Prop. 22 Essay, Research Paper
Why is Proposition 22: Limit On Marriages, an important matter in the state of California? The reason is because it affects millions of people being heterosexual or homosexual. According to the article, A Discussion about Differences: The Left Hand Analogy, Warren J. Blumenfeld and Diane Raymond states that there are approximately 25 million left-handed people in the United States with the statistics being about the same for homosexuality (Course Reader 78). Since California is largely populated, there should be a large population of the 25 million homosexuals in this state. Add that population of people to the others who are for or against homosexuality and you get a large percentage of the residents who are affected. Among those people are a variety of opinions ranging from strong support of homosexuals to strong opposition of homosexuals. My opinions lean towards the support of homosexuals struggle. I am against Proposition 22. The reasons I am against Proposition 22 is because it does not seem to do anything for the time being, the use of protection of marriage is hypocritical, and it gets in the way of giving homosexuals equal rights and privileges.
First of all, voting in favor of Proposition 22 does not really do anything for the time being. In the article, Gays and Lesbians Have an Equal Right to Marriage, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education fund, Inc. writes lesbian and gay men may be on the verge of winning the right to marry a basic right denied them in all fifty states (Gay Rights 66). The key words are may be on the verge of winning . Have they won yet? No. As it stands, this proposition is trying to ban something that is already banned in the United States. Gay or lesbian marriages are not legal in any state for California not to acknowledge. On the other hand, I could see the reason that the supporters of Proposition 22 would want this law to be passed. Answering the question, do any states recognize gay marriage? is the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU for short, in their piece of writing, Antidiscrimination Laws Protect Equal Rights for Gays and Lesbians. The ACLU responds:
Not yet. But more than two dozen cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Minneapolis, have domestic partnership programs that provide legal recognition for both heterosexual and homosexual unmarried cohabitants who register with the city. (Gay Rights 148)
In the defense for pro Proposition 22 individuals, it is perfectly natural to become nervous because it seems as though homosexuals are getting closer to what supporters of Proposition 22 fear the most. Basically, the reason I do not agree with Limit On Marriages is because it does not have an immediate affect. Only until the Hawaii courts resolve the situation in favor of homosexual marriages will Proposition 22 become effective. All I am trying to say is that they should cross this road when they come to it. That is why I feel that Proposition 22 does not resolve any situations at the moment.
Secondly, I think that Proposition 22 s words Protect Marriage as their campaign slogan is hypocritical. Where were all these people who wants marriage protected when other factors already ruined the reputation of what a marriage really is? In the newspaper article taken from the San Jose Mercury, Prop. 22 and the Threats To Marriage, Rev. Jon G. Pedigo, he writes The top issues which threaten and marriage are a couple s lack of communication skills, an inability to resolve conflicts and, sadly, the absence of a common value system (Pedigo 7B). I agree with this statement because the word marriage is not as strong as what it used to be. There are many marriages across the nation that does not last because of the lack of communication, compromise, and values as mentioned by Rev. Pedigo. Why don t we put an end to failed marriages by being strict with who should be married or not? Homosexual marriage would not damage the good name of marriage if the marriage contained love, communication, compromise, and values. The Catholic priest also adds:
In terms of society, the threats to marriage include entertainers and politicians divorcing and remarrying multiple times, moral and religious leaders recanting or disobeying vows regarding chastity or celibacy, and media messages that trivialize commitment, follow-through and a value-centered relationship. (Pedigo 7B)
Where are the defenders of marriage in these situations? Do the words til death do us part have no meaning? Why not make a proposition that protects marriage by saying you cannot divorce because you promised to be married until death. In their defense, marriage , traditionally, is between a man and a woman. Many turn to the Bible for advice on this situation. In the article, Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life , Blumenfeld and Raymond discuss various versus about homosexuals. For example, one they use is,
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:13). (Course Reader 80)
Being somewhat religious, I know a person should take God s words seriously, but I find it hypocritical to believe in some of God s words, but not all. Pedigo talked about moral and religious vows broken by society. These vows are as sacred as the passage of Leviticus. How could God s words be used against homosexuals, but not against heterosexuals? To sum it up, Protect Marriage is hypocritical because it attacks homosexuals, but on the other hand allows heterosexuals to destroy the meaning of marriage slide.
Finally, I oppose Proposition 22 because it prevents homosexuals from getting equal rights and privileges. Without the label of marriage, many things can be withheld from gay and lesbian couples. One example was described in the article, Gay and Lesbian Partners Should Receive Employment Benefits, by Brian McNaught. Brian McNaught writes:
Larry, I said to the executive sitting in the front row, let s pretend that you and I went to the same university, pursued the same studies, graduated with the same grades and honors, and were recruited by the same corporation. We share an office. We do the same work. We are both hailed as the best and the brightest employees in the company. You get married. The next day you wife receives health-care benefits from the corporation. My partner, Ray, with whom I share my life, gets nothing. Because of all of the benefits your wife receives, you are getting paid more than I am to do the same job. I believe that is unfair. (Gay Rights 19)
It is unfair. If marriage is not granted to homosexuals, how many Americans are not getting equal pay for equal work ? (Gay Rights 18) Ten percent of the American population, that s how many. On the other hand, in Homosexual Partners Should Not Receive Employment Benefits, Jack Chambers writes:
I am philosophically opposed to the extension of such incentives. They amount to unfair subsidies for some companies over others. When newcomer corporations are given financial breaks by government officials, it is virtually impossible for mom & pop enterprises to compete with them. But if such packages are going to be offered, it is certainly justifiable for the decision-makers to take moral and social factors into consideration. (Gay Rights 24)
Jack Chambers makes a good point about how small companies would have a hard time giving homosexuals these incentives. It makes a lot of sense in the business perspective. On the other hand, in the personal view, it gives gays and lesbians a hard time that might need these incentives. It benefits the small businesses, but greatly affects the big businesses with many gay employees. Another example of rights and privileges is from Gay and Lesbian Partners Should Be Legally Recognized as Family Members by Mary N. Cameli. She says:
The status of family, with all of its attendant benefits and burdens, is currently available only to persons related through blood or marriage rights of inheritance is spelled out in the law, and in the absence of a will, family members receive priority in inheritance (Gay Rights 30).
Suppose a gay couple, living together for quite sometime got in a situation where a misfortune resulted in the death of one. This couple had relationship equal to a married heterosexual couple. Because it was unexpected, the gay couple had not written out a will. The law says that with the absence of a will, inheritance goes to family. Again, without the label of marriage, the gay partner was not considered family and the inheritance was given to some family member instead of the gay partner, who rightfully deserved it. I don t think that this is fair since there is no way for gay couples to become family members. In contrast, a freelance writer, Frank S. Zepezauer expresses his opinion in the article Homosexual Partners Should Not Be Legally recognized as Family Members, that The gay family must be stopped before it secures a permanent place in law and custom. Only a little time remains because the gay alternative family is already deeply institutionalized (Gay Rights 35). Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion and I know, although it is not stated, that this article is speaking for many people out there. I think that these people are thinking of a traditional family and they fear change. They are afraid of what they already feel comfortable with. Marriage is very important to all gay couples that want to get married because it will entitle them with rights and privileges not given to a homosexual partnership.
In conclusion, I think Proposition 22 is a bad idea and I oppose everything it does and asks for. There are too many human beings in the United States that this proposition will affect. Homosexuals have been around for a very long time. People such as Socrates, Sappho, Alexander the Great, Julius Caeser, King Richard II, Pope Julius III, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and many others have had same-sex relationships (Course Reader 86). They were here thousands of years before our time and they did not die out. They have always been in our lives and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Homosexuals are here and they are here to stay. Our government should not ignore them, but should help them get equal treatment in every aspect in their lives. Don t you think it is time homosexuals were thought as any other person on this planet?