Dear Friends & Family,
I am writing this letter to urge you to vote NO on Prop 8, which seeks to eliminate marriage for same-sex couples.
Prop 8 will take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California.  They have had the right to marry in California since June 18, 2008.  Their marriage licenses are valid, legal, and no different than yours and mine. 

Having a marriage recognized by your church or religion is different from civil marriage.  If you attend a specific church, you probably have both a civil marriage and a marriage recognized by the church you attend.  I only have a civil marriage.  Nobody is trying to force any church or religion to marry same-sex couples, nor are they asking churches or religions to recognize civil marriages as fulfilling the requirements of marriage of a particular religion.
Taking away the fundamental civil rights of otherwise qualified adults is wrong.  Don't use your religious beliefs, which are arguably the most precious thing in your life, as an excuse to descriminate.  You may not like to hear it, but if you support Prop 8 that is exactly what you're doing.  What if someone was trying to deny you the right to legally marry the person you love because you don't share their religious beliefs or because your marriage is not recognized by any religious body?  Or if you do belong to a specific religion, is my marriage any less valid than yours, just because I am not married in a church?  Or because I don't have children?  Of course not.  In the state of California, my marriage is just as legal and just as valid.  So should it be for same-sex couples, whose relationships deserve the same respect and validation as ours, regardless of religious beliefs.  Marriage brings emotional, social, and financial benefits that are being denied to thousands of American citizens every day.  That descrimination cannot continue.
My marriage is the most important thing in my life.  That is why I am so passionately in favor of the rights of same-sex couples to marry if they choose to.  I know how wonderful marriage can be and don't want other loving couples to be denied that right.  I can't imagine how it would feel if someone was trying to take that away from me, can you?  That's exactly what Prop 8 is trying to do to same-sex couples. 
I'm asking you to do the right thing and not use your religious beliefs as an excuse to descriminate.  Your beliefs are too important to lessen by doing that.

2 Replies to “An Open Letter to Friends & Family Who Support Prop 8”

  1. Holly West says: October 24, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Well Jo, it sounds like you’ve been paying attention to the offensive and deceiving commercials supporting Prop 8.
    Thankfully, the California Supreme Court did their job by finding Prop 22 unconstitutional. The LA Times says why Prop 8 is wrong very well in this op ed piece, which I hope you will read:,0,1229155.story
    Civil unions do offer most of the same legal benefits of marriage, however, they are not recognized socially in the same way marriage is, which makes it separate, and unfortunately, unequal.
    I do not equate same-sex marriage with incest, marriage between minors, or polygamy. Neither does the State of California. Same-sex couples have the same legal status as heterosexual couples. Thousands of same-sex couples have been issued California marriage licenses since June 2008 and those licenses are exactly like mine, and yours, if you are married.
    Furthermore, Prop 8 will not protect children. How are children protected when we are voting to take away people’s fundamental rights? That protects no one, and it diminishes our society. This is not a lesson I would want any child to learn: that their fundamental rights can be stripped away in a voting booth by an ignorant and intolerant majority.
    I’ll tell you what’s in my heart of hearts: Taking away the right of same-sex couples to marry is wrong, cruel, and vile. Per the op ed cited above: “Fundamental rights are exactly that. They should neither wait for popular acceptance, nor be revoked because it is lacking.”

  2. Jo S says: October 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Just a thought:
    Before the CA supreme court overturned the man-woman law, same-sex unions provided every legal right that marriage does – just wasn’t called marriage. (CA law code)
    Another thought:
    If you believe a father shouldn’t marry his daughter, a woman shouldn’t marry two men at the same time, 11-year-olds shouldn’t marry each other, maybe in your heart of hearts you understand that people’s love for each other isn’t the measure of what the law should recognize as marriage.
    What is best for society and the well-being of children is that measure.

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