Millions of dollars and millions of votes invested, and Prop 8 is still with us.
What I am about to say is based upon my views of political and social reality, and not upon personal or spiritual convictions. You may well disagree with me, but I honestly think time will affirm what I'm saying.
I genuinely believe Prop 8 was destined for ultimate failure the day it was placed on the ballot. Even though it passed with a moderate majority vote (I expected a bigger one), I am quite certain that it will ultimately fail. I understand the good intentions and the "protective spirit" of the designers and financers of the proposition. The problem, however, is basic: when you craft a constitutional amendment that denies ANYTHING of a group of people, you are accelerating the vindication of that very group, and assuring the quick and unequivocal obliteration of the source of denial.
Amending a constitution--state or federal--is always extremely serious business. Technically, it's a legislative matter. But when a constitutional amendment is written that denies a right--even an assumed or questionable one--it becomes infinitely more serious. I realize that this proposition grew out of a strong resentment of supreme court justices "legislating from the bench." That resentment is understandable. But to react to that pseudo-legislation by engineering a deprivational AMENDMENT is, in my opinion, an act of desperation. At best, it is an example of naivete at the extreme.
To force God-fearing, Bible-believing people to "vote their conscience" on an amendment that has so many emotional and controversial attachments, is profoundly manipulative. Of course many, if not most of these people are going to vote FOR such an amendment, if by voting AGAINST it they would be contradicting their moral convictions. You may know or have heard about people who have expressed deep angst about the felt necessity of voting for 8, knowing what it would mean to their friends, acquaintences, and family members. However, if they truly believe that their first devotion in life must be to God, and if they genuinely believe the Scriptures to be inerrant and infallible, they really didn't have much of an option. This is why the proposition was manipulative. These people should never have been placed in such a conundrum.
One of the things that angers me the most about this proposition is the division and tension it has driven into the relationships of people who otherwise love each other deeply, but are on opposing sides of the issue. This is tragic beyond description. Hopefully, time will heal these ugly fractures.
In the grand scheme of things, I suppose, creating the proposition was unavoidable. When large groups of people feel that their grass-roots beliefs and values are being severely threatened by other groups (in this case, a smaller one), they resort to extreme measures. The alternatives: peaceful coexistence or waging battle. The folks with the power and the money chose waging battle.
So, the votes were cast, and the "victory" was won. But was it? This country is all about freedom. Increasing people's civil freedoms is much more the norm than restricting them. For goodness sake, some highly influential leaders in this country are more concerned about the civil rights of terrorists than they are about national security. So isn't it just a little silly for anyone to honestly believe that the "civil rights" of hundreds of thousands can be voted away by a bare majority?
Proposition 8 is going to accomplish exactly what it was attempting to prevent: it will only be a matter of time before the proposition itself is considered unconstitutional.
There are just too many people who will refuse to accept the idea that their state's constitution is going to be altered to deny them or their loved ones the same privileges and rights that others enjoy (and abuse).
Again, this post is not about the "rightness" or "wrongness" of same-sex marriage. It's about the futility of a state attempting to declare something to be "constitutionally unacceptable," while at the same time trying to comfort the "unacceptable" parties by offering clinical alternatives like "domestic partnerships." (Ironically, these partnerships legally are basically the same thing that's being denied: marriage.) Thus the question arises: if the union already exists legally, how can the same thing with a different name be considered unconstitutional ? If same-sex marriages are unconstitutional, then same-sex unions of any sort should be altogether illegal. (I'm not suggesting that, by the way; it's just the only logical and legally reasonable alternative.)
When the courts deal with the matter once and for all--and I believe Tuesday's "Yes" vote will accelerate this--millions of people will feel betrayed and will be convinced that their state (or federal) courts are legislating yet again. The truth is, however, that the tool that was designed to restore or protect traditional marriage very likely will have opened the floodgates to to the non-traditional.
These are the consequences of Prop 8 as I see them. Time will tell.