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How Proposition 8 Became a Government Law in California

Info: 3678 words (15 pages) Essay
Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Family

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 Child – Center Argument with Same Sex Marriage Debate

Of Proposition 8

There is no doubt that the subject of marriage has always been a subject of concern and controversy. Same-sex marriage is an important national issue to stakeholders on both sides of the debate, as marriage has come to hold special significance in the U.S. Marriage brings with it a higher social status (Barclay & Fisher, 2003, 332) and the reputation of being a more reliable citizen (Card 1996, 2). Regarding the legalization of same-sex marriages, it has been advocated for and opposed across distinct states in the United State (Warren and Bloch, 2014, 503). For instance, Proposition 8 in California, which was a voter-initiated ballot measure seeking to amend California’s state constitution to define the parameters of legal marriages as those solely between males and females. Issues directly affecting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in this country have garnered substantial media and political attention (Warren and Bloch, 2014, 504). The measure passed in November 2008 with 52% of the voters supporting it, and subsequently it became the subject of a series of court challenges. For California Proposition 8, the “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry” Initiative, it was written to amend the state constitution to explicitly define a marriage as a legally binding union between a man and a woman, which effectively banning same-sex marriages in California. Indeed, classification of proposition 8 by the Supreme Court of California in the United States reflect the importance attached to the fundamental interests of minorities and whet the majority of persons were allowed to legally deprive the interests of minorities. The principle of constitutionally concealing the rights of minorities to protect the rights of minorities was totally ignored by permitting majority to be taken as an equal and free citizen of an unaccepted minority, and no long lasting law in the history of the law. How did the California proposition 8 gay marriage evolve and move on to today? This paper to provide an overview of the events and the legal issues involved in the case that is currently before the California Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and analyze how same-sex marriage have the potential impact on children’s education that the proposition 8 supporters were able to convince voters to pass the proposition.

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The California briefly approved and legalized same-sex marriage in 2008, but it has been illegal since the conservative proposition 8 referendum that banned the state from recognizing it. Then, supporters of same-sex marriage and opponents of same-sex marriage appealed proposition 8 to the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the The Constitutionality of Proposition 8 (Epstein, 2011), It goes without saying that the Proposition 8 was not a quite smooth process to go through this legislation because many people are quite enthusiastic about liberalism in terms of individual behavior, so the most useful proposition guiding liberal thinkers is this: a person deeply offends others for not guaranteeing the change of individual behavior or changing their behavior, unless and until the behavior involves the use of force against the individual and fraud, it means that interfering with intimate personal behavior requires strong social protection (Epstein 2011, 799). In May 2008, a judicial precedent made California the second American state to recognize same-sex marriage as equal to normal marriage. Less than six months later, however, voters in California passed proposition 8, changing the state constitution to deny same-sex couples that right(Harvard New Review 2010). Here is a significant example for this issue, in the case of Strauss v.horton (Harvard New Review 2010), the California Supreme Court formally recognized the validity of proposition 8, arguing that it was right under California law to classify the legislative proposal as an amendment to the constitution rather than a constitutional amendment, The Supreme Court concluded that the use of the term marriage only to heterosexual couples does not represent a fundamental change necessary to bring about a constitutional amendment that must be initiated by a majority of legislative proposals before reaching the electorate(Harvard New Review 2010).

Also according to the view from Harvard New Review(2010), opinion mentioned above is that point of view of the court that only the provision of changes to the structure of the government can be refer to as a revision of the constitution, which is consistent with the narrowly defined interpretation of the state precedent of California. At the same time, however, the court has lost an opportunity to address a matter that has not been resolved by precedent and, in the longer term, to take into account the role of the judiciary in protecting the rights of minorities. The court should take the view that making fundamental changes to the personal interests of minorities is itself a revision. To do so, the court also needs a deliberative process for these constitutional changes so it can better serve as a court that protects minority rights. This tendency to hurt Strauss’s court beliefs led a small group of people (especially homosexuals) to argue for the supremacy of judicial review and the difference between amendment.

In 2007, when the supporters of Proposition 8 submitted their measure to the secretary of state of California for permission to disseminate it, the title of the vote was “California Marriage Protection Act” (Epstein, 2011, 880). As the discussion in Ballotpedia, at the time, Proposition 22 was the state’s law on same-sex marriage, and the term ‘marriage protection’ seemed to mean “adding additional protections to this notion by enshrining the marriage of a man and a woman in the constitution, not just as an ordinance.” (Ballotpedia 2008) In this dissent, justice Kennedy argued that “the California Supreme Court was qualified to appoint a third party to defend voter initiatives like proposition 8, even if the activists had no formal institutional relationship with the state” (Ballotpedia 2008). He wrote that the Supreme Court “did not understand or accept that the fundamental premise of an active process” (Ballotpedia 2008). Proposition 8 is not about discrimination, but about the will of California voters, who simply want to preserve the historical definition of marriage.

Otherwise, advocates stands for the child development and public learning from a variety of perspectives – social, psychological, historical, and others. On second thoughts, legal recognition of same-sex marriage might help public schools. First, the legal context in which the gay marriage debate is taking place is helpful. Here’s a case in point: in 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick ruled that a Georgia law criminalizing sodomy had been challenged by a person who had been arrested voluntarily for having sex with another man in his home(Fetter 2011, 238). The former Supreme Court has issued and identified the privacy of the realm, which protects personal autonomy in the field of “sexual activity procreation, contraception, interracial marriage between members of the opposite sex, and abortion” (Fetter 2011, 238), plaintiff claiming that the law violated his right to participate in a private association event in the ninth and the 14th amendment to the United States constitution(Fetter 2011, 238). After that, the court has set the case for the Bowers case to consider whether or not the underlying privacy of the 14th amendment extends to the constitutional right to the homosexual act of sodomy. According to the framework of the constitution, the Supreme Court does not think that the existence of such rights, because in the Supreme Court’s ruling, it has neither implied in the maintenance of freedom and justice, nor was “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history” (Fetter 2011, 238). It highlights the reasons and background for the gradual failure of California Proposition8.

Soon after, opponents of same-sex marriage launched a vigorous Proposition 8 movement, which clarified their understanding of the role and significance of marriage in society — They think “marriage is a civil institution designed to encourage and reward heterosexual couples to raise children” (Isaacson, 2010,123). This is the social basis of the majority of the part that is centered on children to support California Proposition 8 and opposed to same sex marriage. Since children are at the heart of marriage, any law that may in any way change the institution of marriage in their view must assess its impact on the basic child-centred objectives of marriage. The action taken by the bold and one-sided approach is eight days of activities, which are held for same-sex marriage supporters provides a perfect opportunity to revive the marriage of words, often forget that the marriage of an individual benefits, and puts forward the concept of a more robust marriage, reflects a myriad of interests and honor to make a lasting marriage agencies (Isaacson, 2010,124).

According to the argument by Isaacson in Teachable Moments : The Use of Child-Centered Arguments in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate (2010), Almost debates by most people who support California Proposition 8 on child – centered are originates from a case that a female elementary school teacher invited her students to attend the wedding of a girlfriend who had been with her for a long time as ‘ teachable moment’(Isaacson 2010), which sparked a controversy. Here is this case “There was a group of first-grade children from the Creative Arts Charter School in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall on October 10th , 2008 (Isaacson 2010, 121), the children’s first-grade teacher, a lesbian, was set to many her longtime girlfriend that morning. The director of the charter school saw the wedding as a ‘teachable moment’ (Isaacson 2010, 121) an opportunity for the children to witness firsthand the progression of civil rights in America”(Isaacson 2010, 121). After this case, since that time, the debate about same-sex marriage has reached a heated period. Earlier that year, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark decision declaring the same-sex marriage ban a violation of the state constitution’s due process and equal protection clause(Wikipedia, In re Marriage Cases, 2008). Opponents of same-sex marriage responded swiftly and forcefully to proposition 8, a ballot initiative to amend California’s constitution to define marriage only as a union between a man and a woman. So, for many of the advocates of same-sex marriage, they thought that the first-grader outing is another step toward a socially acceptable and socially acceptable way, but even though the purpose of the field trip is good, the timing is not appropriate, it also may be damaging to the cause of the marriage. On the day of the field trip, the polls on the eighth proposal show that, in this case, the two sides are evenly matched. Therefore, many of the advocates of the same sex marriage are worried that because this “teachable time”(Isaacson, 2010, 121) can directly become the basis of those Child – centered support of proposition 8 against the same sex marriage, thereby giving them the new advantage that the momentum may eventually be diverted to support proposition 8 (Isaacson, 2010, 121).

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After that discussion of child-centered background debate, here is a significant question, how did proposition 8 pass and why it would not in California? The answer is fascinating and complex, and reveals just how much the country has evolved on the issue since the 2008 election. It should also be noted that the issue of homosexuality has become significantly intertwined with American political life in the last decade or two. After the 1980s, thanks to the rise of the same-sex movement, nearly all presidential candidates in successive us presidential elections had to take a stand. Basically, republicans who mainly cater to the interests of the upper and middle class in American society hold an opposition attitude towards homosexuality and emphasize the maintenance of family and the traditional moral values of American society. Democrats, who cater mostly to the lower, middle and younger classes of American society, are relatively open and tolerant of homosexuality. According to the information from Google(2004), democratic presidential candidates John kerry and Bill Clinton, for example, have both publicly and half-publicly identified themselves as supporters of legalizing gay marriage. Bill Clinton appointed gay people to federal jobs during his presidency. President Bush and his son, both republicans, were vocal opponents of homosexuality. In a speech in January 2004, President Bush even publicly called on congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would make marriage between a man and a woman legally illegal.

The basic information is that Proposition8 was approved in favor of eliminating same-sex marriage with 52.3 percent (Cillizza and Sullivan, 2013). It is worth note when you think that President Obama won California on that same day, with a vote of 61.1%, (Cillizza and Sullivan, 2013). It is worth mentioning that candidate Obama opposed same-sex marriage before 2010 and became the first President who supported same-sex marriage in 2012 (Steinmetz, 2015). In addition, California’s five most populous counties — Los Angeles, orange, riverside, SAN bernardino, and San Diego — all voted for proposition 8, even though Obama had the support of four of the five counties in the presidential race (Cillizza and Sullivan, 2013). African American voters overwhelmingly support a ban on same-sex marriage. Seventy percent supported proposition 8 (Cillizza and Sullivan, 2013), although they were more supportive of Obama, with 94 percent (Cillizza and Sullivan, 2013).Polling data from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows that it was clear that attitudes towards same-sex marriage began to change soon after proposition 8 was passed (2012). In October 2008, 50 percent opposed same-sex marriage. By May 2012, 54% of Californians supported same-sex marriage (Google2012).

Over the years, these issues have partly morphed into concerns about how same-sex marriage hurts all children. Because of the growing popularity of same-sex marriage in society, its inclusion in school curricula confuses the child’s gender role with the true meaning of marriage (isaacson, 2010, 132). Richard Richardson made the following statement, announcing marriage as an institution for children: it is a basic human instinct for children to grow up expecting a biological parent. Marriage is about children, not just about adult love. “This is to find the best arrangement of raising children, history, tradition, biology, sociology and simple common sense tells us that a child grows best biological mother and father” (Congressiona records, Google books 2004,). The traditional institution of marriage is not a system of discrimination, nor is marriage used to oppress, which was created for children (Richardson,2004 9). Professor Catherine also highlights the role of marriage in providing the ideal environment for raising children: as a public institution, marriage is the most fundamental function of society — the cultural adaptation of children. It is a time-consuming and extremely expensive proposition — marriage serves social purposes effectively. Marriage is not about discrimination — it’s about children (isaacson, 2010,134). However, although the link between marriage and child rearing is rooted in history, child rearing has never been the primary purpose of marriage (Mckinley and Schwartz. 2010). Even earlier Americans tended to view marriage as a mutual, love-based commitment between two people, rather than as a public relationship tied to the religious or civic obligations of parenting. Today’s research shows that people still think of marriage as a marital institution, in which couples are primarily motivated by their love for each other and their desire for a partner (isaacson, 2010, 135). The Proposition 8 camp is narrowing marriage to Proposition 8 because of the children. Therefore, the function of parenting is neither in line with historical understanding nor in line with contemporary views of marriage.

Back to “the teachable moment”(Isaacson, 2010,121) seen by a school official at the same sex wedding of an elementary school teacher (Isaacson, 2010,121). In fact, the gay marriage debate that has dominated courts and votes across the country lately has produced a series of teachable moments, each legal decision and state initiative offering a glimpse into contemporary attitudes to marriage. What the campaign around proposition 8 clearly lacked was a willingness on both sides of the debate to learn. Likewise, the “no proposition 8” movement missed a valuable learning opportunity to use the absolutist interpretation of marriage as a springboard to a more progressive conversation about contemporary marriage. Thankfully, there may be several occasions in the future, both in California and nationally, for such social reflection.

In conclusion, Americans’ beliefs about the appropriateness of same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in the past two decades, favourably supporting the right to extend marriage. Every future legal battle over same-sex marriage should be seen as an opportunity to step back and reassess the purpose and purpose of marriage, as it is now. By doing so, it will be able to articulate the goals and vision of the changing American family as a city/state and as a united nation. To prevent the irrational majority from denying the unpopular minority its rights as an equal and free citizen, Proposition 8 was classified as a constitutional amendment or more appropriate. More important, of course, is the weakening of the state constitution as a bulwark of the fundamental rights of minorities. Whether these minorities will still believe in the constitution and the courts, and whether they will remain true to their faith in the law, is what we need to reflect on.

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