Marriage Equality: Overview and California Proposition 8
Freedom, Fairness and Equal Treatment under the Law
The historic struggle for marriage equality is a struggle for freedom, fairness and equality for all. It is a fight for the most basic of American values: equal treatment under the law.
The most central American value is freedom. It is the principle upon which our nation was founded. It is what we pledge our allegiance to: “… with freedom and justice for all.” Fundamental freedoms like the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the freedom to marry are at the heart of who we are as Americans. While many things divide us; this principle is what binds us together as a great nation.
Those who support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples understand this. Regardless of their own personal views on gay and lesbian couples, regardless of whether they personally wish to marry; they understand that the freedom to marry is basic. No group of tax-paying, law-abiding Americans should be singled out and denied freedom or equal treatment under the law.
Those who oppose marriage equality seek to single out and exclude long-term, loving, committed gay and lesbian couples from the freedom granted to all Americans: the freedom to marry. In state after state they work to write exclusionary language into the state constitutions that denies the basic freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples.
Even in California.
Gay and lesbian marriages began June 17th, 2008 in California. It was an emotional and moving day for all Californians that believe in love and commitment. A day some couples had waited 25, 30 and even 50 years for. But the struggle for freedom did not end on that note.
On June 2, 2008 the California Secretary of State certified Proposition 8 for the November 2008 ballot. A yes vote on Proposition 8 would amend the California constitution to excluding lesbian and gay couple from the fundamental freedom to marry and to only recognize marriages “between a man and a woman.”
Those who oppose equal treatment under the law are determined, will go to any lengths and have promised to spend millions to deny gay & lesbian couples the fundamental freedom to marry and deny those couples equality.
Some call the battle for equality in California the “civil rights battle of our lifetimes.” Other writers remind us that the nation is watching. Civil rights and equal treatment for all Americans is what is at stake.
Make sure your answer to the question from our youth, the question that will undoubtedly be asked: “Where were you when that fight was going on?” is a resounding “I was there. I was there fighting for freedom for all Americans.”