Comment of the Fortnight
2 March 2000
No on Proposition 22
For those folks in California who read these articles, 6 March 2000 is
Election Day. One of the propositions on the ballot is Proposition 22,
which reads as follows:
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or
recognized in California.
I urge you to vote no on this proposition.
- The first half
of the proposition simply reiterates what is already a law in California;
only men and women can get married. This is a needless duplication.
- The proposition is sponsored by state Senator Pete Knight. He has
tried to get this measure through the legislature for years and failed.
If it's so vitally important, how come the legislature hasn't seen
the need for it?
- Although the backers of this measure claim that is not
anti-gay, similar propositions in other states have been used as a basis
to roll back domestic partnership laws and hospital visitation rights
for gays and lesbians
Here are some questions that people ask about the measure, and some
- Isn't a vote against this proposition a vote for gay marriage?
No. Marriage of a man and man or woman and woman is not
legal as is. Neither a vote for or against this proposition will
- But the second half of the proposition closes a loophole in
the current law, doesn't it?
Proponents of the proposition claim that, if some other
state were to legalize gay marriage, California would have
to recognize those marriages. This law, they say, closes
that loophole. My response is this: Marriage laws are not
uniform throughout the United States. Two fourteen-year-olds
can get married in Utah with parental consent; this is not
legal in California. However, California will recognize that
marriage as valid when the couple moves from Utah to California.
Don't we need a proposition to close this loophole as well?
- Marriage is a holy union before God. How can you ask me
to recognize a union that God disapproves of?
Marriage is a civil contract which can be blessed by a
church. You must first get a state-issued marriage license
before you can have a preacher marry you in church.
Neither a Moslem cleric nor a Catholic priest would
perform a marriage between a Moslem man and a Catholic woman,
nor is anyone asking them to. That couple would, however, be
allowed to go to City Hall and get a marriage license and be
married by a civil servant. The State would recognize that
as a perfectly valid marriage, even though it was never blessed
in the sight of God, Allah, Buddha, or any religious entity.
- Look at the state of marriage in this country today. Don't
we need this proposition to protect marriage?
If the core concept of a marriage is maintaining a
committed, monogamous relationship within which
both partners can support each other, which is more
of a threat to the institution of marriage?
- Giving legal recognition to a fifteen-year
relationship between two homosexual men
- Giving legal recognition to the travesty of marriage
so recently displayed on Who Wants to Marry a