split in the recent election, one group in particular may now be predisposed to eliminating rights. More than two thirds of black voters voted Yes on 8. Clearly, this is a group who agrees that the majority should be allowed to vote on the minority’s rights.
Furthermore, this group also agrees that it is possible to be separate but equal. We welcome them to our coalition, and we also look forward to voting on their constitutional rights. In summary, I thank you for your support of Proposition 13 as we place it on the next statewide ballot. I will be collecting both signatures and donations as we work together to further protect marriage from its greatest threat: divorce. I hope that you have been inspired by your fellow Californians this past November 4. After all, less than 4 million Californians voted for McCain, but almost 5.5 million Californians also voted to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. This means that well over 1 million Californians said "Yes we can" with the rest of the country, but concurrently added another old adage to the end: Yes we they can’t.
We should follow their lead.
A Concerned California Citizen

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