OP-ED: Proposition 8 denies basic benefits
There are so many major issues that seem to be taking hold of voters this election season, but one makes me especially cringe, and it's not even in my state. Proposition 8: The California Marriage Protection Amendment.
In 2004, Utah passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages or unions giving similar legal rights. The lengths that people will go to to discriminate will never cease to amaze me. Measures such as Proposition 8 are touted as "protectionist" for the sanctity of the institution of marriage.
Am I the only person who doesn't buy this story? In the United States of America, men and women can marry the opposite gender for any reason they so choose, and for any period of time they deem "enough."
Whether it's for tax or economic benefits, or purely entertainment, there are virtually no stipulations on heterosexual nuptials.
I would never attempt to fully understand the thought process of an omniscient being, but would Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage actually hold some kind of sanctity in the eyes of God? Of course it wouldn't. However, I don't see any so-called marriage protectors requesting proof of love or anything similar as a prerequisite to traditional marriages.
The Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics reports that 43 percent of marriages end in divorce within 15 years.
When it comes down to it, traditional marriage protection simply equates to homosexual marriage bans. It's not so much about keeping a good thing as it is about banning an unsavory practice.
Gay marriage, above many other issues, has become so hard for people to accept. I know it is not anyone's desire to merely be tolerated, but I think some tolerance would be appreciated.
No one has ever asked people to approve of homosexual behavior, but merely to accept homosexuals' right to the same benefits that heterosexual couples receive. One does not have to agree with homosexuality to agree that some rights should be universal.
At what point do we stop taking away the rights of those we don't approve of? It seems so sad to me that in this day and age, in what is supposedly the bastion of freedom for the world, we are still not hesitant to deny rights to people that we feel are incompatible to our nation's values.
Today, the issue is homosexuality, but what will it be tomorrow? Will you be in the next group we decide isn't as good as everyone else? Where do we stop the abridgement of individual rights?
© 2009 Dennis Busch