So, what will happen? Do our lesbian/gay sisters and brothers lose all their rights? Do they revert to second class citizens, as some ads suggest? You’ve probably seen the television ads portraying Proposition 8 as the same as denying civil rights to our African American sisters and brothers prior to the Civil Rights Act and Civil Rights Movement of the 40’s 50’s and 60’s. As best I can tell none of this is true. Rather, what will happen on November 5, 2008, should Proposition 8 prevail at the polls with a majority vote of California’s residents follows below the jump:
All our lesbian/gay sisters and brothers will:
Still have all their First Amendment protections. They will still have their freedom of speech, and the freedom to exercise their religious beliefs as they see fit.
Still have the right to keep and bear arms.
Still not be forced to quarter soldiers in any of their homes.
Be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.
No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Shall not be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.
None shall be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, all accused shall still enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.
They will still have the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The right of trial by jury shall be preserved, even if Proposition 8 passes by a popular vote of the people.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, even if Proposition 8 is successful.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, again, even if Proposition 8 is successful.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, will still be reserved to the States respectively, or to the people–even if Proposition 8 passes.
Everyone will still have the right to vote, and express their political opinions, just as several are doing this election season.
Specifically in California, all of our lesbian/gay sisters and brothers who love and cherish each other can, and should register as domestic partners. And, as registered domestic partners they will enjoy all the rights, privileges, and benefits California law bestows on men and women who are married:
Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.
They can continue enjoying the sexual relationships they desire. They can bequeath and devise real and personal property to any person they chose, including their domestic partner. They may execute powers of attorney, health care directives, wills and trusts just the same as men and women who are married. They may inherit under any testamentary document. They may visit each other in hospital rooms when one or the other is sick.
In short, Proposition 8, will not take away any substantive right that the law can bestow on them. The only thing that they cannot do, is appropriate the institution of marriage for a political agenda, which is as it should be. Marriage, predates California. It predates the United States. Marriage is ordained of God, has been, is, and will continue to be defined both by God and by the vast majority of the entire world as an institution between a man and a woman.
Californians spoke loudly and clearly on this subject eight years ago. Any redefinition (however foolish the idea) is something that can only legitimately be done either by the legislature or the people–as California’s constitution allows. It is and was an abuse of judicial power for four supreme court justices on California’s supreme court to re-define marriage in direct contravention of the vast majority of California’s voters. That judicial activist decision made the majority of California voters second class citizens. It took away our rights to make our will known at the ballot box. It is time Californians restored marriage’s definition. It is time Californians took back that which is the provice of the people to legitmately decide–the secular meaning and definition of marriage in California.