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.