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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) and
domestic partnerships in California

What will the future hold for Prop. 8?

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What is next?

To put the vote in perspective:

Attempts over the past 15 decades to obtain equal rights for minorities such as:
bulletThe abolition of human slavery, and recognition of African Americans as full human beings,
bulletAllowing all African Americans to marry,
bulletAllowing women to enter most professions,
bulletAllowing women to vote,
bulletAllowing non-theists to claim conscientious objection during wartime,
bulletAllowing African Americans to vote,
bulletAllowing interracial couples to marry, etc.
have all eventually been won. With agonizing slowness, the promise in the Pledge of Allegiance for "justice and liberty for all" has been largely achieved.

Opposition against equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations has been decreasing for decades:Prop 22 in the year 2000 passed with 61.4% of the votes.
bullet Proposition 22 passed by 61.4% of the vote in the year 2000.
bulletThe identically worded Prop 8 passed with only 52.3% of the votes in 2008.

This represents a drop in support of 9 percentage points in 8 years!

Assuming that this trend continues, if all legal challenges in the near future fail to restore SSM to California, a new Proposition favoring marriage equality in 2012 would probably pass comfortably. Again, this would only take 50% of the voting public plus one vote to pass.

The drop of 9 percentage points between 2000 and 2008 is not a fluke. Numerous polls on equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations -- heterosexuals, bisexuals and homosexuals -- have consistently shown a gradual weakening of the opposition.

Webmaster's opinion (for what it is worth):

There are few rights more fundamental that being able to marry the person that one loves and to whom they are committed.

It is still puzzling to us how two percent of the population can determine who receives fundamental human rights and who is denied them throughout California.

If Prop 8 is allowed to stand, then nobody's rights are safe. There are lots of minority groups in California who are hated and feared by a substantial number of potential voters in the state. Probably the most unpopular groups are religious minorities -- particularly Atheists and Muslims. Beyond them are other vulnerable minorities.

One of the purposes of a constitution is to protect the rights of minorities from attacks by legislatures and majorities of the public. This protection failed over Prop. 8.

One is reminded of the words of pastor Martin Niemoller writing in 1945 on his release from a World War II Nazi concentration camp:

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak out for me." 1,2

References used:

 The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The above wording appears to be correct. However, a very popular distortion of his saying cites, in order: labor unions, Communists, Jews, and Catholic
  2. Franklin H. Littell, "First They Came for the Jews," Christian Ethics Today, 2001-MAY-27, at: http://www.christianethicstoday.com/

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Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Couples > California > here

Copyright © 2008 and 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2009-JAN-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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