Five things you probably didn’t know about Proposition 8

On February 7, 2012, two out of three judges from the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. If you live in California, you are all too familiar with Prop 8, as it has been through many legal battles for the past four years when it passed by a slim margin, taking away the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples. What I have seen time and time again which has bothered me greatly is the misconception that gay and lesbian couples already have all of the rights of marriage (other than the name) due to domestic partnership and civil union laws. This is simply a lie believed by so many, consequently suppressing the importance of how vital marriage rights are in the country. Now that the supporters of Prop 8 (who want to be sure that marriage rights are never given to gays and lesbians) lost this battle, they pledge to appeal the decision and take it to a higher court, most likely the U.S. Supreme Court. In this process which will likely take several more years, the Judges at the 9th Circuit court put a stay on any new marriages for gay couples. This means that although same-sex marriage is now legal in California, gays and lesbians can NOT marry until they work this mess out. Below is a summary of misconceptions and things you may not know about Prop 8 that give a strong argument against it.

COMMON PROP 8 MISCONCEPTIONS

1. FALSE: Prop 8 took away ONE right from gays and lesbians. More than 1,049 legal rights are conferred upon heterosexual married couples in the United States. Therefore, supporters of Prop 8 have TAKEN AWAY ONE THOUSAND FOURTY NINE RIGHTS from a group of minority tax-paying United State citizens.

2. FALSE: Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are the same as  gay marriage, minus the name. Civil Unions exist in only a handful of places such as Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut. California and Oregon have domestic partnership laws that offer some of the same rights as civil unions, but it is vastly different from heterosexual marriage. Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are nearly the same as marriage for heterosexual couples, but NOT gay and lesbian couples. This is because most of the rights given at the Federal level for marriage are NOT included in Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships for gay couples. There are only several hundred rights that are recognized at the state level, compared to the majority of rights that are unrecognized. Why are marriage rights not given to gays and lesbians within civil unions and domestic partnerships? Even when gay marriage was legal and practiced in California, there were still hundreds of rights not given to gay married couples that are given to heterosexual married couples. The culprit is the Defense of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A) which was instated by former President Clinton on September 21, 1996. In summary, D.O.M.A states that marriage is to be recognized only between a man and a woman at the Federal level. Although states are given the authority to allow same-gender marriage, the union is only recognized at a state level and all Federal benefits are forfeited. Here are a list of just 25 rights that Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships DO NOT allow (Note that this is not a full list, as there are hundreds upon hundreds more rights not given to same-sex domestic partners and same-sex civil unions):

1.    Joint parental rights of children

2.    Joint adoption

3.    Status as “next-of-kin” for hospital visits and medical decisions

4.    Right to make a decision about the disposal of loved ones remains

5.    Immigration and residency for partners from other countries

6.    Crime victims recovery benefits

7.    Domestic violence protection orders

8.    Judicial protections and immunity

9.    Automatic inheritance in the absence of a will

10.             Public safety officers death benefits

11.             Spousal veterans benefits

12.             Social Security

13.             Medicare

14.             Joint filing of tax returns (state joint filing is audited against the unrecognized federal)

15.             Wrongful death benefits for surviving partner and children

16.             Bereavement or sick leave to care for partner or children

17.             Child support

18.             Joint Insurance Plans

19.             Tax credits including: Child tax credit, Hope and lifetime learning credits

20.             Deferred Compensation for pension and IRAs

21.             Estate and gift tax benefits

22.             Welfare and public assistance

23.             Joint housing for elderly

24.             Credit protection

25.             Medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans

3. FALSE: Proposition 8 is only important in California. This is not just a state issue. The United States Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause forbids taking away rights and privileges from any citizen. By taking away the right for same-sex couples to marry is taking away rights from one particular group of people which is unconstitutional. Because same-sex marriage is only recognized in a small handful of states, the majority of the United States is denying its citizens of rights which is wrong and should be corrected just as history has done in the past with interracial marriage. We are all citizens and should be seen as equal.

4. FALSE: Prop 8 only violates the California state constitution. The basic argument for same-sex marriage is outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment to the UNITED STATES Constitution (not just State constitution!): 14th Amendment, Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. PROP 8 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT TOOK AWAY FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT(S) FROM A SPECIFIC GROUP OF PEOPLE (gays/lesbians.)

5. FALSE: The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin, therefore marriage must be kept between a man and a woman. It is no secret that the reason that most Americans are against same-sex marriage is because of what the Bible appears to say about homosexuality. What most Christians are unaware of is that there are a growing number of theologians that have unveiled the original old awareness into these passages that reveal that these verses were speaking directly of male-to-male prostitution, male-to-male rape, and male-to-male sex in idol worship rituals. In this context, we see that the Bible is not condemning all gays and lesbians as a whole, but condemning certain acts within homosexuality. Just as the Bible condemns heterosexual adultery and prostitution, it does not condemn all heterosexuals. For an in depth study on these passages, please visit: http://turn.to/gaychristians

BONUS INFO

TRUTH: New data suggests that same-sex marriage is good for the economy. CBS reported that gay weddings would create thousands of new jobs, increase state tourism, and help the state tax revenue. Read more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/09/national/main4167209.shtml

TRUTH: Studies show that states that allow same-sex marriage have LOWER divorce rates. This is probably due to the fact that gay and lesbian couples who commit to marriage value marriage more than some of their heterosexual counterparts. When a right is taken from you or does not exist to begin with, when one receives that right, they hold it with more value. Read more here: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/07/06/divorce-rates-lower-in-states-with-same-sex-marriage

In closing, I am urging education to those who are unaware that civil unions and domestic partnerships fall majorly short of marriage. These rights that are not given to gay couples are a clear indication of discrimination of a class of individuals. Remember that 1,049 rights are not given to gay couples due to the inability to marry. Voters of Prop 8 did not just take away one right, but over a thousand rights. Please pass this information on to others.

I am happy to report that as of June 26, 2013, this is old news. DOMA and Prop 8 are no more… Check out these news videos.

About moanti (moe·on·tee)

My main mission of this blog is to demystify the confusion of “homosexuality” in the Bible and let the rarely heard alternative perspective be known. I also aspire to spread the loving Word of Christ to the gay and lesbian community who feel left out due to our society. I have extraordinary compassion for gays and lesbians who have struggled with religious persecution, but hope that they can come to know God as loving rather than run from Him forever due to a group of naïve heterosexual Christians who discriminated against them. I want to bridge the gap of these two groups with knowledge! If only I had a bigger podium to accomplish this… Please spread the word. Thank you and happy reading! https://moanti.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/gaychristians/
This entry was posted in Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, News, Politics, Prop 8 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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