Californians Need To Vote No on Proposition 8 To Protect Civil Liberties and Freedom.

I had thought that we lived in a free society, where we are all entitled by the constitution to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in a country founded upon the separation of church and state and the promise of freedom of religion, or lack thereof.  As I was making a trip to the hardware store 2 days ago, I saw two young men in front of the entrance to the strip mall with signs saying “Save Marriage : Vote Yes on Prop 8” (a proposition to outlaw same-sex marriages for you non-Californians out there).  Well, in the usual S.E.E.P. fashion, I felt the need to have a discussion with one of them to try figure out why someone would want to stomp on someone else’s civil liberties like that.   I asked, “Why are you campaigning for the suppression of freedom?  I don’t understand why anyone would do such a thing.”

In the 20 minute conversation that ensued, his main defense was that gay marraige undermines the institution of marraige and that “we believe” that it’s not right.  I said, “There you go – when you say, “we believe,” you mean that it’s your opinion and your personal and religious beliefs that you are trying to impose on other people.”  You are certainly entitled to your opinion, that’s the wonderful thing about our country – for the most part you have freedom to do and say what you like as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. But just because you don’t personally approve of what someone else is doing, that does not give you the right to take away their rights. If you want to teach your children hate, intolerance, and bigotry within the confines of your own home, so be it. That’s your right, but it’s not a decision that should even be brought up for a vote! It doesn’t matter that your bible says that being gay is a sin – you might need to remember that not everyone believes in the same religious text that  you do.  It doesn’t matter that it makes you feel uncomfortable (possibly because of your latent homosexual urges?), people have the right to have relationships with whomever they please and they should have the rights that any other couple have.

On the ridiculous argument of “undermining the institution of marriage” – please people.  If you really think that two homosexual people getting married takes away from the meaning of the concept, then you clearly have no idea what marriage is and what it means.  It is a word.  A word describing an incredible bond between two people that is impossible to put into words.  A connection for which you would do anything for the other person, sacrifice everything for their happiness, and go to the ends of the earth to be with them. It’s the bond that I proudly share with my heterosexual partner Laura, and it’s a bond that homosexual partners share as well.

I find it incredulous that the same right-wing, bible-wielding Republicans that proudly fly the American flag and claim to value so highly the freedom that we share, feel such a need to take freedoms and liberties away from other people (I apologize to all of the bible-wielding Republicans who understand the place of government, value civil liberties, and will be voting against Prop 8).  You can’t pick and choose what freedoms you grant – you are either free or you are not.  End of story.  Stop mixing your personal hangups and religious “morality” (don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of religion and morality throughout history) and come to terms with the fact that the United States of America is (was?) the greatest country in the world because it was founded on freedom and justice for all.  And that true freedom is what we should all continue to fight for, regardless of our race, creed, religion, color, or sexual orientation.

Advertisements

11 Responses to “Californians Need To Vote No on Proposition 8 To Protect Civil Liberties and Freedom.”

  1. Here’s my first response from a man in Utah:

    Sincerely Mr or Dr. Slaughter,
    As with so many issues these days, it is not what is on the surface, but the bottom line agenda and end result that is the problem here. Homosexual marriage is not a religious freedom, and has nothing to do with Church and State, and if you were to study and read the Constitution, there is no place that makes a firm delineation of what is Church and State. That has become such a cry from a Liberal Front, that is has become so confused and misplaced and misguided, which brings me to the point you are trying to make.
    Marriage is between a man and a woman. Man to Man, Woman to Woman, and next you will be asking for Man to Animal, what difference does it make? It is just a word. Right?
    No, wrong! There is more here than meets the eye. Maybe a little research on your part to understand what is happening and what will happen would do you well.

    Dan McInnes
    Common Man

  2. and the rebuttal. . .

    Mr. McInnes,

    You seem to be entirely missing the point. Your need to define the lives of others and make them conform to your personal standards violates basic civil liberties. We live in America, a supposedly free country. You cannot pick and choose what freedoms you grant based on your social tendencies. You are allowed to disagree with a lifestyle, what people say, or how they live their lives, but you cannot use your narrow point of view to generate laws that limit people’s freedom.

    From what I can glean from your message, you are placing homosexuality in the same category as bestiality, two very different subjects, which is once again based on your personal standards. Standards which are very different from a significant portion of our population. I certainly do not advocate interspecies marriage, so I’d appreciate you not making wild and ridiculous extrapolations from my statements.

    I’ve done the research, and along with 12 years of education, I’ve made my own, open-minded, logical, and well-thought out decision on the situation and I’ve settled on the side of liberty and freedom. I’d appreciate if you forward this discussion to your friends and family to introduce an alternative point of view that does not advocate fear or intolerance, it does not promote or condone homosexuality, but rather promotes the protection of the civil liberties of American citizens.

    Sincerely,
    Clint Slaughter, M.D.
    Yes, the M.D. does mean Dr., not Mr.

  3. Denise Houghton Says:

    Every man has the right to marry a consenting woman. Every woman has the right to marry a consenting man. That’s the definition of marriage. Every child should have the right to both a mother and a father. What rights are violated if marriage is defined as between a man and a woman?

    In California, Civil Unions provide all the benefits and privileges of marriage. So why would the homosexual community be so adamant about same-sex marriage? (In countries where same-sex marriage is legal, only about 5% of homosexual couples marry. Gay marriages have a 50% higher divorce rate that heterosexual couples. Lesbian marriages have a 150% higher divorce rate.) I believe that the same-sex marriage agenda is not about people who love each other who want to call each other wife or husband. It is about the homosexual community seeking affirmation and rights as a protected class.

    When same-sex marriage is legalized, citizens lose their right to make a moral distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Churches cannot choose to withhold their facilities and services from couples seeking same-sex marriages without threat of losing tax exempt status. Individuals who speak out against homosexuality face fines and imprisonment. Physicians cannot choose to refer homosexual couples seeking artificial insemination to another physician on the basis of their beliefs. Neither adoption agencies, state social service agencies, nor birth parents can choose to not place a child in a same-sex marriage home. School teachers must teach that homosexual marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage as part of the early elementary curriculum, and parents have no rights to be notified or to opt their children out. High school teachers exokaub the details of homosexual sex, because it’s “legal.”

    Where is the intolerance? We can respect the lifestyle choice of those who engage in homosexual behavior without affirming and embracing their lifestyle. A yes vote on Proposition 8 is not a vote of intolerance. It is a stand for children, families, and for individual rights to express moral opinions

  4. Mrs. Houghton,

    One again, you are defining marriage by your own narrow viewpoint. All of the questions of churches losing tax-exempt status (which I don’t think they should really have anyway), physicians being sued, and teaching homosexuality in schools is nothing but fear-mongering. None of these issues are addressed whatsoever in prop 8, and a no vote maintains personal freedoms and the status quo in California. If someone attempts to mandate teaching of homosexuality in schools, then that is simply bad policy, but doesn’t justify taking away people’s civil liberties.

    Allowing marriage is not affirming and embracing a lifestyle, it does not condone homosexuality, it is simply allowing them their basic human rights. Passing any laws that limit people’s freedoms, especially laws based on religion or close-minded “morality” is simply un-American.

  5. Denise Houghton Says:

    But we, as a society, do limit what you call “freedoms and basic rights” in regards to marriage. We don’t allow fathers to marry daughters. We don’t allow adults to marry minors. We don’t allow eleven year-olds to marry. We, theoretically, don’t allow people to marry more than one spouse at a time. And we don’t allow people to marry animals. So what is a basic human right? I would suggest that marriage is not a basic human right. It is an institution that society has set up over the ages and across cultures as the optimal structure to support the perpetuation of our species. To demand that the structure of marriage be fundamentally redesigned, is also not a basic human right. To be able to speak freely about the ideas and values that have come from centuries of experience with the institution of marriage, is a basic human right.

  6. Denise Houghton Says:

    It would also be appropriate to have a discourse on this topic without labelling as “narrow,” viewpoints other than your own. The “fear-mongering” you accuse me of is simply a citation of incidents that have already occurred in places where same-sex marriage has been legalized–Canada, Europe, Massachusetts, and yes, California.

  7. I would apologize for using the term “narrow”, but unfortunately that is the truth with your viewpoint, it is a narrow interpretation of human freedom, based upon your own personal opinion. We’re not talking about minors or incest, we’re talking about two consenting adults. When you start comparing bestiality to homosexuality, I know where you stand and I doubt that I’ll be able to convince you that your opinion and religious views don’t count, neither do mine for that matter, it’s just a simple question of whether our country allows our citizens to have true freedom, or a limited, crippled form of freedom.
    I do appreciate the civil discussion, however.

  8. The truth is, heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are not equal. One has the possibility of producing children in a natural way; the other does not. One has the possibility of raising boys and girls with a role-model for each gender; one does not. One has the influence of a man and a woman to balance the needs of a child (be it boy or girl); one does not. Marriage is not just about two consenting adults. It is more about the product of those two consenting adults. What natural product can homosexual relationships produce? Nothing. They can only steal from others what is not rightfully theirs to claim.

    It is apparent now what the homosexual community is really after. It isn’t tolerance and freedom. They have misrepresented themselves. In the name of “tolerance and freedom” they respond with name-calling, religion-bashing, threats, disrespect, hateful demonstrations, graffiti, harassment, intolerance, and the list goes on. They want more than tolerance and freedom. They want all to embrace their way of life, not just be tolerant. They want affirmation, validation, for all to assert that homosexuality is acceptable and respectable. Many would call that oppression. Oppression of thought. Oppression of belief. Oppression of conscience. It is clear that the adjective “narrow” has been misapplied.

    Is Civil Union not enough for homosexuals? The institution of marriage means something. It is a privilege, not a right. It is different from all other unions. It is more than two people choosing to join together. When a man and a woman unite in marriage, something completely new is created: a mix, a harmony, a new way of seeing and thinking and acting. More is required in such a union of both individuals. In the use of the word we find a deeper meaning: to join together two completely different things, as in “a marriage of wit and wisdom.” Joining a man and man or a woman and a woman is not a marriage. Only a man and a woman are different enough to require both to persist in the challenges required to overcome those differences and create something new.

    I have friends of the same sex. Frankly, it is no challenge to get along because we agree on so many things because gender defines us in so many ways. These relationships are not equal to marriage for more reasons than physical intimacy. Even if we shared all other aspects of our lives, nothing can compare to the commitment of marriage. To say that a same-sex commitment compares is insulting. I have to work so much harder at my heterosexual marriage than any homosexual couple would be willing to endure. Every heterosexual couple should be outraged at such a preposterous claim. Let homosexuals unite. In fact they do already. Why do they have to now claim the title of marriage also? If I spoke Chinese and ate chinese food, I still couldn’t call myself a chinaman.

    Lastly, there is the claim of civil liberties violations. I understand that it is immoral to discriminate for reasons people have not control over, as in race, gender, skin color, age, etc. The fact is, there is more than enough evidence and research to support the claim that homosexuality is a choice. It just isn’t politically correct (anymore) to declare it. Sexual attraction is a matter of conditioning. There will always be aberrations because humans (unlike other living creatures) seek after the thrill, the excitement, the titillating, if you will. We do not condone pedophilia, incest or necrophilia. Why? Because it is repulsive to the MAJORITY of the human race. Yet, it exists. Our laws forbid such activity and punish offenders. If we tolerate homosexuality, won’t we one day be required to tolerate the others? Where will it end? Just because some want to draw the line, doesn’t mean they are narrow-minded, intolerant, blithering idiots.

    I have said most of my peace. Thank you for the chance to do so.

  9. Noel,
    I appreciate your comments. I still maintain that you who are opposed to gay marriage are imposing your own personal bias on the issue rather than truly considering what it means to be a free American citizen. I’m not sure where you get your data, but the jury is still out as to how much sexuality in general is genetic, environmental, or psychological and is certainly some combination of many factors. There is no doubt, however, that homosexuality is not a simple choice. This point goes along with your claims of homosexual “name-calling, religion-bashing, threats, disrespect, hateful demonstrations, graffiti, harassment, intolerance.” I’m not making excuses for inappropriate actions, but if my friends, loved ones, and I were discriminated against, harassed, spit at, beaten and raped with broom handles, and even killed because of who we loved, I’d fight back as well. You’re taking their standing up for their own rights and freedoms as intolerance and hate, when they’re simply trying to gain the same rights as you have. I’m certain that if it were a simple choice, many homosexuals would renounce these preferences to avoid this type of discrimination and violence.

    You discuss what is special about a marriage and that “Only a man and a woman are different enough to require both to persist in the challenges required to overcome those differences and create something new.” I have to ask, how do you or I know how two people of the same sex can join together? Two feminine men, a feminine man and a masculine man, two masculine women, a feminine woman and a masculine woman – all are combinations that work for same-sex couples, how can you even begin to judge the fruits of something that you do not and probably will not ever understand?

    I also think that your point on same-sex couples not enduring and working hard at a relationship is frankly insulting to those people. My wife and I work hard at our marriage, and homosexual couples work just as hard, sometimes harder in fact in the face of persecution and bigotry. Your comparison of Chinese food does not apply here, and shows that you are still not able to admit that two people of the same sex can truly love each other just like you love your husband – why does a heterosexual couple need exclusive rights to this term? If you feel that your marriage is devalued as a result of same-sex unions, then you clearly do not have a strong grasp of the true meaning of this type of relationship between two people.

    And once again we see the bestiality/pedophilia/etc argument. Once again, same-sex marriages are between two free, consenting adults. Pedophilia is one adult taking advantage of a child and is reprehensible. Necrophilia is an adult having sex with a corpse and is not only unsanitary, but twisted. Incest, although I don’t agree with it either, is frowned upon mostly because of the increased risk of genetic abnormalities and was fairly routine practice in the days of early European nobility. Bestiality is an adult taking advantage of an animal and I must say, that however ridiculous it is, interspecies relations are not even comparable to homosexuality. If you feel that it is an appropriate comparison, you are dehumanizing homosexuals and therefore will never be able to make a fair and unbiased judgment on their rights as humans and American citizens.

    Just for the record, I never called anyone a blithering idiot, just narrow-minded and intolerant.

  10. The “blithering idiot” reference was only my attempt at reading between the lines which you seem to master so well. Obviously you are free to do so but I am not. You didn’t infer that Prop 8 proponents were blithering idiots?

    Free Americans are by law constrained to wear seatbelts, pay taxes, not drive while intoxicated, pay auto insurance, attend school until 16 years of age, drive at a reasonable speed, have a driver’s license, carry a passport when traveling outside the country, keep noise at socially acceptable levels, be 17 years of age to view an R rated movie, not drink alcohol under the age of 21, etc. Fortunately, government sometimes regulates our behavior for our own good and the good of others. Humans are too self-interested to always behave appropriately. I don’t generally have a problem with any of those laws. Your argument for FREE AMERICA is invalid if you agree with or obey any of these laws, I am afraid.

    Making gay marriages legal would take away many more freedoms from our citizens than you or I could possible foresee. It is only step by step that these things occur. Thanks to Clinton’s policy of “Don’t ask don’t tell”, more than a decade ago, and all the inconsequential, negligible steps since then, we are now redefining marriage. How did it get to this point? Allowing this today will lead to greater infringements on more people down the road. Where will we be in another decade? First it will enter the schools (it is already prevalent on television–I am currently free to watch approximately six shows that refrain from the topic of homosexuality. One of those shows is Dora the Explorer. Frankly it is only a matter of time). Homosexuality will be taught to our children. Not just that it exists and that it is a normal way to live, but how homosexual sex is performed. It will become a topic in Health classes when they speak of sexually transmitted diseases and how they are passed along. Lovely thought.

    At some point any teachings, religious or not, that submit that homosexuality is wrong, will be illegal. (Sound like communist China to you yet?) Who will the Bill of Rights defend then? Even if people challenge these assertions, it will be years and years of legal battles where lawyers get rich and our rights are eroded, little by little. Then what freedoms will we have?

    Will I be free to send my children, grand-children or great grandchildren to a school that is free of society’s morals? [Sound like confusion between church (where morality is taught) and state (where information is taught)?] The State will soon be regulating our morals. Will I be free to practice any values according to the dictates of my own conscience? Will I be forced to accept and support something that is against my being, my conscience, my values, and nature? Will any of us be free to chose? Will we be free of having it shoved down our throats? Will homosexual opposition be free from the persecution that has been heaped upon them by the homosexual community? Who are the perpetrators now? I have never, and would never, picket a place of business because the owner or an employee was gay. I would never be rude, shout profanities or degrade another human being because they are gay and against Prop 8. And yet they are behaving in this way. Their intolerance is stifling. The irony is baffling. (Not a very good rhyme there.)

    And once again I ask, why isn’t Civil Union enough? Redefining marriage will give them no new rights that they don’t already have. What right is being deprived? What right is infringed? What else do they want? For everyone to become gay? They already have the same rights as I have. Soon, very soon, they will have more!

    Are we not allowed to say that heterosexuals are different? Are we not free to define ourselves, our relationships and our families differently? What right is being violated by defining ourselves?

    Maybe you don’t know this, (I would be surprised since you seem to know everything) but the homosexual community is asking for segregation!!!! What? you may ask. Yes, segregation. They want a school built in Chicago that is only for gay and lesbian students, and we can assume only gay and lesbian teachers. They claim this is because students are being bullied and persecuted for their sexual orientation (before you jump down my throat, I am not arguing that is doesn’t occur). I guess homosexuals are better than the rest of us. They shouldn’t be challenged on their views and values. They should just run away and hide. They shouldn’t have to submit themselves to the regular harassment that every other teenager (who isn’t a jock or cheerleader) in America undergoes each and every day in your typical American High School. They obviously are better than the rest of us and deserve millions of dollars in tax-payer money to provide a “private” school to alleviate their suffering. Next we will have to have a “private” school for smart kids, math nerds, foreigners, tall kids, fat kids, orphans, mormons. What is happening? This is insane. The community protested the proposed segregation and insisted that anyone who feels abused, bullied, or persecuted should be able to attend this school. What was the answer from the homosexual community? “No way!” They claim this will dilute the statement they are trying to make. I ask, what statement is that? They should have more freedoms and privileges than the next? Freedom? Is that freedom? Is that equal? Is that America? Reverse intolerance is what I like to call it.

    Honestly, you should not claim to know so much about homosexual relationships unless you are in one. My observations were from personal friendships with other men and women, hetero- and homosexual varieties. If attraction and sexual stimulation weren’t conditioned, then we would have geisha in every country, along with those huge ear-disk things from Africa, large gaps between our front teeth, and every other kind of practice from around the world used to attract partners. The fact is, it is “intolerant” to suggest such a concept. And please, if it was so easy to control ourselves and stop from making wrong choices, would we have alcoholics, drug addicts, infidelity, obesity, bulimia, chain smoking, shopoholics and, my personal downfall, chocoholics? There are probably blogoholics hiding out there as well. We suffer all kinds of things because we cannot always control ourselves. But I am not picketing or lobbying for everyone in the world to redefine a healthy breakfast as a bar of chocolate, just because I have.

    Come on, admit it. This is a hot topic and you have jumped on the far left bandwagon just because you like to stir people up! You really should seek our a 12 step program or something.

    It has been a pleasure.

  11. I’m not trying to stir anything up or jump on any bandwagon, thank you. Rather, I am passionate about human freedom, sustainability, and justice. You should watch V for Vendetta to get a feel for the future you propose.

    Morality is taught at home, not in church – I was taught that conquering and killing people that don’t believe the same thing as me is wrong, but it is a past that, although not actively practiced by Christians, is part of a history still glorified by the church.

    You are distorting the definition of freedom and taking liberties with how it interpreted. Seat belts, driving while intoxicated, paying taxes, and your other examples of our “lack of freedom” are laws designed to protect people from unsafe practices and although they can be interpreted as limiting freedoms, are for protection rather than oppression. The descent into homosexuality that you fear for our culture would be the result of bad legislation placed on top of a legitimate protection of human rights. If laws are passed that force schools to teach homosexuality as “normal”, that is wrong. If they teach tolerance and fairness for all, that is right. The same way I don’t want public schools trying to teach creationism and trying to pass off non-science in the form of intelligent design as actual science, you don’t want your children taught what you feel is morally reprehensible.

    I agree with you that we need to be careful what is taught in school so that it is secular and promotes fairness and social justice. This does not mean that we teach that homosexuality is evil and it does not mean that we teach that homosexual marriage is the norm either, it means that we teach fairness, justice, and freedom for all people, regardless of race, creed, appearance, or sexual preference. I don’t think that people that are against gay marriage are blithering idiots, but I do think that they are bigots, plain and simple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: