I have not been able to find a reasonable argument in favor of Proposition 22. Here are the arguments I have seen and why they are not valid:
1. "If same-sex couples are allowed to marry, what is next? Marriage between siblings; parents and children; a group of people; people and their pets?"
This is an argument extrapolated to a ridiculous conclusion. Throughout history and the cultures of the world, there have been gay people. Marriage in our country is the culmination of a lover's bond. A family bond is not a lover's bond.
2. "Being gay is a choice, and if society does not want to define this lifestyle as a form of marriage, we should not be forced to."
This is the basis of the prejudice against gays. All thinking people should by now realize that a gay man cannot choose to love a woman any more than a heterosexual man can choose to love another man.
3. "The optimal way to nurture a child is for it to have parents of the opposite sex. The absence of the traditional two-parent family is the crux of so many of our ills today."
People are afraid that gay marriages will beget troubled kids. Well, there are plenty of troubled kids around, and they are not from gay unions. Having one spouse of each sex is no protection against breakups, physical and mental abuse of spouses and children, substance abuse, and poor child-rearing.
4. "God didn't make Adam and Steve."
People who disparage homosexuality are setting an example of intolerance, not love. These parents need to watch out, because, regardless, of how they raise their children, some of their children will be gay.
The only choice anyone has (and it is the parents who have this choice) is whether these children will continue to be ashamed so that they hide it so their families do not reject them. It is a fact that the suicide rate for gay teens is many times higher than that of any other population sector. Why? Because people will not accept them for who they are.
5. "Proposition 22 redefines marriage for our entire society."
Marriage is not being redefined, it is evolving, as it always has. Marriage has not always been a loving partnership between a man and a woman. We have evolved from polygamy to monogamy. We have evolved from wives being mere property of husbands to being equal partners. We have evolved from having our spouses chosen for us to choosing our own. We have evolved from tolerating only same-race marriages and same-religion marriages to accepting intermarriage. Each of these could be considered a "redefinition" of marriage as it was defined at the time.
6. "Proposition 22 is not a hateful action."
Proposition 22 would put into law that many of our citizens cannot marry the persons they want to marry. It implies that there is something wrong with gay couples, that they don't deserve the rights of married people. This sounds pretty discriminatory and hateful to me.
7. "Gays already have civil rights. Instead of marriage, they can have registered domestic partnerships or fill out legal forms."
A domestic partnership registration does not provide all of the automatic rights and privileges that marriage provides. If it did, marriage of gays would not be an issue. And, if legal forms are even available to secure every right that automatically comes with marriage, why should gays have to be the only ones burdened with this?
Being married is the only legal way to assure that gay couples can enjoy the same legal benefits that heterosexual couples receive from marriage. Consider if, in the eyes of the law, your spouse were only your girlfriend or boyfriend. Everyone who wants should have the legal protection and benefits afforded by that piece of paper. Our society has not established an equivalent institution for gay couples.
This is an issue of civil rights, and gays are riding in the back of the bus.
-- Alison Mizraji lives in Ventura.