Prop 8

October 17, 2008 | 93 comments
By

In response to the FP request to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman”, I’m bringing the widget back to the top of T&S. Actually, it’s a slightly different widget. Sometime between now and election day I’ll post my thoughts on Prop 8. But for now, you get this happy little fellow.

93 Responses to Prop 8

  1. Dan on October 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Interesting. In the widget one of the “facts” is that teachers will be required to teach children that there is no difference between homosexual and heterosexual marriage. Aside from gender, will there actually be a difference between the two?

  2. Dan on October 17, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I’m also curious how this has actually affected one’s Constitutional right to the freedom of religion…

  3. Gerald Smith on October 17, 2008 at 11:21 am

    The problem with SSM is based on history. Governments have officially recognized marriage between man and woman for centuries, because it has shown to be beneficial to society. It allows for children to be born to A set of parents, as the norm in nature, and have the expectation to be raised by those parents. This creates a stability in society that governments have naturally supported by legally recognizing marriage of man and woman.
    Just what benefit does society gain from legalizing SSM? I see the benefits those individuals receive, but government recognizes marriage because of the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits it receives from traditional marriage.
    If we are instead going to offer benefits to people in varying relationships, then we’ve changed the foundation of why marriage was recognized by governments in the the first place. It opens the door for making all forms of relationship the same: which means when everything is normalized, nothing is sacred or significant.
    Why are families falling apart today? Because we no longer give it the significance we once did. What benefit do we have in destroying the nuclear family? Let’s see: statistics show that unwed mothers have a high rate of living in poverty. Their children have a high risk for crime and drugs. Education scores and graduation rates drop exponentially for kids who do not have a father and mother in the home.

    Just what benefit do we receive, if we do not support the Church and sanity in stopping SSM in California?

  4. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 11:26 am

    “In the widget one of the “facts” is that teachers will be required to teach children that there is no difference between homosexual and heterosexual marriage. Aside from gender, will there actually be a difference between the two? ”

    Consider a hypothetical fellow living in Fresno. Our hypothetical man does not really care what gay men do up in San Francisco, but he is opposed to having his children taught that gay marriage is a normal and acceptable thing. He is willing to go for the “live and let live”, but not for the “force it down your throats in public schools”.

    I imagine that it is for those sort of people that that fact is included.

  5. Peter LLC on October 17, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Just what benefit do we receive, if we do not support the Church and sanity in stopping SSM in California?

    Sanity? Why not add add support of kittens and long (heterosexual) walks on the beach to widen the appeal?

  6. denebug on October 17, 2008 at 11:43 am

    “Let’s see: statistics show that unwed mothers have a high rate of living in poverty. Their children have a high risk for crime and drugs.”

    Does the legalization of SSM increase the number of unwed mothers?

    “It opens the door for making all forms of relationship the same: which means when everything is normalized, nothing is sacred or significant.”

    So my marriage loses its sacred significance if someone else is allowed to marry? It’s always seemed to me that the strength of my covenants is determined by the effort I put in to upholding them, not how society may view them.

  7. Phouchg on October 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

    California Education Code 51240

    (a) If any part of a school’s instruction in health
    conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or
    guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or
    guardian, shall be excused from the part of the instruction that
    conflicts with the religious training and beliefs.
    (b) For purposes of this section, “religious training and beliefs”
    includes personal moral convictions.

  8. Derek on October 17, 2008 at 11:45 am

    In the USA, as soon as a child is born, don’t both parents automatically have the responsibility of caring for it, whether they are married or not?

  9. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Phouchg,

    I would guess that some parents would prefer to be faced with an opt-in rather than opt-out policy. That difference is generally a big deal in advertising. With kids involved, even more so.

    Furthermore, is it clear that teaching about gay marriage would be construed as “health” teaching? And if it is clear now, would it remain clear 5 years from now?

  10. Dan on October 17, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Frank,

    #4,

    I still don’t understand how it will be “forced down your throats in public schools” if there is but one difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage. That difference being gender.

    Personally I would have preferred, in the creation of this world and all its possibilities and permutations, that instances of same gender attraction were never an issue, not something to have come up in the natural selection process of the evolution of life. But alas, we simply cannot escape that it exists.

    My only problem with the position of the church is that the church has yet to give homosexuals a “way out” that heterosexuals are given in terms of fulfilling the natural sexual desire. The heterosexuals of the world have a way out from that act being called a sin. That way out is legal marriage. Aside from someone in authority approving a relationship between two heterosexuals, there is absolutely no difference in a sexual act done between two heterosexuals, one before marriage and one after marriage. Both will produce the same results. The only difference is someone saying that one is a sin and the other is not. Sadly, homosexuals are not given a way out of their natural desire. They must endure that unfulfilled desire for the rest of their lives if they wish not to be called sinners. Something about that seems fundamentally unfair and unjust.

  11. Chino Blanco on October 17, 2008 at 11:56 am

    What’s up with the “slightly different widget” ?

    It’s a lovely widget, but it’s not “the” widget.

    It’s different.

    Why?

  12. rd on October 17, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Dan, many people have natural desires that they are commanded not to pursue. Homosexuals are not the only ones who aren’t given a “way out”. Some people are tempted far more than others, and it doesn’t seem fair. But it’s good to know that God understands this and judges accordingly.

  13. Steven B on October 17, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    “Consider a hypothetical fellow living in Fresno. Our hypothetical man does not really care what gay men do up in San Francisco, but he is opposed to having his children taught that gay marriage is a normal and acceptable thing. He is willing to go for the “live and let live”, but not for the “force it down your throats in public schools”.”

    And thus we see what Yes on 8 is really about. SSM is not considered “normal and acceptable.”

  14. Dan on October 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    rd,

    #12,

    True enough. But is there a natural desire that is more powerful, with a stronger influence over your life, than sex?

  15. Adam E. on October 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    “Why not add add support of kittens…?”

    I would support that referendum.

  16. Craig H. on October 17, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    With the widget revised and reposted, it seems like it might be worth re-linking as well (I think Julie linked it originally) a response by a Mormon lawyer to some of the leading claims made by this widget and other sources. Of course there are other Mormon lawyers with different views. What I get out of his is this: if you’re going to argue for Prop. 8, fine, but consider all the evidence, including on the other side, and don’t present your speculation and predicted outcomes as the only possible outcomes.

    http://www.affirmation.org/pdf/2008_09_18_thurston.pdf

  17. Josh Smith on October 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Everyone is ignoring the widget.

    Very handsome widget. You could write anything under that little blue family and I’d probably nod in agreement. Come to think of it … you could put pants on the little blue gal and switch the “Yes 8 Protect Marriage” to “No 8 Expand Marriage” and I’d probably feel alright about it. Something about little blue families makes me feel warm inside.

    Good thing it’s Friday. I think I need a break.

  18. ECS on October 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Frank and I didn’t plan this, but I wrote a post today on FMH about the Massachusetts father who made national news when he was arrested for refusing to leave school property after meeting with school officials to protest his five year old son bringing home a book featuring children living with parents of the same sex. School officials had declined to provide the father (David Parker) with notice when his son Jacob’s teacher would be discussing same-sex marriage or homosexual relationships. The school’s argument was that materials referencing same-sex marriage or sexual orientation were not materials teaching “human sexuality” – for which notice is legally required. The court agreed with the school.

  19. Adam Greenwood on October 17, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDYyYjVkNjM2YTZlMzRlN2RkZWYxNDA4NGZiMGJkNDc=

    The latest press release from the Protect Marriage Yes on 8 campaign in California rather cleverly points out the same groups now charging its a lie public schools will teach about gay marriage whether parents like it or not — were just in court in Massachussetts filing amicus briefs arguing parents don’t have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum.

    From the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Amicus Curiae Brief:
    “In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the right of same-sex couples to marry is protected under the state constitution, it is particularly important to teach children about families with gay parents.” [p 5]

    From the Human Rights Campaign Amicus Curiae Brief:

    “There is no constitutional principle grounded in either the First Amendment’s free exercise clause or the right to direct the upbringing of one’s children, which requires defendants to either remove the books now in issue – or to treat them as suspect by imposing an opt-out system.” [pp1-2]

    From the ACLU Amicus Curiae Brief:

    “Specifically, the parents in this case do not have a constitutional right to override the professional pedagogical judgment of the school with respect to the inclusion within the curriculum of the age-appropriate children’s book…King and King.” [p 9]

  20. Chino Blanco on October 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Only sixteen days left and so many amicus briefs left to read.

  21. Not Ophelia on October 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I just feel very sorry for those kids who’s parents are in same sex relationships. I mean can you imagine how it must feel to have people yanking their kids (your friends) out of class when any mention of families like yours comes up?

    The schools are for all kids, and should be welcoming and safe (and recognizable) for all kids — even kids whose parents are gay.

    (and it ISN’T mandatory — there are private schools and homeschooling available for those who can’t abide their children learning about or having contact with gays and their children.)

  22. Steven B on October 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    For those interested, there is a discussion about the Parker case over at Mormons for Marriage.

    [AHG– FYI, “Mormons for Marriage” is a pro-SSM site]

  23. JimD on October 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    and it ISN’T mandatory — there are private schools and homeschooling available for those who can’t abide their children learning about or having contact with gays and their children

    Yeah–if you don’t mind paying twice to educate your kid (thank you, voucher opponents)

  24. cchrissyy on October 17, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Not Ophelia-
    i wonder if rather than sending a book home with illustrations of different families, what these parents would have done if the teacher just asked every kindergartner to draw their family and posted the drawings on the wall.

    Would they have been angry about that? Found a way to blame the school for the exposure? Removed their kids from the class lest their classmate mentions their 2 dads again in some other artwork or conversation?

  25. Mark N. on October 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    The most ridiculous thing about this is that the Supreme Court of CA has ruled that the wording of Prop 22 (and now 8) is in conflict with the equal protection clause of the state constitution. Jamming the conflict into the constitution certainly isn’t going to make it go away. What it will do is make a bigger mess of the constitution than it already is. I hope this thing passes so that the lawsuit that will result will go forward.

    It’s ridiculous that the CA State Constitution can be modified so easily by a voter initiative.

  26. It's Not Me on October 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    #6: “So my marriage loses its sacred significance if someone else is allowed to marry? It’s always seemed to me that the strength of my covenants is determined by the effort I put in to upholding them, not how society may view them.”

    Personally, I do not see SSM as a threat to MY marriage. I do see it, however, as a threat to the moral fabric of our society, which CAN affect the strength of marriages in the future. In other words, how society sees marriage can affect the strength of the commitment with which future generations enter into that sacred covenant.

    I am interested in the strength of the moral fabric of our future society, because that is the society in which my children, and their children, and their children, will live, learn, grow, and enter into relationships with others. I understand that part of their “learning” and “growing” should include tolerance. For that reason, I will teach them not to hate, but to love. But while I do that, I can also appropriately teach them not to endorse.

  27. jjohnsen on October 17, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    My work blocks that widget for some reason. So I’ll assume it’s full of swearing and and nudity, and condemn all of you for saying it’s a good thing.

  28. Gerald Smith on October 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    #22 Not Ophelia,

    Would you think then that it would be equally admissible to have children of gay couples attend private schools or be home schooled? Why should such issues even be discussed in public schools?

    Schools should be focusing on the issues that will prepare our children for survival in a global economy. As it is, we trail most democratic nations in math and science, and we’re slouching toward being a third rate nation economically. Why the heck are we pushing social issues in school and ignoring the more important issue of helping our kids continue our nation’s strength into the future?

    And I find that the premises that parents have no right to control what schools teach them to be exactly the point I made above. Traditional marriage has tangible benefits for society. And other form of relationship, however desired by the masses, does not provide the benefit to society. Here we have groups attempting to destroy the traditional family unit by indoctrinating children, regardless of the objections of parents!

    Why not give all our grade school kids marijuana during recess, as an attempt to legalize medical marijuana? And why do parents need to know if their 12 year old is having sex and getting an abortion? Shall I go on with these examples of how making everything acceptable means that nothing is sacred or important?

    Show me how SSM benefits society. Please? I have yet to see how it benefits anyone but those involved. It does not promote new generations of children raised by what studies show to be the best program: father and mother. Studies show that for many, the homosexual desire is based upon abnormal childhood experiences with father/adult male. How can we then expect to obtain societal benefits for future generations from relationships that may be based upon childhood abuse issues? Why are many of us against legalizing drugs? Because we’ve seen what lifting Prohibition has done to millions of homes over the generations. There is no benefit to the society, only to the individual.

    And in forcing homosexuality upon our families and the one organization that has been recognized as beneficial to society for centuries (the traditional family), we are in essence diluting or destroying the entire family structure – and society.

  29. John Mansfield on October 17, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    So many rugged individuals out there whose marriages are neither strengthened nor weakened by anything anyone around them may do. I wish we had people like that running the financial sector.

  30. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    “I still don’t understand how it will be “forced down your throats in public schools” if there is but one difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage. ”

    Dan, As I said above, some people do not wish it to be taught as a normal or acceptable behavior. Treating it as such would then be something they would oppose.

    Chino, I think they have lots of widgets. I found this one and liked the happy little blue people, so I used it.

    ECS, your post could not have been more conveniently timed!

    Craig, It is funny how the document you link to takes a hit on its very first point (the only point that relates to the widget?) now that we get to see what is happening in MA. Too bad for the anti-prop 8 people that MA didn’t wait to arrest people for another month. I was actually a little surprised at how weak that document was. It reads more like “These things haven’t really happened yet”. Well, it is understandable that some people might find that less than comforting.

    jjohnson,

    you’d be appalled…

  31. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I shouldn’t need to say this, but…

    If the conversation goes south I’ll close it down lickety-split. I have no intention of babysitting over a spitting match.

  32. mlu on October 17, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    and it ISN’T mandatory — there are private schools and homeschooling available for those who can’t abide their children learning about or having contact with gays and their children.

    It’s interesting that you think the majority should be excluded in order that you not feel offended.

    It makes at least as much sense to say there are private schools and homeschooling available for those who can’t abide their children hearing traditional marriage treated as good and proper.

    But it’s not true in either case, in much of the country.

    Though if courts succeed in forcing a massive social shift without regard for the consent of the governed, that might change. Other social shifts are likely, such as the abandonment of the public schools by Christians.

    If the left continues its progress in transforming public education into counter-Christian indoctrination centers, one consequence might be a flourishing of private schools. The old reasons for having government schools have passed. Many schools neglect the civic lessons needed to preserve a free republic, since the left prefers socialism which they now talk about as social justice, and the idea of preserving the nation is also quaint, since the new goals reject any sort of nationalism in favor of diversity and multiculturalism.

    I would love to send my children to schools where, for one thing, most of the staff took the ten commandments as normative. Let others live as they choose and teach their children as they wish in whatever schools they build. Further argument serves little purpose.

    I have some nostalgia for the ideals of the old American nation state, but it’s hard to see a future in which it survives. So the temptation grows to turn away from public affairs and defend my cultural heritage as best I can.

  33. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    N.O.

    “and it ISN’T mandatory — there are private schools and homeschooling available for those who can’t abide their children learning about or having contact with gays and their children.”

    delightful. Perhaps this is why California courts recently made clear just how unwelcome homeschooling is.

  34. Mark Brown on October 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Frank,

    We don’t want to put much confidence in Mr. Parker’s case.

    The administrators were working with him and trying to accomodate his concerns. He wanted the school to guarantee that his child would not have any contact with anything whatsoever having to do with homosexuality, including being forced to sit in the same classroom with someone with gay parents, or hear homosexuality ever spoken of, even on the playground. At the school board meeting in question, when the administrators were unable to give him that guarantee, he stated that he wasn’t leaving the room until they did. After an hour they called the cops and arrested him for trespassing. Big whoop. It’s pretty weak, but I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got.

  35. denebug on October 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    #26 “how society sees marriage can affect the strength of the commitment with which future generations enter into that sacred covenant. ” I agree with this. However, I would argue that the high incidence of easily obtained divorces is more detrimental to the value society places on marriage commitments the SSM.

  36. Chino Blanco on October 17, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    “So many rugged individuals out there whose marriages are neither strengthened nor weakened by anything anyone around them may do. I wish we had people like that running the financial sector.”

    I wish we had more people like that running for our local school boards.

  37. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Mark,

    I’m sure you’re right that the man is a lunatic. But that doesn’t change what those amicus filings say. What assurance can one have of where the law will go from here? I have no doubt as to where most lawyers want the law to go…

  38. JimD on October 17, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    An interesting insight into the views of this nation’s preeminent association of educators:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1224263692.shtml

    And yes, I do note the distinction between an NEA convention and a public school. But I still think it’s telling.

  39. Mark Brown on October 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    That is a good point, Frank. However, I think the real question is whether the law is simply a trailing indicator on this issue.

    (Yes, I just wanted to work _trailing indicator_ into a conversation with an economist.)

  40. aloysiusmiller on October 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I hope that people can keep in mind that this is a referendum on marriage not on homosexuality.

  41. bbell on October 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10729548?nclick_check=1

    The largest CA teachers union just gave 1MM to the No on 8 side of the ledger. More ammunition for those of us on the Yes on 8 side.

  42. Not Ophelia on October 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Would you think then that it would be equally admissible to have children of gay couples attend private schools or be home schooled?

    If they choose — I could see instances where gay parents give up and pull their kids out so as not to have to deal with bigots. Just like I can see a religious family pulling their kids out so as not to deal with things they find morally objectionable. What I don’t find acceptable is adults using the public schools to make little kids feel marginalized.

    Why should such issues even be discussed in public schools? Schools should be focusing on the issues that will prepare our children for survival in a global economy.

    Um these were 1st graders. Families are pretty standard fare in educating that age group,

    It’s interesting that you think the majority should be excluded in order that you not feel offended.

    No, I just think if you can’t stand the thought of the ‘other’ in your child’s classroom, you have options. If public school was mandatory, I think that father would have a better case. But it isn’t. He can take his son and go elsewhere.

    delightful. Perhaps this is why California courts recently made clear just how unwelcome homeschooling is.

    Um no. That case was recently reversed on rehearing

  43. Steve Evans on October 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    “If the conversation goes south I’ll close it down lickety-split.”

    For an economist, you’re a terrible predictor of human behavior. How is any other outcome even remotely likely, Frank?

  44. Peter LLC on October 17, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    29:So many rugged individuals out there whose marriages are neither strengthened nor weakened by anything anyone around them may do. I wish we had people like that running the financial sector.

    Yes, we could have avoided this financial crisis had only forward-thinking men and women across the republic amended the constitution to define, say, due diligence as between a broker and an investor only.

  45. ECS on October 17, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I don’t think David Parker is a lunatic. I think he is/was a concerned father at the end of his rope with liberal school officials (allegedly) indoctrinating his five year old son with cute stories and pretty pictures to believe that gay relationships are fine and dandy. Parker crossed the line when he refused to leave school property and chose to spend the night in jail rather than post bail for trespassing. He made a calculated decision to use his arrest, however, as a publicity stunt to attract attention to his son’s situation. And it worked.

    I believe the Wirthlin’s case is more compelling than Parker’s. The Wirthin’s seven year old son, Joey, sat in a circle with his classmates to listen to their teacher reading the book “King and King”, which ends with two princes getting married to each other and kissing (with a big red heart chastely covering their kiss). The Wirthlins, however, chose to take the school district to court without spending a night in jail.

  46. Geoff B on October 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Frank, thanks for the widget. It has been posted on another Mormon blog, namely one that begins with “Millennial” and ends with “Star.” :)

  47. SilverRain on October 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    If public school was mandatory, I think that father would have a better case. But it isn’t. He can take his son and go elsewhere.

    *tongue in cheek*
    Kind of like the Church?
    *end tongue in cheek*

  48. Not Ophelia on October 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Yes Silver Rain, and that’s another reason I doubt the church will ever have to perform SSM ………. ;~)

  49. Jim Cobabe on October 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I suggest that anyone with children that doesn’t feel a threat coming out of this is blind and deaf.

    Although I cannot cite all kinds of facts and figures, I can say that the brethren have spoken on this matter. They urge the church members to support prop 8. That is sufficiently conclusive for me, whatever confusion I might have on other matters.

  50. Costanza on October 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    What? Where are you Jim? Are you talking. I can’t see you!

    Although, if I could see or hear you, and apparently I can’t, I would point out that being deaf and/or blind would not preclude one from “feeling” a threat coming.

  51. Phouchg on October 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Jim, if the brethren told you to beat up a gay person, would you?

  52. Steve Evans on October 17, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Phouchg, he who is commanded in all things is a slothful and not a wise servant.

  53. Mark Brown on October 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    ECS, I beg to differ. According to the principal of the school, Mr. Larson wanted the school to gurarantee that his son would not encounter any mention of homosexuality while on the school grounds, including the playground at recess, and refused to leave the building until he got that guarantee. To me, that spells nut.

  54. Julie M. Smith on October 17, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    “I suggest that anyone with children that doesn’t feel a threat coming out of this is blind and deaf.”

    Or homeschooling. :)

  55. wbpraw on October 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    #41 Why is it that the teachers union has a million dollars to donate to a moral issue, but continues to complain about teachers\’ salaries?

    And we should realize that in sex ed classes, hetersexual sex AND homosexual sex will have to be explained. This sort of happened to my daughter in 7th grade. While she was explaining to me what she learned in sex ed, she offhandedly commented about or*l sex and a*al sex and said, \” oh, but a*l sex is for homosexuals.\” I dropped my jaw and had a heart to heart about when and where sex is appropriate: within the confines and covenant of a marriage between a man and a woman. The school curriculum will not be all about love and love is great and love is for everyone and isn\’t love grand in all it\’s forms – it Will have to include the mechanics. As members of the church, we already deal with a society in which premarital sex is a given and abstienence is rarely taught. I also worry that in an environment where any kind of relationship is acceptable, kids may misinterpret feelings of friendship for feelings of attraction and why not? They can marry whomever they please. This will only add to the already noisy and confusing world in which they now live. Just my two cents.

  56. bbell on October 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    based on the rhetoric from the No on 8 side I would wager that I should believe that the California Teachers Union should have its tax exempt status revoked.

  57. ECS on October 17, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Mark, yeah, well. I’m trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt here! (P.S. It’s Mr. Parker, not Larson).

  58. Sam B. on October 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    bbell,
    On what basis do you think that the Teachers Union should have its tax-exempt status revoked? I confess that I have, generally, avoided the whole Prop. 8 debate, so I don’t know what the Union has been saying, and I’m also not terribly knowledgeable about 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code, but 501(c)(5) doesn’t contain the language of 501(c)(3) preventing the campaigning by a charity on behalf of or against any individual. If you’re talking rhetoric, I can absolutely assure you that politeness is not a prerequisite for tax-exempt status (whether or not it should be).

  59. bbell on October 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I don’t think they should. Just making a point that the idea that the LDS church should have its tax exempt status revoked is silly.

  60. bbell on October 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I don’t think they should. Just making a point that the idea that the LDS church should have its tax exempt status revoked is silly.

  61. Sam B. on October 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    bbell,
    It is silly, stemming from a misunderstanding of the Internal Revenue Code. A 501(c)(3) organization (including a church) can have its tax-exempt status revoked if it campaigns on behalf of or against a candidate. 501(c)(3) generally doesn’t prevent it from being engaged in politics, or from publicly supporting or opposing legislation. Just from supporting or opposing people.

    However, unions are exempt under a different provision. Under the union provision (501(c)(5)), there is no similar provision. That is, a union won’t lose its tax-exempt status (at least on the face of the Code–I haven’t dug any deeper) even if it supports or opposes a candidate.

  62. O on October 17, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    All human behavior is socially moderated. Sanctioning behavior creates behavior.

  63. bbell on October 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I know Sam. Unions have a long and legal right to engage in political activity. Churches do as well as long as the do not endorse a particular candidate or party. The laws regarding churches were passed in the 1950’s and the legislation was pushed thru by an upset then Sen Johnson from TX who had been opposed for re-election by a group of churches.

  64. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Steve,

    I’m just counting the comments until 100…

    So far so good.

  65. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    “Um no. That case was recently reversed on rehearing”

    That is wonderful news. I’m sure the issue will never come up again…

  66. Kaimi Wenger on October 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for that link in #19, Adam G.

    I agree, it’s very problematic if organizations are suggesting that parents would be protected under a provision (and thus need not worry about SSM), while at the same time actively attempting to undercut that sort of provision.

  67. ldsinidaho on October 17, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Given all the stuff going on inside marriages today how is anything going to change if the homosexuals get classified as married? I just can’t see why we would be against then getting married. The only sound reasoning I have heard is “Well I don’t like it”. I don’t like lots of things but I am not sure we should make those illegal. All of this ‘could happen’ stuff is nothing but fear mongering because they don’t like it. Our schools already teach tolerance and acceptance and SSM is not legal in most states now. So what is going to change?

  68. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    ldsinidaho,

    “I just can’t see why we would be against then getting married. ”

    You will find that many times it is wise to avoid something even if you are unsure if the outcome will be bad, or how bad it will be. See, for example, the literature on global warming. Or, for a more mundane example, drinking a liquid of unknown origin. All the really bad outcomes are fairly unlikely, but that does not mean that we should ignore the possibility when making policy.

    Which is another way of saying that, just because you can’t see how something would be bad does not obviously translate into it not being bad. Good public policy weighs possible costs and benefits as well as sure ones.

  69. mlu on October 17, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    ldsinidaho,
    Our schools already teach tolerance and acceptance and SSM is not legal in most states now. So what is going to change?

    Well, it could be that SSM is going to be legal. Teaching some parts of the Bible may be deemed hate speech. Requiring temple recommends for some employment may be illegal. Things aren’t static. We’re besieged by progress. Change is our mantra.

    Most of the talk about what’s going to happen isn’t particularly speculative. It’s based on what has happened in places more progressive than the U.S. and on what is already happening in some places here.

    In general, lowering standards and ideals to the level of practice is the path to corruption. My marriage probably doesn’t meet the ideal in all respects. So don’t use my marriage as the standard. Keep your eye on the ideal.

    On another note, I’m sure SSM won’t weaken my marriage. But that’s the wrong time frame with which to view changes in institutions. Think in terms of two or three generations, for a start.

  70. Kaimi on October 17, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Frank (30),

    How exactly does Thurston’s argument (analyzing California law) “take a hit” based on the Massachusetts case?

    He’s stated that California law will provide certain protections. Nothing that has happened since then — certainly not a ruling of a Massachusetts federal court about a different Massachusetts statute — changes that analysis.

    And in addition, California has some of the strongest parental opt-out laws in the country.

  71. Timer on October 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    The “If the government legalizes same-gender marriage, somebody someday might mention to your children that the government has legalized same-gender marriage” argument is a clever one. On the one hand, it is a silly tautology. (Of course, if the government does anything — cleans the water, fights crime, sends peope to the moon — a teacher might mention this fact to children someday.) On the other hand, it’s a nice choice for a widget, since it mentions children and somehow appeals to people’s deepest fears without actually saying anything blatantly offensive or false (e.g., “studies prove that children of gay parents do poorly in school”).

    I think that if I were emotionally on board with Prop 8, I’d be impressed by this widget (even though, as it is, I find it a bit creepy).

    The religious freedom argument is a bit paranoid, but the other “facts” are more emotionally neutral and factually correct than some of the pro-Prop 8 stuff I’ve read. And they might even persuade a few fence-sitters. Who knows?…

  72. Timer on October 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    The “If the government legalizes same-gender marriage, somebody someday might mention to your children that the government has legalized same-gender marriage” argument is a clever one. On the one hand, it is a silly tautology. (Of course, if the government does anything — cleans the water, fights crime, sends peope to the moon — a teacher might mention this fact to children someday.) On the other hand, it’s a nice choice for a widget, since it mentions children and somehow appeals to people’s deepest fears without actually saying anything blatantly offensive or false (e.g., “studies prove that children of gay parents do poorly in school”).

    I think that if I were emotionally on board with Prop 8, I’d be impressed by this widget (even though, as it is, I find it a bit creepy).

    The religious freedom argument is a bit paranoid, but the other “facts” are more emotionally neutral and factually correct than some of the pro-Prop 8 stuff I’ve read. And they might even persuade a few fence-sitters. Who knows?…

  73. Frank McIntyre on October 17, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Kaimi,

    As I said before, opt-out is quite different from opt-in. As for how it takes a hit, well, it turns out that lawyers tend to find all sorts of things in statutes if you give them a few years. Who knew that CA’s constitution contained a provision requiring gay marriage? Nobody seemed to figure that out for 100 years. The amicus briefs make it pretty clear what the arguments would look like in CA in a year or two.

    But since I’ve got a lawyer on the phone, why is a federal court interpreting a state statute? Shouldn’t they be interpreting federal statutes? Who thought up this crazy country?!

  74. djinn on October 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    All and sundry; families are diverse. Even kindergarteners will figure out that some of their friends have parents that are two women or two men. Without input from the school at all. This is entertaining, but a side issue. If you guys are worried that your kids will be exposed to such issues I suggest that you seal them in bubble wrap, freeze them at a very low temperature or simply remove them from most human contact. Why not just teach them at home that you don’t act like that?

  75. djinn on October 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    All and sundry; families are diverse. Even kindergarteners will figure out that some of their friends have parents that are two women or two men. Without input from the school at all. This is entertaining, but a side issue. If you guys are worried that your kids will be exposed to such issues I suggest that you seal them in bubble wrap, freeze them at a very low temperature or simply remove them from most human contact. Why not just teach them at home that you don’t act like that?

  76. ldsinidaho on October 17, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    All of the arguments are about what MIGHT or COULD happen. What makes more sense is getting legislation that protects our way of life and makes sure the LDS church can act the way they want to. We already have a court case that supports the LDS freedom to act as they choose. That happened when the supreme court ruled that BSA did not have to accept gays if they did not want to. Quite hosnetly I am far more concerned about many things that actually does negatively impact me and my kids like drugs. Worrying about some legal classification of two peoples relationship certainy does not seem worth a whole lot of effort or money. Can anyone give one reason why prop 8 is needed that does not contain “May, Could, Might” or something similar. I can see voting your for it but the church is actively recruiting people to man phone banks here in Boise. This really seems over the top. We are being asked for 200 hours from each ward.

  77. hank on October 17, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    djinn,

    Wrap in bubble wrap and teach them at home. You will have to have church at home as well. It was in the hallways at church that my kids got introduced to sex and some sex acts. This was a teaching moment that I expected to come from public schools not the halls at church but they are the same kids in both places and we have to deal with exposure when it happens.

  78. mlu on October 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    I’m not that worried about my children. I just think we move toward solving most of our problems if we quit telling lies. There is a relationship between a man and a woman, deeply rooted in the procreative powers they share, that they enter into hoping to create a permanent home for a family they hope to create. It’s a sort of partnership with God. The name we have used to point to that relationship is “marriage.”

    Of course there are many marriages that don’t quite fit that picture, for a variety of reasons, so although the picture doesn’t give a precise definition of the relationship it does give a highly accurate view of it.

    There are many other sorts of relationships that are fine and important, and I also have many of those. But they aren’t marriages.

    There is a community of marriage, stretching backwards and forwards in the eternities, and those who currently belong to that community or believe it is a good thing have a responsibility to defend it by being true to it and by welcoming young couples into it and teaching its ways.

    We need a word that names that relationship. And it so happens we have one. Homosexuals cannot have that relationship with each other, and those who are trying to change the meaning of the word are engaging in an act of cultural vandalism. They are trying to obscure a reality that, fortunately, will persist.

    If they succeed in taking the word “marriage” for their own purposes, a new vocabulary will arise and reality will do to “marriage” something similar to what “special education” did to “special.” But the process will be ugly, confusing, and harmful and there is no good reason for going through it.

    The advocates of things like Prop 8 are fighting a battle that ultimately they cannot win, though they can destroy some things in their efforts. I think most of them know that. I think it’s the destruction that mostly attracts more than a few of them.

  79. ldsinidaho on October 18, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Dictionary.com certainly supports the man and woman requirement for the definition of marriage. But marriage has not meant anything eternal for a very long time if ever. We call what you are referring to as sealed for time and all eternity. I just see the FP asking us to be respectful and I do not see active Mormons treating gay people with respect very often. Most religions incite hatred to one group or another and I do not want to be part of that. Most comments in Sunday school and priesthood meeting would be taken as hate speak by anyone with gay family or friends that they are close to. Many Mormons will completely cut off any member of their family if they come out of the closet. I know missionaries in the late 70’s that were threatened with physical harm if they were teaching any of those darkies. The language today seems eerily similar. Completely different issue and not all proponents of this prop are haters but hate is hate and will likely keep some people out of Celestial glory.

    I know very few gay people but I do know I would much rather see them in a committed relationship and not out philandering around. This also goes for heterosexuals.

  80. Frank McIntyre on October 18, 2008 at 1:17 am

    “Can anyone give one reason why prop 8 is needed that does not contain “May, Could, Might” or something similar.”

    If you play on the freeway, you “may” get hit by a car. Since the bad outcome is only a probability, not a certainty, should we ignore it and go play hockey on the interstate?

    What matters is how likely the outcomes are and how bad they are (and the reciprocal for good outcomes). Since we don’t know those probabilities, we have to make guesses and vote on our best guess.

    I believe this is comment 80. I’ll probably close the thread when we hit 100, just so ya’ll are warned.

  81. ldsinidaho on October 18, 2008 at 1:37 am

    So gay marriage is as stupid as playing on a freeway? That is your logic?

  82. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 1:52 am

    So Hank, your kids were taught about deviant sex acts at church. I am sincerely sorry. However, this is not an issue that has anything to do with the current Yes on 8 campaign; more an issue for your local police force. There is a difference between married stable couples who try to contribute to society and those who should have the full force f the law descend on them. Capiche? Actually, this sounds like a very sad situation, and I am truly appalled, but it has nothing, in fact, tne opposite of nothing to do with homosexual couples being able to marry and live lives as they desire. Risking a supposition, it was someone who was not able to live his life as he should (married, I’m guessing) who preyed on your innocent children. Such a tragedy. Vote no on Prop. 8 to prevent it from happening again. Vote No. Yoou Dumb A****es. It’s the oppression and suppression that causes the deviant behavior, If you love your children (presumably) Get a clue. Buy a vowel. Do whatever it takes. Yes, I feel strongly about this. And I do not feel th need to repent. Buck up.

  83. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 1:52 am

    So Hank, your kids were taught about deviant sex acts at church. I am sincerely sorry. However, this is not an issue that has anything to do with the current Yes on 8 campaign; more an issue for your local police force. There is a difference between married stable couples who try to contribute to society and those who should have the full force f the law descend on them. Capiche? Actually, this sounds like a very sad situation, and I am truly appalled, but it has nothing, in fact, tne opposite of nothing to do with homosexual couples being able to marry and live lives as they desire. Risking a supposition, it was someone who was not able to live his life as he should (married, I’m guessing) who preyed on your innocent children. Such a tragedy. Vote no on Prop. 8 to prevent it from happening again. Vote No. Yoou Dumb A****es. It’s the oppression and suppression that causes the deviant behavior, If you love your children (presumably) Get a clue. Buy a vowel. Do whatever it takes. Yes, I feel strongly about this. And I do not feel th need to repent. Buck up.

  84. obi-wan on October 18, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Who knew that CA’s constitution contained a provision requiring gay marriage?

    It doesn’t. It contains a provision requiring equal treatment of heterosexual and homosexual unions recognized by the state.

    The court made it quite clear in the opinion that a legally acceptable result could be achieved by abolishing heterosexual marriage and providing domestic partnerships for everyone. It assumed that the legislature would prefer extending marriage to homosexual domestic partners instead.

    But, apparently the Prop 8 coalition don’t agree, so they are working diligently to abolish marriage for everyone. It’s perhaps unfortunate that they don’t seem to realize that is what they are doing, but it should be highly amusing (and ironic) if they get what they think they want.

  85. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Sorry for the unintended double post. But it does give me a wedge to mention that child sexual abusers rank themselves very high on the personally religious scale. Yep. Be a “good” christian, have a higher propensity for a truly terrible crime. Don’t believe me? I have actual evidence to back this up. i hate the idea of children being hurt for the blindness of the adults in their family and have friends that have so suffered. Don’t like it? Too bad. Kids are too important to keep your personal comfort level at an even 72 degrees. Buck up. Let Gay men live their lives as gay men. Watch an entire generation of possible abusers diffuse into the atmosphere. Don’t like it? Tough. There is such a thing as evidence, no matter how you prefer to come to the idea of knowledge. I realize this post is harsh, but the idea of harming children for some unobtainable goal is more than I can fathom. Hint. Don’t want your kids abused? Move your family to a gentler, more open church. Again, facts, baby.

  86. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Religious Affiliations Among Adult Sexual Offenders
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/6wnv26q344t52hw7/

    Abstract This article examines associations between self-reported religious affiliations and official offense histories among 111 incarcerated adult male sexual offenders. Four categories of religiosity were devised according to self-reported continuities and discontinuities in life-course religious affiliations: atheists, dropouts, converts, and stayers. ANCOVAs indicated that stayers (those who maintained religious involvement from childhood to adulthood) had more sexual offense convictions, more victims, and younger victims, than other groups. Results challenge assumptions that religious involvement should, as with other crime, serve to deter sexual offending behavior. Results are discussed in terms of social control and situational theories of crime.

  87. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 2:19 am

    I don’t care if you hate me. Your children are more important than any hurt feelings you may suffer. Buck up. Protect them. Not against out gay men, who pose no threat, but those gay men, sad to say, who felt it necessary to hide their true feelings and live a lie, often with a wife, children, and priesthood calling. Oh, and access to your children. What the **** are you worried about with school teachers? the actual threat is on your front door masquerading as a part of your life, As I said eariler, good luck with that.

  88. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 2:34 am

    If you didn’t bother reading the scientific studies I posted, it said that there was a positive correlation between strong religious beliefs (as self reported) and a propensity to rape innocent children. Yes, this makes me furious. Ban me if you want, but you guys have kids, presumably. Do you really love them? Or do you just pretend to to make your friends, family and neighbors treat you with a modicum of respect? Yes, I have gone off the deep end, but I now know about two different mormon families both with pedophile grandfathers who raped all of their granddaughters. One was turned in to ecclesiastical authorities after he ventured outside his genetic offspring, the other was more careful and got off scott free. Both these men did rather astonishing harm to their granddaughters, with very little consequence. I think the whole Gay issue is a way to divert attention from the very real issue extent right now in Mormon families Remember, if a girl is, uh, made unclean, all the guilt falls on her.. If you don’t believe me, listen in on a lesson or two .. This is not an anti-mormon rant. I want my family, may female relatives to have a somewhat better life. Where do I start?

  89. djinn on October 18, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Please forgive me for the double posts, which I don’t understand, but not for the passion I feel on this issue; Make Gay men marry, end up with a world, a world, a world of hurt, And marry they will if there is no other choice that pity and self-hatred.

  90. Hank on October 18, 2008 at 9:34 am

    djinn,

    I never said an adult sexually assaulted my kids. I said they came home asking questions after hearing about sex from boys in the hallway. My point is if you want to keep your kids from hearing about things church is not much different from the schools. They have the same kids in both places. 8 and 9 year olds are going to talk and 7 year olds are going to listen. calling the cops would have been a reaction should put me in looney bin under heavy medication. Prop 8 should pass but lets get a grip it will not prevent our children from being exposed to the 2 mommy family. That is a ridiculous argument that needs some serious rethinking. If that is your only reason then you may not be qualified to vote. If you think they are deviants and you hate them for it then at least you know why you are voting the way you are going to.

  91. Jim Cobabe on October 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Frank,

    I don’t need more arguments about proposition 8. If I read everything that has been said, I would still be confused. On the one hand, there is the unequivocal law of God that dictates our moral values, including sexuality. On the other hand, Gods laws unequivocally mandate love for all our brothers and sisters. God is no respecter of persons.

    I must follow the course that is ratified by answers to sincere prayer. Like Nephi, I question the promptings that, like this one, appear to conflict with others. The Lord is the only source that can resolve the ambiguity apparent in these conflicting issues.

    I will seek to do his will.

  92. Fluxus on October 18, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I have not read all the posts so maybe someone already mentioned this but some of the “facts” on the widget are wrong:

    1) 61% of Californian voters did NOT vote for prop 22. 61% of those who voted on prop 22 (about 4 million people) voted for prop 22. The widget over states support for prop 22 by over 10 million votes.

    2) There is no link between prop 8 and what is taught in schools here in CA. The issue of how to address issues around families and relationships has already been decided in such a way that teachers need to use specific language, in that they can not promote one type of relationship while disparaging others. Prop 8 has no effect on what is or will be taught in schools.

    3) Concerning religious liberties: In the decision overturning prop 22 the court stated that churches that believe gay marriage to be sinful can not be forced to perform them. In addition it’s important to remember that marriage laws have NOT conflicted with religious liberties or freedom of speech. Rather its state non-discrimination laws that have caused problems for groups such as Catholic Charities of Boston, NOT marriage laws. The non-discrimination laws in MA were already in place prior to that state legalizing gay marriage. And the reason CCB was subject to those laws is because they were a contractor with the state of MA. and as a contractor accepting state funds they were subject to the rules and regulations of the state.

    So much for the “Facts” that appear on the widget.

    Be pro prop 8 all you want, just don’t give false or misleading information concerning it.

  93. Frank McIntyre on October 18, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    close enough. Thanks for playing. I actually learned a couple things in the first 50 or so comments. The next 50 aren’t looking so promising.