Mormon Blog -
Proposition 8 - The “Gettysburg” of the Cultural War
Anthony Celaya
Born & raised in San Mateo, CA. Education: BA Honors Spanish, BYU, cum laude, 1994. JD, BYU Law School, 1999. Family: Married 12/19/96 to Mary Elizabeth Celaya (BA English, BYU '99, having attended school through two pregnancies). 6 children. Hobbies: reading to kids, any physical activity. Berkeley, CA LDS Institute Director and Attorney in Norther California. 
By Anthony Celaya
Published on 10/19/2008
The intent of this outline on the California Constitutional Marriage Amendment is to equip and empower those who revere the family as the sacred, fundamental unit of society so that they can engage articulately and persuasively in the conversation.  Please read the entire document and take any action you deem appropriate.

The intent of this outline on the California Constitutional Marriage Amendment is to equip and empower those who revere the family as the sacred, fundamental unit of society so that they can engage articulately and persuasively in the conversation.  Please read the entire document and take any action you deem appropriate.  “We ignore the complete cultural implications of our faith.  And then we’re shocked by the state of the culture.”  - Charles Colson


There are five sections below.  The first is a summary of the California Marriage Amendment (Proposition 8) and three of the most fundamental arguments for its passage.  The second contains further and more detailed arguments in favor of the amendment.  The third lists common arguments from same-sex marriage proponents as well as suggested rebuttals.  The fourth contains an outline of some of the significant events that have led up to the current marriage plight.  Finally, the fifth section contains a list of must reads, websites, and resources for further research.  Virtually all of the wording is culled from the excellent resources I cite both within and at the end of the document.  For time’s sake, I have almost invariably used the language of the books, interviews, and articles.  Very little is my own except for the passion and the manner of composition. 

To leave comments or engage in dialogue about this outline, please go to the comments area at the end of section 5.  I have also posted an interesting dialogue with a personal friend which you can read.

Section 1 – What Is Proposition 8?
Section 2 – Further Considerations
Section 3 – Rebuttals to Arguments Against Proposition 8
Section 4 – History / Timeline
Section 5 – Further References / Leave Comments

Section 1 – What Is Proposition 8?

Proposition 8 amends the California constitution to affirm that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The wording of the ballot contains the same, simple 14 words that were previously approved by Prop 22 in 2000: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  Now Attorney General Jerry Brown and Secretary of State Debra Bowen have changed the measure to read that Proposition 8 would amend the constitution to “eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.”  This kind of wording shows extreme bias and is obviously a calculated ploy to undermine its passage.  Specifically, the proposed ballot did read “LIMIT ON MARRIAGE – CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT - Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” However, the title of the amendment now reads, “ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY - Changes California constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.  Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  The first line should not be in the title but should be in the “Arguments Against” section since it was not in the proposal that received one million signatures in the first place.  Proponents of Proposition 8 filed a suit to change the wording back to its original, but that failed.  This is a very cynical manipulation of the official ballot pamphlet materials, which state law requires to be impartial and fair.  Long time Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters said Brown’s action was likely done at the behest of the No on Prop 8 campaign, and called it, “…a pretty cynical act.  A referee shouldn't misuse the rules of the game to favor one side over the other. If he does, the outcome will carry an asterisk of illegitimacy.”   There is also bias and contradiction in the ‘fiscal effect’ section.  Voter’s guide.

Three General Arguments in Favor of Proposition 8 (YES! on Prop 8)

 1. Abrogate Judicial Tyranny

 In effect, Proposition 8 simply restores the law that passed in the year 2000 which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.  61% of CA voters approved this law.  Astonishingly, the law was overturned on May 15, 2008 by four activist judges in San Francisco who serve on the California Supreme Court (the vote was 4-3, and both the majority and dissenting opinions can be found here).  This outrageous opinion of a handful of judges should not preempt the will of the majority of the people.  Proposition 8 will restore the people’s will over the judges’ will and ensure that marriage remains what Californians want it to be—the union of a man and a woman.  Rather than taking away rights from gay couples, it restores the long-standing right of the majority of the people to define and preserve the sacred institution of marriage.  While gays have a right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.  If gay activists and liberal judges want to legalize gay marriage, they should put a corresponding measure on the ballot instead of going behind the backs of voters.  President George W. Bush has remarked, “Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges . . . Across the country, [legislatures] are being thwarted by activist judges who are overturning the expressed will of their people.  And these court decisions can have an impact on our whole nation.”  Speech, June 5, 2006

2. Preserve The Institution of Marriage

 The institution of marriage has been the bedrock of civilization for 6,000 years.  Proposition 8 is about preserving that institution; it is not an attack on the gay lifestyle.  It protects marriage from being destroyed.  Despite what the current wording implies, it does not take away rights or benefits from gay or lesbian domestic partners because under Family Code Section 297.5 “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses.  Proposition 8 will not change this.  Rather, Proposition 8 preserves the long-standing, traditional definition of marriage and family which the vast majority of Californians already approved and which is essential to the stability and prosperity of our country.  Homosexual groups (representing less than 3% of the population) do not have the right to define marriage for all society.  There has never been a culture or society that made homosexual marriage part of its family model; and, consequently, no society, at any time, has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex families.

 3. Protect The Children

 Every child needs and deserves both a mother and a father.  Proposition 8 affirms that children are best raised by both a father and a mother and allows government to favor such a union in adoption and other child-related cases.  While death, divorce or other circumstances may prevent the ideal, the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married father and mother who honor marital vows.  Contrarily, same-sex families always deny children either their mother or father, thus they are driven not by the needs of children but by the selfish desires of adults.  On average, when compared with children raised by both parents, children deprived of biological mothers or fathers fare worse in virtually every measure of well-being, including educational attainment, criminal behavior, premarital sexual activity, illegitimate childbearing, poverty, physical health, mental well-being, substance abuse, and physical and sexual abuse.  As marriage goes, so go our children; and with them, the future.  Proposition 8 also protects children from being taught in public schools and other societal forums that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.  State law requires teachers to instruct children as early as kindergarten about marriage (Education Code Section 51890), so if Proposition 8 does not pass, teachers will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.  There is simply no way around this.  History and social science books will be completely rewritten with revisionist and anachronistic perspectives.  This understanding of marriage should not be forced upon children and families against their will.

Section 2 – Further Considerations

Heterosexual marriage is affirmed by nature and the natural law of procreation.  Virtually every culture has affirmed the role of heterosexual marriage.  There is a reason.  It works.  Males and females function together in a particular role that sustains and provides health to the human race.  Men and women are uniquely designed to complement each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Marriage is the means for melding the two sexes into a stronger and more complete whole.  Marriage is also the way societies both protect women from predatory males and socialize men.  People can call anything they want marriage, but they can’t change the structure of reality. One of the centralities about marriage, that it is grounded in heterosexual intercourse, is something that gay people cannot have.  Destroying marriage and family will lead to the destruction of our society as we know it.  “Marriage as a universal social institution is grounded in certain universal features of human nature. When men and women have sex, they make babies. Reproduction may be optional for individuals, but it is not optional for societies. Societies that fail to have ‘enough’ babies fail to survive. And babies are most likely to grow to functioning adulthood when they have the care and attention of both their mother and their father.”  Maggie Gallager, St Thomas Univ. Law Journal 2004

Families confer enormous benefits on society.  History, nature, social science, anthropology, religion, and theology all coalesce in vigorous support of marriage as it has always been understood: a life-long union of male and female for the purpose of creating stable families.  Research over the past 50 years consistently shows that married couples benefit from substantially elevated levels of personal well-being, including increased physical and mental health, greater success in recovering from illness, higher levels of overall happiness, greater success and productivity in the workplace, higher levels of earnings and savings, greater sexual satisfaction, avoidance of serious disease as well as addictive and destructive behaviors, greater educational attainment and college attendance. Similarly, children of stable, intact marriages have better outcomes than their counterparts from unmarried families. Married adults and their children are also less likely to have trouble with the law and are less likely to suffer from domestic violence, including physical and sexual abuse.  Of course, these facts have direct and substantial public policy implications. Marriage decreases the serious and nearly insupportable case loads of our over-burdened heath-care, criminal justice, education, welfare systems, as well as decreasing substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse rates and the costs for treating them.  Clearly, marriage is not just a private affair.  Every marriage is a public virtue in that it responsibly regulates human sexuality, brings the two parts of humanity together in a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship and it delivers mothers and fathers to children. Society benefits from the well-being of marriage; nearly every dollar spent by our government on social welfare is in reaction to a marriage breaking down or failing to form. Good things happen when we honor what marriage is.  Bad things happen when we try to change it.  The mountain of social science research tells us marriage is a serious and valuable community treasure. Ultimately and inevitably, the future and the health of humanity rests upon the health and future of marriage.  Hillary Clinton wrote in her book It Takes a Village, “Every society requires a critical mass of families that fit the traditional ideal, both to meet the needs of most children and to serve as a model for other adults who are raising children in difficult settings.  We are at risk of losing that critical mass in America today.”  President Bush has commented, “The union of a man and woman in marriage is the most enduring and important human institution. For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure.”

Heterosexual marriage is affirmed by religion.  The five major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism recognize and uphold the traditional understanding of marriage and clearly teach that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for our happiness.  By contrast, these religions teach that homosexual behavior is sinful or wrong.  While sexual orientation is not addressed by the Bible, sexual actions outside the bonds of marriage are clearly prohibited.  Additionally, in Christian doctrine, marriage typifies Christ’s (the Bridegroom’s) relationship with his church (the Bride).  Doctrinally, adherents to these faiths cannot ignore this issue.

The law is a guide, instructing us about what is right and what is wrong.  Same-sex marriage proponents understand that the real power of the law is to ultimately change the culture.  Legalizing homosexual marriage will send the wrong message to society and to the next generation.  Law exists to ensure justice, but it also exists to ensure social well-being. To this end, law must encourage certain behaviors among others because certain behaviors contribute to higher levels of social well-being.  As noted earlier, marriage does this.  Thus the law has historically favored one group of people over others by encouraging one set of behaviors over others.  Consider the following behaviors that are favored and encouraged by public policy: home ownership, retirement investment, charitable giving, college attendance via Pell Grants, and job training.  It is not that people who participate in these institutions and activities are ‘better’ than others. It is simply that the government has a compelling interest in encouraging such behavior and therefore it offers incentives to encourage their practice.  Conversely, public policy discourages other behaviors via heavy taxation: alcohol use, tobacco use, and gasoline consumption.  People who use such products are not ‘bad.’ Society simply benefits when such behaviors are kept to a minimum.  Such ‘inequities’ in the law are not the result of ‘discrimination’ but exist in the service of individual and societal well-being.

Legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to a loss of religious liberties and freedom of speech.  In Canada and Sweden, courts are now ruling that the Bible is hate speech.  This is also already being pursued in the United states (see the article about the man who is suing the Zondervan publishing company, arguing that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality constitutes hate speech.) Also, only months after legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ in Canada, activists there successfully passed C-250, a bill criminalizing public statements against homosexuality, punishable by up to two years in prison.  At some point, religious leaders will likely lose their right to speak out on this issue, be forced to perform homosexual weddings, or face fines or imprisonment for non-compliance.  Churches and pastors who refuse to conduct same-sex marriages would be in danger of losing their tax-exempt status (on 10/7/07, the Ocean Grove Camp Ground, New Jersey, owned by Methodists, lost its tax-exempt status for refusing to host a same-sex ‘wedding’ in its marriage pavilion—proof that such a scenario is equally likely in California should same-sex marriage become the law); also, churches and pastors would be compelled to hire homosexual pastors and staff or face penalties for violations of anti-discriminatory laws.  A ‘Joint Advisory’ was recently sent out by nine gay & lesbian organizations cautioning their members not to launch lawsuits now; not yet at least. They are instructing their members to lay low and not stir up trouble.  They do not want to risk pressing the issue and possibly steering the undecided towards support of the amendment.

Social experiments are costly and devastating to the health of humans and societies.  It is a superficial kind of individualism that does not recognize the power of emerging social trends that often start with only a few individuals bucking conventional patterns of behavior. Negative social trends start with only a few aberrations. Gradually, however, social sanctions weaken and individual aberrations become a torrent.  Think back to the 1960s, when illegitimacy and cohabitation were relatively rare. At that time many asked how one young woman having a baby out of wedlock or living with an unmarried man could hurt their neighbors. Now we know the negative social effects these two living arrangements have spawned: lower marriage rates, more instability in the marriages that are enacted, more fatherless children, increased rates of domestic violence and poverty, and a vast expansion of welfare state expenses.  The sexual revolution, abortion, no-fault divorce, etc. are testaments to that fact, all having led to a surge in unwed pregnancies, single parent homes, and welfare-dependence.  There will certainly be unintended and unforeseen consequences to such a radical overhaul of marriage.  “Forty years ago everybody thought [no-fault] divorce was the solution to everyone's problems, and it was not going to be harmful to adults and children. It was going to be beneficial to them.  We have 40 years of data on the fallout of the divorce culture and social scientists all across the political spectrum, religious and atheist, are pretty much agreed that divorce is not a minor blimp on the developmental landscape.  I think we're going to find that the fallout of this in terms of people's development is probably not entirely what we expected.”  (Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, “Civil Unions: Would Marriage By Any Other Name Be The Same?" Christianity Today, 3/01/2004.)  Maggie Gallagher incisively wrote, “Marriage is not an option, it is a precondition to survival.”

If we redefine marriage now, it will be even more drastically redefined in the near future.  There would be no reason to stop with same-sex marriage.  Several Utah cases have recently tried to argue that polygamy should fit in the definition of marriage (citing the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, which ruled that sodomy is constitutionally protected thus legalizing sodomy for the first time in our country’s history).  With the passage of same-sex marriage, all of that will only be more likely.  And why not incestual marriage, group marriage, or marriage with an animal?  As far-fetched as that may sound, there would be no basis for stopping any reformulation of marriage.  The Weekly Standard writer Stanley Kurtz has reported on the coming popularity of something called polyamory, or ‘group marriage’. Already polyamory is on the cutting edge in family law, and is promoted by professors at some of our nation’s leading universities.  Kurtz explains that this group marriage movement is marching down the same trail blazed by the same-sex proponents.  “Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three or more individuals (however weakly or temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female...the bottom of this slope is visible from where we now stand.”  Law Professor Martha Ertman of the University of Utah, for example, wants to render the distinction between traditional marriage and polyamory ‘morally neutral.’ She argues that greater openness to gay partnerships will help us establish this moral neutrality (Her main article on this topic, in the Winter 2001 Harvard Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review, is not available online, but she made a similar case in the Spring/Summer 2001 Duke Journal Of Gender Law & Policy).  University of Michigan law professor David Chambers wrote in a widely cited 1996 Michigan Law Review piece that he expects gay marriage will lead government to be “more receptive to [marital] units of three or more” (1996 Michigan Law Review).  Once same-sex marriage is legalized, it will be constitutionally impossible to prevent this ‘Mr. Potato Head’ manipulation of marriage where individual preferences govern its makeup.

Government and industry would be forced to provide health and legal benefits for any grouping of people who declare themselves to be ‘married’ under these laws, or more likely, court decisions. Most businesses would not be able to afford such health-care benefits, particularly in the case of ‘group’ marriages.  In fact, in this brave new world, what would keep two heterosexual single moms—or even six of them—from “marrying” simply so they can receive family health, tax and social security benefits together? The increased cost to business and government would be crippling.

Legalizing gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage altogether.  There cannot be two kinds of marriage.  Redefining marriage as any union of any sort between any couple or group will snuff out its uniqueness, and marriage will become what homosexual activists want it to become, meaningless.  Instead of a legal organization that, by its nature, confers societal benefits, it will become simply a piece of paper, a contractual arrangement.  Moreover, homosexual relationships are rarely monogamous.  As the first gay couple married in Massachusetts explained to the press, “’s possible to have more than one person and have more than one partner...In our case, we have an open marriage” thus openly rejecting the foundational concept of marriage as a commitment to one person for life.  "Among gay male relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds,” Andrew Sullivan, the most eloquent proponent of gay marriage, wrote in his 1996 book, Virtually Normal. "There is more likely to be a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman. … Something of the gay relationship's necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.”  The former moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church, a largely homosexual denomination, made the same point. "Monogamy is not a word the gay community uses,”  Troy Perry told The Dallas Morning News. "We talk about fidelity. That means you live in a loving, caring, honest relationship with your partner. Because we can't marry, we have people with widely varying opinions as to what that means. Some would say that committed couples could have multiple sexual partners as long as there's no deception.”  A recent study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, suggests that the moderator is correct. Researchers found that even among stable homosexual partnerships, men have an average of eight partners per year outside their ‘monogamous’ relationship.  In a recent US study of over 100 male homosexual couples that had been together for more than five years, none of them had been sexually monogamous or exclusive.  The authors of this report, themselves a gay couple, argued that for male couples, sexual monogamy is a passing stage of ‘internalized homophobia,’ and that many homosexual males distinguish between emotional fidelity and sexual exclusivity.  Apparently, emotional and not physical faithfulness matters (Jones & Yarhouse, 110).  In other words, they are free to have other sexual partners as long as they are not emotionally attached to them.  Clearly, gay marriage will abolish marriage as we know it.

Children will be significantly disadvantaged.  Most gay couples raising children are women. However, we know from a myriad of intercultural and cross-cultural research that the most egalitarian societies and families are the ones where fathers are involved in hands-on nurtured childcare.  Several researchers note that over 10,000 studies show that children do better with fathers.  Children raised without fathers suffer from much higher levels of physical and mental illness, educational failure, poverty, substance abuse, criminal behavior, loneliness, as well as physical and sexual abuse.  Children living apart from both biological parents are eight times more likely to die of maltreatment than children living with their mother.  Risk of maltreatment death was elevated for children residing with step, foster, or adoptive parents.  It is critical to note that it is impossible for a child living in a same-sex parented family to live with both biological parents. It should deeply concern us that that child will be living in one of these family forms that increases risk of death by maltreatment.  Research published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect found that a girl is seven times more likely to be molested by a stepfather than a biological father. The study goes on to report that when biological fathers did molest their young daughters, a mother was not residing in the home who could protect the child. What is more, the nature of sexual abuse by stepfathers was more severe than by biological fathers.  Every little boy in a male same-sex home will be living with at least one non-biological father as well as with a biological father without a protective mother present. The research says this child will be in much greater danger than a boy or girl living with a married mother and father. “The ‘gender injustice’ of fatherlessness is already a problem in today's society without gay marriage . . . I don't think we should add to the possibility that there would be more of it.” (Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Christianity Today, 3/1/2004 “Civil Unions: Would Marriage By Any Other Name Be The Same?" link above).  Research has also shown that children raised by homosexuals were more dissatisfied with their own gender, suffer a greater rate of molestation within the family, and have homosexual experiences more often.  Gay marriage will also encourage teens who are unsure of their sexuality to embrace a lifestyle that suffers high rates of suicide, depression, HIV, drug abuse, STDs, and other pathogens. This is particularly alarming because, according to a 1991 scientific survey among 12-year-old boys, more than 25 percent feel uncertain about their sexual orientations. We have already seen that lesbianism is "chic" in certain elite social sectors.  Finally, acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen the notion that marriage is primarily about adult yearnings for intimacy and is not essentially connected to raising children. Children will be hurt by those who will too easily bail out of a marriage because it is not "fulfilling" to them.  Pitirim Sorikin, founder and first chair of the Sociology Department at Harvard, proclaimed the importance of married parents some fifty years ago.  “The most essential sociocultural patterning of a newborn human organism is achieved by the family.  It is the first and most efficient sculptor of human material, shaping the physical, behavioral, mental, moral and sociocultural characteristics of practically every individual. …From remotest past, married parents have been the most effective teachers of their children.”  The Center for Law and Social Policy, a child advocacy organization, recently reported “Most researchers now agree that…studies support the notion that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married biological parents”  Child Trends reports “An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents.”  Much of the value mothers and fathers bring to their children is due to the fact that mothers and fathers are different.  And by cooperating together and complementing each other in their differences, they provide these good things that same-sex caregivers cannot.  Father love and mother love are qualitatively different kinds of love.  Children need mom’s softness as well as dad’s roughhousing; mother’s cuddling and father’s wrestling; her caution/security and his risk-taking; her coddling and his encouraging independence and growth;  his justice and her mercy (see an excellent article by Glenn Stanton on this issue, and another one here.

Gay marriage will change not only the development of children, it will change society's entire concept of parenthood. Because gay couples cannot produce children on their own, hopeful parents may seek to ‘rent wombs’ and deny children the right to know their biological parents. "It is going to be increasingly possible to produce, buy, and sell children, because in addition to adoption, that is the only way homosexual couples can 'have' children." (James Skillen, Christianity Today, 3/01/2004, referenced above.)

Section 3 – Rebuttals to Arguments Against Prop 8

Doesn’t Proposition 8 strip rights from homosexuals?

No.  Proposition 8 neither strips nor awards any rights to same-sex couples.  Under California law, domestic partners already have all of the benefits of married couples.  What Proposition 8 does do is preserve the definition of marriage as well as give deference to the more crucial right children have to be raised by both a mother and a father.  Just as there is no personal ‘right’ to redefine what a senior citizen is in order to be treated like one, so there is no ‘right’ to redefine marriage as it has always been understood and as a majority of the people continue to understand it.  All have a right to marry as long as they abide by the law.  One cannot marry if one is already married, nor can one marry a close relative, a child, a pet, or someone of the same sex.  Everyone has access to marriage as long as they meet the requirements.  This is not about access to marriage.  It’s about redefining marriage to be something it has never been.  And no one has a right to a behavior that undermines society.

 Isn’t the plight of homosexuals just like the Civil Rights movement 40 years ago?  Isn’t the freedom to marry like freedom of religion or speech?

No.  This argument has enraged African-Americans all over the country.  To imply that Martin Luther King gave his life so that homosexual couples can marry is both a distortion of the truth and a blow to the significance of what he did for racial equality.  It is an affront to African-Americans to say that being prevented from taking a drink from a public water fountain or being sprayed down by fire hoses in a public park is on par with laws preventing a man from marrying another man.  Jesse Jackson explains, “Gays were never called three-fifths of a person in the Constitution...and they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote.”  This is a common argument used by gay marriage advocates because it implies that opponents to same-sex marriage are bigots.  While this deceptive name-calling tactic certainly cuts to the quick, nothing could be further from the truth.  It is one thing to believe in civil rights for all regardless of one’s skin color, but it is quite another to believe in civil rights for all regardless of one’s behavior.

 Doesn’t expanding marriage to include homosexuals actually help strengthen marriage?

Just the opposite.  There is recent evidence from the Netherlands, arguably the most ‘gay-friendly’ culture on earth, that homosexual men have a very difficult time honoring the ideal of marriage. Even though same-sex ‘marriage’ is legal there, a British medical journal reports male homosexual relationships last, on average, 1.5 years, and gay men have an average of eight partners a year outside of their supposedly ‘committed’ relationships.  Contrast that with the fact that 67 percent of first marriages in the United States last 10 years, and more than three-quarters of heterosexual married couples report being faithful to their vows.  The answer here is a resounding ‘No!’  Watering down the definition of marriage does not help strengthen marriage.

 Traditional marriage isn’t doing all that well, with so many divorces, right?

Yes.  Many marriages fail, so should we erase marriage laws?  Certainly not.  We have laws against murder, but some still murder.  Erasing murder laws would be nonsensical.  Thus, if marriage is struggling, rather than abolish it, we should strengthen it.

 Proposition 8 mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else.  That’s just not fair.  Shouldn’t our laws treat everyone equally?  Isn’t it cruel?

Law, by definition, discriminates.  For example, it treats those who obey it differently than those who defy it.  That does not mean, however, that it does not treat everyone equally.  Government has an interest in the education of children because that benefits society, and so the government mandates childhood education.  A child or family who does not want to educate their child has no fundamental right to keep him ignorant.  Similarly, government has an interest in marriage because marriage between a man and a woman stabilizes and enriches society.  Because any may choose to enter into this kind of traditional marriage, it is not discriminatory.  The government gives certain tax benefits to families with children, but is that discriminatory against couples who have no children and who will never want any?  Certainly not.  What is cruel is to intentionally deny children a mom and a dad.

 Isn’t it better for a child to grow up with two loving same-sex parents than to live in an abusive home or be bounced around in foster care?

This is comparing the worst of one situation (abusive heterosexual parenting) with the best of another (loving same-sex parenting).  That’s apples and oranges.  In logic this is called a non-sequitur because the truth of the statement has no bearing on the conclusion reached.  That a child in a home with loving same-sex parents is better off than in an abusive heterosexual home says nothing about whether or not a child is equally as well off in a homosexual home as in a heterosexual one.  In fact, as noted previously, children are decidedly disadvantaged in a homosexual home.

The government has no business getting into our private lives.

Homosexual couples are free to live any lifestyle they wish in their private lives.  Further, civil unions give them virtually all of the benefits enjoyed by married couples.  Defining marriage as between a man and a woman does not interfere with that.  Marriage is a publically respected institution, hence the homosexuals demand for it, but dignity and respect cannot be legislated.

 If two people love each other, shouldn’t they be able to commit to each other?

Yes, but we don’t call it marriage.  There are lots of loving commitments that are not marriage.  If one accepts the rationale that love alone justifies marriage, then there can logically be no boundaries as to what constitutes marriage as long as there is love; any combination or number of consenting individuals must ultimately gain the same legal and societal sanction as natural marriage.  While love is vital, it is not the definitional element of marriage.  We love many people we do not marry.

 Aren’t homosexuals born that way and isn’t it impossible for them to change?  Isn’t it therefore intolerant to prohibit them from marrying?

There have been many attempts by researchers to prove that homosexuals are born that way.  None has proven the case.  Simon LeVay, Ph.D., stated in a 1994 interview that appears in an article entitled "Sexual Brain" published in Discover (Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 64-67): “It's important to stress what I didn't find in my clinical study.  I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay.  I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work.  Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.”  In fact, most researchers conclude that homosexual tendencies are formed early in childhood and have to do with the failure of a child to bond with a parent.  Additionally, hundreds of former homosexuals have changed both their orientation and their lifestyles (see and  Regardless, the more important flaw in this argument is the ‘If it is genetic, then it must be affirmed’ equation.  Even if homosexuality is shown to be genetic, this would not yield the results that are so blithely assumed.  First, we must understand the nature of genetics itself.  There is a difference between those genes that make up the body and those genes that influence our desires and predispositions.  Jones and Yarhouse write, “We are used to thinking of genes as causing us to have things like brown eyes or wavy hair, and choice has little to do with such characteristics.  But behavioral genetics has produced abundant evidence of genetic influences that clearly do not render human choice irrelevant.”  We are responsible for our behavior even if it is genetically motivated.  Surely homosexuals don’t want to say that their genes have rendered them robots, incapable of human choice about their behavior.  They would want to affirm that they are moral agents who should be held accountable for their lifestyle.  In other words, no matter what influence our genetic makeup has on us, we cannot use this as an excuse for a lack of accountability and responsibility.  C.S. Lewis, with searing logic, wrote, “From the statement of psychological fact, ‘I have an impulse to do so and so’ we cannot by any ingenuity derive the practical principle, ‘I ought to obey this impulse...’  Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey ‘people.’  People say different things: so do instincts.  Our instincts are at war.”  (The Abolition of Man)  We cannot argue that the devil or our genes ‘made us do it.’

 How can someone else’s gay marriage possibly affect me?

Same-sex marriage advocates are not seeking marriage alone but are demanding that everyone radically change our understanding of the family, and that will do great damage.  Changing the definition of marriage will teach our children that husband/wife, mother/father, and male/female are merely optional for the family and therefore meaningless.

 Isn’t it true that what kids need most are loving parents, regardless of whether it’s a mother or father?

No.  A child needs a loving mother and father.  A wealth of research over the past 30 years shows this.  Same-sex marriage and parenting, however, intentionally deprive children of a mother and a father.  The most loving mother in the world cannot teach a little boy how to be a man.  Likewise, the most loving man cannot teach a little girl how to be a woman.  A gay man cannot teach his son how to love and care for a woman.  A lesbian cannot teach her daughter how to love a man or know what to look for in a good husband.  Boys and girls need the loving daily influence of both male and female parents to become who they are meant to be.

Section 4 – History / Timeline

“HOW WE GOT HERE?  The story of how approximately two percent of the population has been able to impose its agenda on Americans and marginalize all opposition is one that can only be briefly summarized here–but it is a story we cannot afford to ignore.  The story begins in the 1960s–ironically, with heterosexuals.  The intervention of the Pill and the general loosening of societal mores and insistence on ‘rights’ in various spheres spawned a revolution in sexual attitudes.  Sexual self-expression, which traditionally had been regarded as a privilege, became perceived as a right–something to be expressed publicly, frequently, and outside of monogamous, lifelong marriage.  The consensus that ‘good girls don’t’ (and neither do boys) eroded.  Of course, promiscuity has always been with us, but previous generations shared an understanding that although sex outside of marriage happened, it should not be so.  With the onslaught of pornography, the Playboy philosophy steadily shifted the center of gravity from marital faithfulness to personal enjoyment.  Thus, if your mate no longer fulfilled your needs, you should have the ‘right’ to find someone who would.  To quote Lynn Vincent in World, ‘cohabitation began shedding its stigma, leading to a revolving door family structure that often left children fatherless and economically deprived.’  With divorce available for sake of convenience, the word family began to take on new meanings.  Now it was common for a mother to raise the children alone, or possibly with a new husband–or at least a new lover.  Meanwhile, the husband and father went off to pursue his own relationships which he deemed ‘best’ for him.  Children reared without their father’s love and protection became vulnerable to sexual experimentation and abuse.  Gradually, the notion of a family with a father, mother, and children, all living under the same roof, became something of a relic of a bygone era, at least in some quarters...Meanwhile, tolerance emerged as the one indisputable national value.  This word, which at one time meant that people should be free to believe whatever they wished, now meant that they could do whatever they wished, and it was improper to judge their conduct.  Tolerance now demands an affirmation of virtually all behavior, no matter how immoral, unnatural, and bizarre.  With these streams flowing into our national culture, much of America was ready for same-sex marriages.”  Erwin W. Lutzer, The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage, p17-18.

1996    The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is passed and signed into law, requiring that no state is required to accept another state’s definition of marriage.


1998    LDS Church spends $1.1 million to defeat same-sex marriage proposal in Hawaii & Alaska.


1999    LDS Church leads the Prop 22 efforts.  Soon after Prop 22 passes, the CA legislature passes a domestic partnership bill granting all the rights of marriage through civil unions.


2000    2/25 Stuart Mathis, a homosexual LDS returned missionary, shoots himself on steps of LDS chapel in Los Altos, CA.


2001    The Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.


2003    6/26, Unbelievably, the US Supreme Court finds that the Constitution guarantees a right to sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas.  The court relied not on our own constitution but on what other neo-pagan countries were doing.  Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated that the continuance of sodomy laws “demeans the lives of homosexual persons” thus declaring, in effect, that considerations of morality and decency are irrelevant.


2004    LDS Church supports Fed amendment, but it does not pass.  Still, it generates significant opposition to same-sex marriage that helps bring conservatives to the polls

            Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage, relying on Lawrence v. Texas.

SF, CA Mayor Gavin Newsom orders county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but this is halted by the CA Supreme Court.


Utah passes marriage amendment, supported by LDS Church.  12 other states pass similar amendments.  With four other states having previously passed amendments, that made 17 in all.


2005    July, Canada became the 4th country in the world (along with the Netherlands, Belguim, and Spain) to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act

            Two more states pass marriage amendments.

            SF Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer rules that Prop 22 is unconstitutional.

2006    October, New Jersey Supreme Court extends the equivalent of same-sex marriage.


Alabama becomes the 20th state to pass a marriage amendment.  Seven other states pass similar amendments on Nov 7 (CO, ID, SC, SD, TN, VA, & WN).  Arizona becomes the first state not to pass such an amendment upon voting, losing narrowly 49% - 51%.


July, First District Court of Appeals overturns Judge Kramer’s ruling, affirming that Prop 22 is constitutional.


LDS Church supports Fed amendment, joining a coalition.  Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is among 50 prominent religious leaders who sign a petition explaining the need for it, “We are convinced that this is the only measure that will adequately protect marriage from those who would circumvent the legislative process and force a redefinition of it on the whole society.”


Summer, interview w/ Elders Oaks (LDS Church Quorum of the Twelve) and Wickman (LDS Quorum of the Seventy) on all of these issues.

            December, CA Supreme Court agrees to hear the Kramer case (in 2008).

2007    July, LDS Church posts a new pamphlet on homosexuality entitled ‘God Loveth His Children’


Sept, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve reiterates the LDS church’s position that same-sex attraction is not a sin, only immoral actions.


2008    Early in the year, the Church joins w/ several CA religious groups to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief in early 2008 in defense of Prop 22.


5/15     Four activist judges in San Francisco strike down Prop 22


A very broad-based coalition of both religious and family organizations begins to spearhead a grass-roots effort to pass the CA amendment.  The group’s central web presence is Endorsers are encouraged to be respectful and kind in all they do despite the accusations and slander.  Clearly, proponents must have great courage and faith.  Being politically correct and ‘approved’ by others is not to be valued over what is best for the nation and our children.


4/1       Coalition led by Catholic Bishops acquires 1 million signatures (700K required) to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.


6/25     Over 1,600 pastors and Christian leaders join together to protect marriage in a CA Statewide Pastors Conference Call labeled "The California Pastors Rapid Response Team." Pastors gather at 101 locations across the state.


6/26     McCain announces his support for the CA marriage initiative; contrarily, Obama argues for legalizing same-sex marriages.


6/29     Letter read by all LDS Bishops in California stating the church’s decision to join the coalition and calling upon all of its members to give their ‘best efforts’ to support and pass a constitutional amendment.


6/?       Hawaii is asked to help Prop 8 with their means.  Roy Bauer (LDS stake president) notes, ‘We remember back in 1995 when many in California donated to help in preserving traditional marriage in Hawaii.’


7/10     “A Michigan man seeks $70 million from two Christian publishers for emotional distress and mental instability he received during the past 20 years from versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin.  Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a gay man, claims his constitutional rights were infringed upon by Zondervan Publishing Co. and Thomas Nelson Publishing, both of which, he claims, deliberately caused homosexuals to suffer by misinterpretation of the Bible…Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, claims the publishers are misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals, which made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of demoralization, chaos and bewilderment.”


7/16 -Yes on 8 wins a significant legal victory when the California Supreme Court dismissed efforts to have Proposition 8 thrown off of the November ballot.  ProtectMarriage filed an extensive legal brief vigorously opposing this effort to deny voters the ability to vote on this crucial issue.  Gay advocates had asked the highest court in California to remove Proposition 8 from the ballot on the theory that the measure constituted a constitutional revision rather than a constitutional amendment. Constitutional revisions must first be approved by the legislature before they may be submitted to a public vote. However, the Supreme Court delivered a significant blow to advocates of same-sex marriage as the Court dismissed their case outright by denying their request for a hearing.


7/?       Proposition 8 hires public relations professional Jennifer Kerns to serve as the Campaign’s communications director.  Kerns, the owner of K Street Communications, recently served as senior press secretary for California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. She also served as communications director for his election campaign, helping Poizner successfully win the endorsements of all 37 major newspapers in California in his landslide election over sitting Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.  She previously served as an assistant secretary of state and spokeswoman in the office of Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, where she represented the State on elections issues, crisis communications, voting system integrity, special elections, the 2005 Iraq elections and more. Kerns has also successfully served various Congressional and Mayoral candidates throughout California, as well as members of the California State Legislature.  Kerns can be reached at (916) 420-2888 or


7/29     Attorney General Jerry Brown changes the language of the amendment, effectively undermining its passage.  An appeal was not successful because the secretary of state apparently has great discretion in this regard…it need only be defensible.  Many will have only one thing on their minds at the polls, the Presidential vote, and so this language change could have a significant impact.


7/29     The Massachusetts House repeals a 1913 law used to bar the marriages of same-sex couples who are residents of states which would not recognize their unions.  [Gov signed on 7/31]


7/30     Second CA Statewide Pastor’s Conference Call


8/4 announces “Both labor organizations and businesses made significant contributions to NO on 8 – Equality California on Saturday. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU-California) made a contribution of $500,000, presented by United Healthcare Workers-West President Sal Rosselli. David Sanchez, president of the California Teacher's Association announced a contribution $250,000 on behalf of CTA. Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California, presented a donation of $25,000 from the telecommunications corporation. EQCA supporters at the event also pledged an additional combined $350,000. All of those contributions will help fund the NO on 8 campaign.  That's $1,125,000 from a handful of groups in just one night, plus another $500,000 the ‘Equality California’ group is transferring to the No campaign.”  Yes on Prop 8 will be funded by a grassroots effort only, hence the vital need for each of us to speak out and to contribute all we can.

8/4       Protect Marriage receives endorsement of California Catholic Conference.

To date, at least 44 of 50 states have either an amendment or a statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Section 5 – Further References