November 3, 2008

Last Words on Prop H8

Only one more day until this three-ring circus is over. I, for one, can't wait. I will, of course, be glued to the computer to find out the results of the election. I am particularly worried about Prop 8, if that hasn't already been made obvious. But instead of writing another emotional post about why I'm against it, I wanted to share what a couple of other people have written.

First, the ever articulate WeeMo has listed her eight reasons to vote no on Prop 8. This is an excellent and very logical read. It's worth checking out, especially those of you who plan to vote yes. (I also stole the above graphic from WeeMo - thank you very much. :)

Second, I found this, and I think it is also a very compelling argument:

8 reasons I oppose Proposition 8 – by Rev.
Molly Vetter, First United Methodist Church, San Diego

On our November ballot here in California, we will be asked whether we support a proposition that would remove the right of same-sex couples to enter into legal marriage. As a heterosexual, married, Christian woman, I oppose this proposition for many reasons. Whether you agree with me or not, I would be honored if you'd consider these 8 reasons why I'm voting against it. In my mind, any one of them is enough reason to vote against this proposal.

1. This is a matter of legal rights, not a referendum on how religious people should interpret marriage. As a part of a nation built on ideals like justice and equality, I see no reason to restrict the legal rights of people to enter into the marriage contract with one another. I would like to live in a California that affords rights, not one that adds clauses into its Constitution to deny them.

2. This proposition has nothing to do with the rights of homosexual people to have children. Regardless of marital status, gay and lesbian people are already raising children. I would contend that it does our society good to have children being raised by people who are married--that the commitments made in marriage tend to help create home environments that are more stable, especially because of the way the community beyond the couple understands what it means to be married. Allowing same-sex couples to continue to marry in California will give greater stability to families, not less.

3. Heterosexual marriage does not need protection from same-sex marriage. I do believe that heterosexual marriage needs work in our culture--too many marriages end in divorce. It is a challenge to succeed in marriage--I struggle with the difficulty of separation during deployment, with my own independence, and much more. My marriage is not, however, threatened by the marriages of same-gender couples.

I wonder what we believe we're protecting marriage from?

4. Our understanding of marriage, in the church and under the law, has been continuously evolving. I celebrate that, as a woman, I enjoy rights to choose my own spouse (as well as the right to choose not to have a spouse and still own property) that have not always been available to women--certainly not always in our biblical tradition. I also celebrate that marriage does not exist only for the purpose of having children. I give thanks for the love shared between couples that have chosen not to have children, and between couples that have been unable to have children. I delight in couples far beyond their child-bearing years who are able to marry. There is not an unchanged understanding of marriage stretching back through the Bible, nor through our nation's history. The Supreme Court's decision to extend the rights of marriage to same-sex couples is another change in this evolving history. There is no one "original" understanding of marriage that we can preserve.

5. I have been blessed and enriched by same-gendered couples. Both as domestic partners and as married couples, they have shown me what mutually-life-giving, committed relationships can look like. Often persevering through immense challenges, they have demonstrated how married couples can care for each other and strengthen one another. These couples have been a blessing to our communities, too. I welcome ways that we can do more to honor committed relationships and let them be an asset to our communities.

6. Opposing this proposition does not mean that clergy are required to perform same-sex marriages. As a pastor, I always have the right to refuse to marry a couple. Opposing the proposition does not compel churches to change their definitions of marriage. Already, many churches have requirements for marriage in that church--such as requiring both spouses to be members of the church. Churches can continue to define their own rules for marriage, even without this proposition.

7. This restriction of rights does not belong in our Constitution. In my mind, a Constitution exists to provide rights, not take them away.

8. I am bothered by the fear-inducing tactics used by supporters of Proposition 8. The Gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we move past our fears to dare to include more of the world in God's love. I refuse to be convinced to restrict legal rights to members of our community because I am afraid. I do believe that there is real evil in the world, and that this campaign is distracting us from work is necessary for God's kingdom. Over and over, Jesus commanded us to care for the poor. Never once did Jesus speak about same-sex marriage. Proponents of this initiative are asking us to be afraid of the wrong thing. We have a lot of work to do if we want to follow Christ's example of love for our neighbors. This Proposition will not help us in that work.

These two ladies said it better than I ever could.

If you are planning on voting yes on Prop 8, please remember that it does not matter why you're doing it, only that the end result will be the denial of rights of a group of people who have done no harm to others. No matter how you justify it, this is never okay.

No on H8!


WeezerMonkey said...

I am flattered to have been linked!

I got my MLK No on 8 banner from here. There are a bunch of good banners in all different shapes and sizes!

Angie Eats Peace said...

Loves it. All of it.

phairhead said...

it's scarey that there are people out there right now that want to vote "Yes" on prop 8. WTF?