November 3, 2008

Prop 8 = "separate but equal" redux

UPDATE: scroll to the bottom for a video where someone did the same thing with a Yes On 8 campaign video.

The following text is from the 2008 California voter guide's arguments for and against Prop 8. Specifically, this is the proposed argument for voting yes on Prop 8; however, I've highlighted certain sections and replaced "gay" or "same-sex" with "interracial" (or otherwise appropriate language).
Edited to add: This is simply to illustrate that this same bill would be overwhelmingly viewed as unjust and wrong if any other minority was inserted in place of "gay". We can see from history that this proposition on its face is wrong.

I am stunned by the widespread support for a bill that would use state law to single out one group of Californians to be treated differently. I'll say it again: it's not about religion, morality, or even gay marriage -- it's about fear.

Give this a read and then try to tell me that passing Prop 8 is the right thing to do:

Proposition 8 is simple and straightforward. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: “Only marriage between a man and a woman of the same race is valid or recognized in California.”

Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to RESTORE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE as a man and a woman of the same race.

Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the interracial lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits of interracial domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this.

YES on Proposition 8 does three simple things:

It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.

It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.

It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “interracial marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.

Proposition 8 protects marriage as an essential institution of society. While death, divorce, or other circumstances may prevent the ideal, the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father of the same race.

The narrow decision of the California Supreme Court isn’t just about “live and let live.” State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code § 51890.) If the interracial marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between interracial marriage and traditional marriage.

We should not accept a court decision that may result in public schools teaching our kids that interracial marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn’t be forced on us against our will.

Some will try to tell you that Proposition 8 takes away legal rights of gay domestic partnerships. That is false. Proposition 8 DOES NOT take away any of those rights and does not interfere with interracial couples living the lifestyle they choose.

However, while interracial couples have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

CALIFORNIANS HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE. If gay activists want to legalize interracial marriage, they should put it on the ballot. Instead, they have gone behind the backs of voters and convinced four activist judges in San Francisco to redefine marriage for the rest of society. That is the wrong approach.

Voting YES on Proposition 8 RESTORES the definition of marriage that was approved by over 61% of voters. Voting YES overturns the decision of four activist judges. Voting YES protects our children.

Please vote YES on Proposition 8 to RESTORE the meaning of marriage.

By the way, this whole "activist judges" thing makes me sick, and I'm so sad that the argument for this proposition hinges on that very phrase. Judges aren't activists. They interpret the law, according to the Constitution. We've seen the judicial system get more and more politicized over the last 30 years, and it's sickening. The fact that Roe v Wade is in jeopardy of being overturned if a Republican is the one who gets to make the appointment is all the proof we need.

Consider this: it was a majority conservative/Republican Supreme Court that ruled on Roe v. Wade. It wasn't a Democrat or Republican wedge issue; it was a Constitutional issue.

I hope and pray that the majority of Californians decide to face the future and not the past. No on Prop 8.

This is a parody of, and response to, the video called "YES on Proposition 8 (Prop 8) your rights".

UPDATE #2: since the wife is a lawyer, I thought some of you might enjoy a trip down memory (err, history) lane.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) - the original "separate but equal" SCOTUS decision

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) - the SCOTUS decision striking down "separate but equal"

UPDATE #3: borrowing a paragraph from Buzz Me ( who said it better than I did.

Notwithstanding the fact that slavery itself was only abolished in this country about 150 years ago and discrimination in all forms is still thriving here, interracial marriage in the United States was still banned in 17 states as late as 1967. That is forty-one years ago. If there were a Proposition 8 41 years ago, Asians, blacks, Samoans, and Hispanics I saw with a Yes on 8 signs this weekend, it would have been about you. Interracial marriage was banned because it was considered unnatural, it was thought to be “against God’s will,” and it constituted illicit sex. Sound familiar?

The America we should be: vote no on Proposition 8

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