Ryan Chartrand

In 2000, voters took to the polls and decided the fate of America for the next four years. By a very small margin, George W. Bush was elected president of the United States, but not after a whirlwind of argument, recounts and court decisions. Ever since, I have heard outrage over the alleged unconstitutionality of having the courts decide the election.

Now, in 2008, we face the same situation. Voters took to the polls and decided the fate of California in 2000. By a 61 percent majority, Californians decided to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. By no means was this an unusual step: 44 states currently have legislation and/or constitutional amendments stating thus.

Fast-forward eight years to June 17. Four judges decided to revoke the popular law. By court decision, 61 percent of Californians had their vote overruled. Has there been a proposition passed to legalize same-sex marriage? No. Has there been a legislative push to remove the law? No. Four judges decided so. The courts are designed to check and balance the legislative branch, not the people. For this reason, among so many others, I support Proposition 8 to insert the words “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” into the state constitution.

California Law states that “registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses” (Family Code 297.5).

A domestic partnership, if registered, has the same legal standing as a marriage. Proposition 8 protects marriage. It does not disrupt gay lifestyle.

If Proposition 8 does not pass, there will be backlash to those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, especially religions. In Canada, where same-sex marriage is legalized, any minister who preaches that marriage should be between a man and a woman is likely to be sued for hate speech. Religious adoption agencies that previously held the right to place children in homes with a mother and father could lose that directive. Charities of certain religions (Catholic, Mormon, etc.) could lose their tax-exempt status, forcing them to reduce operations or close, as seen in Massachusetts.

I believe that no one should be discriminated against if they are gay or lesbian; I support the Californian law in the previous quote. I also do not believe that I should be discriminated against because of my beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

William Stevenson is a statistics senior and a Mustang Daily guest columnist.

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