Monday, November 10, 2008

Prop 8 in California: YES or NO

Pictures: Courtesy of Google Images

If you live in the Bay Area and tune into your radio while driving your car or listen to the local news or see slogans propped outside homes, the term Prop 8 is perhaps the most spoken word around here. While, the Yes and No for support or not in favor of Prop 8 keeps shifting and to me is down right confusing, I thought that writing a post about it might help get some clarity.

Proposition 8 is one of the electoral ballot propositions that was entirely devoted to the State of California. The ballot title of Prop 8 was "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry". Before, it was passed, same-sex marriage was a constitutionally protected right in California. In other words, Prop 8 would amend the state of California to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

VOTING YES ON PROP 8 means- you will define MARRIAGE in California to mean only the union between one man and one woman.

VOTING NO ON PROP 8 means- you will define MARRIAGE in California to mean the union between any two people regardless of gender, which includes same-sex couples.
(No change to the original state constitution right).

The electoral campaigns both For and Against Prop 8 raised several millions of dollars. While Democrats are the liberals who would argue that treating one group of people differently is unfair and wrong, conservative republicans might dig into their stance that failure to change the constitution for heteresexual marriage would require changing school curriculum etc. Of course, just like Obama, many liberals may not be that clear in their stance or vote Yes for Prop 8.

Nevertheless, just thinking about this topic that has been debated at all levels at nauseum, it makes one ponder about what their core beliefs, values etc. are. For the immigrant folks like me, where we hail from a culture that still has a higher percent of arranged marriages happening, it is indeed a shift in paradigm to think about same-sex couples getting married.

While, I've often felt that it is okay to accept a person if he/she is attracted to the same sex and try not to treat them differently, and also come to terms with them living together as a couple, calling their union as a Marriage is what bothers me somehow. Can't it just be named as a Union or something along those lines, instead of calling it Marriage. Because, the union between a man and a woman is a marriage, since they can give birth to kids etc. Yes, agreed that two women living as a couple can adopt a child, but, how would that child be raised. Who would it look up to as Mother and Father roles, would its thinking get impaired are all questions that I ponder, but have no answers to.

Anyways, this is a topic that is indeed controversial at its core and is still debated about widely here in Bay Area and had to make a post about this one.

Happy Monday!


Cham said...

Me and my husb had a talk about this prop 8, recently. In our area (Bay) 70 to 80 % are immigrants, we were wondering how people will react and vote this one :)
About who would be mom or dad? Definetly for example, one should be John and the other one Lisa:) Weird may be for us but It is the biggest issue for those who are concerned !

anudivya said...

I have some thoughts about this, but I don't know if I can put it across in the right manner, so I am gonna refrain from actually commenting on this post :)
One thing, about the issue as such... who says what is correct and what is wrong? Tricky!

Jayashree said...

Why do you think giving it a different name would make it better? Isn't it going to be the same thing, whether you call it a marriage or a union or anything else???

Krishnan said...

Hi Mitr, though your post is Califoria-specific, I guess CA is a very liberal state which has welcome immigrants with wide open arms and has been supporting gay rights. Gay rights is hotly debated here in India too.

Aparna said...

I am obviously from India -Chennai to be specific which is very conservative. Though, it did not seem weird to me. Don't know why? Never questioned myself about it either. I remember my soon to be ex saying I don't care what gal A brings home; as long as it is a gal. I answered saying if he does turn out gay; will he love him any less? He would still be our son! Well, those were times when there was some meaning in my marriage :)
So, coming to the term "marriage"; how will it make a change if it is termed differently? Union/marriage or whatever is still what it is. To me, when we say democracy, freedom and the likes - why should choice of a partner be any different? I always feel that as long as anything does not harm another person, others should have no say over the matter. It is a purely personal choice. There is a lot more I can write. Don't want to make the comment longer than the post ;) I guess you get my drift anyways.

Sachita(india) said...

My thought process was similar to yours as well. I did have issues with bringing up a kid in a house hold without a father/mother, but then I realized it was because I grew up in a society with models of only man & woman families so that's how my idea was formed.

The future generation which might grow up around such families wouldn't have any issues with this.

Kids grow up fine even with just single parents, so I can't see why not with two parents of same sex.

We all take time in accepting changes, some more easily than others.

A-kay said...

Very interesting proposition indeed. I was talking to K yesterday about this and was telling I thought I was a liberal all along only to realize I am conservative, as think what you may, I can't seem to agree to redefining marriage as between 2 people of the same gender. But yes, there are several thoughts on this, pros and cons on each side and who knows what tmw will bring us! What we thought improbable 50 years ago are reality now, so...

DEESHA said...

I guess US is far more liberal in these issues than India .. CA is full of immigrants & is culturally more open

mitr_bayarea said...

Cham- Lol-ed at one being Lisa and the othe rbeing John, good one.

Anudivya- hmm..true, it depends on which side you take.

Jayashree- While, it is going to be the same thing, as I mentin in my post, since marriage is the relationship that exists between man and woman who can give birth to kids etc. it will be better (I feel) if they call it "Union" or some new term.

Krishnan- Yes, CA is very liberal in many ways, too much and that is why there are tons of immigrants living here. Yes, heard that gay rights is also a hot topic in India.

Aparna- Lovely thoughts, extremely liberal, that is why you could think so deeply about this. Agree with you that it should be a personal choice in the end.

Sachita- Hmm..interesting that you mention that future generations may not grown up seeing man/woman relationships, that would become true in CA, not sure about elsewhere.

A-kay- Me too, thought I am very liberal before posting this, but, ended up leaning more towards a conservative stance when I can't accept the naming of it as "marriage."

Deesha- You are correct, CA is too liberal in so many aspects.