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Comment of the Fortnight
2 March 2000
No on Proposition 22

For those folks in California who read these articles, 6 March 2000 is Election Day. One of the propositions on the ballot is Proposition 22, which reads as follows:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

I urge you to vote no on this proposition.

Here are some questions that people ask about the measure, and some answers:

Isn't a vote against this proposition a vote for gay marriage?
No. Marriage of a man and man or woman and woman is not legal as is. Neither a vote for or against this proposition will change that.
But the second half of the proposition closes a loophole in the current law, doesn't it?
Proponents of the proposition claim that, if some other state were to legalize gay marriage, California would have to recognize those marriages. This law, they say, closes that loophole. My response is this: Marriage laws are not uniform throughout the United States. Two fourteen-year-olds can get married in Utah with parental consent; this is not legal in California. However, California will recognize that marriage as valid when the couple moves from Utah to California. Don't we need a proposition to close this loophole as well?
Marriage is a holy union before God. How can you ask me to recognize a union that God disapproves of?
Marriage is a civil contract which can be blessed by a church. You must first get a state-issued marriage license before you can have a preacher marry you in church. Neither a Moslem cleric nor a Catholic priest would perform a marriage between a Moslem man and a Catholic woman, nor is anyone asking them to. That couple would, however, be allowed to go to City Hall and get a marriage license and be married by a civil servant. The State would recognize that as a perfectly valid marriage, even though it was never blessed in the sight of God, Allah, Buddha, or any religious entity.
Look at the state of marriage in this country today. Don't we need this proposition to protect marriage?
If the core concept of a marriage is maintaining a committed, monogamous relationship within which both partners can support each other, which is more of a threat to the institution of marriage?

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