Guest column: Getting Prop 8 Straight

Travis Kabel

This November, Californian voters will be rushing to the polls to vote on a wealth of important issues. How to deal with the failing economy and who to elect as president will be some of the harder choices we will be faced with. Among these many hard issues, there lays a more frivolous one, Proposition 8.

“Prop 8” is an initiative constitutional amendment that will eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry. A yes vote would mean that you do not believe in equality before the law, a fundamental pillar of American society. A yes vote discriminates individuals on the basis of sexual orientation alone and allows the government to reach too far into the lives of private citizens. It also may carry a profound fiscal impact. The California Voter Information Pamphlet states that, “over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments.” This fiscal impact is too costly at a time when the entire U.S economy is heading into a recession, not to mention California’s massive $16 billion deficit. A loss of sales taxes may also mean a loss of jobs. In financial times like these who of us wants to pay more taxes, lose a job, or see more cuts to public schooling? And for what, to ensure that same-sex couples cannot continue to be recognized as married? That seems too costly.

The counter argument will tell you that the best environment for a child to grow up in is with a married mother and father. Though I personally believe this as true, it must be said that this “best environment” is in the minority as more and more marriages in California are ending in divorce. It should also be noted that same-sex couples in California as of 2004 have already been able to adopt either way. Who among us doesn’t at least know one person who has been raised by a same-sex couple? Am I the only one who can attest that people who were raised in same-sex households can turn out perfectly “normal” and well adapted? Maybe, but the fact of the matter is that the only defense for same-sex couples not to marry is an appeal to religion, and in a religiously plural nation there is not enough room for one religion to “marry” or share the same bed as the state.

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