95 percent precincts reported
Yes on Prop 8: 52%
picture: go here for the rest of the story.
I grew up in a southern California town. I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom and a dad and nine siblings. There was never a moment I didn’t feel loved (except for maybe in the seventh grade when my mom didn’t have time to cut my hair for picture day–this was a dark moment for me). We are not a perfect family, we’ve had our share of fights (the time I locked my brother out of the house and he turned off the power), we’ve had our share of moments parked on the side of the road with our mom telling us to be good or we’d go home, we’ve had our share of disasters (the time I totaled the family car). But my mom and my dad were always working hard to love each other and be better parents (which equaled becoming better people). In turn, they helped their ten kids (one still in high school) learn many many many many many things: mainly how to constructively contribute to society.
The key for these lessons is that we learned them from both parents. My mom and dad make a good team. But I know I would be a completely different person if I didn’t have the very distinct influences of both genders.
From my dad I learned lots of things. Everything from how to paint a fence white to how to wax my car. For the purposes of this list I am going to focus on the things that only a male-figure-who-loved-me could have shown me:
1. How to respect people.
2. When and where it is appropriate to cry (I’m a big cry baby–but better now because of watching my dad).
3. How to have confidence with people who intimidate me
4. How to make people I’ve just met feel comfortable.
5. How to never never give up (on anything I love doing).
6. How to feel loved and corrected at the same time.
From my mom I learned lots of things. Everything from how to properly wash dishes to how to invite friends to a party. But these are things I could only learn from my mom because she is my mom:
1. how to develop close personal relationships with people I love
2. how to create an atmosphere with my own personality (as in how to make a situation better just by my own attitude)
3. how to feel confident about myself and my body in general
4. how to respond to others with encouragement and excitement rather than frustration and criticism. (in order to teach, notify, get what i need, or simply do something nice for someone).
5. how to smooth out rifts and stress in conversations, friendships and family matters (this is a gift i use everyday in my professional life).
6. when it’s okay to accept and offer service.
I don’t know if a study can measure these kind of learning. Over a lifetime. I am still learning from their different influences (distinct because of their gender).
I know that I grew up in a circumstance that many people don’t experience either because of divorce, tragedy or choices of other people. The fact is, as citizens, we should actively try to build and create a society that cares about its children. California citizens should do everything they can to provide children safe havens from birth. Of course we can’t force anyone to do anything, but we can set up laws which encourage situations: for example, marriage defined between a man and a woman. This is simply the best place to for children to develop–even when parents are imperfect (as most of us are).
Adam Kolasiniski*, a doctoral student at MIT said (go here for full article):
“Some argue that the link between marriage and procreation is not as strong as it once was, and they are correct. Until recently, the primary purpose of marriage, in every society around the world, has been procreation. In the 20th century, Western societies have downplayed the procreative aspect of marriage, much to our detriment. As a result, the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences. When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities, leading to broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years. Homosexual marriage is not the cause for any of these pathologies, but it will exacerbate them, as the granting of marital benefits to a category of sexual relationships that are necessarily sterile can only widen the separation between marriage and procreation.
The biggest danger homosexual civil marriage presents is the enshrining into law the notion that sexual love, regardless of its fecundity, is the sole criterion for marriage. If the state must recognize a marriage of two men simply because they love one another, upon what basis can it deny marital recognition to a group of two men and three women, for example, or a sterile brother and sister who claim to love each other? Homosexual activists protest that they only want all couples treated equally. But why is sexual love between two people more worthy of state sanction than love between three, or five? When the purpose of marriage is procreation, the answer is obvious. If sexual love becomes the primary purpose, the restriction of marriage to couples loses its logical basis, leading to marital chaos.”
I’ve heard some people say: 1. We don’t need to change the constitution over this issue, 2. I don’t want to boss people around, people can do whatever they want, or 3. I don’t care and I don’t see why this is such a big deal.
As citizens of California, we should care about regulating the foundational element of society. This is something that should matter to people. To those who don’t want to be bossy, I understand, I don’t like being bossy, but I draw the line when it comes to deciding how we want our society to treat its children. I believe every child deserves a mom and a dad. I will be bossy in order to achieve this goal. Marriage in the state’s eyes has never been about sexual expression/freedom or love–it has always been about children. Anyone who says, they don’t care, should think about how they see their citizenship. As citizens, we should care about protecting children, because children perpetuate the need for a state.
This is why I’m voting Yes on prop 8.
*i would love to hear your comments about how you see gender in parenting–especially relating to what good things you learned from your mom and your dad. please comment
This post comes from my friend Barrett and Autumn:
There are material differences between the traditional model of a family and the model established by the union of a same-sex couple. The union of a man and a woman is essentially self-sustaining and perpetuating. The mechanisms of creating and nurturing human beings continue unaided as everyone fulfills their familial roles. Decisions are made and needs met at the closest possible level. The government or some other third party only intervenes when an individual fails to meet his obligations within the unit.
A same-sex union is essentially a self-terminating one. The unit is only perpetuated if a third party (private, commercial or governmental) intervenes. This is a model of creating and nurturing human beings that is fundamentally different from the first. To broadly equivocate the two gives government and/or biotechnology corporations an indispensible role in the survival of the family that neither has ever before occupied. Instead of family decisions being made at the closest possible level, they must be infused with the efficiency of government bureaucracy and the compassion of biotechnology markets.
A functional and civilized government cannot exist without the traditional family model. A same-sex union capable of perpetuating itself cannot exist without the government. I find these differences to be important and worthy of thoughtful, deliberate investigation as we move forward in dealing with this complex issue.
It could be that our hyper-enlightened 21st century society has no need for such stodgy, confining concepts like marriage and gender. But there is still an off-chance we can learn from these concepts. Before we make it illegal for public policy to address the differences between two obviously divergent models of the fundamental unit of society, it seems prudent that we preserve the definition of marriage as it has stood for the last few millenia. Preserving the traditional definition allows us to grant comparable rights to same-sex couples without having to conflate the two institutions. As we use our federal system to our advantage and gather data on gay marriages performed elsewhere, we may find that there is no functional difference between the two models. In that case we may then legally equivocate the two based on sound data rather than antic dotes and name-calling.
A “Yes” vote on Proposition 8 is a reasoned, pragmatic and thoughtful vote. A “No” vote strikes me as hasty, ideologically rigid and unwilling to explore what the consequences of these changes might mean. I will be voting “Yes” on Proposition 8.
submitted by j.a. robinson
Two people love each other, derive happiness from being together, and want to raise a family together. They want to join in marriage. Are all unions created equal? Proponents of gay marriage say yes. If marriage has no gender, then the answer would have to be yes. But marriage has always had a gender component. If you remove the gender from marriage, you create a civil union, but you destroy the concept of marriage.
Judges created gay marriage. Popular opinion did not. Nature did not.
Under the prior law, all people were treated equally. Any man could marry any woman. The law did not confer anything which nature did not. And every child at least had the theoretical right to a father and mother.
Under the current state of the law, marriage means a union of two people, not the union of a man and woman. Marriage is neutered.
Those who vote No on Proposition 8 will take gender out of marriage. This will mean that children will not have a legal right to a father and a mother. Children will not be treated equally. Some will get two mothers, some two fathers, and some will get one of each.
Nature never intended that. The law should not be in the position of telling children that they do not have a natural right to be raised by a loving mother and father in a marriage. We live in an imperfect world and situations occur all the time when children must be raised without a mother or father, and are better off than the alternative. But this is the result of problems in our imperfect world–problems which people should work to solve together. Ideally, our laws should be designed to create a situation in which a child has no right to be raised by a mother and father.
This does not deny the love that gay partners have for each other, or suggest in any way that they may not make wonderful parents. But to say that this relationship is identical to a traditional gender marriage ignores the reality of gender. Perhaps unfortunately, nature created people with gender. Gender causes lots of blessings and also a few challenges. Judicially declaring marriage to be free of gender may end up causing more problems than it solves.
(originally posted here)
This is a letter is written and submitted by my friend Carla (also published in an abbreviated form in the Pasadena Star News):
It is ironic that some Californians believe in ‘green, natural, organic’, until it applies to homosexual marriage. Two people of the same sex cannot ‘naturally’ have a child. It can only be done through unnatural means. Nor are two people of the same sex the best situation in which to raise a child. Children have an innate need for a Mother and a Father to rear them for optimal emotional growth.
There is just no getting around that fact.
No matter how ‘loving’ the home, the need is there for both Mother and Father. Mother Nature has cleverly made this possible, and now we are attempting to get around her safeguard.
Since the passage of legalized homosexual marriage in the Netherlands, that society has imploded. The percentage of children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed; fewer people now bother to marry. Dutch social academicians are alarmed.
And now we want to try this same social science experiment in our own society. This is a project that will affect our most vulnerable members of society, our precious children, in ways we don’t yet understand and cannot foresee. Please vote yes on Proposition 8 and reaffirm the importance of marriage between a man and a woman.
The following post is written by my good friend, Rosanne. I ran into her on campus the other day and we had the most awesome conversation about how prop 8 should be a reminder to our society that children need to matter more. She is studying Marriage, Family and Human Development:
Proposition 8 has lead to very controversial, sometimes heated discussions. One side argues it’s not within the hands of the law to legislate morality, while the other says that the right to keep marriage between a man and a woman was already decided between the people of California, and we must respect democracy. My question is, what are we arguing about? What is the big deal about marriage?
I argue that society has a literal and clear moral obligation to protect the rights of marriage to be held strictly between a man and a woman. This is not simply the protection of marriage in the state of California for this generation, but this decision will affect this nation and others for decades, if not longer. The family was formed from the idea that a man and a woman were biologically, emotionally and psychologically built to balance one another and procreate.
Studies have shown that in parenting, the mother tends to focus on more immediate well-being of the children while the father is more apt to show and act in concern for the child’s long-term well-being. While both of these can be accomplished with just one influence, this balance is the key to good adjustment in children’s growing and ability to adjust. Mothers accomplish this by staying with their children and helping them learn every day, while fathers are able to work and earn money so that the family can grow and prosper as a whole, giving the child good resources for the things they will need. But as children are taken to day-cares and neighbors’ homes to be reared, they lose the influence of the mother’s emotional investment in their child’s immediate well-being, and adjustment is threatened simply by the mother’s lack of presence. Simply stated, the child is better off with the mother at home tending to the immediate day-to-day needs of her family.
Marriage has been recognized as the union of a man and a woman, bound by civil laws to live and work together and build a family and home. However, as a society we have redefined how we see this all-important issue. Marriage is seen as a more flippant and passive issue, a union that can be made or broken on a whim with no fault and under any circumstances. Throughout the years, we have failed to recognize the repercussions of these decisions. But first, how did marriage (and therefore, family) go from the most important institution in society to the one looked upon with the most flexibility? In American, we have gone through a very systematic and specific chain of events to get from one to the other.
Being a system made of changeable parts (its citizens), society as a whole is made to be naturally evolving based on its citizens’ actions. Going on the assumption that people will always look towards their and others’ best interests, we can safely say that these changes will lean towards being good, specifically on the economic side. As the financial situation becomes better, people start to have higher standards of living. This directs people to have a stronger focus on individual satisfaction. When the individual becomes the focus (as has happened in America, we are intensely individualistic), it leads people to have higher expectations for their marriages to obtain this “greater personal happiness.” When these expectations are not met, people are more willing to sue for divorce. This puts more pressure on courts who in the past had not allowed much room for separations, and with so many people wanting to be cut loose from their partners, divorce courts will ease the laws and more people will get divorced, causing marriage to eventually be seen as a contract that is easy to enter into and easy to escape. In situations of abuse, divorce should of course be considered as an option, but as a society, we are not willing to work out our smaller differences for the sake of our children.
So what does this say about Prop 8 – how does this tie in to homosexual marriages? I think it is important to realize that the importance of marriage has changed significantly because of our shift into an individualistic society. People may say, this is good, it is natural for society to evolve based on its needs and the collective voice of the people, do what you need to be happy. What we fail to mention here is our children. They are our future, and as such, we have a very high moral obligation to do everything we can to make their lives as potentially successful as we can. And the fact of the matter is, as Americans, we do not care about what happens to them. We are so highly focused on our personal freedoms and well-being that we forget about the most important part of life – raising up a good generation of people who are socially able to handle decisions and look at situations from a solid standpoint. But as I’ve illustrated in the above chain of reaction, we are willing to conform to changes that may or may not be what’s best for the future. Over and over, statistics show that divorce and instability are not good for children, for it leads them down a path of uncertainty and confusion. Children need stable moms and dads who are willing to guide them in direct and clear ways of living.
It is absolutely best for children to have a mother and a father. Men and women are made to work together, to balance each other. Voting yes on prop 8 will be the first step to showing that marriage is a serious issue and must be dealt with very carefully. This isn’t about making sexual orientation more acceptable or making it easier for homosexual couples to gain rights that come through marriage. This is about making sure we protect this fundamental institution that was designed for the benefit of our children and for the people as a whole, to work together and function in healthy and progressive ways.
Some anti-prop 8 arguments point to “numerous” studies supporting the hypothesis that gender in parenting doesn’t matter.
What these arguments don’t say is that these studies are deeply flawed. There is not enough evidence to prove the same-gender parenting case.
France took a year studying out the issue. We should vote on prop 8 with extreme care.
For your reading information, I am linking an article that explains the issues with the studies in depth. I think it’s pretty important to realize there simply is not enough information on the effects of same-gender marriage on children.
Massachusetts’ law has only been in effect for four years. This is not enough time. Our law has only been in effect since June. The effects which concern prop 8 supporters take a generation to fully develop.
Vote yes on prop 8. No child’s* needs should be sacrificed to give a group more social standing/confidence. There are other ways to achieve this goal.
You can find the entire text here: Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
Numerous reviews of the literature on sexual orientation and parenting have been conducted.12 At least three such reviews have pointed to the serious scientific limitations of the social science literature on gay parenting.13
Perhaps the most thorough review was prepared by Steven Nock, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who was asked to review several hundred studies as an expert witness for the Attorney General of Canada.
Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that
1) all of the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal
flaw of design or execution;
2) not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research. 14 Design flaws researchers have found in these studies include very basic limitations:
a. No nationally representative sample. Even scholars enthusiastic about unisex parenting, such as Stacey and Biblarz, acknowledge that “there are no studies of child development based on random, representative samples of [same-sex couple] families.”15
b. Limited outcome measures. Many of the outcomes measured by the research are unrelated to standard measures of child well-being used by family sociologists (perhaps because most of the researchers
are developmental psychologists, not sociologists).
c. Reliance on maternal reports. Many studies rely on a mother’s report of her
parenting skills and abilities, rather than objective measures of child outcomes.
d. No long-term studies. All of the studies conducted to date focus on static or shortterm measures of child development. Few or none follow children of unisex parents to adulthood.
But perhaps the most serious methodological critique of these studies, at least with reference to the family structure debate, is this: The vast majority of these studies compare single lesbian mothers to single heterosexual mothers. As sociologist Charlotte Patterson, a leading researcher on gay and lesbian parenting, recently summed up, “[M]ost studies have compared children in divorced lesbian mother-headed families with children in divorced heterosexual motherheaded families.”16
Most of the gay parenting literature thus compares children in some fatherless families to children in other fatherless family forms. The results may be relevant for some legal policy debates (such as custody disputes) but,
in our opinion, they are not designed to shed light on family structure per se, and cannot credibly be used to contradict the current
weight of social science: family structure matters, and the family structure that is most protective a child well-being is the intact,
married biological family.
Children do best when raised by their own married mother and father.
*Children cannot be separated from the marriage issue. While many people see marriage as a private matter concerning only private love and commitment, the reason government is involved with marriage is to ensure children have an institution (the family) to care for them.
*The fact that same-sex couples can already adopt children is a separate issue from the state recognizing a definition of marriage which inherently denies children the right to a mom and a dad.