Californians: Vote NO on Prop 8

Proposition 8 and the people who support it disgust me. Want to know why? Replace every instance of “same-sex marriage” with “interracial marriage” and see how bigoted and discriminatory it is.

Here, these guys have done it for you:

I can’t believe it’s 2008, and this is still an issue. Contrary to the lies spread by its supporters, Proposition 8 is not about education, it’s not about forcing anything onto churches, and it’s not about protecting anything. It’s nothing but hate and discrimination, and it’s wrong. If you’re a fellow Californian, please vote no on proposition 8 tomorrow. In polling, it’s very close right now, and every vote is going to count.

ETA: If I wasn’t clear enough, reader swordman69 makes it crystal clear: “One thing to remember, voting NO changes nothing. It doesn’t affect a single thing. Only a yes vote changes what is currently legal here in California. Do we teach same-sex marriage in schools now? NO. Is it affecting you in any way now, NO. Only a yes vote changes anything. A Yes vote puts discrimination into our state constitution.”

86 thoughts on “Californians: Vote NO on Prop 8”

  1. I have a terrible, nagging fear that it’s going to pass, mostly because Stupid tends to outnumber Sensible, and if there’s anything that this campaign season has shown us, it’s that there’s a whole crapload of Stupid out there to contend with.
    I would love, love, love to be proven wrong on this one.

  2. @josh_crowder: I’m not LDS, nor is my sister. I didn’t ask to get married to my husband (I’m female) under LDS rules, and my sister wouldn’t ask to get married to her female partner under LDS rules. You’re safe from us. We won’t try to change your rules for your own families.
    Everyone else:
    There’s a livejournal community with lots and lots of good information about why same-sex marriage is good for society and why banning it is bad for children, posts (videos, articles, information) have been accumulating there for awhile. If you haven’t voted yet and you’re in a state that’s considering banning same-sex marriage, please have a look:
    http://community.livejournal.com/no_on_prop_8/
    Family values are right here:
    http://tenacious-snail.livejournal.com/566853.html
    I can think of absolutely NO good reason why I should be able to marry one person and not another simply because of that person’s genitals. We don’t look down someone’s pants these days when deciding whether they can be president, be a doctor, be a teacher, or operate a tugboat. Why should we use that criterion when deciding whom they can marry?

  3. To Josh Chowder,
    The church in which I was raised taught that God loved everyone and Jesus died for all of our sins.
    You reference words written by the leaders of your church as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage. You are confusing human interpretation of the scripture with the true gospel. There are fewer references to same-sex relationships in the Bible than there are to the support of slavery and many other practices that are now considered unacceptable.
    The LDS no longer permits polygamy. The United States has outlawed slavery. Most churches now recognize divorce.
    As society evolves and we discover new truths, our thinking evolves. Being LGBT is not a choice. I was born gay. This fact was not known when humans wrote our many books of worship.
    Religious philosophy related to same-sex unions is antiquated, just as it was relative to divorce until recently. Laws that discriminate against same-sex partners are antiquated, just like the laws that did not allow interracial marriages until just a few decades ago.
    IMHO the religious leaders should focus on a message of love, respect, and inclusiveness. There is no law that exists that requires a church to perform a religious ceremony for same-sex couples (or for any couple), nor will there ever be. The separation of church and state is central to the way that our forefathers structured or great country. Lets keep it that way.
    The deception that many churches perpetuate by saying that a law will require them to perform a ceremony is sad. The hatred that is spread by many religious leaders is unchristian. Jesus never once preached hatred towards anyone. Why do religious leaders of today preach hatred against the LGBT community and same-sex marriages?
    I pray that God will forgive your sins of hatred and discrimination.
    In Peace,
    Chad Morrison
    Clifton Park, NY

  4. Mr. Wheaton once again you impress me. I loved the YouTube Mashup and I am very happy that you see Prop 8 for what it really is.
    I no longer live in California (partner and I moved to NC to be closer to his family) but this Prop hurts and I just want to thank you for you support.
    I posted a no on 8 on my blog. My partner had said the best thing to me that morning when I was writing it – Bear, my partner of eight years, just had this to say about this issue: “The states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc didn’t want to end segregation but the courts stepped in and made it happen because it was the right thing to do.”
    You read the entire post at http://www.shaggylogic.net/2008/09/not-too-long-ago-i-wrote-that-i-dont.html
    Just want to let you know Wesley Crusher Rocks! You Rock! And Criminal Minds Episode was the best one I ever saw. You definitely freaked me out – you totally rock!!
    Love and Hugs Man,
    Jake

  5. Anyone notice today the plethora of Yes on 8 ads across ordinarily apolitical websites that cater to a certain younger voting demographic?
    Sites like Blank Label Comics, PVPOnline, among others all ran Pro-Prop-8 ads this morning via Project Wonderful. He professed a neutral political stance, but it’s still disappointing to see the ad everywhere…
    Howard Tayler of Blank Label Comics corresponded with me when I expressed my dismay and was very polite and communicative:
    “One challenge with this particular campaign is that the advertisers sprung it on us overnight. Had we been given any opportunity to vet the ads some of us likely would have chosen not to run it (and we then would have pulled it network-wide.) Unfortunately this was a flash-in-the-pan thing, and by the time anybody complained (and many webcomickers did) the ads had already run their course on our Monday morning traffic.” — Howard Tayler
    I wonder how many other people are aware of the ads that they’re approving?

  6. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the “Racial Integrity Act of 1924″, unconstitutional, thereby ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
    On June 12, 2007, Mildred Loving issued a rare public statement prepared for delivery on the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision of the US Supreme Court, which commented on same-sex marriage. The concluding paragraphs of her statement read as follows:
    “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
    “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

  7. If Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank have their way, Prop8 won’t matter, because they’ll override it by defeating the Federal Marriage Protection Act. Soon after that, clergy WILL be stripped of the right to marry, because they refuse to officiate in same-sex marriage ceremonies, as there won’t be a Religious exemption. Religious liberties and free speech will take a dramatic step backwards in favor of legislation that is designed to be supportive and inclusive of less than 2% of the population.

  8. I’m not a Californian, but this issue is very personal to me.This will sound hokey and melodramatic, but it needs to be said.
    If same sex marriage (and all the rights that go with it) existed when i was younger and struggling with being gay, i would lead a very different life now. I truly believed, back in the early 90’s as a teen that there would be no marriage, no children, no future like what i hoped for, if i lived an openly gay life. And so i denied it. I got married, to a man who is emotionally and verbally abusive and cruel. I tried like hell to be “normal” and nearly died trying. And now, 10 years and 2 kids later, i have to find a way to start over and start living.
    I don’t wish that experience on anyone. No on 8 will not change anything currently law. But it can save a LOT of people from doing what i did, and then spending the rest of their life wondering “what if”, or worse NOT getting to have a “rest of their life” GLBT suicides are disturbingly high.

  9. I can’t believe that people are still using the argument that allowing gay marriage will somehow undermine marriages held by straight couples. Or their assertion that gay orientation is an indulgent (and apparently extremely seductive) personal choice as outlined by my local LDS church and its adherence in my neighborhood.
    Here in AZ, people are once again trying to pass a one man one woman marriage bill, which we rejected a few years back.
    The text of the proponent’s arguments in the voting information booklet states that straight marriage is the foundation of our suburban communities and without it, our suburban landscape would consist primarily of abandoned houses.
    It’s as if they think that if gay marriage is legal, then the majority of straight marriages will be abandoned as men & women rush off to make the, apparently, highly enticing choice of gay marriage. -Resulting in a sudden cessation of births.
    I just don’t see this as realistic. The majority of gays living in states where marriage isn’t legal for them aren’t in traditional marriages with a partner of the opposite gender -they are living alone or cohabiting with a life partner who would like to be their spouse.
    And, reproduction is a choice made by men and women for a variety of reasons. I am a straight married woman who is very, very happy to not have any kids. Reproducing never was and never will be the focus of my relationship with my husband. -And, worrying about making sure that every family has kids is not only invasive but a pretty backwards activity in an overpopulated world facing food and fuel shortages.
    This issue is a simple civil rights issue. Marriage laws affect who is considered a person’s next of kin for a whole host of legal issues such as medical care, inheritance law, and power of attorney. Right now, unsympathetic and outright hostile family members have more rights as next of kin than loyal and faithful life partners, and that is simply wrong.

  10. Josh, it’s only wrong if your church is correct. Your book is wrong because of three things, there were no chariots, wheels used as anything other than toys and horses in South America prior to the arrival of the Spanish, all part of the Book of Mormon.
    Your church used to say that neither blacks or American Indians could be members of the church but a “revelation from God” changed that. It used to be that polygamy was an accepted church practice for good Mormons. The United States government changed that by declaring that either you gave up polygamy or gave up being a state. The church leaders received a “revelation from god” and no more polygamy. Too bad the church president isn’t gay. I’m sure that a “revelation from god” would come down making it okay with the church.
    As Robert Heinlein said in “Time enough for Love”, what a person does with their plumbing is their business. Having two people of the same gender getting married doesn’t affect relationships, divorce does. Do you want to fix marriages? Don’t outlaw gay marriage, outlaw divorce. No divorce means no more breakup of families, except by death. Do you want to bet that the death rate would take a huge climb?
    Josh, and all the other religious types, get off your high horse about what your god(s) tell you and let people have the right to live their lives. Or are you willing to tell some gay person that their marriage is a sham and their children their parents aren’t married anymore?
    BTW, being in a hetrosexual relationship still means that my girlfriend and I are voting NO on 8.

  11. Thank you, Wil. I am a lifelong Catholic and have been married for 10 years and this proposition is ridiculous. The fact that the YES folks are calling this the “Protect Marriage” act is stupid.
    I don’t need anyone to protect my marriage, but my wife and I. I feel that everyone should have the right to practice their own religion, but we should not be adding bigotry and discrimination to our state constitution.
    NO ON 8! Please vote…

  12. A Yes on 8 fellow called tonight. I was glad it was a person and not a spambot call, for it gave me the opportunity to actually talk to him.
    The first thing I asked him was if he was married. When he said ‘Yes’, the second thing I asked him was “On June 11, did you suddenly love your wife less?” Of course he said “no.” I then asked him if he suddenly felt like cheating on her. Naturally, he said “no.” Then I asked if he suddenly saw a higher divorce rate, or spousal abuse, etc. Naturally, he said “no.”
    I’ve been asking – nay *pleading* for anyone to give me some logical, undeniable proof that Gay Marriage has (or could) in any way hurt marriage in general. Ever since the detestable Prop 22 surfaced, have I asked for any possible proof of some damaging aspect of Gay Marriage. Does such a problem exist???
    Naturally, the answer is “no.”

  13. You have no idea how much it has always meant to me and no doubt many other gay fans that you have always been so outspoken on the issue of gay rights.
    You espouse a lot of political views that many liberals or progressives can get behind, but this is still an issue that many people still cannot, for whatever reason, come to terms with. As someone with a following, you do set an example and who knows, you might even succeed in challenging some of your fans and readers to think again about their own biases and fears.
    I’ve been in healthy, stable, and loving relationship with my partner for seven years now (we have all of our straight friends beat out) and it saddens me to no end that people still have so many misconceptions and unwarranted fears about homosexuality. The worst part is that they have no idea that they are helping to perpetuate a situation in which homosexuality is something that happens in the shadows. As long as gay lifestyles are discriminated against and relegated to the edges of society it will always be difficult to just be gay and have a “normal” relationship over longer periods of time. Relationships need support to succeed. Support from friends. Support from families. And yes, even support from your society.

  14. Regardless of my personal religious beliefs, I’m pretty sure Prop 8 is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution, and those grounds alone should be sufficient to vote NO. That’s why I voted no on Amendment 2 in Florida.
    The Constitution is supposed to protect the rights of all Americans, not just those who agree with me.

  15. *standing ovation!*
    That has made my day! I know a lot of people hate Prop 8, but so often all I hear is pro Prop 8 (wow, that’s an awkward sentence!) I wish I were American so I could vote. (my partner is and has voted). I dream of the day that America has the same rights as gay couples do in the UK, then I could marry my homesick girlfriend, and she could go home to sunny Cali.

  16. Sorry builder, already did my early voting. Voting NO on 8 was very satisfying! So was donating more money than I could afford to fighting it.

  17. Thanks Will!
    I too am married to another man, one I’ve loved for 12 years. I’m a Chicagoan, and was happy when Mayor Daley said that the reason marriage as an institution was deteriorating… was because people got divorced. Gays have nothing to do with it.
    If marriage is a weakening institution, what would help it survive? Denying it to people who want it? The people who’ve been told they can’t have it, and who keep fighting to get it because it is so important to them?
    That’s like saying medical and psychological schools should -not- train people who want to be healers. They’ll destroy the profession. Our cities should -not- hire police officers who want to uphold the law. It’s the only way to protect justice.
    Maybe churches should -not- enroll members who believe in God. It’s the only way to protect religion.

  18. I’m glad to see so many readers coming out in support of equality and civil rights. After all the wingnuts spewing their lunacy in the post immedately after this one, it’s a nice change.
    Josh Crowder, I totally disagree with you, but I have a lot of respect for anyone who can express a very unpopular opinion at a time and in a place where you’re likely to really hear it from the other side.
    I think you’re horribly misguided, and I sincerely hope that you’ll reconsider the propriety of imposing your religious views on those who don’t share them, but I appreciate that you expressed yourself and stated your case politely and without resorting to childish behavior.

  19. People who are voting yes on 8 simply aren’t following Wil’s mantra.
    I’d vote no on 8 if I were given the option; alas, WA has a decade-old DOMA. Despite that, municipal governments in the Seattle metro core have been increasingly expanding DP benefits.

  20. The thing people should remember, is that this isn’t about whether or not you believe gay marriage is morally wrong. You are free to believe that if you want, teach it to your children, hand out flyers about it, whatever.
    What this is about is whether YOUR belief should be forced on other people. Our country was founded on the separation of church and state and this issue threatens that when people are urged to vote for religious reasons.
    If you think it’s wrong, then don’t do it yourself. But don’t thrust your religious beliefs on the rest of us, thank you.

  21. Thanks for these videos, Wil. I would of course vote NO on Prop 8 if I were a Californian and it’s not like I need those videos to convince me that the “logic” of arguing against state same sex marriage is faulty but it’s always sobering to remind myself and others that if it were 1958 instead of 2008 my husband and I would not have been allowed to get married, whether by enforced law or social mores. I like to repeat this piece of knowledge to my conservative colleagues, especially the ones who attended my wedding, to try to get them to realize how discriminatory propositions like Prop 8 are. It probably doesn’t change their minds but reminding them that the rhetoric used to ban same sex marriage sounds an awful lot like the rhetoric that was used to ban interracial marriage and would they like to look me in the eye and tell me that I shouldn’t be allowed to marry my awesome husband just because he’s white and I’m not shuts them up really quickly.

  22. @Alan,
    We agree, I think. When I say “The civil union component of marriage is all we should look to government to facilitate…,” that’s just my way of saying, “in the eyes of the law, the “civil union component” of marriage is labelled “marriage”. There is nothing else legally.” (your words) It’s the official stamp on what is and isn’t sacred, and the government endorsement of some sexual relationships and refusal to endorse other consensual sexual relationships that I’m taking issue with. It’s none of any government’s business, and if voters or officials can’t separate the religious/cultural definition of marriage from the legal definition, then the government shouldn’t use the word at all, for anyone.
    To be clear, I’m saying heterosexuals and homosexuals should have exactly the same rights. I’m just saying an emotionally charged word with religious connotations may be unneccessarily getting in the way of that, so maybe government shouldn’t use it at all. As a Bill Maher type agnostic, I think religious connotations inject a note of the irrational into our politics.

  23. @ RockyMtnRick: As a Christian, I agree with your solution. I have no problem with a two ceremony system, and rather like the idea the more I think on it. Unfortunately, someone else in here has pointed out that all of the pertinent laws specify “marriage” in their language, and as far as I know, it would take more laws to change those to reflect any new system. So we are probably stuck with the language issue, because the churches will definitely NOT call it something else.
    Someone else (I lost the first edition of this comment when I went looking for them, sorry!) said that voting No would not mean that churches would be forced to perform ceremonies. That’s true, but not what the video claimed. The video claimed that churches would be forced to rent out their facilities to same-sex ceremonies just like they would for anyone else. Since they do often rent out facilities to non-church-members, this probably would happen, and would be just as abhorrent to them. And there already is a case where a wedding photographer was sued because they said they would not photograph a same-sex ceremony- never mind that there are many other photographers out there and that this refusal came out of an inquiry from their website (no money involved, just an “are you available for this date?” inquiry).
    So, yes, the Christians who feel they should be discriminatory in what activities they support have something to worry about with this. Christians have enjoyed a lot of perks in this country, and I think we generally feel they are our rights under religious freedom laws- even when the perks don’t have a lot to do with religious freedom. Anything that interferes with this or takes a path that is encouraging to anything mainstream Christianity finds anathema is going to worry the Christians and they will fight it with… religious fervor. ;)
    For the record, I am nowhere near California, and did my part to help Obama win a normally Red state last week. My only issue with this Prop 8 thing is the possibility that more business owners would be forced to do business they would otherwise refuse.
    Here are links about the case from gay, anti-gay, and blogging perspectives respectively:
    http://www.gomag.com/news/antigay_photographer_appe/
    http://www.alliancealert.org/2008/07/01/adf-files-suit-disputing-nm-commissions-ruling-against-christian-photographer/
    http://forthardknox.com/2008/04/10/do-photographers-have-constitutional-rights-no-says-new-mexico/
    http://volokh.com/posts/1207764182.shtml
    This last one is good, it actually links to court documents. :)

  24. Wil, I’m glad you’re not a dick. I’m about to leave for the Obama rally in Chicago. Let’s hope today is the start of a national sea change toward rational civility.

  25. According to cnn.com it looks like Prop 8 will narrowly pass. To be (more) clear, I would have voted against it, had I been a Californian. Narrow-minded ballot measures that endanger civil rights might be less of a problem, though, if you started with a better separation of church and state: “the State of California will no longer print the words, ‘Marriage Certificate.’ For anyone. Whether or not you want to call your union a ‘marriage’ is a religious and cultural question, so it’s up to you. We in your government are not in the business of addressing the ‘sanctity’ of anything.”
    Then, when it sinks in that all that’s at issue is the civil rights addressed in a civil union–same thing available to anyone–the yahoos will have less to screech about. That’s how I think it might play out, anyway.
    Morally, I think every church, family, circle of friends, etc., should acknowlege gay marriage, but there may be too many zealots out there to allow for codification of that.

  26. Great post Wil, thanks for writing about this. As I read these comments (and still hope the final count will come out with a No) I had a thought about all these “Our kids will have to learn about gay people!” crap.
    Don’t kids learn about the constitution in school? If this prop passes, the state constitution will include an amendment banning same sex marriage. That kids will have to learn about in school. Parents will have to explain to their children not only what that means, but why it is ok to discriminate against a class of people in that way. While still, probably, hoping to teach them that they shouldn’t go through life discriminating against random groups of people.
    I’m not a parent yet, but I certainly wouldn’t want to explain that contradiction to my child. At least I’ll be able to say I voted against it.

  27. Wil,
    I hope you’ll let me share my not-nearly-as-well-written-as-anything-you’d-write blog post about how ashamed I am to be a Californian today. If you’d rather delete this comment, feel free. http://tinyurl.com/5r8jgo
    Thanks for your support of killing Prop 8 Wil, we shall not go down without a fight!

  28. A society has every right to determine where the lines are on this. We do it all of the time. Please don’t make it into an equality or fairness issue because it is not. The lines are not blurred, like some would like us to think, they are solid lines. Let’s see:
    You can’t marry more than one woman or man (polygamy), you can’t marry someone under the age of 18 (unless a judge says you can) you can’t marry a first or second cousin (society has determined that 3rd cousin is okay) you can’t marry a sibling, you can’t marry an animal (there are groups who want to) etc.
    Society has drawn these lines. They are not unfair and enforcing these rules does not make us a bad or uncaring society. We aren’t reinventing the wheel here, most (if not all) civilized societies have maintained that a marriage is between one man and one woman. Also, to those who want to continue to fight against what Californians have time and time again voted for, I would ask how you would feel if the votes had went the other way. Would you be questioning the validity of the vote? or would you accept the vote and begin living with it. I think, if you are honest about it, you know that your answer would be that the people had spoken and WE should live with it.

  29. As a bisexual woman in Florida (Amendment 2 down here), I’ve been taking the time to say thank you to all the supporters of “Vote No on 8″ and “Vote No on 2″. Even though we lost the battle, this just makes us more determined to win the war for equality for everyone.

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