It’s been 4 days since Californians voted to deny rights to a certain minority of its population. Let’s look at a few of the arguments against gay marriage:

  • It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.
  • This argument was loud and clear in a TV ad that depicted a child showing the children’s book “King and King” to her mother. The mother of course was absolutely aghast. The ad then threatened that passing Proposition 8 would prevent such dire consequences. This was countered with an ad in which our Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell publicly stated this would not happen. Clearly, since almost everyone in CA came out of the CA public school system, we should all know how it works, and which of these two scenarios is the more believable. In actuality, the CA public education system never actually teaches anyone about its own organization; So we’ve all graduated without any knowledge about the system itself.

    So, lets look at the law, CA Education Code Section 51933:

    • (b) A school district that elects to offer comprehensive sexual health education pursuant to subdivision (a), whether taught by school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all of the following criteria:
      • (7) Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.

    So clearly issues regarding marriage will be mentioned in class, and CA schools will be obligated to mention that gay marriage is legal within the state. We also have code 51932, which reads

    • (a) This chapter does not apply to description or illustration of human reproductive organs that may appear in a textbook, adopted pursuant to law, on physiology, biology, zoology, general science, personal hygiene, or health.
    • (b) This chapter does not apply to instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions.

    Which means that sexual education materials must be non-discriminatory, and thus corroborates that gay marriage will be taught in schools.

    But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here, the education code still might not require that a child learn about gay marriage, because parents are allowed to remove children from school regarding certain types of education. Codes 51937-51939 which provide notice and parental consent regarding “comprehensive sexual health education1, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and assessments related to that education” in order that parents can remove their child from such education are unfortunately too specific. That is, parents are not required to receive notice about materials regarding marriage, nor would they be able to pull their child from school2. (although any local school could certainly inform parents during a PTA meeting, and simply look the other way when a child is absent)

    So I have to counter this with an open question: What is so bad about a kid learning that CA approves gay marriage? To do otherwise would deny them knowledge of the fact that gay couples do get married. Besides which, fact-based education isn’t the same as an endorsement. Besides, CA allows gay couples to adopt children; so learning about gay marriage doesn’t harm children at all. No credible study has ever found that children are negatively impacted by being raised in a lesbian or gay household.

  • All major world religions and civilizations have historically condemned the practice of homosexuality.
  • First, anyone remember the Greeks and Romans? what about Hindu and Chinese art that depicts homosexuality? We don’t have universal historical condemnation of the practice. But even if we did, that wouldn’t necessarily make it wrong. Inter-racial marriage was condemned for a long time, but is completely accepted practice now. It’s time to grow up.

  • Being gay is a choice.
  • Really, and I suppose that you are in full logical control of your attractions? That you are fully conscious and aware of the reasons for your attraction? That you’ve never questioned why you felt an attraction? or felt that your attraction was illogical? People don’t really choose who or what they are attracted to, it’s something that strikes them from within, that doesn’t follow the laws of society or rationality. We don’t choose who we are attracted to or why; we only rationalize it after the fact. For many people, being gay isn’t a choice, it’s the nature of their life.

  • Homosexuality is a crime against nature.
  • This argument actually dates way back, at least all the way to Plato. See the previous blurb about choice. Or look at all the documented cases of homosexuality in nature, in zoos, and among monogamous animals. The fruit fly has a gene that practically guarantees strict homosexual mating practices.

  • Homosexuality is dangerous. (Religious)
  • This argument can get very interesting: Supposing you believe in an omnipotent deity that dislikes homosexual practices, and has been known to destroy entire cities for committing such sins. Then you could reasonably argue that allowing such practices endangers society. But it simply doesn’t hold up to the historical record. People have been gay (and practicing) since before Plato; What happens between conscenting adults won’t bring down the apocalypse. (Or that would have happened already, your deity has had plenty of time and opportunity.)
    As an aside, a variant of this argument was used to persecute christians during the Roman Empire because they refused to make sacrifices to a certain pagan god, and thus endangered the city.

  • Homosexuality is dangerous. (Secular)
  • Because of the dysfunctional, unhealthy and changeable nature of homosexuality, legitimizing it as “marriage” constitutes irresponsible and reckless public policy that endangers the future of our children and grandchildren. But I disagree. Driving a car is a reckless act of self-endangerment, yet completely legal (even encouraged). The use of any of a number of household chemicals or cleaners is certainly unhealthy, yet also completely legal (even encouraged through advertisement). Ensuring that people behave in a functional, healthy, responsible manner through the drafting of law nearly always fails. It confuses what is moral and what is legal. There are many behaviors that one might consider immoral (eating horse meat) but that should certainly be legal. Just because your moral code tells you not to do something, doesn’t give you the right to demand the same of everyone else.

  • Legalizing gay marriage will lead to legalizing polygamy or bestiality.
  • Not necessarily, we could easily outlaw marriage between a man and a horse, and simply stick with defining it as being between two people. Canada legalized same-sex marriage, and they aren’t having a sudden outbreak of polygamy or polyandry, nor has the country gotten appreciably hotter (gone to hell).

  • But defining marriage doesn’t take away their rights.
  • Firstly, Separate but equal is not equal. Though, I would actually love for CA to complete remove all references to marriage from all of its current legal code and replaces it with the term ‘civil union’, and then make some small change that grandfathers previous marriages to be civil unions, and out-of-state marriages to be CA civil unions. Then the religious conservatives can have their precious marriage. This is not a workable solution.

    CA has a code3 that converts valid marriages in other states into valid marriages in CA. I’m sure that many other states have similar codes. I’m also sure that other states have no such clauses regarding what would become a CA civil union. So, no couples leaving CA under this proposed change would be recognized in other states; and there’s nothing that CA can do about it. For largely historical reasons, the term marriage is in the legal codes, both in CA and elsewhere. Thus, for practical reasons, this forces CA to extend marriage to its homosexual citizens, and not to declare everyone as having a civil union.

  • It Preserves Traditional Marriage
  • Ok. Then we should support arranged marriage? Or disallow divorce? Tradition isn’t always right, sometimes we need to move on.

  • Marriage is for Procreation, not Recreation
  • This argument is found in The Somerville Paper. It argues that �Through marriage our society marks out the relationship of two people who will together transmit human life to the next generation� and further argues that marriage �is not a recognition of the relationship just for its own sake or for the sake of the partners to the marriage�. These are not necessarily true statements. We already allow infertile couples to marry, and the principle reason that people get married is because they love each other, not because they want society to continue, or because they get a tax break. Marriage is about having a long-term loving and stable relationship with another person; it’s not about gender, and it’s not about procreation. [it actually the other way ’round: all the laws regarding marriage are actually cruft that lets society recognize/endorse the pair bonding]

Marriage should be what brings us together today. It shouldn’t separate us. It should be about true love.

This issue is really one about civil rights. Homosexuals are being denied their civil rights, as were blacks, women, and inter-racial couples before them. Having the progressive state of CA deny marriage to homosexuals, feels like being stabbed in the heart. I expected more from my state of California. The U.S. expected more from California.

  1. CA education code 51931 (b) “Comprehensive sexual health education” means education
    regarding human development and sexuality, including education on pregnancy, family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  2. one of these days I’ll write something about how mandatory education is wrong. Principally, it’s because of issues like the current one only arise in massively coercive systems.
  3. CA Family Code 308. A marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in this state.